Council finances given the seal of approval

October 7, 2015

THE Council’s External Auditor has given Tamworth Borough Council’s finances its seal of approval, following its yearly inspection.

Independent auditor Grant Thornton inspected the local authority accounts and reported to the Audit & Governance Committee that Tamworth Borough Council’s Accounts for the year ended March 31 2015 were ‘of a good quality, the audit did not identify any material misstatements and finance staff responded promptly to audit queries, facilitating the prompt completion of the audit’.

Members of the Audit & Governance Committee recorded their thanks and appreciation for the hard work of the officers in this significant achievement.

In addition, the report stated: ‘We are pleased to report that, based on our review of the Council’s arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources, we propose to give an unqualified Value For Money conclusion’.

The report added: ‘There is robust challenge and support from members, and the Council prepares and keeps under review its medium term financial plan. There are good arrangements in place to monitor and manage revenue and capital budgets. This includes regular reports to management and members on financial and service performance during the year, including savings achieved and actions required to address any shortfall or additional spending’.

During the inspection it was found that Tamworth Borough Council ‘has a track record for delivering budgeted savings and the Council’s longer-term financial planning includes a policy on the level of reserves required for sound financial standing’.

The Borough Council was issued with an ‘unqualified’ opinion, which means the accounts are in order and no further investigations need to be undertaken.

 

The seal of approval from the independent auditor comes against a background of shorter timescales for the accounts to be submitted and audited. Under new Government regulations, from 2017/18, local authorities will need to complete their accounts by May 31 and have them audited by July 31 – instead of the current timescales of June 30 for completion and September 30 for auditing.

This year, Tamworth Borough Council trialled the earlier competition dates in preparation for the new legislation.

Councillor Rob Pritchard, Deputy Leader of Tamworth Borough Council, said: “Despite a difficult financial backdrop, we have proved once again we have sound financial measures in place. This continues to be a difficult time for many local authorities, with ever increasing pressures on timescales – as well as a year-on-year-reduction of resources – but we have successfully planned our budgets to ensure we can continue to deliver quality services where it matters.

“The residents of Tamworth can rest assured that Tamworth Borough Council continues to deliver value for money – and this report is an independent verification of that fact.”