MINUTES of the Meeting of THE FINANCE & GOVERNANCE Committee held at 8.00pm on Thursday 12 March 2020 in the Village Centre, Trinity Road, Hurstpierpoint
Committee Members present:
Malcolm Llewellyn (Chairman) Stephen Hand Rodney Jackson Duncan Ranger Allan Brown Claire Majsai
Also present: Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council & Andy Beams, Locum Finance Officer
F19/091 Apologies for absence and declarations of interest: Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Julia Shorrocks, Cllr Seth Jee and Cllr John Lowman. Cllr Hand declared a personal interest in item 7.3 Defibrillators as Treasurer of Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club.
F19/092 Minutes of the meeting of Finance & General Purposes Committee of 13 February 2020: The minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chairman.
F19/093 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.
F19/094 Parish Action Plan: The committee reviewed action no. 26 (Staff Handbook) and agreed this has been completed by the Staff Panel and was due to be adopted at the 26 March 2020 Council meeting.
F19/095 FINANCIAL MATTERS:
F19/095.1 Payments and receipts: The committee was asked to:
(1) NOTE payments of £51,548.78 for month 11 (February 2020) (Ref: Payments month 11, attached)
(2) NOTE receipts of £3,293.28 for month 11 (February 2020) (Ref: Receipts month 11, attached)
(3) APPROVE payments of £1,155.00 (Ref: Burgess Hill Town Council invoice no. 7006962, attached)
RESOLVED: The committee noted payments of £51,548.78 and receipts of £3,293.28 for month 11 and authorised the payment of £1,155.00 for month 12.
F19/095.2 Financial monitoring: The committee noted the accounts record for Month 11 (February 2020), in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the council. The committee also noted that on 3 March 2020 a transfer of £20,000 was made between the CCLA and Unity Trust accounts to ensure the February salaries invoice could be honoured. Hand sanitisers and refill were purchased and have been installed at Court Bushes (£37.70 + VAT) and the Village Centre (£57.40 + VAT). These actions were taken by the Interim Clerk and RFO in consultation with the Committee Chairman and was in accordance with Financial Regulation 5.5c.
RESOLVED: The committee noted the accounts for Month 11 and the bank reconciliations would be signed by Cllr Shorrocks at the next available opportunity.
F19/095.3 Deposits and investment: The committee noted that the council was holding the following funds on the dates shown. It was noted that the Unity Trust Statement is now much improved following the transfer of £20,000 from the CCLA.
Statement Date Amount £ Bank Account Type Maturity Date
29/02/2020 7,889.92 Unity Bank Current n/a
66,179.19 CCLA (Public Sector Deposit Fund) Shares (FSCS n/a) n/a
53,517.14 Nationwide 95 Day Savings Account 95 days’ notice
33,249.04 Nationwide 2 Year Fixed Term Bond 11 Feb 2021
14/05/2019 50,850.00 Cambridge & Counties 3 Year Fixed Term Bond 10 May 2021
19/11/2019 35,770.00 Cambridge & Counties 3 Year Fixed Term Bond 14 Nov 2021
F19/096 Contracts and leases:
South Avenue Access: The committee noted that the Deed of Easement has now been signed and the initial fee due on execution of the agreement was received by the Parish Council on 2 March 2020. At the Council meeting of 23 January 2020 (Ref: Minute C19/089) it was agreed that this money will be used to improve the general reserve
RESOLVED: The committee noted that the Deed of Easement has now been signed and the initial fee due on execution of the agreement was received by the Parish Council on 2 March 2020 and that at the Council meeting of 23 January 2020 (Ref: Minute C19/089) it was agreed that this money will be used to improve the general reserve.
The committee noted that work was underway to review current procurement practices and the issuing of works orders to ensure the most cost-effective procedures can be used in future, such as the use of approved contractors. A procurement policy will be presented to a future meeting for consideration.
F19/097 Financial risk and insurance:
The committee discussed concerns about COVID-19 and mitigating the risks. The Locum Finance Officer agreed to investigate and produce an information item for Council covering the risks to income and expenditure, ringfencing the ear marked reserves.
F19/097.1 Receipt of S106 Monies: On 3 March 2020, £248,974.91 was received for the Little Park Development for managing Hurst Meadows in perpetuity. At the 13 February 2020 Finance and Governance Committee meeting (Minute Ref: F19/087.2) it was agreed that three new accounts are to be opened to safeguard the monies under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (Guaranteed up to £85,000). The Interim Clerk highlighted the recent Bank of England cut in the base rate which may reduce the original interest rates available.
RESOLVED: The committee noted that on 3 March 2020, £248,974.91 was received for the Little Park Development for managing Hurst Meadows in perpetuity and that the interest rates for the new bank accounts may be lower than expected.
F19/097.2 Year End Processes: The Committee is asked to note the processes involved in the annual governance and accountability requirements for smaller authorities. (Ref: Year End Processes 12 March 2020 attached)
RESOLVED: The committee noted the processes involved in the annual governance and accountability requirements for smaller authorities.
F19/097.3 Defibrillators: At the Council meeting of the 27 February 2020 (Minute Ref: C19/99.3), it was agreed that the issue of adopting the defibrillators at Morley’s Bistro and South Avenue Recreation Ground be considered by the Finance and Governance Committee. (Ref: Defibrillators 12 March 2020 attached). Members considered the matter and
RESOLVED: The committee AGREED that
i) The Clerk writes to the Hurstpierpoint Bowling Club to formally offer to adopt the defibrillator at South Avenue Recreation Ground from 1 April 2020;
ii) maintenance and upkeep of the unit is funded from the South Avenue Recreation Ground equipment maintenance budget; and
iii) The Clerk investigates further any ownership and where responsibilities lie for the defibrillator situated outside the Morley’s Bistro and report back to the next meeting of the Committee.
F19/098 Staff matters:
F19/098.1 Staff Panel: The committee noted the minutes of the Staff Panel on 3 March 2020, and considered the proposed terms of reference for the Staff Panel and the corresponding amendment required for the Finance and Governance Committees version and
RECOMMENDATION TO COUNCIL: The committee noted the minutes of the Staff Panel of 3 March 2020 and
i. AGREED to recommend the Staff Panel terms of reference to Council as amended; and
ii. AGREED to recommend the revised Finance and Governance Committee terms of reference to Council; and
iii. AGREED to recommend the Staff Handbook and Policies to Council.
F19/098.2 National salary award update: The National Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) is still yet to agree the new pay scales for 2020-2021, to be implemented from 1 April 2020. If agreement is reached after 1 April 2020, any increase is likely to be backdated. An estimate of a 2.5% increase was used to support the budget setting process for 2020/21.
RESOLVED: The committee noted the lack of update on the national salary award new pay scales for 2020/21.
There being no other business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00pm. Chairman.