23rd November 2020 Finance & Resources Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 23rd November 2020 at 7pm via video conferencing.

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

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

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

54/20/F&R     Apologies

 Cllr Louise Parkin

Cllr Helen Groves was absent

55/20/F&R     Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

There were no declarations made.

56/20/F&R     Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Finance & Resources Committee held on Monday 12th October 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

57/20/F&R     Action List

The Action List was noted

Motions for note/resolution

58/20/F&R     To consider the SCC proposed cost contributions to the 67 bus.         

The meeting received a report from the RFO and discussion identified that, although the service was valuable, the timetable continued to prove inadequate for those travelling between Burnham & Highbridge and High Sexey Middle School or Wells. Consideration was given to the contributions by SCC and other parishes and it was resolved that the Town Council will budget the reduced sum of £3,000 for the year 2021-2022.

Cllr Mike Murphy joined the meeting.

59/20/F&R     To receive & consider a proposal from the Burnham heritage group regarding purchase of property to open a heritage centre.

The meeting considered the proposal from the heritage group and commended those involved for advancing the idea, which it was agreed had significant merit. Discussion recognised the interesting history of both towns and, although comments welcomed the creation of a heritage centre, there were concerns regarding the proposed building and questions remained as to how the project would be financed. It was resolved that Councillor Mike Facey would join the group on a fact finding basis.

60/20/F&R     To approve a draft expenses policy for staff & councillors

The meeting heard from the town clerk that the council already reimburses legitimate costs and that the proposed policy would be amended to include reimbursement of travel costs of 20p a mile for bicycles and 24p a mile for motorcycles, which is reflective of HMRC mileage allowances. It was resolved to approve the amended policy for recommendation to full council for adoption.            

61/20/F&R     To note that a zoom account is available to councillors for use in conducting ward surgeries or non-political activities/tasks agreed by the council (non-contractual cost £11.99 per month, when required)The item was noted and it was acknowledged that the facility was in use.

62/20/F&R     To consider and resolve the provision of a new contract for telephones and broadband.

The meeting considered a report from the RFO and received confirmation that credit checks had been carried out and positive references obtained in respect of the suppliers who had quoted. The meeting acknowledged the opportunity to save c.£14,000 over three years and resolved to enter into a contract with Excalibur, identified in the report as supplier ‘B’.  

63/20/F&R     To approve full draft budget

The meeting recognised that savings agreed at this meeting would have a positive affect to reduce the budget. Comments included recognition of the difficult economic climate for communities and welcomed the prospect of a projected reduction in overall expenditure, which would be reflected in the precept. It was resolved that the amended draft budget should be recommended to full council.

64/20/F&R     To review the ear marked reserves

The meeting reviewed the purpose, current spend and estimated value of the ear marked reserves. It was resolved to approve the ear marked reserves without amendment.

65/20/F&R     To approve the list of regular payments made by direct debit

The meeting  reviewed and resolved to approve the continued payment of the direct debits listed.

66/20/F&R     To approve the continuation of making payments by BACS

The meeting  heard that financial regulations require that every two years the council approves that payments can be made via BACs and resolved that the payments should continue.

67/20/F&R     To note that the Prepaid card was topped up by an additional £2,000 after authorisation from the Chairman and Vice Chairman of this committee

 The meeting  noted the top-up.

68/20/F&R     To approve to pay up to £900 from budget 4032 101 (Publicity) for the production of leaflets to promote town heritage (leaflet detail to be provided by the heritage group & will feature the town crest). – Item amended 20/11

The meeting  resolved to approve expenditure up to £900 from budget 4032 101 (Publicity) and use of the town crest on the production of leaflets coordinated by the heritage group.

69/20/F&R     Financial Reports

 The financial reports were received and noted.

70/20/F&R     Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 25th January 2021 at 7pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 19:46

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