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Councillors Approve Authority's Accounts Despite Unresolved Concerns

 

Councillors in the Vale of Glamorgan have voted to approve the authority's accounts for the 2019/20 financial year, despite concerns raised by external auditors.  

Audit Wales have confirmed they are unable to certify the completion of the audit, due to two unresolved complaints raised by local government electors in the Vale.  

Approval was granted at Special Council meeting on Monday 5th October, after Labour and Vale Independent councillors voted in favour. Conservative councillors all voted against.  

Responding to questions from councillors, Council Leader, Cllr Neil Moore, confirmed he had not been provided with any information as to the nature of the complaints.  

He claimed he was confident the issues, even if upheld, would not make a "material difference" to the accounts.  

Audit Committee Chairman, Cllr George Carroll, said he feared approving the accounts while the complaints remained outstanding would not give public confidence in the process. 

He called for approval to be deferred until the issues were resolved.  

The council has a legal obligation to approve the accounts by 30th November, leading councillors to question why the process was being "rushed through".   

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Cllr Carroll said:

"Given there are almost two months until the legal deadline, I have to question why there is such a rush to approve the authority's accounts now.  

"There are still two complaints outstanding and there is ample time to resolve them.  

"It is extremely unusual to approve in this way and I do not believe it is necessary.  

"I take the assurances provided by both the leader and auditors at face value, but I fear approving now will diminish public confidence in the process.  

"Time is not of the essence and it would have been preferable for the matter to be deferred." 

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