The Town Council's financial year begins on 1st April and ends on 31st March.
Before the start of each financial year, the elected councillors plan ahead and then (usually in January) agree a budget and set a "precept" (the amount of money we request as Council Tax). Dorset Council then calculates the Council Tax charge for each property "band" and collects it for us. This year (21/22), our precept is £342,112.00 and the annual charge to Council Tax on a Band D property is £213.17.
Through the year, the Council approves every payment made and compares actual expenditure against the planned budget. Full lists of approved payments can be found within the payments section of this website. The finances are reviewed quarterly by the Finance and Personnel Committee.
Sometimes, we enter into "major contracts". Before making any decision to buy goods or services, we follow a suitable procurement procedure in accordance with our Financial Regulations. Larger decisions are always made by elected councillors at an appropriate public meeting. Details of the successful bid are included in the relevant minutes but details of under-bids are not (this might discourage bidding for contracts with us, which would not be in the public interest).
After the end of each financial year, the Council approve our Annual Accounts
(usually in June).
Finally, our accounts have to be audited using a standard form set down by central government called an Annual Return
. (Please note: each of these is published in two stages or versions; first as an "unaudited" form once the councillors have approved it, typically in June, and then as a "final" version once the audit process has been completed in or about September.)
Further information may be available by request from the Council Office
. A charge may be made if providing the information would require significant time and trouble. A small proportion of our financial information is confidential and will not normally be provided (e.g. how much individual members of staff are paid)