Minutes of the Finance Committee held on Wednesday 4 March 2015 at 6:00 pm in the Mayor`s Parlour, Town Hall, Abergavenny.
Present: Cllr Mrs S Woodhouse, Chair,
Cllrs M Hickman, C Woodhouse, Mrs M Powell, R Harris, Ms S Dodd, P Wadsworth and J L Prosser (who joined the regular members) Cllr Edwards also joined the meeting later on.
In attendance: The Town Clerk
1. There were no apologies for absence.
2. Declarations of interest would be made as and when necessary.
3. The following grant applications were considered:
a) Toy Fair. A request for a grant of £900 was received. Members acknowledged that this is an annual event and is well regarded and worthy of support. They agreed to recommend that the grant be made, but they also decided that the Markets Officer should be required to complete a grant application form for completeness of our records.
b) Castle Meadows Event on 5 June.
A request had been received to repeat the grant to provide temporary toilets for this event. It was noted that it seemed to be over three days instead of two but that there were different promoters of the different days. Also the cost was not identified. It was agreed to defer this until next month when a properly completed form would be provided.
c) Cycling Festival 2015.
Members were very supportive of this bid. It was noted that budget provision had been made for £4000 for the coming year and the request was for £5000. After some debate, which acknowledged the value of the event to the Town, it was agreed to recommend that a grant of £5000 be made for the coming year.
A grant request for £1000 for the Abergavenny Eisteddfod was considered. This was for the same sum as in previous years. It was noted that only two other Community Councils were supportive of the event, and that the estimate for the cost of the event was not in detailed form. It was also noted that the prize fund of £1600 was included in their accounts which we usually supported.
It was agreed to recommend that the £1000 be agreed but that a request be made to the applicant to see the detailed make-up of their estimate for the coming year.
4. Automatic Pensions Enrolment.
The report by the Town Clerk that the Council is obliged by law to automatically enrol its staff for pensions by a date in June was noted. It was also noted that present staff are not intending to avail themselves of this opportunity. Nevertheless the Council must agree to go through the procedure and any new staff will also need to be offered a pension.
It was agreed to recommend to Council that we comply with the law and take the necessary steps to do so. The Clerk will ensure that an estimate of possible cost is included in next year`s budget.
5. Monthly Finance Report.
The Clerk tabled the month11 Finance reports for members attention. Any comments would be made to him in due course.
6. Matters arising from the Internal Auditor`s report.
a) Review of Credit Union investment.
The Auditor had recommended that each year the Council should review its investment. A copy of the Annual Statement had been tabled for members` information and after discussion it was agreed to recommend that the investment should be continued for a further year.
b) It was agreed to recommend that Standing Orders be changed to include the following-
“38.5 Arrangements for supplies or minor works purchased during the year from designated suppliers/contractors will be agreed by council, if the total for the year exceeds the £1000 limit which can be agreed between the Mayor and the RFO.”
7. Support for Town Team
The Clerk asked members if they would agree a small sum to be set aside to cover admin costs for the Town Team such as room bookings and tea/coffee costs when trying to get local groups together to focus on collaborative actions. At present the Town Team has no resources for these items and there may be a need to cover such costs. It was agreed to recommend that £300 be set aside for this purpose with any expenditure being approved by the Mayor with the Clerk beforehand.
8. Valuation of Civic Regalia.
The Clerk was asked to find out how a reliable valuation of the chains of office and the mace might be achieved for insurance purposes. It was agreed that he would make enquiries and put this arrangement in place as soon as possible.
There being no other business the meeting ended at 6:30pm.
Summary of recommendations:
1. A grant of £900 be made to the Toy Fair subject to the above conditions.
2. The Castle Meadows grant be deferred for more information.
3. A grant of £5000 be made to the Cycling Festival
4. A grant of £1000 be made to the Eisteddfod with a request for a breakdown of their costs estimate.
5. Automatic Pension enrolment be progressed to meet the official deadline and an estimate of cost for next year be prepared..
6. The Gateway Credit Union investment be continued for a further year and be reviewed again next year.
7. Standing Orders be adjusted as shown above to comply with the £1000 purchase limit. The current year`s arrangement for supplies for the Civic Functions Budget be approved in line with this.
8. £300 be set aside as a possible support budget for the Town Team subject to expenditure being agreed as shown above.
9. The Clerk will progress the valuation of Civic Regalia as discussed above.