Financial Regulations - Adopted March 2022

1.0 General

1.1       These financial regulations shall govern the conduct of the financial transactions of the Council and may only be amended or varied by resolution of the Council.

1.2       The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) under the policy direction of the Finance and General Purposes Committee (F & G P) shall be responsible for the proper administration of the Council's financial affairs.

1.3       The RFO shall be responsible for the production of financial management information.

2.0 Annual Estimates

2.1       Relevant committees shall formulate and submit proposals to the F&GP in respect of revenue services and capital projects for inclusion in the rolling capital programme not later than the end of November each year.

2.2       Detailed estimates of income and expenditure on revenue services, and relevant receipts and payments on capital schemes, shall be prepared each year by the RFO.

2.3       The F&GP shall review the estimates and submit them to Council no later than the end of January in each year and shall recommend the precept to be levied for the ensuing financial year.  The RFO shall supply each member with a copy of the approved estimates.

2.4       The annual capital and revenue budgets shall form the basis of financial control for the ensuing year.

3.0 Budgetary Control

3.1       Expenditure on the revenue account may be incurred up to the amounts included in each approved budget.

3.2       No expenditure may be incurred which cannot be met from the amount provided in the appropriate budget unless the F&GP or the Council has approved a virement.

3.3       The RFO shall periodically provide the F&GP with a statement of income and expenditure to date under each head of approved annual revenue and capital budgets.

3.4       The Clerk may incur expenditure on behalf of the Council, subject to a limit of £1,000 per payment. 

3.5       Unspent provisions in the revenue budget shall not be carried forward to a subsequent year within this budget unless previously specified as an earmarked reserve.  Excess revenues will be transferred to the main bank account.

3.6       No expenditure shall be incurred in relation to any capital project and no contract entered into or tender accepted involving expenditure on capital account unless the committee concerned are satisfied that it is contained in the rolling capital programme and that the necessary capital funds are available, or the requisite borrowing approval can be obtained.

3.7       All capital works shall be administered in accordance with the Council's standing orders and financial regulations relating to contracts.

4.0 Accounting and Audit

4.1       All accounting procedures and financial records of the Council shall be determined by the RFO as required by the Accounts and Audit Regulations.

4.2       The RFO shall be responsible for completing the annual accounts of the Council as soon as practicable after the end of the financial year and shall submit them to and report thereon to the F&GP.

4.3       The following principles shall be observed in connection with accounting duties.

(a)        The duty of providing information, calculating, checking and recording sums due to, or from, the Council, should be separated as completely as possible from the duty of collecting or dispersing them.

(b)        Member(s) charged with checking the information of the RFO should not be engaged in the transaction

4.4     The RFO is responsible for maintaining an adequate and effective system of internal audit of the Council's accounting, financial and other operations in accordance with regulation 5 of the Accounts and Audit Regulations.

5.0 Banking Arrangements and Cheques

5.1       The Council's banking arrangements shall be made by the RFO and approved by the F&GP committee.

Two accounts shall be maintained at the National Westminster Bank: a current account and a business reserve account.

A bank debit card is held in accordance with the resolution passed in the Council meeting of 7 October 2019.

Various different savings accounts are held. 

5.2       A schedule of the payment of money shall be prepared by the RFO and presented to the Council at its regular meetings. This schedule shall include payments under 3.4. If the schedule is in order it shall be authorised by a resolution of Council.

5.3       Expenditure for an amount of £5000.00 and above drawn on the bank account shall be authorised by 2 Members of the F&GP committee.

5.4       All expenditure shall be paid by Bacs or cheque a list of which will be prepared by the RFO and authorised by the Clerk and one Member of the F&GP committee or two Members of the F&GP committee prior to payment.

5.5       The Petty Cash account will be balanced and reconciled monthly.

6.0 Payment of Accounts

6.1       All invoices shall be examined and verified by the RFO, who shall allocate them to the appropriate expenditure head.  The RFO shall take all possible steps to settle verified invoices within 30 days of their receipt.

6.2       All duly certified invoices shall then be entered on the schedule referred to
in 5.2 above

7.0 Payment of Salaries and Wages

7.1       The RFO in accordance with staff wishes and the agreement of the F&GP shall make the payment of salaries and wages. 

8.0 Loans and Investments

8.1       All loans and investments shall be negotiated by the RFO in the name of the Council, and shall be for a set period in accordance with the Council's policy.

8.2       All investments of money under the control of the Council shall be in the name of the Council.  All borrowings shall be in the name of the Council.

9.0 Income

9.1       The collection of all sums due to the Council shall be the responsibility of the RFO.

9.2       The Council will review all fees and charges annually, following a report of the Clerk.

9.3       Any bad debts will be reported to the F&GP.

9.4       Receipts of cash and cheques shall be deposited with the Council's bankers with such frequency as the RFO deems necessary. Receipts by BACS will be checked monthly when the bank reconciliation is carried out.

9.5       Reference to the related debt, or otherwise, indicating the origin of each cheque or cash shall be entered in the receipts book.

10.00 Orders for Work, Goods or Services

10.1     An official order for all work shall be issued using the Parish Council’s purchase order system, delivery notes must be checked and attached to the purchase invoice if appropriated.

11.00 Payments under Contracts for Building or Other Construction Works

11.1     Payments on account of the contract sum shall be made within the time specified by the RFO upon authorised certificates of the architect or their supervisory consultants.

11.2     Where contracts provide for payments by instalments, the RFO shall maintain a record of such payments.  If it is estimated that the total cost of the contract work shall exceed the contract by 5% or more, a report shall be submitted to the F&GP committee.

11.3     The Clerk, in writing, must approve any variation to a contract and F&GP committee be informed.

12.00 Stores and Equipment

12.1     Staff are responsible for the care and custody of stores and equipment in their section.

12.2     Delivery notes must be obtained for all goods delivered, and goods checked.

12.3     The RFO shall be responsible for an annual check of stocks and stores.

13.00 Properties and Estates

13.1     The Clerk shall make appropriate arrangements for the custody of all title deeds of properties owned by the Council. The RFO shall ensure a record is maintained of all properties owned by the Council, recording location, extent, plan, reference, purchase details, nature of interest and purpose for which held in accordance with regulation 4(3)(b) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.

13.2     No property shall be sold, leased or otherwise disposed of without the authority of the Council, save where the estimated value of any one item does not exceed £500.

14.00 Insurance

14.1     The RFO shall effect all insurances and negotiate all claims on the Council's insurers.

14.2     The RFO shall keep a record of all insurances effected by the Council and the property and risks covered thereby and annually review it.

14.3     All appropriate employees of the Council shall be included in a suitable fidelity guarantee insurance.

15.00 Revision of Financial Regulations

15.1     It shall be the duty of the F&GP committee to review the financial regulations of the Council annually make such recommendations to the Council as the committee considers are required.

15.2     All grants will be discussed at an F&GP meeting and recommendations put forward to the full Council for approval.

15.3     To ensure that current legislation is maintained the Parish Council uses Scribe accounting and Sage payroll systems.

15.4     An internal auditor to be appointed annually to complete an audit of internal control.