Posts Tagged ‘council accounts’

Access your council accounts

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

For 20 days in June, July or August, every council is legally required to open up its draft accounts for public inspection. Under the Audit Commission Act 1988 you have a legal right to see detailed contracts, invoices, receipts, books and bills, the right to make copies and the right to raise other points of interest with the auditor. This is one of the most powerful rights citizens in the UK have to uncover the nitty gritty details of how public bodies are spending public money.

Chances are if you rock up to your council office you may be the first one to do so in years. But don’t be put off. You have every right to be there and too few citizens make the effort to hold local councils accountable for the money they spend in the public’s name. Certainly as local newspapers disappear it could be that the local nosey parker is all that stands in the way of a corruption scandal continuing undetected for years.

You can find out when your local council (or police authority) holds its inspection period here. From March 2011, it is a legal requirement for English councils to advertise the public inspection details on their websites. About a third of councils did so in previous years. The very tenacious Richard Orange who runs the Orchard News Bureau rates each council for the transparency with which it informs the public of this important access right.

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Council name Start date End date
North East Derbyshire District Council Thursday, July 07, 2011 Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Blaby District Council Friday, July 08, 2011 Thursday, August 04, 2011
Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council Friday, July 08, 2011 Thursday, August 04, 2011
Dover District Council Friday, July 08, 2011 Thursday, August 04, 2011
Thanet District Council Friday, July 08, 2011 Thursday, August 04, 2011
London Borough of Bexley Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Bolsover District Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Boston Borough Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Cambridge City Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Canterbury City Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Charnwood Borough Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011
Chichester District Council Monday, July 11, 2011 Friday, August 05, 2011