Every year the Council is required to put its accounts through the audit process. This consists of an auditor appointed by the Council checking the accounts and procedures of the Council, and ensuring that appropriate financial safety precautions are identified and followed. Once the auditor, and subsequently the Council, have approved the accounts they are sent to the external auditor. Currently the auditor for most Parish Councils is PKF Littlejohn. They are sent the completed audit forms in June and they then make their own assessment of the Council's financial controls. When they have completed this assessment they inform the Council of their decision, and of any problems the Council needs to correct.
The audit process for 2020 - 21 has just finished. The Council went through an internal audit visit around halfway through the financial year and then a final internal audit after 31st March. The internal audit was then presented to Full Council in June where it was approved. Also approved were the parts of the audit form relating to how the Council looks after its money (the Annual Governance Statement) and the figures for the year (the Accounting Statements). These documents were then sent to PKF Littlejohn and we recently received notice that the Council had passed the audit with no issues being raised. More information on this can be found on the dedicated Audit page, along with results from previous audits.
Every year the Parish Council agrees its budget for the coming year in January. The Council is responsible for running a number of services on the Parish, such as the cemeteries and allotments, as well as looking after the play areas and some of the open spaces, and putting on the Carnival each year.
Once the budget is agreed the Council then works out how to fund it. Some income is received from the cemeteries and allotments, and the rest comes from Bishopstoke's share of Council Tax. For 2021-22 Bishopstoke budgeted to spend around £310,000.
Work on the budget begins in September each year and the final budget is agreed at the January meeting so that Eastleigh Borough Council can be informed of the Council Tax request from Bishopstoke.
This year in addition to usual spending on play areas, grass cutting and the various other things the Council funds each year there is a budget of £5,000 to be spent on upgrading and adding to the Village Trail. There is also £11,000 available for measures aimed at improving the safety and security of Council property, as well as crime prevention measures.
The Parish Council is able to give grants to local charities and community groups. Additionally the Council now has the General Power of Competence which means that grants can be given to individuals. The applications are first considered by the Finance Committee which then makes recommendations to the Full Council.
Council procedures state that the maximum grant is £2,000 although it should be noted that the usual practice of the Council is to limit grants to a maximum of £1,000 unless it is for an exceptional project.
Additionally, Bishopstoke Carnival offers small grants to deserving local community projects. For more information go to the Carnival page or download the Carnival Grant form here.
REPORTS TO FINANCE
The Finance Committee has responsibility for overseeing the Council finances and ensuring that everything is done properly. This section has links to the latest financial reports presented to the Finance Committee, as well as the current year's purchase orders.
Budget Monitoring - download the latest report
Payments - download the latest report
Statements of Accounts - download the latest report
As yet there have been no purchase orders this year.
For previous reports from this financial year please visit the Financial Reports page.