Minutes of the Finance Committee of the Council held on Monday 28 April 2014 at 6:30pm in the Mayor`s Parlour, Town Hall, Abergavenny.

Present: Cllr D Edwards (Chairman)

Cllrs Mrs S Woodhouse, Ms S Dodd, R Harris, P Wadsworth, M Hickman, and Mrs M Powell.

In attendance: The Town Clerk

1. There were no apologies.

2. Declarations of interest were received from Cllr Edwards concerning the Eisteddfod grant and Cllr Mrs Woodhouse concerning the Papillon grant and the TIC.

3. The following grant applications were considered:

a) Abergavenny Eisteddfod ( Cllr Edwards left the room during this item and Cllr Mrs Woodhouse took the chair) It was agreed to recommend that the same amount as in previous years should be granted, 1000, with it being noted that the Council`s arts and literature competition would incur prize awards of up to 600.

b) Gwent Young People`s Theatre had requested a grant of 5000. It was noted that in previous years a grant had been made towards the production costs of one production and this had usually been between 2000 and 3000. After some discussion it was agreed to recommend a grant of 3000.

c) Papillon Arts Project. A request for a grant of 1000 was received. It was noted that a larger grant had been made last year to cover set-up costs in the new venue. This was for materials. It was agreed to recommend that a grant of 1000 be made.

d) Abergavenny Carnival.

A request for 4000 was received. Members noted that last year considerably more had been granted to cover the costs of road diversion signs on the trunk road. There had been some disappointment with the scale of the parade last year, and unless that improved it would be difficult to sustain a Carnival. It was considered that a smaller grant coupled with a sum for prizes for floats and individuals would be the way forward for this year. The Carnival Committee should be encouraged to have more people with collecting buckets along the route as well. It was agreed o recommend that a grant of 3000 be made and 500 be set aside for competition entries.

e) Monmouthshire Environmental Project Board had requested a grant of 184 to cover the cost of two portaloos at the Castle during an event on 16/17 May. It was agreed to recommend that this be approved.

f) A letter from GAVO asking for support for their annual awards day was considered. In previous years the Mayor has attended and we have granted 100 towards the costs of the day. It was agreed to recommend the same for this year.

4. The list of grants made previously was received and noted.

5. The External Audit letter was received and noted. The Clerk circulated a copy of the final accounts printed off the computer system. Everything is balanced and there remain some additional statements to prepare. This will be reported formally to Council in due course. A copy of the annual statement from Gateway Credit Union was also noted. In consultation with the Internal Auditor it had been agreed to set this up as a separate Bank Account.

6. Tourist Information Centre.

The Clerk reported on a conversation he had with the officer from BBNP earlier in the day. He had been working with the Tithe Barn Manager on the budget for the coming year. It had been agreed to work within the money allocated by MCC and the Town Council together with a grant of 7000 from the BBNP Rural Grants Fund (If successful). All that remains is to resolve the issue of set-up costs. It had been decided not to proceed with a new telephone system but just an additional phone line. That leaves the cost of a new reception desk. In the conversation the Clerk had received an assurance from Mr Lewis that if this Council funded 1500, as half of the desk cost, he would be able to find an equivalent amount. The scheme to transfer to the Tithe Barn can then proceed. The Clerk asked the Committee to consider whether they would recommend that this be done.

After some discussion during which some misgivings were expressed, it was agreed that this was probably the only way the transfer could proceed. It was agreed to recommend it to go ahead, subject to proper signage being in place and the Council getting regular monthly reports on financial progress. If the grant request to BBNP failed, then the TIC would have to close for the winter. It was agreed to raise this for discussion and agreement at the Project Committee following this meeting.

There being no other business the meeting ended at 6:55pm

Summary of recommendations:

1. A grant of 1000 be made to the Abergavenny Eisteddfod

2. A grant of 3000 be made to Gwent Young People`s Theatre.

3. A grant of 1000 be made to the Papillon Arts Project.

4. A grant of 3000 be made to the Carnival with an additional 500 for prizes.

5. A grant of 184 for two portaloos be made to the Monmouthshire Environment Partnership Board

6. A donation of 100 be made to GAVO.

7. The list of previous grants was received.

8. The External Audit letter and other papers were received and noted. 9. A further grant of 1500 be made to the cost of the TIC subject to the conditions set out above.