BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

FINANCE COMMITTEE

 

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

on Thursday 8th March 2018 at 7.30 pm

 

Present:

Councillors

G Steady (Chairman)

I Block (Vice Chairman)

J Chapman, D Dixon, J Howard,

J Russell and B Smith

 

Also in Attendance:

Councillor M Barry

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk/RFO

 

F.148   APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: None received from Committee Members. Non-Committee Members Councillors V Chapman and Yallop.

                                                                               

F.149   CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 11TH JANUARY 2018, RECEIVED BY COUNCIL ON THE 18TH JANUARY 2018:

 

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

 

F.150   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.

 

F.151               STATEMENT FROM THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE – COUNCILLOR STEADY:

 

A copy of the following statement had been circulated to all members:-

 

“As we come to the end of the financial year (year ending 31.3.18) we are forecasting a strong financial performance. This is the product of prudent budgeting and accessing £43,000 from Tendring District Council to fund improvements to our amenity areas. This will enable the council to carry on with its policy of providing better services and facilities.

 

An example of this policy is the taking back of the open-air swimming pool, to be rebranded Brightlingsea Lido, from Tendring District Council. The exciting development plans will make the facility unique, not just for our town but the whole area.

 

The Town Councils part of the council tax for the year 2018/2019 has been increased by 5%, which for a Band D property equates to an extra £2.82 per year. This increase will help with our commitment of improving our staff’s remuneration in recognition of the increase in work load and also the service they provide for our community. Therefore the increase for the staff remuneration, year on year, equates to an increase of 3.9%. This brings the increase over the last three years to 14.5% overall, which includes the addition of an extra member of staff.”

 

 

F.152               BUDGETS UPDATE INCLUDING NEW FINANCIAL REPORT:

 

A copy of two forms detailing the Financial Statement and Balances as at 28.02.18 had been circulated to all members. The Chairman briefed members that one is the current form, and the other has been updated to include a Revenue and Capital Account. He stated that the bank balances on the new form are to be realigned and will reflect the balances as at the end of year. The current account will become the revenue account, the saver account will be the capital reserves and the base rate reward account will be the repairs and renewals account. Councillor Steady then proposed that the new format is adopted from the start of the new financial year. Seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.

 

Councillor Steady then mentioned the Data Protection Registration, and that all Councillors have to register as Town Councillors. He advised members that the cost is £35.00, however it is expected to rise to £55.00 from 1st April 2018. He then proposed that the Council reimburses each member, once they have confirmed their Data Protection registration with the ICO. Seconded by Councillor J Chapman. Agreed. (The Clerk was asked to re-send out the information received from TDC about this).

 

Councillor Barry briefed members on the situation with the Swimming Pool. He stated that everything was on track for the handover on the 3rd April 2018. He said that the transfer of the kiosk was also ongoing, and that a figure was being negotiated after taking professional advise from Fox Leisure, and their may be the possibility of the CIO asking the council for a loan in October, to be paid back over 5 years. He asked if this was possible. Councillor Block advised that a few years ago the Cricket Club had a loan from the Council and this was paid back over 4 years, so the precedent   has already been set.

Recommendation: (1) The new format for the Financial Statement and Balances on Accounts form is adopted from the start of the new financial year. (2) Brightlingsea Town Council reimburses each member, once they have confirmed their Data Protection registration with the ICO.

 

F.153   UPDATE ON INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT 2017:

 

A copy of the update on the Internal Audit Report for 2017 had been circulated to all members. A discussion took place on the following:- (1) the change of bank accounts, from Barclays to Lloyds; (2) Asset re-valuations. It was then agreed that the audit report is noted and Fenn Wright would be contacted about valuations on the council property, and a meeting is arranged with them.

 

Recommendation: The audit report is noted and Fenn Wright would be contacted about valuations on the council property, and a meeting is arranged with them.

 

 

F.154   PROPERTY UPDATE:

 

The Chairman briefed members that the asset file is being updated and is a working document. He mentioned that the property items being dealt with at the moment includes the Colne Smack Preservation Society, Brightlingsea Leisure Village, Lakeside Caravan Park, Scout Hut and The Hard. He stated that whatever the outcome of the land tribunal, the agreement with the Harbour Commissioners needs to be revisited. A discussion took place. It was proposed by Councillor J Chapman that Fisher Jones Greenwood are contacted to update the agreement, seconded by Councillor Russell. Agreed.

 

Colne Smack Preservation Society – The Chairman stated that the Solicitors were progressing with the lease and the outstanding issues had to be solved.

 

Brightlingsea Leisure Village – Copies of information concerning the Landlord & Tenant Act 1954 S25 and e-mails from Fox Leisure had been circulated to all members. A discussion took place.

 

Councillor J Chapman then proposed that a lease is offered for 25 years, seconded by Councillor Smith. Councillor Block proposed a amendment, to offer a 50 year lease, seconded by Councillor Steady.

 

The amendment was put to a vote: in favour – 2, against – 5. The amendment failed.

 

The original proposal was then voted on: in favour – 6, abstention – 1. Carried.

 

Recommendation: (1) Fisher Jones Greenwood are contacted to update the agreement with the Harbour commissioners, (2) Brightlingsea Leisure Village– A lease of 25 years is offered.

 

F.155   CLOSE OF MEETING:

 

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 20.40 pm.