Accounts still not audited since March 2020

The Council’s financial accounting has fallen seriously behind and the LibDem Administration is doing little about it other than blaming BDO, the Council's auditors. 

Cllr William Sunnucks, Conservative spokesman on Resources explains:  "BDO provides a tempting scapegoat: a private sector accounting firm struggling to understand public sector finance.  Unable to staff the audits they promised to do.  And so far either unwilling or unable to explain themselves.

But none of this takes away from the Council’s problems.  It hasn’t had an audited balance sheet since March 2020, more than three years ago.  Its 2022 draft accounts were quietly published in March 2023 and are clearly incomplete.  And its 2023 accounts haven’t been published at all.  The failure to produce accounts when other Councils have done so can’t be blamed on the auditors.

Worse still it will be very difficult for its new auditors, KPMG, to catch up when they take over.  They need confidence in the previous years because they provide the foundation for the current year, and it will be a big job for them to claw back to normality.

The LibDems need to get to grips with the problem and stop blaming others.  If accounting write-offs are needed they should be done now.  If extra strategic finance resource is needed, as recommended by the independent peer review, then they should find it."

The Conservative opposition will continue to push for transparency and for accounting to be taken seriously.  It will encourage the Council to focus its activities for the benefit of the Council taxpayer and avoid complicated property developments.



Councillor William Sunnucks is a Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in property development and finance.