Chairman – Cllr Clare Abberton
Vice Chairman – Cllr Mark Curtis
Cllr Josh Clarkson
Cllr Philip Shaw
Cllr Chris Graham
Cllr Peter Corkindale Ex-Officio
Cllr Leanne Wrench
Cllr Luke Maunsell
Cllr Sohail Zubair
The Finance & Audit Committee oversees the council’s finances. The committee approves payments each month, considers grant applications submitted to the Council and is responsible for managing the council’s investments.
The committee also recommends the annual budget and precept amount to Full Council each year.
Committee meetings are held on 3rd Monday of the month at 6.00pm and meetings are held monthly.
Terms of Reference:
1. To oversee and provide guidance and assistance to the Town Clerk and/or RFO of the Town Council.
2. Annually, prior to the Budget process the committee will review any Subscriptions, Honorariums, Service Provision Agreements and Service Level Agreements, with suppliers and providers with a view to their continued necessity, suitability and value for money. And make recommendations to committees and council as required.
3. During November the Budget Working Group shall review the estimates and budgets put forward by committees and propose a precept to Finance & Audit based on the figures provided by all committees and other financial commitments of the Council for the next financial year. During this time Committee members will be provided with a copy of the latest financial regulations to refer to. The Committee has no powers to amend budgets set by any Council Standing Committee.
4. During January the committee will consider the Budget Working Group’s recommendations in accordance with 3.9 of the Financial Regulations.
5. Upon recommendation from the Council, the Committee shall consider ways in which external applications for financial assistance can be fulfilled.
6. The consideration and determination of applications for financial assistance in partnership with other organisations.
7. To check all payments made by the Finance & Audit Committee when submitted with the financial report.
8. To oversee the Council’s assets and service level agreements.
9. At the first meeting of each financial year a sub Committee will be formed of not less than three Councillors. This sub Committee will be responsible for the valuation of all the assets owned by the Council. At the July meeting of the full Council a report will be made available detailing all assets owned by the Council and entered on an asset register.
10. To liaise with outside organisations and to promote the Town Council’s position and ideals for all matters under the remit of this Committee where appropriate.
11. To oversee where appropriate alternative and external funding to cover Council projects, on written request by a Committee or Council.
12. No member of the Committee or Sub-Committee shall disclose to any person not a member of the Council any business declared to be confidential by any Committee.
13. A Budget Working Group will be established which shall comprise RFO, Accounts and Admin. Assistant, Mayor and Deputy Mayor and the Chair & Deputy Chair of Finance. The BWG will meet during the first week in November at least 7 days before the November Finance meeting. The RFO will provide detailed estimates of all income and expenditure on base activities (including Committee budgets) for the year. These figures will form the draft Budget.
14. The Committee shall ensure the Budget is complete not later than the end of January/February each year and shall recommend the Precept to be levied for the ensuing financial year. At this time the RFO shall supply each member with a copy of the recommended Budget.
15. To monitor the spending of the Town Council and its Committees and endeavour to ensure that they do not overspend their annual budgets.
16. The Finance Committee must inform the council if they feel, for whatever reason, that the council is at high risk in any of its financial dealings, procedures or systems. At such a point the Finance Committee may ask the council for extraordinary powers to rectify the situation.
17. To make recommendations to the Town Council as and when requested for extra resources.
18. To ensure that the Finance Committee conforms to the principle of Best Value.
19. To be involved at the onset of any discussions or projects that may have financial implications for the Town Council.
20. The engagement of specialist Financial Consultants and Advisors, subject to a £500 limit, any further amount required can only be approved by Council.
21. To be responsible for all budgets not allocated to Committees, or the Clerk or RFO.
22. At the first meeting, appoint an Advisory Panel to make recommendations on Grant applications (2.1 Financial Regulations).
23. In conjunction with P&G Committee review Financial Regulations once every three years and make recommendations to Full Council.
24. To ensure that all payments made under the delegation of the Clerk/RFO be reported at the subsequent meeting and minuted.
25. To appoint a sub-committee to look at, and make occasional checks of the cash book, minute book, bank statements, bank reconciliations, budget, check book stubs and invoices and record the findings at the next meeting of the full committee. (2.2 Financial Regulations)
THE BUDGET & PRECEPT
The Town Council budget process starts in September each year when the Town Clerk begins preparing draft budgets for each committee. These are then reviewed in September/October committees agree a draft budget. The committee recommendations are passed onto the Budget Working Group which meets in November and December. The working group review the submissions from the committees and recommend a budget to the Finance & Audit Committee. The committee reviews the budget in December and agrees the draft reserve levels. The committee agrees a recommended budget which is presented to the January Town Council meeting where the budget is agreed, and precept is set.
The Town Council receives most of its income through the precept; an annual sum of money collected with the Council Tax by Bradford MDC. The precept is set by the council in January each year and for 2020/21 is £528,963 which amounts to a Band D rate of £34.73. The rest of the Council’s income is from allotment rental income, office rental, grants, functions/room hire income and bank interest.