MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 8
February 2018 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
|Stephen Hand (Chairman) Rodney Jackson
|Malcolm Llewellyn John Lowman Julia Shorrocks
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
Charlotte Kempson ASSISTANT CLERK
F17/069. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: The following apologies were received prior to the meeting and accepted: Martin Machan, Amanda Geel. The following personal interest was declared: Rodney Jackson (Item F17/074.2 Hurst Meadows (Contract 2)).
F17/070. Minutes of the meeting of Finance + General Purposes Committee of 11 January 2018: Item
F17/068.6: Waste Bins: it was agreed that the minute would also refer to a requirement for increased size of the bins. The Minutes were then received and accepted and signed by the Chairman.
F17/071. Matters arising from Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 11 January
2018: There were no matters not otherwise on the agenda.
F17/072. 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.
F17/073. FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F17/073.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to RESOLVE to approve payment of accounts totalling £13,871.80 for month 11 (February 2018) and to note the total receipts of £77,504.75 for Month 10 (January 2018) (Ref: Schedule 1 and 2 )
RESOLVED: The Committee approves the schedule of payments of £13,871.80 for February 2018.
F17/073.2 Financial monitoring: The Committee noted the Accounts Records for Month 10 (January 2018), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows:
(1) Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance.
F17/073.3. Deposits and Investment: The Committee noted that the Council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:
The Committee noted its concern at the large deposit at Unity Bank but also acknowledged the steps in hand to redistribute the funds, as reported in item F17/073.5 Deposit accounts.
F17/073.4 Salaries – incremental increases: The Committee was asked to approve a cost-of-living increase of 1% for all staff salary grades with effect 1 April 2018. This is in accordance with National Joint Council for Local Government (NJC/NALC) as settled in May 2016 and is part of the 2-year settlement agreed to be effective 1 April 2016. Provision was in the Council’s 2018/19 Budget. (Ref: NALC/SLCC advice sheet E02-16 May 2016).
RESOLVED: The NJC/NALC national salary cost of living award of 1% is applied to all staff salary grades with effect 1 April 2018.
F17/073.5 Deposit accounts: It was noted that further to the previous considerations by the Committee at the meeting of 7 December 2017 (Minute F17/057.6) that £55,000 was being added to the Council’s CCLA account, and that £33,000 had been deposited in the Council’s second Nationwide account. However, deposits had not been placed with either Cambridge and Counties Bank 1-Year Fixed Rate Business Bond nor Hodge Bank 1-Year Fixed Rate Business Bond. Cambridge and Counties Bank had withdrawn the 1-Year Bond. Hodge Bank had requested the personal details of all 15 Councillors, a principle that had been previously rejected. Following discussion, and further to Council decision (Minute C17/085.3 Deposit Accounts) it was agreed that the deposit account with Cambridge + Counties Bank is opened and £50,000 is placed in a 3-year bond at 1.7% interest. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE Additional Deposits and Investments – 31 January 2018 ATTACHED).
RESOLVED: A deposit account with Cambridge + Counties Bank is opened and £50,000 is placed in a 3-year bond at 1.7% interest.
F17/074. CONTRACTS: The Committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT:
F17/074.1 Street lighting Replacement Scheme: The contract with SSE was continuing. A meeting with the contractor took place 2 February 2018 at which it was agreed that the Pitt Lane column would be installed by 20 February 2018 , and that that UKPN had agreed to complete the connections of the bracket-mounted lights by the end of March 2018. The outstanding painting of some columns would also be complete by end March 2018. This would complete the outstanding works.
F17/074.2 Hurst Meadows (Contract 2): It was reported that a meeting took place with the contractor on 25
January 2018, regarding the work on Contract 2 (Little Park) following the completion of the land transfer 8 January 2018. It was agreed that works should not begin due to the wet conditions which could be harmful to the Parkland. Once the conditions have improved the works will commence.
F17/074.3. Street scene Improvements Scheme: Tenders had been issued to five contractors in December 2017, with a deadline for submission of the tenders by 11.00am on Thursday 25 January 2018. Out of the five tenders sent, the Council received only one. However, this was from an experienced contractor and the price was within the cost estimates and budget, and it was recommended that the contract be awarded to Greenscene Landscapes for the sum of £5,277.00+VAT (allocated to cost code 6045). It was reported that, following an article in the magazine Hurst Life in December 2017, the Council had received three objections from members of the public, claiming that the floral posts were unnecessary and would add hindrances to the High Street. It was therefore agreed that the project would be referred to Council at its meeting 22 February 2018 for final decision. (Ref: BRIEFING NOTE Tenders self-watering flower baskets, poles and flower beds in Hurspierpoint – 30 January 2018)
RECOMMENDATION to Council: Council is asked to review the Streetscene Improvements Scheme and, if agreed, the contract is awarded to Greenscene Landscapes at the price of £5,277.00 + VAT.
F17/074.4: Court Bushes Structural survey: Further to Council decision (Minute C17/061.2(2) – 26 October
2017) the Committee agreed to appoint chartered surveyor Clifford Dann to undertake a structural (building survey) of the existing Court Bushes building, in order to establish the current condition, at a cost of £910 + VAT (to be allocated to cost code 6042). It was agreed that the appointment would be first subject to confirmation that it was for a full (nondestructive) investigation. The Committee were also advised that invitations had been issued to four architects, with a brief to prepare sketch drawings, layouts and cost estimates for the refurbishment of the building, and that proposals for the appointment would be brought to committee in due course. (Ref: Clifford Dann email 2 February 2018)
RESOLVED: chartered surveyor Clifford Dann is appointed to undertake a structural (building survey) of the existing Court Bushes building at a cost of £910 + VAT.
F17/074.5: Burgess Hill Town Council – WSCC Highways work: The Committee was advised that the current highways reactive and minor maintenance work, currently undertaken by BHTC under the WSCC ‘cluster’ arrangement with financial contribution for the Parish Council, was expected to terminate in July 2018. WSCC had withdrawn future funding and would be reverting all highways work to their county-wide term contractor. The Committee expressed considerable concern that the level of service would diminish and WSCC would only undertake those works and repairs that were strictly required for liability and safety purposes, and that work to maintain appearance would not be prioritised. It was noted that further discussions were taking place with BHTC. (Ref: BHTC email 9 January 2018)
F17/075.1 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 ATTACHED)
F17/076. OPERATIONS: (exception reports only) F17/076.1 Street lighting: Nothing to report.
F17/076.2 Toilets: Nothing to report.
F17/076.3 Trees: Nothing to report.
(1) Cemetery Boundary Wall: The boundary wall on the East side of the cemetery had collapsed, it was believed during strong winds on 24 January 2018 into a neighbouring property. There was no collateral damage but about 25 to 20 m of wall had fallen with the remainder apparently leaning. The Council’s insurers had been advised and were due to survey the site on 12 February 2018. Meanwhile the owner of the neighbouring property had been notified and the Council’s contractor Barcombe Landscapes had erected security fencing to reduce danger to the public.
F17/076.5 Recreation Grounds: Nothing to report.
F17/076.6 Waste bins: Nothing to report.
(1) Chantry Stables: The office was made aware of a drainage issue at the front of Chantry Stables. The Council’s drainage contractor visited the site to try and unblock the drain but reported the issue was extensive and required a specialised contractor to carry out further investigations. Quotations were sought from two companies and it was agreed to appoint Blockbuster at a price of £625 + VAT from. Blockbuster attended the site, with the Maintenance Officer in attendance, who established that the soakaway has failed, and a site visit took place 2 February 2018. It was concluded that a trail excavation (up to about 1.7m) should be undertaken to establish the condition of the drain. If the drain could not be repaired, then a further exaction and replacement of the soakaway ‘crates’ would be necessary. This was likely to be an expensive operation and it was agreed that several quotations would be sought and a recommendation brought to Committee.
F17/076.8 Allotments: Nothing to report.
F17/076.9 Village Centre bookings: Nothing to report. F17/076.10 Village Garden: Nothing to report.
F17/076.12 Highways: The office had received numerous reports relating to serious potholes in Malthouse Lane and Chalkers Lane. The council has been advised that WSCC Highways are aware of the issue and have raised an order for the works to be done. Residents were to be encouraged to use the Love West Sussex App, which formally logs the issues.
F17/076.11 Public enquiries: The Committee is 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 9.05 pm Chairman