Naughty, naughty, Shepway District Council (SDC) has been naughty. The annual inspection_of the Accounts 2016-2017 where you the members of the public can inspect the accounts has begun. SDC slipped out the notice on the 7th June and the accounts became open to inspect on the Thursday 8th June – polling day for the General Election and remain open until the 19th July 2017.
But that is not why the have been naughty. They now make clear on the Shepway website they wish you to do everything by email or by post.
Now that’s good for busy people who may wish to inspect the accounting records for the financial year April 1st 2016 – 31 March 2017 and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts, purchase orders above £5K and other documents relating to those records and make copies of all or any part of those records or documents, as stipulated in Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.
What it fails to add in the preferred method of response, is to actually go into the Civic Centre and eyeball the documents on their premises; which everyone has the right to do, as long as you give them reasonable notice (four days is considered by SDC to be reasonable).
The draft statement of accounts 2016/17 show that the number of exit packages awarded increased from 16 to 19, but the amount paid out fell considerably from £609,000 in 15/16 to £287,000 in 16/17.
The figures do show though that a £159,000 was potentially paid out to two people who left the building in 2015/16 and that three people shared £148,000. The highest exit package in 16/17 appears to be £67,000, paid to one individual.
Also the Chief Executive Alistair Stewart’s (pictured) pay fell by £6,000 from £134,492 in 15/16 to £128,444 in 16/17 excluding pension contributions.
SDC’s gross income fell from £102 million to £99 million as their gross expenditure rose from £85 million to £89 million.
The council’s overall debt reduced by £0.6m, from £60.2m at 31 March 2016 to £59.6m at 31 March 2017. Despite the overall reduction in debt, the council’s overall Capital Financing Requirement in 2016/17 increased by £0.7m from £65.2m to £65.9m (see note 34 page 65) because internal borrowing was used for the land acquisition at Biggins Wood, Folkestone.
SDC made a profit from their on street parking in 2016/17 of £38,000.
So we hope that SDC will produce a report of how they have spent the surplus money as they must, sometime soon.
So above is a very brief round up of the accounts. But please do remember if you wish to inspect the accounts YOU do have the right to go to the Civic Centre and see what you request as long as you give them four days notice. And of course, if you wish to do it by email, or post you can do so by filling in this link
The draft accounts for 2016/17 can be found here or you can peruse them by clicking on the link below.
The Shepwayvox Team