The Parish Council aims to give excellent value for money as it raises and spends money for the benefit of the local community.
The Parish Council prepares a publicly announced budget annually, leading to a Parish Council approved Precept request on East Devon District Council, and is then accountable for sound financial management. Council tax payers have no choice but to pay for this Precept request in their Community Charge, so they have a right to scrutinise the way in which the council uses their money. The Parish Council must conduct, and regularly review, a Risk Assessment to minimise the risk to public money. The Parish Council has a duty to spend money lawfully and within legal procedures, or risk repercussions from the auditor and potentially the courts.
The council must be confident that when it spends public money:
- it has legal power (it is not acting beyond its powers)
- it follows lawful procedures
- it does not take unnecessary risks
- transactions are transparent
- councillors conform to standards in public decision making
Whilst the government pushes for a professional approach to financial management they have also reduced the audit process by which the Audit commission checks the financial procedures of Parish Councils – on condition that councils demonstrate their ability to audit themselves i.e. the appointment of their own internal auditor
The budget shows how council policies are financed; it therefore represents the councils powers to:
- provide services
- work for the benefit of the community
- respond to local needs
- encourage and support groups in the local community
The budget is an agreed plan of income and expenditure for a specific financial year which runs from 1st April to 31st March.
The precept is calculated as an element of the budget. The precept is the council tax which the district council collects on behalf of the parish council. It is the balance by estimating planned expenditure and subtracting planned income.
You can view and download the Parish Council's agreed budgets and monthly accounting statements by year below.