Finance & Town Centre 14 January 2014

Minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Town Centre Committee held on Tuesday 14 January at 6pm at Neston Community and Youth Centre.

Present:Cllrs Barker (Chair), Jilani, Kynaston (substitute for Cllr Cummins), Loch, Marlow and Shipman. Mrs M Suckley (Administration Officer) and Mrs K Pierce (Town Centre Manager)

In attendance: Cllrs Griffiths and Wilkie.

PART 1: Items considered in the presence of the press and public

Meeting 7

140 Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Cummins and were accepted.

141 Questions to the Committee: None.

142 Declarations of Interest: None.

143 The minutes of the Finance and Town Centre Committee meeting held on 26.11.13 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair, subject to minor changes: item 129  The Committee considered and resolved … deletion of ‘Town Centre Advisory Group’ and replace with ‘Asset Transfer Negotiation Group’.

144     Clerk’s report: No report and no questions.        

145 Town Centre Manager’s report: No matters arising and no questions.

146 Finance

146.1 The Committee resolved to approve the Expenditure of £10,018.48 net. The Clerk was instructed to blank out individual names and salary listings and show as one block salary figure.

146.2 The Committee noted the income of £22,724.27. Income was the New Homes Bonus and interest accrued.

146.3 End of Year Accounts: The Committee resolved to approve closedown and preparation of the end of year accounts by RBS at an estimated cost of £460 plus 45p per mile, should this be required.

146.4 Earmarked Reserves: The Committee provided the following additional information for each Earmarked Reserve:

  • Parking Sign match fund s106                                               £2,000
    These funds are still to purchase enhanced heritage signs
  • Footfall counter 3yr match                                                     £2,250
    See item 160
  • Pre feasibility grant contribution (asset transfer)                    £6,019
    These funds to be renamed Town Hall/Market Square Reserves
  • Feasibility studies (asset transfer)                                        £30,000
    These funds to be renamed Town Hall/Market Square Reserves

147 Lone Worker Policy

       The TCM was requested to meet with the Town Clerk to ensure Loan Worker Policy is finalised and produced at next F&TC meeting.

148 Town Centre Manager’s Activity reports

148.1 Activity Report: The Committee received the Town Centre Manager’s Activity report.

TCM reported that she has been involved in the draft management agreement and preparing supplementary documents (room booking forms, etc) ready for the transfer date.

TCM confirmed that the two organisations who expressed interest in the Town Hall accommodation were a health organisation, which has since declined interest and Vivo Care Choices, a Care organisation who are looking to rent three rooms. The TCM confirmed that CAN are no longer interested in remaining rooms available.

Members noted that Elaine Grant from CWaC Localities department will be based in Neston Library one day a week.

149 Asset Transfer Town Hall, Market & Market Square

The TCM stated that she is still awaiting receipt of the final reworded Management Agreement from CWaC.

150 Trading for Councils

Members are looking into Frodsham Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation. Members noted that the Council has lost its General Power of Competence due to having fewer than 12 elected members.

151 Staffing Review

Town Council relocation: The Council offices will move to the Town Hall the week commencing 24 February. The Clerk to obtain 3 quotes for office removals and is delegated, in addition with the Mayor and Deputy Mayor to secure removals. The majority of unwanted furniture has been removed from the Town Hall. The Clerk to action if the Clerk’s office requires re-carpeting.

Key Holders: Members are currently investigating the insurance issue with regard to regular users locking the building.

The next Strategy Working Group meeting has been scheduled for Monday 20 January with the next Asset Transfer Negotiation Group meeting scheduled for Thursday 30 January.

The Committee resolved to approve that Cllr Marlow join the Asset Transfer Negotiation Group.

The Committee recommends the Staffing Review proposals listed in the Confidential Staffing Review Report dated 14.01.14 REF/003.

152 Market and Estates Officer Job Description

The Committee resolved to approve the Market and Estates Officer job description.

153 Town Hall Accommodation

The Committee resolved to approve that BT install

  • 2 x phone connections £105 each (1 downstairs and 1 upstairs with internal transfer of calls)
  • 2 x line rentals £18 per month each
  • 2 x VOIP £10 per month each
  • 1 x Broadband £30 per month (secured for £25 per month)

Members enquired whether high speed fibre broadband was being installed.

154 Neston Marketing

  The Committee resolved to approve that

  • The brief prepared under the auspices of the Neston S106 Funding Advisory Group be accepted and approved. (A contract will have to be drawn up using this brief).
  • CWaC be invoiced for the sum of £10,000 allocated by them for branding, marketing and promotion of Neston Town Centre and its activities.
  • The sum of £1700 from the Town Council’s Economic Development budget be committed to supporting the campaign.
  • Companies, a majority of which shall be Cheshire or Wirral based, shall be invited to tender for the delivery of a marketing campaign in line with the prepared brief.
  • Delegated authority be given to the Town Clerk, Chair and Deputy of Finance & Town Centre and Town Centre Manager to review all submitted tenders and decide on the appropriate company to appoint.
  • On receipt of the sum from CWaC, a tendering company be awarded the contract by the Town Council and commissioned as consultant to deliver on the Town Council’s objectives for a marketing campaign for Neston.

155 Town Council Allotments

  Members noted that the Clerk is waiting the return of the title deeds from CWaC. The solicitor has advised that a valuation of the plots of land will be required in order for the land to be registered with Land Registry and has requested that the support from CWaC’s District Valuer.

156 Section 106

Members noted that the next S106 meeting is 23 January.

157 Network Rail

      Members noted that NTC were advised on 26.11.13 that the netting would be in place within a few weeks. This has still not been auctioned. This item to be deferred to the next F&TC meeting on 18 February.

158 Neston Recreation Centre, s106 boundary

       Members noted that a response from CWaC, regarding the request for NTC to be included in the planning stage before plans for the Centre has not been received. The Clerk to chase.

159 Neston Business Awards Sponsorship

The Committee resolved to approve that

  • A contribution of £300 from the Economic Development budget be made to sponsor the Business Achievement Award and to help defray other general costs of the award event.
  • The Mayor or in his absence the Deputy Mayor present the sponsored award on behalf of the Council.
  • The committee determines allocation of tickets provided by the organisers for the event.Cllrs Barker, Kynaston and Wilkie volunteered to attend the event on Friday 7 February.


160 Town Benchmarking

The TCM explained that this Action For Market Towns Benchmarking exercise also involves shopping opinions, market research and benchmarking against other towns. It was noted that several of the key performance indicators have already been captured by Neston’s Neighbourhood Plan Community Steering Group. The TCM to obtain additional information to ascertain whether the Council can secure only parts of the package exercise at a reduced cost. This item to be deferred to the next F&TC meeting on 18 February.

161 Cheshire Pensions

Members noted the ‘Count Down to LGPS’ newsletter and acknowledged that the Council’s pensionable employees are aware of these imminent changes.

162 Any other items which the Chairman determines are urgent for discussion or next agenda item. None.

163 Date of next meeting: The date and time of the next meeting was confirmed as 18 February 2014.

Meeting closed at 8pm