Minutes 29th October 2015

Finance & Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Myland Community Council Finance & Staffing Committee Meeting held on Thursday 29th October 2015, 7.30pm @ Myland Community Council Office, 101 Nayland Road, Colchester, CO4 5EN

Present:        Cllr Pete Hewitt (Chair)

Cllr Ciarán McGonagle (Vice-Chair)

Cllr Richard Beauchamp

Cllr Jean Dickinson

Cllr Carolyne Hurst

Cllr Martin Goss

Cllr John Sutcliffe

There were no members of the public present.

024-15/16     Apologies – There were none.

025-15/16     Declarations of Interest – There were none.

026-15/16     Have your say – There was none.

027-15/16     Minutes of the meeting held on 6th August 2015 to be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman

                      Following the correction of the date under item 16-15/16 and the amendment of “have” to “had” in paragraph 4 under item 020-15/16 the minutes of the meeting of the F&S Committee held on the 6th August 2015 were approved as a true record and signed by the chairman.

Proposed: Cllr Hurst                     Seconded: Cllr Sutcliffe           (3 For, 4 Abstensions)

028-15/16     Matters arising from the minutes

 Cllr Sutcliffe asked the RFO if she had produced a report with regard to the Mylander income/expenditure.  The RFO apologised that she had not but left the meeting to do so (see Item 29-15/16 (b) below).

 Cllr Sutcliffe asked for an explanation of Cllr Hurst’s comments under item 020-15/16. This was provided.

029-15/16     Report from Responsible Financial Officer

  1. Budget monitoring

The RFO reported that the figures for Income and expenditure for the financial year up to 29th October 2015 were included in the papers for Item 31-15/16.  They are reproduced below:

Budget £ Ear Marked £ Total Actuals £ Variance £
Total Income 101,988.00 98,522.31       3,465.69
Staff Costs 50,000.00 0.00 27,600.39 22,399.61
Loan 12,338.00 0.00 6,169.16 6,168.84
Building & Mtce 4,000.00 0.00 2,063.29 1,936.71
Office Equipment 3,000.00 0.00 1,282.51 1,717.49
Mylander 12,000.00 0.00 5,190.00 6,810.00
Street furniture & Mtce 0.00 2,905.00 940.68 1,964.32
Meetings 550.00 0.00 259.48 290.52
Training courses 1,100.00 0.00 275.10 824.90
Fees & Subscriptions 2,500.00 0.00 1,953.03 546.97
Community  funding 2,000.00 2,000.00 1,793.12 2,206.88
Other Costs 4,000.00 0.00 61.00 3,939.00
Contingency Fund 500.00 2,000.00 562.00 1,938.00
Projects Fund 10,000.00 15,000.00 0.00 25,000.00
Expenditure Total (Ex VAT) 101,988.00 21,905.00 48,149.76 75,743.24
  1. Mylander Advertising income
Mylander Income £ 2015/16 Expenditure £ 2015/16 Outstanding £
2,860.00 5,190.00 160.00

The RFO said members needed to note that some of the income was from the previous financial year issue (February) of the Mylander but that the same would happen this financial year into 2016/17.

The RFO reported that in addition to the outstanding payments above, all of whom would pay, there was still one persistent debtor (£280) which would have to be written off as it appeared that he had moved away from Myland.  The RFO added that the Assistant Clerk had only just taken over the management of the Advertising and needed time and experience to increase the income.

Cllr Sutcliffe said MCC had been promised, by the new Mylander management, that the advertising would pay for the magazine but there was a substantial gap between income and expenditure.  He said the F&S must keep an eye on the situation.  He added that when the Mylander was first thought up it was agreed that the costs would come from the precept and any advertising money would be a bonus.

The Chairman said the Mylander should then be regarded as a service to the community.

Cllr Beauchamp said he did not recognise the concern as initially the advertising money was seen as a bonus and not relied on to meet any of the costs.

Cllr Goss said that historically comments had been made regarding the Mylander breaking even but that Nick Marsh had resigned as Advertising Manager and he agreed with the Clerk’s comments that the Assistant Clerk needed time to get up to speed.

The Assistant Clerk said she had only done one issue so far but she had sold more advertising for the November and February issues.  She added that as previous editor of the Mylander and resident she always thought that it should be paid for from the precept as a visible service provided by MCC.

Cllr Hurst said as people increasingly use different media the cost of print could increase so that would need monitoring.  The Chairman agreed that costs would need looking at as well as the income.

Cllr Goss said the costs were increasing as more houses were built.  He said the level of advertising had been capped at 25% and therefore there could always only be a maximum amount of income.  He agreed with Cllr Hurst that more people tended to advertise on line.

Cllr Sutcliffe said he believed the level of advertising had increased saying in the last two years the Friends of Myland Sponsored Walk article, which used to be two pages, had been excluded.  The Assistant Clerk said she believed it had been missed because the Editor had not received anything from Cllr Sutcliffe.  Cllr Sutcliffe said it was a standing requirement and the Walk happened on Boxing Day every year.

The Chairman said the F&S would have to monitor the Mylander income and expenditure as a watching brief.  He said he liked the original concept but that the costs were the real issue.

Cllr Hurst asked if MCC had a contract with the printers.  The RFO said there was no contract but the Community Group had looked at the costs for printing, including getting various quotes, three or four times over the past few years.  She added that not only had Green Square been very competitive but Steve Green had been very helpful in making suggestions to improve the Mylander and finding advertisers.

  1. Neighbourhood Plan Grant

 The RFO said CBC was now up to date with reimbursement to MCC for NP Grant claims.  She said there was £13,961.13 left in grant funds.  Summary below:

Original Grant Total £20,000.00
Less Request No 01 £576.00
Less Request No 02 £3,634.91
Less Request No 03 £737.96
Less Request No 04 £525.00
Less Request No 05 £518.00
Less Request No 06 £47.00
Grant Remaining £13,961.13
  1. Community Centre Account

The RFO said there was £6,238.00 in the Community Centre Account:

Payment From Amount £
Crest Nicholson 6,000.00
Fete income 218.00
Cllr Goss 20.00
TOTAL 6,238.00


030-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to purchase a Remembrance Day poppy wreath – cost up to £25

Proposed: Cllr Hewitt                  Seconded: Cllr Hurst         (6 For:

1 Abstention – Cllr McGonagle)

Cllr Sutcliffe said he felt this item should be on the full Council agenda as a standard item in September in good time for Remembrance Day and so that it was agreed by all members in view of the public.  He said perhaps it had been forgotten.  The Clerk said she had put the item on the F&S agenda as this expenditure was within the Committee’s remit and that the F&S minutes were published in the same way as MCC minutes.

The Chairman said he would take this to MCC to see if all members wanted to make the decision.

The Chairman suggested considering Item 032-15/16 before 031-15/16.  The members agreed.

032-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree 2016 meeting dates to go to full Council for approval

Proposed: Cllr Hewitt                  Seconded: Cllr Goss                            (Unanimous)

031-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree Budget/Precept 2016-17 to go to full Council for approval

The RFO gave a report on the work she had done on the budget/precept to date and asked for any input from members.

Cllr Dickinson said she and the Assistant Clerk had been doing a lot of work and research on Community Centres and had concluded that if MCC wanted to meet all the aspirations of the community there would be a substantial shortfall in funding (S106).  Cllr Dickinson gave all members a copy of a paper produced by herself and the Assistant Clerk “Preliminary Discussion Paper on Funding New Community Hubs in Myland”.  She asked members to read the contents and consider the questions raised for further discussion at the next F&S meeting. A general discussion took place concerning the pros and cons of various funding streams. The Chairman said a similar debate had been held at the latest Neighbourhood Plan Working Group as it was the roll out of the Plans implementation that was at the root of this issue. Cllr Goss said he would not want to see MCC try to become a ‘developer’. The Chairman added that MCC needs to look at how aspirations from the Plan might be met by community centres and other sites such as primary schools and the proposed secondary school.

Deferred until 3rd December 2015.

033-15/16     Date of next meeting – 3rd December 2015, 7.30pm @ 101 Nayland Road

The meeting closed at 8.52pm

Cllr Pete Hewitt …………………………………………………..


Exclusion of Press & Public – Having regard to the confidential nature of the following business proposed to be transacted to exclude the Press and Public pursuant to Section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960

034-15/16     To discuss any staffing issues

 Staffing was discussed.

The meeting closed at 9.45pm