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FINANCE MINUTES

 

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF SEDLESCOMBE PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON TUESDAY 18 OCTOBER 2011 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL, 18:55 to 20:30

 

PRESENT: Cllr Glew (Chairman), Cllrs Chapman, Heap, Martin,

Councillor J Vine-Hall (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer: Mrs P Raymond

 

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F11/12.33 Apologies and reasons for absence. Cllr Wright (away)
F11/12.34 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. None disclosed.
F11/12.35 Public participation. None present.
F11/12.36 Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Finance Committee held on 06/09/11.
F11/12.37

Budget Monitoring. The members had been provided with a half-year statement for 2011/12 prior to the meeting.

  1. Budget 2011/12 and income and expenditure to end September 2011.
    1. Income and expenditure. RESOLVED: That the income and expenditure to the end of September 2011 against the 2011/12 budget is noted.
    2. Summary. RESOLVED: That the summary to the end of September 2011 against the 2011/12 budget is noted.
  2. Funds at the end September 2011. RESOLVED: That the statement of funds at the end of September 2011 against the 2011/12 budget is noted.
F11/12.38

Jobs update. Members had been provided with the current Jobs List prior to the meeting. The Clerk/RFO explained current grant opportunities. RESOLVED: That action is agreed as detailed in the report. Also see agenda item F11/12.42 below.

F11/12.39

Administration

  1. Sedlescombe Directory 2012. RESOLVED: That the Clerk/RFO is authorised to produce the 2012 Annual Report and Directory as in previous years with advertising being sold to cover the cost of printing, priced at at least £21 including 20% VAT.
  2. Subscriptions. Notice had been received that the majority of subscriptions (ie SALC, NALC, RALC) will remain unchanged next year. Information has not yet been received from SLCC. Subscription to AiRS has been allowed to lapse.
  3. Training. £600 has, so far, been spent this year.
  4. Sedlescombe Action Plan. Further details are expected at the next Council Meeting on 08/11/11. £2,000 has been included in the first draft budget for 2012/13.
F11/12.40

Clerk's Salary and Clerk's Gratuity

  1. Salary. No information regarding any increase has been received.
  2. Gratuity. The Clerk's contract of employment, dating from 1979 (backdated to 1976), provides for a retirement gratuity of twice the Clerk's annual salary. Although the Government is proposing stopping the payment of new gratuities in 2012, the Clerk has received reassurance from a Government Minister that local authorities may still fulfil extant contractual obligations with employees.
F11/12.41

Grants to others

  1. Neighbourhood Watch. A request had been received from the Treasurer of Rother Neighbourhood Watch for a running costs contribution. No action.
  2. Rural Rother Trust. The usual annual letter had been received from the Chairman of the Rural Rother Trust. No action regarding a donation. Names of suitable people to receive donations from the Trust can be submitted.
  3. Surviving Christmas. Surviving Christmas is a long-standing charity that raises funds from people living in Hastings, St Leonards and Bexhill to help local people in need at Christmas. Names of suitable people to receive food vouchers or hampers can be submitted, including in rural areas. Cllr Wright will submit any names that are forwarded to her.
F11/12.42 First draft of 2012/13 budget. Prior to the meeting, members had been provided with a first draft budget based on there being no increase in the precept for 2012/13. The following decisions are included in a revised report.
  1. Grants to others. RESOLVED: That the total for grants to others should be reduced to £200.
  2. Red Barn Well tops. Work had been approved previously by the Council but not undertaken. RESOLVED: That the well tops at Red Barn Field Nature Park should be replaced as soon as possible.
  3. Replacement of fencing bordering River Line in children's playground. RESOLVED: That D&B Fencing's quote of £1230 including VAT and labour is accepted for taking down and disposing of chestnut palings at the Riverside playground and installation of approximately 40m of weldmesh fencing to match existing, using 4" round stakes and rails, tops of stakes scooped out to take rails, held by 2" galvanised metal straps. Gravel boarded base, infilled with pvc coated weldmesh to a height of 1.2m.
    Current insurance details provided. Details of waste disposal supplied. D&B Fencing are registered carriers of waste.
  4. Disposal of Waste. Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011, the duty of care regarding waste disposal has been tightened and will be tightened further in 2013. RESOLVED: That, in future, as appropriate, the Clerk/RFO will issue Waste Transfer Notes with invitations to quote for work.
  5. Tennis Courts. The first draft budget does not allow for any expenditure on the courts. Resurfacing could cost about £14,000 with fencing increasing the cost to nearer £30,000. If the Playing Field Trust wishes the Parish Council to undertake work to the courts, the Council's budget will need to take this into account. Unfortunately, because of the cost of providing the sports pavilion in 2009, the Council had been unable to save towards this resurfacing. It was proposed that the current/future use of the area needs to be ascertained through a village-wide survey, however timing is important as 1) provision may need to be made in the 2012/13 budget and 2) the Rother District Council community grant can only be applied for twice a year - the next closing date is 31/01/12. Obtaining a loan to cover all or part of the cost of the work might be an option but it would need to be repaid within the life of the courts, probably ten years. RESOLVED: That the Clerk/RFO should obtain further details regarding Public Works Loan Board loans.
    An alternative would be to take down the netting to allow free use of the tarmac but health and safety implications would still need to be take into account. Removal of the tarmac and replacement with grass would also have cost implications. The importance of preserving village amenities was acknowledged by members as was the need to keep disturbance of neighbouring properties to a minimum.
  6. "No parking" and "Clean it up" notices. RESOLVED: That the Clerk/RFO will arrange to put appropriate notices on litter bins on the Village Green following a spate of parking on the Green.
  7. New tourism board - "Welcome to Sedlescombe". RESOLVED: That quotes are obtained for replacement of the "Welcome to Sedlescombe" board for installation in the Brede Lane car park in commemoration of the 2012 Queen's Jubilee celebrations.
  8. Planters for Village Green. RESOLVED: That Blackbrooks Garden Centre's kind offer to provide 6 oak barrels for the Village Green and their planting, now and in the future, to deter parking on and running over the Green is accepted in exchange for sponsorship plaques.
  9. Red Barn Fruiting hedgerow. The original budget was removed as work can be undertaken by volunteers.
  10. Tree work. The inclusion of £800 in the budget was approved although much of the current proposed work is expected to be done by volunteers.
  11. General funds carried forward. Although some contingency figures had been included in the draft budget, the amount expected to be carried forward in general funds to 2013/14 could drop to about £5000, about 1/6 of the precept when the recommended figure is 1/3 to 1/2 of the precept. Members acknowledged the need to ensure some buffer funds are in hand even if this means increasing the precept.
F11/12.43 Date of Next Meeting; Tuesday 13 December 2011.
  Chairman......................................................... Date......................................................