Financial Information

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Thornaby Town Council,

Following a number of comments on Facebook regarding the financial day to day income and expenditure of the town council I showed an interest in day to day budgeting within the town council and it was suggested by councillor Ray Godwin that I submit a freedom of information request.

Therefore please accept this a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act. I would be grateful if you could provide the following information all related to the income and expenditure within Thornaby Town Council

• Please provide a full breakdown of all income and expenditure for both revenue and capital budgets including any project accounts (e.g. Town Hall Renovation Project) for the years 2015/2016, 2016/2017, 2017/2018 and 2018 to date. Dependent upon the method of budgeting I would like to see the breakdown by either cost centres or expenditure/income budget lines. For example utility costs, rates, pay costs, expenses, funding/budget transferred to projects such as the Thornaby Town Hall Renovation Project.
• Breakdown of all costs associated with the Thornaby Town Hall Renovation Project since the purchase of the property including capital and revenue costs. The budget allocated to this project and how this is comparing with actual spend for this to date. Where the full budget allocation was funded from for this (e.g. council precept, external funding etc.), loan repayments for the loan taken out and the year on year loan repayments.
• Forecasted year on year spend for the town hall running costs.
• How the ownership of the town hall is currently recorded. I understand that this is a company therefore what is the name of the company and its board of directors. What level of responsibility does this company have.
• When will the loan be paid off and how will the ownership of the town hall be recorded upon full repayment. Who will be involved with this going forward/future years.
• What process was followed at the set up stage of the town hall renovation project such as selection for contract tendering and budget setting.

Yours faithfully,

M Stammers

Town Clerk, Thornaby Town Council

Dear M Stammers, thank you for your email requesting information. Please can you provide your full address and we will send the information within the timescales of Freedom of Information guidelines to your address. Regards Jen

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Dear Town Clerk

I have received an email from this site stating you are asking me to explain part of my FOI request however there is no email showing what part of the request that you need explaining. Please provide this and I will respond as requested. I have already provided my address and therefore I assume this is something different that you require.

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Town Clerk, Thornaby Town Council

Dear M Stammers, there is no need to supply anything else as I now have your address. Regards Jen

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Dear Town Clerk,

Thank you I look forward to receiving the information requested

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Dear Town Clerk,

Thank you for your letter which I received today (26/10/18) in which you state the Town Hall Renovation Accountant has been on holiday and you will provide this information when available. However the request for financial details on the Town Hall Renovation Project formed only a small part of my initial request. Can you confirm therefore that the other aspects of my request such as, for instance, the day to day finance of the running of Thornaby Town Council will be provided within the government timescales for response.

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Dear Thornaby Town Council,

My request is now considerably over the legislative response time. I accept that there has been some delay on your part however I would have expected to at least have received the information not affected by this delay.

Please advise when I am likely to receive this information including the data which you could not supply until the accountant had returned from holiday.

Yours faithfully,

M Stammers

Dear Thornaby Town Council,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Thornaby Town Council's handling of my FOI request 'Financial Information'.

Based on timescales stated within the Freedom of Information Act my request is now overdue. On Thornaby Town Council's website documents have been downloaded where ticks are shown on documents relating the council's financial management as being complied with including 'appropriate accounting records have been properly kept throughout the financial year'. Based on this information I assume that the information I am requesting is readily available and therefore I cannot understand why there has been a delay.

Please advise when this information will be provided

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Yours faithfully,

M Stammers

Town Clerk, Thornaby Town Council

Dear M Stammers,

Thank you for your email. As stated in the letter of 24th October to you the accountant is working on the breakdown figures as the information you require needs breaking down further. We must make sure that we are compliant with data protection rules. As you no doubt appreciate this occupies a lot of time and the clerk only works part time. Also the accountant has to be specifically engaged on this, which incurs a large cost to the Council. All monies concerning the Town Hall were available for the public to view earlier in the year and no requests were made.

The information you require will be sent to your home address next week. There may be a cost involved to yourself.

Yours faithfully

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Dear Town Clerk,

Thank you for your response however I am perplexed as to why you have asked the accountant to work on this. Surely at the end of each year you will receive a year end report on all income and expenditure. Furthermore on your website there are documents downloaded which state 'appropriate accounting records have been properly kept throughout the financial year', therefore surely such information is at hand otherwise how would you manage to keep control of the town councils spending ensuring it is kept within the restraints of the budget.

Prior to my retirement I managed a number of departmental budgets of which some were in excess of several million pounds and had I received such a request I would have been able to pull together the information within a short period of time, certainly within a couple of hours.

In relation to the costs which you say maybe charged I would assume that you have considered Section 12 of the FOI Act regarding the time limits prior to engaging the accountant as I have not been advised that the time required is likely to exceed limits within the legislation.

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Town Clerk, Thornaby Town Council

Dear M Stammers, we are collating the information you have requested and will send it out to you asap. There will be charges as defined by the Act.

Yours faithfully
Jen Elstob

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Dear Town Clerk,

Thank you for the update however the response seems to indicate that there will be a charge for this information and I would like this clarifying.

The act states that 'where a public authority claims that section 12 is engaged, it should, where reasonable, provide advice and assistance to help the requestor to refine the request so that it can be dealt with under the appropriate limit'. You have not made contact regarding this and therefore I have assumed that this request is within the appropriate limit and as such there will be no charge. In addition I have already pointed out that the town council website states that accurate financial records are maintained and therefore this information should be at hand.

Furthermore guidance on the act advises that 'you must publish a list of charges indicating when you will charge and how much. You will not be able to charge if you have not indicated this in advance'. Although you indicate that there may be a charge I can find no documentation or have received any documentation on the list of charges.

I would like to point out that I am not prepared to meet any charges that you are likely to levy and therefore if you advise that if this will be the case then I would be happy to refine my request.

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Dear Town Clerk,

Please provide an update on where you are with regards to my request which was originally sent to you on 26 September 2018.

Yours sincerely,

M Stammers

Town Clerk, Thornaby Town Council

Dear M Stammers, it is completed and will be with you by Friday at the latest. Regards

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