Holme Valley Parish Council

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF
UNAUDITED ANNUAL RETURN

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2017

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, Sections 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

Date of announcement: 19 May 2017

Each year the Council’s Annual Return needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission. The unaudited Annual Return 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 2017 these documents will be available on reasonable notice on application to:

Mrs Sally S Barber, Clerk to the Council/Responsible Financial Officer
Holme Valley Parish Council, Holmfirth Civic Hall
Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth HD9 3AS

on normal office opening days between the hours 10am and 3pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or by special arrangement, commencing on Monday, 5 June 2017 and ending on Friday, 14 July 2017.

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 Council.

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

The Council’s Annual Return 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, 2ND Floor, 1 Westferry Circus, Canary Wharf, London, E14 4HD (sba@pkf-littlejohn.com).

This announcement is made by Sally Barber, Clerk to the Council and Responsible Financial Officer.

S S Barber (Clerk to the Council/Responsible Financial Officer)

Annual Report

In June, the Council produces an Annual Report of its activities for the preceding year.  This includes an overview of the year from the Chairman of the Council for that year, and reports from each of the Portfolio Holders and Committee Chairmen.  A Summary of the Council’s accounts for the year just ended is also included, as well as contact details for all Councillors.

The Annual Report is distributed inside the Holme Valley Review newspaper. If you would like a hard copy, please contact the Clerk and one can be posted to you. Alternatively, the latest copy can be downloaded by clicking here Annual Report 2015-16.

Last year’s edition can be downloaded by clicking here Annual Report & Newsletter – Summer 2015.

Previous Annual Reports are available to download from the ‘Archive’ page.

Budget

90% of the Council’s planned expenditure will be funded by its precept.  Formulating the budget is, therefore, crucial to its day-to-day operations.  Without adequate funding, the Council will not be able to meet its financial obligations.

The Budget is prepared by the Council’s Responsible Financial Officer, following discussions by each of the Committees.  Recommendations are then made to the full Council and the Council, as a corporate body, takes the formal decision to approve and adopt the Budget.

The current year’s Budget (2016-17) was approved at the Council meeting on Monday, 8 February 2016, when the Parish Council also approved its Precept Demand to be made to Kirklees Council.  Details of the Budget/Precept 2016-17 can be downloaded by clicking the link below:
Budget 2016-17

Next year’s Budget (2017-18) was agreed on 6 February 2017, together with the Council’s Precept demand.  Details are available here.

Precept

The Council has the power to levy a tax on property owners and residents within the parish. This tax is referred to as the parish precept and is based on the Parish Council’s budget for the next financial year.

The amount of the precept must be submitted to the principal authority (also known as the billing authority), i.e. Kirklees Council, in early February every year.  Kirklees Council undertakes the calculations and the Parish Council’s precept is included in the overall Council Tax bill sent to householders and residents (who do not have to be registered electors).  It is the duty of Kirklees Council to ensure that all those eligible to vote are registered, because having a large number of unregistered residents can cause a distortion in the calculations.

Once the Parish Council has prepared its budget, the precept figure will be the difference between the Council’s forecast expenditure, less its forecast income and use of any reserves.

At the heart of the calculations by Kirklees Council is the concept of the Band D households and the Council Tax Base. The Kirklees Council website explains how the Council Tax is calculated – Parish Precepts 2016-17 – but the Council Tax Base for the Holme Valley in 2016-17 was 9630.95.  The Council Tax Base is calculated by Kirklees Council by equating the number of Band D equivalent properties in each Parish/Area after taking into account such things as the number of properties in each band during the year (i.e. including the results of changes and appeals), disabled relief, discounts and exemptions, provision for bad or doubtful debts, and allowance for growth).  The Tax Base figures are expressed as Band D equivalents in accordance with the relevant regulations.  This means that a property in Band B will be expressed as being equivalent to 7/9ths of a Band D property, whilst a property in Band H will be expressed as two Band D properties.  Kirklees Council sets a Council Tax payable for a property in Band D and properties in other bands therefore pay the appropriate proportion of that amount.

It should be noted that the number of Band D equivalent properties will vary each year, as a result of new homes being built and old ones being demolished. The number is also affected by the levels of people eligible for discounts (e.g. disability relief).

It must also be noted that the Band D or equivalent charge is per property, not per person.  In 2016-17, the charge for a Band D property is £12.93, so every property in the Holme Valley pays an additional £12.93 per annum on their Council Tax, to pay for services provided by the Parish Council.

In 2017-18, the charge for a Band D property will be £22.90.  All the additional funds are specifically identified to support community assets in the Valley.

Local Government Transparency Code

The Smaller Authorities Transparency Code came into force on 1 April 2015 and requires the online publication of certain information to provide taxpayers with a clear picture of the authority’s activities, spending and governance. However, the Code only applies to smaller authorities with a turnover not exceeding £25,000 (where turnover is defined as the higher of an authority’s gross income for the year and its gross expenditure for the year). The Code does not, therefore, apply to Holme Valley Parish Council, but the Council already publishes a vast amount of information on this website, all in accordance with its own Financial Regulations and statutory proper practices.