5th July 2021 Finance & Resources Minutes

Minutes of the meeting held on Monday 5th July 2021 at 7pm at the Old Courthouse, Jaycroft Road, Burnham-on-Sea.

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

One member of the public was present and one member of the press.

Public Participation

There were no speakers.

32/21/F&R     Apologies

                        Apologies were noted for Cllr Bill Hancock via Cllr Peter Clayton.

33/21/F&R     Declarations of Interest in items on this agenda & dispensations granted

                        Cllr Peter Clayton declared an interest in item 36/21/F&R (Love Lane Allotments).

34/21/F&R     Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the Finance & Resources Committee held on Monday 26th April 2021 were approved and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.

35/21/F&R     Action List

                        The Action List was noted as completed

                        Motions for note/resolution

Cllr Clayton left the meeting

36/21/F&R     To consider the terms of the lease under which Love Lane allotments are let to the Burnham-on-Sea Allotment Association and to approve a further 7 year lease of the same terms commencing 2nd August 2021   

The meeting considered the terms of the lease and unanimously resolved to approve that a new lease is issued for a further 7-year period on the same terms.

Cllr Clayton re-joined the meeting

37/21/F&R     To review the terms of reference for Human Resources Sub-Committees

A proposal was received from Cllr P Harvey that the terms of reference for the Human Resource Sub-Committee should be changed to delete the words, “its meetings are not open to the public” and to increase transparency by permitting public and press access to the meetings as per the usual public notice rights that apply to committees. During discussion, the meeting noted that NALC guidelines recommend that meetings of a human resources sub-committee that discusses staffing matters should be held confidentially and without public notice so as to protect the staff and ultimately the council. Cllr P Harvey’s proposal was seconded by Cllr S Harvey but was defeated on vote. It was noted that minutes of the sub-committee continue to be publicly available on the council website.

A second proposal was received from Cllr P Harvey to change the HR sub-committee terms of reference to require the creation of all new staff posts to be endorsed by a full standing committee so that more councillors were involved in the decision-making. Discussion considered the purpose of the HR sub-committee and its existing authority to use discretion to agree expenditure within budget. It was noted that the terms of reference already required the Finance & Resources Committee to approve the human resources budget prior to its consideration by the full council. Cllr P Harvey’s proposal was seconded by Cllr S Harvey, but was defeated on vote.

A proposal was received from Cllr Clayton and seconded by Cllr Parkin, that the membership of the HR sub-committee is increased by the addition of another councillor member to take its membership to 8. It was resolved that, in light of her work experience with staffing, Cllr Chris Allen will be appointed to the HR sub-committee.

38/21/F&R     To review the office rent charged to the Registrars service

The meeting unanimously resolved to maintain the current rent charged to the Registrars service at £2600 p.a. for the next 3 years, to be reviewed in August 2024.

39/21/F&R     To receive a proposal from Cllr Murphy and to make a recommendation to the full council that town council funds earmarked for Highbridge regeneration, along with CIL funds, are used to offer a £15k retailers shop front improvements scheme to Highbridge town centre.

The proposal was moved by Cllr Murphy who volunteered to chair the judging panel and confirmed that the advice of the monitoring officer on his position as chairman of the Highbridge Chamber of Trade was that the position did not raise a disclosable interest under the code of conduct and that no conflict was apparent unless a friend of Cllr Murphy’s applied for a grant.

The meeting heard that district council advice was that CIL funds are permitted to be used to provide a shop front scheme for Highbridge.

It was seconded and unanimously resolved that a recommendation will be made to the full council to use £15k of CIL funds to offer a shop front scheme in Highbridge, following the same terms, application and judging process as the Burnham scheme. And that, in the interests of transparency and due to the availability of other members, it was resolved to decline Cllr Murphy’s offer to chair the panel and to appoint Cllr Hodge as chairman with a panel of Cllrs P Harvey, Facey and Matthews.

40/21/F&R     To review the footfall monitor provision in Burnham & Highbridge

The meeting discussed the cost and information provided by the existing footfall monitors as compared to the free, enhanced data available from the district council’s footfall monitors. It was proposed by Cllr Hodge, seconded and unanimously resolved that the council will not renew its current contract for footfall monitors and that it will obtain the information for free on a monthly basis from Sedgemoor District Council.

41/21/F&R     Financial Reports

                        The financial reports were received and noted.

42/21/F&R     Date of Next meeting

It was noted that the next meeting of this committee will be held on Monday 20th September 2021 at 7pm.

The Chairman closed the meeting at 20:29

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