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 11th June 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on Tuesday 11th June 2013

Present: Councillors Brown, Fowler, I Henderson, J Henderson, Thompson, Todd, and Mcleod
In the Chair: Councillor Day
Clerk: Mrs Michelle Townsend
Also present: No members of the public and no members of the press

Public Question Time:
None

Cllr Day confirmed that the following emergency items had been added to the agenda:
Cost of March By-Elections

F01/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Calver – chosen substitute is Cllr C Powell
F02/13 ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRRESOLVED: To elect Cllr Thompson as Vice-Chair of the F&GP Committee
F03/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr Thompson declared an interest with reference to the grant application from Home Start (Harwich) – His wife works for this organisation.
F04/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes meeting held on Tuesday 12th March 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the confidential minutes of the Finance & General Purposes meeting held on Tuesday 12th March 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Hill School Sub Committee meeting held on Monday 22nd October 2012 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
FURTHER RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Guildhall Committee meeting held on Wednesday 6th March 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
F05/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
Cllr I Henderson made members aware that requests can be made to place items on TDC’s capital programme for funding.   HTC should consider projects like the replacement of the putting green shed. It was agreed to place on the next agenda.
F06/13 COSTS OF BY-ELECTIONS
RESOLVED: to approve the transfer for £3005 from the reserve funds to the election earmarked fund to cover the shortfall.
F07/13 HARWICH & DISTRICT STROKE GROUP
RESOLVED: to grant £455 S137 funding
F08/13 HOME-START (HARWICH)
RESOLVED TO RECOMEND: to grant £1665 S137 funding to cover specific items for costs of training volunteers.
F09/13 DOVERCOURT & RAMSEY CRUSADERS
RESOLVED: to grant £250 S137 funding
F10/13 ST NICHOLAS WELCOME COMMITTEE
RESOLVED: to grant £150   S137 funding
F11/13 HARWICH INTERNATIONAL SHANTY FESTIVAL
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: to grant £1050 S137 funding to cover costs for the artists’ fees.
F12/13 HARWICH RUNNERS
RESOLVED: to grant £131.91 S137 funding
F13/13 DRAFT GRANT POLICY AND EVALUATION FORM
Members reviewed the draft policy and evaluation form collated by the working party.
Members agreed that all grant applications need to be thoroughly scrutinised and for there to be a clear defined process to follow.
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: that the draft grant policy and evaluation form is approved by Full Council with a slight amendment – ALL successful grant applications will be requested to complete and return an evaluation form.
F14/13 ARCHIVISTS
RESOLVED: to appoint Cllr Calver to act as first point of contact with Honorary Archivists.
F15/13 VISIT ESSEX MEMBERSHIP AND PAYMENT FOR ESSEX TOURISM STAND
RESOLVED: to cease HTC’s membership and approve 50% payment to the Harwich Society for membership.
FURTHER RESOLVED: to authorise payment to the Harwich Society for the cost of the HTC Essex Tourism stand.
F16/13 RENEWAL OF ANNUAL INSURANCE POLICY
The Clerk confirmed that valuations for the regalia, art work, Guildhall, Hill School site and memorials had now been carried out and advised members of the recommended levels of cover and cost.
RESOLVED: to proceed with amending levels of cover for HTC insurance policy as recommended.
F17/13 FINAL INTERNAL AUDIT
Members reviewed the final internal audit and considered any necessary action.
It was felt that a general review of working arrangements was necessary and risk assessments to be carried out and reviewed at the next meeting.
RESOLVED: Clerk to consider and carry out the necessary risk assessments and report back at the next meeting.
F18/13 MATTERS TO BE REPORTED
Emergency work to broken light at Hill School site
Noted
Emergency work instructed for repair work to Skate Park following annual inspection-
Noted
Renegotiation of BT contact
Noted
F19/13 HILL SCHOOL SITE
The Clerk confirmed that the new access arrangements came into effect from 1st May and whilst there was initial disruption as the users and local residents became accustomed to the new access arrangement, the new system soon bedded in and is now operating smoothly.  The pathway is being used, as intended, almost exclusively for pedestrian use. Members debated the benefits of making contact with the new owners.
RESOLVED: Not to contact new owners of the Magistrates Court.
Following a request from one of the tenants, Members discussed the need and siting of additional lighting on the Hill School site.
RESOLVED: To proceed with work detailed on the quotations from Entrac for emergency work due to the health and safety risk.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Clerk to compile a check list and request the Caretaker to undertake monthly inspections of the Hill School site.
F20/13 TOWN TOURISM WORKING PARTY
Cllr I Henderson updated members on sterling work of the work party and the results shown form the last cruise ship visit.   To help boost the local economy, the benefits of providing crew members with a shuttle/courtesy bus to the Town Centre was discussed along with the suggested potential income for the local businesses for the 24 planned turn around calls. Cllr I Henderson suggested that the Economic Budget could be utilised to provide transport and costs for signs and advertising the service
RESOLVED: to recommend to Full Council to utilise the Economic Development budget, up to the value of £4000 to cover costs of transport for the crews and other associated costs.
FURTHER RESOLVED: Not to fund the transport on 27th June for the cruise ship passengers but to forward costing to the Harwich Festival of the Arts for them to consider the option of providing this service.
F21/13 GUILDHALL DISABLED ACCESS
Cllr Day updated members on his meeting with a local surveyor to discuss other cost effective options available to the Council for providing disabled access to the Guildhall.
Issues with the building were raised and suggestions were made for them to be incorporated in a 5 year plan.   Cllr Day recommended upgrading the building whilst undertaking the changes for disabled access and proposed that HTC instruct a Condition Study which will incorporate a 5 year action plan.   Sole quote received due to specialist nature of task matching surveyor’s expertise.
RESOLVED: To instruct Jonathan Reubin Chartered Surveyor to undertake a Condition Survey (£850) with a maximum total cost of £2500. Funds to be expended from the earmarked Guildhall Disabled Access fund.
F22/13 SKATE PARK FUNDING
Cllr J Henderson confirmed that she has continued to seek advice and investigate other avenues of funding. Prior to submitting further bids, Cllr Henderson was seeking further consideration from the Council for financial commitment towards the costs for the improvement of one of the most used facilities of the town.
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: to Full Council to transfer £5000 from the reserve funds to the earmarked funds for the Skate Park.
F23/13 COUNCILLOR ROBE
RESOLVED: Councillor robe (length 44 inches) to be purchased from Michael Civic Robes to replace damaged robe.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To purchase 16 garment protectors.
F24/13 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR INFORMATION RAISED BY MEMBERS
Letter of thanks from Tendring North LDG (Harwich) Extended Services
Noted
Letter of thanks from the Harwich Festival of the Arts
Noted
Cllr I Henderson suggested free admittance signage for the Guildhall to be placed on the next agenda.
F25/13 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The date of the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will be held on 14th August 2013 at 7pm at the Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
F26/13 EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC AND PRESS
Pursuant to Sub-Section 2 of Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting is closed to the press and public for the transaction of the under-mentioned business:
To consider and decide upon legal, financial and personnel issues in relation to IT, Hill School site, personnel and leisure facilities

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 9.15pm