What We Spend and How we Spend it
The Council has an established Financial Management Policy which is reviewed as appropriate. A copy of this can be obtained from the Parish Council office at a small charge. The Clerk is responsible for keeping all accounts, with the Finance Committee monitoring on a regular basis.
With one or two very small exceptions, the only funds the Council has at its disposal comes from the local authority precept. This is requested by the Parish Council in January of each year, based on its known finances and its proposed spending for the following financial year. The precept comes out of the total amount of Council Tax collected by North Somerset Council, with the effect on each householder’s Council Tax depending on the band of their property. The Parish Council publishes information about Council Tax in the March or April Pill Paper each year.
The income and expenditure for the previous financial year is reported on at the Annual Parish Meeting in April, together with the budget plans for the following year. This information for both the current and previous year is also available from the Council office and on the website.
The Council’s accounts are audited annually, first by someone appointed under a local arrangement then by an External Auditor appointed on a national basis. The annual form provided by the Clerk for the External Auditor and also the Auditor’s report are both available for inspection at the Council office.
The Council’s budgeting process starts in November and proceeds as follows:-
- November. Council identifies areas for future development with implications for the following year’s budget. Finance Committee has budget monitoring meeting.
- January. Finance Committee prepares draft budget in order to determine precept request. Full Council ratifies precept request which is then submitted to North Somerset.
- February. Full Council discusses draft budget and suggests possible amendments. If no amendments, draft budget set as final budget.
- March. If any amendments, Finance Committee meets to set final budget.
- May. Finance Committee has budget monitoring meeting.
- July/August. Finance Committee has budget monitoring meeting.
Councillors are entitled to claim expenses for travel outside the Parish on Council business and for appropriate expenditure e.g. stationery etc. The Chair is also entitled to a Chair’s Allowance. In practice the expenditure on expenses and the Chair’s Allowance rarely exceeds £300 in any one year.