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Cllr Glew (Chairman), Councillors Irwin, Martin, Dellow
Councillor Rand (Vice-Chairman of the Council)

RFO/Clerk - Mrs P Raymond

F08/09.2 Apologies and reasons for absence. Apology for absence was received from Cllr Wright (domestic commitment).
F08/09.3 Declarations of existence and nature of councillor's interests. Cllr Glew declared here personal interest in F08/09.8 by virtue of her being the Council's representative on the Village Hall Trust Committee. Cllrs Dellow and Irwin declared their personal interests in F08/09.8 by virtue of their being trustees of the Village Hall.
F08/09.4 Public participation session. No members of the public present.
Minutes. RESOLVED: That the Chairman of the Committee is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Meetings of the Finance Committee held on 25 March and 13 May 2008.
F08/09.6 Times of forthcoming meetings. RESOLVED: That future meetings will commence at 19:00.
F08/09.7 Use of tennis courts. The Committee noted receipt of two written complaints about the current use of the tennis courts and surrounding area. A neighbour had complained of noise disturbance from footballs against the tarmac and netting at the courts and a broken window. Complaints also related to cars parking on the grass next to the courts, the playing of loud music and the litter left by users. At this morning's Crime & Safety meeting, our PCSO had been made aware of the problems. The Committee considered whether the Council should go along with the suggestion made by the complainants that the courts should be locked as in the past to control use. However, it was decided that locking the courts would only result in the fences being damaged by youths climbing over and would not affect the playing of loud music or the parking of cars on the land by the courts. It was RECOMMENDED: That the courts should remain open and free for all users; that Cllr Martin would clear the growth from the "no parking" notice on the tree and that Cllrs Martin and Rand would investigate replacing the plastic bollards with concreted in stumps cut from telegraph poles.

Agreement had been reached with the Sedlescombe Netball Club allowing them free use of the courts on Monday evenings 19:30 to 21:00 in June, July and August and part of September plus every morning 09:00 to 12:00 for one week in August, if a youth course can be arranged. The Club had made the necessary arrangements for the line markings to be added to the courts. The RFO will write to Sarah Stratton reminding her that car parking is not allowed on the land by the courts.

F08/09.8 Damaged village hall direction signs. Cllr Glew declared her personal interest by virtue of her being the Council's representative on the Village Hall Trust Committee and Cllrs Dellow and Irwin declared their personal interests by virtue of their being Village Hall Trustees. They remained in the meeting.

Because the village hall signs had originally been paid for by the Council, the Police had contacted the RFO following an accident when a drunk driver demolished the second village hall direction sign. Subsequently, the Village Hall Management Committee has agreed to replace both direction signs at its own expense (£205+VAT) (the other sign had previously been demolished by a reversing lorry). Cllr Glew reported that the Village Hall Committee had heard from the County Council that the work is now on its list of jobs.

The RFO reported that she is still in contact with PC Charlton, who made the original drunk driver arrest, about the driver's insurance so that a claim can be made.

F08/09.9Link to Clerk's Red Barn Field Briefing Note Red Barn Field hedges. Members had read the Clerk's Briefing Note. A site meeting for councillors was arranged for Tuesday 5 August at 18:00.
F08/09.10 Internal Audit

Members had been provided with a copy of the letter from Mrs Bennett, Internal Auditor for the 2007/8 accounts, which raised no problems. She had provided a list of the checks that she had undertaken.

It was noted that, according to the 2008 Governance and Accountability for Local Councils publication, it is the councillors' job to review the effectiveness of internal audit and that this work should not be delegated to the RFO. The review should, at a minimum, assess: The scope of internal audit; Independence; Competence; Relationships; Audit planning and reporting. It was RECOMMENDED: That, led by the Chairman, the members of the Finance Committee will undertake the review of effectiveness after the next Finance Committee meeting.

It was RECOMMENDED: That Mrs Bennett should be asked if she is willing to continue as Sedlescombe Parish Council's Internal Auditor for the next two years, ie 2008/9 and 2009/10 under the Terms of Reference dated June 2008 prepared by the RFO.

F08/09.11 Sportsfield Pavilion update. The Chairman queried whether the Football Club had applied for the Changing Rooms Grant of £10,000 yet. Cllr Rand promised to obtain this information and to give a full report at next week's Council Meeting.

The RFO reported receipt of Borrowing Approval from the Department of Communities and Local Government of an amount not exceeding £90,800 for repayment within the time agreed by the Council, not to exceed 50 years. This money can only be used to construct a pavilion at the sportsfield.

F08/09.12 Update of 2008/9 budget. It was RECOMMENDED: That the 2008/9 amended Budget is approved as follows:
Sale of goods and services
Interest other than pavilion fund
Income from other local authorities
Sportsfield income for capital project
Online Tax/NI return
Total budgeted income
Clerk's Salary/National Insurance
Grants not section 137
Sportsfield capital costs
Agency services
Riverside Playing Field
Total budgeted expenditure
Balances brought forward from 2007/8
Budgeted income for 2008/9
Budgeted expenditure for 2008/9
Balances expected at year end (31.03.09)
Represented by:
General Funds
Clerk's Gratuity Fund
Balances expected at year end (31.03.09)

This budget takes into account the Council's freeing up of £19,200 as a further donation to the sportsfield pavilion fund as approved by the Council on 11 June 2008 (C08/09.26.4).

The RFO informed the Committee that notice had been received from the Alliance & Leicester that the interest rate for deposits under £20,000 in its Community 30-day Notice Deposit Account will be reduced from 01/08/08 from 4.09% to 3%.

F08/09.13 Comparison of current financial position with the budget. Members were provided with details of the Council's finances up to the end of June 2008. No substantial variances against the budget were identified.
F08/09.14 Financial Services Compensation Scheme. NALC had published a Policy & Parliamentary Briefing Paper on this subject on 31/03/08 (P10-08) with the information that parish councils will not be covered by the terms of the current Financial Services Compensation Scheme for any losses arising due to default of a Financial Institution. The Scheme only covers personal account holders. The advice is that counhcils should review their Investment Strategies and Policies accordingly.
F08/09.15 Grounds Maintenance Contract. Cllr Martin reported that he had noted that the recent grass-cutting at the Riverside had been well done and that he had told Roger Wood that he can trim back overgrowth so that he can cut the grass easier. It was RECOMMENDED: That Roger Wood's grounds maintenance contract should be extended to the end of 2009, if a reasonable price can be negotiated.
F08/09.16 Grants. The agenda included a list of grants made in 2007-8 and so far approved in 2008-9. An application from Victim Support for grant aid had been received. No action.
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