Draft accounts for 2023/24 published today

The council’s draft accounts for 2023/24 have been published today in line with the 31 May deadline.  The timely completion of the accounts provides valuable assurance over the council’s financial management.  Only a small proportion of councils will meet this deadline and this is a huge achievement by the teams involved in their production.

The accounts report our performance for the financial year ended 31 March 2024 against approved budget. The over-spend is due to national pressures from rising costs and demand for placements for children and young people.

The accounts have been decluttered to make them easier to read and understand and a two-page summary document is also available to provide a snapshot of the council’s financial position and performance for the year.

The draft accounts for 2023/24 can be viewed on the council's website.

The accounts will be presented to the council’s audit and governance committee on 11 June 2024 and will go on to be audited by Grant Thornton between July and September this year. This is to confirm they are ‘true and fair’ and free from errors.

Paul Walker, our Chief Executive, says:

“Despite continuing financial challenges and increased demand for services, we’ve reduced the initial forecast over-spend of £13.5m reported at Quarter 1 to £8.7 million, which is 4.5 per cent of our budget. We’ve achieved this through close-range financial management and robust expenditure controls in all areas across the council.

"Looking ahead to 2024/25, we’ve set a balanced budget to improve our services and support the Council Plan vision and we will continue to strengthen the council’s financial position.

"We’ve supported our residents, businesses and communities to respond to economic challenges. We’ve successfully delivered our services to provide value for money and we’ve strengthened our governance to safeguard public money.”

Published: 31st May 2024