From April 2015, all smaller councils with a turnover of less than £25,000 are required to publish the following information on their websites:
- Minutes, agendas and papers of formal meetings
- All items of expenditure above £100
- End of year accounts
- Annual governance statement
- Internal audit report
- List of Councillor or member responsibilities
- Details of public land and building assets
You can find further information on the Government website.
It applies to the following types of authorities with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000:
- Parish Councils
- Internal Drainage Boards
- Charter Trustees
- Port Health Authorities
The code is mandatory from 1 April 2015 and requires the online publication of key spending and governance information on the occasions specified in the Code.
How much can you claim for the cost of your website?
You may claim up to £500 for the cost of setting up your website along with ongoing hosting costs. You can also claim for the extra time a clerk needs to upload the documents.
Who is Eligible?
All smaller Town and Parish Councils with a turnover of less than £25,000 are elibible to apply.
What else can you claim for?
Funding can be used to purchase items that the council does not already possess in order to allow them to comply with the Transparency Code. For example councils will need access to a computer to upload documents to a website – the fund can provide up to £350 (ex VAT) to purchase a computer. Other items that can be included in a bid to the fund include a scanner, internet access, and the extra time a clerk needs to upload the documents.
The Transparency Fund
The Government has confirmed a £4.7 million Transparency Fund to support small parish councils and other smaller authorities to become web-enabled and compliant with the Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities. This funding programme will be delivered through the National Association of Local Councils and is planned to be available from April 2015 for a 3-year period, delivered on county basis that targets local needs. The Transparency Fund is administered by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC). Click for more information about the Transparency Fund.
How can you apply?
To apply, councils must contact their CALC to request guidance and the simple application form. NALC are handling applications on a monthly basis while funding remains available.