FINANCIAL controls at Gloucester City Council have been labelled "hopeless" after it emerged the authority is one of only a tiny minority nationwide not have its annual accounts signed off.
The Audit Commission set councils a June 30 deadline to present their financial details for scrutiny but, almost six months later, staff at Herbert Warehouse have not handed them over.
Just two per cent of all the country's local authorities missed the deadline, including Gloucester.
Auditors should have been able to "express an opinion" on the accounts by September 30.
Reasons identified by the Audit Commission for the delay included a lack of support staff and errors found in the accounts.
The delays have led to fears that planning for next year's budget will be affected as any miscalculations should have been identified by now.
Jeremy Hilton, leader of the city's Liberal Democrats, said: "Financial control under the Tory administration is hopeless," he said.
Councillor Debbie Llewellyn (C, Quedgeley Fieldcourt), cabinet member for performance and resources, said: "There have been some difficulties with this year's audit which are being resolved. A team has been put in place and is working through the issues with the council's auditors. The audit will be completed and signed off very shortly."