Finance & Town Centre 25 March 2014

Draft Minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Town Centre Committee held on Tuesday 25 March at 6pm at Neston Town Hall.

Present:Cllrs Barker (Chair), Cummins, Griffiths (substitute for Cllr Marlow) C Lloyd, Shipman, Wilkie (substitute for Cllr Loch) and Mrs A Kunaj (Town Clerk) and Mrs K Pierce (Town Centre Manager).

Absent: Cllr Jilani

In attendance: Cllr Kynaston

Meeting 9

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

188 Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Loch and Marlow and were accepted.

189 Questions to the Committee: None.

190 Declarations of Interest: None.

191 The minutes of the Finance and Town Centre Committee meeting held on 18.02.14 were approved as a true and correct record and signed by the Chair.

  1. Clerk’s report:
  • Network Rail has estimated that the netting for the two bridges will be replaced within the next two to four weeks.

193 Finance

193.1 The Committee resolved to approve the Expenditure of £21,757.74 net.

193.2 The Committee noted the income of £492.58.

194 Fixed Rate Deposit Bond

  194.1 Members noted that in accordance with the letter from the bank 22.01.14, the Fixed Rate Deposit Bond (FRDB) of £51,921.79 was automatically reinvested for a 12 month term on 21.02.14. The rate being paid at maturity is 1.5% gross.

  194.2 Agreed that further steps to amend the term of the FRDB would not be taken – see item 194.1 above.

 195 Budgets and Earmarked Reserves

 195.1 The Committee received and considered the budgets to 17.03.14. A breakdown for budget item 4059 professional fees (annual account preparation and accounts training) and item 4060 outside services (payroll, finance, electrical testing) was provided. The Committee resolved to approve for funds of £1,700 from budget 4120 ‘Town Centre and Visitor Economy’ to be added to the Earmarked Reserve ‘footfall counter’ and for the £10k contribution for Marketing and Promotion of Neston Town Centre be added to the Town Hall/Market Square Earmark Reserve if received from CWaC before 31.03.14.

195.2 Town Hall/Market Square Earmarked Reserve: The Committee confirmed that the Town Hall/Market Square Earmarked Reserve is for the purpose of Neston Town Centre Action Plan projects.

196 Insurance Policy

  The Committee noted the Clerk, in liaison with the Mayor, has inspected the insurance renewal schedule and found the documents to be in order. The policy was inspected and approved by the Committee 22.10.13 item 97.

197 Cash Handling Policy

   The Committee approved the draft cash and payment handling document REF/CASH01 as a working document. F&TC members are to forward their suggestions for amendment to the document to the Clerk.

198 Trading for Councils (item 173)

 Members received an oral report from the working group who had met Frodsham Foundation. It was confirmed that the organisation is not a charity nor is it a sub-committee of Frodsham Town Council. The Foundation is looking to establish a social hub and a business hub in the town centre. The working group will again meet with them to share ideas.

199 Allotments

  Members noted that the office staff is in the process of re allocating the vacant allotment plots, Cllrs have been asked to show the plots to the new plot holders.

 200 Town Centre Manager’s Activity reports

Activity Report: Members received the Town Centre Manager’s Activity report REF/TCM01.

  • A proposal has been put to CWaC that regular evening users of the Town Hall have a key for self access.

201 Town Centre Manager’s report: It was agreed that all relevant information had been presented in item 200.

202 Neston Marketing (item 154)

202.1 Neston Marketing Funding: Members noted that a CWaC grant application form has been completed in order to make application for the £10k contribution, and the letters for the submission of quotations by contractors have been issued. The funding received has to be used or returned by March 2015.

202.2 Easter Market Promotion: Members received the TCM’s report.

A proposal was made and seconded that the Town Centre Manager’s activity reports are to include at the end of the reports as appropriate, a breakdown and summary of any activity and any expenditure incurred under delegated powers in liaison with the Clerk.

The proposal was carried.

203 Town Benchmarking (item 160)

       Members noted that a CWaC grant application form has been completed in order to make application for the £1,700 contribution. The funding received has to be used or returned by March 2015.

204 Asset Transfer Negotiation Group

Town Centre Sub-Committee:

The Committee agreed not to take any further action for the following proposals: –

  • To approve recommendation by the Asset Transfer Negotiation Group for the establishment of a Finance & Town Centre sub-committee.
  • To approve the draft Town Centre Sub-committee terms of reference.

205 Local Government Pension Scheme

       Authorised signatories:

       The Committee resolved to approve for Cllrs Barker, Cummins, Jilani, C Lloyd, Loch, Marlow and Shipman as authorised signatories to enable them to sign Starter/Notification of Changes, Leaver, Estimates and Ill Health letters and forms on behalf of the Council to Cheshire Pensions and for Mrs A Kunaj (Town Clerk) and Mr D Scott, (Hailwood & Co, Chartered Accountant, Moreton) as authorised signatories to provide Estimates only to Cheshire Pension Fund.

206     Protective clothing for market personnel (Cllr Shipman)

  1. The Committee approved by using the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, the provision of 3 all weather, lightweight bomber jackets and 3 band & brace hi-vis short sleeve jackets as appropriate outdoor apparel for personnel engaged to operate the Council-managed markets.  A black and white logo is to be displayed on the jackets. The Markets and Estates officer will be consulted on the style and suitability.
  2. The Committee resolved the maximum expenditure of £350 for the provision as listed in item 206.1 – see above.

207 Any other items which the Chairman determines are urgent for discussion or next agenda item. Members noted that retrospective approval would be sought by the TCM for the purchase of a laptop for the Markets & Estates Officer.

208 Exclusion of the Press and Public: The Committee resolved to approve that under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 (as extended by s.100 of the Local Government Act 1972), the public and accredited representatives of newspapers be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 by virtue of the paragraph specified against the item.

           Part 2: Items considered in the absence of the press and public

209 Asset Transfer Town Hall, Market & Market Square

209.1 Management Agreement with CWaC (item 180.1)

a) The Committee was advised of no update for the Management Agreement.

b) The Committee received the three (1-3 below) documents which will be attached to the Management Agreement and noted that they are subject to further amendment following consultation with users and traders.

  1. General Terms and Conditions of Hire (Town Hall and Market Square)

Members requested amendments be made to the following items;

    1.   – replace the words ‘Town Council’ with ‘Manager’
    1. replace the words ‘put up’ with ‘displayed’
    2. the word ‘licensee’ with ‘hirer’

      The TCM confirmed that the events licence would be transferred with the management of the building. The general conditions were based on the CWaC documents and developed by the TCM; legal advice had not been sought. Risk assessments were covered under item 6.4.

  1. Terms and Conditions of hire for selling events (Town Hall and Market Square)

Members requested replacement of the word ‘Market Officer’ with ‘Markets Officer’ throughout the document.

  1. Terms and Conditions for Traders of Neston Market. No comments.

    Cllr Barker left the meeting

    Cllr Shipman (Deputy F&TC Chairman) took over as Chair from this point.

209.2 Asset Transfer Negotiation Group (item 180.2)

The Committee received a brief oral report of the meeting held on 03.03.14.

A signing ceremony had been arranged for 27.03.14 at the Town Hall.

It was confirmed that the group would be disbanded as negotiations were complete. A new group would be formed.

210 Staffing – Markets

The Committee received the Marketing Staff report REF/001 and resolved to approve using the powers vested in them under the Local Government Act 1972, s. 112 the proposal set out therein:                                      

  1. That an agency be engaged to provide;
  • a market operative for 9.5 hours each Friday market at an annual cost not exceeding £4,500;
  • additional staff to cover holiday and sickness absence at an estimated cost not exceeding £500 pa;
  • additional staff as required to assist with the running of additional markets as required at a cost not exceeding £10 per hour, and
  • in order to maintain continuity, the Council engages with the agency currently used, HRGO to supply the labour force.

211 Lone Worker Policy and Lone Working Proposals

211.1 Lone Worker Policy: The Committee did not approve adoption of the draft Lone Worker Policy.

211.2 Lone Working Proposals: The Committee received and did not accept the Lone Working Proposals report REF/002 and the proposal set out in Appendix ‘A’ REF/002. The Committee requested for one merged document be submitted for consideration at the next F&TC Committee meeting.

212 Health & Safety/Risk Assessments (item 181)

The Committee considered reports and quotations from contractors for Council to enlist the help of a company that specialises in health and safety at work and risk assessments and for this company to act as Neston Town Council’s Health and Safety Advisor.

The Committee resolved to approve ‘Terrain’ as NTCs Health & Safety advisor and to provide a full health and safety service as outlined in their proposal, for an annual fee of £480 + VAT; this includes a ChALC discount of 20%.

213 Allotments (item 183)

213.1 The Committee received an oral report of the Council’s solicitor’s advice regarding the registration of the Title Deeds.

213.2 The Committee resolved it did not wish to register the Title Deeds with the rights of access included. The Clerk will write to CWaC requesting that they provide the appropriate countersigned plans to the transfers deleting references to the rights included in the transfers and initial the deletions. CWaC Cllrs are to be copied into the email.

214 Local Government Pension Scheme

214.1 The Committee agreed for Cllr Kynaston to join the Clerk and meet with an LGPS officer to discuss the Town Council’s pension’s discretions policy and other issues.

214.2 The Committee noted that ChALC had advised that they were unable to assist with the ‘Employer – to do list’

214.3 The Committee received notification from the Markets and Estate Officer of their pension requirement; this will be confirmed in writing.

215 Public Bike Pump

The Committee received the Public Bike Pump report REF/TCM02 and resolved to approve using the powers vested in them under the Local Government Act 1972, s. 144 the proposal set out therein:


  1. Two public bike pumps with stand attachment but without root fix are purchased at a cost of £3,770 plus vat and delivery charge of £45 from Cyclehoop Ltd.
  2. The total cost of £3,815 is covered from the contingency budget.
  3. If timing permits, the installation be undertaken by the public realm works contractors and managed by CWaC.

    It was noted that consultations would take place prior to installations; local cyclists and the local constabulary are to be included.

    A request for an approach to be made to CWaC Cllrs to ascertain if they would be willing to contribute some of their member’s budget towards the costs. Following the purchases, the Clerk will add the pumps to the council’s insurance policy.

216 Protective clothing for market personnel (Cllr Shipman)

The Committee agreed the sourcing of protective clothing for market personnel.

217 Date of next meeting: The date and time of the next meeting was confirmed as Thursday 8th May 2014.

 Meeting closed at 8pm