MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance + General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 7 June
2018 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
|Rodney Jackson (Chairman) Stephen Hand||Tony Lank Malcolm Llewellyn Julia Shorrocks|
Allan Brown (VC of Council)
Stephen Hoyles CLERK TO THE COUNCIL
F18/004. Apologies for Absence and Declarations of Interest: The following apologies were received prior to the meeting and accepted: John Lowman, Martin Machan, Amanda Geel. The following personal interest was declared: Stephen Hand, Tony Lank: Item F18/011.7 Buildings: (1) Bowls Club. There were no other declarations.
F18/005. Minutes of the meetings of Finance + General Purposes Committee of 10 May and 17 May
2018: The Minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman.
F18/006. Matters arising from Minutes of the Finance + General Purposes Committee of 10 May and 17 May 2018: There are no matters not otherwise covered on this agenda.
F18/007. 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 1(d) of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions.
F18/008. FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F18/008.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to approve payment of accounts totalling £16,682.81 for month 3 (June 2018) and to note the total receipts of £2,671.72 for Month 2 (May 2018) (Ref: Schedule 1 and 2 )
RESOLVED: The Committee approves the schedule of payments of £16,682.81 for June 2018.
F18/008.2 Financial monitoring: The Committee noted that the Accounts Records for Month 1 (May 2018), had not yet been prepared and would be presented at the next meeting of the Committee.
F18/008.3. Deposits and Investment: The Committee noted that the Council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:
|10||10/05/2018||50,000.00||Cambridge + Counties||15011214||Deposit|
F18/008.4 Internal Audit: The Committee was asked to receive and approve the Internal Audit Report for the Year to 31 March 2018. The Committee noted the Action Plan (page 9) the respective response as follows:
|Point Forward / Action needed||Auditor notes||Council response|
|At the time of my audit, £39K was held in earmarked reserves, with £200K in the general reserve||I recommend that section 106 monies are transferred to a section 106 earmarked reserve. I understand that some of the section 106 monies have been spent in the course of 2017-18, and the earmarked balance is around £160K at 31.3.18.||Transfer to earmarked reserves approved by Council Minute C18/100 (Meeting 17 May 2018)|
|I note that the bank statements for the 2 Nationwide accounts were not those for 31 March.||I recommend that these are obtained and checked for entries up to 31 March prior to submission of the accounts to the external auditors||Bank statements have been requested.|
A question was raised about the Parish Office digital back-up procedures and it was confirmed that a weekly ‘black-box’ back-up was made and then held off-site. It was noted that the Office were investigating additional steps for increased back-up. (Ref: Internal Audit Report Year ended 31 March 2018,, 23 April 2018 )
RECOMMENDATION to Council: The Internal Audit Report for the year ending 31 March 2018 is approved.
F18/008.5 Budget 2018/19 – Capital expenditure: – Reeds Lane Play Area: The Committee considered the BRIEFING NOTE and to approve the application for s106 funds and the allocation of CAPEX/one-off budget. It was agreed that investigations are made into increased s106 funding, if necessary by vireing from a Hurstpierpoint development, to take the total project cost to around £30,000. Meanwhile, consultations would proceed on the basis of adding 3 or 4 pieces of equipment. (REF: BRIEFING NOTE 2018/19 Budget – Capital and revenue review 29 May 2018)
- (1) The following budget allocations are made to fund the Reeds Lane Play Area project:
Vire from Cuckfield Road feasibility £4,000
Vire from Cycle Route feasibility £1,000
- (2) Application is made for £5,361 s106 funds
F18/008.6 Budget 2018/19 – Revenue budget – maintenance works: Since the budget was cast in late 2017 a number of new matters had arisen for which appropriate maintenance or repairs should be planned as detailed in the BRIEFING NOTE. It was agreed that a cyclical maintenance plan for all the Council-owned buildings and structures should be prepared. (REF: BRIEFING NOTE 2018/19 Budget – Capital and revenue review 29 May 2018 ) RESOLVED: The Committee approves the reallocation of budget for 2018/19, and notes the shortfall and to plan for the allocation in the 2019/20 maintenance budget.
F18/008.7 MSDC Facility Maintenance Grant – Methodist Church: The Committee noted that the Church had
applied for £5,000 of s106 funds for remodelling the interior of the community facilities at the building. In consultation with members of the Strategic Policy WG (Committee chairmen) the Parish Council had advised that it would prefer the funds ot be directed to the Court Bushes Community Hub project. MSDC had then advised that it had decided to use the Community and Economic Development funds and therefore did not impact on the future availability of s106. (REF: MSDC emails 16 May 2018 and 29 May 2018)
F18/009. CONTRACTS: The Committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT:
F18/009.1 Street lighting Replacement Scheme: The contract with SSE was substantially complete with all lights now installed. The outstanding matters included the repainting of 5 older columns and the placing of ‘labels’ on all columns. The contract was originally let on 25 August 2016 for a 15-week installation period, due to finish mid-December 2016, and there have been no significant changes to the works. The Parish Office had calculated that additional costs had been incurred due to the delay in delivery of the project, comprising office staff time and additional energy costs before the switch to the new LED lights. The contractor had been advised of the matter and a letter sent setting out the basis of the claim. (REF: HP&SCPC ltr 7 June 2018 – SSE Streetlighting)
F18/009.2 Hurst Meadows (Contract 2 – Little Park): The fencing and gates had been installed. There remained
the placing of ‘MoT’ on some paths and the installing of temporary signs (as for Highfield Drive Meadows). The Committee noted that there also remained some old barbed wire in the Millennium Garden which needed removal.
F18/009.3 Electricity supply – toilets and Chapel: The current contract with EON for supply expired 30 June
2018. Comparative prices had been obtained and supplier TGP provided the most competitive for a 3-year fixed price at
£0.23/day/building plus £0.1384/KWH, giving an estimated cost of £831 pa. (REF: Utilitywise supply report 31 May 2018) RESOLVED: That TGP is awarded a 3-year fixed price contract for electricity supply.
F18/010.1 Action List 2017/18: The Committee noted the Action List for the Council Year 2018/19. (Ref: ACTION LIST 2018/19 rev27 19 April 2018 )
F18/010.2 Village Gateways: The Committee noted that surveys had been undertaken for the five sites in
Hurstpierpoint and three in Sayers Common, to locate the preferred sites. Discussions were taking place with WSCC highways to confirm compliance and it was then intended that detailed proposals would be offered to Hurstpierpoint Society and the Sayers Common group of residents for their comments. The Parish Council would be invited to approve the final proposals before the installation contract is let.
F18/010.3 Court Bushes Community Hub: A meeting took place with officers of Mid Sussex District Council on 1 June 2018. The internal layout and the principle of a reasonable curtilage of outside space had been agreed. The outstanding issues remain agreement the commitment of the key user groups, and the terms of the long lease with landowner MSDC. There was concern about the actual intentions of MSDC regarding the ongoing operation of the Community Hub and it was agreed that the Parish Council would write to MSDC to seek clarification.
F18/010.4 Reeds Lane play area: Reference was made to item F18/008.5 above. The Committee noted that desk studies had been undertaken to assess the extent of facilities that could be provided. Experience in providing the South Avenue Recreation Ground play area had shown that the best outcome was when contractors are invited to bid against a known budget and a broad specification. The experience also demonstrated that a form of public consultation is valuable. It was understood that there has been some form of consultation by a local resident but, notwithstanding requests, the Council had not received details of the questions. It was therefore proposed that a local consultation takes place, seeking the views of residents about the types of play equipment to be provided. (REF: Draft Reeds Lane consultation leaflet June 2018 )
F18/011. OPERATIONS: (exception reports only) F18/011.1 Street lighting:
(1) Cemetery boundary wall: The Committee noted the architect’s report on the collapsed wall. The structure was significant and the cost of replacement on a like-for-like basis is estimated in the range £40,000 to £70,000. It was agreed that such a cost did not represent fair value for spending public funds and alternative options for reinstating a secure boundary would be explored. A further report would be brought to the Committee in due course. (REF: Report on east boundary brick wall, South Ave Cemetery – May 2018 ) F18/011.5 Recreation Grounds:
(1) Reeds Lane (north) Recreation Ground: The Committee was advised that the Parish Office had on 6 June 2018 received a request for immediate access to the land and cross with a tracked digger into the field to the north. The applicant had said that a right of way existed. Due to concerns about the actual right of way and potential safety issues, access was not agreed, pending further investigations. (REF: HP&SCPC email 6 June 2018) F18/011.6 Waste bins F18/011.7 Buildings:
- (1) Bowls Club lease: The Committee was advised that the lease was due for a rent review and that the Club had set out their position. A report and recommendation would be brought to the next meeting of the Committee. (REF: Bowls
Club letter 6 May 2018)
- (2) Bowls Club boundary fence: Further to minute C17/126.2 (Council meeting 19 April 2018) the Vice-chairman of Council and the Clerk had met representatives of the Bowls Club and the concerned resident on 6 June 2018 to seek a resolution. It was noted that the fence was not an unreasonable structure, that the Bowls club were entitled to provide some security, and that the Planning Authority had raised no objection. It was therefore decided that the fence should remain, but should be stained a darker colour in order to soften its appearance. F18/011.8 Allotments:
(1) Use of hosepipes: The Hurstpierpoint Allotments Association had advised the Council that there exists national regulation (Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations Act 1999) which prohibits the use of hosepipes in community allotments. It was understood that the reason is to safeguard against backflow of potentially contaminated water into the mains at times of low mains pressure. Non-compliance can lead to fines of up to £1000 for both user and landlord (the Parish Council). Some Councils had applied the rule and banned the use of hosepipes, but others had not and it appears that there is some confusion as to the application of the regulations. The Parish Office had contacted South East Water who have said that they did not impose the ban, and they had been asked to confirm this matter in writing. It was understood that Thames Water (outside the Parish area) had advised councils that they will apply the Regulations. The HAA had posted a sign at the allotments for their members, and the Parish Office is awaiting further advice from South East Water to clarify the issue.
F18/011.9 Village Centre:
F18/011.10 Village Garden: F18/011.11 Highways:
F18/011.12 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 9.38 pm