MINUTES of the Meeting of the FINANCE & GOVERNANCE COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Thursday 9 December 2021 in the Village Centre Conference Room.
|Malcolm Llewellyn (Chair) Duncan Ranger (Vice-Chair) Allan Brown Rodney Jackson
|Seth Jee John Lowman Claire Majsai
Also present: Sarah Groom, Clerk to the Council and Responsible Finance Officer.
F21/22.063 Apologies for absence: There were no apologiesfor absence.
F21/22.064 Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.
F21/22.065 Minutes of the meeting of Finance & Governance Committee of 18 November 2021: The minutes were received and accepted and signed by the Chair, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the minutes of the meeting of 18 November 2021.
F21/22.066 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.
F21/22.067 Payments and receipts for Month 8 (November 2021): The Committee agreed the following:
- Payments of £57,903.29 (excl. VAT). The Chair requested that the costs for the Van Lease be re-coded from 5710-212 to 5480-212. The Committee will consider whether to use the van earmarked reserve to fund the lease costs at the next meeting.
- Receipts of £10,622.30 (VAT Not Applicable), and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the Payments of £57,903.29 (excl. VAT) and Receipts of £10,622.30 (no VAT) for Month 8 (November 2021).
F21/22.068 Financial monitoring for Month 8 (November 2021): The Committee considered the account records in accordance with the Financial Regulations of the Council, as follows:
- Members noted the Bank Reconciliations. These were signed by the Vice-Chair.
- Members noted the Balance Sheet.
- Members noted the Detailed Income and Expenditure by Budget Heading and specifically whether bank interest (3400-101) will be re-coded to the ear marked reserves. The room hire may be under budgeted (5330-101). The Public Toilets Caretaking (5310-206) is at 83.8% spend and will be investigated. The Court Bushes decking is complete and the claim for S106 funds has been made. This will leave some funds for re-surfacing the access road as planned. The Remembrance Sunday signage will be re-coded from 5710-213 to 5610-301, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the following for Month 8 (November 2021):
- Bank Reconciliations
- Balance Sheet
- Detailed Income and Expenditure by Budget Heading.
F21/22.069 Deposits and investments:
F21/22.069.1 The Committee noted the current funds held by the Council at Month 8 (November 2021)as follows:
|Cambridge & Counties BS
|3 Year Fixed Term Bond
|95 Day Savings Account
|95 days’ notice
|Cambridge & Counties BS
|1 Year Fixed Term Bond
|United Trust Bank
|1 Year Fixed Term
|1 Year Fixed Term
F21/22.069.2 The Committee noted the funds held in CCLA shares on 30 November 2021 of £46,398.72.
F21/22.069.3 The Committee noted the Cambridge & Counties 3 Year Fixed Term Bond holding £36,559.10 + £804.30 interest (total £37,363.40), matured on 14 November 2021 and that the decision made at the last Committee, to reinvest the balance and increase it to £50,000 in a one year fixed bond, was actioned.
F21/22.069.4 The Committee considered the United Trust Bank one year fixed term bond which matures on 17 December 2021 and which of the Parish Council’s options to take, as set out in the letter dated 1 December 2021. Following a debate it was agreed to reinvest the £85,000 for the one year fixed term and to increase the balance to £100,000, and it was:
RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED to reinvest the £85,000 with the United Trust Bank for the one year fixed term and to increase the balance to £100,000.
F21/22.069.5 The Committee considered the Hodge Bank one year fixed term bond which matures on 13 January 2022 and to agree which of the Parish Council’s options to take, as set out in the letter dated 30 November 2021. Following a debate it was agreed to reinvest the £85,000 for the one year fixed term and to increase the balance to £100,000, and it was:
RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED to reinvest the £85,000 with the Hodge Bank for the one year fixed term and to increase the balance to £100,000.
F21/22.069.6 The Committee noted the difficulties opening the Nat West Liquidity Manager account and agreed to keep this matter on hold until a decision is known on whether the street lighting loan repayment is made in full, and it was:
RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED the opening of another investment account with Nat West would be put on hold.
F21/22.070 Internal Audit Letter: The Committee considered the contents of the internal audit letter dated 23 November 2021 from Mulberry & Co. There was one recommendation arising from it, to complete a separate financial risk assessment each year, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to undertake a separate financial risk assessment each year.
F21/22.071: Wasabi Agreement: The Committee considered and agreed the 2021/22 agreement (in retrospect) and the 2022/23 agreement with Wasabi, for the provision of our website and support, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED the 2021/22 agreement (in retrospect) and the 2022/23 agreement with Wasabi, for the provision of our website and support at a cost of £125 per month.
F21/22.072 Insurance: The Committee noted the new asset values for the Chantry Stables, cemetery chapel, public toilets, brick built bus shelters and Court Bushes Community Hub and that these had been advised to BHIB Insurance. BHIB had updated their schedules and a fee of £160 has been incurred, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee NOTED the new asset values for the Chantry Stables, Chapel, public toilets, brick built bus shelters and Court Bushes Community Hub.
F21/22.073 Street Lighting Loan: The Committee considered the costs of repaying the street lighting public works loans board loan in full (principle loan figure of £130,140), at a potential penalty of £16,272, subject to the actual figures on the day. It was noted that this penalty would still be less than the interest payments required over the full term. A vote was taken on whether to recommend to Council the repayment in full, and six Members were in favour and one was against. It was therefore agreed to recommend its full repayment to Council, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend to Council that the Parish Council repays the street lighting public works loans board loan in full at a cost to be provided on the day of the Council meeting.
F21/22.074 Draft Budget 2022/23: The Committee considered the Parish Council budget requirements for 2022/23 including staffing costs. The principles and assumptions agreed at the last meeting had been included and the requests from each Committee had been addressed. The result was an indicative budget reflecting a 12.21% precept increase on last year. This was felt to be too high and proposals were considered for reducing the costs, or increasing the income, to achieve a reduction in the increase, as follows:
- It was agreed to increase the budget for Staff Salaries, National Insurance and Pension contributions by 4% or £3,907, as this was the area that was felt to include the greatest risk of under-budgeting, partly because the 2021/22 pay award had not yet been settled.
- Room hire (5330-101) would be increased by £100 to £1,000.
- If the decision is made to repay the street lighting loan, the £10,204 loan re-payment figure under code (5280-101) could be removed from next year’s budget.
- The Cemetery project line (5720-201) of £10,000 could be reduced to £5,000 and re-allocated to the Property Maintenance code (5400-201).
- The £10,000 project line for the new hedge in Reeds Lane Recreation Ground could be reduced to £5,000 and Section 106 funds could also be sought.
- The Parish Office share of operating costs have been increased by 4% in line with the budgeting principles agreed (5300-205).
- The Court Bushes Community Hub budget would be the first year without the MSDC revenue support grant of £6,200 plus a rental payment to MSDC of £5,000. There was still an aspiration to include a £7,000 transfer to the ear marked reserve and the Projects code figure (5720-211) will be adjusted to achieve the 3.95% precept increase target.
- Planning & Environment Committee requested £5,000 for professional support and it was agreed by the Committee to recommend that the £5,000 would be provided from the General Admin Professional Support code (5180-101) if required.
- It was agreed not to include any specific youth club funding at this time as the youth facilities earmarked reserve held £5,000.
- It was agreed to recommend to Council that the residual South Avenue Easement receipt (approx. £34,000) be earmarked for South Avenue.
It was agreed to recommend the budget to Council for adoption, subject to the above amendments, and it was:
RESOLVED: That the Committee AGREED to recommend the budget to Council for adoption, subject to the amendments agreed.
F21/22.075 Parish Action Plan: The Committee reviewed the Parish Action Plan Version 19 and noted that the format will be amended going forward, and it was:
RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED to recommend to Council the Parish Action Plan (Version 19), with the review of the format to be completed by March 2022.
F21/22.076 Asset Register: The Committee reviewed the revised draft version of the Asset Register and agreed it required more work before being recommended to Council, and it was:
RESOLVED: The Committee AGREED the draft Asset Register required more work before it was recommended to Council.
There being no other business, the Chair closed the meeting at 9.33pm.