25th January 2021 Finance & Resources Minutes – Draft

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 25th January 2021 at 7pm via video conferencing.

Present: Cllr Mike Facey (Chairman), Cllrs Peter Clayton, Chris Allen, Bill Hancock, Louise Parkin, Allan Matthews, Phil Harvey, Sue Harvey, Mike Murphy, and Andy Brewer with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Sally Jones (RFO) in attendance.

Three members of the public were present and one member of the press.

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

01/21/F&R     Apologies

                        Apologies were received from Cllr Helen Groves & Cllr Nick Tolley

02/21/F&R     Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

                        There were no declarations made.

03/21/F&R     Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Finance & Resources Committee held on Monday 23rd November 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

04/21/F&R     Action List

                        The Action List was noted as completed

                        Motions for note/resolution

05/21/F&R     To note that the Government (MHCLG) has published the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement 2021/22, which confirms that referendum principles will not be applied to parish and town councils in 2021/22. 

                        The meeting noted the announcement.

06/21/F&R     To agree full draft budget

The discussion acknowledged the uncertainty around levels of non-precept income and recognised that the reduction in Band D tax base would increase costs to residents if the 20/21 level of precept charge was maintained.  

It was proposed, seconded and resolved to approve the budget for recommendation to the town council. It was additionally resolved to recommend that, in order that the precept demand is maintained without increased costs to residents, allocation of £9k SDC support funding received in this financial year should be allocated to an earmarked reserve for use in the next financial year to pay for the Princess Theatre’s business rates, removing the £9k cost from the overall budget.

07/21/F&T     To review the updated asset register

The meeting received comments from councillors on existing assets and heard that the register is undergoing further updating to reflect recent acquisitions and will be presented to full Council towards the end of the financial year.  

08/21/F&T     To receive a recommendation from the Princess Management Committee that approval is given to let the theatre café space according to the draft specification approved by the PMC, and to delegate authority to the PMC to undertake the procurement process, including award of the lease. (Please note that until formally approved & released, the specification document remains confidential)

The meeting  heard that some minor amendments had been made to the draft document presented. It was resolved to approve to let the café and that the Princess Management Committee should be authorised to proceed with the letting process and award of the lease.

09/21/F&T     To note the outcome of the fact-finding meeting between Cllrs Facey, Clayton and the heritage group and to resolve how to proceed (min 59/20/F&R refers)

The meeting  heard from Cllr Clayton that the heritage group had been unsuccessful in attracting external funding and had not created a formal constituted body. It was acknowledged that the principle of the heritage centre remains a good one, but it was resolved that investment by the council in the building identified by the group was not viable and is not supported.

10/21/F&R     Financial Reports

                        The financial reports were received and noted.

11/21/F&R     Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 8th March 2021 at 7pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 19:24

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