Buckland Village, Surrey Buckland Windmill Buckland Windmill Vanes

Transparency Code 2023

The Government, in The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 set out a new audit framework for local public authorities.  Section 9 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015 states there is no requirement to have a limited assurance review or to submit an Annual Return to an external auditor, provided the authority has certified itself as exempt at a meeting of the authority held after 31st March 2023 and that a completed Certificate Of Exemption is submitted notifying the external auditor.

One of the conditions a Council has to satisfy before it can certify itself as exempt is to confirm neither payments nor receipts exceed £25,000. As Buckland Parish Council recorded receipts and payments exceeding £25,000, Council was required to submit its 2022/23 Annual Return to the external auditor for a limited assurance review. The external auditor recently confirmed it had completed the limited assurance review and issued a “conclusion of audit report“.

Council, with receipts and payments of more than £25,000 is not required to comply with the Transparency Code for smaller authorities for the 2022/23 financial year. For consistency and to aid the reader, as neither of the budgeted income or expenditure for 2023/24 exceeds £25,000, Council has opted to publish the information required for the 2022/23 financial year to comply with the requirements of the Transparency Code for smaller authorities.

While Council, with receipts and payments of less than £200,000, is not required to comply with the Transparency Code that is mandatory for larger Councils, it is recommended “good practice” for medium sized Councils to observe that Transparency Code. Accordingly a schedule of the additional information required under the Transparency Code for larger Councils is available to download.

Information relating to the 2023 Annual Return

2023 Annual Return – Annual Governance Statement

2023 Annual Return – Financials

2023 Annual Return – Internal Audit Report
completed by Peter Barclay

2023 Annual Return – External Auditor Report
completed by PKF Littlejohn LLP

Notice of Conclusion of Audit – adopted 11th September 2023 and published 12th September 2023

Bank Reconciliation, year on year variance analysis and summary of payments

A copy of the bank reconciliation and an explanation of any significant variances between the current and previous year (matching those provided to the auditor) are attached for completeness.  In accordance with the requirements set out in the Transparency regulations a list of items of ex-Vat expenditure with a value exceeding £100 has been made available to download.

Timely settlement of invoices

The Public Contracts Regulations 2015 statutory guidance requires all local authorities, including Parish Councils, to publish performance data on their website pages to show the proportion of valid and undisputed invoices paid within 30 days and to disclose the amount of interest due (whether paid or not) on invoices settled late.  Buckland Parish Council noted, in the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd May 2023, that 100% of valid and undisputed invoices had been paid within 30 days during the 2022/23 financial year and that no interest had been charged or paid on invoices.

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

The Community Infrastructure regulations require any parish council in receipt of CIL monies to report on any income received and expenditure incurred during each financial year. On 1st April 2022, CIL funds amounting to £5,379.71 were held in a specific CIL reserve. Buckland Parish Council CIL expenditure of £5,379.71 during the 2022/23 financial year. As no CIL monies were received the CIL reserve had a nil balance on 31st March 2023..

Exercise of Public Rights

When Council met on 22nd May 2023, it set the period for the exercise of public rights for the accounts for the year ending 31st March 2023 to commence on Monday 5th June 2023 and to end on Friday 14th July 2023 and approved the attached announcement. For more information please download the summary of electors rights with respect to Council accounts.

Councillor responsibilities and members interest

The Annual Meeting of Council was held on 22nd May 2023 and the attached extract sets out the list of Councillor Responsibilities.  A copy of the full minutes is available to download from the Parish Council Meetings page of this website. A register of Members Interests is maintained by Mole Valley District Council (“MVDC”) and individual registers can be downloaded.

Details of Public Land and building assets

Buckland Parish Council arranges for the open area of grass on Buckland Village Green to be cut and supports the local volunteer effort to maintain the village pond as an area of recreation for the benefit of all persons living in the locality.  Buckland Village Green and Pond is included in Surrey County Council’s listing of registered village greens as VG5. The surface area of the registered village green, situated either side of Rectory Lane, Buckland is approximately 0.534 acres.  Whilst the Parish Council does not hold legal title to any land or buildings the registered village green has always been accorded a token value of £1 in its register of fixed assets.