MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Tuesday 6 June
2017 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
Stephen Hand (Chairman) Martin Machan
Rodney Jackson Judith Marsh
Malcolm Llewellyn Julia Shorrocks
Stephen Hoyles – CLERK to the COUNCIL
F17/004. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: The following apologies for absence were received prior to the meeting and accepted: Amanda Geel. John Lowman declared a personal interest in item F17/011.9 Village Centre. There were no other declarations of interest.
F17/005. Minutes of the meetings of Finance + General Purposes Committee of 11 May and 18 May
2017: The Minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman.
F17/006. Matters arising from Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 11 May and 18 May 2017: There were no matters not otherwise covered on this agenda.
F17/007. 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.
F17/008. FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F17/008.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to:
- (1) approve revised total payments of £10,294.79 and note revised receipts of £5,299.73 for March 2017 (Month 12 2016/17). These revisions result from the reconciliation at year-end. (Ref: March 2017 payments and receipts schedules)
- (2) approve revised total payments for April 2017 (Month 1 2017/18) of £49,381.34. This revision results from the addition of a direct debit (£40.00 Sussex Rural Community ) and cheque payment (£250.00 NALC) (Ref: April 2017 payments schedule)
- (3) approve payment of accounts totalling £130,781.60 for month 3 (June 2017) and note the total receipts of £5,863.69 for Month 2 (May 2017). (Ref: Schedule 1 and 2)
RESOLVED: The Committee approves:
- (1) revised total payments of £10,294.79 for March 2017 (Month 12 2016/17).
- (2) revised total payments for April 2017 (Month 1 2017/18) of £49,381.34
- (3) payment of accounts totalling £130,781.60 for June 2017 (Month 3 2017/18)
F17/008.2 Financial monitoring: The Committee noted the Accounts Records for Month 2 (May 2017), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows: (1) Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance (PRESENTED at the MEETING)
F17/008.3. Deposits and Investment: The Committee noted that the Council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:
F17/008.4 Internal Audit May 2017: The Committee was asked to receive and approve the Internal Audit Report for the Year to 31 March 2017. The Committee was asked to note the Action Plan (page 9) the respective response as follows:
|Point Forward / Action needed||Auditor notes||Council response|
|The bank reconciliation is reviewed by the Chairman of the Council. Financial regulations require that this review should in fact be carried out by someone other than the chairman of the Council, ideally by a councillor who is not a bank signatory.||Noted at Finance + General Purposes Committee 11 May 2017.|
|We recommend that full details of the transactions relating to the street lighting project are sent to the external auditors to ensure the correct accounting treatment is applied.||Email sent to External Auditors 9 May 2017.|
|The new play area was posted to the general ledger as a single line entry. We recommend that is recorded as a list of individual assets so the register can be maintained going forward. This has already been actioned.||Assets Register updated 9 May 2017.|
The Committee commended the Parish Office team for the positive internal audit report. (Ref: Internal Audit Report Year ended 31 March 2017)
RESOLVED: The Internal Audit Report for the year ending 31 March 2017 is approved.
F17/008.5 Hurstpierpoint Cricket Club – grant application: The Committee noted that the Cricket Club had lodged an application to Mid Sussex District Council for a grant of up to £35,254 to purchase grounds maintenance equipment and make improvements to the clubhouse. MSDC advised that they currently have ringfenced about £33,000 of s106 funds specifically for Fairfield Recreation Ground. The Committee expressed the view that any development of the pavilion should cater for wider community uses, in addition to that offered by the Cricket Club. The Club had contacted the Parish Office and requested a meeting, which was planned for 7 June 2017, to explore future developments at Fairfield Recreation Ground. (Ref: MSDC email 10 May 2017)
F17/008.5: INRG Solar Ltd – Community Grant: The Committee was advised that the company had offered to make available the grant of £20,000 as previously advised (Committee Minute 15/061.8 11 February 2016) following the completion of the solar farm at Goddards Green. It was noted that this was grant had not yet been allocated to a project, but that the Parish Action Plan and Infrastructure Plan would be examined for a suitable use. (HP&SCPC ltr 6 June 2017)
F17/009. CONTRACTS: The Committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT:
F17/009.1 Streetlighting Replacement Scheme: The contract with SSE was continuing. The contractor had advised that the agreement with UKPN for the cable connections to the bracket-mounted lights, was now in place and that work resumed on site on 8 May 2017. Residents in Manor Gardens (1) and South Avenue (3) had lodged complaints about the brightness of lights into their homes. Investigations will take place into the possible addition of shields to alleviate the matter, but it was agreed that it would be appropriate to allow residents to adjust to the new arrangements for a few months before committing to any changes. It was reported that the new column in the Manor Gardens twitten ws sited in the middle of the space, was potentially in an inconvenient place, and consideration should be given to moving it to one side. (Ref: SSE email streetlighting 2 May 2017)
F17/009.2 High Street Improvements: The final rectification works are awaited before the s278 Agreement can be completed.
F17/010.1 Action List 2016/17: The Committee noted the Action List for the Council Year 2016/17. (Ref: ACTION LIST 2016/17 rev22 3 May 2017 )
F17/010.2 Court Bushes centre, Hurstpierpoint: The Committee was advised that a meeting had recently taken place between landlords MSDC, representatives of The Point Church and leaseholders the Ex-servicemans Club regarding the future of the Centre. It was noted that the Parish Council had no direct interest in the facilities, but would be willing to consider possible future involvement if this provided wider community services. (MSDC email Court Bushes 2 June 2017)
F17/011. OPERATIONS: (exception reports only) F17/011.1 Street lighting: Nothing to report.
F17/011.2 Toilets: Pitt Lane toilet: A further quotation had been received for the underpinning works and the repair of the damaged post for £6,800 +VAT, which was considerably lower than previously received quotes. (Ref: Barcombe landscapes ltr 1 June 2017; BRIEFING NOTE: Quotes for underpinning and repairs to Ladies Toilet, Pitt Lane – 11 May
RESOLVED: The repairs to Pitt Lane toilets is awarded to Barcombe Landscapes for a price of £6,800 +VAT.
F17/011.3 Trees: The five Ash trees in the land behind the old telephone exchange were trimmed in the week 15 May
2017. Unfortunately, the work was substantially completed when it was learned that trees had TPOs. The confusion had arisen over the location of the old and new telephone exchanges, which are nearby, and the adjacent trees. The Parish Office had informed the MSDC Tree Officer of the error and it was agreed that no further action was required. The trimming was a result of requests from nearby householders, and no public complaint had been received. (Ref:
HP&SCPC email 18 May 2017; MSDC email 24 May 2017)
F17/011.4 Cemetery: Nothing to report.
F17/011.5 Recreation Grounds:
(1) Reeds Lane, traveller occupation: On Sunday 21 May 2017 at about 8.00pm travellers apparently broke in and occupied the Reeds Lane (North) Recreation Ground, Sayer Common. Four caravans and a number of associated vehicles had taken occupation without authority. The Parish Office informed the Police and took legal advice from the Council’s solicitors. As a result the Accredited Bailiffs HCE were appointed to issue and serve a Common Law Eviction Notice on the occupants, giving 24 hours to leave. The Notice was delivered at 10.30am Tuesday 23 May 2017 and the travellers vacated at about 2.00pm on that day. Contingency arrangements were in place for forced eviction on 24 May 2017, but this was not required. A temporary concrete barrier was placed at 3.00pm. There was some residual waste, and significant wheel grooves in the grass had been left. The waste was removed by our Maintenance Officer at 8.00am on Wednesday. Temporary concrete barriers have now been placed at the Reeds Lane (South) and South Avenue Recreation Grounds. The Parish Office is investigating the installation of permanent steel barriers (in place of the wooden gates) at these locations. The Committee agreed that this process had been appropriate and would be used in similar circumstances in the future, should the need arise. (Ref: HP&SCPC email 22 May 2017; HCE letter 22 May 2017; Eviction notice 23 May 2017.)
F17/011.6 Waste bins. The waste collection contractor started collections at South Avenue Recreation Ground in the week from 15 May 2017.
F17/011.7 Buildings: Nothing to report.
F17/011.8 Allotments: Nothing to report.
F17/011.9 Village Centre: As approved by the Committee (Minute F16/055.2 meeting 8 December 2016) the Parish Office had been operating the Village Centre booking system, on behalf of the HVCA Trustees, since 1 February 2017. A progress meeting was held with the Trustees on 30 May 2017 and the matter is reported in the BRIEFING NOTE. (REF: BRIEFING NOTE Village Centre Booking System – 30 May 2017; VCA Booking System – Service Level Agreement 30 Nov 2016)
RESOLVED: The Committee notes the Village Centre Bookings progress review and requests the Governance + Staff Panel to address the matter of staff overtime and excess hours.
F17/011.10 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.
F17/011.11 Community Payback Scheme: The Committee noted the existence of this scheme run by the Kent,
Surrey and Sussex Rehabilitation Company for community service work. Bolney PC currently adopt the scheme and pay a charge in return for projects such as litter-picking, hedge-cutting etc. It was noted that this Council currently has arrangements with Burgess Hill TC, its own volunteer groups, and its own maintenance officer, and managing an additional stream of work could not be readily accommodated within current resources, and no further action would be taken at this stage. (Ref: Bolney PC email 30 May 2017)
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.25 pm Chairman