The Finance and Administration Committee meets at least fives times a year to review the Council’s income and expenditure, to consider the budget and make recommendation to the full Council and to review, consider and update the Councils policies.
Items of income and expenditure are available to view at any time at the Council’s offices or information can be requested and the clerk will respond.
The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 has been ‘issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability and make it easier for local people to contribute to the local decision making process and help shape public services. Transparency is the foundation of local accountability and the key that gives people the tools and information they need to enable them to play a bigger role in society. The availability of data can also open new markets for local business, the voluntary and community sectors and social enterprises to run services or manage public assets’.
‘The Code is issued by the Secretary of Sate for Communities and Local Government in exercise of his powers under section 2 of the Local Government, Planning and Land Act 1980 to issue a Code of Recommended Practice as to the publication of information by local authorities about the discharge of their functions and other matters…’
The Code ensures local people can now see the access data covering:
- How money is spend
- Use of assets
- Decision making – how decisions are taken and who us taking them
- Issues important to local people
The code applies to a council which has a gross annual income or expenditure (whichever is the higher) exceeding £200,000. However, the Code is forming the basis of recommended practice.
The Code does not replace or supersede the existing legal framework for access to and re-use of public sector information provided by the Council.
Local transparency will be implemented in a way that complies with the Date Protection Act 1998 including matters of sensitively and confidentiality.
Ashurst Wood Village Council publishes (and available on Finance page links):
- Annual Report which includes a summary of income and expenditure
- Assets register
- Grants awarded (history from 2009 to date)
The Council employs five part time members of staff:
- Assistant Clerk
- Youth Worker
Local Authorities are already required to publish, under the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 details on employees whose remuneration in that year was at least £50,000.
The ratio between the highest salary and the median average salary of the whole of the Council’s workforce is 1:2
The allowances that each councillor is entitled to claim is set and reviewed by Mid Sussex District Council’s Independent Members’ Panel. Allowances which may be claimed for include:
Travelling and Subsistence Allowances – Car Mileage 45p per mile
Childcare Allowance – To be payable at the National Minimum Wage
Dependent Carer’s Allowance – To be payable at the actual amount charged, with the maximum rate (currently £15 per hour) to rise in line with inflation.
Note: Many councillors do not claim their allowances.
The Council annually sets a figure for the Chairman’s Allowance which is used for any item that forms part of his/her duties; currently £100.