FINANCE, EMPLOYMENT AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Minutes of the meeting of Melton Parish Council Finance, Employment and Risk Management (FERM) Committee held on Wednesday 14th December 2022, commencing at 19:00, at the Melton Parish Council offices, 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton, IP12 1QT.
Cllr Banks (in the Chair)
Agenda – Part One – Open to the Public
Item No Item to be discussed
22.50 To receive apologies for absence
Apologies were received from Cllrs Porter and Crawford
22.51 Declarations of Interest
22.51.01 To receive Declarations of Interest in Respect of Items on the Agenda
There were none
22.51.02 To consider any applications for dispensations
There were none
22.52 Public Participation Session
No members of the public were present.
22.53 To approve the Minutes of the Previous Meeting
It was RESOLVED to agree the minutes of meeting held on 12th October 2022 (FRM(22)M04) previously distributed and they were signed and dated by the Chair.
Proposed by: Cllr Gradwell Seconded by: Cllr Packard
22.54 To consider Financial and Internal Control matters
22.54.01 To consider the Management Accounts for the period 1st April 2022 to 30th November 2022 and the current budget position
Papers FRM(22)54.01 and FRM(22)54.01a-f were received and noted. The Clerk reported that the CIL reserve figure should be £96,878.73 as a transfer made in July between EMRs had come from the General Reserve rather than the CIL reserve. This will be rectified for Full Council reports in January 2023. It was RESOLVED that the grant payment of £1.2k to the Melton Messenger should be made this month. If no savings are made on the current predicted budget the General Reserve position at year end remains at £44k. However, all actions are being taken by deferring uncommitted spending and applying CIL where appropriate. The bank statements were verified and signed by the Chair.
Proposed by: Cllr Brown Seconded by: Cllr Gradwell
22.54.02 To consider minor updates to the draft 2023/24 budget
The Clerk reported on two known costs for the next financial year, as detailed in paper FRM(22)54.02. The estimated business rates are within the budgeted costs for next year so no adjustments are required. The external audit fee is likely to be £1,365 due to the high level of expenditure this year. It was AGREED to increase the audit budget to £1,715 and this change will be in the budget presented to Full Council in January for approval, subject to any further changes that arise before then.
22.55 To review risk management issues
22.55.01 Risk Register
There was a lengthy discussion about the Risk Register and the following amends were AGREED:
Reduce ASB to low and update the commentary to reference the new Pavilion, improved CCTV, lighting and no recent reports of ASB.
Finance Risk – add into the commentary to state that tactical measures continue to be taken to bring the budget into balance going forward and that we are constantly and actively working to reduce the financial risk to the council.
Remove the Covid 19 Risk completely
Pavilion Risk – update the commentary to say that the Pavilion is now open and there are a few snagging issues to be resolved. The risk will be removed from the register once the snagging is completed.
Staffing – will be changed to High as currently the volume of work is too high for the staffing levels and current sickness has temporarily reduced the effectiveness. After a wide ranging discussion it was AGREED that the Council would see how they could work smarter without reducing the service on offer and that each committee would look at how they could reduce the workload, perhaps through a reduction in the number of meetings. An item to discuss this will be added to the next committee meeting agendas.
Pavilion Operations commentary will be updated to include that the Pavilion is now operational.
22.56 Pavilion Update
The Clerk reported that the Pavilion was now available for hire and the public toilet had been open for a few weeks. There had been three hires so far and significant interest for January onwards already. There are some snagging items to be resolved and the Clerk is seeking quotes for sound absorbing panels to help with the acoustics. The Clerk reported details of the quote from Mixbrow for the drainage solution together with a lower quote from another contractor. It was AGREED to defer the work until next year, to be completed before the 25th March, and either use the Maintenance Officer or the external contractor to complete the work. It will be cordoned off until this time. The Clerk reported that there had been several issues with Mixbrow’s performance on this project and it was AGREED that a letter, signed by Cllr Porter, would be sent raising our concerns. We are aiming to conclude all outstanding issues as soon as possible.
22.57 To consider employment matters
22.57.01 Staffing report
This item was discussed under item 22.55.01.
22.58 To consider governance matters
22.58.01 Report of decisions made by Clerk/Assistant Clerk under the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014
There were none to report
22.58.02 To consider a change to FERM’s Terms of Reference
https://melton-suffolk-pc.gov.uk/documents/terms-of-reference/ and paper FRM(22)58.02, previously distributed. The Chair proposed that the number of meetings should be reduced from 5 to 4 (or as required), dropping the October meeting, and the terms of reference and paragraph 2.2 of the Financial regs updated with the text in the paper. The Data Protection Risk Register will be reviewed at the July and December meetings. It was AGREED to take this recommendation to Full Council in January 2023.
22.59 Finance Committee Chair’s urgent business
There was none.
22.60 Date of next meeting
The next meeting will take place on Wednesday 8th February 2023, commencing at 19:00 at 17 Riduna Park, Station Road, Melton IP12 1QT. There being no further business the meeting closed at 20:38.