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FRM(21)M03 Minutes of FERM Committee Meeting on 28th July 2021

FERMFERM Minutes Uploaded on August 9, 2021

                                                                                           FRM(21)M03

 

FINANCE, EMPLOYMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

Minutes of the meeting of the Melton Parish Council Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee held on Wednesday 28 July 2021 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT commencing at 19:00.

Present:

Cllr Mrs B Abbott

Cllr Mr B Banks (in the Chair)

Cllr Mr N Brown

Cllr Mr A Porter

Absent:

Cllr Mrs C Gradwell

Cllr Mr C Taylor

In Attendance: 

Mr W J Grosvenor Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council

Mrs P Alder Assistant Clerk and Management Officer to Melton Parish Council

  PART ONE – OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
21.22 ELECTION OF CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR OF FINANCE EMPLOYMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT (FERM) COMMITTEE

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Banks be elected Chair of FERM Committee.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown             Seconded by: Cllr Porter

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gradwell be elected Vice-Chair of FERM Committee.

Proposed by: Cllr Banks              Seconded by: Cllr Brown

21.23 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Gradwell and Cllr Taylor.

21.24 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
21.24.01  To receive Amendments to the Register 

There were none.

21.24.02  To receive Declarations of Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda

There were none.

21.24.03  To receive Declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda    

There were none.

21.24.04  To consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests

Declared

It was noted that there had been no requests for dispensations.

21.25 OPEN FORUM FOR MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC TO TALK TO   COUNCILLORS

There were no members of the public present.

21.26 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

  It was RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the FERM Committee held on 15 April 2021 (Minutes FRM(21)M02 previously distributed).

 Proposed by: Cllr Brown               Seconded by: Cllr Porter

21.27 TO REVIEW TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR FERM COMMITTEE AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO FULL COUNCIL

(Paper FRM(21)27)

Councillors considered the current terms of reference for FERM Committee.

Following discussion it was RESOLVED to recommend to Full Council the deletion of the existing term (D) Purpose viii: “Preparation of the budget for approval by full council” and its replacement with: “To scrutinise any proposed in year changes to the budget and make recommendations on them to full council”.    

 Proposed by: Cllr Brown              Seconded by: Cllr Abbott

21.28 TO CONSIDER FINANCIAL AND INTERNAL CONTROL MATTERS
21.28.01 To consider the Management Accounts – 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021

(Papers FRM(21)28.01 and FRM(21)28.01a-g)

The Assistant Clerk reported on the Council’s financial position as at the end of period 3 of 2021/22. Gross income received was £131,401 including Community Infrastructure Levy monies (CIL) of £77,646. Without CIL, the income was £53,755. Expenditure for the year was £80,440. After payment of £50,928 in respect of capital projects from CIL and grant monies, net revenue expenditure was £29,512 which was under 24% of the budget for the year. In terms of cash resources as at 30 June, cash in the Council’s bank accounts totalled £597,804. After adding £13,489 in respect of refundable VAT and deducting £5,120 for the contingent liability in respect of the tenant’s rent deposit, the total liquid assets amounted to £606,173, including CIL monies totalling £517,959. The general reserves total £88,214, a decrease from £94,003 at the end of May 2021. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.28.02 To review the budget for 2021/22

(Paper FRM(21)28.02)

This detailed report was considered in conjunction with the Management Accounts covered in Minute 21.28.01 above. There were no queries in respect of the details, other than in relation to the payment of business rates which were satisfactorily explained. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.28.03 Update report on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funded projects

(Paper FRM(21)28.03)

The Clerk took Members through the report, which set out in detail the CIL resources available, the amounts received and spent, how the Council has earmarked funding for existing projects and as revenue support, details of the projects funded and current position; together with upcoming refurbishment requirements, other project proposals and a summary of current commitment. The report will be updated as necessary for Full Council in September 2021. The report was welcomed as providing a clear overview of the current CIL position. Caution was expressed as to the outturn costs in relation to the pavilion project exceeding the budget, and this will need to be kept closely in view. In relation to questions on the small project to improve the pond in Burkes Wood, the Assistant Clerk explained the results of the survey and the issues raised by the presence of the invasive New Zealand Pigmyweed, which is a non-native species, and very difficult to control. The report was NOTED.

21.28.04 To consider the appointment of the internal Auditor for 2021/22

Following discussion it was RESOLVED to appoint Mr Trevor Brown as the Council’s Internal Auditor for 2021/22.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter               Seconded by: Cllr Banks

21.28.05 To consider the draft revised and updated Melton Parish Council Business Plan

(Paper FRM(21)28.05)

The Clerk presented a revised and updated version of the Melton Parish Council Business Plan. Following discussion it was AGREED to recommend  it for approval for publication by Full Council subject to:

·         A revision of the section on page 13 relating to the pavilion project; Councillors felt that the reference to the now historic village hall project could be reduced to just one short paragraph.

·         Inclusion of a reference to the way that the Council positively manages its green spaces.

21.28.06  To receive a report on comparison of the taxbase and precepts for medium to large local councils in East Suffolk                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

(Paper FRM(21)28.06)

Cllr Banks introduced this report, which set out for information a comparison in terms of both precept and precept per Band D equivalent properties for 19 medium to large local councils in East Suffolk. The report was NOTED.

21.29  TO CONSIDER EMPLOYMENT MATTERS
21.29.01 Staffing report

The Clerk reported no current issues. The annual appraisal of the Maintenance Officer will be carried out by the Assistant Clerk on 29 July. The Maintenance Officer’s refresher training to renew his accreditation to undertake play area inspections will take place on 11 August. The Clerk undertook the annual appraisal of the Assistant Clerk on 30 June.

21.30 TO REVIEW RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES
21.30.01 Risk Register

(Paper FRM(21)30.01)

Members of FERM Committee reviewed the Risk Register updated for July 2021. In relation to the anti-social behaviour high level risk, the Assistant Clerk reported that the police are now making regular visits; there have been no further recent reports of incidents from neighbours, and fewer CCTV images that might give concern. It was AGREED to consider downgrading to a medium risk at next review. Otherwise the report was NOTED.

21.31 REPORT RELATING TO THE MELTON TRUST

(Paper FRM(21)31)

The Clerk presented the report prepared by two Trustees together with his covering note. This report is intended for submission to Full Council at its meeting in September 2021, but he felt it was important for it to be considered by FERM Committee beforehand. The report proposes that the responsibility for all the Trust’s administrative functions is assumed by Council staff. The paper estimates that the work could take on average up to 57 hours a year, or an average of 4.75 hours a month.

The covering note addresses the issues that need to be considered. These include:

·         Unless the Council specifically wishes to grant aid the Trust under s137 Local Government Act 1972, there will need to be an agreement to reimburse the Council for its services.

·         To offer grant aid the Council would have to be satisfied that the Trust operates for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish and that the benefit is commensurate with the sum expended.

·         A clear legally binding service level agreement would need to be in place to regulate the services that are to be provided.

·         Issues of staffing resources.

Following a lengthy discussion it was unanimously AGREED to recommend to Full Council that the proposals in the Melton Trust report should not be accepted, and that the Trust should seek to employ someone in a part-time capacity to undertake this work.

21.32 PAVILION PROJECT – UPDATE REPORT

(Paper FRM(21)32)

The Clerk went through the report which was NOTED. In respect of the prices being sought for the demolition of the existing building from five contractors, it was AGREED that in order to make a decision quickly on the appointment of a contractor once prices are available, the delegation arrangements agreed by Full Council on 5 May 2021 (Minute 21.52.08) should be used. That is that the decision is delegated to the Clerk / Assistant Clerk in conjunction with the Chair / Vice-Chairs / Chairs of Committees. The decision can then be submitted to Full Council for ratification.

21.33  TO CONSIDER GOVERNANCE MATTERS
21.33.01  Report of Decisions Made by Clerk under the Openness of Local   Government Bodies Regulations 2014

(Paper FRM(21)33.01

It was RESOLVED to ratify the decisions made by the Clerk / Assistant Clerk in respect of:

1.    The purchase of an additional CCTV camera for the pavilion at a cost of £245.00

2.    The contribution of £50.00 towards Melton’s participation in the Quiet Lanes scheme.

3.    The cost of an asbestos survey of the pavilion at a cost of £465.00.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter               Seconded by: Cllr Banks

21.34 FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN’S URGENT BUSINESS

Nothing to report.

 

21.35 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of FERM Committee will take place on Wednesday 13 October 2021 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business for the Open part of the Agenda, and following consideration of the Confidential Items, the meeting closed at 21.15

  PART TWO – CONFIDENTIAL
  Exempt / Confidential Items

It was RESOLVED that the public be excluded from the meeting for the remaining Items of business on the grounds of both commercial and employee confidentiality.