BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL

FINANCE & PROPERTY COMMITTEE

Minutes of the on-line Finance & Property Meeting held on

Thursday 12th November 2020 at 3.00 p.m.

Present:

Councillors

J Carr (Chairman)

J Chapman (Vice Chairman)

M Barry, M Beckett, G Chasney,

J Howard  and B Smith

Also in Attendance:

Councillor G Steady

Tracey Pulford – Town Clerk/RFO

1 member of the public

F.031 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE:  None received.

F.032   CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON THE 10TH SEPTEMBER 2020, RECEIVED BY COUNCIL ON THE 17TH SEPTEMBER 2020:

The Minutes were accepted as a true record.

F.033 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.034 NOTICE OF CONCLUSION OF AUDIT – ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020:

Members noted receipt of the conclusion of the Audit for year ended 31 March 2020, and the Chairman confirmed that there were no matters to address this year.

The Chairman recorded his thanks for the Clerk and the Internal Auditor, for all their hard work in completing the AGAR.

Recommendation: The completed AGAR for the year ended 31 March 2020 was noted.

F.035 GRANT FUNDING 2020/2021:

To consider applications received for Discretionary Grants 2020/2021:

The Chairman informed members that the budget allocation for discretionary grants was £1,446.00 and £800.00 had already been allocated to projects.

A copy of the grant application form for the St James Church Lads and Church Girls Brigade “Brightlingsea Brigade” had been circulated to all members.

Councillor Beckett declared an interest in this item, and abstained from any discussion or voting.

After much discussion it was agreed that Councillor Steady, who knows the applicant, would make contact to seek clarity on the application.  Also, the remainder of the grant allocation, being £646.00, be reserved for this project.

Recommendation: Councillor Steady makes contact with the applicant to seek clarity on the application.  The remainder of £646.00 from the grant allocation be reserved for this project.

To consider applications received for Standing Annual Grants 2020/2021:

The Chairman briefed members that at the last meeting it was agreed that those in receipt of a standing annual grant would be contacted to see if, due to Covid-19, they would be applying for their grant for 2020/2021, in full, part or not at all.  The following applications have since been received:-

Application from:

Amount requested

Brightingsea in Bloom

£700.00

YMCA

£750.00

Music Festival

£500.00

Autumn Centre

£2,000.00

Carnival Association

Will not be claiming their grant for  2020/2021

Councillor Chapman declared an interest in the YMCA and the Autumn Centre.   Councillor Barry declared an interest in the Music Festival.

Councillor Howard updated members on the Autumn Centre, and advised that, due to Covid-19, they have been unable to hold the lunch club.  Also the mini bus has been SORN, however they are still paying the insurance and MOT.  She has also spoken to the Deputy Chairman about the accounts, and a copy will be sent in to the council as soon as possible.

A discussion then took place on the minutes of the last meeting, where it stated that some grants would ‘be paid in full’, and why were those organisations now claiming a lower amount.  A discussion took place.   Councillor Carr mentioned that, it was agreed at the last meeting that the Autumn Centre was to be paid an amount of £1,000 in the first instance.

It was then proposed by Councillor Barry that the applications for standing annual grants would be paid, as per agenda item 5 (minute F.035B above), with the exception of the Autumn Centre, who were to be paid £1,000.00.  Seconded by Councillor Howard.  Agreed. 

Post meeting note: It was minuted at the full council meeting on the 17th September 2020, under item 51 that “The Mayor replied that he does not mind the grants being issued, for the various amounts, but reiterated that the Council should be saying to the organisations that we are supporting local organisations through a very difficult period, and we are investing in the community as well.  Councillor Chapman stated that the minutes state ‘to be written to’, and if an organisation comes back and states that they have had little or no expenditure, they will not receive the total amount of funding.  Councillor Carr replied that he has drafted  a letter to all those who are in receipt of a standing annual grant, asking if they need the grant for 2020/2021, and each one will be taken on merit.”

Councillor Chasney informed the meeting that he did not think that the Regatta would be claiming their grant for 2020/2021, as the event did not take place, however he would ask the Regatta Chairman to confirm this.

Councillor Steady mentioned the grant of £300.00 for the CYC Harbour Lights event, as discussed at the last full council meeting, and stated that they have completed a grant application form, as required.  Councillor Chapman then proposed that the event is allocated £300.00, seconded by Councillor Howard.  Agreed.

A discussion took place on the grant for the Royal British Legion, and it was mentioned that, as the Town Council Groundsmen had upgraded the area, the RBL would not have had much expenditure this year, apart from the Pansies they purchased for Remembrance Day.  The Chairman informed members that they had not yet completed their application form, however contact would be made to clarify the situation.

Recommendation: The grant applications from Brightlingsea in Bloom for £700.00, YMCA for £750.00, Music Festival for £500 and the Autumn Centre for £1,000 would be paid.  The Royal British Legion would be contacted to find out how much expenditure they have incurred on the War Memorial Gardens so far for this year.

F.036 BUDGETS FOR 2021/2022:

The Chairman briefed members that the budgets were being prepared.

Councillor Smith updated on the Neighbourhood Plan, and much discussion took place.  It was agreed that the press release issued for the Chronicle, would be advertised in other publications, and any names of any interested persons for the steering group would be given to Councillor Smith or the Town Clerk.

The Clerk informed members that the precept request has to be with Tendring District Council by the 15th January 2021 – latest, and asked what sort of increase on the precept do members wish to see.  A discussion took place and it was agreed that budgets with a 3, 5 and 6% increase would be produced.

Recommendation: The Neighbourhood Plan press release would be advertised in other publications.  Any names of any interested persons for the steering group would be given to Councillor Smith or the Town Clerk.  Budgets would be produced showing a 3, 5 and 6% increase.

F.037 CAPEX 5 YEAR PLAN:

The Chairman briefed members on the Capex 5 year plan.  Councillor Steady suggested that the plan should be an 8 year plan, to fit in with council election years.

A discussion also took place on the following:-

Councillor Chasney mentioned the Town Guide and his plan for 2021.  He stated that he would like to start work on the 2021 guide, asking for advertisers artwork etc, and was suggesting a 50% discount on those who advertised in the 2020 guide.  He mentioned that everything could be compiled, and if the guide did not go to print, due to Covid-19, no costs would be incurred.  This was agreed by all.

The Chairman informed members that the Town Council have been able to apply for a Business Grant from Tendring District Council for the Parish Hall, the Pavilion on the Rec and the Boating Lake.  This resulted in zero NNDR rates, and £1,053.20 being returned to the Council.  He also mentioned the War Memorial upgrade project, which had so far cost around £10,000, with income/donations in the region of £5,000.

Date of next meeting: Thursday 26th November 2020 at 4pm.

F.038 CLOSE OF MEETING:

There being no further business, the meeting closed at 4.17 p.m.

Received by Council on:  19.11.20 Approved by Committee on:  26.11.20

Signedby ChairmanSigned by Chairman

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