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FRM(21)M04 Minutes of FERM Committee Meeting on 13th October 2021

FERMFERM Minutes Uploaded on October 21, 2021

FRM(21)M04

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 13 October 2021 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT commencing at 19:00.

Present:

Cllr Mr B Banks (in the Chair)

Cllr Mr N Brown

Cllr Mrs C Gradwell

Cllr Mr M Packard

Cllr Mr A Porter

Cllr Mr C Taylor

 

Absent:

Cllr Mrs B Abbott

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
21.39 TO RECEIVE APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Abbott.

The Chair took the opportunity to welcome new Member Cllr Mark Packard to his first meeting of FERM Committee.

21.40 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
21.40.01  To receive Amendments to the Register 

There were none.

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

There were none.

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

There were none.

21.40.04  To consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests

Declared

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

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

There were no members of the public present.

21.42 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING

  It was RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the FERM Committee held on  28 July 2021 (Minutes FRM(21)M03 and Minutes FRM(21)M03 CONFIDENTIAL previously distributed).

 Proposed by: Cllr Porter                Seconded by: Cllr Brown

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

(Papers FRM(21)43.01 and FRM(21)43.01a-g)

The Assistant Clerk reported on the Council’s financial position as at the end of period 6 of 2021/22 – the half year position. Gross income received was £185,744 including Community Infrastructure Levy monies (CIL) of £77,646. Without CIL, the overall income was £108,098, which included a grant of £729 from East Suffolk Council in addition to both instalments of the precept.   Expenditure for the year was £114,794. After payment of £56,131 in respect of capital projects from CIL and grant monies, net revenue expenditure was £58,663 which was just under 47% of the budget for the year. In terms of cash resources as at 30 September, cash in the Council’s bank accounts totalled £630,853. After adding £428 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 £626,161, including CIL monies totalling £512,756. The general reserves total £113,405, an increase from £79,704 at the end of August 2021. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

There was a discussion about recent expensive emergency tree works required following a limb failure on a veteran tree which had not been thought a risk when the tree safety survey was carried out at the beginning of the year.  The Assistant Clerk also raised concerns about the number of residents living in properties adjoining the Council’s woods who are requesting tree works to reduce shading / overhanging. It was suggested that in that respect Councillors should consider drawing up a policy on the Council’s approach to dealing with such requests. The Assistant Clerk will refer the matter to Recreation Committee for their consideration.

21.43.02 To review the budget for 2021/22

(Paper FRM(21)43.02)

This detailed report was considered in conjunction with the Management Accounts covered in Minute 21.43.01 above. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.

21.43.03 To consider the arrangements for initial work on budget setting for 2022/22

Following discussion it was AGREED to convene a meeting of Budget Working Group on 11 November starting at 10am. The Assistant Clerk will send out invitations to the Council Chair, Vice-chairs and Chairs of Committees. Initial recommendations can then be considered by Full Council at its meeting on 17 November.

21.43.04 To consider the Council’s approach to grant giving in 2021/22

(Paper FRM(21)43.04)

The Clerk took Members of FERM Committee through the contents of the report, which considers both the contribution made by the Council to the production of the Melton Messenger and the giving of grants under s137 Local Government Act 1972, as well as establishing a framework for grant giving in future years.

Following discussion it was RESOLVED to recommend to Full Council as follows:

·      To contribute to the Melton Messenger in 2021/22 7/12ths of the original budget of £1,200 (i.e. £700) to reflect the part suspension of the printed version in the year due to Covid.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown               Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell

·         In terms of s137 grants within 2021/22, to review later in the year and return to the traditional timescale next year.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter               Seconded by: Cllr Brown

·         In terms of the future administration of grants and publication of the Council’s grant-giving arrangements, to revert to the timescales for annual grant giving that applied pre-Covid, with applications being invited in late August on a standard form, to be considered at the meeting of FERM Committee in October and recommendations made to the November meeting of Full Council.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown               Seconded by: Cllr Porter

21.44  TO CONSIDER EMPLOYMENT MATTERS
21.44.01 Staffing report

The Clerk reported no current issues. The Assistant Clerk reported that in the new year there needs to be a conversation with the Maintenance Officer about re-evaluating his workload, and possibly either obtaining some further help or outsourcing more to contractors.

21.45 TO REVIEW RISK MANAGEMENT ISSUES
21.45.01 Risk Register

(Paper FRM(21)45.01)

Members of FERM Committee reviewed the Risk Register updated for  October 2021. Following discussion it was AGREED to raise the risk rating for Staffing from Low to Medium in relation to the risks inherent in the forthcoming staff changes. Otherwise the report was NOTED.

21.45.02 Data Protection Risk Register

(Paper FRM(21)45.02)

Members of FERM Committee reviewed the Data Protection Risk Register updated for October 2021 (this Register is reviewed by FERM Committee half yearly). Apart from the need to adjust the colour coding to align with the main Risk Register, Members confirmed the ratings and requested that the report be presented to Full Council in view of its relevance to Member behaviours.

21.46 PAVILION PROJECT – UPDATE REPORT

The Clerk reported that the erection of the temporary shed to house the utilities connections, the CCTV equipment, together with essential items from the pavilion that need to be stored, will be completed on 15 October. The latest intelligence is that the demolition contractor, Mixbrow, is intending to start on site on 21 October. The architect has assured the Clerk that the final specification for the new build will be provided prior to Full Council on 17 November so it can be given a final approval by Councillors.

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

(Paper FRM(21)47.01

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

1.    The engagement of Native Landscapes to purchase and install weed suppression matting at the pond in Burkes Wood to help suppress the spread of New Zealand pygmy weed at a cost of £380.

2.    The purchase of a metal shed to provide storage whilst the pavilion is demolished and rebuilt at a cost of £649.99 (inc. VAT).

3.    Emergency tree safety works carried out on 30 September and 5 October after strong winds caused a very large limb to fall from a veteran tree in Leeks Hill Woods, at a cost of £880.00 to be funded from the Divested Land Sinking Fund.

4.    Purchase of fence panels to replace those rotted at Hall Farm Road Sports Ground at a cost of £311.70 to be funded from the Divested Land Sinking Fund.

5.    The need to replace the fan in the office wc / shower room which has failed. 3 quotes have been sought, 2 have been obtained and 1 still awaited. Here the Committee ALSO RESOLVED to approve the quote that the Clerk / Assistant Clerk considers offers the best value to the Council.

Proposed by: Cllr Taylor               Seconded by: Cllr Porter

21.48 FINANCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN’S URGENT BUSINESS

Nothing to report.

21.49 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting of FERM Committee will take place on Wednesday 8 December 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 20.20.

  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.