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Wheelie bins

Latest updates on rollout of wheelie bins for refuse in Lewes district

Statement of accounts

At the end of each financial year each council has to publish a formal Statement of Accounts. This provides information about our expenditure and income and our financial standing. 

The Statement of Account has been compiled in accordance with a statutory framework and proper accounting practices as defined in the Local Authority Accounting Code of Practice. The Statement of Accounts is subject to examination by an independent auditor appointed by Public Sector Appointments Limited. 

Each councils' financial year ends on 31 March and our statutory Chief Finance Officer signs the draft Statement of Accounts by 31 May. Members of the public are able to examine each councils' draft accounts and ask questions of the independent auditor. The audited accounts are published by 31 July (30 September for financial years prior to 2017-18). 

The independent auditors of both councils are Deloitte LLP. 

Eastbourne Borough Council statement of accounts

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Lewes District Council statement of accounts

Along with other Councils nationally the Lewes District Council has experienced significant difficulties in its ability to publish its Audited Accounts.  Currently years 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 remain unpublished.

The issue has its roots in the decision by the Government to abolish the Audit Commission which resulted in its formal closure on 31 March 2015.  The commission was then replaced with the current Local Audit Framework consisting of:

  • Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA)
  • National Audit Office (NAO)
  • Financial Reporting Council (FRC)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Chartered Institute of Public Sector Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA). 

This decision also coincided with a significant reduction in system funding that resulted in a subsequent reduction in the fees provided to external auditors to undertake the audit of local authority's accounts and at the same time the introduction of new auditing standards requiring more detailed investigations than in previous years. 

National Attempts to resolve this issue including a government review undertaken by Sir Tony Redmond, published in September 2020 and additional measures announced by the Government to support improved timeliness within the local audit market have not adequately addressed the issues facing councils and external auditors.   As at 31 December 2023 the total number of outstanding audit opinions nationally totalled 771 covering a period between 2015/2016 to 2022/2023.

The issue relating to the publication of the Councils outstanding draft financial statements and their subsequent audit are now subject to proposals made by the government to clear the national backlog of historic local government audits which have been developed by the members of the Local Audit Framework. 

These proposals were subject to a recent consultation exercise which ran until 7 March 2024.  Lewes District Council are currently awaiting the outcome of this consultation; however, details of the proposals can be found on the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities website.

In the meantime, the council is continuing to do all it can to alleviate this issue locally and is looking to publish audited accounts for 2019/20 in the coming weeks.

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