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Auditors say Royal Borough is providing 'value for money'

Inspectors of the Royal Borough’s financial accounts for 2016/17 say the council provided taxpayers with value for money.

Auditor KPMG examined the council’s financial statements and ‘significant risk areas’ in June and has now published its findings.

Its report found the council spent £477,000 less than its budget of £83,156,000 for the year ending March 31.  

This money has now been added to the Royal Borough’s cash reserves, which now stand at £5,215,000.

The council’s Transformation Programme for 2015 to 2018 came under scrutiny from auditors. The programme included moving the day-to-day running of the children’s services department to the control of community interest company Achieving for Children.

KPMG’s audit report said: “It is essential that there are appropriate governance arrangements in place in relation to the decisions being made as part of the Transformation Programme and that business cases and options appraisals have received sufficient and appropriate scrutiny.”

It added that the council had taken the appropriate steps to address the Value for Money (VFM) risk of the Transformation Programme.

Commenting on the council’s partnership with the Richmond and Kingston boroughs on children’s services, Cllr MJ Saunders (Con, Bisham and Cookham), cabinet member for finance, said: “It’s clear that if we try to run complex services on our own the likelihood is that we will provide less service and incur more costs.

“If we go into partnership with other councils then we are able to provide these services in different ways and at a lower cost."

The council’s statement of accounts said it had made savings in operations and customerservices due to a ‘strong income performance’ from car parks in Windsor and Maidenhead.

It also revealed that money paid out in councillor allowances rose from £660,000 in 2015/16 to £720,000 in 2016/17.

The council’s Audit and Performance Review Panel was due to meet last night (Wednesday) to approve the inspected accounts.

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