25th November 2019 – Finance & Resources

Minutes of the meeting held on 25th November 2019 at 7pm in the Council Chamber, The Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea.

Present: Cllr P Clayton (Vice Chairman), Cllr C Allen, Cllr B Hancock, Cllr L Parkin, Cllr N Tolley, Cllr A Matthews, Cllr P Harvey, Cllr A Brewer with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Sally Jones (RFO) in attendance.

Three members of the public were present.

Public Participation

One resident spoke on a number of matters: it was remarked that all Town Council meetings are held in Burnham-on-Sea, with none in Highbridge, despite the parish covering both towns. The resident voiced concern at the prospect of the Council purchasing the SS&L building due to its old age. The resident stated that following the award of a grant by the CIM Fund for Burnham Evolution, they had not seen any improvements in the town. A comparison was drawn to the high value funding awarded to neighbouring towns, stating there is no evidence of such grant applications being made for Burnham-on-Sea. A plea was made that the existing civic awards should be available to residents of all ages and there should be no separate youth award. It was stated that the conduct of some councillors on social media was ‘surprising’ and it was suggested that members should guide each other on appropriate use of online platforms.

67/19/F&R     Apologies

Apologies were received from Cllr Mike Facey, Cllr Sue Harvey and Cllr Rich Gardiner-White.

Cllr Helen Groves & Cllr Mike Murphy were absent

68/19/F&R     Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

Cllr Brewer notified the meeting that, if the mayor’s allowance is discussed under item 72/19/F&R, then he would declare an interest under the Code.

69/19/F&R     Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Finance & Resources Committee held on 14th October 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

70/19/F&R     Action List

                        The Action List was noted as completed                                                              

                        Motions for note/resolution

71/19/F&R     To consider a motion submitted by Cllr Clayton to allocate a £5k budget for events to enable progression of the Corporate Pillar 2: Cultural & Community.

The motion was considered and it was suggested that the budget could go towards putting on events such as the VE Day celebrations.

The motion was proposed by Cllr Clayton and seconded by Cllr Harvey and following a vote it was resolved that a new budget of £5,000 will be put in place for events.

72/19/F&R     To consider the Town Council’s preliminary 2020/21 budget and to agree any recommendations.

                        The Town Council’s preliminary budget was considered and it was discussed whether to include an extra £2,000 in budget for grounds maintenance. It was clarified that the Corporate Plan includes an aspiration by the Town Council to undertake more extensive grounds maintenance/cleaning works for the benefit of the towns. 

                        It was agreed that an extra £2,000 would be put into the budget Grounds Maintenance.

                        It was confirmed that the figures for the Christmas lights budget were preliminary whilst quotes were outstanding, but final figures will be available ahead of the January Finance & Resources Committee.

                        It was agreed that £7,500 for the one-off costs already identified will come out of the Cemetery Construction Costs earmarked reserve.

                        It was agreed that the £6,600 for the footfall monitors will be paid for out of the Tesco earmarked reserve.

                        It was resolved to approve the Town Council’s preliminary budget, subject to the identified amendments.

73/19/F&R     To resolve to adopt the revised Annual Investment Strategy

                        It was resolved to adopt the Strategy.

74/19/F&R     It was proposed and resolved to exclude the press and public from the meeting for item 75/19/F&R due to the confidential nature of the matter under discussion that relates to financial interests of grant applicant.

75/19/F&R     To receive a confidential update on progress relating to a grant application and to decide whether to proceed.

                        Following consideration of a confidential report, it was resolved that as the grant applicant had not been able to supply the Council with the required documentation to satisfy its financial due diligence, the offer of the grant will be withdrawn and the funds will not be awarded.

75/19/F&R     Financial Reports

It was noted that the quarterly review of the bank account reconciliations had been completed.

76/19/F&R     Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 13th January 2020 at 7pm at The Old Courthouse.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 19:35.

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