11/20/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/20/2023 11:21
Auditors have recognised Redditch Borough Council's strong financial position going forward in its latest interim annual report.
Last year the Council was issued with a section 24 notice for failure to deliver its 20/21 accounts following a range of issues including staff vacancies, technical problems with our finance system and challenges following the pandemic.
Now the Council has met five of the six Key Recommendations discussed by external auditors Grant Thornton 12 months ago but because the accounts for submission are still outstanding the Section 24 remains.
Redditch Borough Council's Portfolio-holder for Finance Cllr Luke Court said: "I am proud of the progress we have made over the last year. I am also delighted the auditors have highlighted our strong financial position going forward and that they have not issued any new statutory recommendations.
"We know that challenges still remain and we know that there is more work to do, including the completion of the outstanding accounts.
"We accept the auditor's cautionary action to not remove the current section 24 due to our remaining outstanding accounts. However we note the challenges facing the wider local government audit sector and the impact this is having on all local authority accounts".
A section 24 notice is issued as a warning to a Council that it needed to take action to ensure its statutory Accounts were up to date.
Council needs to accept the recommendations which Redditch Members will consider at the Audit and Governance meeting on November 23 and then demonstrate how they will respond to the actions.
Leader of the Council Matt Dormer said: "As well as taking heed of the auditors' recommendations we have also worked smarter and looked at creative ways of saving money and raising income.
"By leasing out the Town Hall to partners not only are we saving and collecting money, but we are creating a Community Hub which makes public services more accessible to our residents.
"We will continue to be innovative not least with our plans to Regenerate Redditch, attracting further investment and creating a town for visitors and residents to be proud of."
Here is the full report from the agenda of the Audit, Governance & Standards Committee on Thursday, 23rd November, 2023.