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FINANCE MINUTES

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 30 JUNE 2009, 1900 TO 1944

 

PRESENT: Cllrs Glew, Irwin, Martin, Mitchell

Councillor Wright (Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

 

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F09/10.1 Chairman of the Committee. RESOLVED: That Cllr Glew be Chairman of the Committee for the ensuing year.
F09/10.2 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Rand (working).
F09/10.3 Disclosure by Members of personal interests in matters on the agenda, the nature of any interest and whether the member regarded the interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. The following interests were declared: F09/10.11 Chairman's allowance - Cllr Wright, as Chairman of the Council, declared a personal and prejudicial interest.
F09/10.4 Representation by prejudiced members: None.
F09/10.5 Public participation session. None present.
F09/10.6 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 31/03/09.
F09/10.7 2009-10 Budget Monitoring. Members had been provided with copies of income and expenditure up to the end of June 2009 against the 2009-10 budget. RESOLVED: That the 2009-10 First Quarter Review Figures are accepted.
F09/10.8

Jobs update. RESOLVED: That the following update is accepted:

2 - Brede Lane Litter Bin. Re-installed by Parish Maintenance Team 2009 (PMT).

11 - EVT chainlink fence repair. Cllr Dellow (RD) repaired, charging £10 for materials.

19 - Dog bin lid, Brede Lane Car Park. Cllr Rand (AR) replaced lid.

27 - Church Hill plastic seat. Cleaned by PMT 2009.

30 - Sports pavilion, closure gate, landscaping, deed of variation. These jobs were remaining to be paid for from Sportsfield Pavilion Fund at the last Finance Committee Meeting. However, at an emergency Council meeting on 09/06/09, the Council agreed to use pavilion funds towards CCTV for the pavilion. Implementation is currently being investigated by the Sports Association and Cllr Dellow is seeking advice and some funding from the Police. It was noted that the final payover from the Village Pavilion Fund is still awaited. Funds will be required to cover legal expenses regarding the proposed youth centre at the sportsfield. Cllr Irwin suggested that any spare money should be used for installation of solar panels at the pavilion because of the large amount of water that will be used for showers but it was noted that the fund is virtually exhausted and any additional money received will be used to pay off the loan. It was also noted that the pavilion is now the Sports Association's responsibility.

31 - Sportsfield portacabin. Portacabin is currently unused. At the emergency Council meeting on 09/06/09, the Council agreed to sell the portacabin for £3,500 to the youth group for them to remove it from the field at their own expense or to agree to the Sports Association leasing it to the youth group. If the second action is agreed, it will mean the loss of £3,500 which had been expected in the pavilion budget figures.

43 - Riverside Playground, pedestrian/vehicle gate. Needs spring. AR to deal.

48 - Riverside Playground, springers. Cleaned by R Wood (RW). Cllr Wheatley reported today that both springers are a little loose in the ground, probably due to the dry weather.

50 - Riverside Playground, fence repair between play area and river, 2 chestnut palings removed. RW to repair.

58 - Village Green pictorial sign post. RW washed the post and reported an area of rotten wood on the top edge of the pictorial sign with paint coming off. Members were shown pictures of the damage. It was noted that the sign was last repainted in August 2006. The idea of finding a longer-lasting sign was supported. Members are, however, keen to retain the current form of our village sign which is different to other village signs in this area which are now mostly ironwork.

 

Members were asked to consider the plaques on the sign post which commemorate Sedlescombe's successes in Best Kept Village Competitions and an Anti-Litter Competition in the 1970s and 1980s. RESOLVED: That, because of the passage of time, the plaques should now be removed from the post.

 

Members expressed their appreciation of the baskets which have been provided and are being maintained again this year by Mrs Hudson who lives nearby.

 

59 - Village Green 3xLister seats. AR to wash.

62 - Village Green Give-way sign. Cleaned by PMT. Also New England Lane road sign.

63, 64 & 65 - Village Green Pumphouse roof and tiles, 2xoak benches, pump and metal protective cage. A Heritage Committee was formed by the Council at its annual meeting in May with membership of Cllrs Dellow, Martin, Mitchell and Irwin. Its terms of reference are:

  • To decide what future maintenance/repair should be undertaken of the Grade II listed pumphouse, its lead pump and oak seats.
  • To recommend to the Finance Committee how future maintenance should be paid for and what grant applications should be made.
  • To make the necessary arrangements as required by the funders including involving the local community.

The Clerk reported that the first meeting of the Heritage Committee would be held on Tuesday 04/08/09 at 1800 at the pumphouse to consider what work should be undertaken. Two other dates will be pencilled in for committee meetings ie 18/08/09 and 22/09/09. It was expected that a report will be made to the next Finance Committee meeting on 20/10/09.

 

67 - Noticeboard on shop wall. Wood preservative coating by PMT in 2009.

68 - Red Barn Field. The Clerk reported to the Committee as follows (in brief):

  1. That the Council adopted an action plan for the nature park for 2009 at its May Council Meeting. This involved, amongst other things, 2 grass cuts, bracken, bramble and nettle control and spot treatment of some of the thistles in accordance with a quotation received from Languard (the herbicide contractor currently employed by the Council to carry out other weedkilling in the Village).
  2. That, because of a disagreement regarding the weedkilling, Mr Boyd no longer wishes to be involved with voluntary maintenance of the field.
  3. That, Mrs Cole has withdrawn her sheep from the field.
  4. That Cllr Marland will be cutting the remaining thistles in July.
  5. That the Clerk had had a conversation with Ms Kent-Smith regarding the hedge between her garden and Red Barn Field.

It was noted that, although some herbicides are "selective" ie target particular plants, they can still cause some damage to other plants and creatures. Even manufacturer information for farmers from Thistlex notes that "Thistlex will damage clover". Dr Barry Yates of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve has said in an interview that, although he prefers not to use any herbicide, most nature reserves do use glyphosate.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council will continue to use non-chemical methods of weed control at Red Barn Field wherever possible being environmental and person-friendly.

 

RESOLVED: That the Parish Council will inform the four house owners that the Parish Council will continue to take no action to cut the hedge on the western boundary but will leave it up to them to do. Their co-operation will be sought to maintain the hedge in accordance with the May 2008 Briefing Note and to restrict cutting to January and February in order to maximise the wildlife value of the hedges. The owner of Finch House (1 Red Barn Cottages) will be reminded that his hedge must be retained to the satisfaction of the Local Planning Authority in accordance with a condition attached to Planning Permission RR/2003/347/P.

 

Committee members asked the Clerk to record their support regarding maintenance arrangements of Red Barn Field. RECOMMENDED: That, if the Council continues to receive aggravation regarding maintenance of Red Barn Field as a nature park, alternative uses of the land will be considered.

 

69 - Red Barn Field noticeboards. RD to do with linseed oil (no charge).

71 - Riverside Playground, moles. AR to report.

73 - Riverside Playing Field , tree. A small tree has fallen onto the fence by the river. Cllr Martin (PM) to deal.

74 - Squeaking wobbly board. RW to oil.

75 - Brede Lane footway in front of car park. Siding back by PMT completed 2009.

76 - Church Hill footway. Siding back by PMT completed 2009.

77 - Scaled drawings of the Pumphouse. Quote obtained. RECOMMENDED: That Pumphouse Designs' quotation of approximately £300 for production of scaled drawings of the listed Pumphouse is approved.

78 - Red Barn Field gate crossbar. RD to repair (may need to pay for wood).

F09/10.9

Insurances for 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12. It was noted that the Parish Council has obtained three-year insurance cover from Norwich Union through Came & Company. The policy is still awaited because of the large amount of councils moving over to this company on 01/06/09.

 

At Cllr Dellow's request, a quote had been obtained through Came & Company for public liability cover for any body running an event with no hazardous activities, on land, such as the village green, not belonging to them and attracting up to 500 people. A company called Towergate Partnership quoted £100/event.

 

Cllr Dellow had suggested that the Council runs the May Fayre next spring in order to raise money for a local project eg Pumphouse maintenance. RECOMMENDED: That the Council is willing to run the 2010 May Fayre on the Village Green if an Events Committee can be co-opted.

F09/10.10 Audit of 2008/09 accounts. The Clerk reported that internal audit of the 2008/09 accounts is complete and the accounts report has been forwarded to Mazars, the external auditors. The Internal Auditor had mentioned that at a recent audit training day it had been advised that councils should have a councillor, who is not a signatory, to initial the cheque stubs to further guard against fraud. She suggested that this is a practice this Council could consider adopting. RESOLVED: That the cheque stubs will be initialled by an additional parish councillor as well as two signatories.
F09/10.11

Chairman's Allowance, 2009-10.

Cllr Wright declared her personal and prejudicial interest as Chairman of the Council and left the meeting during consideration of this item.

 

RESOLVED: That £200 should be allocated for the 2009-10 Chairman's Allowance.

 

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