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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

MINUTES of the Meeting of the FINANCE & GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Thursday 12 August 2021 at Court Bushes Community Hub.

Members present:
Malcolm Llewellyn (Chair) Duncan Ranger (Vice-Chair) Allan Brown (part)Rodney Jackson Seth Jee  John Lowman Claire Majsai

Also present: Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council and Responsible Finance Officer.

F21/22.020 Apologies for absence: There were no apologiesfor absence. 

F21/22.021 Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.

F21/22.022 Minutes of the meeting of Finance & Governance Committee of 15 July 2021: The minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chair, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREES the minutes of the meeting of 15 July 2021.

F21/22.023 Adjournment for questions from the public: There being no members of the public present the Committee was not required to adjourn the meeting in accordance with Standing Orders. 

F21/22.024 Payments and receipts for month 4 (July 2021): The committee agreed the following:

  1. Payments of £18,449.55 (excl. VAT). 
  2. Receipts of £190,782.91 (no VAT).  The income from Hurst Colts and the Melting Pot café was for storage not room hire, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREED the Payments of £18,449.55 (excl. VAT) and Receipts of £190,782.91 (no VAT) for month 4 (July 2021).

F21/22.025 Financial monitoring for month 4 (July 2021): The Committee considered the account records in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows:

  1. Members noted the Bank Reconciliations.  These were signed by the Vice-Chair.
  2. Members noted the Balance Sheet. Cllr Jackson queried whether the Public Works Loans Board loan for the street lights should show under ‘Liabilities’.  The Chair confirmed that it did not as it was budgeted for each year.  Cllr Brown joined the meeting at 7.45pm.
  3. Members noted the Detailed Income and Expenditure by Budget Heading.  The General Admin Miscellaneous Income code (3500-101) includes the receipt for the Deed of Easement and the refund for the Trinity Road public toilets NNDR (backdated to 1 April 2020). Members were asked to consider how the Deed of Easement money be allocated at budget setting time.  The Chair noted some accruals from 2020/21 were still to be spent.  The Clerk confirmed the Bowling Club rent (3110-202) had been received during August.  Confirmation of whether the WSCC Family Centre will be closing is expected as the rental income (3130-205) will be at risk, and it was:

RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the following for month 4 (July 2021):

  1. Bank Reconciliations
  2. Balance Sheet
  3. Detailed Income and Expenditure by Budget Heading.

F21/22.026 Deposits and investments:  The Committee noted the current funds held by the Council at month 4 (July 2021) as follows:

Financial InstitutionAccount TypeMaturity DateAmount
Unity TrustCurrent accountn/a£371,842.54
Nationwide95 Day Savings Account95 days’ notice£84,336.72
Cambridge & Counties BS3 Year Fixed Term Bond21/06/2022£48,000.00
Cambridge & Counties BS3 Year Fixed Term Bond14/11/2021£36,559.10
United Trust Bank1 Year Fixed Term17/12/2021£85,000.00
Hodge Bank1 Year Fixed Term13/01/2022£85,000.00

It was noted that at 31 July 2021 a further £46,394.94 is held with the CCLA in shares.  The Nationwide sum had been reduced down to just below the FSCS cap of £85,000 following a £4,000 transfer into the Unity Trust account.  A new bank account is still being investigated and a target for completion of 30 September 2021 was previously agreed.  This was now more urgent and Cllr Jee was concerned about the amount in the Unity Trust account, and it was:

RESOLVED:  The Committee NOTED the current funds held by the Council at month 4 (July 2021) and the pressing need for additional bank accounts to safeguard the public money under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. 

F21/22.027 Asset RegisterThe Committee reviewed the Asset Register last adopted by Council on 27 May 2021.  Cllr Ranger explained the discussions that had been undertaken to date with the new insurance brokers BHIB regarding best practice. The format of the register will be reviewed including rationalising the headings and adding definitions to them.  Committee Members identified a number of omissions that were captured by the Clerk and Members would all assist further by feeding back any other comments to Cllr Ranger or the Clerk by 31 August 2021.  The Parish Council will also need to update the re-build estimates for the buildings using RICS Surveyors and three quotes would be obtained for consideration at the September Committee meeting, and it was:

RESOLVED:  That the Committee AGREES to seek three quotes for RICS Re-build valuations to be presented to the September 2021 Committee meeting for consideration and a revised Asset Register will be presented to the December 2021 Committee meeting.

The Committee was asked to note any information items, correspondence received or requests:

F21/28.088.1:  National Resilience Strategy: The Committee considered the request from the National Association of Local Council’s for parish councils to respond to questions regarding the Government’s call for evidence on a National Resilience Strategy.  The Committee discussed the role of Local Resilience Forums and the Parish Council’s own Emergency Plan.  Cllr Lowman felt the intent of the document was to help form a ‘Vision’ for a national strategy but there was no detail to be considered at this stage.   The Committee noted the content of the consultation and agreed it would not respond, and it was: 

RESOLVED:  That the Committee NOTED the consultation but would not respond.

F21/28.088.2:  Committee Meeting Venue: The Committee agreed to hold its next meeting on 16 September 2021, in the Village Centre Conference Room.

There being no other business, the Chair closed the meeting at 8.38pm.