FINANCE AND POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING
Lytchett Matravers Parish Council
MINUTES of the Meeting held on 14th April 2014 in the Sports Club Pavilion, High Street, Lytchett Matravers at 7:30 p.m.
PRESENT: Cllrs R Miller, M Colvey, I Maitland, C Wood, E Wilson and the Parish Clerk Mr T Watton. No members of the public were present.
In the absence of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of this committee, Cllr Miller was unanimously elected to chair this meeting.
1. APOLOGIES. Were received from Cllrs Norris, Bush and Taylor.
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 10th February 2014 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.
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. Nothing further has been received from Santander on this matter. The Parish Clerk is to write to Santander again.
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. The Parish Clerk reported that the contractor who repaired this on the last occasion when it was damaged has now returned to the village. He has been asked to quote for this job.
Minute 13, 10th February 2014 – Quotes for removal of Cypress trees on Southern side of Recreation Ground. A further quote is now awaited from the contractor who maintains the cemetery.
6. RECEIPT OF LATEST BANK RECONCILIATION AND ACCOUNTS FOR 2013/14 TO DATE.
Bank Reconciliation and accounts update for the full year 2013/14 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 £5.09 had not yet been identified, but that it is anticipated that this will be identified during the year-end internal audit.
Considering the performance against expenditure budgets, it was noted that the differences in performance against Open Spaces budget were almost entirely accounted for by the one-off expenditure on the Rocket Park fencing and the cost of removal of the Cypress Leylandii tree near the Village Hall. It was resolved to RECOMMEND acceptance of the year end bank reconciliation and update on the working accounts to Full Council as attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes.
It was confirmed by the Parish Clerk that both Santander and HSBC had now provided Internet access to view the bank accounts and obtain statements.
7. FEEDBACK FROM DAPTC FINANCIAL SEMINAR MARCH 2014.
The Parish Clerk repoerted on a number of points he had gained from a finance Seminar given by Derek Kemp of DCK Beavers Ltd. The company has been appointed by NALC to provide finance training to member councils and to lead NALC’s representation and negotiation with Government. The topics covered were:
- The repeal of section 150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972 – removing the requirement for two signatures on payments, thereby enabling council’s to use electronic banking.
- Local Council Audit.
- Risk Assessment.
- Advice on Year-End Accounts & Annual Return.
The majority of the seminar time was spent on item 1 – the repeal of section 150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972, which enables the removal of the requirement for two signatures on payments. This change has been agreed by Government with a proviso that Local Councils must have reassurance of adequate control over expenditure. To enable this to happen, Councils are required to consider, tailor to their own circumstances, and adopt new model Financial Regulations. This is to assure themselves and their electorate that they have adequate controls over expenditure before abandoning the “two signature” requirement. It was explained that the main requirement is that Councils take sufficient time to review the relevant processes, and what their bank is able to provide, in the light of the new Model Financial Regulations. Ultimately, if a Council decides not to, there is no compulsion to abandon the two signatures rule or to use internet banking at all. It was suggested that Councils initially consider the process through which they will undertake the necessary reviews. This is expected to take several months to complete properly. Three options for approaching this were suggested:
- Initial review and report back by a Council member; with recommendations for tailoring of the Model Agreement to a committee or Full Council.
- Initial review and report back by a sub-committee including Councillors and Parish Clerk; with recommendations for tailoring of the Model Agreement carried out to a committee or Full Council.
- Initial review and report back carried out by Parish Clerk; with recommendations for tailoring of the Model Agreement.
After a discussion it was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council that a Sub Committee in accord with option 2 above be commissioned to initially report back to the October 2014 meeting of the Finance & Policy Committee.
8. ASSET REGISTER REVIEW AND UPDATE
It was noted that the only change to the list of Council assets during 2013/14 (Register list as shown in the Asset Register on page 5 of the 2012/13 Financial Statements) was the addition of one new asset:
Rocket Park fencing, at a value of £3567, acquired on 20th May 2013.
It was resolved to RECOMMEND to Full Council that This is to be noted and is to appear in the appropriate section of the Accounting Statements for 2013/14, and be added to the Assets figure for the 2013/14 Annual Return.
9. TIMETABLE FOR ACCOUNTS AND ANNUAL RETURN
The Parish Clerk reported that the forms had now been received for the annual return, which is due to be submitted to BDO LLP by 30th June 2014.
It was resolved to RECOMMEND the following timetable to Full Council, in order for this deadline to be achieved:
· Completion and acceptance of Internal Audit;
· Completion of and receipt of Council’s Financial statements and for 2013/14 – Full Council meeting, 19th May 2014
· Finance & Policy Committee consideration of draft Accounting statements and Annual Return for recommendation to Full Council, 10th June 2014.
· Approval of Financial Statements and Annual Return by Full Council
10. UPDATE ON REQUESTS FOR INVESTMENT ADVICE.
Cllr Maitland reported that he had recently spoken to Mr Pincott, who had promised to send the information still required by the Parish Clerk so that this transaction can be completed.
11. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – UPDATE.
A discussion took place about the completion of the remaining work to collate the responses to the questionnaire in time for the planned feedback at the Annual Parish meeting. The arrangements were discussed for the delivery of the Lytchett Link which will communicate and promote this event. Cllr Maitland indicated that he knew of someone who may be able to help with deliveries. It was agreed that he would refer that person to Cllr Colvey.
Separate meetings of the groups handling the three main topic areas are established as follows:
· Primary School: next meeting to be held in the school at 6pm on 13th May (in the staff room).
· Amenities: next meeting to be held in the Sports Club Pavilion on 15th May.
· Housing: next meeting to be held in the Sports Club Pavilion on 26th May at 7:30pm.
Action: Parish Clerk to book the accommodation indicated above for these meetings.
12. ANNUAL REVIEW OF STANDING ORDERS AND FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
The Parish Clerk reported that he and Cllr Norris had reviewed the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations and, also being cognisant of the revised model Financial Regulations to be considered over the forthcoming year, had concluded that no changes were required. It was resolved to RECOMMEND that there should be no changes to the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations at this time.
13. SKATEPARK MAINTENANCE CONTRACT – CONSIDERATION.
The Parish Clerk reported on the quotation received from Full Circle Leisure Ltd (Evolution Skateparks) for a regular maintenance contract for the skate park at a cost of £408 (plus VAT) for the year. It was noted that Full Circle Leisure Ltd built and installed the skate park. It was resolved to RECOMMEND acceptance of this quotation and to set up the contract.
14. REORT OF FLY TIPPING AT FOXHILLS OPEN SPACE
It was noted that the Neighbourhood Officer (East) from Synergy Housing had contacted the Council regarding an incidence of fly tipping on the open space behind the children’s play park belonging to Synergy Housing – adjacent to the lower end of Lockyers Way. It was established that this fly tipping is on the Foxhills Open Space and is thus on land owned and maintained by the Parish Council. The Parish Clerk explained that PDC have firm guidelines about not removing fly tipping from Parish Council or privately owned land and so cannot assist in this case. It was also noted that the Village Handyman is unable to use his vehicle to remove this as he is not permitted to take it to the public tip at Westminster Road. After a brief discussion Cllr Maitland suggested that he may know someone who could assist. He indicated that he would ask that person to contact the Parish Clerk with a quotation for the work. Action: Cllr Maitland to arrange for the person to contact the Parish Clerk accordingly.
15. INTERIM FUNDING FOR DEANS DROVE – FOXHILLS OPEN SPACE PATH
The Council members noted that despite Cllr Dyball’s further efforts it was not possible to persuade PDC to make up the £500 shortfall in the costs for this project which had arisen as a result of price increases during the commencement delay. It was also noted that the S106 contribution from the September Cottage development is still outstanding. Councillors were reminded that this matter had already been discussed in Full Council and a decision had been made and endorsed that the Council would provide the interim shortfall in funding from its own funds.
16. BAT SURVEY OF CLUB HALL
After a brief discussion it was considered that the Council had discharged the requirement to arrange for a survey to be carried out. It was also noted that any application for planning permission would also require a further survey.
17. FINANCE AND POLICY RELATED CORRESPONDENCE
Reference was made to an “Allotment Newsletter” email evidently prepared and distributed by the Allotment Society. Concerns were expressed about a number of aspects of this because members felt that it contained several inaccuracies as well as reporting on actions apparently taken by the Allotment Society which are not its responsibility.
The Parish Clerk reported on a telephone call he had received from an Allotment holder expressing concern that she had been visited at her home by two men who said they had been told that she was giving up her Allotment plot. It was clarified that her personal details had not been provided to anyone by the Parish Council. Indeed, the Parish Clerk also emphasised that the sharing of such personal information contravenes the terms of the Data Protection act.
A letter was received from Mr Tomlinson on behalf of the Village Fayre Committee expressing their thanks for the grant towards the cost of the Village Fayre.
18. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION RELATED TO FINANCE AND POLICY
There were none.
There being no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 21:00pm