Dear Members of the Council,
Council Members are summoned to attend the MEETING of the Council to be held on Thursday 25 March 2021 at 7.30pm using Microsoft Teams.
Members of the public have a right to and are invited to attend the virtual meeting using Microsoft Teams. If you wish to attend, please email the firstname.lastname@example.org before 4pm on 25 March 2021 to be sent an electronic invitation.
Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council Friday 19 March 2021
1. Apologies for Absence: To receive and accept apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of Interest: To receive and record any declarations of interest.
3. Minutes of the Previous Meeting of the Council: To receive and adopt the minutes of the 25 February 2021 Council meeting.
4. Adjournment for Questions from the Public: To consider adjourning the meeting, to receive questions from members of the public in accordance with Standing Orders.
5. Reports from Other Authorities: To receive reports from representatives of other authorities:
5.1 West Sussex County Council
5.2 Mid Sussex District Council
5.3 West Sussex Association of Local Councils & Mid Sussex Association of Local Councils
6. Committee Minutes: To receive and where appropriate, consider the recommendations of the:
6.1 Planning & Environment Committee (4 March 2021) No recommendations for Council.
6.2 Finance & Governance Committee (18 March 2021) Recommendations for Council:
A. F20/21.118 Review of the Coronavirus Cancellation Policy: The Committee reviewed the Coronavirus Cancellation policy, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council on 25 March 2021, the extension of the Coronavirus Cancellation Policy to 30 June 2021 and that the Committee review the Policy again at its June 2021 meeting.
B. F20/21.119 Reserves Policy: The Committee considered a financial Reserves Policy, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council on 25 March 2021, the approval and adoption of the Reserves Policy and specifically that the Council:
(i) aims to maintain the general reserve at a minimum of 3 months net revenue expenditure and review this level at least annually as part of the budget setting process; and
(ii) aims to maintain a level of earmarked reserves appropriate to the level of future planned expenditure projects and review these at least annually as part of the budget setting process.
C. F20/21.120 IT Audit: The Committee considered a briefing note regarding the IT Audit completed by Joel Baker Computers for the Parish Council office in the Village Centre. The report included Wifi provision for the Village Centre and the Chair recommend increasing the number of data ports in the Conference Room from just 2 on one wall to 8 (2 on each wall) to allow flexibility for future hirers and the hybrid meeting equipment. The Committee noted the market testing of the new hardware and infrastructure to be purchased, showed the expenditure involved was at cost price. Before letting the IT Audit report work to Joel Baker Computers, the comparisons made at the 21 January 2021 Committee meeting demonstrated that he proved to be the most cost-effective provider. Furthermore, his hourly rate was established as much less than the other companies who quoted. Minute F20/21.092 (ICT Audit & Support Package) had resolved that the Committee agreed to appoint Joel Baker Computers to undertake an IT infrastructure audit at a cost of £250 + VAT and consider any recommendations required following that audit. The need to proceed diligently to complete the work due to the security and data protection risks was noted.
Following a full debate, it was agreed to recommend the suspension of Financial Regulation 11.1(h) (Contracts) to Council on 25 March 2021, to allow for the prompt completion of the improvements to the IT infrastructure. It was further agreed to create an ear marked reserve to fund the works by transferring £11,000 from the 2020/2021 year-end underspend on the General Admin (101) Cost Centre, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council on 25 March 2021:
(i) That Joel Baker Computers be appointed to deliver the solutions set out in the February 2021 IT Audit report at a cost of £8,228.76 for hardware costs and five days of his time to install and set up the new infrastructure and Office 365 (at a cost of £50 per hour) estimated at £2,250;
(ii) to suspend Financial Regulations 11.1(h) (Contracts) to allow for the prompt completion of the improvements to the IT infrastructure; and
(iii) to create an £11,000 Ear Marked Reserve from the 2020/2021 year-end underspend on the General Admin (101) Cost Centre to fund the works.
D. F20/21.122 Court Bushes Community Hub Outside Decking: The Committee considered appointing VG Builders to complete the external decking at Court Bushes Community Hub, at a revised cost of £11,358 and to note the successful bid to Mid Sussex District Council for Section 106 funding of (£10,998) towards completing the work. It was noted that a second quote had been submitted as part of the bidding process but VG Builders had completed all the building refurbishment work and the first part of the decking that is in place. This meant it was a continuation of the existing works. Due to the value of the contract being over £10,000 the Committee agreed to recommend it to Council for approval on 25 March 2021, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council on 25 March 2021, that VG Builders be appointed to complete the external decking at Court Bushes Community Hub, at a revised cost of £11,358 funded from the successful bid to Mid Sussex District Council for Section 106 funding of (£10,998) towards completing the work and £360 from the Court Bushes Project budget 211-5720.
RECOMMENDATION: That the Council RECEIVES the minutes of the following Committees and agrees the above recommendations:
i. Planning & Environment Committee (4 March 2021)
ii. Finance & Governance Committee (18 March 2021)
7. Member Co-option Policy: To consider and agree the process to be followed when co-opting a councillor and the application form to be used, as set out in the Member Co-Option Policy.
8. Commemorating Coronavirus Deaths: To consider a briefing note and proposal from Freeman Brothers Funeral Directors to instal a commemorative plaque and plant daffodils on the Village Garden to mark what will become a national annual day of remembrance on 23 March each year.
9. No Mow May, Every Flower Counts and Road Verge Project: To consider a briefing note concerning the proposal to support and participate in Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May and Every Flower Counts’ project and a road verge project with Hurst Rethink and WSCC.
10. Information Items, Correspondence Received and Requests: To note any items.