Minutes of the Finance Committee of the Council held on Wednesday 5th July 2017 at 6pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Abergavenny.
Present: Cllr R Harris, D Simcock, P Simcock, N Tatam, F Morgan, S Head, S Dodd.
In attendance: Jacqueline Humphries Town Clerk.
- Apologies for absence were received from Cllr T Davies.
- Declarations of interest were made by Councillor Harris, Councillor Tatam & Councillor Morgan.
- To receive Public Toilet report from Douglas Edwards – Councillors had been sent the report earlier in the year. Clerk to ask Douglas Edwards if he would like to present the report to Councillors at the next convenient meeting.
- Grant Application Form Process – Councillors felt the grant application form needs an overhaul to ensure they can be processed quickly and efficiently. Discussion were held regarding producing a proforma to ensure all applications have submitted the required information. This was proposed, seconded and passed by all. Clerk to liaise with Councillor P Simcock to produce the proforma.
Council also considered the frequency of finance meetings, as some grants have been delayed this year due to the fact that meetings only take place quarterly. A proposal to hold finance meetings every two months was made; this was seconded and agreed by all present. It was further agreed that all grant applications in future must come through the finance committee and any applications received that are incomplete, or have missing evidence, must be returned to the applicant as these will no longer be accepted. Applications must also be informed that they are expected to give feedback to the council either by letter or by presentation on the success of the grant activity or event.
- Grant applications were considered from:-
- Abergavenny Eisteddfod Y Fenni
The Eisteddfod is given a grant yearly to help support the event, the event has been struggling in the past few years to meet their entire financial obligation which is why the application has been increased to £1400 this year. Council agreed to continue its support of the event and it was proposed to award the applicant the full amount of £1400 this was seconded and agreed by all.
- Abergavenny Town Girls and Ladies Football Club
Councillors felt the application was lacking in details, ‘what is the money exactly for?’ What is the project? What will the money be spent on? There is also a need to see the applicants Public Liability Insurance documentation.
Clerk to ask the applicant to come and speak to the council to explain the application in more detail.
- Homemakers Community Recycling
Councillors Harris & Tatam declared an interest and left the room.
Councillors agreed that the service provided by the organisation is very and it is very well run, employing local people and prisoners who they manage very well. It is very rare that they ask the council for money and all felt it would be good to support the organisation.
Clerk to ask the organisers, Robert Davies and Shaun Needle to come to a project meeting to discuss future projects with them that the council may be able to support. It was proposed to pass the grant application for the full amount of £2500 on proviso that they attend a future project meeting; this was seconded and agreed by all present.
- Incredible Edible Abergavenny
Councillors Felt the application was missing lots of details and also felt that because it comes under the Incredible Edible banner that the application should have been made by them. The whole concept of the organisation was for people to adopt public areas and treat them as if they were their own land. The council did not feel they should be funding the application as we could open ourselves up to many more applications of this nature.
If they organisation want the application to be reconsidered they must be asked to resubmit the application under the Incredible Edible organisation and provide all the necessary paperwork asked for. Clerk to write to applicant.
- Abergavenny Food Festival
All councillors agreed that the food festival is an excellent event that helps promote Abergavenny to the world. The art works are always well-done and we do get the benefit of keeping them in the market hall for the rest of the year.
Councillor questioned the amount the application was looking for, is it above our current grant financial guidelines. Councillors Dodd stated that the council could sponsor the event rather than give a grant as this could then be a higher amount.
Clerk reminded council that we had asked the organisers to apply for the larger grant this year following their presentation to council. Council asked clerk to clarify the financial regulations in regard to grants – clerk will research matter and respond to council at the next meeting.
It was proposed that the full grant of £6500 be give (if we are in a position to do this) this was seconded and passed. It was agreed that council should ask Arts Alive to attend a future projects meeting to discuss future projects. Council felt that if we pay for the Arts Alive work then they should be the property of the council going forward and if they were sold off at the end of the year proceeds should go to the council and local charities not back to the Food Festival Organisers.
- Y Fenni Business Community
Cllr Morgan declared an interest and left the room.
The council felt that the business club is a very good organisation and they fully support it, as they were instrumental in setting it up, but felt that the application form was incomplete. The money for the original run of the brochure has already been met and this money would be for the initial run of the brochure only. Councillors felt that there was not enough information provided with the original application, it was proposed to ask the organisation to resubmit the application, and this was seconded and passed by majority. Clerk to write to the organisation and ask them to resubmit the application to the next finance meeting in September with all the relevant information attached.
- The financial report for month 3
Councillors felt that there should be a slight change in the financial prediction for this year, particularly as the new town clerk would be a full time member of staff. This increase in hours would see a significant increase in the staff budget for the year.
Councillors requested a breakdown of all the finance codes and what they actually apply to also a breakdown of all the money that the council gives to local organisation.
Clerk to supply breakdown at next meeting.
- Request for Funding from Cruse Bereavement Care.
Cllr Tatam declared an interest.
Councillors felt that as Newport is outside our area then the application for support for the charity has to be unfortunately declined. Councillors did however state that they were happy to receive a new application for support from the organisation via a grant if it was for the Abergavenny area.
Clerk to write to organisation and enclose a grant application form and guidelines.
- Any Other Business
The meeting closed at 7:45pm
Summary of recommendations:
- Clerk to ask Douglas Edwards if he would like to present the report to Councillors at the next convenient meeting.
- Clerk to liaise with Councillor P Simcock to produce a grant proforma.
- Clerk to update finance meetings to every two months, starting September 2017.
- Clerk to write to Abergavenny Town Ladies football club to come and speak to the council to explain the application in more detail.
- Clerk to ask the organisers, Robert Davies and Shaun Needle, homemakers, to come to a project meeting to discuss future projects.
- Clerk to write to applicant of Incredible Edible to explain that if the organisation wants the application to be reconsidered they need to resubmit the application under the Incredible Edible organisation and provide all the necessary paperwork asked for.
- Clerk to check financial guideline to determine the largest amount of money that the council is able to award in a grant.
- Clerk to write to Food Festival organisers to state the council position on the Arts Alive art work.
- Clerk to write to Y Fenni Business club and ask them to resubmit the application to the next finance meeting in September with all the relevant information attached.
- Clerk to write to Cruse Bereavement Care and enclose a grant application and guidelines.
- Clerk to supply breakdown of all financial obligations and spends at next meeting.