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FINANCE COMMITTEE MINUTES

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MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 25 MARCH 2008 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL, 19:30 TO 20:40

MEMBERS PRESENT
Cllr Glew (Chairman), Councillors Irwin, Martin
Councillor Wright (Chairman of the Council), Councillor Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer - Mrs P Raymond

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F07/08.52 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr R Dellow (hospital).
F07/08.53 Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests, whether personal or personal/prejudicial, with regard to items on the agenda.
Cllr Wright - Minute: F07/08.64, Chairman's Allowance. Personal and prejudicial interest by virtue of her being the Chairman of the Council.
Cllrs Glew, Irwin, Martin, Wright and Rand - Minute F07/08.68 - Playground maintenance jobs. Personal and prejudicial interests by virtue of the Parish Council being the sole Trustee of Sedlescombe Playing Field and Recreation Ground Trust. However, dispensation has been granted by the Rother Standards Board to allow members to take part and vote. No prejudiced members asked to speak.
F07/08.54 Public participation session. No public present.
F07/08.55Link to minutes of 21/02/08
Minutes. Resolved: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 21/02/08.
F07/08.56 Sportsfield Fund and Pavilion Update including amendments to 2008/9 Budget. Members were provided with a copy of a Funding Statement for the Pavilion based on total expenditure of £180,000, although it is hoped that the final total will be less. Total income to date is £34,172,51 in the Parish Council Fund. This sum does not include funds collected by the separate fund-raising committee since Christmas nor grants promised from Rother DC (£5,000), Isabel Blackman Foundation (£5,000), Battle Partnership (£2,000), business pledges. Rother DC has been asked to consider providing additional finance for the project and a £10,000 grant is being applied for by Paul White of the Sedlescombe Football Club.

Members discussed the details of obtaining a loan to make up the shortfall which will almost certainly be needed even if the Big Lottery Grant of £50,000 is obtained. Sedlescombe's application is to be considered at the Big Lottery mid-May meeting. The preferred contractor had provided a timescale for the work and the Clerk/RFO had used this to make up a two-year monitoring timescale for the Big Lottery Fund to allow time for outcomes to be achieved.

Some expenditure has been incurred on fees, insurance and portacabin improvements.

RESOLVED: That £535 is transferred from Parish Council General Funds to the Sportsfield Fund to make a total current donation to the Fund of £20,000.

RESOLVED: That the 2008/09 Budget is amended to take account of different circumstances regarding the new pavilion.

F07/08.57 Prizes for competitions in aid of Sportsfield Fund. The Clerk/RFO has produced a quiz sheet "How well do you know Sedlescombe?" which will be on sale from 01/04/08 and will be followed on 11 May by a "Walk through History". She asked the Committee whether a parish map could be given as a prize (framed) for the quiz winner. However, as most people will have bought a parish map, Cllr Wright offered to give a £20 M&S voucher for the prize which was gratefully accepted.
F07/08.58 Grant aid to other bodies for the 2008/09 financial year. £500 has been allocated in the budget for the 2008/09 year and recent requests have been received from the Air Ambulance (approved by the Council, amount to be agreed by Finance) and The East Sussex Association for the Blind.

RESOLVED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council makes a donation of £50 to the Sussex Air Ambulance in 2008/09 in furtherance of their work in Sussex in accordance with Section 137(3) of the Local Government Act 1972.

RECOMMENDED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council makes a donation of £25 to The East Sussex Association for the Blind in accordance with its powers under sections 137 and 139 of the Local Government Act 1972 which in the opinion of the Council is in the interests of the area or its inhabitants and will benefit them in a manner commensurate with the expenditure. (NB The letter with the application for funding gives the information that 5 people in Sedlescombe were helped by the charity last year.)

RECOMMENDED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council makes a donation of £75 to the Battle Area Community Transport in 2008/09 in accordance with its statutory powers.

RECOMMENDED: That Sedlescombe Parish Council makes a donation of £150 to the Sedlescombe Churchyard Fund in 2008/09 in accordance with its statutory powers.

Cllr Martin agreed to ask the Parish Tree Warden Scheme whether there is anything that it can help with in Sedlescombe. A grant to the Scheme will be considered in due course.

F07/08.59 Street cleaning and litter collection. No further complaints received.
F07/08.60 Brede Lane Car Park alterations. Rother District Council has agreed changes to the layout of the recycling bins at the Brede Lane Car Park to give more space for parking. The lines will be repainted and one-way movement introduced. The public conveniences are also expected to be decorated. The work is scheduled for April 2008.
F07/08.61 Redecoration of "Sir John Keeling" seats. It was agreed that the Clerk/RFO should obtain a current quote for refurbishing the three seats on the top Green.
F07/08.62 Grounds maintenance contract. The contractor has just returned to light grass-cutting duties.
F07/08.63 Travel allowances. (See Minutes F07/08.35 and 36) Although the recommended mileage rate had been increased to 55.8p/mile, the Clerk/RFO had found that there had been no change in the tax-free mileage rate and that it remained at 40p/mile. RESOLVED: That the mileage rate for councillors and the Clerk should revert to 40p/mile. The Lift Scheme drivers have already been informed.
F07/08.64 Chairman's Allowance. Cllr Wright declared her personal/prejudicial interest and left the meeting for this item. Members were informed that a total of £120 had been drawn from the £200 allocated for the Chairman's allowance in 2007/8. RESOLVED: That £200 be allocated for the Chairman's Allowance in 2008/9 and that the Chairman should be reimbursed for her expenses on presentation of claims to the Clerk/RFO.
F07/08.65 Approval of first draft accounts for 2007/8 and of the RFO's report to the Parish Assembly. Members had been presented with a draft of the end-year accounts and it was agreed that copies would be left on seats at the Assembly (updated as necessary at the year-end). The RFO's report was approved.
F07/08.66Link to Risk Assessment Report Risk Assessment Report. Members had been provided with copies of the Report.

Sportsfield - It was agreed that a letter should be sent to the Secretary of the Sports Association reminding her of the need to inform all users of the risk of drowning in the River Brede that adjoins the sportsfield. The last letter was sent in 2005.

Village Green - Hirer's liability for damage etc. High risk. Add "Hirers must provide confirmation of their own public liability insurance cover".

F07/08.67 Parish Council insurances due for renewal on 1 June 2008. RESOLVED: That the Council renews the insurance cover on 01/06/08 with Allianz Cornhill on the same basis as 2007/8 apart from increasing the cover on the portacabin to £5,000 value with immediate effect.

The Clerk/RFO reported further correspondence with the pavilion fund-raising committee chairman who was maintaining that the Parish Council's public liability insurance should cover events held on the Village Green to raise money for the pavilion. The Clerk/RFO had resisted this in accordance with a letter from the Allianz Cornhill Insurance Company and the wishes of the Council. Cllr Rand confirmed that he had also given the committee the information that they should have their own insurance cover.

F07/08.68 Playground maintenance jobs.

Riverside playground & Tennis Courts. All members present declared their personal/prejudicial interests by virtue of the Council being the sole trustee of the Sedlescombe Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust but remained to discuss matters raised because of the dispensation granted to them by the Rother Standards Committee.
Bolt missing from playground gate. Clerk/RFO to chase garage who had agreed to provide a new bolt.
Cables too near the ground. Cllr Rand to adjust.
New ground fixing needed for litter bin on driveway. Cllr Rand to inspect.
Missing fence spiles. Replaced by Cllr Rand.
Small split on junior swing seat. Low risk, monitor.
Missing roof fixing bolts Eagles Nest. Low risk, no action.
Loose stepping stone. Low risk, monitor.
Clean cat springer. Ask R Wood.
Sweep courts. R Wood to do.
Moss on courts in one corner. Languard will do as soon as possible, free of charge. The Netball Club have the money for the line marking and will go ahead as soon as the moss has died.
Overgrown stepping stones to the courts. Low risk, no action.

Kickabout Area
Damaged fences. No action
Rope. Cllr Rand to remove urgently.
Removal of debris. Sue Manwaring to be asked to arrange for youngsters to clear up and remove the debris.

 

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