FINANCE AND POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING

Lytchett Matravers Parish Council

MINUTES of the Meeting held on 8th February 2016 in the Methodist Church, Wareham Rd, Lytchett Matravers at 7:00 p.m.

PRESENT: Cllrs C Wood (acting committee chairman), P Webb, J Taylor and the Parish Clerk (Mr T Watton).

In the absence of the Committee Chair and Vice Chair the members present agreed that Cllr Wood would act as Chairman for this meeting.

1. APOLOGIES. Cllrs K Norris, A Bush and M Colvey.

2. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There was none.

3. Declarations of Pecuniary Interest; and consideration of requests for Special Dispensations under Section 33 of the Localism Act 2011.

There was none.

4. MINUTES OF THE MEETING on 7th December 2015 were ACCEPTED as a true record.

5. MATTERS ARISING

Minute 12, 6th June 2011. Security of council papers & records. It was noted that one Council minute book is still with Cllr Bush, who is currently making an electronic copy. Carried forward.

Minute 10, 8th June 2015 – The Parish Clerk reported that the new noticeboard is now with the Village Handyman for installation. The old one has already been removed. DISCHARGE.

6. Receipt of 2015/16 bank reconciliation and accounts to date.

The Parish Clerk referred to the bank reconciliation and accounts update which had been circulated to all members prior to this meeting. A copy is attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes. It was noted that the 23p discrepancy is related to variations in tax payable and the standing order for the Clerk’s salary – which will be eliminated at year end. It was clarified that for reconciliation purposes the value of the Prudential investment continues to be shown at the originally invested value despite updates from Prudential. This is because none of the increase in value has been drawn down from it. It was resolved to RECOMMEND acceptance of the Bank Reconciliation and Accounts update as attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes.

7. Consideration of format and content of Annual Parish Meeting 2016.

The Parish Clerk reminded those present that the purpose of mandatory Annual Parish Meetings is to provide an opportunity for members of the community to come together to publicly raise any issue or concern they wish to discuss. After a brief discussion it was agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that the event continues again this year in the “Connections” format – but includes a “Village Forum” slot at 11am to provide a suitable platform for anyone who wishes to raise a point or promote a discussion on any topic of village / community interest or concern which they wish to. Key local topics which members of the Council wish to include can be allocated a “Connections” table in order to share and discuss with those present or gain input from them – e.g. The Neighbourhood Plan, the Partial Review, etc.

8. Annual Review of Risk Register for recommendation to Full Council. The Parish Clerk introduced this item by explaining that he had reviewed the register overall to ensure there were no new risks to add, and to transfer any previous actions which have now been introduced into “existing controls”. He pointed out that items now left in the “further action” column are annual reviews of insurance cover, budget provision, and H&S risk assessments of physical assets. It was agreed to RECOMMEND that Full Council accepts this update of the Risk Register as attached at Appendix 2 to these minutes.

9. Annual review of schedule of Governance / Internal Controls responsibilities. The latest update to the schedule of Governance / Internal Controls and their responsibilities was reviewed. It was agreed to RECOMMEND that Full Council accepts and revised schedule of Governance / Internal Controls as attached at Appendix 3 to these minutes and the actions indicated within it.

With regard to the Council’s banking arrangements, it was noted that the HSBC accounts are working very well. The reduced government protection for holdings to £75,000 was recognised by the Finance & Policy Committee, but members considered that the risk to the Council is minimal. They also noted that the council’s holdings are currently temporarily increased by £25,000 due to the unspent grant money for a refurbishment project for the village hall. In the light of this it is RECOMMENDED that the Council’s banking arrangement remain unchanged at this time.

Action: Council members to note that the schedule includes a number of items for active review as follows:

  • Internal audit plan, Internal Auditor appointment and role, Production of Annual Financial Statements – Cllrs Bush, Norris and the Parish Clerk.
  • Review of Asset register for 2015/16 – Cllrs Bush, Norris and the Parish Clerk.
  • Risk assessments of individual physical assets – all members (roles to be allocated).
  • Review of Financial Regulations and Standing Orders – Cllr Norris and the Parish Clerk.
  • Review of Burial Ground records – Cllr Wilson and the Parish Clerk.
  • Review of Burial Ground regulations – Cllr Taylor and the parish Clerk.
  • Review of Clerk’s terms and conditions (primarily completion of the pension arrangements) – Cllr Norris and the Parish Clerk.

10. Annual review of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations – nomination of reviewers. It was RESOLVED that Cllr Norris and the Parish Clerk would undertake a review of these two documents and make recommendations for any changes to Full Council.

11. Annual Review of burial records – nomination of reviewers.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Wilson and the Parish Clerk would undertake a review of these records against the actual burials and report back to Full Council.

12. Consideration of proposed review of burial charges for 2016/17.

Members considered the comparison and proposal paper prepared and circulated by the Parish Clerk before the meeting. After a brief discussion it was agreed to RECOMMEND the acceptance of the proposal as attached at Appendix 4 to these minutes.

13. Consideration of review of burial ground regulations – nomination of reviewers.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Taylor and the Parish Clerk would undertake a review of these burial regulations and report back to Full Council.

14. FINANCE AND POLICY RELATED CORRESPONDENCE

It was noted that a further communication had been received from Mr Pincott or Prudential regarding the increase in value of the Council’s investment – with the bond value now standing at £183217.13

15. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION RELATED TO FINANCE AND POLICY

Cllr Taylor commented that he felt it would be appropriate for the Council to progress the idea of establishing additional car parking on the land in front of the Lytchett Astro and next to the Village School. He pointed out that this would be of considerable benefit to many residents as it would ease the parking / congestion problems around the school. Cllr Wood observed that the Council had intended forming a small group to pursue issues raised with County Cllr Finney. This has yet to get going.

Cllr Webb remarked that when PDC finalises its review of the Local Plan there should be infrastructure payments linked to any additional development schemes.

The Parish Clerk reported that he had held the first of the Lytchett Astro Quarterly Liaison meetings with Mr France at the Primary school during January. Three more meetings have been arranged for the remainder of 2016. Mr France had asked if the Council would agree to the school improving the connecting path between the Lytchett Astro and the School. The members present felt this would be an advantage and agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that this permission is given.

There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 19:47

Annotated by/on …………………………. Approved by/on ………………………