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Hurstpierpoint & Sayers Common
Parish Council

Finance & Governance Committee

December 5, 2019

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & Governance Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 5 December 2019 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint.  

Committee Members Present 

Malcolm Llewellyn  (Chairman)  Julia Shorrocks  Allan Brown   Rodney Jackson  Claire Majsai  Duncan Ranger   

Also Present:  Paul Mayne – Assistant Clerk  

  Andy Beams – Clerk to the Council 

  Nick Sinclair – Facilities Manager 

F19/061 Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Stephen Hand, John Lowman and Seth Jee.  

F19/062 Minutes of the meeting of Finance & General Purposes Committee of 7 November 2019: The minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman. 

F19/063 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 Clause 1(d) of Standing Orders.   

F19/064 FINANCIAL MATTERS:  

F19/064.1 Payments and receipts: The Committee was asked to RESOLVE to approve:  

  1. (1) Revised payments of £24,292.08 for month 8 (November 2019) (Ref: Schedule November 2019) 
  2. (2) Payments of £23,398.74 for month 9 (December 2019) (Ref: Schedule December 2019) 
  3. (3) to NOTE total receipts of £3,203.63 for month 8 (November 2019) (Ref: Schedule November 2019) 
  4. (4) Payment of £2,172.15 to British Gas for electricity at Court Bushes Community Centre for period 18 May 2019 to 31 October 2019 has been paid to save penalty fee being applied. RESOLVED: The Committee approved  
    1. (1) Revised payments of £24,292.08 for month 8 (November 2019)  
    2. (2) Payments of £23,398.74 for month 9 (December 2019) 
    3. (3) Payment of £2,172.15 to British Gas (included in Revised Payments for month 8). 

F19/064.2 Financial monitoring: The committee noted the accounts records for Month 8 (November 2019), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the council, as follows:  

(1)  Bank reconciliation and Trial Balance  

F19/064.3 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 
      
30/11/2019   104,508.62 Unity Bank  ‘20365408 Current 
31/10/2019   66,101.74 CCLA ‘0663140001PC Shares 
31/03/2019   53,517.14 Nationwide ‘90001826 Bond 
31/03/2019   33,249.04 Nationwide ‘90114712 Bond 
10 09/05/2019 50,850.00 Cambridge + Counties  15011214 Deposit   
11 19/11/2019 35,770.00 Cambridge + Counties 15012689 Deposit   
 TOTAL £343,996.54    

The Committee advised that the Clerk should investigate potential other accounts for putting the remaining additional funds of approximately £200,000 to be received from developers in respect of Hurst Meadows for the January 2020 meeting. 

F19/064.4 Payment authorisation process: The committee is asked to note that the payment authorisation process needs to alter to be compliant with statutory time frame of 30 days or less. It is proposed to change to allow payment to be made online as normal by Office Staff as and when the invoices are received if part of a contract or works or purchase order already approved, rather than waiting until after the next Finance & Governance meeting for approval. 

This is to commence from January 2020. 

RESOLVED: The committee agreed to the change taking place for making payments with immediate effect. 

F19/064.5 Approval of additional staff members for online banking and cashing arrangements: The committee is asked to note that with the change of staff, there is no one as agent to be able to obtain petty cash for the Council Office and it is proposed to have all existing staff members authorised on Unity Bank to be able to do this. 

RESOLVED: The committee agreed to the existing staff members to be authorised on Unity Bank to be able to carry out making the online payments and to cash cheques under petty cash to the existing limit of £200.00 per cheque. 

F19/065. Contracts and Leases:  

F19/065.1 Parish Council Reimbursement: The Committee noted that at Council meeting 28 November 2019 (C19/065.2) it was agreed to increase the amount charged to Hurstpierpoint Village Centre Charity to cover Parish Council Staff time to £11,897.60 per annum and to be implemented for this Financial year. 

F19/065.2 Purchase of emergency contact mobile phone: The committee is asked to note that there is a requirement to purchase an emergency contact mobile ’pay as you go’ phone to be used by office staff for receiving these type of calls outside office hours for problems relating to Council matters costing approximately £30.00. 

RESOLVED: The Committee agreed to the purchase of an emergency contact ‘pay as you go’ mobile phone costing approximately £30.00 

F19/065.3 Chantry Stables lease extension: The committee noted that the signed lease was now back completed from solicitors. 

F19/065.4 A Fixed Rate Electricity Contract with British Gas for Court Bushes Community Centre: The committee is asked to note that British Gas were the existing suppliers for electricity prior to the rebuild. At present electricity is at the standard rate of 24.19p pkWh and it is proposed to get a rate fixed for between 1 and 3 years at a lower rate. As these fixed rates are only available for 24 hours they will be bought to the meeting for approval of the fixed rate period. RESOLVED: The Committee were provided with fixed rates for 12months (14.349p per kwh  and standing charge 43.728p per day), 24 months (14.833p per kwh and standing charge 42.919p per day) and 36 months (15.14p per kwh and standing charge 43.049p per day) and approved the British Gas electricity fixed rate for 12 months for Court Bushes Community Centre. Also to see if British Gas will allow this 12 month fixed rate retrospectively? 

F19/066. Parish Action Plan: The Committee reviewed the consolidated Parish Action Plan and decided that it would be taken forward fully at the next meeting in January 2020 to allow time for all committees to review further (Ref: Parish Action Plan 2016 -21 Rev 7) 

F19/067. Financial Risk and Insurance: (No report) 

F19/068. Compliance with Financial Regulations: (No report) 

F19/069. Future Budget: The Committee reviewed: 

(1) Annual Review of Charges: The Committee decided that these would be looked at again at January 2020 meeting once further information was obtained in respect of allotment charges elsewhere in the Districts.  (Ref: Confidential Briefing note 28 November 2019) 

(2). Budget and Precept 2020/21 – Basic Charges: The Committee approved these.  (Ref: Confidential Briefing note 28 November 2019) 

(3) The Draft Budget 2020/21: The Committee reviewed V1 Draft Budget and made some initial changes to reduce Proposed Expenditure to try and keep the Precept increase to around 4%-5% for 2020/21. The reduction was £3,000 from Community Engagement, £15,663 Estates & Facilities, £6,000 Finance & Governance. A further version will be reviewed at January 2020 meeting by which time the tax base figure from MSDC will be known to be able to set the Precept increase for 2020/21 and for this to be presented at Council meeting in January 2020 for approval.  (Ref: 

Draft Budget 2020/21 V1) 

The Committee noted that a request had been received from the Nursery user at Court Bushes, that due to lower than predicted take up of places, and several other factors they are running at a bigger loss than they had projected; having already released a member of staff. They have requested a 50% reduction in their rental for the remaining months of the first year. 

RECOMMENDATION: The Committee agreed that a 50% reduction was agreeable for the remaining 7 months (January 20 – July 20), but instead of reducing the rent a Grant of 50% would be given. This is to be approved by Council at December 2019 meeting. 

F19/070. Staff Matters: (No report) 

There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.45 pm  

Chairman 

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