Finance & Audit

The Council’s Budget for the ensuing year (April to March) is set in January each year and is collected along with the Council Tax by the Borough Council.

For the current year (2021/22) the Parish Precept was set at £63,133.10 by the Parish Council with a contribution towards Concurrent functions from West Lancashire Borough Council of £2,846. The Council also receive £300 per annum for Allotment management, £5,087 rent from the three local sports clubs at the Centenary Sports Ground (waived in light of Covid-19 on this occasion),  and £150 from Electricity North West for wayleave agreements. A total income, including some other minor items, of over £70,000. In addition, the Council will receive grants to improve the infrastructure from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) made by building developers.

The Council’s basic administration costs, which includes insurance, audit charges, training, room hire, employment and expenses of the Parish Clerk, and legal and professional fees amount to £26,033.

The Council’s affairs are audited on an on-going basis by an Internal Auditor, appointed annually by the Council. An External Auditor, appointed by Central Government examines the Council’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return in June/July each year and reports to the Council.

Each year the smaller authority’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd.  The unaudited AGAR has been published with this notice. As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.

Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2021, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

The Parish Clerk – Telephone 01772 812681
Between Monday 26th July 2021 and Friday 3rd September 2021

Local government electors and their representatives also have:

The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:

PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team)
1 Westferry Circus
Canary Wharf
London E14 4HD

The Annual Governance & Accountability Return is available for inspection by any local government elector of the area of Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Council and can be downloaded here.

Diane Earles
Executive Clerk and Finance Officer
27th April 2021