AUDITORS are cutting the number of checks they do at City of York Council in order to save money, it has been revealed.

The authority’s internal auditors – from company Veritau, which is shared with North Yorkshire councils – is cutting the number of days is spends auditing the council from 1,270 last year to 1,210 in the coming year.

On Wednesday night Veritau head Max Thomas told councillors on York’s audit committee that his department had to save £30,000 this year – prompting the cut.

He said a number of areas – including health and safety, a joint NHS and council health fund and allowances paid to councillors – had not “made the cut” and wouldn’t be audited.

A written report prepared for the meeting said a total of 11 possible audits would not be carried out in 2018/19 “in order to balance planned work and available resources”.

At the same meeting, councillors asked why Veritau was planning to spend 20 days auditing their scrutiny committees when local elections next May could bring changes anyway – and when they already know scrutiny doesn’t work well.

Cllr Lars Kramm said: “We are already aware that certain elements of scrutiny are not working as well as they should.”

He suggested the time could be better used looking at how often the council pays for external legal advice and whether it is good value for money.

Cllr Chris Steward said he would propose cutting the time spent auditing scrutiny entirely, and added: “Scrutiny does not work as well as it should.

“I would question what pearl of wisdom the great experts at Veritau could come up with. I would suggest they could spend their time better elsewhere.”

He also suggested they could spend the time looking more closely at how much the council spends on insurance, how it handles claims, and whether it should “self-insure” instead.