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FRM(22)M02 Minutes of FERM Committee Meeting on 13th April 2022

FERMFERM Minutes Uploaded on April 19, 2022

FRM(22)M02

FINANCE, EMPLOYMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE                             

Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee held on Wednesday 13th April 2022, commencing at 19:15 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT.

Present:

Cllr Banks (in the Chair)

Cllr Brown

Cllr Gradwell

Cllr Porter

Cllr Taylor

Cllr Packard

In Attendance:

P Alder Clerk and Executive Officer to Melton Parish Council

Agenda – Part One – Open to the Public

Item No         Item to be discussed

22.12              To receive apologies for absence

22.13              Declarations of Interest

22.13.01           To receive Amendments to the Register

There were none

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

There were none

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

There were none

22.13.04           To consider Full / Partial Dispensations for Pecuniary Interests Declared

There were no requests for dispensations

22.14              Public Participation Session     

No members of the public were present

22.15              To approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting

It was RESOLVED to agree the minutes of the FERM Committee held on 9th February 2022 (FRM(22)M01 and FRM(22)M01 CONFIDENTIAL previously distributed).

Proposed by: Cllr Gradwell                           Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

22.16              To consider Financial and Internal Control matters

22.16.01           To consider the Management Accounts for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022

Papers FRM(22)16.01 and FRM(22)16.01a-k were received and NOTED. The Chair verified that the bank statements and building society books matched the reported figures and signed the bank statements. Cllr Gradwell raised an issue that where no budget had been allocated (because spend was against an EMR) it looks like we have overspent. The Clerk explained this would be covered under item 22.16.02.

It was RESOLVED to take Item 21.116.11 out of order on the Agenda

22.16.07           General and Earmarked Reserves

Cllr Banks presented paper FRM(22)16.07. In 2019, the internal auditor recommended that MPC should set up an earmarked reserve (EMR) to cover Budget Risk (to cover tenancy income and employment risks). It has not been possible to do this until now due to a reduced General Reserve. However, the year-end position General Reserve of £66k indicates that £5k could be moved to an EMR. It builds resilience and shows financial control, and it addresses a risk on the Risk Register. It was NOTED that the reserve could be used whenever necessary. It was RESOLVED to AGREE to move £5k from the General Reserve to the Budget Risk EMR in the financial year 2021/22 and to review the reserves regularly.  If, after regular reviews, there is a similar position at the end of 2022/23 then a further £5k would be transferred in 2022/23. Further transfers would be made on a planned or opportunistic basis.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown                           Seconded by: Cllr Porter

It was RESOLVED to revert to the order of the Agenda

22.16.02           To review the budget for 2022/23

The Clerk presented the agreed budget, together with some budgets to be reviewed, in papers FRM(22)16.02 and FRM(22)16.02a. It was RESOLVED to AGREE that the staff salaries budget should be increased to £51k and the pension budget to £8.5k with a view to reviewing again in July when salary increases are considered. Where no budget has currently been assigned, but expected spend will be from EMR, this will now be shown clearly in the 2022/23 accounts. The Pavilion’s construction budget will be £300k minus whatever has been spent so far (£23,024). Staff training will be reduced to £500 and a paper on staff expenses relating to the maintenance officer’s van will be brought to FERM in July. A saving will also be made on water charges by switching supplier.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                            Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

22.16.03           New Finance software system

The Clerk reported that they had received Scribe training and were very pleased with the initial findings. The Clerk would like to transfer across to Scribe and it was unanimously AGREED that notice would be given to Rialtas and Scribe would be used going forward. The 2021/22 financial year would be closed off in Rialtas.

Proposed by: Cllr Porter                         Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell

22.16.04           Internal and External Audit arrangement for 2022/23

The Clerk reported that the internal audit was booked with Trevor Brown on the 25th May and she is collating all the necessary information. Information has been received from PKF Littlejohn and the Internal Audit Report and AGAR statements will be presented to Full Council (May and June meetings).

22.16.05           Bank Accounts

Paper FRM(22)16.05 was received and it was RESOLVED to AGREE to open two Lloyds savings accounts, close the Barclays account (once the first Precept and CIL payments have been received) and decide the split of money between the two Lloyds accounts once they are open, ensuring there are readily available funds for the Pavilion project.

Proposed by: Cllr Brown                           Seconded by: Cllr Taylor

22.16.06           District CIL

Cllr Banks reported on the response from ESC’s CEO regarding his District CIL spend letter sent in March (papers FRM(22)16.06a and FRM(22)16.06b). It was AGREED that the Clerk will arrange a meeting between the Council (Cllrs Banks, Brown, Gradwell and Porter) and SCC (Cllr Alexander Nicoll, David Chenery and Kerry Allen) to understand how best to proceed with applying for District CIL funding and/or other funding for the proposed Bredfield Road junction improvements and how to apply for a speed limit reduction on Wilford Bridge Road (A1152) between the roundabout and the level crossing. Cllr Brown will also distribute the CEO’s letter to the All52/Bentwaters Group with the aim of progressing the cases for improving capacity at Melton crossroads and straightening-out the road bend at the level crossing.

22.16.08           Standing Orders and Financial Regs (referral from Full Council)

Full Council referred the changes to the Standing Orders and Financial Regs because of Legal Topic Note (LTN) 87 (Procurement) to FERM as the Clerk was awaiting information from SALC. SALC has advised that NALC is not issuing new model orders at this time and that the threshold figures can be updated even though they are in bold and from the model orders. It was AGREED that paragraph 18f of the Standing Orders and paragraph 11.1c of the Financial Regulations will be updated with the figures as found in paragraph 18 of the LTN87.

In addition, the Clerk noted the following updates to the Financial Regulations:

2.2 and 4.8 – include reference to bank statements being verified against financial reports at meetings

2.1 will remove reference to Rialtas and replace with Scribe

6.14 needs to be updated to refer to the bank’s secure access points (which will then cover banking apps). It was agreed that the Clerk will discuss the wording with Cllr Gradwell.

Cllr Banks also asked that 1.11 is updated to remove the reference to receipts and payments – and the same change is required in the Standing Orders.

These changes will be made and the final versions of the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations will be taken to Full Council for approval in May.

https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents/financial-regulations/

https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents/standing-orders/

22.17              To review risk management issues

22.17.01           Risk Register

The Risk Register was reviewed and the only change necessary is to update the Financial Risk item to reflect the creation of a Budget Risk EMR.

https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents-base/risk-register/

22.18              To consider employment matters

22.18.01           Staffing report and request from Maintenance Officer

The Clerk reported that she carried out the Asst Clerk’s probation review this week and there were no issues, so a letter confirming that she had passed her probation period would be issued. It was decided that a paper on the maintenance officer’s van expenses would be brought to FERM in July.

22.19              To consider governance matters

22.19.01           Report of decisions made by Clerk / Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014

Paper FRM(22)19.01 regarding the ditch clearance was received and NOTED.

22.20              1st Floor Lease

The Clerk reported that the new lease with Real Vision had been signed with a start date of the 1st January 2022.

22.21              Finance Committee Chair’s urgent business

There was none.

22.22              Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th July 2022, commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 20:40.