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 2nd October 2013

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on Wednesday 2nd October 2013 at 7pm

Present: Councillors Brown, Calver, Fowler, I Henderson, J Henderson, Morrison, McLeod and Thompson
In the Chair: Councillor Day
Clerk: Mrs Lucy Ballard
Also present: no members of the public and no members of the press

Public Question Time:
None

F58/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllr Todd
F59/13 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
F60/13 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes meeting held on Wednesday 14th August 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 Wednesday 14th August 2013 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
F61/13 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
F39/13 – The chair confirmed that a request had been made for a piece of equipment to assist the Archivists with exhibitions, which, having sought 3 quotations, had been ordered by the Clerk at a cost of £27.60 and to be paid from the Administration budget.
F62/13 HARWICH QUAY FIREWORKS
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: to fund s137 grant of £1000.
F63/13 FLOOD SIREN WORKING PARTY
Cllr Day and Cllr I Henderson updated members on the progress made in procuring a new flood siren and arranging its sighting, following a site meeting with Derek Walker from TDC Planning.   Cllr Day confirmed the next step was to liaise with Trinity House, who propose to house the siren, to moves matters forward.
F64/13 RISK ASSESSMENTS
The clerk informed members that risk assessments were in progress but that a greater level of scrutiny was required. The Chair confirmed this item would be discussed under item 17.
F65/13 MAYORAL ROBES
The Mayor made a request to grant a dispensation for robes to be worn outside of the Parish for civic events preceded by the Mace, and quoted Sudbury and Chelmsford civic services as examples.
After much debate it was RESOLVED: to refuse the request and maintain current protocol, which only permits the wearing of robes in the parish for civic events when preceded by the Mace or if invited by a local school where the robes are explicitly requested.
F66/13 HILL SCHOOL LEASES
The Chair informed members that due to the licence, which previously provided for access to the Hill School site via the former MoJ land, being revoked, the leases now required updating and renewing.
RESOLVED: To proceed with obtaining quotations in line with Financial Regulations.
F67/13 SALT BINS FOR HILL SCHOOL SITE
The Clerk raised the issue that the new footpath and sloping ramp may become slippery if there is snow this winter and had made initial investigations into the cost of acquiring a salt bin. Members discussed the health and safety of those accessing the site and RESOLVED: To proceed with purchasing the necessary items (bin, salt and shovel) up to a spend of £200.
F68/13 RESURFACING IN MANOR LANE AND HILL SCHOOL SITE
The clerk confirmed that enquiries had been made and consent obtained from the Public Rights of Way team at Essex County Council to resurface the small area of land outside of the entrance gate to the Hill School site to the surfaced section of the footpath known as Manor Lane to help provide a suitable surface during the winter months.   Members also considered action needed to maintain the footpath that leads to the Hill School buildings.
RESOLVED: To proceed with obtaining quotations for resurfacing the small area of land outside of the entrance gate to the Hill School site to the surfaced section of the footpath known as Manor Lane and for re-dressing the Hill School site footpath at the same time.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To delegate the task of selecting a suitable contractor, in accordance with Financial Regulations, to the Clerk in consultation with the Chair of F&GP Committee.
F69/13 TOWN GUIDE
Members discussed the current arrangements for producing the Town Guide, and the work required to compile the information required.   The Clerk confirmed that some assistance may be forthcoming and that the publishing company may also be able to assist with the editorial.
RESOLVED: To continue with producing the guide for 2014 with the offered assistance, to review next year.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To review the involvement that HTC has in securing advertising sales and report back at the next meeting.
F70/13 MATTERS TO BE REPORTED
The clerk reported that urgent repairs had been carried out to the Guildhall roof to make it waterproof and prevent further internal damage. The Clerk also reported that a final quotation was awaited for the redecoration of the ceiling in the Caretaker’s flat, which was damaged due to the water leak.
F71/13 MATTERS RAISED BY MEMBERS
Cllr Day relayed to members that Jonathan Reubin had conducted an initial condition inspection of the Guildhall and made enquiries for disabled access, which had led to a site visit from a stair lift company. Enquiries are currently underway with English Heritage and progress will be reported on in due course.
F72/13 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The date of the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will be held on Wednesday 4th December 2013 at 7pm at the Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
F73/13 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 recommendations of the Staffing Review Working Party
  • Caretaker’s long term sick leave

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.11pm