Shirley
Parish Council
 


To: Members of the parish council29th October 2015

To assist you set a precept for FY2016, I've listed receipts and payments made in previous years. I would also like to suggest a change in the way the finances are managed.

Receipts

ItemAmount
Burial ground subvention Capped at £967
Burial ground income (variable) £400
Reclaimed VAT (variable) £147
Total receipts £1,514

Payments

ItemAmount
Clerk's salary £698
Clerk's expenses. £45
Insurance £212
Audit fee £120
Electricity to telephone box £22
Reclaimable burial ground maintenance (grass mowing). £967
Non-reclaimable burial ground maintenance (extra grass mowing). £120
Website hosting £310
Derbyshire Association of Local Councils subscription £95

Grants

Below are grants we have given in previous years. I have already received a request for £250 for the sports field.

ItemAmount
Grant contribution toward community area running costs £4,000
Grant contribution toward church clock maintenance £250
Grant contribution for the sports field £250
Total payments £7,089

I believe our commitment to support the community area ends this year. The PC will need to agree the level of support for next year.

Although not made last year, traditionally the PC makes a cash grant toward the maintenance of the church clock and sports ground.

Reserves

Although councils are not allowed to build-up reserves, “Governance and Accountability for Local Councils A Practitioners' Guide (England)” states:

2.25 As councils have no legal powers to hold revenue reserves other than those for reasonable working capital needs or for specifically earmarked purposes, whenever a council’s year-end general reserve is significantly higher than the annual precept, an explanation should be provided to the auditor.
2.26 Earmarked reserves, which are set aside for specific purposes and for savings for future projects, should be realistic and approved by the council. However, the amount of general reserve should annually be risk assessed and approved by the council.

The council has foreseeable costs. Maintaining the telephone box and the next election immediately spring to mind. I'd like to suggest that the council consider building up reserves for specific purposes. This will help avoid peaks in the precept as costs arise. As the major spend on the burial ground – mowing – comes out of the general fund, I would like to suggest that from FY2016 the burial fund bank account should be used for holding reserves and the general account for everything else.

Also, section 3.33 of the above document explains how councils can hold contingency funds. I think the council should consider this.

William Ellis
Parish Clerk