Minutes of the Finance Committee meeting held on Wednesday 2nd July 2014 at 6pm in the Mayor’s Parlour, Town Hall, Abergavenny.

Present: Cllrs Mrs S Woodhouse, C Woodhouse, M Hickman, Ms S Dodd and P Wadsworth.  In attendance:  Ms G M James, Town Clerk’s Assistant

1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Mrs M Powell and R Harris.

2. Declarations of interest were received from Cllrs Dodd and Wadsworth in relation to the A4B grant.

3. The following grant applications were considered:

(a) Acorn Voluntary Management Committee

Members noted this organisation had previously applied for a smaller grant (£1,000) to purchase kitchen utensils.  Whilst the Council had approved this application this was conditional upon additional funding being secured from the Lottery Fund – a bid which subsequently proved unsuccessful.  The original application had therefore been withdrawn and replaced by the current request for £5,000 towards the costs of refurbishing the kitchen.

Whilst the majority of Members applauded the aims of the scheme and wished to offer their support several concerns were raised regarding the longevity of the scheme and running costs.  The paperwork supplied was considered incomplete, leaving several unanswered questions, ie where will additional funding be found?  Members also noted several similar organisations currently operate within the town yet there was no evidence of communal partnership.  It was felt such a linking would prove of benefit to all concerned.  It was agreed it would prove beneficial for the applicants to be invited to the next Finance Meeting to discuss this revised application. 

Cllr Hickman felt the Council was no longer in a position to be able to offer grants of £5,000 and would have to consider smaller sums in the future.  With this in mind it was suggested the grant form/guidance notes be reviewed.  It was agreed to place this on the agenda for discussion at the next Finance Meeting.

(b) A4B Letter and Funding Request

Members agreed this organisation does an excellent job and considered the town lucky to have such a dedicated team of volunteers.  It was proposed by Cllr Hickman the Committee recommend a grant of £500, the same as last year.  This was seconded by Cllr C Woodhouse and duly carried.  (3 For/2 Abstentions).

5.  Any Other Business

     Cllr S Woodhouse stated she would like to see all Councillors invited to Finance Meetings, in line with Projects.  This would provide opportunity for everyone to attend and enable informed decisions to be reached when making recommendations to full Council.  Cllr S Woodhouse proposed this recommendation be put forward to Council.  This was seconded by Cllr Dodd and duly agreed.

     Cllr S Woodhouse suggested an advert be placed in the Abergavenny Chronicle for the Band Concerts on the 13th July in Linda Vista Gardens and on the 27th July in Brewery Yard.  This was duly agreed.  It was reported if it rains on the 13th July an alternative venue may be necessary as Monmouthshire CC has provisionally arranged for the Market Hall to be deep cleaned on this date.  Alternatives were discussed, ie Cibi Walk/Gazebos.  The Clerk’s Assistant was asked to enquire with Monmouthshire CC whether their stage/gazebos could be made available. 

     Cllr Dodd suggested checks are made in the future to ensure band concerts do not clash with cycling events as it was felt this had a detrimental effect on attendance. 

The meeting ended at 6:25pm

Summary of recommendations:

1.  Representatives from the Acorn Voluntary Management Committee be invited to the next Finance Meeting to discuss their revised application.

2. Grant forms be amended to reflect the view that £5,000 grants may no longer be sustainable – place on next Finance agenda and circulate forms.

3. A grant of £500 be made to A4B.

4. Recommendation of full Committee for Finance be placed on Council agenda.

5.  Band Concerts to be advertised in the Abergavenny Chronicle

6. Cancel July Projects Meeting due to clash with Monmouthshire CC’s Eisteddfod meeting.  Apologise and invite Mrs Delia Hudson to attend the next Council meeting.