SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL

FINANCE COMMITTEE MINUTES

A MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL WAS HELD ON TUESDAY 27 MARCH 2007 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL 19:30 TO 20:50

Present: Cllrs Mrs P Glew (Chairman of the Committee), Cllr R Dellow, Cllr N Foord, Cllr Mrs M Irwin, Cllr Mrs V Wright (Chairman of the Council), Cllr A Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

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F06/07.39 Apologies for absence. None, all present.

F06/07.40 Minutes. The Chairman was authorise to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 02/01/07.

F06/07.41 Interests. Members were reminded to declare interests as they arose, the nature of the interest and whether the member regarded the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. None declared.

F06/07.42 Draft 2006/7 accounts. Members had been provided with a booklet including audited accounts 2005/6, draft accounts 2006/7 and budget 2007/8. RESOLVED: That the draft 2006/7 accounts are noted.

F06/07.43 Responsible Financial Officer's Report to the Parish Assembly. Members had been provided with the report. RESOLVED: That the RFO's Report to the Parish Assembly is approved.

F06/07.44 2007/8 Budget. Members considered the following:
44.1 Clerk's update on jobs (herewith). RESOLVED: That the attached job list is approved.
44.2 Litter and litter bin, The Street.
A local resident had complained that the litter bin had been removed from outside Old Hall House leaving no litter bins at that end of the Village. RESOLVED: That Cllr Dellow should move the bin back from the Riverside Playing Field to its old position outside Old Hall House. The Clerk would obtain a replacement liner.
44.3 Dog bin emptying.
The Clerk informed the Committee that the new Rother waste contractor does not empty dog bins and, therefore, the three bins in Sedlescombe will not be emptied from now on until an alternative contractor can be found.
44.4 Wildlife Gardening. Following discussion at the last Council Meeting, £150 has been included in the budget towards design of a Wildlife Gardening leaflet. The Clerk and Cllr Dellow were endeavouring to find funding for printing 500 copies of the leaflet.
44.5 2007/8 Clerk's Pay. Information has been received that a claim by the NJC for a 5% increase has been submitted to the Local Government Employers - NALC/SLCC follow the pay recommendations issued by the NJC. The current budget includes a 2% increase in the Clerk's pay. DEFERRED until next Finance Meeting - an additional increase in the Clerk's pay could be funded from balances.
44.6 Increase in SALC/NALC subscription.
SALC has recently issued invoices for 2007-8 subscriptions broken down between SALC and NALC, whereas, previously, invoices without this breakdown, had been received. A new formula of 21p per elector has been introduced which is meant to provide an equitable banding system for all councils. Sedlescombe's increase is 28% but several Rother councils are being faced with even bigger increases eg Rye 62% increase. A Circular issued in Autumn 2006 did say that "where a council feels that its fee has increased by an unacceptable amount, this will be looked at by the Executive Committees [East or West] on a case by case basis". RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council should object to a 28% increase in its subscription for the 2007-8 financial year.
44.7 Purchase of software.
£500 had been included in the 2007-8 budget for software. The Clerk reported that two upgrades were required: Vista home premium upgrade (better facilities for photos than business version) £107 and Microsoft Office standard 2007 upgrade £146 (approximate costs depending on availability at the time of order). RESOLVED: That the Clerk is authorised to purchase the upgraded software as detailed above.

RESOLVED: That adjustments are made to the 2007-8 budget to take account of the Committee's decisions.

F06/07.45 Internal Auditor. RESOLVED: That Mrs Fisher should be invited to be Sedlescombe Parish Council's internal auditor for the end of year accounts 2006-7 at an agreed fee of £80. The Clerk reported that the Audit Commission has set fees for external audits for the next five years. Those likely to affect Sedlescombe are: Income or expenditure of £25,001-£50,000 £285; Income or expenditure of £50,001-£100,000 £400. In order to save on the audit fee, splitting the donation for the sports pavilion over two years might be possible if the project is held up until this time next year. This could avoid Sedlescombe's expenditure going over £50,001.

F06/07.46 Risk Assessment. Members had been provided with copies of the current Parish Council Risk Assessment. RESOLVED: That, apart from increasing the risk of entry of the Riverside playing field around playground by travellers to "high", the Risk Assessment report is approved.

F06/07.47 Insurances. Since August, the Parish Council had insured the Speed Indicator Device, whilst in the custody of the Parish Council, for £3,000. The Committee discussed whether it was worth paying for this insurance again for 2007-8. RESOLVED: That people attending the Annual Parish Assembly should be asked whether they consider the SID exercises were successful. RESOLVED: That the remainder of the insurances are renewed on 1 June 2007 and that the Council considers the SID insurance at its annual meeting.

F06/07.48 Churchyard 2006 accounts. Members noted receipt of the Churchyard accounts which showed a very small balance at the end of 2006 compared to the previous year. Cllr Rand would be attending a PCC meeting soon and agreed to raise the matter.

F06/07.49 Date of next meeting. 26/06/07.

Chairman............................................ Date...............................................