WELLESBOURNE PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee of the Council held on Tuesday 8 November 2016 at 7.30pm at the Parish Council office, 2 School Road, Wellesbourne
Present Cllr Shepherd, Chair; Councillors Mrs Prior, Heaton, and Mrs Michael; Responsible Finance Officer Mr Thomas; Clerk Ms Hollinrake. Members of public 1, for part of meeting.
Kathryn Hollinrake, Acting Clerk to the Council 15th November 2016
- Welcome by Chairman
- Approval of Apologies for Absence – none
- Declarations of Interest – Cllr AP declared a pecuniary interest in item 12 (chairman’s allowance) and a non pecuniary interest as a director of WSCC. Cllr CM declared a non pecuniary interest as a director of WSCC.
- Confirmation of Agenda and identification of items likely to be resolved to confidential session Items 11 & 12 resolved to confidential session – agenda and confidential session agreed.
- Confirmation of minutes of the meeting of 16 August 2016 – minutes were agreed and signed.
- Matters arising
6.1 Christmas lights – to be placed on the Extraordinary meeting agenda for 15th November, including advice from insurers. Agenda to be revised accordingly.
6.2 Cllr CM advised that posting of payments on the website needs to be scanned, not via an excel document – Clerk to advise Administrative Assistant.
- Open session for members of the public to raise any matters of relevance to the Parish
Mike Podbury, Kineton Road, spoke in support of Wellesbourne Sports Association’s grant application. He explained the issues with the cricket club building and improvement plans. He raised concern that last year the Chair of the Sports Association had been ‘promised’ a grant of £10,000 for the combined Sports Association applications, subject to the precept, but that this had been reduced to £5,000 in March 2016. He understood this was to enable the Council to support an alternative project, outside the grant fund process, stating he had a letter to evidence his views. Cllr AP rebutted Mr Podbury’s understanding as incorrect, stating that money had not been removed from the grant fund after January 2016, nor had the Sports Association been promised a grant of £10,000. Mr Podbury agreed to provide the said letter to the Clerk, to enable clarification of the matter.
Mr Podbury also queried the efficiency of the grants process, awards being agreed in January but not paid until April. Cllr AS explained that as the process was tied in with SDC’s timescales, it was not within the control of the Council, a view supported by Mr Thomas. Cllr AS noted that the process had been explained in an article placed in the Wellesbourne and Walton News.
- Public Works Loan Board loan application – update Cllr AS
Cllr AP explained the PWLB required evidence that residents had been consulted specifically on the rise in precept, and the impact this would have on Council Tax for a band D household, required to fund the loan repayments for the MUGA. Cllr AP outlined consultation proposals, comprising an article and tear off slip in the Wellesbourne and Walton News, delivered to all households; social media publicity; and on line ‘voting’ via the website. A closing date of 19th December would allow residents more than a month to respond. The cost of the consultation would be in the region of £100 plus VAT. The views of all councillors on this approach were being sought, responses need to be made by 9th November to meet the deadline for the Wellesbourne and Walton News. No other issues had been raised about the application, which was on hold pending the results of the consultation.
9 Council budget and expenditure reports – Cllr AS and Finance Officer
9.1 2016/17 Year to date – Budget V actual expenditure review
The Committee reviewed actual expenditure against the budget, noting that some additional expenses this year, such as extra staffing costs, had been unavoidable. Cllr CM advised that no monies had been spent on advertising WSCC vacancies.
10.1 External Audit. No matters reported by Grant Thornton.
10.2 Internal Audit. The meeting noted advice from Cllr AP that, to ensure rigour and independence, the Council should not always use the same internal auditor. Previous experience suggests the cost of a different auditor may be higher.
|Action: Ask current internal auditor to undertake next six monthly audit; thereafter, tender to secure a new auditor.
Action: Place on the agenda of the Council meeting on January 10th 2017
Under section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, in view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted, it is advisable in the public interest, as if members of the public were present during consideration of such business, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information under paras 1 and 11 and Part 1 Schedule 12A of the said Act, that the public will be excluded.
- Grants – initial considerations of submitted grant applications 2017/18 Grants – Cllr AS
The Committee considered the grant applications and made initial recommendations, to be finalised at the next meeting. Cllrs who had made a declaration passed no comment on application/s in which they had an interest.
|Decision: To exclude grant applications received after the closing deadline||Prop Cllr AS 2nd Cllr AP Carried|
- Committee Budgets review and initial Precept considerations for 2017/18
Councillors considered the budgets of each Council Committee and agreed the draft budget figures. Discussion of the precept amount included consideration of the implications of the PWLB loan for the MUGA. Budgets would be finalised at the next meeting on 15th December, with a resolution to full Council on 10th January 2017.
The meeting moved back to open session.
13 General/Late Correspondence – none
- Councillor/Clerk ex-change of information. The Clerk advised that Grant Thornton had provided a satisfactory explanation for increased audit fee this year of £1,620. This was due to additional monies going through the Council’s accounts, which placed the Council in a higher fee bracket on the national charging scale; the longer time taken was due to greater complexity of the accounts. That being so, the invoice should be paid.
|Action: Settle Grant Thornton invoice of £1,620||Proposed Cllr AS; 2nd Cllr AP|
- Date of next Committee meeting – Monday 19th December 2016
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 9.45pm