Minutes of the Meeting held at the Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea

on Thursday 9th March 2017 at 7.30 pm

 

Present:

Councillors

G Steady (Chairman)

D Dixon, J Howard, J Russell and K Yallop

 

Also in Attendance:

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk/RFO

Councillors M Barry, V Chapman, M Judson,

D Ingate and B Smith

F.064   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: Councillors I Block and J Chapman

 

F.065   CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 12TH JANUARY 2017, RECEIVED BY COUNCIL ON THE 19TH JANUARY 2017:

 

The Minutes were accepted as a true record of the meeting,

 

F.066   DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY INTERESTS:

 

Members were reminded of the requirement to disclose any interest in relation to items on the agenda, when these are discussed.

 

The Chairman then read out the following request to the Town Clerk/Proper Officer, from Councillor Barry:

“I would like to make a request to you as the proper Officer acting on behalf of the council for dispensation to remain and participate in discussions regarding an issue for which I have to make a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

I am a committee member of Brightlingsea Cricket Club and matters relating to charges levied for use of facilities on the recreation ground will be discussed at the finance meeting.

 

I wish to make a contribution to discussions but do not have an entitlement to vote.

 

I wish to give advance notice of this interest and request that I receive dispensation to remain and participate, in this and any future meetings involving the Cricket Club as long as I remain a committee member.”

 

Councillor Russell highlighted that this request was also a personal interest. This dispensation was agreed.

 

F.067               INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT:

 

A copy of the Audit Report 2016 had been circulated to all members.

 

Members then went through the audit report and the following recommendations were agreed:-

 

  1. Progress the increase in routine financial tasks carried out by Mrs Julie Crittenden. B. In due course the Council review its Financial Regulations. C. The Council continue to progress its risk assessment review and address all the issues identified before 31.3.17. This review should include the annual reviews of internal controls and the effectiveness of the internal audit which needs to be completed by the 31.3.17. D. In 2015/2016 the budgetary control arrangements gave cause for concern and they need to be reviewed as part of the 2017/2018 budget making process. E. Consideration is given to using the Edge computerised accounting system for the recording and collection of credit income. The Council should when reviewing its new banking arrangements continue to invest its Reserves so as to have appropriate access arrangements, and obtain the bet rate of return from its investments. F. Further consideration is given, when reviewing its banking arrangements, to using a charge card to enable purchases online and reduce the need for petty cash transactions and prevent the need for the use of third parties debit/credit cards to make advantageous purchases. G. The clerk reviews the councils position with regards to (1) the implementation of the “living wage” policy, (2) the law regarding workplace pensions. H. The Council review arrangements for the valuation of its asset and investments with regard to the Annual Return. If required consult the external auditor regarding the appropriate figures to be used for the annual return. J. in 2017 improve the resilience of the existing arrangements by improving on the documentation of year end procedures which follow good practice and comply with the external auditors requirements including public access via the councils web-site. With regard to the external auditors comments the 2016/20-17 year end timetable be reviewed and shortened. The revised timetable be approved and implemented so as to ensure that the next year end accounts and annual return are produced and approved by the council so as to comply with good practice and the external audit requirements including the loading of the annual return on the councils web site.

 

Recommendation: The 2016 Audit Report is accepted and the recommendations are noted.

 

F.068   BUDGETS 2016/2017:

 

A copy of a revised budget as at 28.02.17, had been circuited to all members. The Chairman mentioned that the three columns included actuals as at 28.02.17 and less accruals as at 28.02.17. He mentioned that new budget headings would be needed for the 2017/2018 budgets/accounts.

 

Councillor V Chapman suggested that it might be a good idea if an officer from Tendring District Council came down to talk to members about the S106 monies. The Chairman advised that he had received an e-mail which detailed the scheme, and he would arrange for this e-mail to be sent to all Councillors.

 

            Recommendation: A copy of the e-mail detailing the process for the S106 monies would be circulated to all members.

 

F.069   OUTSTANDING INVOICES:

 

The Chairman briefed members that in the future members should take on the responsibility of chasing up any outstanding invoices that have been raised, before warning letters are sent out. This was agreed.

 

            Recommendation: Members would take on the responsibility of chasing up any outstanding invoices that have been raised, before warning letters are sent out.

 


F.070   PROPERTY ASSETS:

 

            The Chairman advised members that the property asset review is well under way. However, the more we investigate things, it highlights items that need looking at. He then mentioned the anomalies on the budget regarding the Cricket Club and the Bowling Club rents.

 

The Chairman then asked members if they would consider suspending the Standing Orders, under 26A, referring to Standing Order 7, to discuss Bowling Club and Cricket Club Fees. This was proposed by Councillor Howard and seconded by Councillor V Chapman. Agreed.

 

            Councillors Judson and Steady both declared an interest, as members of the Bowls Club.

 

Councillor Barry then briefed members on the facility similarities between the Bowls Club and the Cricket Club. After extensive discussions it was agreed that the Cricket Club fees be brought in line with that of the Bowls Club.

 

            Recommendation: The Cricket Club fees be brought in line with that of the Bowls Club.

 

At the invitation of the Chairman, Councillor Smith gave an overview of the Harbour Commissioners roles and function at how this reflected on the agreement between the Town Council and the Harbour Commissioners.

 

            Recommendation: Councillor Smith and Ingate carries on with discussions with the Harbour Commissioners.

 

F.071   BRIGHTLINGSEA OPEN-AIR SWIMMING POOL:

 

            The Chairman briefed members that meetings were on-going, however he felt that a service level agreement should be put in place with Tendring District Council for this coming year. Councillor Barry mentioned the budget allocation of £30,000 and asked if some of this money could be used to commission detailed surveys of the pipe work and the potential for air source and heating of the water. He mentioned that Sport England had visited the pool last week, and were very helpful and upbeat about the project. He then stated that he would like to commit some of this money to provide the detailed surveys. The Chairman asked Councillor Barry to obtain all the necessary costing’s, and bring them back to a future meeting for discussion. Agreed.

 

            Recommendation: Councillor Barry would obtain all the necessary costing’s for the pool, and would bring them to a future meeting for discussion.

 

F.072   PROJECTS WHICH WILL AFFECT THE BUDGETS:       

 

            The Chairman briefed members that the Council is currently raising money from assets, i.e. the sale of the Sailing club and the boat park. He also mentioned the possibility of siting another 10 beach huts on the Western Promenade, which he believes could bring in £100,000. Councillor V Chapman stated that she was unsure of the take up of new beach huts, and also that she was unsure on the proposed location. The Chairman then suggested that Councillor V Chapman discusses this proposal with the Grounds Manager for further clarification.

 

            Recommendation: Councillor V Chapman discusses with the Grounds Manger the possibility of sighting more beach huts on the Western Promenade.

 

Councillor Yallop mentioned that she had attended a Boat Show and Regatta meeting on Monday, and informed members that they are going ahead with the fireworks again this year. They are looking for possible funding, and she would look at her budget to see if there is any available monies.

 

F.073   CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.56 pm.

 

 

 

 

Received by Council on: 16.03.17                    Approved by Committee on:

 

Signed  by Chairman                                        Signed by Chairman