Could Do Better D Minus

Posted on 4th April, 2023


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It’s mock exam time, so BOB decided to have a quick review of BPC’s finances before this year’s AGAR.


It’s the first day of a new financial year and still residents are unclear of what the precept and budget is, and what was spent! As Victor Meldrew would say… ”I don’t believe it!”


In January councillors “Resolved to agree the” budget and precept, but BPC hasn’t minuted if and what they agreed (Min 359.7.1 & 2) i.e. £64K for both? There was no information with the agenda or minutes, nor at the meeting? The Reserves were not reviewed until March (Min 362.18) (See BOB Dec and Jan Budget blogs)


BPC’s March newsletter budget spreadsheet article said,

At the council's meeting on 16 January 2023, the budget for 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024 was agreed. As a result, the precept is £64,653.00 to cover expenditure over the course of the whole year. The tables below illustrate how the budget is made up

But the budget figures in the newsletter indicated £67,193? Other columns in the table also didn’t add up correctly – BPC has now published a new budget spreadsheet on their website, with different figures up to 2022/23, but grant incomes seem to be missing e.g. for the Playground (£5K? NSC Min 358.7.5) and Bleadon in Bloom (£1K? for '60?' plaques Min 358.8.129)? Perhaps all will become clearer in this year’s AGAR process?


The draft end of year quarterly report also appears to have inconsistencies. E.g. Nearly a year on, residents are still waiting for a Platinum Jubilee final working group meeting to finalise the expenditure, but did BPC really only spend £1,252 on the Platinum Jubilee? NB: It spent £1K on two newsletter editions for Bleadon Hill, outside the parish, so what was the rest spent on?


As BOB followers know, BPC is waiting for the External Auditor’s final report on the last two years finances and governance (AGAR Min 362.7.ii, etc), the outcome will be known in a few weeks….we’ll keep you posted


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