FINANCE AND POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING
Lytchett Matravers Parish Council
MINUTES of the Meeting held on 10th February 2014 in the Village School at 7:30 p.m.
PRESENT: Cllrs K Norris, A Bush, I Maitland, R Miller, J Taylor, C Wood, M Colvey, and the Parish Clerk Mr T Watton. No members of the public were present.
1. APOLOGIES. There were none.
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 were none.
4. MINUTES OF THE MEETING on 9th December 2013 were ACCEPTED as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
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.
Payments for BT services and other utility services will be set up by Direct Debit from the HSBC Current account. Action: Parish Clerk to arrange accordingly.
Minute 6, 2nd December 2014 – £25 fee for failed HSBC cheque as a result of failure of Santander failing to act on council instructions to transfer £4000 for HSBC current account. The Parish Clerk has taken up this complaint with Santander. To be pursued further in writing, in view of lack of compensation from Santander for this so far. Action: Parish Clerk to write to Santander about this to pursue the compensation claim.
Minute 7, 2nd December 2014 – year end 2012/13 Internal Accounting Statements. Cllr Bush to contact Mrs White again about what is required. CARRIED FORWARD.
Minute 9, 2nd December 2013. Removal of gas meter at Club Hall. The Parish Clerk has contacted the Lighthouse Family Church who indicated that they would arrange for this to be done.
Minute 13, 2nd December 2013. Bat Survey at Club Hall. It was noted the photos had been forwarded to the contact at Natural England, but no reply has yet been received. CARRIED FORWARD.
Minute 13, 2nd December 2013. Repair / replace broken handrail to bridge on Foxhills Open Space. It was reported that the contractor who repaired the handrail last time it was damaged is no longer available. Further contractors are being sought.
6. RECEIPT OF LATEST BANK RECONCILIATION AND ACCOUNTS FOR 2013/14 TO DATE.
Bank Reconciliation and accounts update for the year to date had been circulated in advance. A copy is attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes. The council noted that the source of a discrepancy of £106.10 had not yet been identified – due to three of the four bank statements having not been received in time to be scrutinised before the meeting. Action: Parish Clerk to confirm internet access to view the HSBC bank accounts.
7. CONSIDERATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF YEAR END 2012/13 INTERNAL ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS.
It was noted that the adjustments to the 2012/13 Annual Financial Statements had not yet been received. Cllr Bush indicated that he would review these. Action: Cllr Bush to act accordingly.
8. UPDATE ON REQUESTS FOR INVESTMENT ADVICE.
Reference was made to the information and report from a nominated IFA which had been circulated by Cllr Norris in advance of the meeting. Concern was expressed about the quality of the report and lack of tailoring it to the Council’s specific circumstances. However it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council the acceptance of the proposal from the IFA, subject to clarification of the following points which will be raised with the IFA on the Council’s behalf by Cllr Maitland:
· Income tax requirement?
· Age Allowance – who does this refer to?
· No name or signature on report.
· Report should be on headed paper.
· No indication of potential yield.
· Response to Council’s question about documentation.
· Specified needs of the council – e.g. access to online reports.
· Confirmation of risk profile.
Action: Cllr Maitland to act accordingly, and to formally report back to the Council.
Further, it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council that it accepts the principle of any two of five signatories – to match the Council’s HSBC banking arrangements.
9. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – UPDATE.
It was noted that there had been over 500 responses to the Neighbourhood Plan questionnaire by Lytchett Matravers residents. Some discussion and comparison took place about the responses to questions, and about the method to be used to capture and compare them and the underlying data in reliable and representative ways. It was resolved that the Neighbourhood Plan Working Group members would meet on Thursday 20th February 2014 at 7:30pm to discuss and agree an approach to standardisation of data capture and analysis. Action: Cllr Wood to email all group members with the meeting details and other collated information.
It was suggested that a public question and answer session on the Neighbourhood Plan should be part of the Annual Parish Meeting in April 2014. This meeting should also include some form of visual representation / display of the questionnaire results.
It was resolved that a letter about the Neighbourhood Plan, which had been drafted by Cllr Miller and team-worked with two other Council members, should be submitted for publication in the Parish Magazine.
10. ANNUAL REVIEW OF SCHEDULE OF GOVERNANCE / INTERNAL CONTROLS RESPONSIBILITIES
The Parish Clerk referred to the draft update the schedule which he had circulated in advance of the meeting. After some discussion, it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council the acceptance of the revised version as attached at Appendix 2 to these minutes.
In connection with the above it was also resolved that Cllrs Bush and Norris would review the Internal Audit Plan. Action: Parish Clerk to email a copy of the plan to Cllrs Bush and Norris.
11. ANNUAL REVIEW OF RISK REGISTER FOR RECOMMENDATION TO FULL COUNCIL
The Parish Clerk referred to the draft update the Risk Register which he had circulated in advance of the meeting. After some discussion, it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council the acceptance of the version as attached at Appendix 3 to these minutes.
It was also resolved RECOMMEND to Full Council to request the skate park suppliers to provide a quote for regular safety checks and maintenance of the skate park.
12. ANNUAL REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
After a discussion it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council that Cllr Norris and the Parish Clerk would carry out the review of these documents to produce a recommendation to the March meeting of the Full Council.
13. CONSIDERATION OF QUOTE FOR REMOVAL OF CYPRESS TREES ON SOUTHERN SIDE OF RECREATION GROUND.
The Parish Clerk had circulated a letter from a qualified tree surgeon in advance of the meeting. It was noted that the professional opinion of the tree surgeon was that these trees are in an unstable condition. He had recommended that they be taken down and removed for reasons of public safety. The tree surgeon had provided three quotations: (i) to remove the fallen tree only, (ii) to dismantle and remove the fallen and wind damages trees or (iii) to dismantle and remove the whole stand of Cypress Leylandii trees in question.
It was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council to accept the above option 3 in principle.
It was noted that a second stage of Council approval is then is required – in compliance with the Council’s Financial Regulations this will require three quotations be obtained for this work of this level of expenditure. Action: Parish Clerk to contact the other nominated contractors to ask them to quote for this work.
14. FINANCE AND POLICY RELATED CORRESPONDENCE
Cllr Miller reported that he had received a letter from the organisers of the “Lytchett Matravers Traditional Fayre” requesting a grant of £500 is made towards the Insurance fees for the Fayre. It was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council the acceptance of this request.
The Parish Clerk reported the receipt of two pieces of correspondence:
· A grant request from Life Education Wessex; which has been added to the file of grant requests for consideration in June 2014.
· An email from the Chief Executive of Purbeck District Council regarding Parish Precepts. The email advises that central Government have determined that the referendum limit will not currently be applied to Parish and Town Councils. However the email warns that this decision might be reviewed for the period from 2015/16 onwards.
15. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION RELATED TO FINANCE AND POLICY
A question was raised about the grants available to the Parish Council for Neighbourhood Planning. Cllr Miller indicated that he would pursue this with the granting authority concerned.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 21:20pm