Local councils are subject to a ‘light touch’ system of audit known as a ‘limited assurance review’ (more commonly known as ‘external audit’). External auditors are appointed for the council and review a document called the ‘Annual Governance and Accountability Return’ (AGAR). The AGAR is the principal means by which the council is accountable to its electorate. The AGAR includes sections: annual governance statements, statement of accounts, internal auditor report and external auditors report (unless the council is certified as exempt). The external auditor in Devon is PKF Littlejohn LLP.
In 2017/2018 it was possible for Councils with under £25,000 annual turnover (and also fulfilling additional criteria such as publishing certain documents on their website under the Transparency Code) to certify themselves as exempt and since then Axmouth Parish Council has been able to do just this. The Council is still required to complete and publish an annual return, but only a ‘certificate of exemption’ from external audit needs to be signed and submitted to the external auditor.
From the links below, from April 2011 to March 2017, you will be shown a scanned copy of the External Audit Paperwork and from April 2017 onwards you will be taken to the relevant years’ Transparency Code page of the website.