MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 10 October 2019 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.
Committee Members Present
|Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Allan Brown Stephen Hand Seth Jee
|Duncan Ranger Julia Shorrocks Rodney Jackson Claire Majsai
Also Present: Paul Mayne – Assistant Clerk and 5 members of the Public
F19/043 Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr John Lowman and Cllr Seth Jee declared an interest in the agenda item concerning Reeds Lane Play Area as a member of the Sayers Common Village Society.
F19/044 Minutes of the meeting of Finance & General Purposes Committee of 12 September 2019: The minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman.
F19/045 Adjournment for questions from the public: The Committee AGREED to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Clause 19d of Standing Orders, in order to receive questions from the members of the public.
RESOLVED: The meeting adjourned to receive questions from the public.
Some members of the public spoke in reference to F19/049.7.(1) Hosepipe Bans , giving details of the petition sent previously to the Parish Office in particularly for the hosepipe ban to be lifted and for additional standpipes to be installed in the future as these have not increased in relation to the number of plots that are now on the allotment. A discussion took place and the committee
RESOLVED: That the hosepipe ban is to be rescinded, non return valves be put on all standpipes and that the utilisation of standpipes looked into and to prioritise any additional ones needed into the 20120/21 budget. The Allotment agreements when re-written, would include a clause about how hosepipes maybe used.
The meeting then resumed
F19/046 FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F19/046.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to RESOLVE to approve:
- (1) Revised payments of £41,652.71 for month 6 (September 2019) (Ref: Schedule September 2019)
- (2) Payments of £28,475.37 for month 7 (October 2019) (Ref: Schedule October 2019)
- (3) to NOTE total receipts of £112,813.66 for month 6 (September 2019) (Ref: Schedule September 2019) RESOLVED: The Committee approves
- (1) Revised payments of £41,652.71 for month 6 (September 2019)
- (2) Payments of £28,475.37 for month 7 (October 2019)
F19/046.2 Financial monitoring: The committee noted the accounts records for Month 6 (September 2019), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the council, as follows:
- (1) Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance
- (2) Income and Expenditure (Qtr 2 Month 6) (Inc/Exp Qtr 2 month 6 ATTACHED)
It was agreed that in future all Hurst Meadows Income and Expenditure would be broken out for reporting purposes from the Parish Council Budget and that a separate Cost Centre Report supporting Ledger Reports would be produced for review. This was to ensure that both set up costs and running costs were clearly attributed to the s106 monies received for Hurst Meadows and that there was no cross subsidy at this stage from the Council Precept.
There were concerns regarding the number and purpose of some cost centre codes and that they should be reviewed and rationalised for the next Financial Year 2020/21 budget, so that each committee could review their spend against budget more easily and be held accountable for it.
It was noted that several cost centres may exceed their budget for the year end, but this would be reviewed and rebalanced if necessary at Qtr 3 Financial Monitoring.
F19/046.3 Deposits and investment: The committee noted that the council was holding the following funds on the dates shown:
|Cambridge + Counties
|Cambridge + Counties
F19/047 CONTRACTS: The committee noted the following contracts with a cost over £500 + VAT:
F19/047.1Annual Return 2019: The Committee is asked to note that the External Audit is complete and the Annual Return for the year to 31 March 2019 has been signed off without qualification. The Return has been posted on the website and noticeboards and the Notice of Conclusion has been published. (REF: Moore ltr 27 September 2019; Annual Governance and Accountability Return 31 March 2019.) They have noted that following the year end there has been appointed an interim clerk who is associated with the Internal Auditor. This brings into question the independence of the Internal Auditor in future years,
The committee noted the External Auditor’s comment regarding the question of independence of the Internal Auditor and the Interim Clerk; who are associated. Confirmation would be sought from the Internal Auditor that there would not be a conflict of interest if the situation arose at the time of the internal audit next year.
F19/048.1 Bus shelter, Sayers Common: : Thecommittee noted that the order for the Newstead bus shelter with 15mm toughened glass is with Littlethorpe of Leicester Ltd at a cost of £6,975.00 (Ex VAT) with approximately 8 -10 weeks for delivery. The installation quote for the bus shelter comes to £2,980.00 which means that no funds are left from the S106 funds for the litter bin. Funds for this which could be up to £500.00 to include installation would need to be found from within this financial year’s outstanding budget. We are also waiting to hear from UKPN regarding a site visit for an overhead line assessment.
RESOLVE: That the committee decided that the cost of the litter bin be included in the invoices sent to MSDC for S106 funding to support the provision of both the Bus Shelter and supporting litter bin. The litter bin to be provided would be the Super Trimline 50 HSL Litter Bin at £216.22 (excl VAT).
F19/048.2 Reeds Lane Play Area: The Committee noted that Sovereign have quoted for supplying and installing majority of the other items suggested by Sayers Common Village Society along with the original play area for younger children at a total cost of £19,857.37 (Ex VAT). The funds in the budget are only £5,000 but it is hoped that the
remaining £15,000 can be provided from S106 monies from MSDC. (Ref: quotation from Sovereign)
RESOLVED: The committee approved the Sovereign contract subject to
A Site visit by Sovereign to confirm exact positioning of additional equipment, especially noting ROSPA’s comments B The proposal is approved by SCVS
C Being able to obtain the extra £15,000 of S106 monies from MSDC
F19/048.3 Operation Watershed: The Committee is asked to approve a submission of an application to WSCC, to request Operation Watershed funding to address drainage and surfacing issues on St Georges (Latchetts) Lane. It was initially proposed that the Parish Council should only request funds to address the specific drainage issues, however new advice from the WSCC PROW Access Ranger says that we should include the resurfacing works within the application, as the surface erosion is a direct consequence of the failed drainage system. This advice has been tested with the District Councillor for this area, who supports the inclusion of surfacing works. (Ref: Operation Watershed Application)
RESOLVED: The Committee approved the submission of a grant application to WSCC, requesting Operation Watershed Funds to address drainage and surfacing issues in St Georges lane (Latchetts Lane).
F19/048.4 Business Rates: The Court Bushes Hub Committee 1st October 2019, the Committee discussed that Parish
Council have now received the rates bill for Court Bushes Community Hub, backdated to when the lease was signed in May 2019. Although the Rateable Value has been Checked and Challenged, it is likely that the best-case scenario would be a rates payable of c.£4,300. The Parish Council are entitled to apply for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) on Court Bushes Community Hub, in lieu of the relief currently received at South Avenue Cemetery. This process would achieve
100% relief for Court Bushes Community Hub, however the Parish Council would then incur an annual charge of up to
£1650 for the Cemetery. The Committee are asked to approve the application for SBRR on Court Bushes Community Hub and to re-allocate up to £1,650 from the Court Bushes Community Hub budget to cover the rates liability now incurred for South Avenue Cemetery.
“RESOLVED: A recommendation is made to the Finance and Governance Committee to apply for Small Business
Rates Relief at Court Bushes Community Hub and re-allocate up to £1,650 from the revenue budget at Court
Bushes Community Hub to pay for the rates bill now incurred at South Avenue Cemetery.”
RESOLVED: The Committee approved the application for Small Business Rates Relief in respect to Court Bushes Community Hub and re-allocates up to £1,650 from the Court Bushes Budget towards South Avenue Cemetery.
F19/048.5 Christmas Tree: The committee noted that furthertominute C19/051 the Parish Office had made enquires about alternatives and the contractor had suggested putting lights around the flag pole on the Village Garden in a shape of a Christmas tree which is to be priced .If it came in around last year’s cost of the Christmas tree of £2,100, then this would be put on the Village Garden.
F19/048.6 New Parish Council Website for 2020 onwards: The committee noted that the new website is planned for July 2020 and work is being undertaken to start the tendering process and the Website Advisory Working Group are to confident that this will initially be within the £3,000 budget for current financial year, but request that a further £1,000 be put in the 2020/21 budget for this. (Ref:Website Specification briefing note – to be sent later).
RESOLVED: The committee agreed to the requirement of additional funds be put into the 2020-21 budget, but the amount to be confirmed after testing the market and coming back with what is required to complete this project.to the Parish’s specifications.
F19/048.7 Engagement of a Planning Consultant: The committee noted the following from minutes of Council meeting 26 September 2019:
C19/045.4 Planning Committee (22 August and 19 September 2019)
Cllr Machan requested thanks be noted to Cllr Lank for chairing the July and August committee meetings during his absence. He provided further information on the polo pitch planning application (DM/18/1860) discussed during the public session, which the Parish Council has consistently recommended for refusal.
RESOLVED: Council agreed to engage in urgent discussions with MSDC to outline the concerns regarding the application and consider the engagement of a Planning Consultant to support this process
RESOLVED: The committee agreed that the amount should be capped at £2,000 and is to come from code 1122 (Election Expenses) in 2019/20 budget.
F19/049 Operations:The committee was asked to note (exception reports only):
F19/049 1 Street lighting: (No report)
F19/049.2 Toilets: (No report)
F19/049.3 Trees: (No report)
F19/049.4 Cemetery: (No report) F19/049.4(1) Cemetery Wall.
Cemetery Wall. The contractor has come back to say that the original quotation of 3 October 2019 still stands at £16,250.00(Ex VAT). The committee needs to identify the funds from within available budget funds for the contract to be awarded.
RESOLVED: Given the need for this work to proceed as soon as possible, the committee identified that £8,000 will come from Capex code 6048 (Parish Office Feasibility) and that the remaining funds should be taken from General Reserves in 2019/20 budget; with the intent to rebalance if possible after the review at Qtr 3.
F19/049.4(2) Garden of Rest and Cemetery in South Avenue: The Parish Office have received some adverse comments particularly regarding the state of the garden of rest and subsequently an estimate has been received from Greenscene Landscapes to tidy up the Garden of Rest and Cemetery in South Avenue to include planting of a tree and ornamental grasses at a cost of £1,729 (Ex VAT). (Ref: Greenscene Landscape letter 1 Oct 2019).
RESOLVED: The committee reviewed this and decided to award the contract to Greenscene Landscapes and funds would come from code 2902 (Service Trees) in 2019/20 budget .
F19/049.5 Waste bins: (No report) F19/049.6 Buildings: (No report) F19/049.7 Allotments:
(1) Hosepipes ban The committee is asked to note that a petition has been received by the Parish Office from some tenants of the allotment plots regarding the hosepipe ban in existence and the Allotment Association have been investigating the cost of putting in 5 extra taps and water tanks on the Albourne Road allotment site. The 3 quotes received by the Allotment Association were for £5,850.00, £4,100.00 and £2,385 (all Ex VAT). The committee needs to decide if the supplying of 5 new taps and tanks is to go ahead on the allotments and if so, which contract to go for requesting to have it addressed to the Parish Council and the price has not altered.(Ref: 3 quotations from contractors) RESOLVED: See under F19/045 Adjournment for questions from the public F19/049.8 Village Garden: (No report).
F19/049.9 Highways: (No report)
F19/049.10 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.
F19/050: Land and property:
F19/050.1 Chantry Stables lease extension: The lease extension had just been received from solicitors which required signing off by 2 councillors.
RESOLVED: The Chairman and Vice Chairman should sign the lease extension on behalf of the Council.
F19/050.2 Defibrillators: The committee noted that further investigations had not identified any suitable funding and therefore the matter will be reviewed in January 2020 to see if funds are available within the Council 2019/20 budget, if not then to place in the 2020/21 budget. It was also noted that in the future the Council will need to take responsibility for any defibrillators on its land.
F19/050.3 South Avenue Recreation Ground: The Committee noted that the organization who were using the South Avenue Recreation Ground during Saturday mornings, in the form of young children’s football training sessions has stopped doing this as they now have a venue. The organization are aware that if they were to use it again, then a license from the Parish Office would need to be completed.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.43 p.m.