MEETING ON TUESDAY 24 JUNE 2014 IN COMMITTEE ROOM 2 OF THE VILLAGE HALL, 20:00 TO 21:00
Cllrs Anson, Chapman, Eldridge, Lawrence
Ex-officio members: Cllr J Vine-Hall (Chairman of the Council), Cllr P Glew (Vice Chairman of the Council)
Clerk/RFO: Mrs Pauline J Raymond
Also present: Mrs Carol Hodgson
All Minutes start with F14/15.
1 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN OF COMMITTEE FOR THE ENSUING YEAR. RESOLVED: That Cllr Glew should be Chair of the Finance Committee for the ensuing year.
2 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE. None.
3 INTERESTS. None declared.
4 WRITTEN REQUESTS FOR DISPENSATION. No new dispensations had been applied for. Existing dispensations are as follows:
- Cllr Glew dispensation granted 14 May 2013 to allow her to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of allotment land for housing development, despite her husband’s tenancy of an allotment.
- Cllr Eldridge dispensation granted 14 May 2013 to allow him to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of allotment land for housing development, despite his tenancy of an allotment.
- Cllr Vine-Hall dispensation granted 14/05/13 to allow him to speak and vote on matters considering the suitability of land at Dell View next to Beech Farm for housing development, despite his ownership of land at Beech Farm.
- Cllr Chapman dispensation granted 09/07/13 to allow him to participate and vote in discussions involving possible development sites in the parish even though he is a near neighbour of the Pestalozzi International Village.
- Cllr Fraser dispensation granted 09/07/13 to allow her to participate and vote on matters concerning the Street Farm development despite her pecuniary interest in the Street Farm area as owner of an adjacent property.
5 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION. No public present.
6 MINUTES. RESOLVED: That the Chairman is authorised to sign the Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting held on 25/03/14.
7 MATTERS ARISING FROM THE MINUTES
- Internal audit of accounts. Completed satisfactorily by Alison Hillman.
- External audit of accounts. Submitted to Littlejohn by the due date. Result awaited.
- Dog bin emptying 2014-15. £325 for 3 bins emptied weekly.
- Drainage work at Playing Field in order to safeguard the MUGA. Completed.
- Removal of dead tree from river side behind the MUGA. Cllr Vine-Hall to take forward.
- Community Payback work. Last year, weeding was undertaken around the Pumphouse and the car park by people given community payback work but no contact made this year.
- Church Hill siding back (summer) and removal of dead leaves (autumn). It was agreed that the County Council should be asked to undertake a clearing back to its original width of the pathway, which has become eroded by traffic and overgrown from the sides. It will then be possible for local volunteers to more easily keep it cleared of leaves.
- Neighbourhood Plan Costs update. Members had been provided at the earlier Extraordinary Council Meeting with details of the cost to date of producing the Sedlescombe Neighbourhood Plan. It had been noted that the project was currently under budget and consideration was being given by the Council to further expenditure on obtaining a healthcheck before submission to Rother and the independent examiner. Further Extraordinary Council Meeting to be held on Tuesday 1 July starting at 5.15pm.
- Highways projects
- Restricted parking zone opposite the shop
- Extended path from pub to shop
- Brede Lane parking bays in place of grass verge
- Gateways on the village approaches
Cllr Eldridge was waiting to hear whether his application for grant aid from the Police Crime Commissioner towards the proposed traffic calming highway expenditure had been successful. The grant is made on a 3-monthly rolling basis. The Parish Council has £5,900 included in its 2014-15 budget towards this work. It was noted that East Sussex County Council has a new scheme for working with parish councils on highway projects but, although the RFO had submitted details of Sedlescombe's interest, no direct contact had been received from ESCC. No-one from Sedlescombe had been able to attend the recent County Council event that explained the process.
8 2014-15 BUDGET - First Quarter Review
- Draft income figures to end June 2014 against budget
- Draft expenditure figures to end June 2014 against budget
Members were provided with copies of the draft Income and Expenditure statement (with notes) against the annual budget to end June 2014. It was noted that the £1,900 p.a. allocated for future MUGA work does not show on the Income and Expenditure Statement because no expenditure from it is expected this financial year. The £1900 budget is, however, included under "Funds" shown on the monthly Bank Reconciliation.
The Chairman queried whether there was a need to increase the budget expenditure for the computer but it was agreed that, as it will only be necessary to replace the keyboard and mouse and to purchase 2xSamsung M3 1TB USB 3.0 Slimline Portable Hard Drives (£83.29 excl.VAT) for back up, the £250 budget will be sufficient.
9 JOBS LIST UPDATE
As well as jobs listed under "Matters arising", the following matters update the Job Report presented to the meeting of the Finance Committee on 10/12/13:
- Trustees now John Mainwood, Ashley Davey, Derek Wright.
- Pavilion to be inspected in December 2013. Various matters listed in December 2013 that should be checked. Cllr Chapman agreed to meet Cllr Chapman at the Sportsfield to talk over the current situation with the pavilion and new linked portacabin/container structure.
- Disabled parking area. Gate installed across entrance.
- Sports Association to provide proper signs at entrances eg re "no cycling".
- Sports Association to replace garage doors. No Parish Council involvement.
- Ditch overgrown throughout Sports Association, Parish Council and Pestalozzi responsibility. PC responsible for small section next to its part of the sportsfield car park only.
- Ladybird Lane top coat finished November 2013. Parish Council contributed £808 to builder.
- Weedkilling of surface of sportsfield car park (JV as required).
- Portacabin/blue container. In March, Football Club plans were approved by the Parish Council to link the two structures and cladding. Work to be completed by end June. In mid-June, work was well underway under the Parish Council's permitted development order. It is Parish Council land and within permitted size. Both structures currently belong to the Parish Council but it does not insure them.Cllr Anson reported receipt of 2014-15 insurance papers for the pavilion and field but not for the new structure. Insurance to be arranged through Sports Association or Football Club.
- Recycling to be investigated by Sports Association although Cllr Anson thought it unlikely to be adopted.
- Field next to Kester House - no progress that the Parish Council is aware of.
- A chestnut paling fence has been erected by the Sports Association along the length of the riverbank although it is situated too close to the top of the bank to meet Environment Agency rules.
- Playing Field & Recreation Ground
- Grass to east of MUGA
- Some small deep holes in the grass.
- Work undertaken to improve drainage of water away from the MUGA.
- Inspection by Pat Martin carried out.
- Growth removed from oak on side of Powdermill driveway.
- Trees cut back from the MUGA.
- Bookings by Sedlescombe Netball Club, Staplecross School Netball Club, Nick Montague tennis coach and for a charity tournament.
- Further set of tennis lines added.
- Open tennis afternoon for all arranged by Nick Montague for 28/06/14.
- Noticeboard on fence of MUGA to be kept up to date to inform the public of booked uses. New Clerk's contact details to be added.
- Councillors to inform Clerk after their weekly check whether the MUGA needs an application of moss/weedkiller (JV).
- Volunteer sweeping of leaves and other debris during the autumn and winter. To continue as required.
- Strimming around edges of MUGA by volunteers completed. Cllr Chapman thanked.
- As agreed, £400 p.a. for maintenance and saving for power washing and re-colouring in year 6 (fund set up) and £1500 p.a. for next resurfacing (put in fund). With the £981 repayments on the 10-year loan, the MUGA is costing the Council £2881 p.a.
- Fences and riverbank. £200 allowance in the 2014/15 budget for fence repairs. It was agreed that attempts would be made to obtain three quotations for fencing work along the remainder of the riverbank to match that installed at the playground part, cost to be met from general funds.
- Giant hogweed. Landscape services had not undertaken the work to monitor the giant hogweed because of an error on their part. Work to commence late in June. Report requested by RFO when the work is done.
- Powdermill driveway. Plastic posts to be obtained from Glasdon UK and installed by volunteers.
- Equipment and furniture appears to be in good shape.
- Professional inspection to be carried out in June 2014.
- Some councillors continue to carry out a weekly inspection of the playground, MUGA as well as East View Kickabout Area.
- Grass has not been cut in accordance with the agreement with Landscape Services. Apology received from company.
- Litter was not collected by Landscape Services or the bins emptied from 01/04/14 because of their error. To recommence end June. Invoice needs adjusting to omit the work not undertaken between 01/04/14 and 30/06/14.
- Clerk's contact details on notices needs altering.
- Hedge along public footway to be trimmed in the autumn or earlier if needed.
- Bus shelter
- On inspection on 17/06/14, had not been swept. Cllr Chapman to deal.
- Damage to "no smoking" sign although still OK.
- Front of shelter will need wood preservative/paint soon. Cllr Chapman to deal.
- Village Green
- Grass cutting. Complaint had to be made by RFO that the grass was not being cut by Landscape Services weekly. Not as good a cut as last year with more grass left on the surface. Mulching mower should have been used. Bottom two parts of the Green not being cut. Company informed by RFO and plan sent showing full extent of the Green.
- Removal of weeds around Pumphouse to be carried out as required (Community Payback team last year).
- Damage to lower branch of oak tree on lower Green noted on 18/06/14.
- Tree Inspection carried out by Pat Martin.
- Noticeboard. Could do with wood preservative/paint.
- Village Sign needs washing, particularly on the north side.
- Mrs Hudson to be thanked for the lovely flower basket she has attached to the village sign.
- Pumphouse south facing bench damaged and arm broken. Cllr Chapman to repair.
- Sweeping needed in caged area around pump. Cllr Chapman to deal.
- Brede Lane Car Park - for inspection. Information received from Rother DC regarding repayments due to the Parish Council. Two invoices to be submitted starting in July.
- Seat and Litter Bin in Brede Lane, North of Springfield Cottage - for inspection.
- East View Kickabout Area
- Grass cutting for inspection.
- Notices on fence for replacement with new Clerk's contact details.
- Litter collection - not done by Landscape Services since 01/04/14 because of an error on their part. To be restarted in late June. Invoice to be amended as in 2.7.5 above.
- Hedge to be trimmed in autumn.
- Fence behind hedge to be repaired/replaced in accordance with covenant on land. Members suggested getting a working party together sometime next month.
- Trees inspected by Pat Martin.
- Red Barn Field - to be inspected.
- Local volunteer strimmed area next to picnic table and entrances.
- Local farmer to be asked to cut and bale the field in exchange for the hay during September 2014 as in previous years.
- Bracken situation to be checked. For several years (not last year), the bracken was removed by the Conservation Volunteers.
- Fruiting hedge may need clearance around base.
- Trees inspected by Pat Martin.
- Two Church Hill seats - to be checked.
- Grass to east of MUGA
10 PAYMENTS TO CLERK AND REPLACEMENT CLERK. Mrs Raymond, who will retire from the Parish Council on 30/06/14, had been paid one quarter of the maintenance of offices payment, a quarter's telephone/broadband contribution and a quarter's salary. She has submitted a query to HMRC re her tax liability on the gratuity payment but has been informed that there is currently a 5-week delay in answering letters and that she should not expect a reply until 08/07/14. There is an additional query regarding the Parish Council's employer national insurance liability on the gratuity payment and Mrs Hodgson was asked to make enquiries at the Contributions Agency.
Mrs Hodgson is currently training with Mrs Raymond. RESOLVED: That the Parish Council will pay Mrs Hodgson (at the rate she will be employed at from 01/07/14) for the additional time she has spent on the training.
11 CONSIDERATION OF THE FEASIBILITY OF A JOINT PARISH/HOUSING ASSOCIATION PROJECT TO PURCHASE A CAR FOR PCSO DEMETRIUS GEORGHIOU. No action, no longer required.
12 UPDATED DOCUMENTS PUBLISHED SINCE THE LAST FINANCE MEETING
- GOVERNANCE AND ACCOUNTABILITY. Clerk has copy.
- FINANCIAL REGULATIONS. Clerk has copy. The Finance Committee will have further discussions on the introduction of a new set of financial regulations.
13 HIGH WEALD COMMUNITY LANDSCAPE FUND. Applications invited for funding.
14 REVIEW AND CONFIRMATION OF ARRANGEMENTS FOR INSURANCE COVER IN RESPECT OF ALL INSURED RISKS (Delegated by Council on 13/05/14). Insurance to be renewed on 30/09/14.
15 INVENTORY OF LAND AND ASSETS INCLUDING BUILDINGS AND OFFICE EQUIPMENT (Delegated by Council on 13/05/14). The Clerk/RFO produced an up-to-date inventory of land, furniture, play equipment, office equipment, tools and miscellaneous items belonging to the Parish Council being handed over on her retirement.
Various tools and other items were handed to Cllr Chapman and the water carrier to Cllr Anson. The small working demonstration pump, currently with Mr and Cllr Mrs Glew, will also be handed to Cllr Anson. All office equipment as listed, apart from the wooden desk, the keyboard and the mouse will be handed to Mrs Hodgson. Mrs Raymond will retain the wooden desk, the keyboard and the mouse. Mrs Raymond will purchase the 2 hard drives and Mrs Hodgson will purchase the keyboard and mouse - for reimbursement by the Parish Council.
There was some discussion on the two silver cups that had belonged to the Sedlescombe & District Horse Society and which were awarded to winners of gymkhanas in the 1950s and 1960s. Cllr Vine-Hall said that there was some interest in resurrecting the Sedlescombe gymkhanas and that it might be possible to re-use the cups for this purpose.
The Committee agreed to consider Mrs Raymond's suggestion of a new Sedlescombe History Cup competition for adults to produce projects relating to Sedlescombe's history. The annual competition could be similar to the one that Pauline has judged for the top two classes at the School since the death of Mrs Beryl Lucey (author of Twenty Centuries in Sedlescombe) and which always produces interesting projects often about Sedlescombe's history.
16 THE BATTLE BRANCH OF BARCLAYS BANK is to close in September.
17 DATE OF NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING. 14/10/14.
The Chairman closed the meeting by thanking Pauline Raymond at the end of her last meeting for her contribution to the work of Sedlescombe Parish Council for more than 39 years. A retirement event will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 1 July starting at 15:30.