Auditors praise Cheshire West and Chester Council for handling of its finances in tough times

Reporter:

Steve Creswell

INDEPENDENT financial experts have praised the council for offering value for money to residents.

Auditors at Grant Thornton UK have reported the results of their annual assessment of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s (CWaC) accounts.

They commended the authority on having measures in place to manage its finances in the face of ongoing pressures.

CWaC has been facing an uphill struggle since the Government announced it was stripping around £57m from the council’s four-year funding pot.

Among many hard-headed
measures introduced, chiefs have taken the eyebrow-raising decision to vacate the HQ building on Nicholas Street with a view to raising £2.4m a year by renting out office space.

The auditors’ report was delivered to the council’s Audit and Governance Committee at a meeting on Wednesday.

It states: “Based on our review, we are satisfied that, in all significant respects, the council had proper arrangements in place to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of
resources.

“The council continues to face ongoing financial pressures, but has in place effective arrangements to manage its finances and deliver a balanced outturn position.”

Grant Thornton has also carried out an independent audit of the Cheshire Pension Fund and states in its report to the Audit and Governance Committee that the fund’s financial statements give a true and fair view of its financial position.

Cllr Stephen Burns, chairman of the audit and governance committee, said: “One of our key council priorities is to make sure our resources are well managed and reflect the priorities of our residents so it was heartening to read these reports by our external auditors and receive confirmation that management of the pension fund and council finances is working well.

“As chairman of the Audit and Governance committee, I would like to thank our excellent officers in Cheshire West and Chester who have worked so hard to ensure council finances are well managed and continue to provide good value for money to our residents.”

Email:

steve.creswell@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Chester Leader

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