NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

WANTAGE TOWN COUNCIL

 NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

NOTICE

1. Date of announcement – 5 August 2020

2. Each year the smaller authority’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 this notice. 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 2020, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

 WP Falkenau – Wantage Town Clerk

By letter: Wantage Town Council,  Council Offices, The Beacon, Portway, Wantage OX12 9BX

Email: clerk@wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk

Telephone: 07810 388580

commencing on 6 August 2020 and ending on 17 September 2020

3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:

The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and

  • The right to make an objection which concerns a matter in respect of which the appointed auditor could either make a public interest report or apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful. Written notice of an objection must first be given to the auditor and a copy sent to the smaller authority.

The appointed auditor can be contacted at the address in paragraph 4 below for this purpose between the above dates only.

4. The smaller authority’s AGAR is subject to review by the appointed auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the NAO’s Code of Audit Practice 2015.  The appointed auditor is:

Moore (Ref RD/hd)

Rutland House, Minerva Business Park, Lynch Wood, Peterborough PE2 6PZ

5. This announcement is made by:

WP Falkenau, Wantage Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer
Accounting Statements 2019 – 2020 
Annual Governance Statement 2019 – 2020 

 

Wantage is opening – safely

Following the easing of the pandemic lockdown, the Government has tasked all Local Authorities to implement temporary measures to reopen their Town Centres and High Streets as safely as possible, and to make them more attractive and welcoming for pedestrians and cyclists. These temporary measures could last up to eighteen months.

The first step to facilitate safe use of the town centre will be to temporarily pedestrianise the area to the west of the Market Place, (in front of Marmalade, 30 Something and The King Alfred’s Head) that has been used many times for town events such as Wantage Brass and the Continental Day, and has tremendous potential for events and other uses. The long term aim is to  seek permanent pedestrianisation of this area. The temporary closure provides a test of the obstacles and issues that may need to be overcome to accommodate this. The temporary closure will proceed on 4 July.

In order to enable everyone to maintain social distancing we also plan to close the southern side  of the Market Place, along the lines that many will remember from when the fair was held for the twenty years up to 2015, with two-way traffic on the north side of the Market Place. This will be a temporary change but the Town Council will be consulting on various options to fine tune these changes.  It will also give everyone the chance to think about how they feel about longer term pedestrianisation in the town centre. Please note that during this closure all buses and coaches will have their routes diverted to use the bus stops in Seesen Way, or to alternative locations for picking up and putting down.  Taxis will relocate to Newbury Street. This closure will proceed on 12 July. We will be engaging directly with Grundon and Biffa to ensure waste services can collect. If you are using a different waste collection service, could you please advise?

To make the town centre more cyclist friendly, new cycle racks will be installed in various locations in the Market Place over the next few weeks.

Andrea Yates, the Town Centre Manager, and other members of the Council team, will be engaging with businesses and the public in and around the Market Place over the next few days to deal with any questions or queries. The team will be actively working with those affected by the closure to sort out ways of accommodating deliveries and collections.  If you would like someone to visit or call you, to discuss these arrangements, please email: clerk@wantagetowncouncil.gov.uk.  The Town Council does intend to conduct a survey, seeking views on this and future arrangements. More information on this will be published shortly.

COVID-19 – Town Council Office Closure

In response to the COVID-19 Emergency,  the Town Council offices have closed from today, 17  March, and staff are working from home. This decision was made to avoid the risk of cross contamination between staff and to ensure resilience of the Council’s support services. This decision was made before, but reinforced by, a decision of the District Council to close The Beacon. My staff are confident that they can continue to give the Town Council the support it needs. If you need to contact the Town Council, please email wantageclerk@gmail.comIf there is a need to make telephone contact please call 07810 388580.

Arrangements for dealing with Council business during COVID-19 lockdown

The Council cannot hold meetings during the COVID-19 crisis. Delegated authority has been given to the Town Clerk, in agreement with an Emergency Consultation Panel to deal with the business that the Town Council would normally attend to. Notes detailing decisions made will be posted on the Council’s website on the same pages where minutes of the Council or its committees are normally displayed.

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