Ashfield District Council praised for financial management

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ASHFIELD District Council has good arrangements in place to ensure it is financially secure for the future, according to an independent report.

The Audit Commission, which oversees local authorities to make sure money is being spent effectively, recently conducted its annual assessment of the council.

Last week, council leader John Knight welcomed the findings of the report.

“It reflects our improvement journey and shows how the council has worked to keep its finances in order,” he said.

“It is pleasing that the district auditor confirms that the council’s financial plans are robust.”

Coun Trevor Locke, who is portfolio holder for finance, said: “The letter is very encouraging and shows that the council is moving in the right direction.

“Currently, the council is facing a challenge of finding £1.9m in efficiency savings, and I believe we are well on target for achieving this.”

A letter from the Audit Commission to the council stated: “This has been a challenging year with the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) but despite this, officers continued to improve the financial statements and working papers and responded promptly to our queries.”

The letter also states that the council’s financial resilience is robust and that action has been taken to maintain the medium term financial plan.

Over the past year, the district auditor has been monitoring how the council manages its finances and has looked at the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) to pin-point upcoming risks.

According to the Audit Commission, the council has:

Maintained its financial control arrangements.

Demonstrated leadership in a difficult economic climate.

Understood the financial position and identified ways of delivering savings.

Provided robust challenge of financial assumptions and plans via cabinet and audit committee.