Please use the links below to find out more about the Town Council’s finances.
The Town Council is obliged to publish all expenditure over £500 and contracts over £5,000 and this is updated on a monthly basis.
The links below will open the documents containing the Annual Accounts for the last five years, including a statement of the income and expenditure of the Town Council. Please note that the financial year runs from 1st April to 31st March.
- Annual Accounts 2022-2023
Annual Governance and Accountability Return
Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return
Each year the Town Council’s Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) needs to be reviewed by an external auditor appointed by Smaller Authorities’ Audit Appointments Ltd. The unaudited AGAR has been published with the Notice of public rights (see files below). As it has yet to be reviewed by the appointed auditor, it is subject to change as a result of that review.
Any person interested has the right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested. For the year ended 31 March 2023, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:
Linda Scott-Giles, Town Clerk, Blandford Forum Town Council, Church Lane, Blandford Forum, Dorset DT11 7AD – Tel: 01258 454500 – Email: email@example.com commencing on Wednesday 21st June 2023 and ending on Tuesday 1st August 2023.
Please click on the following links to access the information regarding the 2022-23 audited accounts of the Town Council in a format that is supplied to the external auditor:
- Notice for the period for the exercise of public rights
- Section 1 – Annual Governance Statement 2022-23
- Section 2 – Accounting Statements 2022-23
- Explanation of significant variances
- Annual Internal Audit Report 2022-23
- Declaration of no conflict of interest with BDO LLP
The Town Council’s Internal Auditor is:
Darkin Miller Limited
24e Deverel Road
The Town Council’s External Auditor is:
- Notice of Conclusion of Audit
- Post Closure Letter detailing the amendment to the External Auditor Report and Certificate
- Notice of conclusion of audit 2021
- Annual Governance Statement Section 1 and 2 2020- 21
- Annual Governance Statement Section 3 2020- 21
How is the Town Council funded?
The Council Tax paid by Blandford Forum households includes the spending requirements of the Dorset Council, Dorset Police and Blandford Forum Town Council. The Dorset Council is responsible for collecting the Council Tax. Many people do not realise that the Town Council does not receive any revenue support from central government, unlike the Dorset Council, neither does it receive any funding from local businesses and retailers via their payment of the non-domestic rate.
Each year the Town Council calculates the money it needs to raise to provide its services. Then we deduct income which we expect to receive from fees and charges such as the hire of sports facilities, lettings of the various halls, etc, to leave the amount we require to spend on the services and any capital projects which are planned for the year ahead. This sum, called the precept, is the amount we levy on the Dorset Council and which is collected by them as a proportion of the total Council Tax paid by Blandford’s households.
Precept (council tax) and Budget Consultation
At the council meeting held on 19th December 2022, the Town Council confirmed the precept for the 2023/24 financial year at £825,250. This is a 2.25% increase on the 2022/2023 budget, which amounts to an increase for a Band D property of £5.10 over the year from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024. Please click on the link to view the Budget Summary 2023-24.
Examples of expenditure from 2021 to present (ongoing running costs for office and grounds staff to carry out their work have not been listed however specific information can be provided on request):
- The Neighbourhood Plan Version 2 has been made and is now being referred to when deciding on Planning applications. A modification review is now taking place.
- Continued engagement with the public through social media and newsletters.
- Arranging free parking in Dorset Council car parks on various days throughout the year to benefit the local community, shops and businesses.
- Organisation of Remembrance events for 2021, including the rededication of the war memorials.
- Lobby glazing in the Corn Exchange has been replaced.
- Town Hall façade lighting has been installed and is lighting up the Corn Exchange every evening.
- Free summer holiday events returned, the Skate Fest in Blandford Skate Park and Jamie Jigsaw in Woodhouse Gardens.
- Sale of the Old Bath House has been finalised.
- A table tennis table has been installed at Larksmead Recreation Ground.
- Expenditure has been approved for replacement play equipment at Larksmead play area.
- Expenditure has been approved for replacement equipment and ramp surfaces at the Blandford Skate Park.
- Rent relief extended to the sports clubs during the pandemic.
- Grants and SLAs totalling £29,000 paid to local organisations including Treads, Tourist Information and Blandford museums.
- The community fridge is now in operation, which will help to reduce food waste.
- Ongoing work with Persimmon Homes to complete transfer of Phase 3a and Phase 3b at Badbury Heights so that play areas can be installed and maintenance can be carried out by the town council.
- Application submitted for reaccreditation of the Quality Gold council award scheme.
- Working with Dorset Council to extend the lease to the skate park land so improvements can be made to the equipment.
- Consultants appointed to work on the realisation of the Town Hall/Corn Exchange project.
Residents are invited to discuss suggestions for the budget at any point throughout the year, but a full consultation takes place in September at the Community Expo in the Corn Exchange, which is fully advertised to all.
Please let us know what you think about the budget and if you have any suggestions.
If the information you are looking for does not appear on the reports published online, then please do not hesitate to contact us.