FINANCE AND POLICY COMMITTEE MEETING
Lytchett Matravers Parish Council
MINUTES of the Meeting held on 10th August 2015 in the Methodist Church, Wareham Rd, Lytchett Matravers at 7:00 p.m.
PRESENT: Cllrs K Norris (committee chairman), M Colvey, P Webb, C Wood and the Parish Clerk.
1. APOLOGIES. Were received from Cllr A Bush.
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 8th June 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.
Community grant for village hall toilets refurbishment project. The Parish Clerk reported that the Finance Director at Primrose Solar had advised that the grant payment would be made the Council as part of their next payment run – during 3rd week of August.
It was clarified that the grant is being made to the Parish Council and thus the invoice for the work will need to be made out to the Council in due course who will then pay the contractor direct. It was considered appropriate that the Council is provided with a copy of the latest audited accounts of the Village Hall, so that contingencies against future maintenance of the new facilities can be understood more fully. Action: Cllr Norris to request sight of the latest audited accounts of the Village Hall.
Minute 12, 15th April 2015 – establishment of pension for Parish Clerk. The Parish Clerk advised that he had contacted the manager of the LGPS at DCC who had confirmed that it was possible for the Parish Clerk to be joined to the LGPS in respect of his employment with the Council. However she also told him that it was not possible to treat the accumulated “retirement fund” lump sum as a block payment into LGPS. She advised that background literature and application forms will be forwarded on receipt of a written request for them from the Parish Clerk. Such a written request has been sent to DCC by the Clerk.
Minute 13, 15th April 2015 – Removal of the tree in the line of the Foxhills-Deans drove path. It was agreed that this matter should be transferred to the responsibility of the environment and amenities committee to manage. DISCHARGE.
Minute 16, 15th of April, 2015 – consideration of policy for use of land adjacent to the allotments. DISCHARGE.
Minute 8, 8th June 2015 – Annual Return Submission, 2014/15. The Parish Clerk reported that ths had been submitted within the schedule agreed with BDO. A response had been received requesting a correction to the treatment for the Prudential investment. This had been very specific about the numbers to be entered in each box and represented a re-clarification of the advice given by the senior manager at BDO. However this latest advice had been confirmed with her. The feedback and advice from BDO had also given instruction as to how to address the problem of the miss-statement carried over from previous years. The adjustments have been made and the Annual Return for re-submitted. The requested change had resulted in the council s turnover appearing to exceed the £200K threshold for automatic requirement to submit the supplementary data and information required of an “Intermediate” rather than “Basic” audit. The Parish Clerk advised that approximately one full working day had to be spent gathering and preparing this additional material for submission, but that it was submitted in full within BDO’s deadline.
Minute 10, 8th June 2015 – Consideration of quotations for a noticeboard at the Allotments. These present were reminded that the Allotment Society had made its own arrangements for the provision of a noticeboard. They were also reminded that it had been agreed to utilise the lower of the two quotes to purchase a replacement noticeboard to be installed on Wareham Rd adjacent to the school entrance. This has now been ordered for delivery direct to the Village Handyman.
Minute 11, 8th June 2014 – Neighbourhood Plan: compilation of grant requests. Cllr Webb reported that he had prepared a draft grant application to be submitted to PDC. This is nearly ready to be submitted, once the Parish Clerk has confirmed the costs quoted by Mr Gracey for the Neighbourhood Plan website. Action: Parish Clerk to investigate and advise Cllr Webb of this. It was noted that a “Locality Grant” is also available from central government.
Minute 12, 8th June 2015 – right to bid for community assets: former RBL premises. It was noted that both Cllr Wood and Cllr Bush have been in contact with bodies representing the interests of the owners of the former RBL Club premises. It was also noted that the site has been made somewhat more secure by the installation of concrete blocks across the entrance.
6. Receipt of YEAR END bank reconciliation and accounts for 2014/15.
The Parish Clerk referred to the bank reconciliation and accounts update for year 2015/16 to date which he had circulated to all members prior to this meeting. A copy is attached at Appendix 1 to these minutes. A review of performance against the expenditure budget subheadings was undertaken and the following were noted:
- Low expenditure so far this year on Grants. This demonstrates the uncharacteristically slow response of at least two of the Village Organisations which normally make quite large requests for financial support.
- Allotment expenditure has this year been distorted by the one-off cost of clearing 15 plots ready for re-letting. This has resulted in expenditure 5 times larger than the same period last year, and which is already £300 in excess of the full year budget – with at least a further half year water bill and cost of hedge cutting still to come. It would seem that for this year the budget will be exceeded by an estimated £700.
It was resolved to RECOMMEND acceptance of the Bank Reconciliation and that the Council should note the above points.
Brief discussion took place regarding the details of managing the grant for the Village Hall toilets refurbishment. The recipient of the grant from Primrose Solar is the Parish Council, and at the end of the project grant “in kind” will be made to the Village Hall – i.e. the handing over of the refurbished toilets for them to manage and maintain on an ongoing basis.
7. Council meeting venues – use of Lytchett Matravers Methodist Church.
This matter was very briefly reviewed, based on the initial Planning Committee meeting plus this meeting. So far, it would seem that the Methodist Church is a very suitable and practical venue. A full review will be carried out towards the end of the 6 month trial.
8. Proposed addition to Council Website – Councillor profiles. Consideration of estimated cost of this.
Cllr Wood proposed expenditure of up to £450 for this and it was agreed to RECOMMEND this to Full Council.
It was also agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that a brief in-house training session be offered to Council members to show them how to post content to existing pages on the website.
9. Commonwealth flag day – Cllr Colvey.
Reflecting on this, Cllr Colvey felt that the Council had other priorities to focus on. It is therefore RECOMMENDED to Full Council not to go ahead with this.
10. Remembrance Sunday, establishment of Community Working Group to plan event – Cllr Colvey.
Cllr Colvey reported that an initial meeting of the Working Group had been successful. He also observed that the Parish Clerk had obtained the forms required from DCC Highways to request the necessary road closures, plus the prices for supply of necessary road closed” signage. It was agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council that this goes ahead for the November 2015 event, with purchase rather than hire of signage, and that an expenditure budget of up to £300 be approved. It was noted that Cllr Colvey will lead this project.
11. Proposal for improvement to Landers Reach roundabouts.
Council members were reminded that these roundabouts are part of the “adopted highway” and therefore the responsibility of DCC Highways to maintain. However, given their prominent location within the Foxhills development and that DCC is unlikely to undertake any improvement work other than necessary to maintain basic safety – i.e. noting aesthetic – the members agreed to RECOMMEND to Full Council the allocation, exceptionally, of a budget of £100 to purchase material to help reduce or prevent weed growth. .
12. Consideration of future “projects”.
Cllr Norris refereed to a list of possible projects he had circulated. This was based on, and expanded from, that suggested produced by Cllr Bush recently.
The following points are RECOMMENDED to Full Council as a list of projects for which to develop overarching strategies – as a “first stage”. Some prioritisation of the list and refinement of aims and objectives is likely to be necessary as second or subsequent stages of this decision-making / approval process. Members should note that the original list has be re-organised so that some related items are grouped together under a unifying project title or theme:
· Primary school congestion, Wareham Rd / Deans Drove and surrounds parking problem. Linked to points raised with DCC Member Peter Finney. It was noted that this is a single major and complex network of related issues which cannot be split down further without becoming disjointed to the detriment of the whole. It therefore needs an over-arching strategy to enable each element to be tackled in a way which is consistent with the aims of the whole. Thus is likely to include regular chasing of Cllr Finney, and the lobbying involvement and timely interventions of Cllr Drane.
· Huntick Rd route to school. It was noted that this will need volunteers. Project to be led from a council viewpoint by Cllr Huggins, and to incorporate the separate work Claire Lees has been undertaking.
· Sports Club governance and activity. To incorporate the matter of the security of the perimeter of the recreation ground and the usage and maintenance of the Lytchett Astro.
· Footpaths and fingerposts. Strategy to be developed by Cllr Norris, but acknowledging Cllr Taylor’s day to day role as Footpaths Officer.
· Tidiness of village / village appearance. Also to encompass the existing initiatives regarding dog problems, litter picking days, and adequate maintenance of hedges.
· Former RBL building. Continue to push for information about its future with a view to gaining some influence and expressing local views on this for the benefit of the community. To remain with Cllrs Bush and Wood under a “watching brief”.
· Scouts relocation / Club Hall usage. To remain with Cllr Norris under a “watching brief”.
13. FINANCE AND POLICY RELATED CORRESPONDENCE
The Parish Clerk reported on correspondence from the Football Foundation, which drew attention to the fact that the annual Monitoring and Evaluation survey for the Lytchett Astro in respect of seasons 2013/14 and 2014/15 had not been completed and returned to them despite several chasers. The Football Foundation had pointed out that these surveys are a condition of the original grant award and they had indicated that legal action was being considered to review the award – if the matter was not attended to immediately. The Parish Clerk reported that he had been in contact with the Sports Club Secretary and the matter was now in hand. He had also contact the Football Foundation and negotiated an extension tithe date for submission of the 2014/5 survey.
14. MATTERS OF INTEREST AND INFORMATION RELATED TO FINANCE AND POLICY
A question was raised about the condition of the road salt / grit box at the Rose & Crown crossroads. The Parish Clerk reported that DCC Highways had been in touch suggesting the due to its poor condition it is replaced, and offering to supply one at cost. It was agreed to RECOMMEND this to Full Council.
There being no further business, the Chairman closed the meeting at 20:55
Annotated by/on …………………………. Approved by/on ………………………