Fees and charges
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council has responsibility for a range of services and we aim to operate these services in an economic and efficient manner for the benefit of residents. Charges levied are set at the most reasonable level to ensure that they are effective and help to raise an increasing amount of revenue from sources other than Council Tax.
The town council is required by law to review the fees and charges it sets each year. This review is part of the budget setting work and is completed in January.
From September each year work is carried out to identify the issues that are likely to face the town council in the coming financial year and a budget setting process takes place. Estimates are prepared by the spending committees and then considered by the Finance, Governance and Asset Management Committee, which takes into account spending priorities and the financing of the budget. This work is closely linked to the Forward Plan.
Part of the budget setting process is to consider the appropriate level of Council Tax to balance the need to provide sufficient resources in order to deliver services against the desire to keep the level of Council Tax as reasonable as possible.
At the end of the budget setting process the town council sets a precept, which is the amount of money that is required from the Council Tax in order to provide the planned services. Capital expenditure for new or improved facilities is funded via the precept, earmarked reserves and grants.
A copy of recent budgets can be found here:
Audit and review
During the year, all budgets are carefully monitored, with regular financial reports submitted to each spending committee. Internal audit helps to identify areas for improvement in efficiency and is carried out independently to ensure that impartiality is achieved in accordance with Corporate Governance requirements. The function is independent of the Responsible Financial Officer and is undertaken by Mr Stuart Pollard of Auditing Solutions, Chippenham, Wiltshire.
Annual accounts are produced and approved by members, usually in June following the end of the financial year. The Town Council is designated a “smaller relevant body” under the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011 and produces an annual return accordingly.
The Annual Governance and Audit return (AGAR) and the unaudited financial statements for 2020-21 were approved at the town council meeting held on 30 June 2021.
The Annual Governance and Audit return (AGAR) and the unaudited financial statements for 2021-22 were approved at the town council meeting held on 29 June 2022. Please note that signatures of Councillors and officers are not included in online documents.
The notice of public rights and publication of unaudited annual governance and accountability return is included here.
Completion of audit
The auditor has completed their audit for the year ended 31 March 2022. The external audit report and certificate (part 3 of the Annual Governance Report) may be accessed here.
The Town Council’s notice of conclusion of audit may be accessed here.
The name of the Council’s External Auditor and their contact details are:Moore Rutland House, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough, PE2 6PZ T +44 (0)1733 397300 Email Oxon.firstname.lastname@example.org
Notice of conclusion of Audit
The External Auditor completed their review and have issued the Audit Certificate which can be viewed here.
Safeguarding our finances
The town council has a responsibility to ensure that its funds, which are received from Council Tax payers and service users, are invested wisely. The town council weighs up the risks and rewards of investment options and the town council adopted its Investment Strategy at the Council Meeting held on 16 December 2020. The strategy was updated at the meeting of the Finance, Governance and Asset Management Committee on 18 January 2022.
Community Infrastructure Levy
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was adopted by Vale of White Horse District Council on 27 September 2017 and took effect on 1 November 2017. The levy applies to all new residential development and extensions which exceed the threshold of floor area (currently 100m²).
15% of CIL monies for developments and extensions within the parish of Abingdon-on-Thames are passed to the town council.
The town council is required to spend these funds within five years from the time they are received and must produce an annual declaration of CIL monies received and CIL monies spent by 31 December each year.
The declaration approved by the town council on 1 September 2021 can be viewed here.