Minutes 5th October 2017

RESOURCES POLICY AND STRATEGY MEETING
SEPTEMBER 2017
The Minutes of the Community Council Meeting held on Thursday 5th October 2017 at Myland Community Council 101 Nayland Road Colchester, commencing at 7.30pm

Council Members present
Chairman: Councillor P Hewitt Yes

Councillors:
Councillor R Beauchamp Yes
Councillor D Clouston No
Councillor Mrs A Jay Yes
Councillor D King Yes

Staff Present: Locum Clerk to the Council Denise Humphris
Assistant Clerk Katherine Kane

RP065/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE RESOLVED: to accept apologies from Councillor D Clouston.

RP066/17 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST None

RP067/17 MINUTES OF THE COMMITTEE MEETINGS HELD ON 24TH AUGUST 2017 & 11TH SEPTEMBER 2017
RESOLVED: (unanimously) to approve the minutes as a true record for signature by the Chairman (previously circulated)

RP068/17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION No members of the public were present.

RP069/17 CLERK’S REPORT : The Clerk reported purchase of payroll software £65 and bespoke accounting software £385

RP070/17 FINANCIAL REPORT: No financial report is yet available from the Locum Clerk but gave a brief overview of the new accounting software.

RP071/17 ANNUAL RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH 2017
Members noted receipt of the external auditors report and comments as follows:
‘The Annual Return was not accurately completed before submission for review. Transfers between bank accounts should have been excluded from receipts and payments in Section 2. The figures in boxes 3&6 should read £18383 and £26821 respectively. Please ensure that amendments are corrected in prior year comparatives when submitting next year’s Annual Return.’
RESOLVED: to ensure action taken as detailed when preparing next year’s Annual Return.

RP072/17 AUDIT REQUIREMENTS
a) Bank Signatories: to confirm bank signatories as Councillor Ms Gray; Councillor Mrs Jay and Councillor Mrs Clouston. Two out of three signatories to sign cheques. Online banking access to be approved for the Clerk, Assistant Clerk and Councillor Mrs Jay.
b) Online banking access and audit of payments
RESOLVED: Councillor Mrs Jay will liaise with the Clerk to organise a monthly audit of payments. RESOLVED: to adopt the suggested audit procedures as presented by the Clerk.
c) Independent Internal Auditor The Clerk will obtain quotes from a selection of auditors from EALC auditor bank.

RP073/17 GRANT APPLICATIONS
RESOLVED: to approve a grant of £120 for MakeLunch towards 2017 – 2018 partnership costs. Funds to come from the Community Action Plan Donations budget.

RP074/17 ANNUAL INSURANCE REVIEW
Members reviewed cover and agreed that a new comprehensive Asset Register should be compiled ASAP but certainly in time for the Insurance review next September/October. All other cover was considered satisfactory.
RESOLVED: to approve the renewal premium for payment £1028.63.

RP075/17 ACTION PLAN AND COMMUNITIES ACTION PLAN
RESOLVED: to delegate authority to Councillors King and Beauchamp to review these documents for presentation to the committee with a view to making them more concise.

RP076/17 MEMBERSHIP OF OPEN SPACES SOCIETY
RESOLVED: to approve the membership subscription of £45 p.a

RP077/17 ALLOTMENTS – SEVERALLS SITE
RESOLVED: to agree in principle to investigate the possibility of taking over the running of this site from Colchester Borough Council and to further investigate the possibility of running new allotments at the Chesterwell site. If this is a possibility full business plans relating to administration/costs to be presented to Council for consideration.

RP078/17 OFFICE RE-FURBISHMENT
The Clerk outlined the ageing technology in the office with slow broadband and no wi-fi (contracts not having been reviewed since 2005). With no maintenance or upkeep having been undertaken to the office or property for many years the aesthetic is shabby and not welcoming to staff or visitors. The Clerk set out proposals for new ICT (including up to date software, cloud back up and storage facilities, public and private wi-fi network, fibre optic broadband) new desks, blinds for office and meeting room, carpet tiles for office floor (as wood nearly worn through in places) painting walls ceilings woodwork throughout and a new front door. Whilst quotes are being obtained, the Clerk was able to give a broad estimate of total costs which would not be expected to exceed £12500.
RESOLVED: that in principle the Committee are in favour of recommending this for approval to Full Council subject to liaison with the Clerk over the coming week to establish the exact financial position of the Council and ensure that funds are available.
If the project was to be approved the Clerk requested that a recommendation be given that the project be delegated to the Clerk and one other Councillor to manage the project including all expenditure to ensure this can be completed ASAP and it was RESOLVED: to recommend this course of action with a full report of final expenditure to be produced for Council review at the end of the project.

RP079/17 EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
RESOLVED: to exclude the press and public under s.1. (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 because of the likelihood that confidential personnel information could be disclosed:
a)RESOLVED: Locum Clerk Hours, salary and LGPS pension payments agreed for a fixed term to 31st March 2017 to allow for recruitment and handover.
b)Review of staff hours and pay:
Assistant Clerk: RESOLVED: with the differential in hourly pay rates being only 50p per hour between the Assistant Clerk and the non-office staff – to approve an incremental increase through the Local Government Pay scale.
c)Street Officer: RESOLVED: to approve an increase in hours to 30 hours per week and an hourly pay increase of £1 per hour.
Discussions ensued about the potential for an additional member of staff and/or increases to the Assistant Clerk’s hours but it was agreed that this would be monitored carefully over coming months with a view to considering what was needed (if anything ) in Spring 2018.

097/17 TIME AND DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 7.30pm at Myland Community Council 101 Nayland Road Mile End Colchester.