Present: Cllr D Hayward (Chairman), Cllr L Bennet and Cllr I Houston.
In Attendance: Mrs T Chapman (Clerk)
1. Apologies for Absence
Cllr D Coffin, Cllr T Hunt and Cllr S Longdon.
2. External Audit Options for Smaller Parish Councils
From the previous meeting held on the 1st March 2016 the Parish Council discussed the SAAA Options. The SAAA (Smaller Authorities Audit Appointment Ltd) has been set up to procure audit for smaller public sector bodies in England by the National Association of Local Council (NALC), Society of Local Council Clerks (SLCC) following the abolition of the Audit Commission which previously performed this role. The regulation for smaller parish councils will change effective 1 April 2017. By law, every authority will still have to complete and publish an annual financial return, this requirement has not changed. By 31st March the Parish Council must choose to opt in or opt out of the new external audit regime. Bradford Abbas Parish Council’s options are:
- Group 3 Opted-in authorities with neither income nor expenditure exceeding £25k
The Parish Council will need to complete an annual exemption form certifying there is no requirement for a limited assurance audit. If the council wish to have an audit it will cost £200.
- Group 4 Opted-out authorities with neither income nor expenditure exceeding £25k
The Parish Council will only need to complete and publish an annual return and to complete and submit to SAAA or an auditor specified by SAAA an annual exemption form in the same way as Group 3 authorities.
At the meeting held on the 1st March, with the recommendation from the Clerk, the Parish Council opted out of the SAAA. Following the meeting the Clerk received further information from the DAPTC (Dorset Association of Parish and Town Councils) strongly suggesting smaller parish councils opt in “Taking yourselves out of the loop and trying to arrange your own external auditors, for small councils would prove to be very arduous and practically impossible by the sound of the advice coming from NALC”.
For this reason, the Clerk called an extraordinary meeting to reconsider the decision to opt out of the SAAA. The Councillors in attendance unanimously voted to opt in to the SAAA, Group 3. The Clerk will inform the SAAA of the decision.
3. Payment for the hire of the Village Hall
A cheque was approved in the sum of £3.60 for hire of the Village Hall Committee Room.
There being no further business, the meeting finished at 3:50pm.