FINANCE & AUDIT COMMITTEE

Membership: Eight town Councillors, plus Mayor or Deputy Mayor

Quorum: Four Town Councillors with voting powers.

Meetings: Monthly or as required.

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)