These are our financial regulations which appear to apply…
‘4. Budgetary control and authority to spend
4.1. Expenditure on revenue items may be authorised up to the amounts included for that class of expenditure in the approved budget. This authority is to be determined by:
• Full Council, in advance, for all items over the lower of £1,000 or a duly delegated committee limit;
• a duly delegated committee of the Council for items over £1,000 up to its delegated limit;
• The RFO, with clearance of the Chair of the Council or Chair of the appropriate
committee, for any items between £500 and £1,000;
• The RFO, for items below £500 or the Town Clerk if expenditure relates to a project.
Such authority is to be evidenced by a minute or email produced by the Town Clerk or RFO, and where necessary also by the appropriate Chairman.
Contracts may not be disaggregated to avoid controls imposed by these regulations.
4.2. No expenditure may be authorised that will exceed the amount provided in the revenue budget for that class of expenditure other than by resolution of the Council, or duly delegated committee. During the budget year and with the approval of Council having considered fully the implications for public services, unspent and available amounts may be moved to other budget headings or to an earmarked reserve as appropriate (‘virement’).’
It’s the interpretation of these I guess that is causing the problem.
I believe that the council decides whether and what to spend the money on…and if it’s under £1k the clerk does not have to come back to council for authority to spend the money. They cannot make decisions that the councillors ought to be making, just because it won’t result in a spend of over £1k. Don’t you think?