The role of the Responsible Financial Officer

The Responsible Financial Officer (RFO) is responsible for keeping the Parish Council’s accounts according to the statutory framework currently in force.

The accounts refer to the day-to-day record of financial activity, providing the basis for the annual summary of financial activity (the statement of accounts).

The RFO reports to the Committees and Full Council on the latest financial position at each meeting.  The RFO also advises on the form of the Council’s Financial Regulations.  These set out the rules that apply in terms of the providing a written record of financial procedures including clarification of duties, responsibilities and internal control systems.  It is the RFO’s role to put internal control systems in place that record transactions speedily and accurately, that prevent and detect inaccuracies and fraud and that reconstitute loss and manage bad debts.

Most importantly, the role ensures that public money is secure and well-managed so that the Parish Council is able to achieve its ambitions for the community.

How the Parish Council is Funded

The Parish Council has various streams of income.  The largest of these is the Precept*.  This is the amount of money the Parish Council needs to run its services taking into account planned expenditure and estimated income from other sources.  Other sources of income for Chorleywood Parish Council include charges associated with the Lawn Cemetery, rent from the letting of allotment plots, ticket sales for events, grants from other organisations and receipt of the Community Infrastructure Levy (see below).  Separately, the War Memorial Hall Trust Charity receives income from the hire of the village halls which is only used to cover associated staff costs and maintenance of the halls.

What you don’t pay for are the councillors. Unlike District and County Councillors, Parish Councillors are not paid. Usually, being a councillor costs them money.

Earlier this year, the Parish Council decided that, bearing in mind the Cost of Living Crisis, it would not increase the Precept* for 23/24 to avoid causing additional pressures on household budgets. It has achieved this by offsetting increases in energy and staff costs by applying aggressive cost control in other areas where possible and funding a small expected shortfall in funding out of existing reserves.  What will it cost per average household (Band D)?  The annual cost per household from 1st April 2023 is £85.59 per year or £1.65 per week.  This represents a decrease of 10p per year.

*The precept is the Parish Council’s share of the Council Tax collected by Three Rivers District Council. The precept fills the gap between the Parish Council’s planned expenditure and its estimated income.

Investment Strategy

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