MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 12
January 2017 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
Stephen Hand (Chairman) Martin Machan
John Lowman Judith Marsh
Amanda Geel Julia Shorrocks
Also Present: Bob Sampson
Stephen Hoyles – CLERK to the COUNCIL
F16/057. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: The following apologies for absence were received prior to the meeting and accepted: Allan Brown. The following declarations of interest were recorded: John Lowman personal interest in item F16/061.9 Tennis Club Pavilion.
F16/058. Minutes of the meetings of Finance + General Purposes Committee of 8 December 2016: The Minutes were received and adopted and signed by the Chairman.
F16/059. Matters arising from Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 8 December
2016: There were no matters not otherwise covered on this agenda.
F16/060. Adjournment for questions from the public: There being no members of the public present the Committee was not required to consider whether to adjourn the Meeting in accordance with clause 3(e) of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions.
F16/061. FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F16/061.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to RESOLVE to approve payment of accounts totalling £14,887.36 for month 10 (January 2017) and to note the total receipts of £ 1.974.00 for Month 9 (December 2016), and to approve the revised schedule of payments for December 2016 (month 9) of £20,939.79 due to the addition of a direct debit sum of £36.15 (bank charges) and £425.00 (cheque to Hurst Allotment Association). (Ref: Schedule 1 and 2 )
RESOLVED: The Committee RESOLVES to approve
- (1) the revised schedule of payments of £20,930.79 for December 2016 .
- (2) the schedule of payments of £14,887.36 for January 2017 .
F16/061.2 Financial monitoring: The Committee was asked to note the Accounts Records for Month 9 (December
2016), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows:
- (1) Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance (December 2016)
- (2) Income + Expenditure – qtr 3 (December 2016)
F16/061.3. Deposits and Investment: The Committee noted that the Council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:
F16/061.5 Council Tax Referendum Principles consultation: The Committee noted that following recent Government consultation on the matter, it has been announced that the referendum principles will not be applied for financial year 2017/18. The proposal was to require larger councils (precepts over £500,000) to carry out a referendum if they required an increase in precept above 2%. However, there is concern that the matter will return in the future, and might also apply to smaller councils such as ours. The Parish Office had sought clarification from NALC (through the Council’s representative Rodney Jackson) on the role of increasing Tax Base and its effect on precept, and it was confirmed that the restriction would apply to the precept. It was noted that this arrangement would penalise those parishes which attracted new development, raising the Tax Base and thereby raising the precept. . (Ref: SALC email 16 December 2016 Referendum Principles; HP&SCPC email Rodney Jackson 20 December 2016)
F16/061.6 Budget 2017/18: The Committee was asked to consider the Budget and Precept for 2017/18 and make a RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL at its meeting 19 January 2017 to approve the Budget and set the Precept. After discussion it was agreed to add the following CAPEX/one-off items:
- 1) 2 x new noticeboards, to be installed in the new developments (£3,000)
- 2) preparatory works for new play equipment at Reeds Lane Recreation Ground (£2,000)
With these amendments to the Budget it was noted that the Revenue Budget indicates a deficit of £2,673 on expenditure of £235,484. The CAPEX Budget shows a surplus of £171,000 on expenditure of £91,400. It is predicted that the total funds will increase from £238,046 to £394,973 at 31 March 2018.
It is proposed that there is a 2% increase in Band D Council Tax (to £66.98) which, with a 3.1% increase in the Tax
Base, provides for a 5.1% increase in Precept to £193,736. (Ref: DRAFT Budget 2017/18 V4 13 December 2016;
BRIEFING NOTE 2017/18 Budget and Precept 22 December 2016 )
RECOMMENDATION to COUNCIL:
- (1) Budget 2017/18 (V4) is approved.
- (2) The Precept 2017/18 is set at £193,736 equating to an increase on the Band D Council Tax of 2%.
F16/061.7 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)– 2016 Valuation results: The Council’s staff are members of the WSCC LGPS and is classified as a ‘small scheduled body’ for the purposes of pooling its pension contribution into the scheme. The Council has been asked to sign the Pooling Agreement, along with all other Parish Councils in the pool. (Ref: WSCC email 9 December 2016 – Small Scheduled Bodies Pool; Pooling Agreement DRAFT WSCC Nov 2016 )
RECOMMENDATION to Council : That the Chairman and one other Member is authorised to sign the West Sussex County Council Pooling Agreement 2016, on behalf of the Council in accordance with Standing Orders Clause 22.
F16/061.8 Insurance issues: The Committee was asked to note the update on insurance issues as detailed in the Briefing Note. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE Insurance Matters 16 December 2016 )
F16/061.9 Tennis Club Pavilion (South Avenue Recreation Ground) : As reported to the Committee at its meeting 8 December 2016, the pavilion has experienced some storm damage. The repairs are being undertaken by the Tennis Club but, at a meeting between the Club Chairman and the Clerk on 15 December 2016, the question of the longer-term future of the pavilion was raised. The current building is a light timber construction, and the possibility of a replacement with a more substantial structure was discussed. Funding could potentially be met by a combination of s106 grant and the Club’s own resources. The land and building are owned by the Council and leased to the Club, with the current lease expiring in 2019. If the Club were to invest in a new building then it would reasonably expect some extended security of tenure and a new lease would be granted by Council. The matter will be formally considered by the Club in early 2017 but, meanwhile it is suggested that the Council could give its support in principle to the construction of a new pavilion, to be funded as described.
RECOMMENDATION to Council: That the Council supports in principle the construction of a
replacement pavilion at the Tennis Club, South Avenue Recreation Ground, subject to planning permission and appropriate funding being secured.
F16/062. CONTRACTS: The Committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT :
F16/062.1 Streetlighting Replacement Scheme: The contract with SSE is continuing, although there were some delays before Christmas regarding the agreement with UKPN, which have been resolved. It was noted that recent progress had been slow, but that a start had been made on Wickham Hill/Hassocks Road and SSE had confirmed that the remaining sites were in hand. The clerk would shortly be meeting the contractor to expedite progress.
F16/062.2 High Street Improvements Scheme: Responses are awaited from WSCC regarding the introduction of advisory signs. Arrangements are in hand for the repairs to the dislodged kerbs, to allow the s278 Agreement to be sealed, but our contractor (Landbuild Ltd) is awaiting designated roadspace from WSCC. The Committee agreed that a further progress meeting between WSCC, MSDC and the Council be convened.
F16/062.3 Bus Shelter – Willow Way: The Committee was asked to approve the appointment of the contractor for the supply and installation of a new shelter at a cost of £4,224 + VAT. In discussion the Committee noted that there might be an opportunity to install a new shelter in Sayers Common, on the northbound side, opposite the existing shelter, which would be investigated. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE Willow Way Bus Shelter – 24 November 2016 )
RESOLVED : That Ace Shelters Ltd are appointed for the supply and installation of a new shelter at a cost of £4,224 + VAT.
F16/062.4 Cemetery trees: Tenders had been invited for the removal of the eight Swamp Cyrpess trees in the cemetery. It is intended that the work will be undertaken in the early Spring. Agreement has been reached with the adjoining landowner, to enable access along his private road from Brighton Road, for the removal of the waste. The Committee requested that advisory signs be placed at the Cemetery, to inform the public about the upcoming works.
F16/063.1 Action List 2016/17: The Committee noted the Action List for the Council Year 2015/16. It was agreed that completed items should be listed at the end of the schedule, that the bus shelter replacements be added, and that the reference to the Reeds Lane play area be adjusted. (Ref: ACTION LIST 2016/17 rev16 31 October 2016)
F16/064. OPERATIONS: (exception reports only) F16/064.1 Street lighting: Nothing to report.
F16/064.2 Toilets: Nothing to report.
F16/064.3 Trees: Nothing to report.
F16/064.4 Cemetery: Nothing to report.
F16/064.5 Recreation Grounds:
(1) South Avenue Recreation Ground: The owners of a small parcel of land adjacent to Pitt Lane have been contacted regarding future maintenance. (Ref: HP&SCPC ltr 14 December 2016 Parcel of land at Pitt Lane)
F16/064.6 Dog waste bins. It was noted that additional bins would be needed in the new developments, but the timing would depend on the review of the MSDC collection rotas.
(1) Chantry Stables (Charity Shop): The Co-op shop occupied the building 20 December 2016, for a temporary period, expected to end in April 2017.
F16/064.8 Allotments: Nothing to report.
F16/064.9 Public enquiries: The Committee was advised that the Parish Office maintains a Customer log of all public enquiries and which is available for inspection by Members.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.17 pm Chairman