Minutes 4th June 2015

Finance & Staffing Committee

Minutes of the Myland Community Council Finance & Staffing Committee Meeting held on Thursday 4th June 2015, 7.30pm @ Myland Community Council Office, 101 Nayland Road, Colchester, CO4 5EN

Present:        Cllr Pete Hewitt (Chair)

Cllr Ciarán McGonagle (Vice Chair)

Cllr Carolyne Hurst

Cllr John Sutcliffe

There were no members of the public present.

001-15/16     Election of Chairman

Cllr Pete Hewitt               Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt             Seconded: Cllr Hurst

Cllr Ciarán McGonagle    Proposed:  Cllr McGonagle     Seconded: Cllr Sutcliffe

Following a show of hands Cllr Hewitt was elected as Chairman.

002-15/16     Election of Vice-Chairman

Cllr Ciarán McGonagle    Proposed:  Cllr Sutcliffe          Seconded: Cllr Hewitt

Cllr McGonagle was elected Vice-Chairman unopposed.

003-13/14     Apologies – Cllr Dickinson

004-14/15     Declarations of Interest – There were none.

005-14/15     Have your say – There was none.

006-15/16     Minutes of the meeting held on 4th December 2014 to be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman

The minutes of the meeting of the F&S Committee held on the 4th December 2014 were

approved as a true record and signed by the chairman.

Proposed: Cllr Sutcliffe                Seconded: Cllr McGonagle     (2 For; 2 Abstentions)

007-15/16     To discuss the process for the 2015-2016 Budget/Precept

Cllr Sutcliffe said he believed it would be useful to make an early start on considering the budget and precept for 2016/17and what the precept will be. He said the process of preparing the budget was usually left to the Clerk and did not begin until October each year.

Cllr Sutcliffe said MCC should make considered and adequate provision for potential expenditure and not just use the previous year’s budget with percentage increases or decreases.

Cllr Hewitt said MCC had ‘patted itself on the back’ over the past three or four years for the 0% increase in the precept. He said it was now reaching the point where MCC might need to make additional expenditure, for example for furniture for the new community centres. He said MCC could raise money through the precept, but that it would not want to increase the precept by too much. He said he was sure the Clerk would welcome an earlier start.

The Clerk said she would welcome input from Cllrs.  She said MCC could consider a five year plan to include spending on projects.

Cllr McGonagle said it was incumbent on the Working Groups and Committees to suggest projects and to present a case for the necessary expenditure.  Cllr Hurst asked how detailed the business case would need to be.  Cllr McGonagle said it would depend on the project. He said the F&S Committee was not the forum for originating ideas. He said its role was to defend the precept to the public and ensure that there was a process to scrutinise where money would be spent.

Cllr Hewitt said there were advantages to Working Groups and Committees working more efficiently together.  He said the Neighbourhood Plan, Community and Footpaths Groups should all be working together.

The Clerk said she always asked the Working Groups if they had any planned expenditure for the coming year but generally had no response.  She said MCC had received funding in the past, for example, for bus shelters.  She said she maintained a separate spreadsheet to keep track of this grant spending.  She said the Neighbourhood Plan Grant money was also recorded completely separately and she knew exactly how much of this grant was unspent.  She said whatever a project might be it should be possible to find some funding for it.

Cllr Hewitt said other sources of income should be examined.  The Clerk said she had information on grants.  She said she and the Assistant Clerk could investigate funding and then pass the information on to the proper group.

Cllr Hewitt asked if the budget and precept should be a standing agenda item.  The Clerk said she could give a summary of finances and budget streams at each Committee meeting.

Cllr Sutcliffe said we should tell the Working Groups and Committees to start looking at potential expenditure for 2016/17 now.  Cllr Hewitt said that Working Groups and Committees should inform the F&S Committee of any thoughts by August.

Cllr Hurst said if necessary at any point an extraordinary meeting of the Committee could be held to discuss the budget and precept.

Cllr Hewitt said he would outline the requirement upon Working Groups and Committees at the June MCC meeting.

008-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree members of the Clerk’s Appraisal Board
It was resolved that the members of the Clerk’s Appraisal Board would be the Chair and one other member of the F&S Committee.

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt                 Seconded: Cllr Hurst                           (Unanimous)

009-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree members of the Assistant Clerk’s Appraisal Board

It was resolved that the members of the Assistant Clerk’s Appraisal Board would be the Chair of the F&S Committee and the Clerk.

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt                 Seconded:  Cllr McGonagle                (Unanimous)

010-15/16     To consider and possibly resolve to agree members of the Street Officer’s Appraisal Board

It was resolved that the members of the Street Officer’s Appraisal Board would be the Chair of the F&S Committee and the Clerk.

Proposed:  Cllr Hewitt                 Seconded:  Cllr Sutcliffe                      (Unanimous)

011-15/16     Date of next meeting – 6th August 2015, 7.30pm @ 101 Nayland Road

The meeting closed at 8.04pm

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

Chairman

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

012-15/16     To discuss paying all MCC employees at least the “living wage” (currently £7.85)

After general discussion it was decided that MCC should work towards paying all employees at least the “living wage” (currently £7.85).

It was agreed that Cllr Hewitt would report this to the June MCC meeting and in doing so it will provide an example of how future spending by Working Groups and Committees needs advising to the F & S Committee as soon as known.

The meeting closed at 8.30pm.