THE mystery of Warrington Borough Council’s missing financial accounts continues.

Councils like Warrington are required by law to publish their audited accounts for the preceding financial year by September 30.

The last accounts Warrington published were for the 2017/18 year.

Accounts for the following four financial years are long overdue, and that number becomes five at the end of next month, with the deadline for the 2022/23 accounts.

We know that the accounts for each of these years have been prepared. They are on the council’s website marked as ‘draft’ accounts.

We know they have been audited by Grant Thornton, due to legal notices issued each year.

So why have the accounts not been published? Press statements suggest they still await signing-off by the auditors, who have urged the council to listen to their opinion.

An earlier report revealed that Grant Thornton required the valuation of the council’s investment in Redwood Bank to be written down in the accounts from £32million to £16 million.

The council has provided no explanation of the delay, so we can only guess.

Is it possible that they are refusing to comply with that write-down request? And Grant Thornton won’t sign-off the accounts until they do?

If so, it would seem we have an apparent impasse, which may have existed since 2018. How much longer must this go on?

Five years without any published accounts? What a debacle for a town the size of Warrington.