Minutes of the meeting held on Wednesday 7th March 2018 at 6pm in the Mayor’s Parlour.
Cllr S Dodd
Cllr T Davies
Cllr F Morgan
Cllr G Jones
Cllr D Simcock
Cllr N Tatam
Cllr P Simcock
In attendance: Jane Lee (Town Clerk)
In the absence of the Chair of Finance Councillor S Head, the Mayor Cllr David Simcock assumed the Chair.
- Apologies for absence
Apologies received from Cllr S Head
- Declarations of interest
Cllr Fred Morgan declared a personal interest in the Abergavenny Arts Festival as he is a trustee.
- Community Grant Scheme Application Documentation Revision
The new grant scheme documentation was agreed with the following changes:
- Title of scheme to be Community Small Grant Scheme to emphasise that it is for small amounts of funding.
- Application form and guidance note to ask applicants about their Safeguarding Policy
- Guidance notes to include dates for submission of applications which would be 2 weeks before the date of the Finance Committees and 2 month deadline after the completion of the project for receipt of a final report.
- Assessment process to remove the reference to “in exceptional circumstances, the Projects Committee could consider an application for grant”
The amalgamation of budgets to form a Community Grant Scheme Budget was agreed and this budget would be £13,600 for 2018/19. A sum of £5000 will remain under the Section 137 general grants heading.
- Community Grant Scheme Applications
It was unanimously agreed to adopt the revised grant guidelines in the assessment of the applications.
The Town Clerk made Councillors aware that there are insufficient funds in budget headings in 2017/18 and that the Town Clerk advised that the grants considered should be viewed as a commitment from the 2018/19 budget.
It was discussed and agreed that these grants should be funded from the financial year 2017/18 and that Council reserves could be used to fund these projects. Future grants will be from the dedicated grant budget which will allow more stringent monitoring of spend.
After detailed consideration the following grants are recommended for approval:
- St Mary’s Priory – £200 Flower Festival (proposer S Dodd, seconded P Simcock vote unanimous)
- Borough Theatre – £1000 for two “Introduction to Technical Theatre” courses for young people aged 14-25 years.
JL to check safeguarding policy.
(proposer S Dodd, seconded P Simcock, vote unanimous)
- Abergavenny Writing Festival – £600 towards costs of staging the Festival (proposer G Jones, seconded S Dodd vote unanimous)
- Little Lifesavers Monmouthshire – £400 towards the cost of equipment.
JL to check safeguarding policy
(Proposer S Dodd, seconded G Jones, vote unanimous)
- Black Mountain Jazz – £2000 towards Jazz Alley free concert (proposer G Jones, seconder F Morgan vote unanimous)
Cllr Fred Morgan left the room during discussions on the Arts Festival application for additional funding in 2018/19
The following applications were deferred until the May Finance Committee as they require funding from 2018/19
- Arts Festival.
JL to request further details on funding secured by the Arts Festival organisers.
- Free Theatre Show/Printing Leaflet re Accessibility at Railway Station
Cllr P Simcock verbally presented proposals regarding a free Theatre Concert on April 20th at the Borough Theatre staged by the Hummadruz theatre group. Cost will be £300 for the hire of the Borough Theatre. This would be from the summer concerts budget as only two concerts were held in the summer rather than the usual three.
Cllr P Simcock requested £50 financial support from the TC to print leaflets for the campaign for improved accessibility at the Railway Station. Leaflet to include Town Crest and suitable wording acknowledging the support from the Town Council.
Both proposals agreed. (Proposed P Simcock, Seconded G Jones vote unanimous)
- Discussion on the Large Grant Application Process
The Town Clerk requested a discussion on the process for awarding larger sums of money in order to inform a report for consideration at Projects Committee.
It was felt that the larger sums of money fall into two categories – sponsorship and partnership. There is no consistent process. The process should set out the benefits to the Town from the financial support and incorporate a formal review process. For the ‘partner’ funding eg TIC, the Town Council should be represented on the management boards, this does not always happen.
ACTION: JL requested to prepare a report for Projects Committee
- RBS Year End Accounts
The report requesting engaging RBS who provide the financial software to carry out the year end accounts preparation was discussed. The cost would be £515 plus mileage anticipated to be £70.
The recommendation to agree to engage RBS to carry out the year end accounts preparation was proposed by F Morgan, seconded T Davies, vote unanimously to accept.
- Office IT Proposal
The report set out the cost to upgrade the office IT. The report noted that two companies were approached for quotations but only one was received.
The recommendations to:
- Approve the cost of new hardware from the 2018/19 budget
- To approve a dedicated landline and broadband for the Town Council at the cost of no more than £400 a year
- To approve the virement from the repairs and renewals budget to cover the projected overspend on the office IT budget (£260)
were proposed by S Dodd, seconded N Tatam and vote unanimously to accept.
- Local Government Pension Scheme Discretions
The recommendation to approve the policies on the discretions to be exercised under the LGPS Regulations were proposed by S Dodd, seconded by N Tatam vote unanimously to accept.
- Renewal of One Voice Wales Membership
The 2018/19 membership fee is £1555, all felt that the Town Council benefits from being a member of OVW and the recommendation to renew the membership was proposed by D Simcock and seconded by T Davies and voted unanimously to accept the recommendation.
- Any Other Business
The letter received by ACE for £750 emergency funding was discussed. All felt that ACE should follow the proper process for applying for funding and therefore the request was not considered.
ACTION: The Town Clerk to notify ACE of this decision
Cllr P Simcock proposed that future agendas have two standing items
- Minutes of the last meeting
- Financial report showing committed and actual spend against the different budget headings
Proposed by P Simcock, seconded by G Jones and voted unanimously to accept.
The meeting closed at 7.50pm