SPC logoFinance Committee Minutes

MEETING ON 10/12/13 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF SEDLESCOMBE VILLAGE HALL STARTING 19:15 TO 20:45

PRESENT
Chairman - Cllr Pauline Glew
Cllr Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Lawrence
Ex-officio member: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/RFO: Pauline Raymond

37 APOLOGY FOR ABSENCE. Cllr Eldridge (indisposed).

38 INTERESTS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 2012 CODE OF CONDUCT. None

39 WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION. No new requests received.

40 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. No public present.

41 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 15/10/13.

42 JOBS REPORT. The Chairman thanked members for their voluntary work and made a special mention of Cllr Chapman who had undertaken a range of different jobs himself in the Village as well as arranging volunteers to do some work. See updated 2013 Inspection Report here.

43 PRINTING COSTS 2013

  1. Annual Report & Directory. The RFO reported that 30 advertising spaces (maximum available without going onto a further page) had been sold in the 2013 Directory. Together with income from business listings on the Parish Council website, £622 excluding VAT had been raised. Printing costs of the 2013 Directory were £485. Balance of income used towards printing the quarterly Bulletin.

    RESOLVED:
    That local businesses are invited to advertise in the 2014 Annual Report & Directory in the same format as previously and a brief business listing on the Parish Council website for at least £25 including VAT. Without the business listing, the cost will be at least £21 including VAT and the business listing alone will be £4 including VAT. The RFO will begin to invite businesses to advertise at the beginning of January 2014 with the copy to be ready for the printer by the end of February 2014.

    RESOLVED: That Fastprint's quote of £485 for printing 800 copies of the 2014 Annual Report & Directory is accepted.

  2. Quarterly Bulletin due early in January, July and October 2014. RESOLVED: That Fastprint's quote for £48 for 700 folded black and white copies of the January Bulletin is accepted. It was proposed that colour is used for special editions.

44 INTERNAL AUDIT OF 2013-14 ACCOUNTS. RESOLVED: That Alison Hillman of Pevensey should be appointed to carry out the 2013-14 internal audit of Sedlescombe PC accounts at the cost of £30/hour plus travel at 45p/mile. Ms Hillman expects it to take 4 hours to do the preparation, carry out the audit and prepare the report.

45 REQUEST FOR GRANT AID

  1. Citizens' Advice. No action.
  2. Battle Area Community Bus. RESOLVED: That a grant of £150 should be made this financial year to the Battle Area Community Trust to be used for purchasing fuel for the buses.

46 2013-14 ACCOUNTS. Members had been sent hard copies of the following reports.

47 BUDGET PREPARATIONS 2014-15. Members had been sent hard copies of statements showing draft Income, Administration Expenditure, Other Expenditure, a Summary and a Budget Preparations Report (see agenda for links). The RFO reported she had been informed of a change in the estimated Council Tax Base Rate as shown in the Summary to 625.48. Information had also been received that Sedlescombe's Council Tax Reduction Scheme Grant, although 99% certain, will be confirmed/amended on 18/12/13.

Members agreed as follows:

  1. To keep the Band D Council Tax at the same rate as 2013-14 (£67.62).
  2. To increase the grant aid (No.36 on Sheet C) for 2013-14 by £150 as agreed at Minute 45.2 above.
  3. To reduce the traffic calming budget for 2013-14 (No.43 on Sheet C) to an amount to cover the cost of purchasing a secondhand speed camera but to increase the 2014-15 budget for match funding in connection with a new ESCC scheme.
  4. To reduce the "refurbishing Toilets for Police/toilet use" budget to £1,000 for 2014-15.
  5. To reduce the Riverside Playing Field budget for 2013-14 (No.50 on Sheet C) to nil by removing the intention to spend £1,000 on a piece of play equipment. Budget to be moved to "traffic calming" in 2014-15.
  6. Other proposed spending as in the Report.

The full Council will consider approval of the Budget at its meeting on 14/01/13.

48 INTERNAL FINANCIAL CONTROLS. Central Government intends to change the current arrangements whereby two councillors must sign cheques and other orders for payment [Section 150(5) of the Local Government Act 1972]. The Government's view is that the "two signature rule" represents an unreasonable burden on parish and town councils inhibiting as it does the use of electronic means of payment. The legislative change going through Parliament at the moment will allow parish and town councils to decide whether to adopt a new method of payment. Sedlescombe Parish Council has already agreed to adopt this change but, of course, current members wished to be sure that a sound system of internal financial control had been adopted and mentioned particularly the importance of having different people carrying out the monthly checks. Revised financial regulations have already been drafted by the RFO and will be considered alongside guidance that has and will be issued in the next few months. The aim is to have a revised system in place in Sedlescombe by 01/04/2014 as long as the legislation has been passed at that stage.

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