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FINANCE MINUTES

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 2 DECEMBER 2008 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 1 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 19:30 TO 20:50

 

PRESENT: Councillor Glew (Chairman), Councillors Irwin, Martin, Councillor Wright (Chairman of the Council) [up to and including Minute F08/09.42], Councillor Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)
Mrs P Raymond - Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer

 

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F08/09.34 Apologies and reasons for absence. Apology for absence was received from Cllr Dellow (ill).
F08/09.35 Disclosure of councillors' interests. None disclosed.
F08/09.36 Public participation session. No public present.
F08/09.37Finance Minutes 21/10/08 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 21/10/08.
F08/09.38 2008/09 Budget Monitoring. Members compared the current financial position at the end of November 2008 against the 2008/09 budget noting any substantial variances.
Budget 2008-09
End Nov 2008
INCOME
£
£
 
1. Precept
29,000
29,000
 
2. Sale of goods & services
635
42
Further income expected from sale of advertising for Directory in Jan/Feb
3. Interest (not pavilion fund)
3,450
3,151
No further interest expected
4. Income from rents
0
0
 
5. Income from other local authorities
290
296
 
6. Grant income (not pavilion)
0
0
 
7. Sportsfield income
126,628
63,405
Further income, including loan, is expected to slightly exceed budgeted income
8. Online submission refund
100
0
Approved
9. Income re playing field
0
0
 
Total income
160,103
95,894
 
EXPENDITURE
     
10. Administration
7,235
4,044
Some saving expected on budget
11. Clerk's Salary/NI
14,660
9,288
Budget expected to be met
13. Grants not Section 137
500
75
Further grants expected to be made but not in excess of budget
14. Section 137 expenditure
0
75
 
15. Amenities
4,560
2,094
Some small savings expected
16. Sportsfield Capital Costs
175,303
94,460
Expenditure of approx. £172,014 currently expected. 2.5% withheld until 6 months after completion
17. Agency Services
200
160
Further mowing in Feb and March
18. Riverside Playing Field
3,860
2,164
Some small savings expected
Total expenditure
206,318
112,359
 
SUMMARY
     
Brought forward
77,472
77,472
 
Income
160,103
95,894
 
Expenditure
-206,318
-112,359
 
Balances
31,257
61,007
 
REPRESENTED BY
     
General Funds
3,237
19,725
 
Sportsfield Fund
0
13,152
 
Clerk's Gratuity Fund
28,020
28,130
 
Balances
31,257
61,007
 

RESOLVED: That the Financial Statement at end November 2008 against the 2008-9 Budget is approved.

F08/09.39 Asset Register. Members had been provided with a copy of the 2008 Asset Register which was considered and the following decisions made:
  • Amendments regarding the introduction of Dog Control Orders to be made.
  • Sedlescombe Village Hall. Cllrs Glew and Irwin declared their personal interests in this subject by virtue of their being trustees of the Village Hall Trust. They remained in the room. Various goods, chairs, tables, trolleys, cutlery, crockery, water boiler, lighting/sound equipment and the stage railings, had been purchased by the Parish Council in 2001 to help in setting up the new village hall. The goods remain in the Parish Council's possession but on permanent loan to the Village Hall Trust. RESOLVED: That a letter is written to the Village Hall Trust asking if it would be willing to buy the items purchased in 2001 back from the Parish Council for £5,000 plus VAT, or a price to be negotiated.
  • 4 concrete flower tubs. RESOLVED: That the Council offers to sell the four concrete flower tubs to Mrs Betts which have been in use at Highfield for many years in exchange for a donation to the Pavilion Fund.

RESOLVED: That the Asset Register is adjusted as agreed.

F08/09.40

Jobs Update, December 2008

Jobs Update. The following jobs were updated:

11 EVT Kickabout. Repair of chainlink fence under tree. Defer.
29 Sportsfield. Pavilion project - pavilion rebuild. The trench for the surface water drainage has been dug across the public footpath. As it is so wet at the moment, walkers are taking a different route to the approved footpath. Cllr Rand to check what can be done.
30 Sportsfield. Pavilion project - Closure of gate, landscaping - disabled parking area tarmac/marking and construction of a pavement crossover, in accordance with planning approval added to list. Cllr Rand (Project Manager) reported that quotes were being obtained for the disabled area and crossover work as part of the total project. Costs should be available at the January Council Meeting.
34 Sportsfield. Dustbin outside car park. Now removed.
43 Riverside Playground. Pedestrian/vehicle gate. Cllr Rand will see whether he can find a spring for this gate.
46 Riverside Playground. Equipment ropes. Now raised.
49 Riverside Playground. Fence between play area and path. Repaired by D&B Fencing.
50 Riverside Playground. Fence between play area and river. Repaired by D&B Fencing.
56 Tennis courts. Fence surrounds. Rusted-through chainlink fencing replaced at eastern end and on western gate by D&B Fencing.
59 Village Green. 3xLister seats surrounding oak on Green. Cllr Rand to arrange washing with soapy water to remove algae.
63 Village Green. Pumphouse oak benchesx2. Replacement to be considered for inclusion in proposed Heritage Lottery "Your Heritage" grant application*.
64 Village Green. Pumphouse roof, tiles & rendering. Cllr Rand to replace tiles. Rendering OK.
65 Village Green. Pump. Surrounding metal cage rusting away at base. Replacement to be considered for inclusion in proposed Heritage Lottery "Your Heritage" grant application*.
65.1 Village Green. Lead pump with wooden liner. Replacement of liner and repair of lead pump to be considered for inclusion in proposed Heritage Lottery "Your Heritage" grant application*.

Proposed Heritage Lottery Fund Grant Application. Grant aid is available between £3,000 and £50,000 for projects focusing on heritage. Of the three aims, learning, conservation and participation, the first must be met and at least one of the others. RESOLVED: That the Clerk/RFO will draw up a project suitable for applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for grant aid to include a) production of a booklet to record the importance of the Pump and its shelter between 1900 and 1958 to the people of Sedlescombe. [NB it is exactly fifty years since the pump was last used for drawing water for domestic use] and b) repairs to the pump and its shelter which is a Grade II Listed Building.

F08/09.41 Proposed Grant to Sedlescombe Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust. RESOLVED: That a grant of £3,500 is made to the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust (of which the Parish Council is sole trustee). RESOLVED: That applications will be made to the Public Playing Field & Recreation Ground Trust to cover the cost of maintaining the Trust property in 2008/09.
F08/09.42 Grants to other bodies. The Committee considered an application for a subscription to the Sussex County Playing Fields Association (£15 has been included in the approved budget). RESOLVED: That £15 is sent to the Sussex County Playing Fields Association.

It was noted that the Sussex County Playing Fields Association has made a grant of £2,000 to the Sedlescombe Sports Association towards the replacement pavilion.

F08/09.43 Cllr Wright left the meeting.

Sedlescombe pavilion. The Committee was informed about the current financial position. The expected total project cost is still £180,000. Taking account of a Parish Council donation of £39,200, £112,265 has been raised in grants and donations; a further £5,500 has been approved but not yet received and a further £9,735 should be forthcoming but is not definite. This leaves a current shortfall of £52,500.

Members were provided with charts showing the cost of loan repayments over 5, 10 and 15 years for a fixed-rate loan of £52,500 from the Public Works Loan Board, either on an annuity or equal instalments of principle basis. Public Works Loan Board loans can be taken out for any period between 2 and 50 years. The current financial crisis is causing the interest rate to fall and further falls are expected. The loan will have to be taken up in January 2009 and the final decision on the amount and length of repayment term will be made at the meeting of the Parish Council on 13 January. Borrowing approval has been extended until the end of March 2009.

The Clerk reported a phone call from John Noonan, Secretary of the Sports Association with the following information:

  • Sports Association officers have realised there is insufficient room beside the new pavilion for a 30'x40' groundsman's hut in accordance with that approved under RR/2003/1988/P as well as leaving the portacabin in place.
  • They are suggesting that a smaller timber building measuring about 30'x20' with a felt roof would be sufficient.
  • There will be a Sports Association meeting next Monday where the idea of submitting a single planning application to cover retention of and alterations to the portacabin for the Sedlescombe Youth Project and a 20'x30' groundsman's hut.

According to the 2005 Parish Council/Sports Association lease, the Sports Association has "To maintain at their own expense any buildings now or hereafter to be erected on the field....." and "To insure the pavilion and ancillary buildings to cover the cost of replacement and to provide the Council with a copy of the current insurance policy and premium receipt each year on renewal".

RESOLVED: That, if requested, the Parish Council will submit a planning application to cover retention of and alterations to the portacabin and construction of a 20'x30 groundsman's hut, the cost of the application being reimbursed by the Sedlescombe Youth Project and/or the Sedlescombe Sports Association.

It was noted that, from the Parish Council viewpoint, no alteration to the existing Parish Council/Sports Association lease will be required but, if the Sports Association does not wish to be responsible for the maintenance of the portacabin when it has been sold by the Parish Council to the Sedlescombe Youth Project, they will need to draw up a lease or licence to transfer responsibility to the Sedlescombe Youth Project. The Sports Association will be able to sub-let the land on which the portacabin stands to the Sedlescombe Youth Project (with the Parish Council's written approval) for whatever rent they decide.

F08/09.44 Clerk's travel expenses. The Committee noted that the Clerk no longer claims travel expenses and that agendas are being sent by post (all documents are available online). It was also noted that the Post Office is rigorously enforcing the thickness rule on A5 envelopes and that care will need to be taken regarding the value of stamps on each envelope.
F08/09.45 Clerk's expenses. RESOLVED: That the Clerk should be paid the following expenses from 01/04/2009:
  • Maintenance of offices £200 paid annually. For use of Clerk's home as Council's registered address, plus electricity used for computer, scanner and printer, heating, wear and tear.
  • Phone line rental, internet charge and phone calls (50% of total bill).
F08/09.46 Chairman's Allowance. The Chairman's Allowance has, this year, been set at a maximum of £200 with the Chairman drawing the money as it is spent. To date a total of £156.49 has been spent. RESOLVED: That the Chairman's Allowance for 2009/10 should be set at £200.
F08/09.47 Responsible Financial Officer's delegated financial powers. RESOLVED: That the delegated financial powers of the Responsible Financial Officer continue as follows:
  • Purchase of petty cash items up to £20/month.
  • Approval of minor grounds maintenance expenses up to £75/month.
  • Purchase of stationery, including copier toner up to the annual budget figure.
  • Booking training for councillors and the Clerk/RFO up to the annual budget figure.
F08/09.48Second 2009-10 budget Second draft 2009/10 budget and 2009/10 Precept recommendation to Council. Members had been provided with the a relevant financial statement.

RECOMMENDED:

1) That a figure of £5,000 should be included in the 2009/10 budget for the annual loan repayment.
2) That the figure included in general reserves in the 2009/10 budget should not be allowed to fall too low considering the recommendation that between 3 and 12 months' of annual expenditure should be held in general reserves.
3) That the precept should be set at £31,500 (2008/09 = £29,000) and a Band D Council Tax of about £47.72 (2008/09 = £43.93).

F08/09.49 Date of next meeting: 31/03/2009.
   
  Chairman..................................................... Date...................................................................