This is our Annual Return for 2019/20, bearing the opinion and signature of the external auditor. The external auditor gave us a qualified opinion, which was very disappointing, given that the matter which gave rise to the qualification is extremely trivial. The paragraph in the June 2020 minutes (relating to a meeting held on 17 June 2020) which gave rise to the decision to qualify the accounts is reproduced below:
The Clerk advised the meeting that the internal audit was not yet complete, but should still be completed in time to approve the Annual Return prior to the deadline of 29 June. The Annual Return would accordingly be shared with all Councillors once signed by the internal auditor, and Cllr W Blaze proposed and Cllr H Field seconded that the Annual Return be signed by the Chair following circulation.
I believe we complied with the intent of the legislation, even if Grant Thornton chose to focus on an absolute and inflexible interpretation of the regulations. Happily there was nothing else deemed worthy of comment by the external auditor, and future years’ minutes, beginning with 2021/22, will be exhaustively phrased to avoid Minera Community Council being subjected to what (in my personal view) is ridiculously petty treatment in future.
Separate documents showing the signatures of myself, MCC Chair Cllr John Edwards and JDH, our internal auditors, have been uploaded here also to demonstrate that all parties have signed off the same financial position and related items of disclosure.
David Hinchliffe, Clerk to MCC