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 17th January 2017

 HARWICH TOWN COUNCIL
Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211
email: info@harwichtowncouncil.co.uk

MINUTES of the Meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee
held at
The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich
on
Tuesday 17th January 2017
at 7.30pm

Present: Councillors B Brown, I Henderson, J Henderson, Morrison, C Powell, Smith (Sub for M Fowler) and Urwin 
In the Chair: Councillor Calver 
Clerk: Ms Lucy Ballard
Also present: 0 members of the public, 0 members of the press

The Chairman informed members there would be an additional information item raised within the confidential part of the meeting, regarding the Allotment site at Boatswains Call.

F072/16 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Cllrs Ashley, J Brown and Fowler (Sub G Smith)
F073/16 DECLARATIONS OF MEMBERS’ INTERESTS
None
F074/16 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
RESOLVED: That the Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting held on 30th November 2016 (previously circulated) be approved by the Chairman and signed as a true record.
F075/16 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
The Chairman confirmed that in relation to the previously discussed DBS checks for staff and councillors, an umbrella company was approached who advised that it was not necessary for either councillors or office-based staff, not in regular contact with children and/or vulnerable adults, to undergo the checks.  The Estates Supervisor is an exception since he conducts regular safety check of the council-managed facilities that are frequented by children.
MIN F063/16 – The Chairman confirmed that the Estates Supervisor is covered by a DBS certificate and this will be renewed as and when applicable/required.

The Chairman was also confirmed that Equality & Diversity training could be carried out with members and staff present in a single session.  Vine HR have been approached and they have suggested a 2-hour evening session and dates are being worked up between the Clerk, the Mayor and Liz Rymell of Vine HR, and dates will be made available in due course.

F076/16 MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
None
F077/16 ESTATES SUPERVISOR REPORT
The Estates Supervisor reported that he had nothing to report but would be able to assist in answering any questions members may have in relation to the contract quotations to be considered under the confidential part of the meeting.
F078/16 PAYROLL SERVICES In considering the services provided over the last financial year, members RESOLVED: to renew the contract for payroll services with Ladywell Accountancy for the 2017/18 financial year at a cost of £469 to be expended from the Administration – Subscription/Fees budget.

 

F079/16 LEISURE FACILITIES
Members considered static and optional opening dates for the 2017 season.  Members suggested the opening dates are extended to include weekends during May and September and considered a variety of measures to promote the facility and encourage greater footfall.  RESOLVED: to open the facility (weather permitting) to coincide with the Easter holidays (1st – 17th Apr), Spring BH weekend (29th Apr-1st May), weekends only in May, Spring Half term (27th – 4th Jun), weekends from 10th June, full opening from 22nd Jul – 3rd Sep and weekends only until 30th Sep.  There was agreement that the facility could open additional days dependent upon weather and attendant availability.

Members further considered the opening times in conjunction with recommendations from former Leisure attendant, Philip Hutchings.

RESOLVED: Keep opening times as 10.30am – 5.30pm, subject to review.  And to continue to keep a customer log to determine peaks in usage, and also a comment box.

Members further considered recommendations by former Leisure Attendant, Philip Hutchings, in relating to pricing. One suggestion was to have an ‘open access’ ticket so customers can use more than one facility for the one price.     
RESOLVED:  to retain the 2016 prices until such time as a new crazy golf provision is installed and then increase the Crazy golf to £2 for adults/£1 for children, but to have a combined ticket for the Putting and Crazy golf for £3 for adults/ £1.50 for children, and cease the current promotional cards.

F080/16 LANDSCAPING AND GROUND MAINTENANCE AT THE HILL SCHOOL
Members considered the quotation for renewing the contract with TDC for landscaping services. RESOLVED: To renew the contract for the 2017/18 year at a cost of £936 to be expended from the Hill School – Ground Maintenance budget.
F081/16 FINANCIAL REGULATIONS
Members considered amendments to MFRs 1.6, 6.4 and 11 the current policy in line with national changes.
RESOLVED: To adopt revised policy.
F082/16 PENSIONS DISCRETIONARY POLICY STATEMENTS

Members considered whether to Extend the 12-month time limit for acceptance of a transfer value into the LGPS now that the scheme has moved from Final Salary to Career Averaged.  The Clerk confirmed that the Council’s current position is NOT to extend the time limit and advised against changing this as it may incur a financial strain on Harwich Town Council although it was less likely now that the LGPS had changed from a final salary to a Career Averaged scheme.
RESOLVED:
Not to extend the 12-month time limit for acceptance of a transfer value into the LGPS.

F083/16 WORK RELATED LEARNING

Members considered a request from the Harwich & Dovercourt High School to take part in their work related learning initiatives.  Cllr Calver said he had tried to contact the person arranging this but had yet to have a formal discussion about what this entails.  The Chair suggested consideration is given to accepting a Work Experience student but conditions should be met to ensure the correct candidate is placed with the Council.  It was suggested that interviews are carried out prior to the placement.  The Chairman confirmed that the school will carry out checks and risk assessments prior to the placement to ensure the workplace is suitably set-up to accommodate a student.

RESOLVED: To accept a work experience placement subject to a successful prior interview.

F084/16 FLOOR-STANDING ROLL-UP PROJECTOR SCREEN
Members considered purchasing a new projector screen since the other was old and becoming difficult to operate.
RESOLVED: To proceed with purchasing a new screen at the cost of £215 inc. delivery, to be expended from the Administration – Stationery budget.
F085/16 CCTV AT THE HILL SCHOOL SITE

Members considered the need to replace 1 No. CCTV unit and considered proposals for an annual maintenance contract with the installation company.

RESOLVED: To proceed with the replacement CCTV unit at a cost of £365, to be expended from the Hill School – Maintenance budget.

FURTHER RESOLVED: Delegate to the Clerk to sign up to either the annual service only at £100, or the ‘Maintenance Only’ option of £149pa subject to the Clerk’s contentment that the additional service covered by the ‘Maintenance Only’ option met the minimum level that is required.  To be expended from the Hill School Refurbishment EMR.

F086/16 YEAR END CLOSEDOWN (ANNUAL RETURN)

Members considered contracting the services of RBS Rialtas to conduct the Accounts Year end closedown procedure.
RESOLVED: To proceed with arranging the services at a cost of £495 plus 45ppm mileage to be expended from the Administration – Software Support budget.

F087/16 STAFF CODE OF CONDUCT

RESOLVED: To adopt the policy for Harwich Town Council.

F088/16 PUTTING GREEN LICENCE

Members gave consideration to the renewal licence for 2017 and RESOLVED: To authorise the Clerk to sign and return the Licence once clauses 3p and 3q have been suitably amended/removed to relinquish the Council of any obligation to agree, without restriction, to permit third parties to hold events on the Hollies.  If the changes cannot be made before the next meeting, this item will feature on the next agenda.

F089/16 PERSONNEL AND APPEALS SUB-COMMITTEE

Members considered establishing a Personnel Sub-committee and an Appeals Sub-Committee to undertake any necessary hearings resulting from breaches of discipline or grievances involving members of staff.

After much discussion concerning the make-up of the sub-committees, it was
RESOLVED: to defer for further investigation and guidance, and bring back to a future meeting.

F090/16 MATTERS TO BE REPORTED

• The Clerk reported that refunds to the value of £213 had been negotiated with BT in relation to services paid for that hadn’t been used, and that savings of equivalent to £120 per year had been achieved through negotiating new line rental deals.

• The Clerk reported that Veolia Environmental Services were content to amend our contract for litter picking services and would cancel the original invoice as a matter of goodwill and re-issue from January.

F091/16 MATTERS RECEIVED IN THE POST OR RAISED BY MEMBERS
• Letter of thanks received from The Harwich & District Social Stroke Group following grant.
F092/16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee will be held on Tuesday 21st March 2017 at The Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, at 7.00pm.
F093/16 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: • Surveyor at the Hill School Site

• Groundworks for Crazy Golf

The chairman closed the public part of the meeting at 9.20pm. CHAIRMAN                                                                                      DATE

 

Cllr G Calver

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