At its last meeting the Vale Douzaine agreed to publish its audited accounts online to enable parishioners to access them more easily, instead of having to request a copy at the parish meeting under the old arrangements. These accounts may be found under Douzaine on the home page.
‘Not only is this the first time we’ve put them on the website,’ said Constable Richard Leale, ‘we are also making available the unaudited accounts for which we also have responsibility.’
He explained that historically many of the island’s parishes also operated what amounted to sub-funds to administer matters like welfare or improvements and the advice received was that while proper records had to be maintained, there was no obligation to prepare audited figures for publication.
‘However, we’ve decided in the interests of full transparency, accountability and good governance that these other fund accounts should also be published,’ he said, ‘which we are doing today.'
‘My intention is also to speak to our auditors to see whether they can be consolidated into the annual audited accounts so there is just one document that Vale residents can access via our website,’ he added.
Mr Leale said while the figures now released were largely self-explanatory, the balance in hand at the end of 2017 of just over £738,000 might surprise some parishioners.
However, that would fall by around £300,000 by the time of the parish meeting on 21 March as this reserve had to fund all parish expenditure – including refuse collection and disposal – throughout the year while the rates were set and collected annually.
‘In effect, we have to have this balance to act as a “float” to get us throughout the year. As we are not allowed to borrow, we have to make sure the parish rates are set at the right level to provide working cashflow throughout the year.’
Assuming the remede, or parish budget, is approved at the parish meeting and subsequently ratified by the Royal Court, it will be May before the parish receives any income for 2018.
Any parishioners who would like more details or a fuller explanation of the accounts are asked to contact the Douzaine Office.