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Maldon Town Council



Town Council Offices,
Town Hall, Market Hill,
Maldon, Essex,  CM9 4RL.

MINUTES OF THE FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 23rd JULY, 2002 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.

PRESENT: Chairman: Councillor S. Thain
Vice Chairman: Councillor P. Rew (Deputy Mayor)
Councillors: E. Bannister, Mrs M. Curtis, Mrs S. Riesebeck,
P. Roberts (Town Mayor) and W. Prior.
In Attendance: Cllr. T. Shrimpton, the Town Clerk, Administrative Assistant and one member of the public.
Prior to commencement of the meeting the Chairman welcomed Cllr. T. Shrimpton, the newly elected Councillor for the Maldon North West Ward and introduced him to members.
26. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.
27. MINUTES OF THE FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 17TH JUNE 2002

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002 be approved and adopted.
28.

28.1
FINANCIAL REPORTS

Receipts and Expenditure

Members received and considered:

a. A financial report detailing receipts and expenditure for the month of June, 2002.

b. A list of cheques and Standing Orders in excess of £500.00 from 1 June to 30 June, 2002.

In response to a question from Cllr. Rew, the Town Clerk stated that the expenditure in respect of the photocopier was for the half yearly rental charges.

The Town Clerk informed members that a refund in the sum of £170.00 had been received from the Maldon District Council in respect of the water charges for the White Horse Lane Public Conveniences.

RESOLVED: that (a) the report attached as Appendix "A" to these minutes detailing receipts and expenditure be noted;

(b) the list of cheques and Standing Orders in excess of £500.00 be noted;
28.2. Donations - St. John Ambulance

Members recalled that it had been agreed at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002 (minute 20.2(b) refers) that the sum of £200.00 should be forwarded to the Maldon Cadet Division, St. John Ambulance to assist Cadets in attending a week long Cadet Camp in August.

Members were informed that notification had been received from Michael J. Ballard, Divisional Superintendent that regretfully due to circumstances, members of Maldon Cadet Division would not be attending the Cadet Camp this year and the cheque had been returned.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
28.3. Binding of Minute Book

RESOLVED: that the 2001 / 02 minutes be bound to match existing Town Council minute books by Hipwell Bookbinders, Goldhanger at a cost of £48.00.
28.4. Accounts 2001 / 02

(a)Internal Audit Report

Members received and considered the report of Mr C. K. Jones, Internal Auditor and comments of the Town Clerk following the final internal audit visit held on 2nd July, 2002. (copy circulated to all members of the Council)

The Chairman noted that the Internal Auditor had complimented the Council on producing clear and concise minutes.

With regard to the suggestion that the Town Council's bank accounts be consolidated Cllr. Rew agreed that this would be a good idea as it would make them easier to evaluate.

Members felt that a firm quotation should be obtained with regard to increasing the fidelity cover to £100,000. The quotation to be considered at the next meeting and in conjunction with the 2003 / 04 Estimates.

The Town Clerk informed members that she had not yet received a quotation from Huddlestone Gemmological Consultants in respect of an asset revaluation and members agreed that the quotation should be discussed at the next meeting.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the Town Council adopts the following annual risk assessment:

Town Council Risk Assessment
    ¨ Receipts to be issued for all cash and cheques received within the office.
    ¨ Cash and cheques to be banked regularly.
    ¨ Any large sums of money to be held in the Town Council safe.
    ¨ Cheques to be issued on receipt of invoices and signed by two councillors and countersigned by
       the Town Clerk with cheque stubs and invoices initialled by the signing councillors.
    ¨ All cheques over £500 to be reported to members of the Council via the
       Finance and General Purposes Committee.
    ¨ Apart from petty cash payments, all payments shall be effected by cheque or other orders
       drawn on the Council's bankers.
    ¨ When only one member of staff is on the premises the external door is to be locked and
       the electronic entry system used.
    ¨ The Town Council's financial regulations to be adhered to.

(b) the Town Council Bank accounts be consolidated to the following: Current, Business Reserve, Allotment and Leech Trust Accounts;

(c) the receipt form be amended to show whether cash or cheques had been received;

(d) further information and costings be sought regarding increasing the Town Council's fidelity insurance cover to £100,000 and that the matter be discussed at the next meeting;

(e) discussion regarding the re-valuation of the Town Council's assets and properties be considered at the next meeting;

(f) in all other respects the report of the Internal Auditor be noted.

(b)Internal Audit Charges
Members received and considered a letter from Mr C. K. Jones outlining his fees to undertake the internal audit for the years 2002 / 03 and 2003 / 04.

In response to a question from Cllr. Rew the Town Clerk stated that the charges for

the 2001 / 2002 Internal Audit were as previously agreed, £10.00 per hour.

RECOMMENDED: that the letter from Mr C. K. Jones, Internal Auditor be noted.

(c)Year-End Accounts 2001 /02
Members received and considered the year end accounts and supporting statements for the 2001 / 02 financial year as submitted to the internal auditor.

The Chairman commented that they were clear and concise and covered all aspects of the accounts.

RECOMMENDED: that the year end accounts and supporting statements for the financial year 2001/ 2002 (attached as Appendix "B" to these minutes) be presented to the Town Council meeting to be held on 5th August, 2002 for signing by the Mayor on behalf of the Town Council.
28.5. Maeldune Centre - Fire Alarm

Members were informed that as a result of an inspection of the Ground Floor, Plume Building by Initial Fire Systems, the engineer had informed the staff of the Maeldune Centre that the control panel required to be replaced immediately with a new "2 Zone" conventional panel as the existing one was not functioning correctly and could not be repaired.

The work was subsequently undertaken and the Maeldune Trust had received an invoice from Initial Fire Systems in the sum of £537.56. As the Maeldune Trust had not budgeted for this expenditure, the Trust had enquired if the Town Council would consider making a donation towards the cost of the control panel.

The Chairman reminded members that the Town Council were the owners of the building.

Discussion ensued and when put to the vote it was agreed that the Maeldune Trust should be offered 50% (£268.78) of the total cost of the invoice.

In answer to a question the Town Clerk reported that the Trust would be writing to the Maldon District Council for funding to assist with the fire alarm as the Maldon Embroidery was owned by the District Council.

RECOMMENDED: that the Town Council donates £268.78 towards the cost of the new control panel at the Plume Building. (Essex Act 1987s.48)
29. MOOT HALL LEAFLETS

Further to minute 97.1 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 25th February, 2002 members recalled that it would be beneficial for information to appear on the reverse side of the Moot Hall promotion leaflet. In this respect members received and considered a further quotation from Maldon Printing Company for a third A4 leaflet printed on both sides on gloss art paper. Copies of the revised leaflet were circulated to members at the meeting.

Members noted that £152.00 remained in the Advertising Budget but additional funds could be vired from the Moot Hall Contingencies Budget Head.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) the quotation from Maldon Printing Company in the sum of £228.00 plus VAT to supply 1000, third size A4 leaflets, printed on both sides on gloss art paper be approved;

(b) additional funds be vired from the Moot Hall Contingencies Budget Head.

(Local Government Act 1972s.144)
30. PLAQUE TO MARK 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CABBIES VISIT TO MALDON

Further to minute 24.1 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002, members were informed that the Plume School had forwarded disks containing 96 photographs taken during the East London Cabbies Outing to Maldon on 10th July, 2002.

The Chairman and Mayor agreed to view the photographs and their selection to be submitted to the full Council meeting on 5th August, 2002.

Discussion ensued regarding the wording to appear on the plaque and it was

RECOMMENDED: the (a) the Mayor and Chairman select a suitable picture to be depicted on the plaque and it be submitted to the Town Council meeting held on 5th August, 2002;

(b) the wording on the plaque to be as follows:

This plaque was commissioned by the Town Council
to commemorate 50 years of visits to Maldon
by the East London Cabbies
1952 - 2002
31. TOWN HALL CHARGES

Further to minute 30.1 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 24th July, 2001, members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk, a schedule of the present hire charges, a schedule of charges for other local halls and a financial report regarding income and expenditure in respect of the Town Hall. It was noted that the income received in respect of the Town Hall had increased by £5,194.47 during 2001 /02.

Cllr. Mrs Curtis said that in view of the considerable increase in income from the hire of the Town Hall she felt that the charges should remain unchanged this year.

Cllr. Rew expressed his concern that the Town Hall charges may be falling behind other similar facilities being offered in the District. The Town Clerk stated that she was aware that the charges in respect of Tolleshunt Knights Village Hall and the West Maldon Community Centre were currently being reviewed. Cllr Rew felt that members should consider this matter further when these revised charges had been received.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until the Finance and General Purposes Committee to be held on 3rd September, 2002.
32. BASELINE PROMOTIONS

Further to minute 25 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 17th June, 2002.

a.Ice-Skating
Members were informed that the only date available in the Town Hall diary this year for a Baseline on Ice event was Saturday, 7th December, 2002.

Discussion ensued and Cllr. Mrs Curtis reminded members that previous events held in the Town Hall during December had been poorly attended.

Cllr. Mrs Riesebeck remarked that she had read that the Maldon District Council were considering staging permanent skating events in the Promenade Park and in this respect it may be inadvisable for the Town Council to stage a similar event in the town.

Cllr. Roberts informed members that the District Council were investigating this matter but weather conditions played a large factor in the final decision as it would be an outdoor activity.

The Chairman suggested that the matter be deferred until the Maldon District Council had made a decision on whether to hold skating events in the Promenade Park.

Minute rescinded Town Council 5th August, 2002 to read as follows

RECOMMENDED: that the matter be deferred until a decision regarding Skating events in the Promenade Park has been made by the Maldon District Council.

b.Youth Council
Members were informed that the Youth Council had suggested that a Mobile Climbing Wall be hired for a day. It was noted that the daily hire charge for a climbing wall would be £550.00 plus VAT and that an outside venue would be required.

The Chairman suggested that once the tree roots had been removed, St. Peter's Churchyard would be a suitable location to site a climbing wall. Cllr. Roberts suggested that the Plume School grounds may be more suitable as it offered a larger area and had on-site parking facilities. It was agreed that enquiries should be made with the Plume School in respect of the use of their grounds for such an event.

In response to a question the Chairman stated that the hire charges included insurance cover and trained staff to manage the event but it would be necessary for Councillors to attend to collect the fees etc. from the public.

Members were of the opinion that the Youth Council should take an active role in organising and funding the event and it was noted that they had limited funds which included £500.00 budget and a donation of £300.00 from the Mayor's Fund towards a communal seat. They were hoping to organise another "Battle of the Bands" competition which may raise further funds. It was suggested that they should be requested to compile a brief business plan in respect of the climbing wall event detailing the predicted income which could be raised. It was felt that subject to the presentation of a business plan by the Youth Council the Town Council could then consider funding any shortfall in the hire of a climbing wall.

RESOLVED: that the matter be deferred until a business plan detailing the predicted income and expenditure for hiring a Climbing Wall had been received from the Youth Council.
32. WEBSITE

Further to minute 31 of the Town Council Meeting held on 24th June, 2002, members recalled that it had been agreed that the domain name maldontc.gov.uk be purchased for £94.00 and in this respect

RESOLVED: that members of the Website Working Party meet Mr Savage on Tuesday, 6th August, 2002 at 6.45 p.m. to discuss this matter further.
33. DISABILITY ACCESS - PLUME BUILDING AND MOOT HALL

In compliance with the service provider and employer provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 members received and considered a letter and quotation from Lisa Foster and Jane Toplis Associates for an initial audit and option study in respect of disabled access issues at the Plume Building and the Moot Hall.

The Chairman expressed the view that with regard to Part II of the Disability Discrimination Act - Employment Provision there was no necessity for the Town Council to comply with provisions as they apply to employers with 15 or more employees, however it was suggested that the views of the Essex Associated of Local Councils (EALC), be sought regarding the Act in relation to Listed Buildings.

Members suggested that a letter be forwarded to Lisa Foster and Jane Toplis Associates thanking them for their interest but stating no further action is to be taken at the present time.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) information regarding the Disability Discrimination Act be sought from the EALC;

(b) a letter be forwarded to Lisa Foster and Jane Toplis Associates thanking them for their quotation and stating that no further action is to be taken at present.
34. ESSEX COUNTY COUNCIL PENSION FUND

Members received and considered a letter from Martin Quinn, Group Manager Investment, Corporate Services, Essex County Council regarding the Essex County Council Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts for 2000/01 including a Statement of Investment Principles.

In response to a question from Cllr. Rew, the Town Clerk advised that the County Treasurer was the manager of the Pension Fund.

The Chairman expressed his concern that the Statement of Investment Principles did not indicate whether the invested funds meet recognised ethical standards and suggested that this information be sought from the funds Group Manager Investments.

RECOMMENDED: that a letter be forwarded to the Group Manager Investments, Corporate Services, Essex County Council to enquire if the funds invested meet ethical recognised standards.
The Chairman adjourned the meeting to enquire if there were any questions from the Public. As there were no questions the Chairman re-convened the meeting.
35. EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC

RESOLVED: that pursuant to section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1969, the meeting be not open to the public and press for the following item of business and they be instructed to withdraw.
36. 11 MARKET HILL

Members received and considered the latest correspondence from Wortley Redmayne Kershaw.

For the benefit of Cllr. Shrimpton, the Chairman briefly detailed the history regarding this issue.

The Chairman read out a letter from Bakers of Danbury concerning a gutter inspection and members suggested that a copy of the letter should be forwarded to the Town Council's solicitor enquiring if the information contained within the letter would suffice. In the meantime it was suggested that a quotation be sought from Bakers of Danbury for a detailed inspection survey and test.

The Chairman also suggested that clarification be sought from the Town Council's solicitor regarding the situation in respect of indemnity from the architect.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) a quotation be sought from Bakers of Danbury for an inspection survey and test;

(b) the Town Council's solicitor be forwarded a copy of the letter from Bakers of Danbury and be requested to clarify the situation regarding indemnity from the Architect.
The meeting closed at 8.25 p.m.

Councillor Steven Thain
Chairman

Signed…………………………………………….. Date…………………………..



ITEMS   (copy, report herewith)  are available for inspection at the Town Hall during normal office hours.


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