FINANCE, EMPLOYMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee held on Wednesday 9th February 2022, commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT.
Cllr Banks (in the Chair)
Cllr Mr A Porter
Cllr Mr C Taylor
Cllr Mr M Packard
P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council
Part One – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
22.01 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Packard
22.02 Declarations of Interest
22.02.01 To receive Amendments to the Register
There were none.
22.02.02 To receive Declarations of Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were none.
22.02.03 To receive Declarations of Non Pecuniary Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were none.
22.02.04 To consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests Declared
There had been no requests for dispensations.
22.03 Public Participation Session
No members of the public were present.
22.04 To approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the FERM Committee held on 8th December 2021 (FRM(21)M05 and FRM(21)M05 CONFIDENTIAL previously distributed).
Proposed by: Cllr Taylor Seconded by: Cllr Brown
22.05 To consider Financial and Internal Control matters
22.05.01 To consider the Management Accounts for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 January 2022
The papers FRM(22)05.01 and FRM(22)05.01a-h which were previously distributed were discussed and noted. The Chair countersigned the bank statements to verify that they agreed with the accounting reports. The next rent invoice to Real Vision will not be issued until the next financial year and it was AGREED that the fete money of £623.97 should be moved into the Fete Earmarked Reserve (EMR).
Proposed by: Cllr Gradwell Seconded by: Cllr Brown
22.05.02 To review the detailed budgetary position for 2021/22 at 31 January 2022
Paper FRM(22)05.02)was considered in conjunction with the Management Accounts covered in Minute 22.05.01 above. It was AGREED to NOTE the report.
22.05.03 New Finance software system
The Clerk reported that the office would be provided with a month’s free trial of Scribe in March. If after this trial the office is satisfied that the system is working well, we will transfer across to Scribe at the beginning of the new financial year. The current financial year would then be closed off in Alpha. Cllr Gradwell was concerned that the office may not have capacity for this but was reassured that because the office would not be running two systems in parallel this shouldn’t be an issue. Members were happy to endorse this plan of action.
Proposed by: Cllr Taylor Seconded by: Cllr Abbott
22.05.04 CIL Generated from Melton Developments
Paper FRM(22)05.04 was presented for information. Councillors were dismayed to see that no District CIL had been spent in Melton even though Melton developments had generated over £3m in CIL. The Clerk was asked to seek clarification on the spending of CIL on feasibility studies as £188,800 was spent on a feasibility study for the Jetty Lane Community Centre. The Council had previously been told that CIL could not be spent on feasibility studies. It was also AGREED that the Clerk would contact the District Councillor to see how they can help in ensuring CIL money is spent in Melton. It was also AGREED that a letter would be sent to the ESC CEO regarding the lack of CIL spend in Melton to address the big issues that the village faces because of the developments in Melton, namely Woods Lane/Wilford Bridge Road and the Melton crossroads.
Proposed by: Cllr Taylor Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell
22.06 To review risk management issues
22.06.01 Risk Register
The Risk Register was reviewed and it was AGREED to add a risk regarding the divested land and additional costs that could arise (Medium) and that a risk regarding the Governance Review might need to be included after discussion. Hall Farm Road would be added to the scope of the ASB item, and the Financial Risk item would be reworded to remove references to Brexit and Covid:
“Members of the Council are conscious that economic uncertainties and unforeseeable events may well have a serious impact on the Council’s financial position, and this risk will be closely monitored. Strategies for mitigation will be developed as required. Comment – Continue to monitor and manage.”
The Covid Meeting item rating would be reduced to low risk and at the next review of the Risk Register a more general Covid item might replace the two current Covid items.
Proposed by: Cllr Porter Seconded by: Cllr Brown
22.06.02 Governance Review by ESC
The Governance Review by the District Council District-CGR-Terms-of-Reference.pdf (eastsuffolk.gov.uk) was discussed. The Clerk reported that the Woodbridge Town Council Clerk had indicated that WTC had no intentions to request that the boundaries were realigned to match the County Boundary changes coming into effect in 2027, but that it would be discussed at the Town Council meeting on the 15th February. Cllr Brown will try to attend this meeting. FERM supported the creation of a Working Group to discuss the Review and the approach to take with residents. It is hoped that they will report back to the Special Full Council meeting that is anticipated to take place later this month. The Clerk will email all Councillors to ascertain membership of the Working Group. All members of the Emergency Delegated Decision Making Body (MPC(21)52.08) were present and ratified this decision.
22.06.03 Data Protection Risk Register
The Data Protection Risk Register was reviewed, the content NOTED and no changes were required.
22.07 To consider employment matters
22.07.01 Staffing report
The Clerk reported that the Assistant Clerk has been in post for a month and has settled in well. The Maintenance Officer has no concerns although it is likely that the Council will need to look at his vehicle provision in the next financial year.
22.08 To consider governance matters
22.08.01 Report of decisions made by Clerk / Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014
There were none.
22.09 Finance Committee Chair’s urgent business
There was none.
22.10 Date of next meeting
After discussion it was agreed that it was sensible to move the next meeting by a week in order to produce initial year end reports. Therefore the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 13th April 2022, commencing at 19:00 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 20:07.