Audit | LocalGov

Auditors raise doubts over biodiversity enforcement


Auditors have questioned whether local authorities will be able to effectively ensure compliance and enforcement of biodiversity net gain (BNG).

Auditor issues qualified opinion on Stoke-on-Trent accounts


Concerns over finances and children’s services have resulted in auditors issuing a qualified opinion on Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s accounts.

Auditors warned over relief road 'iceberg'


A councillor has asked Shropshire Council’s external auditor to investigate concerns the North West Relief Road will 'completely bankrupt the council'.

Watchdog tells Falkirk to confront 'difficult decisions'


Falkirk Council faces ‘difficult decisions’ to bridge a budget gap of tens of millions, according to Audit Scotland.

Struggles continue for scandal-hit council contractor


A council contractor previously at the centre of a residential care abuse scandal has continued to struggle since it closed the sites.

Oflog should be handed audit oversight, MPs told


Oflog should be handed oversight of England’s broken audit regime – a role earmarked for the Financial Reporting Council - accounting experts have told MPs.

Grant Thornton fined over pension audit


Grant Thornton has been fined by the Financial Reporting Council for ‘failures’ in its audit of an unnamed local authority’s pension fund.

Councils should get traffic light grading, say accountants


Oflog should grade councils using a traffic-light-style ranking system, chartered accountants have suggested.

Hopes for regen scheme revived after Home Office scales back asylum plan


A £300m council-led regeneration scheme threatened when Whitehall commandeered the site for asylum accommodation could now go ahead.

Homelessness inquiry launched by NAO


The National Audit Office (NAO) has launched an inquiry into homelessness as the issue piles pressure on squeezed council budgets.

Two-year Sandwell intervention to end


Local government minister Simon Hoare has today confirmed that Whitehall’s two-year intervention at Sandwell Council will end.

Watchdog warning over Moray's funding gap


Moray Council must act quickly to shore up its finances, Audit Scotland has warned.

Lending rates could spike after audit reset, LGA warns


Proposals to reset the local audit system and clear the backlog of accounts could drive up the lending rates offered to the sector, councils have warned.

The financial crisis in Birmingham City Council


Dr James Brackley and Prof. Adam Leaver of the Audit Reform Lab call for an urgent value for money assessment of Birmingham CC's proposed cuts and asset sales.

Plymouth told to 'hold its nerve' on budget


Plymouth City Council’s budget for the forthcoming year hinges on a request to the Government for a capitalisation direction.

Consultation on audit reset proposals launched


Proposals to reset the local audit system and clear the backlog of accounts have been officially unveiled.

Statutory recommendations lifted at Sandwell


Auditors have lifted the three statutory recommendations in place at Sandwell MBC.

Audit 'backstops' could become permanent


‘Backstop’ dates designed to reset the local audit system could become a ‘permanent feature,’ the Government has admitted.

Officer-member relations ‘fractured’ at Wrexham


Issues in Wrexham County Borough Council’s planning service mean it is hindered in fulfilling its role, an audit has found.

Call for ‘different approach’ to brownfield


A more ‘systematic, interventionist and collaborative’ method could ‘significantly’ increase the regeneration of brownfield sites in Wales, according to a new report.

Auditor's 'significant concerns' over Dudley finances


Dudley MBC has received a withering verdict on its finances from external auditor Grant Thornton as it attempts to stave off a section 114 notice.

Audit reset to trigger slew of qualified and disclaimed opinions


The auditor general has warned of qualified and disclaimed audits being issued ahead of a reset to take place later this year.

Dudley's sustainability 'in jeopardy'


Dudley MBC has set up an improvement board following stark warnings over its finances and governance.

Urgent action needed to re-establish trust in local audit


The Government must take urgent action to remedy the ongoing problems with local audit and improve accountability at the local level, MPs say.

MPs launch inquiry into controversial watchdog


An inquiry looking at the remit of the controversial Office for Local Government (Oflog) was launched by MPs today.

Less than 100 homes for refugees are occupied


Fewer than 100 homes acquired using a fund to support English councils obtain housing for those fleeing conflicts have been occupied, latest figures reveal.

EXCLUSIVE: Oflog pushes ahead with early warning system


Senior Oflog officials are pressing ahead with their plans to create an early warning system for councils in trouble despite continuing LGA resistance.

Chancellor urged to tackle audit backlog


The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has called on the Government to ‘tackle the crisis’ in local authority financial reporting and audit.

NAO calls for Homes for Ukraine clarity


Ministers must prioritise ‘important decisions’ over Homes for Ukraine – including continued funding for councils, spending watchdogs have urged.

Woking entered s114 territory in 2018


Woking BC may have faced a section 114 notice at least four years before it declared effective bankruptcy, senior councillors have been told.

Watchdog uncovers ‘weaknesses’ in councils’ workforce plans


Weaknesses in Welsh councils’ workforce strategies could hamper their ability to deliver in the long term, Audit Wales has found.

Middlesbrough closes criticised council-owned company


Middlesbrough Council will wind up a company it owns following a damning audit.

Audit reveals ‘deficiencies’ councils’ record keeping


Auditors have found ‘significant deficiencies’ in the financial management and record keeping of Ammanford Town Council and Llanferres Community Council.

Plymouth reaches impasse with auditor


Auditors could issue a qualified opinion on Plymouth City Council’s accounts after questioning its methods to pay off a multi-million pound pension deficit.

Hundreds of Valium prescriptions to be reviewed


Hundreds of vulnerable people with drug and alcohol dependencies who have been prescribed Valium are set to have their cases reviewed following investigation.

Weaknesses in Newport counter-fraud approach


‘Weaknesses’ have been found in Newport City Council’s approach to fraud, a finance watchdog has reported.

Hull’s city-wide mission to document public art


Hull City Council is calling on residents and visitors to photograph ‘hidden or neglected masterpieces’ as part of an audit of the city’s public art.

Rowley insists Oflog will not take over audit


A minister has been forced to clarify that Oflog is not attempting to replace the council audit system.

Auditor finds ‘significant weaknesses’ in Bristol's finances


‘Significant weaknesses’ in reducing overspends are threatening Bristol City Council’s financial sustainability, according to its external auditor.

‘Real fears’ that post-Grenfell safety legislation won’t be delivered


Auditor General for Wales has raised concerns over the devolved government’s implementation of building safety legislation that was created after Grenfell.

Northumberland exit payments were unlawful


Six severance payments totalling more than £1m made by Northumberland Council to senior officers were unlawful, the council’s section 151 officer has concluded.

Report reveals lead-up to Coventry culture trust collapse


A report has laid bare the events leading to the collapse of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, including how financial problems re-emerged after a £1m loan.

Government to 'reset’ local audit


Local government minister Lee Rowley said statutory deadlines would be announced in the autumn in a bid to tackle the audit backlog.

Kent CC faces ‘challenging’ £86m shortfall


A report by auditors Grant Thornton into Kent CC’s finances has been described as ‘challenging’ after it identified a need for the authority to save £86m.

Southampton at risk of section 114


Southampton City Council has been warned it risks having to issue a section 114 notice this financial year as it battles to save £20m from its budget.

Newcastle City Council to review LTNs


Newcastle CC has insisted a review of low traffic schemes was commissioned before a former external auditor raised concerns about the way it was implemented.

Warning audit crisis could get worse


Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee chair Clive Betts spoke to The MJ as it carries out an inquiry into local audit.

Intervening at the local level


After the launch of Oflog yesterday at the LGA conference, Nick Graham, Buckinghamshire Council, takes a step back to look at Government interventions.

Minister: Oflog won't spot every council failure


In his speech to the LGA conference this week, levelling up secretary Michael Gove officially launched the Office for Local Government (Oflog).

Nottingham’s finance controls ‘not fit for purpose'


Nottingham City Council’s finance controls are ‘not fit for purpose,’ an external review has found.

'No progress' on devolution to London


The capital appears to have ‘taken a step backwards’ on devolution, a former chair of London Councils has said.

Active travel hampered by 'low capability and ambition'


Council chiefs have defended active travel measures after auditors found more than half of councils had 'low capability and ambition' to deliver projects.

Auditors should push ahead with accounts sign off, says NAO head


‘Unpalatable but necessary options’ should be considered to clear the local audit backlog, the head of the National Audit Office suggested yesterday.

Audit body in respect call amid tensions


The organisation responsible for appointing local government auditors has urged ‘everyone to act with appropriate professional respect’ amid tensions.

Auditors call on Scottish councils to ‘radically change’


Scotland’s local authorities need to ‘radically change’ how they operate if they are to improve service delivery, auditors say.

Teesworks project under scrutiny after corruption allegations


A major project to transform the former Redcar Steelworks site into a manufacturing hub is under scrutiny amid allegations of corruption and cronyism.

EXCLUSIVE: ‘It’s time for a new Audit Commission’


An ex-senior mandarin has today called for a new Audit Commission as The MJ reveals the draft metrics the Government is considering for its new watchdog.

COVID support prone to ‘error and fraud’


Support schemes during COVID were prone to fraud and error because of a rushed timetable and a lack of shared plans between local and national government.

Digitisation must not lead to ‘two-tier society’, auditor says


Spending on internet infrastructure must be balanced with measures to prevent creating a two-tier society when it comes to services, Welsh government says.

Cause of local authority audit delays ‘multi-faceted’


Stakeholders in the local audit system must continue efforts to secure timely publication of audited accounts which are delayed for many reasons, says report.

Levelling up committee launches local audit inquiry


An inquiry into financial audit in local authorities has been launched to ensure councils are financially sustainable and remain accountable to residents.

Auditor sounded alarm over BCP budget


Grave warnings were issued about 11th hour changes to BCP Council’s budget before frustrated leader Drew Mellor resigned, it has emerged.

Council benefits teams struggling, auditors warn


People are waiting longer for housing benefit claims while Scotland’s councils face soaring workloads, fewer staff and high absence levels, auditors warn.

Brighton grapples with £44m 'high risk' loan


Brighton & Hove City Council will have to put aside millions of pounds every year to cover a £44m loan labelled ‘high risk’ by auditors.

Auditor calls for national changes after public interest report


External auditor Grant Thornton has called for national changes after cataloguing a ‘toxic’ culture and ‘dysfunctional environment’ at Cheshire East Council.

Council chiefs admit local audit 'in crisis'


Levelling Up officials must work closely with the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and town halls to improve local audit delivery, spending watchdogs warn.

Welsh councils need to encourage resilience, auditors say


Local authorities in Wales must do more to encourage and grow community resilience against a backdrop of cuts, auditors have said.

Watchdog raises safeguarding concerns at Powys


A watchdog has taken Powys CC to task over the lack of ‘control’ of its safeguarding arrangements.

Auditors warn of workforce shortages in flooding sector


Local areas in Wales are facing a shortage of workers with experience in dealing with the impact of floods, auditors say.

Worsening audit backlog revealed


Councils are managing financial challenges and planning for the future with ‘limited assurance about their underlying financial positions,’ auditors warn.

Welsh councils urged to engage more with social enterprises


Local authorities in Wales should do more to ‘maximise the impact’ of social enterprises in their areas, auditors say.

Auditor hands statutory recommendations to two councils


Two councils have been issued with rare statutory recommendations by their external auditor.

Welsh councils struggle to tackle poverty


Local authorities in Wales are struggling to tackle poverty because of a wide variety of approaches and a ‘complicated partnership landscape’, auditors find.

‘Urgent action’ required by auditors to improve


The finance watchdog has said the number of local government audits requiring significant improvement is ‘unacceptable’.

Council chiefs call for prevention to be ‘heart’ of care


Integration of health and care has been undermined by a focus on short-term issues rather than a long-term approach based on preventing ill health, NAO warns.

Warning of £75m audit fee increase


Experts have warned councils could be hit by a £75m increase to their audit fees as details of the next five-year procurement were announced.

Affordable housing programme could be more ‘ambitious’


The Government’s programme for delivering affordable housing could be more ‘ambitious’ when it comes to wider objectives such as net zero, auditors say.

Council defrauded of nearly £240,000 due to failure of financial checks


Poor governance and financial management left Maesteg Town Council vulnerable to a fraud that cost nearly a quarter of a million pounds, auditors say.

Employers warn against local pay deals


Councils have been warned against undermining the ‘fundamental integrity’ of national talks by agreeing local deals as pressure grows on pay.

Evaluation of children’s social care projects ‘encouraging’, auditors say


Auditors have praised the Department for Education’s ‘encouraging work’ when it comes to evaluating innovation in children’s social care.

Air quality improvements ‘not as fast as expected’


The Government’s programme for helping local authorities tackle air pollution has progressed more slowly than expected, according to auditors.

Welsh auditors: NHS waiting lists could take seven years to clear


It could be seven years before Wales sees its NHS waiting lists come back down to pre-pandemic levels, Welsh Auditors have claimed.

New regulator to bring ‘greater transparency’ to council finances announced


The Government today confirmed plans to establish a new regulator aimed at increasing the level of transparency in local authority finance systems.

Council chiefs warn of post-Brexit shortage of professional regulators


Local authority leaders have urged the Government to do more to train staff to work in the regulatory system due to an increase in post-Brexit challenges.

Nottingham expected to bring housing back under direct control after probes


Nottingham City Council is expected to bring its housing back under direct control after two independent probes found ‘underlying issues around governance and finance’.

Auditors warn of social care direct payments ‘lottery’


Direct payments for adult social care in Wales help residents maintain their independence but implementation is inconsistent, auditors say.

Merthyr Tydfil improvement board ends


Independent oversight of Merthyr Tydfil CBC has come to an end following improvements to its governance and sustainability.

Uncertain future for Scottish councils' finances


The Accounts Commission found councils were grappling with funding reductions and restrictions as they prepare to meet significant challenges.

'Emergency consultation' launched on accounting rules


Temporary changes to the code of practice were requested by the Government to resolve 'timeliness' issues.

DLUHC 'almost wilfully blind' to state of local government finances warn MPs


A ‘chronic’ lack of funding for council services amid soaring demand means many communities face a ‘long slog’ out of the COVID-19 pandemic, MPs warned today.

Blaenau Gwent receives damning report in public interest


Auditors said oversight of the council's waste company was ‘inadequate’ for more than a decade.

Croydon subjected to second report in the public interest


Croydon LBC’s auditor has issued a second report in the public interest after uncovering ‘fundamental failings’ in a multi-million pound arts centre refurbishment.

Regulator fines Mazar £314,000 for audit failures


The Financial Reporting Council has fined Mazars LLP £314,000 for failures relating to an audit of an unnamed local authority’s 2019 financial statements.

Local audit’s perfect storm


Has the local audit system finally reached its breaking point? Naomi Larsson investigates.

Wales’ fuel poverty scheme should be ‘greener’


The Welsh government's Warm Homes Programme needs to be greener, clearer and more tightly managed, auditors say.

Regulator 'disappointed' at timeliness of local government auditor reporting


Half of the local government audits chosen for review by the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) had to be replaced as they were not finalised and signed on time.

South Ayrshire Council’s slow transformation ‘frustrating’, auditors say


South Ayrshire Council’s services perform well but the council has been slow at making necessary changes to the way it delivers these services, auditors say.

Auditor uncovers ‘significant deficiencies’ in four Welsh councils


An audit has revealed significant breakdowns in financial management and internal governance arrangements at four councils in Wales, which resulted in unlawful expenditure at one of the local authorities.

Auditors question financial sustainability of Welsh councils


Auditors have questioned the sustainability of local authorities in Wales despite the improved financial position Welsh councils have experienced as a result of pandemic support.

Welsh councils must provide ‘ambitious leadership’ to revive high street


Local authorities in Wales have been urged to use their existing powers and resources to make town centres sustainable.

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Senior Social Worker

Wakefield Council
£40,221.00 - £43,421.00, Grade 10, 37 hours, Permanent
Community Mental Health Senior Social worker (level two) post at Baghill House Pontefract. Baghill House, Health & Wellbeing Centre, Walkergate, Pontefract, WF9 1QW
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Senior Social Worker

Wakefield Council
£40,221.00 - £43,421.00, Grade 10, 37 hours, Permanent
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a full time (37 hour) senior social work position within Connecting Care East. Castleford Civic Centre, Ferrybridge Road, Castleford, WF10 4JH
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Senior Care Assistant (Days)

Wakefield Council
£21,422.43 - £23,731.62, Grade 6, 30 hours, Permanent
Dovecote lodge is a short term placement unit which support the hospital with admissions, predominantly from the emergency department. Dovecote Lodge Dovecote Lane Horbury Wakefield West Yorkshire WF4 6DJ
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Complex Needs Support Worker

Wakefield Council
£19,697.84 - £21,064.05, Grade 5, 30 hours, Temporary
Dovecote Lodge currently has a vacancy for a 30 hour complex support worker, the rota includes days, afternoons and nights over a 10 week period. Dovecote Lodge Dovecote Lane Horbury Wakefield West Yorkshire WF4 6DJ
Recuriter: Wakefield Council

Multi Skilled Operatrive x4

Wakefield Council
£22,737.00 - £29,269.00, Career grade 3-6, 37 hours, Permanent
We are seeking enthusiastic and capable colleagues to join our Highway Operations team that forms part of the Highway Network Management. Wakefield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Wakefield Council
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