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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Finance & General Purposes Committee

December 7, 2017

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 7 December 2017 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.  

Committee Members Present 

Rodney Jackson  (Chairman for the meeting)  Martin Machan 

              Amanda Geel Julia Shorrocks 

Also Present:   

Stephen Hoyles  CLERK TO THE COUNCIL 

Charlotte Kempson  ASSISTANT CLERK 

F17/053. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest:  The following apologies for absence were received prior to the meeting and accepted:  Stephen Hand,  Malcolm Llewellyn,  John Lowman.  There were no declarations of interest.   

F17/054.  Minutes of the meeting of Finance + General Purposes Committee of 9 November 2017:  The Minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman. 

F17/055.  Matters arising from Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 9 November 

2017:   There were no matters not otherwise on the agenda.   

F17/056.  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.   

F17/057.  FINANCIAL MATTERS:  

F17/057.1  Payments and receipts:  The Committee was asked to RESOLVE to approve payment of accounts totalling £22,297.56  for month 9  (December 2017) and the total receipts of £13,486.41 for Month 8 (November 2017) (Ref: Schedule 1 and 2) 

RESOLVED:  The Committee RESOLVES to approve the schedule of payments of   £22,297.56  for December 2017.   

F17/057.2  Financial monitoring:  The Committee was asked to note the Accounts Records  for Month 8 (November 

2017), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows:  

(1)  Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance (Month 8 – November 2017) 

F17/057.3.  Deposits and Investment:  The Committee noted that the Council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:   

Ref Statement Date Amount 
Bank Ref Comment 
   
   
30/11/2017 
289,806.42   Unity Bank  ‘20365408 Current 
31/10/2017 
10,373.64   CCLA ‘0663140001PC Deposit 
18/08/2017   
52,772.33 Nationwide ‘90001826 Deposit 
   TOTAL 
  £352,952.39    

F17/057.4  Budget 2018/19:  The Committee reviewed the draft Budget and noted that the Tax Base figure had been released, showing an increase of 2.53%.  All spending committees had considered their bids, which were now incorporated.  The Committee noted the adjustments resulting from the Tax Base figure which, if combined with a 2.0% increase in the Band D Council Tax, would produce a precept of £202,602 and a revenue surplus of £2,562.  The final proposals would be set at the Committee meeting 11 January 2018, for approval by Council 18 January 2018.  (REF:  Budget 2018/19 V3  5 December 2017;  MSDC Email Tax Base 2018/19  4 December 2017) 

F17/057.5  Internal Audit Report:  The Committee considered the Internal Audit Plan and letter following the 

Auditor’s visit of 9 November 2017, and agreed to recommend to Council  that it is received and adopted.   Reference was made to Appendix 1 of the letter and the Action Plan,  and the Clerk’s response as follows.  It was agreed that for item 2 (below) the Internal Auditor would be asked why the current system was not acceptable.   

The committee was advised that the External Auditor from  1 April 2018 would be Moore Stephens.  (Ref:  Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments  email 22 November 2017)   

Summary of  Matters arising Summary of  Recommendations Council response 
1.  Formal adoption of internal and external audits To  be received and adopted by full Council, and not only  Finance + General purposes  Committee Completed 23 November 2017 
2.  BACS payments BACS payment should be undertaken by Councillor and not Clerk.  (This is a change from previous advice) The current process:  a) Finance + General Purposes Committee approves schedule of payments  b) two signatory councillors sign each invoice and the schedule   c) schedule is entered onto online Bank system by assistant clerk using unique code (which does not permit release of payment)  d) Clerk  checks approved schedule against online entries and releases payments using unique code.    e) Signed and dated copy of BACS payments list is appended to approved schedule and filed.    We believe that this is consistent with the Financial regulations which state:   6.2  Following authorisation under Financial Regulation 5 above, the council, a duly delegated committee or, if so delegated, the Clerk or RFO shall give instruction that a payment shall be made.    
3.  Insurance cover for cash held is insufficient at  £250,000 Insurance cover is increased. Increased to £500,000  16 November 2017 
4.  Computer files back-up A cloud system is recommended The current arrangement is for a weekly ‘black box’ back up.  The cloud based system is being investigated.     
5.  Some over- and under-spends on budget.  Expenditure in excess of budget is not permitted except by Council approval.   A review of accounts codings should be made to  ensure that budget and expenditure is properly matched.  Otherwise a virement of expenditure should be approved by Council   There are some instances of mis-coding, which are corrected when noted.  Virement rules are noted.   
6.  CCLA deposits Keep a watch on maturity dates to ensure correct accounting treatment Noted.   

(REF:  Internal Audit letter year ending 31 March 2017,  11 November 2017  ATTACHED;  Internal Audit Plan 31 March 2017,  11 November 2017) 

RECOMMENDATION to Council:   

  1. (1) The Internal Audit Report (11 November 2017) is received and adopted.   
  2. (2) The Council responses are approved.   
  3. (3) The Audit Plan 31 March 2018 is approved. 

F17/057.6  Deposit accounts:  The Committee considered the placing of Council funds into two additional deposit accounts.  These recommendations followed the previous considerations by the Committee at  the meetings  of 12 October 2017 (Minute F17/041.1) and 9 November 2017 (Minute F17/047).  It was suggested that the Councillor signatories are as for the current account and other deposit accounts, being any tow  from Cllrs  Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Rodney Jackson,  Tony Lank, Bob Sampson.  (Ref:  BRIEFING NOTE  Additional Deposits and Investments – 30 November 2017) 

RECOMMENDATION to Council:  Additional deposit accounts are established as follows, with the signatories being any two of:  Stephen Hand, Allan Brown, Rodney Jackson,  Tony Lank, Bob Sampson: 

  1. (1) Cambridge and Counties Bank 1 Year Fixed Rate Business Bond:  £50,000 
  2. (2) Hodge Bank 1 Year Fixed Rate Business Bond : –  £50,000 

F17/058.  CONTRACTS:  The Committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT: 

F17/058.1  Street lighting Replacement Scheme:  The contract with SSE was continuing.  Work was expected to recommence on site on 6 December 2017 with the following outstanding matters now in hand:  Albourne Road:  2 columns;  Oakhurst 4 columns, Brighton Road:  9 bracket lights;   Pitt Lane:  I column; Highfield Drive:  columns to paint. 

F17/058.2  Hurst Meadows  (Contract 1):  The on-site work  was complete except for the installation of one kissinggate.  It was expected that work will commence on Contract 2 (Little Park) in December, pending the completion of the land transfer.   

F17/058.3  Streetscene Improvements Scheme:  Following approval by Council for the Scheme  (meeting 23 

November 2017) , it was expected that tenders will be invited, with a return date end January 2018.  Application was being made to WSCC for licences for those works in the public footways and neighbouring shops and dwellings were being advised.    

F17/058.4   Cyclical tree survey:  It is the Council’s practice to arrange a comprehensive condition survey of all its large trees every three years, with the next survey due early 2019.  However, with the acquisition of the Hurst Meadows parkland a further survey will be required in early 2018.  In order to manage the process more efficiently it was intended to arrange for a single survey in early 2018, covering both parkland and all other trees owned by the Council.  The estimated cost was £2500 plus £1000 for the parkland plus VAT.   

F17/059.  PROJECTS:  

F17/059.1  Action List 2017/18:  The Committee noted the Action List for the Council Year 2017/18.  (Ref:  ACTION LIST 2017/18 rev25  30 November 2017) 

F17/059.2  New cemetery:  The Committee noted that further to the item regarding the Cemetery at the Strategic Policy Working Group (meeting 5 December 2017)  a report was being prepared for consideration.  (REF:   PARISH 

ACTION PLAN  2016-21 – Item 28) 

F17/060.  OPERATIONS:  (exception reports only) F17/060.1  Street lighting:   Nothing to report. 

F17/060.2  Toilets:  Nothing to report. 

F17/060.3  Trees:  Nothing to report. 

F17/060.4  Cemetery:   Nothing to report. F17/060.5  Recreation Grounds:  

(1) South Avenue Recreation Ground:  Building work was continuing on the Bowling Club pavilion extension, under the authority of the Club.     

F17/060.6  Waste bins.  Nothing to report. F17/060.7  Buildings:  

(1)  Chantry Stables:  The temporary Co-op shop vacated 28 November 2017 and returned to their High Street premises.  The Hurst Community Charity have advised that they expect to re-open 18 January 2018.   

F17/060.8  Allotments:   Nothing to report.   

F17/060.9  Village Centre bookings:  Nothing to report.   

F17/060.10  Village Garden:  A project meeting has been arranged with the maintenance contractor to review the current excessive growth.  A suggestion was made that the Garden would benefit from a refurbishment and this was noted.  

F17/060.12  Highways:  Nothing to report. 

F17/060.11  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   9.03  pm    Chairman  

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