Parish Council opens its books for public inspection … for six weeks

Colnbrook Parish Council is opening its books for public inspection from today until 22nd July.

Parish councils are now legally required to publish a summary of accounts and open their books to public examination.

Parish councils are now legally required to publish a summary of accounts and open their books to public examination.

If you wanted to know just what Colnbrook Parish Council spends our money on now is your chance. For the next six weeks you have the right to inspect – and make copies should you be so inclined – the parish council’s books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts.

The parish is complying with a change in the law that forces greater transparency on authorities with a turnover less than £6.5 million.

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, which came into force last April, place a requirement on councils to make various documents available for public inspection, as well as questioning and objections by local electors.   The 2015/16 year is the first to which the new regulations apply.

The Parish Council has not embraced other changes to transparency laws quite so willingly.  Last year it refused to acknowledge the 2014 change in the law that permits recording and broadcasting of all public meetings without prior permission.

Nevertheless a summary of the accounts has already been posted to the parish council’s website.  It shows that, for the year to March 2016, the parish overspent by nearly £2,000.

The accounts show that parish income fell 5% in the course of the year while from £100,082 in the year to March 2015 to £94,885 despite a small increase in the amount collected through the Parish Precept.  However it continued to hold over £65,000 in cash as of 31st March, and nearly £164,000 in fixed assets.

Year ending 31 March 2015

£

Year ending 31 March 2016

£

Balances brought forward 69,012 69,423
(+) Precept or Rates and Levies 93,450 94,053
(+) Total other receipts 6,632 832
(-) Staff costs 10,324 NIL
(-) Loan interest/capital repayments
(-) All other payments 89,347 96,030
(=) Balances carried forward 69,423 68,278
Total value of cash and short term investments 63,241 65,049
Total fixed assets plus long term investments and assets 161,652 163,988
Total borrowings

To inspect the accounts you will need to make an appointment with clerk Katy Jones (on 01753 586572, or via email at clerkcppc@outlook.com) and visit her at the Datchet Parish Council office, 1 Allen Way, Datchet, SL3 9HR.

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