Hailsham town councillors have approved the use of internet banking for its payments, a system to be implemented in the near future.
At a meeting of Full Council held on Wednesday [17 June], members acknowledged the need to maintain robust controls on payments as an integrated part of its overall financial control system, and proposed to move the payments of the Council to electronic means using an online banking system as opposed to cheques.
Banking arrangements have developed considerably over the last few years and at an increasing pace,” said Cllr Gavin Blake-Coggins, chairman of the Town Council’s Finance, Budget, Resources & Staffing Committee. “The use of cheques is becoming increasingly rare and many businesses and individuals in fact prefer to receive payment electronically and are now discouraging the use of cheques.”
“Some are now saying that they will soon refuse to accept cheque payments. The facility for the Council to pay for services by cheque will ultimately cease and we need to be prepared.”
The Finance, Budget, Resources & Staffing Committee discussed the possibility of moving over to complete online banking for the Council back in late 2018. At the time, it was decided that it would have online banking access to view bank accounts, print statements and have access to move funds between the bank accounts, but not to have the facility to make external payments to suppliers.
Since then, further discussions have taken place between the Council, Internal Auditor and business bank manager and, at that particular time, there was not a system which would best fit the Council’s current Financial Regulations and work in conjunction with the Internal Audit regulations.
More and more town and parish councils have over the last year moved to electronic/online payments and, due to the current pandemic, suppliers are increasingly not accepting cheque payments which in turn causes issues for the Council.
Members have therefore decided that, due to the size of the Town Council and its service offer/facilities together with the current pandemic situation, it would be best practice to move to electronic payment via online banking.
The Internal Auditor has welcomed the move by the Town Council to internet banking.
Terry Hall, Communications Officer
Hailsham Town Council, Market Street, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AE
Telephone: 01323 841702 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org