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MINUTES OF THE FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON TUESDAY 20th MAY, 2003 AT 7.30 P.M.
IN THE CONFERENCE ROOM, TOWN HALL.
Amendments.

PRESENT: Councillors: Mrs. M. Curtis, W. Prior, Mrs. S. Riesebeck,
P. Roberts (Deputy Mayor), S. Savage, T. Shrimpton,
K. Smith (Town Mayor) and J. Swallow.
In Attendance: The Town Clerk, and District Councillor Mrs. B. Keighley and one member of the Public.
  
IN THE CHAIR - COUNCILLOR K. SMITH - TOWN MAYOR
  1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN FOR THE ENSUING MUNICIPAL YEAR

Cllr. Mrs. M. Curtis was proposed by Cllr. Mrs. S. Riesebeck, and seconded by Cllr. P. Roberts.

Cllr. S. Savage was proposed by Cllr. T. Shrimpton seconded by Cllr. W. Prior. When put to the vote it was tied and the Mayor used his casting vote.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. Mrs. M. Curtis be elected Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for the 2003 / 2004 Municipal Year.

IN THE CHAIR - COUNCILLOR MRS. M. CURTIS

  2. ELECTION OF VICE-CHAIRMAN FOR THE ENSUING MUNICIPAL YEAR

Cllr. T. Shrimpton was proposed by Cllr. W. Prior and seconded by Cllr. Mrs. S. Riesebeck.

RESOLVED: that Cllr. T. Shrimpton be elected Vice-Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee for the 2003 / 2004 Municipal Year.
  3. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Cllr. Mrs V. Foster
  4. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 1ST APRIL, 2003

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 1st April, 2003 be approved and adopted.
  5.

 5.1
TOWN CLERK'S REPORT

Receipts and Expenditure

Members received and considered:

a. Financial reports detailing a summary of accounts for 2002/03.

b. A list of cheques/standing orders for supplies and services in excess of £500.00 for April 2003.

RESOLVED: that (a) the report attached as Appendix "A" to these minutes detailing a Summary of the Accounts 2002/03 be noted.

(b) the list of cheques and Standing Orders in excess of £500.00 be noted.
 5.2 Donations

Members recalled that the sum of £2,000 had been included in the 2003/04 Estimates and it had been agreed at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd March that:

£1,200 from 2001/02 be carried over in respect of support for the Plume School bid for Performing Arts Status;

£1,326 remaining at the end of the financial year be carried over to allow further consideration of applications from The Dengie Project Trust and Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association.

Furthermore at the meeting held on 1st April, 2003 it was agreed that £650.00 be donated to the Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association and £50.00 to the Dengie Project Trust Mental Health Forum; accordingly a total sum of £3,826 remained in the Estimates for the current year.

It was noted that thank you letters had been received from the Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association and the Dengie Project Trust Mental health Forum

CLLR. PRIOR EXPRESSED A PERSONAL INTEREST IN THE FOLLOWING THREE ITEMS IN WHICH HE FELT HE HAD A PREJUDICIAL INTEREST AND LEFT THE MEETING.

Members considered the following:

a. Maldon Town Regatta Association
Members received and considered an application from the Maldon Town Regatta Association for financial assistance towards this year's Regatta to be held on 30th August, 2003. Members recalled that a donation of £200 was made last year and the event had been a great success.

RESOLVED: that a donation of £200.00 be forwarded to the Maldon Town Regatta Association. (Local Government Act 1972 s.144)

b. Essex Disabled People's Association
Members received and considered a letter from the Essex Disabled People's Association (EDPA) which stated that there were three residents of Maldon who benefited from Association's travel voucher scheme; however, if funding was not provided these people would have no form of transport. It was noted that a donation of £300 would assist one person for a year. Discusion ensued regarding this matter during which members expressed the view that if a donation were to be forwarded to the EDPA it should be made clear that this was to be used for the benefit of a Maldon resident.

RESOLVED: that a donation of £300.00 be forwarded to the EDPA for the benefit of a Maldon resident. (Local Government and Rating Act 1997 s.26)

c. Farleigh at St. Clare's Hospice
Members received and considered an application from Farleigh at St. Clare's Hospice for financial assistance to decorate the Day Room which it was envisaged would cost in the region of £500. Members recalled that a donation of £400 was made to the Hospice in 2000 and last year hanging baskets were provided from the Maldon In Bloom campaign.

RESOLVED: that a donation of £250 be forwarded to Farleigh at St. Clare's Hospice (Local Government Act 1972s.137)

CLLR. PRIOR RETURNED TO THE MEETING.

 5.3 Subscriptions

a. Twinning Association
Members were informed that notification had been received that the annual renewal of membership to the Maldon Twinning Association for 2003/2004 was £20.00.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council renews it membership of the Maldon Twinning Association for the 2003/04 financial year. (Local Government Act 1972 s.144)

b.Essex Association of Local Councils (EALC)
Members were informed that notification had been received that the annual renewal of membership to the EALC for 2003/04 was £820.87 of which £445.28 was payable to the National Association. It was noted that the service provided by the Associations was invaluable.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council renews its membership to the EALC for the 2003/04 financial year. (Local Government Act 1972, s.143)
 5.4 Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003

a. Statutory Instrument and Guidance Circular

Further to minute 100.6 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 1st April, 2003 members received a letter from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister regarding the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 - Statutory Instrument and Guidance Circular. Members were informed that the Statutory Instrument 2003 No. 533 was available for inspection in the Office.

In answer to a question the Town Clerk informed members that the Town Council's Internal Auditor was Mr. Colin Jones and a copy of Statutory Instrument No. 533 had been forwarded to him for information.

RESOLVED: that the information be noted.

b. A (new) Practitioners' Guide

Members were informed that notification had been received from the Society of Local Councils Clerks that they, in conjunction with NALC and the Audit Commission, had produced a Practitioners' Guide taking into consideration the changes which came into force on 1st April, 2003. As a SLCC member the Town Council can purchase this for £11.99.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council purchase a copy of the Practitioners' Guide for £11.99 (Local Government Act 1972 s.111)
 5.5 Courses and Meetings

Further to the Town Clerk's letter dated 9th May, 2003 members were reminded of the following forthcoming events:

The Essex Association of Local Councils:

a. Annual General Meeting - 25th June, 2003 - Saling Village Hall;

b. Councillor Training Day - 4th July, 2003 - Great Dunmow - £39 per delegate or £35 for 2 or more delegates

The Essex Training Partnership

a. Finance Course - 3rd June, 2003 - Great Dunmow - £39 per delegate

b. Raising the Profile Course - 11th June, 2003 - Great Dunmow - £39 per delegate

c. Law and Procedure Course - 19th June, 2003 - Great Dunmow - £39 per delegate

d. Planning Course - 26th June, 2003 - Great Dunmow - £39 per delegate

RESOLVED: that

(a) the Town Clerk be authorised to attend the Essex Association of Local Council's AGM on the 25th June, 2003;

(b) Cllrs. Mrs. Riesbeck, Savage and Shrimpton attend the Councillor Training Day on 4th July, 2003 and report back to members;

(c) Cllr. Savage attends the Finance, Planning & Raising the Profile Courses;

(d) all travelling expenses involved be reimbersed in respect of the above.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.175)
 5.6 Town Hall Booking

Members received and considered a request regarding a postponed Town Hall booking on 7th March, 2003 which had then changed on two more occasions and finally cancelled. In accordance with the Hire Agreement condition no. 10, members considered whether a refund should be made.

Discussion ensued regarding this matter during which it was noted that this particular hirer had booked the hall on other previous occasions and had always cancelled.

RESOLVED: that the Town Council provides a refund of £40 but the hirer be informed that they will not be able to book the hall on any further occasions.
  6. DIGITAL CAMERA

Further to minute 102 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 1st April, 2003 members received and considered the following quotations for a Canon Power Shot A40 digital camera for Town Council use:

Silicon Alley £203.40 plus VAT
A to Z Supplies £238.30 plus VAT
Memories £211.91 plus VAT

www.24-7electrical .co.uk £169.34 plus VAT and £7.99 postage (this is an internet site and requires credit card payment; however, the Town Council does not have the facilities to make a credit card payment).

Disscusion ensued regarding credit card payments during which Cllr. Savage explained the process involved. Members expressed the view that, as the Town Council did not have such facilities and public money was involved, this form of payment should not be pursued. Reference was also made to the fact that Silicon Alley were a local firm, and if there should be any problems in the future, were easily accessible.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) a Canon Powershot A40 digital camera be purchased from Silicon Alley, for the sum of £203.40 plus VAT;

(b) a USB card, be purchased from Silicon Alley, for a maximum sum of £29.00, when the exact requirements are known after the purchase of the camera.

(Local Government Act 1972 s111)
  7. BASELINE PROMOTIONS

Further to minute 88 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 4th March, 2003 members recalled that the ice skating event scheduled to take place in the Town Hall on Saturday, 22nd February, 2003 had been cancelled by Baseline Promotions due to transport problems; they had subsequently offered a reduced fee of £300 for a future event, a reduction of £200.00. It had been suggested that the next ice skating event be scheduled for later in the year and that any profits made could assist with fundraising for the Christmas Lights. In this connection members were reminded that it had been agreed that a Christmas Lights Working Party be set up; the first meeting of which would be held on 27th May, 2003.

RECOMMENDED: that a Baseline Ice Skating event take place during October and the distribution of any profits made be considered after the event.
(Provisional date booked 18 October)
  8.

 8.1
TOWN HALL

Extractor Fan Unit - Office Kitchen

Members were informed that, arising from the annual service of extraction equipment in the Town Hall by Thameside Mechanical Services Limited, it had been reported that the Nuaire Opus extract fan unit in the kitchen area of the Town Council Offices was defective and beyond economic repair. In this respect members considered a quotation in the sum of £441.45 plus VAT from Thameside Mechanical Services for the installation of a replacement unit.

Discussion ensued during which it was noted that this fan is very seldom used as the door of the kitchen is always open and in view of this it was

RECOMMENDED: that the situation be monitored to ascertain if an extractor fan in this location was required.
 8.2 Lift Installation

Members received and considered a letter from Curti Lifts (Northern) Limited which stated that arising from the annual service of the lift, it had been noted that the Town Hall lift was not fitted with an autodialler which was now required in accordance with the new regulations concerning the maintenance of lifts (BS EN13015 maintenance policy 4.3.2.5). these required the owner of a passenger lift to have two way means of communication linked to a 24 hours rescue service for the whole time that the installation was to be used. A BT telephone line would also be required. In this respect members received and considered a a quotation form Curti Lifts in the sum of £879.00 plus VAT to fit and programme an autodialler to the lift once a phoneline has been installed.

Members noted that provision had not been included in the 2003/04 Budget for this expenditure and as the financial year had only just commenced it was too early to vire funding. In view of this it was.

RECOMMENDED: that (a) enquiries be made with regard to the installation of a telephone line and this information and quotation for an autodialler be considered at the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting in November;

(b) Cllr. Savage should ascertain further details regarding the regulations refered to in BS EN 13015 maintenance policy.
  9. RISK ASSESSMENT

Further to minute 100.8 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 1st April, 2003, members received and considered the report of Cllr. Savage, following his Risk assessment of the Town Hall (copy circulated to all Members of the Council).

The Town Clerk reported that with regard to his assessment concerning the stepladder and notices limiting the height of stacked chairs the appropriate action had been undertaken. In respect of the fire alarm system under the stage, the Town Clerk reported that this would be discussed with the alarm company when the next service was undertaken.

Refernce was made to the existing Cinema projector stand and Cllr. Savage stated that a more secure piece of equipment was required. In this respect the Town Clerk reported that it had originally been envisaged that the projector would be fixed to the balcony and members agreed that quotations for this should be considered by the cinema Working Party.

RESOLVED: that (a) the fire alarm system under the stage be discussed with the alarm company;

(b) investigations continue with regard to the fixing the digital projector to the balcony and findings be reported to the Cinema Working party;

(c) in all other respects, the report of Cllr. Savage be noted.
 10. MINUTES OF THE MAELDUNE TRUST MEETING HELD ON 22ND JANUARY, 2003

Members received and considered the minutes of the Maeldune Trust meeting held on 22nd January, 2003. Cllr. Savage said that he was unaware of the proposed works to demolish the wall within the Maeldune Centre; it was reported however, that approval for this work had been given by the Town Council and funding was to be provided to assist with the work.

RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Maeldune Trust meeting held on 22nd January, 2003 be approved.
   The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.10 p.m

Councillor Mrs M. Curtis
Chairman

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



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

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