Finance & General Purposes Committee Agenda

Guildhall, Church Street, Harwich, Essex CO12 3DS
Tel: 01255 507211

A meeting of the
to be held at
on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 at 7pm

Public Question Time:
15 minutes will be available for members of the Public to ask questions in relation to items on the agenda only.


Members of the public wishing to attend the meeting should contact the clerk for joining instructions.


1. Apologies for absence
To receive apologies for absence
2. Declarations of members’ interests
To receive any ‘pecuniary’ or ‘non-pecuniary’ interests relating to items on the agenda
3. Minutes of last meeting

– To approve as a correct record the Minutes and Confidential Minutes of the meeting of the Finance & General Purposes Committee held on Wednesday 8th December 2020 (circulated separately)

4. Matters arising from the minutes

MIN 49/20 – To review changes to Grant Funding policy and adopt with immediate effect.

F37/20 – To confirm that the tree survey was carried out on 5th March at the cost of £500, expended from the External Support Fund.

5. Matters arising from previous minutes

MIN F23/20 – To confirm the 1607 Poor Rate and Guildhall Deeds are now framed and displayed in the hallway of the Guildhall.

6. Grant requests
To consider requests for grant funding as listed in the attached schedule:
7. Estates Supervisor Report
To receive a report of activities and works since commencement of appointment.
8. Phased return to working from the Guildhall

Ref MIN F03/20 – To follow on from previous discussions and agree a phased return to normal operations in accordance with the Government’s Roadmap.

9. Leisure season 2021

• To agree to a delayed start to the 2021 season

• To agree to commence recruitment of Leisure Attendants and set an hourly rate for the role.

• To consider pricing for 2021 season.

• To authorise expenditure as necessary, up to the limits delegated to the chairman and clerk, to implement safety measures in line with Covid guidance.

• To consider request for private hire of the Crazy Golf for Essex Youth Services.

10. Sickness Policy

To consider proposed policy and adopt for Harwich Town Council.

11. Training

• To agree to fund Data Protection training for the Assistant Clerk and Apprentice Admin. Assistant at a cost of £28 to be expended from the 2021/22 Training budget.

• To agree to fund Equality & Diversity training for employees and councillors of Harwich Town Council at a total estimated cost of £500, to be expended from the 2021/22 Training budget.

12. Tools and Consumables

To consider the purchase of essential tools:

• Universal stopcock (£27.99)

• Manhole key (£6.99)

• Telescopic Tree Pruner (£21.43)

All costs inc VAT and are to be expended from the Maintenance and consumables budget heading.

• Weed Killer for the Hill School site (£28) to be expended from the 2021/22 Grounds Maintenance budget.

13. Shuttle Buses

To advise the committee that no cruise schedule is yet in place for 2021.

14. PAT Testing

To consider purchase of PAT Testing equipment at a cost of £259 and one-day training for Estates Supervisor at a cost of £190, to be expended from the Health & Safety and Training budgets, respectively.

15. Putting Green Hut Maintenance

• To consider quotation for bi-annual maintenance at a cost of £720 plus £120 for the installation of 8x drip bars Putting green to be expended from the 2021/22 Leisure Maintenance budget.

• To agree to increase the 2021/22 budget provision for Leisure Maintenance from £600 to £1000.

16. Leisure Facilities

To consider ways of increasing usage including the involvement of local schools. Cllr Saunders

17. Annual Leave

To agree to carry over untaken annual leave entitlement of all HTC employees to the next annual leave year, taking regard of ACAS guidance surrounding Covid.

18. Independent Review of the Accounts

Cllr D Smith to report findings following an independent review of the accounts and bank reconciliation on 8th March for the period Oct-Dec 2020.

19. Financial Regulations

To review Financial Regulations for 2021/22 and adopt accordingly.

20. Financial Risk Assessment and System of Internal Control.

• To review the Financial Risk Assessment and confirm measures taken to mitigate risk are adequate.

• To consider the current System of Internal Control and carry out a review of its effectiveness.

21. Matters received in the post or information raised by members
22. Matters to be reported
• To note new telephone/broadband/cloudphone services renewed with BT on 14th Dec 2020 at a reduction of £20.25 p/m.  Price increase of £3.40 on line rental charges from 1st April. (Costs £136.15pm/ £139.55 from April)• To report Section 137 expenditure limit for 2021/22 is set at £8.41
23. Date for next meeting
The date of the next meeting of the Finance and General Purposes Committee is at 7pm, on a date to be confirmed.
24. 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:·•   Payroll provision
25. Payroll Provision

To consider quotations for new payroll service from April 2021

Dated:  16th March 2021                                                        

Ms Lucy Ballard
Clerk to the Council


See attached document for details of Grant applications to be considered at this meeting.