Retention of Documents Policy
The Town Council recognises that the efficient management of its records is necessary to comply with its legal and regulatory obligations and to contribute to the effective overall management of the Town Council.
This document provides the policy framework through which this effective management can be achieved and audited. It covers:
Disposal of records
Scope of the Policy
This policy applies to all records created, received or maintained by the Town Council in the course of carrying out its functions.
Records are defined as all those documents which facilitate the business carried out by the Town Council and which are thereafter retained (for a set period) to provide evidence of its transactions or activities. These records may be created, received or maintained in hard copy or electronically. A small percentage of the Town Council’s records will be selected for permanent preservation as part of the Council’s archives and for historical research.
The Town Council has a corporate responsibility to maintain its records and record management systems in accordance with the regulatory environment. The person with overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy is the Clerk to the Town Council, and she/he is required to manage the Council’s records in such a way as to promote compliance with this policy so that information will be retrieved easily, appropriately and in a timely manner.
Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, the Town Council is required to maintain a retention schedule listing the record series which it creates in the course of its business. The retention schedule lays down the length of time which the record needs to be retained and the action which should be taken when it is of no further administrative use. The Clerk is expected to manage the current record keeping systems using the retention schedule and to take account of the different retention periods when creating new record keeping systems.
All documents that are no longer required for administrative reasons should be shredded and disposed of.
Retention of Documents Schedule
This retention schedule refers to record series regardless of the media in which they are stored.
|Annual Town Report||Indefinite||Archive|
|Bank Statements||Last completed audit year||Audit/management|
|Cheque book stubs||Last completed audit year||Audit/management|
|Paying in books||Last completed audit year||Audit/management|
|Paid invoices||7 years||Audit/VAT|
|VAT records||7 years||Audit/VAT|
|Petty cash||7 years||Audit/VAT|
|Timesheets||Last completed audit year||Audit/management|
|Salary records||12 years||Superannuation|
|Tax & NI records||7 years||Audit|
|Personal data of employees||6 years after employment terminates||Recommended practice|
|Recruitment paperwork||1 year for all except successful candidate||Recommended practice|
|Insurance policies||Whilst valid||Audit|
|Cert of Employers Liability||40 years||Audit/legal|
|Cert of public liability||40 years||Audit/legal|
|Insurance claim records||7 years after all obligations are concluded||Management|
|Risk Assessments||12 years||Statute of Limitations|
|Inspection records -weekly, monthly, annual etc||12 years||Statute of Limitations|
|Accident Books/reports||3 years or if a child/young adult, until that person reaches 21||RIDDOR
|Declarations of Acceptance||Term of office +1 year||Management|
|Member’s register of interests’ book||Term of office + 1 year||Management|
|Formal Complaints||1 year||Management|
|Freedom of Information requests||7 years||Management|
|Adopted Council Policy Documents||Indefinite (archive after superceded)||Management|
|General information||3 months||Management|
|Routine correspondence & emails||6 months||Management|
|Allotments: Register, plans & agreements||Indefinite||Audit/management|
|Local/historical information – including records of local interest gifted to the Council||Indefinite||Archive|
All planning applications and relevant decision notices are available at Allerdale Borough Council or Cumbria County Council. There is no requirement to retain duplicates locally. All Town Council recommendations in connection with these applications are recorded in the Council minutes and are retained indefinitely. Correspondence received in connection with applications will be retained as stated in the above schedule.