Agenda and draft minutes

Policy & Finance Committee
Monday, 17th June, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, The White House, Hockcliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1HD.

Contact: Committee Officer  01525 631920 & Email: info@leightonlinslade-tc.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1/PF

APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIR

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Councillor A Dodwell be appointed Vice Chair of the Committee for 2019-2020.  There were no further nominations.

 

RESOLVED to appoint Councillor a Dodwell vice Chair of the Policy and Finance Committee for 2019-2020.

2/PF

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires a record be kept of the Members present and that this record form part of the minutes of the meeting. Members who cannot attend a meeting should tender apologies to the Town Clerk.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor T Morris substituted by Councillor F Kharawala.

3/PF

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

i)     Under the Localism Act 2011 (sections 26-37 and Schedule 4) and in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct, Members are required to declare any interests which are not currently entered in the Member’s Register of Interests or if he/she has not notified the Monitoring Officer of it.

 

(ii) Should any Member have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in an item on the agenda, the Member may not participate in consideration of that item unless a Dispensation has first been requested (in writing) and granted by the Council (see Dispensation Procedure).

Minutes:

Members were asked to declare any interests, including the nature of those interests, which they had in any of the items under consideration at this meeting.

 

Councillor C Palmer declared a personal interest in agenda item 8 (Payments) as the list of payments included a payment relating to Leighton-Linslade in Bloom, of which his wife was a committee member. This interest would continue to apply at future committee meetings until further notice.

 

Councillor S Owen declared a personal interest as a family member was an employee of Leighton Linslade Town Council. This interest would continue to apply at future committee meetings.

4/PF

QUESTIONS FROM THE PUBLIC (3 minutes per person; maximum 15 minutes)

To receive questions and statements from members of the public in respect of any item of business included in the agenda, as provided for in Standing Order No.s 3(f) and 3(g).

Minutes:

There were no questions from the public.

5/PF

MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To receive and approve as a correct record the minutes of the Policy & Finance Committee meeting held on 15 April 2019.

Minutes:

The Committee received the minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee meeting held on 15 April 2019 for consideration.

 

Minute reference 467/PF Minutes of previous meeting – minute reference 454/PF – it was confirmed that the Town Clerk would continue to contact relevant officers at Central Bedfordshire Council to take the matter of a possible boundary review forward as a matter of urgency.

 

Minute reference 467/PF Minutes of previous meeting – minute reference 456/PF – a question was raised regarding the progress of the court costs being paid to the Town Council and the Committee were informed it was in the hands of the solicitors awaiting completion of probate. 

 

Minute reference 468/PF Minutes of Sub-Committee meetings – minute reference 30/CS CCTV & Re-Deployable Cameras – a question was raised regarding what progress had been made after discussions with Central Bedfordshire Council officers.  It was confirmed Central Bedfordshire Council were collating comments and information from all parishes and the Town Clerk would contact the relevant officer and notify Councillors via the weekly Newsletter.

 

Minute reference 469/PF Committee Objectives and Work Plan – a question was raised as to the content of the Committee Objectives and Work Plan.  The Town Clerk confirmed that Members would be asked to submit their suggestions for more detailed Council-wide objectives and it was hoped these could be given initial consideration at the next meeting of the Committee on 29th July.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the Policy and Finance Committee meeting held on 15 April 2019  be approved as a correct record and were signed accordingly.

 

6/PF

SUB COMMITTEES pdf icon PDF 85 KB

To consider the Terms of Reference for Sub-Committees of the Policy and Finance Committee (attached)

Minutes:

The Committee received a report to consider the Terms of Reference for Grants & Awards, Community Safety, Personnel and Market Sub-Committees.

 

The Committee agreed that a Community Emergency Plan should be added to the Terms of Reference for the Community Safety Sub-Committee and an update taken to the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED to note the Terms of Reference for Sub-Committees with the addition under Community Safety Sub-Committee to consider a Community Emergency Plan.

7/PF

COMMITTEE OBJECTIVES AND WORK PLAN pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To receive and consider the Committee work plan for 2019-2020 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered the Work Plan and Objectives for 2019-2020.  It was confirmed that Members’ suggestions would be considered and any projects approved by Committee could then be scheduled into the Work plan.

             

RESOLVED to note the Committee Work Plan and Objectives for

2019-2020.   

8/PF

MAY AND JUNE PAYMENTS 2019 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To receive and note the schedule of payments made in May 2019 (attached) and June 2019 (to follow) (approved for payment by the Town Clerk and two bank signatories).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

  The Committee received a schedule of payments which had previously been    approved for payment by the Town Clerk and countersigned by two account signatories.  Written questions received prior to the meeting had been answered. There were no anomalies or matters of concern to draw to the attention of the Committee.   

     

The schedule for May  dated 15 April  2019, included BACS payments amounting to £104,467.40 (page numbers 2536, 2541 and 2542-2552) and cheque payments amounting to £58,090.58 (cheque numbers 17347-17372, (cheque numbers 17373-17377 unused) and 17378-17390) including White House petty cash amounting to £62.06,  Astral Park £27.00 and TACTIC £38.79.

 

The monthly salaries listing for May 2019 amounting to £99,576.61 gross was received.  A cash book report for May 2019, including details of all direct debit payments, was also received.

 

The schedule for June dated 14 May  2019, included BACS payments amounting to £128,140.20 (page numbers 2555, 2556, 2557  2560-2573) and cheque payments amounting to £3,995.33 (cheque numbers 17391 – 17,400) including White House petty cash amounting to £90.43, Astral Park £139.19 and TACTIC £44.23.

 

The monthly salaries listing for June 2019 amounting to £99,652.86 gross was received.  A cash book report for June 2019, including details of all direct debit payments, was also received.

 

RESOLVED to note the schedule of accounts for May and June 2019.

 

9/PF

BANK SIGNATORIES

To review existing bank signatories and agree changes for the four year term of office 2019-2023.

Minutes:

The Committee reviewed bank signatories and agreed changes for the four year term of office 2019-2023.  Members agreed to remove Councillor K Ferguson from the signatories and agreed the signatories would be Councillors Berry, Bowater, Cursons, Goodchild and Perham.

 

RESOLVED to remove Councillor K Ferguson from the bank mandate as a signatory and to add Councillor R Goodchild.

10/PF

INTERNAL AUDIT REPORT pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive the Internal Audit report (final update for 2018-2019) (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received the final internal audit report for 2018-2019 and noted that one recommendation had been highlighted regarding bookings and fees charged at Astral Park. It was noted this would be reviewed by the Astral Park Task and Finish Group.

 

It was recognised that the Council was continuing to operate a sound, pro-active approach to risk management and corporate governance issues, together with the development and management of effective internal controls and procedural documentation.  The Committee expressed thanks to officers for another excellent report.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

11/PF

ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive a report regarding the Annual Governance Statement (section 1 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return) (attached) and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report outlining the requirement for the Council to sign an annual governance statement prior to approving the annual statement of accounts. The report summarised the measures in place to demonstrate good governance, as outlined in the Risk Management and Internal Control Statement as well as the Council’s Financial Regulations. 

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that Section 1 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (the Annual Governance Statement) for the year ended 31 March 2019 be approved and signed.                                 

12/PF

STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

To receive and consider recommending to Council approval of Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (the accounting statements for year ended 31 March 2019).

Minutes:

The Committee received the statement of accounts and accounting statements for 2018-2019.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council that Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (the Accounting Statements 2018-2019) be approved and signed.

13/PF

FINANCIAL BANKING ARRANGEMENTS pdf icon PDF 93 KB

To receive a report and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Minutes:

The Committee received a report to consider operational arrangements regarding day to day banking procedure as well as management of the precept funds.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(a)       To transfer the annual precept (which is paid in two instalments, first in April 2019 and second in September 2019) from the NatWest Business Reserve Account to the existing Nationwide Instant Access Saver Account currently paying 0.65%.

(b)       To endorse that funds continue to be drawn down from the Nationwide Instant Access Saver Account and transferred to the NatWest Business Reserve account to fund the Monthly expenditure, as and when required throughout the year.

(c)       That the arrangements above be reviewed upon receipt of the first tranche of the precept for 2020/21.

14/PF

TOWN MAYOR'S ACCOUNTS 2018-2019 pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To receive the Town Mayor’s accounts for the municipal year 2018-2019 (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received the full accounts for the Town Mayor’s Charity Fund for the municipal year 2018-2019.  A total of £10,600.02 had been raised for Councillor C Palmer’s chosen charities of Autism Bedfordshire, MacMillan Cancer Support and Kids Out. 

 

The Committee expressed gratitude and appreciation to Councillor Palmer for his efforts throughout the year in raising funds for these worthy causes.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

15/PF

MUSIC IN THE PARK pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Further to the recommendation made by Council on 29 April 2019, to receive a report regarding the Music in the Park programme and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding refreshment provision for the summer Music in the Park programme and how the changes could impact on local groups and organisations.  The Committee suggested the organisations involved could use the Charity Stall at the Market as an additional means of raising funds, as well as subsidised venue hire rates and the opportunity to apply for a General Grant of up to £500.

 

RESOLVED to encourage those groups who provided band concert refreshments in 2017 and 2018 to:

 

(a)       apply for a General Grant of up to £500 in order to offset the potential loss in revenue.

(b)       take advantage of the subsidised hire rates for the use of council owned pavilion buildings at Mentmore Road Park and Pages Park in order to run their own event such as a coffee morning for fundraising purposes.

(c)       take advantage of the charity market stall as an opportunity for fundraising activities.

16/PF

GRANT APPLICATION pdf icon PDF 95 KB

To receive a report regarding an outstanding General Grant application and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein (to follow).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered an update report on a recent application under the General Grant scheme and the eligibility criteria for receiving the grant. The grant would be now used to fund a monthly lunch club for the elderly within the local area.

 

RESOLVED to approve the General Grant application for £500 submitted by All Saints Church for the purpose of providing a monthly lunch for senior citizens within the parish.

 

17/PF

DATA PROTECTION UDPATE pdf icon PDF 107 KB

To receive an update report regarding data protection and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein (attached).

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered an update regarding data protection arrangements for 2019-2020.

 

RESOLVED to renew the existing agreement for external Data Protection Officer services to the Town Council, at a cost of £150 per annum (to be funded from the Professional Fees budget).                   

18/PF

WEBSITES REFRESH UPDATE pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive and note an update report in respect of the websites refresh project.

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the status of the websites refresh projects.  Work undertaken with the websites provider had included a complete review of all existing website pages, comparison with other councils and development of a final framework.  Structural work is now complete and a range of template pages have been created providing a framework for officers to populate the content of the webpages.

 

RESOLVED to note the report.

19/PF

EVENTS HEALTH AND SAFETY REVIEW pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To receive a report and consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report regarding Events Health and Safety Review.  With the continuing success of the events programme officers agreed to engage qualified independent advisers to review the overall health and safety management of events.  A review had taken place at the Big Lunch and officers agreed the feedback and advice offered proved invaluable on the day and for future event practices.

 

RESOLVED to commission MRL Safety Limited to undertake a supportive review of the Health and Safety aspects of delivering the Council’s programme of events drawing down up to £4,000 from earmarked reserves (970/9026 – Cultural & Economic Services).

20/PF

POLICIES pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To receive and consider recommendation to Council of approval of the following policies:

 

(a)       Market Critical Incident Policy and Trader Disciplinary Policy (as recommended by the Market Sub Committee meeting held 23 May 2019) (covering report and draft policies attached)

 

(b)       Tree Management Policy (as recommended by the Grounds & Environmental Services Committee of 10 June 2019) (if applicable)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received reports and draft policies to consider and recommend to Council for approval regarding Market Policies and Procedures and the Tree Management Policy. 

 

A question was raised regarding the final wording of the Critical Incident Policy and the Committee agreed it should be reviewed before completion.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council:

 

(a)       to endorse the decision made by the Market Sub-Committee in respects of the Critical Incident Policy.

(b)       to endorse the decision made by the Market Sub-Committee in respects of the Trader Disciplinary Policy.

 

RECOMMENDED to Council to endorse the revised Tree Management Policy for 2019-2022.

21/PF

EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC

The Committee may consider it appropriate to consider the following resolution should they consider that any discussion would be prejudicial to the public interests: that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.  The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detail discussion regarding: insurance renewal.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that, under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960, the public be excluded on the grounds of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted which involves the likely disclosure of exempt information.  The public and press to withdraw from the meeting during consideration of detailed discussion regarding the following items: Insurance renewal

22/PF

INSURANCE RENEWAL

To receive a report and to consider the recommendation/s contained therein.

Minutes:

The Committee received and considered a report to seek Member endorsement to award a tender for the Town Council Insurance provider for a period of 3 years.

 

RESOLVED to endorse that Company ‘B’ be appointed the Town Council insurance provider for a three-year period for 2019-2022, at an annual premium of £19,472.