Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27

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

1. Date of announcement: Thursday 25th May 2023 (a)
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:   (b)   Amy Jones, Parish Clerk, Hawthorn Cottage, Porthywaen, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8LX E:  
commencing on (c) __Monday 5th June 2023
and ending on (d) ___Friday 14th July 2023
3. Local government electors and their representatives also have:   The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; andThe 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:   PKF Littlejohn LLP (Ref: SBA Team) 15 Westferry Circus Canary Wharf London E14 4HD (   5. This announcement is made by (e) Amy Jones  


Please note that this summary applies to all relevant smaller authorities, including local councils, internal drainage boards and ‘other’ smaller authorities.

The basic position

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act) governs the work of auditors appointed to smaller authorities. This summary explains the provisions contained in Sections 26 and 27 of the Act. The Act and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 also cover the duties, responsibilities and rights of smaller authorities, other organisations and the public concerning the accounts being audited.

As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of smaller authorities. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector for the area to which the accounts relate you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them. You do not have to pay directly for exercising your rights. However, any resulting costs incurred by the smaller authority form part of its running costs. Therefore, indirectly, local residents pay for the cost of you exercising your rights through their council tax.

The right to inspect the accounting records

Any interested person can inspect the accounting records, which includes but is not limited to local electors. You can inspect 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. You can copy all, or part, of these records or documents. Your inspection must be about the accounts, or relate to an item in the accounts. You cannot, for example, inspect or copy documents unrelated to the accounts, or that include personal information (Section 26 (6) – (10) of the Act explains what is meant by personal information). You cannot inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality. This is information which would prejudice commercial confidentiality if it was released to the public and there is not, set against this, a very strong reason in the public interest why it should nevertheless be disclosed.

When smaller authorities have finished preparing accounts for the financial year and approved them, they must publish them (including on a website). There must be a 30 working day period, called the ‘period for the exercise of public rights’, during which you can exercise your statutory right to inspect the accounting records. Smaller authorities must tell the public, including advertising this on their website, that the accounting records and related documents are available to inspect. By arrangement you will then have 30 working days to inspect and make copies of the accounting records. You may have to pay a copying charge. The 30 working day period must include a common period of inspection during which all smaller authorities’ accounting records are available to inspect. This will be 3-14 July 2023 for 2022/23 accounts. The advertisement must set out the dates of the period for the exercise of public rights, how you can communicate to the smaller authority that you wish to inspect the accounting records and related documents, the name and address of the auditor, and the relevant legislation that governs the inspection of accounts and objections.

The right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records

You should first ask your smaller authority about the accounting records, since they hold all the details. If you are a local elector, your right to ask questions of the external auditor is enshrined in law. However, while the auditor will answer your questions where possible, they are not always obliged to do so. For example, the question might be better answered by another organisation, require investigation beyond the auditor’s remit, or involve disproportionate cost (which is borne by the local taxpayer). Give your smaller authority the opportunity first to explain anything in the accounting records that you are unsure about. If you are not satisfied with their explanation, you can question the external auditor about the accounting records.

The law limits the time available for you formally to ask questions. This must be done in the period for the exercise of public rights, so let the external auditor know your concern as soon as possible. The advertisement or notice that tells you the accounting records are available to inspect will also give the period for the exercise of public rights during which you may ask the auditor questions, which here means formally asking questions under the Act. You can ask someone to represent you when asking the external auditor questions.

Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask your smaller authority other questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act.

You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.

The right to make objections at audit

You have inspected the accounting records and asked your questions of the smaller authority. Now you may wish to object to the accounts on the basis that an item in them is in your view unlawful or there are matters of wider concern arising from the smaller authority’s finances. A local government elector can ask the external auditor to apply to the High Court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, or to issue a report on matters which are in the public interest. You must tell the external auditor which specific item in the accounts you object to and why you think the item is unlawful, or why you think that a public interest report should be made about it. You must provide the external auditor with the evidence you have to support your objection. Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful. To object to the accounts you must write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, including the information and evidence below and you must send a copy to the smaller authority. The notice must include:

  • confirmation that you are an elector in the smaller authority’s area;
  • why you are objecting to the accounts and the facts on which you rely;
  • details of any item in the accounts that you think is unlawful; and
  • details of any matter about which you think the external auditor should make a public interest report.

Other than it must be in writing, there is no set format for objecting. You can only ask the external auditor to act within the powers available under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

A final word

You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against your smaller authority.  You should take such complaints to your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, local Law Centre or to your solicitor. Smaller authorities, and so local taxpayers, meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections.  In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved, they will only continue with the objection if it is in the public interest to do so. They may also decide not to consider an objection if they think that it is frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered. If you appeal to the courts against an auditor’s decision not to apply to the courts for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful, you will have to pay for the action yourself.

For more detailed guidance on public rights and the special powers of auditors, copies of the publication Local authority accounts: A guide to your rights are available from the NAO website.  If you wish to contact your authority’s appointed external auditor please write to the address in paragraph 4 of the Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return.  

A copy of the completed Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 2023/23 can be found on the Finance Page.

Parish Council donate Coronation Gifts

On Saturday 6th May, tomorrow, King Charles III will be crowned at Westminster Abbey in London.

The Coronation will be a historic moment in all our lives and is a time to look back on our history, to celebrate who we are and to look to our future.

To mark this event the Parish Council have presented the children who attend Whittington Under Fives with Coronation Mug & Bear Gifts and given Coronation Coins to those who attend Whittington Primary School.

Chair of the Parish Council, Lucy Beaumont, commented, “Throughout his life, King Charles III has placed great importance on the responsibility of us all to care for the earth in all we do. The emblem on these gifts pays tribute to The King’s love of the natural world and brings together the flora of the four nations of the United Kingdom”.

Would you like to become a Parish Councillor?


Local (parish and town) councils and councillors make a massive difference to the quality of life of local people. They are passionate about their communities and seek to make a change to help improve the lives of their residents.

Local Councils (such as Whittington Parish Council), have a range of specific statutory powers which they may exercise if they wish to. Local councils do not have statutory responsibilities for services such as waste collection, street parking, traffic regulation, environmental health, street trading, planning and building control, licensing, housing, education, development control or social care functions for the area. Statutory responsibility for the discharge of those functions rests with the local authority (Shropshire Council).

Day-to-day administration and management of the services delivered by the Parish Council is the responsibility of the Parish Clerk who works closely with Parish Councillors to deliver the decisions made at meetings. The work of the Parish Council is funded primarily through a precept on Council Tax payers within the Whittington Parish. Where applicable, grants are applied for to help fund projects and the Parish Council also receives Neighbourhood Fund which is generated through the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Whittington Parish Council currently have a vacancy for a Parish Councillor. If you are interested in putting yourself forward for co-option, please complete the application form below and return to the Parish Clerk – – by Monday 10th April 2023 at 12noon at the latest. Applications will be considered at the April meeting of the Parish Council.



That a casual vacancy has occurred in the Office of Councillor for Whittington Parish Council following the resignation on 21.02.23 of Councillor Steve Charmley.

Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules, 2006 now applies.

The rule allows TEN ELECTORS for the parish in which the casual vacancy has arisen to request the Returning Officer to hold an election to fill the vacancy.* That request must be made within FOURTEEN DAYS, calculated in accordance with the rules,** of the date of this notice. The fourteen-day period ends on Wednesday 15th March 2023.

What if a request to hold an election is not received during the permitted time?

Rule 5(5) of the above Rules will apply. The Parish Council must, as soon as practicable after the expiry of the fourteen-day period, co-opt a person to fill the vacancy.

The Returning Officer’s address is: Electoral Services, Shropshire Council, The Shirehall, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY2 6ND. The telephone number for further guidance is 0345 678 9015.

This notice is dated Thursday 23rd February 2023.

Mrs Amy Jones

Parish Clerk

Hawthorn Cottage, Porthywaen, Oswestry, SY10 8LX


T: 01691 829571

* There is no form of words for this request, which might simply be a letter headed with such words as “We the undersigned being electors for the [Ward of] … Parish, call for an election to fill the vacancy arising from the [death][resignation] of …”. A template entitled “Request for an Election” is available to download from Shropshire Council’s website – – under “Current Council Vacancies”. It is helpful if the ten signatures are accompanied by printed names and addresses.

** In calculating the notice period, day one is the day following the date of this notice; a Saturday, Sunday, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Good Friday or a Bank Holiday or day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning shall be disregarded, and the period closes at midnight on the fourteenth day after the date of this notice. Rule 5(2) of The Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) (England and Wales) Rules, 2006 now applies.

Whittington Install Emergency Bleed Control Kits

Bleed control kits have been installed in all Parish Council owned defibrillator cabinets in and around Whittington. Funded by the Parish Council, the kits were purchased through the Daniel Baird Foundation, a charity set up after the tragic death of Daniel Baird, who at the age of 26 years was fatally stabbed in the early hours of 8th July 2017, outside The Forge Tavern, Digbeth in Birmingham following a night out with friends. There was no first aid or bleed control kit available and Daniel died shortly after arriving at hospital due to catastrophic bleeding.

The kits can be used in serious incidents to control bleeding and promote blood clotting. There are many ways that a catastrophic bleed can occur, such as from a stabbing, car accident or a work related injury.

By having publicly accessible bleed control packs, anyone can provide the necessary first aid to reduce blood loss until professional, medical help arrives.

The Bleed Control Kits are located in the Defibrillator Cabinets (accessible with a code which will be given out by the Ambulance Service when calling 999) and have been registered with the West Midlands Ambulance Service. The locations are as follows:

  • The Senior Citizen’s Hall, Station Road, Whittington.
  • Highways Depot, Park Hall, Whittington.
  • The Old Red Phonebox, Hindford.
  • The Telephone Kiosk, Babbinswood.

Lucy Beaumont, Chair of Whittington Parish Council, commented “I am pleased that the Parish Council has provided Bleed Kits for inclusion in the defibrillator cabinets as they provide an extra feature that can be used by those without any medical training. I sincerely hope that they are never needed but should an accident or incident occur these Bleed Kits could help save a life.”


We are deeply saddened to hear that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.

We would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty’s life-long commitment to public service and unwavering dignity as the longest-reigning monarch in history. Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and his Family at this sad time.

There will be a County Memorial Service at The Abbey, Shrewsbury at 6pm on the evening before the funeral, followed by a National Moment of Silent Reflection at 8pm.

Flags will fly at half-mast from the day of death to the day after the funeral, save being raised for the proclamation of the new King.

The Lady Eleanor Function Room at Whittington Castle is open for those who wish to sign the Parish Council book of Condolence. The room will be open from 9am-5pm, until the State Funeral and for 7 days following.

The Proclamation in Shropshire of a new King is expected to be Saturday at 12.30pm, at the Bandstand in the Quarry, Shrewsbury.

The official location to host the laying of floral tributes is Shrewsbury Castle.

Planned reinforcement water mains works in Church Street, Top Street, Boot Street and Penybryn Avenue

Information received from the Principal Contractors working on behalf of Severn Trent Water:

I would like to advise you of some planned work which is due to commence Monday 5 December 2022. This work involves us replacing the existing water main in four phases along sections of Church Street, Top Street, Boot Street and Penybryn Avenue.

The work is scheduled for approximately ten weeks commencing Monday 5 December 2022 to Friday 17 February 2023. We will have a road closure with a sign posted diversion route on Top Street and various traffic lights on Church Street, Boot Street and Penybryn Avenue.

The image below shows the planned four phases. With reference to the road closure, we will always keep access to properties or businesses within the closure, including access for emergency services, but access will be from one side or the other of the working area. There will be no through road access and as previously mentioned there will be a signposted diversion route in place.

PLEASE NOTE – the dates are to be confirmed and may be subject to change.

Annual Parish Meeting 17.05.22

To:  All Electors of Whittington Parish

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual Meeting of Whittington Parish will be held on Tuesday 17th May 2022 at 6.30pm.

F Davis

Councillor Frank Davis, Chair of the Council

Date of notice: 21st April 2022

The Parish Meeting may, by law, discuss all Parish affairs and pass resolutions about them. All local government electors of the parish may attend and will be entitled to vote.


1.22 Welcome and apologies
2.22 Confirmation of the Minutes

To approve and authorise the signing of the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 30th March 2021 remotely on Zoom.

3.22 Parish Council Annual Report

To receive a report from the Chairman on Parish Council Activities in 2021-22 and a Financial Report from the Clerk.

4.22   Play Areas in the Parish

Receive an update from the Council on the improvements being made to Fitzgwarine Play Area and discuss ideas, possible locations and options for a new Play Area to be built in the Parish. This will be an opportunity for residents to put forward ideas and suggestions and will be dealt with as an open discussion.

5.22 Community Governance Reviews / Boundary Reviews

Parish Council to provide an update on the latest information received from Shropshire Council.

6.22    Shropshire Councillor’s Report
7.22    Annual Reports from Organisations in the Parish
8.22    Parish Matters / Open Forum – electors are invited to ask questions
9.22    Closing remarks by the Chairman

Message from West Mercia PCC

John Campion West Mercia PCC
Working for and with the local community to build a safer West Mercia
As your PCC I work for and with the local community to build a safer West Mercia. It is my role to govern and scrutinise the service you as a member of the local community get from your police force.
As your commissioner my priorities are:
 Putting victims and survivors first
 Building a more secure West Mercia
 Reforming West Mercia
 Reassuring West Mercia
To find out more about the work I do as your PCC, please visit the details below.
01905 331 656