Burnham-on-Sea & Highbridge Town Council

27th April 2020 Finance & Resources Committee minutes

Minutes of the remote meeting held on 27th April 2020 at 7pm using video conferencing.

Present: Cllr Mike Facey (Chairman), P Clayton, Cllr C Allen, Cllr B Hancock, Cllr N Tolley, Cllr A Matthews, Cllr P Harvey, Cllr S Harvey, Cllr Rich Gardiner-White, Cllr Mike Murphy, Cllr A Brewer (ex-officio) with Sam Winter (Town Clerk) and Sally Jones (RFO) in attendance.

Four members of the public were present.

10/20/F&R Apologies
Cllr Parkin
Cllr Helen Groves was absent

11/20/F&R Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted
There were no declarations made.

12/20/F&R Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the Finance & Resources Committee held on 13th January 2020 were approved as a correct record, with the Chairman’s signature to follow at an appropriate point.

Action List

13/20/F&R There were no outstanding actions

14/20/F&R To receive an operational update from officers

The Town Clerk updated the meeting:

Most staff are working their usual hours to service the Council and that the phone line is operational according to the hours 10 – 4pm Mon-Fri. Staff were thanked for responding to working with new IT from their homes, whilst balancing childcare or other caring roles and responding to their own community volunteer initiatives at this very troubling time.

Furlough of staff
Government advice is that it is not expected that local authority staff will be furloughed where the authority has already received funding for pay. At the current time staff are working their usual hours, apart from 2 part-time staff who are not working and cannot be redeployed. Details will be referred to the next HR meeting. One full time staff member has a reduced workload and has therefore be redeployed to help volunteer efforts, using the TC van for which we have suitable insurance.

Food bank
Cllr Hodge assisting in contacting Tesco to arrange for a shopping delivery to be made to the food bank by District Cllr Alistair Hendry & Cllr Peter Clayton. Multiple spends of £500 per delivery will be available according to need as dictated by the food bank (10 weekly/bi-weekly deliveries, subject to need, to a total of £5k).

Mobile phones
We have provided Biars with 5 inexpensive pay as you go mobile phones for use by the volunteer network at a total cost is £64, to be returned to the TC once are no longer required.

Volunteer Group

The TC’s services have been offered in acting as a custodian of the group’s money. We are able to operate a caretaker facility without any onerous procedures, to the group’s requirements. The offer has been left with the group.

Rapid response grants
As per the report to members, the CV-19 rapid grants procedure is live on our website and available to constituted groups.

Local Reach
Residents should have now received copies of this special edition of Local Reach, 6 pages of which were commissioned by this TC to promote useful information to 14,500 residents in and in the immediate vicinity of Burnham and Highbridge who might not use the internet, at a total cost of £1,788, including postage via Royal Mail.

The RFO updated the meeting:

There has been a change in deadline by which we must publish the Annual Governance Statement and Statement of Accounts of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), together with any certificate or opinion issued by the local auditor. It will now apply from 30 September 2020 to 30 November 2020. Under the new regulations there is no requirement for a common period for the exercise of public rights. Smaller authorities are still required to set a period for this purpose, but the only requirement is that the 30-working day period should start on or before the first working day of September. Despite this, the intention of the RFO is that the AGAR will be in place by July.

Motions for note/resolution

15/20/F&R To review the payments made by direct debit
The payments list was reviewed and agreed.
16/20/F&R To note that the quarterly sign off of the accounts has been undertaken

Cllr Hancock joined the meeting
17/20/F&R To approve the administrative system applied under delegated authority to permit use of the grants budget in response to tackling the Coronavirus (Covid-19) and to note that any payments made under the system will be reported to the Council at the following relevant meeting.
The system was approved and it was noted that no applications had been received or payments made.

18/20/F&R In consideration of resolution min ref: 39/20/TC, to formalise the relocation working group for the purposes of pursuing discussions regarding the acquisition of the former SS&L building.
Formalisation of the group as a sub-committee reporting to the Finances & Resources Committee was agreed.

19/20/F&R To note the internal auditors most recent report and actions
The report was received and noted.

Financial Reports
20/20/F&R To note the most recent financial reports
The RFO clarified that apparent underspend on the expenditure would not apply at the end of the financial year.
The committee reports ending 29th February 2020 were received & noted.

Date of Next meeting
21/20/F&R It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 6th July 2020 (method to be confirmed).

The Chairman closed the meeting at 19:25

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