Minutes of the Finance Committee of the Council held on Wednesday 5 August 2015 at 6:30pm in the Mayor`s Parlour, Town Hall, Abergavenny.

Present: Cllr Mrs S Woodhouse (Chairman)

Cllr Mrs M Powell, C Woodhouse, Ms S Dodd, R Harris, M Hickman.

Cllr N Tatam was in attendance, and the Town Clerk.

1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr J L Prosser.

2. Declarations of interest would be made as and when necessary during the meeting.

3. There were no grant applications.

4. Christmas Lights Tenders.

The Clerk explained that we had sought tenders from 9 different companies and 4 had responded. He had analysed the contents of the 4 against the specification, and based on price and facilities offered it suggested that the existing supplier was the preferred option. Members noted that one of the bidders was a Welsh company supported by One Voice Wales, and it would have been good to be able to chose that one. However, on the basis of the evidence available it was agreed to offer the contract to the City Illuminations company. There were some minor provisos to take up with them – their offer to include Nevill Street, St Johns Street and Flannel Street progressively over the next three years was welcomed, but it would be good to do Nevill Street first. We would also like a Cross Street Panel to give a Christmas Greeting from Abergavenny in English and Welsh, and we could ask the additional cost of including “Home of the National Eisteddfod 2016”.

The Clerk would progress this as soon as possible.

5. Town Clock.

Members received the information about the Town Clock and the suggestion that it should be fitted with an automatic winder to save the weekly wind. It was acknowledged that this is an important landmark in the town and it needs to be well maintained, but it was suggested that until we are aware of the County Council`s direction of travel on discretionary services, we should not offer any support. Initially we should ask the officers who had raised the matter if they have funds to do it, or how the clock will be maintained without it. They should check with their Line Manager first.

This could be raised again at the next meeting when senior County representatives are intending to be present.

6. Transfer of Funds to the Eisteddfod.

Members received the correspondence on this matter. There was a discussion about whether money should be handed over to the Eisteddfod at this stage. It was agreed that the money so far budgeted, £20,000 could be transferred with the remaining £10,000 being transferred next year when it has been included in the 2016/17 budget. It was suggested that a publicity opportunity should be sought where a large-scale cheque could be featured being handed by the Mayor to the Eisteddfod Chief Executive. The Clerk would check this is acceptable to them.

7. Month4 Finance Reports were received. It was agreed that the cost of the Town Shields should be taken from Civic Functions but an equivalent amount should be transferred from the Projects Fund to Civic Functions.

8. here was a short discussion about the need for more Welsh Bunting for next year, together with a Town Map created from the existing one to support the Eisteddfod. This would be discussed at a meeting to be arranged in September about other things we might wish to do to support the Town during the Eisteddfod.

The Meeting ended at 6:55pm

Summary of recommendations:

1. City Illuminations be offered the contract for Christmas Lights subject to the points above.

2. The Town Clock item be referred back at present.

3. Transfer of £20,000 to the Eisteddfod be arranged with publicity.

4. Month4 Finance Reports be received and Town Shields be funded from Projects Fund.