Minutes of a Meeting of the Finance Committee (28/01/14)

Present:     J.M.F.Royce, G.Clark, M.J. Sheppard, J.P.Anderson, B.J.Walker. In attendance: P.R.Dines

1/   Apologies: Nil

2/   Acceptance of Apologies: N/a

3/   Declaration of Interest: Trustees of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground in any discussion re Item 6a and 6b Recreation Ground Budget Paper.

 4/  Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting held 26th November, 2013:

RESOLVED: The Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting held on 26th November, 2013, as previously circulated, be confirmed and signed as a tr           ue record of the business transacted.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard   Vote: All in favour.

Progress: Nil to report.

5/   Bank Balance:

The Clerk reported the current account bank balance is £8,070.97

J.M.F.Royce reiterated his personal guarantee to underwrite the Parish Council’s finances up to the 1st May, 2014 should it prove necessary.

The Chairman welcomed P.R.Dines, Chairman of the Trustees  of the Memorial Hall/Recreation Ground,  to the meeting to present the proposed Recreation Budget for the year 2014/15.

6/   Budgets 2014/15:

a) Recreation Ground: Paper 2          £7,800.00

b) Recreation Ground Capital Paper 2a (incorporated at the foot of Paper 2).

PROPOSAL: Suspension of Standing Orders:

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: G.Clark  Vote: All in favour.

P.R.Dines presented the proposed Recreation Ground Budget Paper for 2014/15 – total £7,800.

A  Contingency Fund of £500 had been removed as the Trustees had deemed it to be unnecessary. The cost of insurance has been substantially reduced from £4,100 to £2,200 due to a change of insurers.

The Horizon Maintenance Contract Specification has been reduced from thirteen areas of work to ten at an estimated cost of £1,950 down from £2,018. It had been noted that Bidwell Crescent pathway had not been cut back, as instructed, during the current year. The Clerk will obtain confirmation of the new quote for the revised schedule from Horizon.

The Play Equipment Maintenance Budget is £500 with an underspend carried forward from previous years’ of £557. P.R.Dines suggested a new Play Equipment Sinking Fund of £500 per annum should be established by Gotham Parish Council, due to the increasing cost of new play equipment, the Trustees would apply for grants, as appropriate.

PROPOSAL: Approval of a Play Equipment Sinking Fund of £500.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard  Vote: All in favour.

The Sports Clubs Pavilion Maintenance Budget has been increased from £600 to £1,000 for 2013/14.

The difference of £400  will be match funded by the Trustees and the monies placed into a proposed new Pavilion Sinking Fund. i.e. (A total of £800 –  £400 from GPC and £400 from the Trustees). With regard to 2014/15, the maintenance budget will be £600 as before and a minimum of £1,000 match funded by £1,000 from the Trustees and the Sports Clubs will be added to the proposed new Sinking Fund. These match funded monies will be held separately by the Trustees and GPC respectively.

A maintenance underspend of £607 has been brought forward from previous years’ together with £220, provisionally unspent from 2013/14 amounting to £827 to be carried forward to 2014/15.

It was agreed to await final confirmation from the Trustees re the Sports Pavilion Sinking Fund. These arrangements, if confirmed, will add a further £100 to the 2014/15 Recreation Ground Budget, making a total of £7,900.

The Chairman thanked P.R.Dines and she left the meeting at 8.35 p.m.

PROPOSAL: Re-instatement of Standing Orders.

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard  Vote: All in favour.

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of Recreation Ground Budget, (Paper 2) as discussed and agreed. (£7,900.)

PROPOSED: J.P.Anderson  SECONDED: B.J.Walker  Vote: All in favour.

c)  Revenue Paper 3 £29,378. ( 29,478 as amended due increase in Recreation Ground Budget)

PROPOSAL: Acceptance of the Revenue Budget for 2014/15.

PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce SECONDED: J.P.Anderson Vote: All in favour.

d)  Cricket Club Mowing Contract

The Cricket Club Mowing Contract cost of £1,100 for the year 2014 had been confirmed with E.Perrell.

7/  Future Projects:

a) Cemetery Arch: M.J.Sheppard explained a desire to consider the replacement of the Cemetery Arch. He was in the process of contacting the Royal British Legion and St. Lawrence PCC for their approval and suggestions. The Cemetery Arch could display an outside Honours Board of the fallen of Gotham during the World Wars. To be a Gotham News article to gauge public support.

b) WWI Centenary Commemorations: M.J.Sheppard had received grant application forms for the WWI Centenary Commemorations from T.Coles of the Gotham Branch Royal British Legion.. Substantial grant funding is to be made available for commemorative celebrations. M.J.Sheppard thought it important the public should be kept informed of GPC’s proposals for the WWI Commemoration and would write an article in Gotham News inviting public comment/support.

8/   2014/15 RBC Precept Update:

The Clerk explained that, although a transitional claw back of £2,030 is being imposed by the Government, this will not affect the total amount of calculated precept as RBC would make up the difference for the year 2014/15. The policy of a transitional claw back may be enforced in 2015/16. Although the Government have capped increased to 2% on Cities and Counties, the Parishes are still excluded for the year 2014/15.

9/  Precept 2014/15:

The Chairman reminded the Committee that due to unprecedented expenditure during 2013/14 the Capital sheets would need rebalancing. Other projects, such as the Fight to Save the green belt land with a suggested figure of a further £2,000 for legal expenses, the Cemetery Arch and the Commemoration of World War 1 were ongoing. J.P.Anderson asked that the further provision for Cemetery improvements could be foregone from this years capital allocation. B.J.Walker pointed out that the Sculpture landscaping was still unfinished. In the light of this situation and various other issues, the Chairman proposed an increase of 2.5% in the precept for the year 2014/15.

PROPOSAL: A 2.5% increase in the Precept for the year 2014/15.

PROPOSED: J.M.F.Royce  SECONDED: M.J.Sheppard.  Vote: two in favour, three against.

The vote having been lost, an amendment was moved by J.P.Anderson, seconded by B.J.Walker that the Precept be increased by 2% in line with the Government cap.. Vote: three in favour, two against. The Chairman accepted the amendment.

10/  Any Other Financial Matters to Report:

J.P.Anderson asked the Clerk for a formal letter of acceptance of the Sports Arena loan to GPC.

11/ Date and Time of Next Meeting: To be arranged..

Meeting closed at 9.30 p.m.