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 7th October 2014

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

Present: Cllrs Brown, Calver, I Henderson, J Henderson, Morrison, Nicholson (from 7.10pm) 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

F054/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
None
F055/14 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
F056/14 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: that the Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the Finance & General Purposes meeting held on Tuesday 12th August 2014 (previously circulated) be approved by the Committee and signed by the Chairman as a true record.
F057/14 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES

  • F027/14 – The Clerk confirmed delivery of the garment covers for the Alderman robes at a cost of £26 to be expended from the F&GP – General budget.
  • F041/14 – The Clerk notified that all that the repair works had been carried out to the skate Park following retrieval of the handrail.  An insurance claim was no longer necessary and the cost was expended from the Leisure budget.
  • F049/14 – The Clerk informed members that the quotation for the door closers were in excess of the allocated budget of £400 and suggested this is deferred until other pressing works had been completed and the budget reviewed.
F058/14 MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
None
F059/14 DOVERCOURT THEATRE GROUP
RESOLVED TO RECOMMEND: To grant £1500 s137 funding.
F060/14 ESTATES SUPERVISOR’S REPORT
The Estates Supervisor, Peter Barrenger, gave a report on the progress of current works since the last meeting.  He referred to the progress made with obtaining additional Stair lift quotations.
He also referred to the efforts made to obtain comparable boiler/heating quotations and mentioned that the kitchen is the preferable location for siting the new boiler.
He reported that the decorating is also complete in the vacant flat and that the flooring will be the next job, along with the electrical work.
He reported on some works needed to some of the buildings on the Hill School Site and liaison with the tenants to address these works, including broken guttering and rotting window frames.
F061/14 FLEXIBLE WORKING POLICY
RESOLVED: To defer consideration of this item until the next meeting to allow the Chair and Vice-Chair to conduct their final review the policy in its entirety.
F062/14 VIRING OF FUNDS
RESOLVED: To vire £4k funds from the Earmarked Disabled Access and Guildhall Improvements fund to the Earmarked Flat Refurbishment fund.
F063/14 ACCESS ONTO THE HILLSCHOOL SITE
Members discussed the measures to take to provide tenants with round the clock vehicular access onto the site in the case of an emergency.
RESOLVED: To provide keys to named tenants
F064/14 PUTTING GREEN
Members considered income against expenditure for the 2014 season and discussed the scale of charges for the 2015 season.  Cllr Powell confirmed that the Putting Green Working Party had been considering new ideas for use of the site including using the waste ground as a picnic area, creating a softball court at the front, and enhancing the crazy golf. Cllr I Henderson said there’s £7k s106 money earmarked for that area and we should we ask TDC where we are with that.  Cllr Calver said quotes, not funding, are coming from TDC for the replacement of the shed and is chasing him.
Cllr Calver suggests freeze costs but be mindful that we can review at any time.
RESOLVED: To freeze costs pending further developments with the putting green facilities.
FURTHER RESOLVED: To write to David Hall cc: Chief Executive to request status of the s106 monies for this and an update on obtaining quotations.
F065/14 FLOOD SIREN WORKING PARTY
Cllr Day reported that frustration on lack of progress with emergency planning since other arrangements, with Trinity House, were already in place. IH will follow up on.
F066/14 GUILDHALL DISABLED ACCESS (and improvements) change for next meeting
Cllr Day updated members on progress made with plans to install disabled access to the Grade I Listed building.  He reported that there’s been a lot of progress with essential improvement works.  Stair lift needs LBC and English Heritage need plans from the contracted company and this can be done once all quotes have been considered.  Plans and costings have been started on the works to install a disabled toilet.Cllr Brown asked about the valuation in the now vacant flat.  The Clerk confirmed that wef 22 Jul, HTC no longer have a council tax liability and the business rates will be re-calculated in due course by TDC.
The Access ramp is close to completion.
F067/14 MATTERS TO BE REPORTED

  • The Clerk notified members that arrangements are being made to organise a date for Emergency First Aid training.
  • The Clerk notified members of a forthcoming review of the System of Internal Control and that the draft document had been provided to the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee for consideration prior to a meeting and the final document being brought before a future meeting of the Committee for approval.
  • The Clerk informed members that in light of the high quotation received for new Emergency Lighting in the Chamber, further quotes will be sought and then brought before a future meeting of the Committee for consideration.
  • The Chair reminded members that it was now the time of year for the 2015 Town Guide to be worked on and recalled the decision to continue producing this would be reviewed.  He said that he and the Clerk has discussed the benefits of the Town Guide and that continuing with its production would be beneficial but that minor amendments to bring it up to date would be necessary and sought the assistance of members.  Cllrs Brown and Morrison agreed to assist with this.
F068/14 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OF INFORMATION RAISED BY MEMBERS

  • Members noted receipt of a letter of thanks for grant from The Pharos Trust
  • Members noted receipt of a copy of the promotional flyer from Dramatic Pause Productions (DPP), bearing the HTC Coat of Arms, following award of a grant.  Cllr Calver raised concern that since the Coat of Arms did not bear the HTC name that this would not do the Council justice as some people wouldn’t recognise the crest.  The Clerk confirmed that in this instance DPP has also printed that they were supported by HTC and that in awarding the grant, she always stipulates that where possible HTC should be recognised as a sponsor and the various ways in which the grantee could meet this condition.
F069/14 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The date of the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee will be at 7pm on Wednesday 10th December 2014 at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich.
F070/14 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:

  • Lighting at the Hill School Site
  • Flooring in the Guildhall third floor
  • Hill School Security and signage
  • Asbestos Register
  • Electrical works and Emergency Lighting in the Guildhall third floor
  • Key Holder services
  • Guildhall Boiler
  • Guildhall Brickwork Repair

The Chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 7.59pm