A COUNCIL has defended the robustness of its accounting procedures after being accused of having the mathematical skills of a failed GCSE student.

Hambleton District Council's chief financial officer Dr Justin Ives said although the Statement of Accounts for 2013/14 it had published on its website for several weeks had contained errors, the mistakes had been corrected before it was handed to auditors.

Dr Ives said: "The accounts were in a very good state when they [auditors] were given them.

"There was an incorrect version in the public domain."

He added a number of the issues raised by Bedale accountant Stewart Nuttall were due to his lack of understanding about the council's accounts.

He said criticism over the reporting of senior officer pay was undue as the authority was not required to provide the table he claimed was necessary.

A spokesman for the authority said the auditor, Deloitte, had approved the accounts and its annual value for money assessment.

The council's chief executive, Phil Morton, said: “Once again these accounts demonstrate that the council has excellent financial stewardship and continues to be in an extremely robust financial position despite the difficult fiscal environment in which the council operates."