Harwich Town Council

The Guildhall,
Church Street,
Harwich. CO12 3DS

t: 01255 507211
e: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk
Hours: 9.30am – 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Finance Minutes 6th March 2012

MINUTES of the Meeting of the FINANCE and GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE held at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich on Tuesday 6th March 2012 commencing at 7pm

Present: Councillors Calver, Day, Gibbins, Thompson and Todd

In the Chair: Councillor Double

Clerk: Mrs L Ballard

Also present: The Mayor, Councillor Brown and Deputy-Mayor, Councillor J Thurlow
and 1 member of the public

No Questions

F037/11 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies received from Cllr I Henderson

F038/11 DECLARATION OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr Thompson declared a personal interest in the ‘Home-Start’ grant application as his spouse is a volunteer within the organisations.

F039/11 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes meeting held on 6th December 2011 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.

F040/11 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

  • The Chairman spoke briefly about the information sought from David Hall/NPS in relation to the Putting Green rent and it was agreed to await the report from NPS before moving forward with negotiations.
  • Members discussed the presentation given by representatives from The Mayflower Project in relation to their grant application and it was agreed to request they submit a refined application for consideration.
  • The Clerk gave a report on information sought from the EALC in relation to the Bribery Act 2010 and the implications for the Council. The Clerk confirmed that reference to it would be inserted into the Staff Handbook and would send an email to all Councillors alerting them to the information.

F041/11 HARWICH FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS
Members discussed a request for grant funding as a contribution to the additional cost incurred in hiring the Brass Volcanoes band. RESOLVED: to grant s.137 funding of £500.

F042/11 HARWICH CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL C/O THE GRAND THEATRE OF LEMMINGS
Members discussed a request for grant funding as a contribution towards the cost of artists fees, materials and stewarding for the launch event for Essex Olympic Celebrations ‘Sparks will fly’. RESOLVED: to grant s.137 funding of £500.

F043/11 HOME-START HARWICH
Members discussed a request for grant funding to cover the rents and rates costs for 2012/13. RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: to grant s.137 funding of £2679.04.

F044/11 VITALISE
Members discussed a request for grant funding as a contribution towards the cost of subsidising the service they provide to Harwich resident. RESOLVED: to grant s.137 funding of £100.

F045/11 PUTTING GREENS – ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR USE
RESOLVED: To defer discussion of this item until it’s known what will happen with the rents for the premises.

F046/11 PUTTING GREENS – REVIEW OF CHARGES
Members discussed the current charges for use of the Crazy golf, Putting, Croquet and Petanque. Cllr Brown suggested a reduction to the Petanque charge in an attempt to increase demand. RESOLVED: No increase to charges and to reduce Petanque charges from £5.00 per hour to £2.50.

F047/11 CREDIT/DEBIT CARD PROCESSING MACHINE
The Chair briefed members of the level of income activity that might give rise to need for Council to accept credit/debit card payments and it was widely felt that activity/demand wasn’t sufficient to warrant the cost incurred. RESOLVED: Not to proceed with installing a machine.

F048/11 GUILDHALL ALARM
The Clerk gave an update on the reliability of the system given its age along with a recent site visit by current provider and two further appointments arranged to obtain quotes. RESOLVED: to take the obtained quote as a baseline and compare against other providers to ensure specification is identical and select company with best quote.

F049/11 2011 MODEL CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT – INCREASE IN ANNUAL LEAVE ENTITLEMENT
The Clerk confirmed that the current annual leave was 20 days and the model provided for an increase of 1 day during the first 4 years of service increasing to 25 after 5 years of service. RESOLVED: to adopt the increase for the Clerk and Assistant Clerk in conjunction with the new model.

F050/11 COUNCIL WEBSITE
The Clerk gave an update on the constraints of the current website and that a quote had been obtained for various options of enhancement and arrangements were in the pipeline for a meeting with the current provider before obtaining further quotes. RESOLVED: To move ahead with obtaining quotes and, in consultation with the Chair, proceed with updating the website giving due respect to the available budget.

F051/11 MATTERS RECEIVED IN POST
Members noted letters of thanks received from:

  • The Essex Air Ambulance
  • The 4th Dovercourt Sea Scouts
  • Doing for Harwich
    Cllr Brown asked about progress on the phone system since the recent power cut permanently damaged the existing equipment. The Clerk confirmed the options for replacement and that a quote was awaited from BT.

F052/11 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will be held, on a date to be confirmed, at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich at 7pm.

F053/11 EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
Pursuant to Sub-section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting was closed to the press and public for the transaction of the under-mentioned business:

  • 2012 Increments
  • Clerk’s Annual Leave