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 12th August 2014

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on Tuesday 12th August 2014 at 7pm

Present: Cllrs Fowler (substituting for I Henderson), F Powell (substituting for J Henderson), Morrison, C Powell, Thompson and Todd
In the Chair: Councillor Day
Clerk: Mrs Lucy Ballard
Also present: 0 members of the public, 0 members of the press and Estates Supervisor

Public Question Time:
None

F023/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs Brown, G Calver, I Henderson, J Henderson and Nicholson
F024/14 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
Cllr Day declared non-pecuniary interest in items 27 and 28 as he is a director of one of the quoting companies. He left the room during the debate and voting.
F025/14 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Finance & General Purposes meeting held on Tuesday 10th June 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record. CP/AT
F026/14 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
• F005/14 – The Clerk confirmed to members that HTC have been appropriately acknowledged in the Harwich Festival of the Arts promotional literature.
F027/14 STORAGE FOR ALDERMAN ROBES
Members discussed suitable storage solutions for the old Alderman Robes.
RESOLVED: To purchase breathable suit carriers to a maximum expenditure of £60
F028/14 DRAMATIC PAUSE PRODUCTIONS
RESOLVED: To grant £100 s137 funding.
F029/14 THE PHAROS TRUST
RESOLVED: To grant £500 s137 funding for.
F030/14 LITTLE OAKLEY FOOTBALL CLUB
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: To grant £1000 s137 funding.
F031/14 GUILDHALL CHAMBER HIRE COSTS
RESOLVED: Not to increase the charges for this Municipal year.
F032/14 HILL SCHOOL TREE MAINTENANCE
Members considered the need to prune a sycamore tree and Elderberry tree on the site, which are overhanging neighbouring properties. RESOLVED: To proceed with carrying out the works to prune the sycamore tree, with the cost expended from the Hill School Maintenance budget.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To instruct the works to prune the Elderberry tree.
F033/14 HILL SCHOOL RENT REVIEWS
Members carried out a rent review for the tenants of the Hill School site and considered recommendations made by Jonathan Reubin (Chartered Surveyor) during a meeting on 22nd July 2014.
RESOLVED: To accept the recommendations and apply no increase to the rent levels, and to extend the leases for a period of 3 years.
F034/14 ESTATES SUPERVISOR’S REPORT
Members perused a list of repair jobs undertaken by the newly appointed Estates Supervisor, following his induction to the Council on 7th July 2014. Peter confirmed that he was still surveying the assets and at present was happy that there were no major apparent issues that needed addressing that hadn’t already been identified.
F035/14 FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY
Members considered the policy, which was revised in conjunction with changes in legislation.
RESOLVED: To defer consideration of this item until the next meeting to allow the Chair and Vice-Chair to review the policy in its entirety.
F036/14 FLOOD SIREN WORKING PARTY
Cllr Day reported that Trinity House have devised a lease for the siting and maintenance of the Flood Siren, which is proposed to be sited on their building. He reported delays are due to Emergency Planning Officers who having previously agreed to arrange a meeting with the other external organisations, hadn’t yet done so. Cllr Day added that there were a number of queries with the project, which would also need addressing. Furthermore the supplier may wish to revisit their quote since it’s been 18 months since they provided their initial quote.
F037/14 GUILDHALL DISABLED ACCESS
Cllr Day updated members on progress made with plans to install disabled access to the Grade I Listed building. He reported that some engineers had been in to check feasibility on certain aspects and provide quotations. Furthermore the Estates Supervisor has been looking at the design for the restructure of the toilets and Jonathan Reubin (chartered surveyor) was chasing up quotations for the stair lift.
Members also considered information provided in relation to exiting the Chamber in the event of a fire and the provisions for evacuation of disabled persons. The Estates Supervisor confirmed that there would be no encroaching on the Chamber capacity with the stair lift in situ and the acquisition of Evac chairs would provide an approved form of escape for disabled persons.
F038/14 MATTERS TO BE REPORTED

  • The Clerk notified members that the HTC name badges had now arrived and were ready for collection
  • The Clerk confirmed receipt of a copy invoice from the Harwich Secret Gardens to support their grant application from the Council.
  • The Clerk updated members on the current status of the sale of the former Magistrates Court building and the remedial works which had been carried out to the damaged boundary fence.
  • The Clerk notified members of new legislation and the requirement to display an energy certificate and confirmed that measures were underway to obtain an energy report and certificate.   It was expected to cost c£200.
F039/14 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OF INFORMATION RAISED BY MEMBERS

  • Members noted receipt of a letter of thanks for grant from Harwich International Shanty Festival
  • Members noted receipt of a letter of thanks for grant from Harwich in Bloom.
  • Cllr Day updated members following attempted lease negotiations with the district council for an area of land adjoining Long Meadows Allotment site. It was felt that the land would not be suitable for use by HTC. The Allotments Committee will also be revisiting their decision whether to proceed with entering into a lease with TDC for the land.
F040/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The date of the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will be at 7pm on Tuesday 7th October 2014 at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich.
F040/14 EXCLUSION OF THE PUBLIC AND PRESS
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:

  • To consider quotations for Harwich Town Plaques
  • To discuss HTC domain/email issues
  • To adopt Intruder Alarm policy
  • To consider quotations for CCTV at Hill School site
  • To consider quotations for decorating in the Guildhall Flat
  • To consider quotations for flooring in the Guildhall Flat
  • To consider quotation for additional Emergency Lighting
  • To consider quotation for magnetic door holders/closers
  • To consider quotation for new boiler/radiators
  • To consider quotation for re-enforcing the Flagpole
  • To consider quotation for construction of removable access ramp
  • To consider quotations for repairs to the HTC-managed Skate park

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 8.15pm