Notice of public rights audit of accounts year ended 31 March 2020

ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT (ENGLAND) REGULATIONS 2015 –  SECTION 10, 14, 15 AND 21 ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT (CORONORVIRUS) (AMENDMENT) REGULATIONS 2020 LOCAL AUDIT AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT 2014 – SECTION 25 – 28

2019-20 Statement of Accounts deferral

In response to an unprecedented situation across the UK relating to COVID19 and the need to reduce the pressure on authorities to comply with legal deadlines, the Government have introduced The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020. These Regulations provide authorities with additional time to complete the audit of their accounts for 2019-20, given the impact of the COVID19 virus on the availability of local authority staff and auditors to complete the audit process within current deadlines due to sickness or redeployment. These Regulations apply only in relation to annual accounts relating to the 2019-20 financial year.
For Wyre Forest District Council the deadline to publish its unaudited accounts has now moved from 31st May 2020 to 29th June 2020 with the deadline for publishing audited statements being pushed back from 31st July 2020 to 31st October 2020.  
 
The Council’s accounts are subject to external audit by Peter Barber for and on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP of The Colmore Building, 20 Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AT.  Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:
 

  1. Notice is hereby given under Regulation 15(2)(b) of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (as amended) that from 6th July 2020 to the 14th August 2020 (inclusive) between the hours of 9.00am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday any person may on reasonable notice, inspect and receive copies of the accounts of the Council for the year ended 31st March 2020 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts), as stipulated in sections 25 and 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, by sending an email request to customerservice@wyreforestdc.gov.uk. Documents will be provided electronically for inspection due to COVID 19 restrictions. Please note a copy of the Councils unaudited accounts will be available on the Councils website www.wyreforestdc.gov.uk from 29th June 2020.
  2. During this period, a local government elector of any area to which the accounts relate, or their representative may question the auditor about the accounts, or make an objection to the accounts as set out in sections 26 and 27 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. Any objection, and the grounds on which it is made, must be sent to the auditor in writing, with a copy to Tracey Southall at the address given below. Any objection must state the grounds on which the objection is being made and particular of:
  1. any item of account which is alleged to be contrary to law; and
  2. any matter in respect of which it is proposed that the auditor could make a public interest report under section 24 of, and paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 to the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. 

Objections should be addressed to the auditor, Grant Thornton UK LLP at The Colmore Building, 20 Colmore Circus, Birmingham B4 6AT.
 
A guide to your rights can be found at https://www.nao.org.uk/code-audit-practice/wpcontent/uploads/sites/29/2015/03/Council-accounts-a-guide-to-your-rights.pdf   
 
Please note that the accounts published for public rights of inspection are draft unaudited accounts and as such may be subject to change.
 
Dated 22nd June 2020
 
Tracey Southall CPFA, MAAT
Corporate Director: Resources
Wyre Forest House
Finepoint Way
Kidderminster
Worcestershire
DY11 7WF

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