The Transparency Code for Smaller Councils – 2017 update

The Transparency Code for smaller Councils was introduced by central government in 2015 to ensure that all Councils with an annual turnover of up to £25,000 make public a raft of information about their financial dealings and governance.  Claxton Parish Council published its first return in September 2015 and its second in April 2016.  This is the third and comes shortly after the close of financial year 2016-17.

The Parish Council is required to publish:

  1. all items of expenditure above £100;
  2. end of year accounts,
  3. annual governance statement,
  4. internal audit report,
  5. list of councillor or member responsibilities,
  6. details of public land and building assets, and
  7. minutes, agendas and meeting papers of formal meetings.

Claxton’s contribution to the Code for the financial year 2016-17 is as follows

All items of expenditure above £100
All individual items of expenditure, both above and below £100, are listed in the bi-monthly minutes of the Council, which can be viewed elsewhere in this website. In practice there are few in excess of £100, and these are set out below.  All VAT is recovered as a matter of course in the following financial year.  All but g. below are recurring items of expenditure.

a.  The Clerk’s net salary (£1,289.80 in 2016-17), paid every two months in May, July, September, November, January and March.
b.  The Clerk’s income tax, totalling £644.00 for the year, paid once a quarter in May, September, November and March, to coincide with Council meetings.
c.  The grounds’ maintenance contracts with Norse to cut the grass at the Village Hall and the Warren (£417.98 and £394.56 respectively), paid 50% in May and 50% in November each year.
d.  The Council’s public liability insurance premium (£109.50) paid in May each year.
e.  The cost of running a satellite broadband hub in the Village Hall, which came to £299.40 in 2016-17, and will continue at least until the end of the current contract on 20 September 2017.  The cost of this contract is being funded entirely from the £1,000 donation the Parish Council received from Anglian Water in early 2015.
f.   Annual Grants of £300 for each of 2015-16 and 2016-17 made to Claxton Parochial Church Council as a contribution to churchyard maintenance costs, and
g.  The acquisition of a projector and screen for use in the Village Hall (and elsewhere) by the Council and other bodies, totalling £789.93, for which a grant of £200 from the District Councillor and a contribution of £230 from the Village Hall were received.

End of year accounts
The unaudited figures were published on the website on 1 April 2017.  Click here to view them.  The accounts have now been completed by our appointed auditor, Jacquie Clarke of Adepta Ltd, Bramerton, approved by the Parish Council and despatched to our external auditor.  The Annual Statement is shown below.

Bank Reconciliation
Below is the Bank Reconciliation for 2016-17 prepared by the Clerk.

Annual governance statement
This is the statement prepared by the Internal Auditor which was signed by the Chair and Clerk at the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council on 17 May 2017.  It is shown below.

Internal audit report
The Annual Internal Audit Report for 2016-17 is shown below.

List of councillor or member responsibilities
There have been no changes to the responsibilities of individual Councillors.  All Parish Councillors’ details appear on the website.  Claxton Parish Council does not have any Sub-Committees answering to the full Council.  All Parish Councillors are also automatically Trustees on the Claxton Parish Pit Charity (the Pits Trust).

Details of public land and building assets
The Council does not own any buildings.  It does however own the land on which the Village Hall stands, together with the Village Green at the Warren.  The land at the Village Hall site is some 0.67 acres (0.27 hectares, 2,700 m²) and the land at the Warren measures some 0.40 acres (0.16 hectares, 1,600 m²).

The date when these two sites were acquired is unknown, as is the current value. Both are now used exclusively for community purposes.

Minutes, agendas and meeting papers of formal meetings
All minutes and all draft agendas for future meetings are regularly posted on the website and the Parish Council notice board, and minutes dating back to 2011 can also be found on this website.  Agendas are removed from the website and notice board once the meetings have taken place, but copies of Agendas from November 2015 are available electronically free of charge from the Clerk.  The Clerk holds the current official Minutes Book, previous copies of which have been sent to the County Archives in Norwich, and can be viewed there if required.

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