Embargoed: 00:01 Thursday 26th October 2023
Just 31 British councils, under 10 per cent of the total, have released audited accounts for 2022/23. The deadline for audited accounts was the 30th September.
97 councils failed to publish any accounts in 2022/23. The deadline for draft accounts was the 31st May.
- A total of 658 audited statements of accounts are overdue over the last four financial years
New analysis by the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) shows that almost 100 councils have failed to publish any statement of accounts for the latest financial year. In total, over the four financial years since 2018/19, there are 658 overdue audited statements of accounts, leading to what the TPA has called a ‘transparency crisis’ in local government.
In 2022/23, only 31 councils released audited accounts, 252 posted draft statements and 97 haven’t released anything. For 2021/22, 182 have released audited accounts, 162 posted draft statements and 37 haven’t released anything. For 2020/21, 296 have released audited accounts, 71 have posted draft statements and 10 haven’t published anything. For 2019/20, 348 have released audited accounts, 25 have published draft statements and two haven’t published anything.
Woking council has not published accounts for 2021/22 and 2022/23 and Birmingham council has not issued audited accounts since 2019/2020. Both have issued Section 114 notices, an effective declaration of bankruptcy, in recent months.
South Cambridgeshire District Council has not published audited accounts since 2019/20. The council is currently under fire from the TPA and the local government minister for running a four-day week trial for staff.
Just 31 British councils have released audited accounts for 2022/23.
97 councils failed to publish any accounts in 2022/23.
658 audited statements of accounts are overdue, while 147 draft statements of accounts are overdue.
- Only 15 of England’s 317 councils (4.7 per cent) have filed audited accounts for every year since 2019/20. Meanwhile, 27 (8.5 per cent) of English councils have failed to file audited accounts for the last four years.
In Wales, not a single council published audited statements of accounts in the year 2022/23.
10 of Northern Ireland’s 11 councils have published audited accounts for the last four years and 6 of Scotland’s 32 have done so.
Greenwich is the only London council to have published audited accounts for 2022/23.
Two councils have not published any type of accounts for each of the last four years: Copeland and Gravesham.
- South Cambridgeshire District Council has not published audited accounts since 2019/20. The council is currently under fire from the TPA and the local government minister for running a four-day week trial for staff to the detriment of local taxpayers.
Elliot Keck, head of campaigns at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:
"The failure to file accounts is causing a transparency crisis in local government.
“It’s unacceptable that struggling Brits have to stump up for growing council tax bills when their town hall bosses either won’t or can’t show them what they’re spending their money on.
“Local government chiefs should treat taxpayers with greater respect and file accounts on time.”
TPA spokespeople are available for live and pre-recorded broadcast interviews via 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Media Campaign Manager, TaxPayers' Alliance
24-hour media hotline: 07795 084 113 (no texts)
Notes to editors:
Founded in 2004 by Matthew Elliott and Andrew Allum, the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) campaigns to reform taxes and public services, cut waste and speak up for British taxpayers. Find out more at www.taxpayersalliance.com.
TaxPayers' Alliance's advisory council.
- All councils were checked on the 16th to 17th October 2023.