Llanrwst Town Council
Following the end of each financial year, the Town Council must submit, to external auditors appointed by the Auditor General for Wales, an Annual Return Form which sets out the Council’s accounts for the year and its financial governance arrangements and practices.
This Return is a formal record of the Council’s financial management for the year, must be considered in detail and approved by the Council and prior to submission to the external auditors, must have been through a thorough audit by an auditor appointed for that purpose by the Town Council.
During and following the external audit process, the Town Council is required to make available for a period, for inspection by local electors, the accounts and any report / comments made. The relevant periods will be publicised on this website and on the Council’s public notice boards. The Council will then make the return etc. available for inspection at a mutually convenient time by contacting the Town Clerk in advance.
External Audit for the Year ended 31 March 2020
The Auditor General for Wales Audit Certificate and Report – prepared by the appointed external auditors BDO llp of Southampton
Their overall opinion, as set out in the Annual Return document is that “ in our opinion, the information contained in the Annual Return is in accordance with proper practices and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met.”
Two matters were drawn to the Council’s attention
a) “The council have a website but it does not comply with the requirements of the Local Government (Democracy) (Wales) Act 2013, section 55.
b) Incorrect use, in their opinion of S.137 spending powers in relation to the National Eisteddfod of Wales 2019.
These matters have been challenged by the Town Council but at the time of uploading the annual return there has been no response.
As regards (a), the Council’s website was destroyed by hackers attacking the servers of the company which maintained our website at that time. The Town Council immediately advised BDO, the Wales Audit Office and Welsh Government of the situation and advised that it would take some time to rebuild a new website. On two further occasions the Council reminded BDO of our situation and as such the criticism is viewed as unfair and unreasonable.
As regards (b), from the outset, the Town Council, in inviting the Eisteddfod to come to Llanrwst clearly recorded the fact that its prime intention in inviting the Eisteddfod was to generate economic benefits to our town and neighbouring communities. We believe that we have used our spending powers properly and acted honestly and with complete transparency but BDO regard the matter as one of encouraging / supporting cultural events for which we had authority to spend and should have recorded it as such. Again here we are awaiting a response.
(Any matters drawn to our attention by the external auditors are considered at a meeting of the Town Council and an action plan agreed to promptly address such matters)