Right To Inspect SDC Accounts for 2015/16

We the crew of Shepwayvox are calling for your help and assistance. Each year SDC must open their accounts to be inspected by us the residents of Shepway. SDC intend, so we are reliably informed to open their accounts for inspection somewhere between the 27th June and the 1st of July, an announcement will be made on their webpage: http://www.shepway.gov.uk/statement-of-accounts so keep your eyes peeled as there has been ongoing issues with SDC’s website..

We ask you the residents of Shepway to exercise your rights and join us inspecting the accounts. If you can only give an hour, 2, a day, a week, or the whole 30 days we would be grateful. It is your opportunity to see how SDC spend taxpayers money. Nearly 50% of SDC‘s revenue comes from your Council Tax.

It was because we inspected the accounts 2014/15 that our public face discovered the anomalies in Cllr Peter Simmons and former Cllr Russell Tillson’s expenses which initiated an investigation.

The law says you may inspect the accounts to be audited and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to them for that financial year. You can copy all, or part, of these accounts and related documents.

Any copying is at your expense. SDC have previously charged 10p a page.

Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts for,  1st April 2015 – 31st March 2016.

You may also not be able to inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality‘. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public. A Public Interest Test must be carried out to determine if the information is covered by commercial confidentiality.

(What is considered to be commercially confidential can be found on the ICO decision notice page here  or here [2011] Eu LR 172, [2010] UKHRR 1317, [2010] EWCA Civ 1214, [2012] PTSR 185

Certain smaller councils (town or parish) that do not have their own websites must advertise the period for the exercise of public rights on another website, but this website must be accessible without having to register or pay. Parish meetings can do the same, or advertise the period for the exercise of public rights by putting up a notice in a public place for at least 14 days. Most councils will have finished preparing their 2015-16 and 2016-17 accounts by the end of June 2016 and June 2017 respectively.

If it is your intention to ask to inspect any of the documents as set out under the regulations please give the Council advance notice of the specific documents you wish to look at. The Council will make those documents available for you to inspect 4 working days following receipt of the request (during the 30 day inspection period). Notice of inspection requests can be submitted by contacting the Council on 01303 853203 or emailing annualaccounts@shepway.gov.uk. The email address is live should you wish to let them know what you wish to inspect.

So please do help us and let us know what you would like us to look at, or come and see for yourself and exercise your rights. Please send your requests via our comments box, or email shepwayvox@riseup.net

SDC Auditors are Grant Thornton and their representative to raise any objections to is

elizabeth.l.olive@uk.gt.com

The person responsible for the Accounts at SDC is

tim.madden@shepway.gov.uk.

So come on people, empower yourself and pick up and use your rights and let SDC know you wish to look at their accounts and what you wish to look at.

annualaccounts@shepway.gov.uk

Shepwayvox


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