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1 The Clerk has been employed by Sedlescombe Parish Council since 1975 with the first year being as Deputy Clerk.
2 The Clerk's Contract of Employment dates from 1979 (backdated to 1976) and allows for a retirement/death gratuity of twice the Clerk's annual salary payable on retirement or death.
3 A Clerk's Gratuity Fund has been maintained by the Council for many years. For the last 2 years the Fund has been held in a Bank of Scotland guaranteed fixed rate 1-year deposit account which has earned interest of 6.02% and 6.73%. The interest has amounted to £3,502.75 over the two years on an initial deposit of £26,520. The bond has reached maturity today at £30,022.75. Unfortunately, the rate of interest for the 2009-10 year has fallen to 1.02%. The money has, therefore, been transferred from the Bank of Scotland to the Barclays Current Account pending a decision where it should be invested.
4 Looking at two places where the Parish Council is holding its money, currently a 1-year fixed rate savings bond with Barclays Bank will earn 2.25% gross interest while West Bromwich BS's 1-year guaranteed growth bond pays 2.5% gross.
5 However, higher rates can be obtained if opened online and West Bromwich offers 4.5% for an E Bond. Unfortunately, at the current time, parish councils should not operate online accounts because of the requirement for two signatures of councillors on movements of funds. Because of the rapidly changing situation and the phasing out of cheques, SALC has put pressure on NALC (not for the first time) to get something altered to allow online banking.
6 The Clerk's Salary for the 2009-10 year is expected to amount to £13,768 gross, making a gratuity requirement of £27,536. (The Clerk is expected to have to pay income tax on this payment.) In addition, the Council is expected to have to pay employers' national insurance on part of this sum and, therefore, the current £30,022.75 should cover costs for the Council for 2009-10.
7 For 2010-11, the clerks' salaries are expected to be held at 1% and, therefore, there will be little change over 2009-10.



Mrs P Raymond
Clerk/Responsible Financial Officer, Sedlescombe Parish Council
01424 870508, sedlescombe@freezone.co.uk, www.sedlescombe.org.uk
October 2009