St Albans City & District Council's accounts are 18 months late with discrepancies worth £600,000, according to the Conservative Party.

The Tories' representatives in the city have expressed "deep concern at the lack of timely and accurate Statutory Accounts".

The Conservative's claim that the local authority missed its November 2021 deadline, with delays now extended until June.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrat council leader Cllr Chris White, has described the claims as a "myth".


He told The Herts Advertiser: "At last week's Audit Committee (AC) meeting (April 20), Cllr Ellis was subbing for Cllr Beashel and he only made one contribution the whole meeting, asking the external auditors the materiality of the discrepancies they have uncovered. 

Herts Advertiser: Cllr Chris White, the leader of St Albans City & District Council.Cllr Chris White, the leader of St Albans City & District Council. (Image: Chris White)

"Here are a couple of quotes from the external auditor Leigh Lloyd-Thomas (who appeared at last week's AC) which you might find useful in debunking the myth that St Albans is somehow exceptional in experiencing delays with auditors signing off the accounts:


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"(He said: 'We have got lots of single tier, upper tier and councils which don't even have the 19/20s signed off yet'.

"'It's well rehearsed in the sector everybody is horribly behind on the opinion work. There's no staff to do this'."

Herts Advertiser: Clare De Silva, the Conservative Parliamentary spokesperson for St Albans.Clare De Silva, the Conservative Parliamentary spokesperson for St Albans. (Image: St Albans Conservative Party)

The Conservative Parliamentary spokesperson for St Albans, Clare De Silva, said: "The delay in producing these accounts is clearly symptomatic of a District Council that has run out of steam and is without the expertise to run things properly.

"They are increasing parking charges to make up for the self-inflicted shortfall in their budget.

"They let the Rail Freight plan through in 2020 when they effectively gave the go-ahead for the land to be developed, and now even their accounts are late.

"As a result, local people will have no opportunity to assess the Council finances before the Local Elections in May preventing proper scrutiny."