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Westleigh Parish Council – Annual Governance Statement -2016 – Section 2 of the annual audit requires Councillors to acknowledge their responsibility for ensuring there is a sound system of internal control in place, to include the preparation of the statement of accounts. The Statement includes actions to meet the requirements of the Transparency code for smaller authorities.

The Annual Governance Statement should be signed by the Chairman and the Clerk.

1 We have approved the statement of accounts which have been approved in accordance with requirements of the Accounts and Audit regulations.

The annual accounts are prepared by the Clerk on the basis of records of expenditure and income.  The annual budget is prepared for the December meeting, and influences the level of annual precept.  The accounts are scrutinised by an independent external auditors, and approved as part of the annual return.

2 We have maintenance an adequate system of internal control including measures to prevent and detect fraud and corruption.

Financial regulations have been approved and adopted by the Parish Council. The Council have agreed a finance sub group to meet twice a year to reconcile income and expenditure, and report any discrepancies to the Parish Council.  A financial summary is provided to members at each Parish meeting.

3 We have taken responsible steps to assure that there are no matters of actual or potential non – compliance with laws, regulations, and codes of practice which could have a significant financial effect on the ability of the council to conduct its business.

The council will need to produce and adopt a risk assessment document for non-financial audit controls in 2016. The document to be approved by council by the end of March 2016.

4 We have provided proper opportunity during the year for the exercise of electors rights in accordance with the requirements of the Accounts and Audit Regulations, and transparency code for smaller authorities.

The Council displays a Notice of Audit on two parish noticeboard’s following the approval of the annual return, which entitles any person interested to inspect and make copies of the Annual Return, books, invoices, receipts etc. The statement of accounts will be made available via the parish website, and will include a breakdown of all expenditure items over £100.

5 We have taken action on all matters raised in the reports from both internal and external audit.

The Council has established a Finance Sub – Group to review the council’s finances with the Clerk. The review will look at bank statements and reconciliation income and expenditure to ensure all internal control systems are in place. The council has established a contingency fund to provide a maintenance budget for the two bus shelters owned by the parish. The council insurance has been reviewed to ensure adequate cover is in place for the phone kiosk library.

6 We have taken steps to ensure all minutes, agendas, and papers of formal meetings are displayed.

Agendas for all parish council meetings are posted on the parish noticeboards 14 days prior to the meeting date. The agenda is also provided on the council’s website, 14 days prior to the meeting date. Signed draft minutes are posted on parish noticeboards and on the council’s website within three days of the meeting.

7 We will provide an annual publications of councillors or members responsibilities no later than 1 July in the year immediately following the accounting year to which it relates, and will include:

a) names of all councillors or members,

b) committee or board membership and function,

c) representation on external local public bodies(if nominated to represent the authority)

The council will publish the above information on the parish noticeboards and the parish website by March 2016.

The Annual Governance Statement has been approved by a full Council meeting of Westleigh Parish