Isle of Wight Council

Financial Management

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: How can I see what the money was actually spent on?

Answer: The council publishes information on spend in a number of ways:

All transactions are published separately as part of the ‘Spotlight on spend’ initiative on
The council publishes a full statement of accounts each year.

- Related Link

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Question: How can I have my say on what the council spends?

Answer: Despite the fact the Council is obliged to provide a considerable number of services as a result of legislation, we are fully committed to consulting the local community about the Council’s budget to ensure that community views on provision of services have been taken into account. For each budget a combination of measures are used to identify priorities for the forthcoming year:-

• consultations on individual service areas may take place separately to the overall budget consultation but will be considered as part of the decision making

• an on-line budget simulator is used to gain more detailed feedback on priorities

• a universal workshop is held with a range of stakeholder groups.

The feedback gathered from these exercises and other sources informs the final decisions around the future years budget and levels of service provision.

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Question: What does the council spend its money on each year?

Answer: Every council has a range of services which it must provide otherwise known as statutory services. These include services such as adult and childrens social care, land charges, registry of births, deaths and marriages. The council also has the discretion to provide other services which are important to the local community such as sports and leisure, parks and countryside and on the island, the Cowes floating bridge service.

In many cases, the way in which the services are provided (by the council or by private companies contracted by the council) and the level at which they are provided, can be decided locally based on local needs and available resources. This is the balance that every council has to find in setting its budget.

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Question: Where does the money come from?

Answer: The main sources of funding for the Council’s revenue budget are

Grant received from Central Government,
Council Tax
Business Rates
Core grants for specific services and projects
Dedicated schools grant
Income from fees and charges
Although the contribution made by each source varies slightly each year, council tax funds approximately 25% of the council budget, with the remainder of the funding from grants and income from fees and charges.

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Question: What legal rights do I have to view the councils accounts?

Answer: If you are entitled to vote in local elections for members of the Isle of Wight Council you have certain legal rights with regard to the Council’s annual accounts. These rights allow you to:

• Inspect the Council’s accounts
• Ask the external auditor questions about the accounts
• Challenge the accounts
When the Council has finalised the accounts for the previous financial year, at the end of May, we advertise that they are available for local electors to look at. The advertisement, the notice of public rights, is placed on the Council's website.

The notice gives details of a period of 30 working days during which you may look at the accounts and supporting documentation.

As part of the inspection you are entitled to inspect the accounts to be audited and all books, deeds, contracts, bills vouchers and receipts relating to them. However, you cannot inspect and copy documents that contain personal information about a member of staff.

The draft statement of accounts will be available on this website on 31st May and the final approved and audited accounts will be available on 31st July. You can download the draft statement of accounts or ask us for a copy. You can also obtain copies of any documents relevant to the accounts, although the Council is entitled to make an appropriate copying charge.

If any person requires specific information about the Council’s spending, the easiest way is to ask the Council. We already publish details of spend and certain contracts on the transparency part of the website, the annual accounts will include much the same information.

The National Audit Office has published a booklet which describes how you can inspect, ask the auditor questions about, or object to the council's accounts. - Related Link

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