Minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Town Centre Committee held on Tuesday 11 June at 6pm at Neston Community and Youth Centre.
Present: Cllrs Barker, Cummins, Shipman, Spacey and Mrs A Kunaj (Town Clerk)
In attendance: Cllr Wilkie Absent: Cllr Loch
PART 1: Items considered in the presence of the press and public
Members nominated Cllr Shipman to open the meeting.
1 Election of the Chairman
Cllr Shipman asked for nominations for the election of the Chairman of the Finance and Town Centre Committee. A proposal was made and seconded to elect Cllr Barker.
The Committee resolved to elect Cllr Barker as Chairman of the Finance and Town Centre Committee to serve until the first meeting of the Finance and Town Centre Committee in the new Council year. Cllr Barker took the Chair.
2 Apologies for absence were received by Cllrs Jilani and Marlow and were accepted.
3 Election of Deputy Chairman
Cllr Barker asked for nominations for the election of the Deputy Chairman of the Finance and Town Centre Committee. A proposal was made and seconded to elect Cllr Shipman.
The Committee resolved to elect Cllr Shipman as the Deputy Chairman of the Finance and Town Centre Committee to serve until the first meeting of the Finance and Town Centre Committee in the new Council year.
4 Questions to the Committee: None.
5 Declarations of Interest: None.
6 The minutes of the Finance and Town Centre Committee held on 23.04.13 were approved and signed by the Chair as a true and correct record.
7 Clerk’s report
- The Clerk attended at a half day Employment Law event at Ellesmere Port provided by ‘Peninsula’. The event was very informative.
8 Neston Neighbourhood Plan
Members noted that the P&E Committee had agreed for the cessation of the Neston Neighbourhood Plan Sub Committee.
9 Appointment of representative to CWaC s106 Group
The Committee agreed for the appointment of Cllr Shipman to join the F&TC Chair, Cllr Barker, as NTC representatives for the CWaC s106 Group.
10 Section 106
The Committee considered the written reports of the s106 meeting 10.04.13 and 09.05.13.The shortfall for the Town Centre Manager’s (TCM), salary was under discussion.
It was reported that the original start date of September for the PRDG was advised as unrealistic. Concerns that a delay would result in the works taking place over Christmas and the Committee expressed its dissatisfaction.
Chairman’s initial and date
The Committee instructed the Clerk to write a letter and inform CWaC Cllr Williams and CWaC Officers about the unacceptable proposals and timescales and request that for any contract that they may issue to stipulate that all works must be completed well in advance of the Neston Ladies Day event in 2014.
Members agreed that the responsibility for the Market Stalls would be the town council’s following their assumption of control of the Market, not before.
11 Asset Transfer
11.1 Neston Market Trader event: Members noted that in partnership with CWaC and the TCM a meeting with the Market traders is to be scheduled.
11.2 Town Centre Manager Office Accommodation and Facilities
a) The Committee resolved to approve for a ‘Tenancy at Will’ agreement to be signed by the Clerk for the Sainsbury’s Community Office accommodation for the TCM, should it be required, for the interim period whilst waiting for the Heads of Terms and Lease to be formalised.
b) The Committee resolved to approve the draft Heads of Terms for a four month lease for the Community Accommodation Unit, top deck of Town Centre Car Park, Neston. This contract requires formal approval by Sainsbury’s. Members instructed the Clerk to make arrangements for the Lease to be sent directly to the NTC Solicitors for their inspection and advice. Service charges were not made clear by CWaC.
c) Members noted that following consent from Sainsbury’s, one external sign can be displayed.
d) The Committee agreed that it would assess at what level of contents insurance should be taken if any at the next F&TC meeting.
e) The Committee resolved to approve for the installation of a BT land line and unlimited broadband package for a two year contract at a cost of £42 per month, with a one off fee of £99+VAT for the connection fee.
f) The Committee resolved to approve for the purchase of a pay as you go Wi-Fi dongle at a cost of no more than £20 per month, until the land line has been installed into the Sainsbury’s Community office accommodation.
a) Members noted that the title deeds and legal papers for the allotment sites have not been received.
b) Members noted that the allotment fees for the plots on the three sites have been received. Three plots are unallocated, two at Parkgate and one at Raby Park Road.
c) Members noted that there are currently 68 residents on the waiting list.
12 Town Centre Training Opportunities and Events
12.1 Action for Market Towns
The Committee considered the oral report from the attendees at the AMT Town Team Initiative Workshop event in Poynton, 11.06.13. A full written report will be submitted for the next F&TC Meeting.
12.2 Town Centre Opportunities
Members noted that a report is to be submitted by the TCM for the ‘RUDI.NET’ one day event ‘Unlocking the Potential of Property and Public Space’.
Chairman’s initial and date
12.3 Cheshire Community Action – Connecting Communities 2013
The Committee agreed that it did not wish to nominate a representative to attend at the event scheduled for 9.07.13 in the Crewe Alexandra Football Club Conference Suite.
12.4 Local Council Advisory Service – Zurich
The Committee agreed that it did not wish to nominate a representative to attend at a cost of £30 each. A local seminar has been scheduled for 24.09.13 at Winsford.
The Committee viewed photographs of the new signs that had been installed at Clayhill. The Committee agreed that the wording and design for the signs were very unsatisfactory, some displaying ‘occupied’ rather than the business name. The Clerk was instructed to write to the CWaC Cllrs and request that they take action to rectify this.
a) The Committee resolved to approve the Expenditure of £15,309.95 net
b) The Committee noted the income of £5,815.22
c) The Committee considered the budget comparison to 05.06.13.
- A new budget line under Asset Management for TCM role expenditure is to be created in order for all of the expenditure to be identified.
- Professional Fees indicated a £943 overspend and are likely to increase.
- Subscriptions indicated a £96 overspend due to a subscription to ATCM for £271.25, which had not been previously subscribed to.
- Pre Feasibility Fees indicated £3,675 overspend; a grant from TSIB of £8,694 was received in the financial year 2012/13.
14.2 Banking Facilities
a) The Committee resolved to approve for limited encashment facility to be set up at Neston Post Office.
b) The Committee resolved to approve for the encashment of a £50 town council cheque, the funds to be provided to and kept under the control of the TCM. The funds are to be used to assist as a cash-float when collecting rents from the traders on Market day.
c) The Committee resolved to approve for the facilities to be set up to enable the Town Clerk to access the Co-op’s internet banking facilities in order to make bank transfers for staff wages. Members noted that the Co-op bank do not offer dual control internet banking facilities.
14.3 RBS – NTC Finance Contractors
The Committee noted RBS’s recommendation for a second visit to support on completing the Town Council’s first quarter accounts, which could include a Q&A session about the reports and accounting system at a pre meeting of an F&TC. The Committee agreed that now was not the most appropriate time to meet and would consider a pre meeting should it be necessary, in the future.
15.1 The Committee resolved to approve for the additional cash in transit cover be applied to the Town Council’s insurance policy at an annual premium of £26.50, based on the Council’s wages roll. The cover would provide cash in transit £5,000, cash on premises under supervision £5,000, cash in safes and strong rooms £5,000, cash in other locked receptacles £250, and cash in private residence £250.
Chairman’s initial and date
15.2 The Committee noted that notification of the new members of staff has been provided to Zurich insurance company.
15.3 The Committee considered taking out contents insurance for the Town Hall and recognised that this would not be possible without an inventory. The Clerk was instructed to advise Noel O’Neill that it would not move forward with the management agreement until CWaC produced an inventory.
16 WREN Grants
The Committee noted the availability of grant funding from WREN, and agreed to consider for what purpose the Council may use this at the next F&TC meeting.
17 Mayor’s Allowance
The Committee resolved to approve payment of the Mayor’s allowance for the purpose of enabling him to meet the expenses of his office, a budget of £1,200 has been allocated for this purpose.
18 Employment Law and Health and Safety
The Committee considered the offer of a free 40 minute consultation with an Employment Law and Health and Safety consultant, who is available to visit the Town Council, and agreed that it would consider this further and decide on the areas of expertise is to be discussed as a priority, at the next F&TC meeting.
Part 2: Items considered in the absence of the press and public
19 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.
20 Policies relating to Staff
To approve as a duty of care, that upon return from every illness the Council will conduct a return to work interview, and to agree who will conduct this interview.
This item was deferred as staff issues will be within the remit of the Committee with effect from 18.06.13.
21 Asset Transfer
The Committee considered the response from CWaC’s Asset Team. The Clerk was instructed to provide to CWaC an indication of realistic timescales for further negotiations. The Committee agreed for an induction meeting with the TCM to be conducted by Cllrs Barker and Shipman.
Cllr Spacey declared an interest for item 22 below, payroll services.
The Committee considered the quotations provided for payroll services and resolved to approve a quotation of £210 for payroll service for 3 employees to include the completion of an end of year return for LGP for two employees.
23 Any other items which the Chairman determines are urgent for discussion or next agenda item.
- Network Rail: The Clerk was instructed to write to CWaC officers and Councillors and express the Council’s dissatisfaction, as the painting of the bridges in Neston had not been communicated; to ask how can the Council open a dialog and have an input into the process for such things as the colour and branding, and to enquire what community benefit will be available.
24 Date of next meeting: The date and time of the next meeting was confirmed as
16 July 2013.