Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR)
The Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 set out the responsibilities of all local councils in respect of their accounting and auditing procedures.

Each year, the Council’s financial accounts and statements must be examined by an independent internal auditor appointed by the Council. For the year 2022-23 this was Mark Mulberry and Co.

The Council is also required to complete an Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) which includes the findings of the internal auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements. The AGAR is then submitted to the independent external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission for examination.

A summary of this year’s audit process is detailed below, together with copies of the relevant documents.

Year Ending 31st March 2023
The Council’s Financial Statements and Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) submission for the year-ending 31st March 2023 have been checked by Mark Mulberry and Co and subsequently approved by the Full Council at its meeting held on Thursday 29th June 2023.

The completed AGAR, together with the relevant supporting documentation, was submitted to the external auditor, PKF Littlejohn LLP who were required to complete their review by 30th September 2023.

Following this submission, the Notice of Public Rights & Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return  was published along with Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR with the Summary of Your Rights stating that any person interested had the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the 2022-23 Financial Year. This ran for a period of six weeks between 3rd July and 11th August 2023. Any persons who wished to review the documentation were advised to contact the Finance Manager to make an appointment.

PKF Littlejohn completed their audit of the 2022-23 AGAR on the 22nd September 2023 and it was confirmed that despite challenging correspondence which had to be considered, it was in their opinion that the 2022-23 AGAR was in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to their attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met.

Whist this is a positive audit, the Town Council will be invoiced for additional charges in relation to the challenging correspondence.

A Notice of Conclusion of Audit (click here) detailing the rights of inspection in line with the statutory requirements has been published on 25th September 23 along with the Certified 2022-23 AGAR (click here).

As stated in the notice, copies of the certified AGAR are available to purchase by any person on payment of fifty pence.  Copies of the 2022/23 AGAR will remain available for public access for a period of not less that 5 years from date of publication stated above.

Previous returns dating back to 2014 can be found below:

AGAR 2022

AGAR 2021

AGAR 2020

AGAR 2019

AGAR 2018

*AGAR 2017

2016 Annual Return

2015 Annual Return

2014 Annual Return

*The name changed from the Annual Return to the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) in 2017.