MEETING ON TUESDAY 26 MARCH 2013, SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE ROOM 2, 19:35 to 20:30
Chairman - Cllr Pauline Glew
Cllrs Anson, Chapman, Lawrence
Ex-officio member: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/RFO - Mrs P J Raymond
50 APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE was received from Cllr Eldridge.
51 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None declared.
52 WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION. None received.
53 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION SESSION RE MATTERS ON THE AGENDA AT THE CHAIRMAN'S DISCRETION. No public present.
54 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 11/12/12.
55 JOBS LIST UPDATE
- MUGA. Members had been provided with copies of the MUGA account at the end of February 2013. RESOLVED: That the shortfall in funding for the MUGA surfacing, currently £505, will be met by the Parish Council. The fencing work by D&B Fencing was complete and the cheque had been paid. The Clerk/RFO had met with ETC Sports Surfaces of Maldon to discuss work required on the surfacing and had accepted the quotation provided in accordance with her delegation from the Council. Agreement had been reached to pay for the resurfacing in two stages of 85% on completion of the macadam surfacing and 15% on completion of the colour spray and line marking. It was noted that, in due course the MUGA will have to be closed to the public for at least six weeks and that the last part of the work is particularly sensitive to weather as it cannot be wet, damp, cold or windy. Prior to commencement of work, a photo of the driveway showing its condition will be sent to Mr and Mrs Hall of Powdermills and Mr and Mrs Jordan of Millstones Cottage.
- DOG BIN EMPTYING. Information had recently been received from Rother District Council for the 2013-14 year. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council accepts Rother's annual charge for emptying three dog bins in Sedlescombe during 2013-14 of £354.12 plus VAT.
- VOLUNTEER WORK. Volunteers are currently sweeping the Pumphouse and the bus shelter on a voluntary basis. Councillors will try to arrange to carry out repairs to the play equipment at the Riverside so that concreting coincides with work at the tennis courts. Preparatory work will be carried out while the ground is still soft. Cllr Chapman is also considering work that is required at the East View Terrace Kickabout Area.
- OTHER. The RFO reported that the Tree Surgery at the Kickabout Area had been completed and paid for. From 01/01/13, Landscape Services had been undertaking litter collection at the Riverside playing field and Kickabout Area. From 01/04/13, Landscape Services will be undertaking grass cutting, strimming and some herbicide application. Payment to be made twice a year. The annual professional inspection of the playground contract had been let to Digley Associates. Work at the MUGA detailed at 55.1 above.
56 ANNUAL REPORT & DIRECTORY 2013, INCOME AND COSTS. The RFO reported that advertising income amounting to £621.60 excluding VAT had been received which adequately covered the cost of printing the Report and Directory. A business page was being maintained on the website where new businesses can be added throughout the year at the cost of £4 including VAT.
57 TRAINING EVENT 21/03/13, INCOME AND COSTS. 21 councillors, in addition to the 4 councillors and the Clerk/RFO from Sedlescombe, had attended the event last Thursday at the Peace Room, Pestalozzi Village. The arrangements made by Pestalozzi had been very satisfactory. The councillors' Councils had been charged £27 plus VAT for each councillor, which adequately covered the costs involved in putting on the event.
58 SEDLESCOMBE NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
- Indicative cost of production. Members were provided with indicative costs of producing the Plan by Cllr Vine-Hall. The figures will be firmed up in due course but are expected to include employment of a planning consultant and hire of venues etc for public consultation.
- Funding. Funding had been allocated in the 2013-14 Sedlescombe Parish Council Budget and it was expected that £7,000 could be granted by DCLG. Details of the DCLG grant are expected to be available on 15/04/13 and applications to cover expenditure incurred can be submitted starting on 01/05/13. Rother District Council, whilst not offering any money, has agreed, in accordance with the Localism Act 2011, to help and assist in the production of the Plan.
- Approval of brief for planning consultant. Cllr Vine-Hall had drafted a brief for the planning consultant and copies were provided for members. It was agreed that the consultant should be appointed to undertake limited amounts of the work, the remainder being done by members of the SNPPG.
- Arrangements for inviting applicants. RESOLVED: That tenders are invited from Planning Consultants GRF Planning, rCOH and Batcheller Monkhouse in accordance with the draft. Letters of invitation to be sent out after the meeting of the SNPPG on 09/04/13. Applications to be returned to the Parish Clerk/RFO by noon on 03/05/13. A short Finance Committee meeting to be held following the Council Meeting on 14/05/13 to consider the applications.
- Other. None.
59 CHAIRMAN'S ALLOWANCE. RESOLVED: That £200 should be allocated for the Chairman's Allowance in 2013-14.
60 CLERK'S GRATUITY FUND. RESOLVED: That the amount in the Clerk's Gratuity Fund should be rounded up to £31,340 by the end of the 2012-13 financial year.
61 2012/13 ACCOUNTS
- Internal Financial Controls Report 2012-13. RESOLVED: That the Internal Financial Controls Report 2012-13 is adopted.
- Draft accounts 2012-13 - will be available at the May Council Meeting. The Chairman of the Finance Committee will check them beforehand.
- 2012-13 internal audit. Angela Alexander will undertake the internal audit of the accounts prior to the May Meeting.
- List of Fixed Assets. Cllr Anson queried the calculation of the value of fixed assets and was told that the historic value is used.
62 RESPONSIBLE FINANCIAL OFFICER'S DELEGATED FINANCIAL POWERS
- Purchase of petty cash items up to £20/month. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's delegated power to purchase petty cash items up to £20/month should continue.
- Minor grounds maintenance expenses up to £75/month. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's delegated power to incur minor grounds maintenance expenses up to £75/month should continue.
- Purchase of stationery including copier toner up to the annual budget figure. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's delegated power to purchase stationery and copier toner up to the annual budget figure should continue.
- Booking training for councillors and the Clerk/RFO up to the annual budget figure. RESOLVED: That the Clerk's delegated power to book training for councillors and herself up to the annual budget figure should continue.
63 2013-14 BUDGET
- The 2013-14 Budget and Precept as agreed by the Council at its meeting on 18/02/13 was noted. The precept had been increased to £41,000 (up from £33,500) which resulted in a £1.30 pw Band D Council Tax or an increase of £0.35 pw. It was also noted that about a third of this increase can be accounted for by the change in the way the Council Tax Base is calculated.
- Sedlescombe's position in the Council Tax League Table for Rother towns and parishes. Despite the increase in the 2013-14 precept, Sedlescombe's Band D Council Tax is 11th highest in the table of 32 parishes and 1 parish meeting.
- Authorisation of Parish Council payments in 2013-14. Members had been provided with a list of payments in 2013-14. RESOLVED: That signatories are authorised to sign cheques in accordance with the adopted list of payments for 2013-14.
64 ASSET REGISTER. RESOLVED: That the updated Asset Register is adopted.
65 RISK MANAGEMENT. RESOLVED: That the updated Risk Management Report is adopted.
66 INSURANCES. RESOLVED: That the Council's Insurances should be renewed from 01/10/13 with Aviva through brokers Came & Company at the cost of £1,136.61.
67 INVESTMENTS. It was noted that the only investments currently held are with the West Bromwich Building Society and The Co-operative Bank. However, interest rates are very poor and members were asked to report any better places for investment.
68 DATE OF NEXT MEETING - 14/05/13 following the Council Meeting.