BRIGHTLINGSEA TOWN COUNCIL
FINANCE COMMITTEE

Minutes of the Meeting held at the Parish Hall, Victoria Place, Brightlingsea on Thursday 7th October 2010 at 7.30 pm

Present:
Councillors
I Block (Chairman)
J Russell (Vice Chairman)
J Chapman, D Dixon, A Goggin, G Steady and K Yallop

Also in Attendance:
Councillor M Holding

F.439 Apologies:  None received.

F.440 Confirmation of the Minutes of meeting held on 22nd July 2010, received by Council on the 19th August 2010:

The Minutes were agreed as a true record of the meeting.

F.441 Declaration of Personal and Prejudicial Interests:

The Chairman reminded Members to declare their personal and prejudicial interests, as and when appropriate.

F.442 Brightlingsea Business Association Application for Grant:
 
The Chairman briefed members that at the finance meeting on the 22.7.10 the Business Association be granted £210.00 towards this project.  This was withdrawn at the Council meeting on the 19.8.10.  After discussion it was agreed that as some of the equipment was being donated for free, that no grant be given.  Agreed.

Recommendation: No grant is given.

F.443 2009/2010 End of Year Accounts – External Auditor’s Certificate and Opinion

The Chairman briefed members that the 2009/10 accounts had been signed off, and members noted the comments in section 3 – External Auditor’s Certificate and Opinion.

Councillor Goggin gave thanks to both Cllr Block and Tracey Pulford for their efforts on the accounts.

F.444 Apprenticeship Funding:

Councillor J Chapman briefed members that at a recent Council meeting it was agreed that we would look at the Apprenticeship Scheme.  The Council does qualify and also for part funding.  After discussion it was agreed that the Council takes on one apprenticeship within the scheme, employed as a Groundsman.  Funding is available to pay £47.50 per week from the apprenticeship scheme, and also from the Council. 

Recommendation: The Council takes on one apprenticeship within the scheme, employed as a Groundsman, with funding being available from the apprenticeship scheme, and also from the Council. 

F.445 2011/2012 Budgets:

The Chairman briefed members that Tracey Pulford is in the process of putting together the 1st draft budgets, but we still need your MSR bids.  Also the budget process needs to be completed and agreed by Council at the December council meeting – latest.  After discussion it was agreed that the 1st draft budgets would include a general increase of 3%.

Recommendation: MSR Bids required so 1st draft budgets can be prepared.

F.446 Updated Standing Orders:

The Chairman briefed Members that there is a new model set of standing orders, which Tracey Pulford is going through at the moment.  These will be discussed at the next finance meeting, with a copy being circulated to all members before the meeting.
 
F.447 Special Expenses 2011/2012:

The Chairman briefed members that the Councils special expenses need to be returned to Tendring District Council by the 5th November 2010.  After discussion it was agreed that Jim Smetherham be invited down to talk to the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Tracey Pulford about special expenses, and the form be returned as necessary. 

Recommendation: Jim Smetherham is invited down to talk to the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Tracey Pulford about special expenses, and the form be returned as necessary. 

F.448 Update on Internal Auditors Report:

The Chairman briefed members that he and Tracey Pulford had gone through the Auditors Report and everything was in hand.  The next time the Internal Auditor is in the office, we will go through the report and report back to the next finance meeting.

F.449 Property Agents / Solicitors – Review of Effectiveness:

The Chairman briefed members that included in the Auditors Report was the review of effectiveness of the Property Agents and Solicitors and that both Fenn Wright and Prettys Solicitors were appointed in 2007.  After discussion it was agreed that an early evening meeting be scheduled with both Fenn Wright and Prettys Solicitors to review the current arrangements.

Recommendation: A meeting is scheduled with both Fenn Wright and Prettys Solicitors to review the current arrangements.

F.450 Review of Reserves:

The Chairman briefed members that the Auditors Report also recommended that the Council reviews its level of reserves.  At the moment we currently hold £207,000 in the Reserve Account.  After discussion it was agreed that the Chairman, Vice Chairman and Tracey Pulford work out the level of reserves needed.

Recommendation: The Chairman, Vice Chairman and Tracey Pulford work out the level of reserves needed.

F.451 Discussion on 2010/11 Budget re: Swimming Pool

The Chairman briefed members that included in the 2010/11 budget there was a figure of £54,000 for expenditure and £20,800 for income on the swimming pool.  Obviously with TDC keeping the pool and the Town Council making a contribution of £10,000, there is some £23,000 surplus money available.

Schemes had been put forward and it was agreed that the following schemes would be looked into further:
  
1) Updating computers and fire proof filing cabinets for the Office (£8,000)
2) Work on the 3rd Boating Lake Island (£8,000)
3) New fence and replace old play equipment on Bayard Recreation Ground.  (Cllr Steady to provide quotations for the work).

Recommendation: The following schemes would be looked into further:
  
1) Updating computers and fire proof filing cabinets for the Office (£8,000)
2) Work on the 3rd Boating Lake Island (£8,000)
3) New fence and replace old play equipment on Bayard Recreation Ground.  (Cllr Steady to provide quotations for the work).
 
F.452 Date of Next Meetings:

Date of next meetings – Thursday 28th October at 8pm, Thursday 4th November at 7.30 pm, Thursday 11th November at 8pm and Monday 22nd November at 7.30 pm.

F.453 Close of Meeting: 
 
There being no further business, the meeting closed at 8.45 pm.