Council Accounts Open For Public Scrutiny

From tomorrow, Monday 4 July, members of the public can ask to inspect the council’s accounts and relevant supporting documentation.

We are committed to increasing transparency at the council and we have already been publishing items of spend over £500 on our website since January this year.

The public inspection of accounts is another more formal way for local authorities to be transparent and is governed through statutory procedures giving people ‘rights to inspect councils’ accounts on an annual basis.

Each year by law, Councils have to make their accounts available to the public to allow them to inspect them. The period of “Ëœpublic inspection of accounts’ lasts for 20 working days and closes on Friday 29 July.

I would encourage any person who has a question about our accounts to contact Peter Bates – assistant head, financial services on 01782 232736 to arrange their individual inspection. It really is a valuable way for people to question or understand better the workings of the city council and our accounts. Where possible, it would be helpful to ring Peter Bates in advance with details of your area of interest so that your request can be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Members of the public also have a separate right to question the appointed auditor, Mark Stocks ““ District Auditor (tel. 0845 053 5524) about the accounts from August 1 2011 until completion of the audit.

Open Finances From Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service announced today that they have published details of their finances inline with the new transparency recommendations from Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles MP.

This makes Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service the first fire service in the country to do this.

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Len Bloomer added, ‘We are fully committed to openness and transparency in all that we do and believe that we should respond to the Government’s wishes and make available as much information as we can as soon as possible. We will now publish details of all of our invoices paid, which total more than £500, on a monthly basis.’

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford said, ‘We owe the people of Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire a great debt for the way they support their fire and rescue service on an ongoing basis. With this in mind, we are keen to make sure we give them all the information that we can to allow them to help us move forward.’

The information can be accessed in the About Us section of the Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service website, under “Our Finances.”