Will the Minister make a statement on the financial sustainability of small community councils?
The latest data from Audit Wales on the financial sustainability of community councils is from 2018-19 and described in their publication, Financial Management and Governance – Community and Town Councils 2018-19.
Most community council income is received by means of a council tax precept under Section 41 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The precept should be prepared so that it covers the council’s budget. In setting the budget and precept, community councils are legally required to take the value of funds held as reserves into account. There is no cap on the amount that community and town councils can raise via their precept.
Every community council must complete their annual governance statement and confirm that they have proper budget setting and monitoring procedures in place in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014.
On 15 June 2022, the Finance & Governance Toolkit for Community and Town Councils was published. This was co-developed by the Welsh Government, One Voice Wales, the Society of Local Council Clerks, with supporting commentary from Audit Wales. This toolkit will support community and town councils of all sizes to meet their statutory responsibilities, have strong financial management and governance and deliver the best outcomes for their communities.