|| APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
There were no apologies for absence.
|| MINUTES OF THE FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 8TH SEPTEMBER, 2003
Members received and considered the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003.
RESOLVED: that the minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003 be approved and adopted.
|| TOWN CLERK'S REPORT
|| Receipts and Expenditure
Members received and considered:
a. Financial reports detailing receipts and expenditure for the period 1st April 2003 to 30th September, 2003.
b. A list of cheques and Standing Orders for supplies and services in excess of £500.00 for August and September, 2003.
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.
Members were reminded that a sum of £2,000 had been included in the 2003/04 Estimates for donations and it had been agreed at the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 3rd March, 2003 that:
- £1,200 from 2001/02 be carried over to support the Plume School's bid for Performing Arts Status which had now been forwarded to the Plume School.
- the remaining £1,326 at the end of the 2002/03 financial year be carried over to allow further consideration of applications from The Dengie Project Trust and Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association.
To date £650 had been donated to the Maldon District Handicapped Children's Association, £50 to Dengie Project Trust Mental Health Forum, £200 to Maldon Town Regatta, £300 to Essex Disabled People's Association and £250 to Farleigh at St. Clare's Hospice; the sum of £1876.00 remained and the following applications were considered:
(i) Maldon & District Neighbour Mediation Service (MDNMS)
Members received and considered a grant application form from the Maldon and District Neighbour Mediation Service and summary sheet detailing the project aims of their training programme. A copy of their accounts were available at the meeting for inspection.
|As a Director of the MDNMS, Cllr. Prior declared a personal and prejudicial interest in this item and retired from the meeting.
||Members considered the application and suggested that Cllr. Prior be invited to answer questions regarding the organisation's role in Maldon.
|Accordingly the Chairman adjourned the meeting at 7.35 p.m. and Cllr. Prior returned.
In response to questions from members he explained that the organisation had originally been set up by the Citizens Advice Bureau to help settle neighbour and homelessness disputes. The Mid Essex branch trained approximately 35 mediators of which between 4 and 5 were utilised in the Maldon area. Cllr. Prior explained that the principal funding for the organisation came from a Lottery Fund Grant which funded the service for a three year period. This would soon be running out and further funding was being sought.
|The Chairman thanked Cllr. Prior for his assistance and he left the meeting.
The meeting reconvened at 7.40 p.m.
Discussion ensued and it was
RESOLVED: that a donation of £500 be forwarded to the Maldon and District Neighbour Mediation Service.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.142)
|Cllr. Prior returned to the meeting.
||(ii) Essex Wildlife Trust
Members received and considered a letter from the Essex Wildlife Trust and noted that affiliated membership for the Town Council would be £35.00 per year. Members were informed that the Town Council had previously made a donation to the Essex Wildlife Trust of £100 in 2001 to support their foot and mouth appeal.
Cllr. Shrimpton declared a personal interest in this matter as a member of the Essex Wildlife Trust and took no part in the discussion.
Discussion ensued and it was
RESOLVED: that the Town Council becomes an affiliated member of the Essex Wildlife Trust for the sum of £35.00 per annum which will be met from the budget heading subscription.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.137)
||(iii) Maldon Twinning Association
Members received and considered a letter from the Maldon Twinning Association requesting a donation towards the Official Visit from Cuijk to Maldon during 2004. A copy of their letter and an up-to-date financial statement had been circulated to members.
In response to a question the Mayor explained that there had been an expanding Twinning connection between Maldon and Cuijk for over thirty years and many of the town's organisations had formed links with their counterparts in Holland. He stated that the Official Visit had been postponed from April to August 2004 to enable it to coincide with the centenary of the Maldon Carnival.
RESOLVED: that a provisional sum of £1000 be included in the Town Council Estimates for the year 2004/2005 in respect of the Official Twinning visit from Cuijk subject to further consideration at the appropriate time.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.144)
|| Membership - Essex Playing Fields & Children's Play Association
Members received notification from the Essex Playing Fields and Children's Play Association that the Town Council's membership was due for renewal at a cost of £25.00, the same as last year.
However, as the Town Council were not responsible for any playing fields within the town it was
RESOLVED: that the Town Council does not renew its membership of the Essex Playing Fields and Children's Play Association.
|| The Parish Councillor's Guide
Members were informed that notification had been received that a new edition of The Parish Councillor's Guide was available at a cost of £13.50. It was noted that this publication was a recognised and concise booklet which had proved useful in the past.
RESOLVED: that the Town Council purchases a copy of the 18th edition of The Parish Councillor's Guide for the sum of £13.50.
(Local Government Act 1972 s.111)
|| ESSEX DISABLED PEOPLE'S ASSOCIATION (EDPA)
Further to minute 36.4 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003, for information, members received an update from the EDPA regarding funding for the Essex Travel Voucher Scheme. It was noted that the Town Council had approved a donation of £300 subject to certain funding issues being resolved.
RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
|| CONFERENCE ON CRIME AND DISORDER ISSUES AFFECTING THE ELDERLY RESIDENTS OF MALDON
Notification had been received from the Community Safety Officer, Maldon District Community Safety Partnership regarding an annual conference for organisations or people who provide care, training or social facilities for elderly residents. The conference was being held on Friday, 31st October, 2003 from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. in the Town Hall, Maldon. Speakers would be covering a variety of subjects including rural transport, advice on benefits, energy efficiency, a new gardening scheme and transport for the elderly with a key presentation by Sheila Isaacs on accidents in the home. Members were requested to nominate a representative/s to attend the conference and to report back.
RESOLVED: that Cllrs. Prior, Mrs. Riesebeck, Savage and Shrimpton attend the annual conference on Crime and Disorder issues affecting the Elderly Residents of Maldon to be held in the Town Hall on 31st October, 2003.
Members were informed that four companies had been approached regarding quotations for replacement office computers and to date only one quotation had been received. In view of this, it had been suggested that the matter be deferred until either the next Council meeting or Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting depending on when further information had been received in the office.
In response to a question the Town Clerk stated that the specification for a replacement office computer system was available for inspection in the office.
RESOLVED: that the matter regarding office computers be deferred until further quotations had been received.
|| TOWN HALL - ROOF VENT GRILLS
Members noted that as a result of concern being expressed by hirers regarding bird feathers being blown from the internal ventilation grills into the hall, the Town Clerk, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, had authorised the installation of external grills on one of the ventilation tunnels on the Town Hall roof.
RESOLVED: that the information be noted.
|| PLUME BUILDING - SUNDIAL
Members received and considered a letter regarding the sundial located on the front aspect of the Plume Building suggesting that the Town Council should consider rescuing the sundial from its present state of dereliction.
Discussion ensued and it was felt that an investigation regarding the sundial should be undertaken and that the Sundial Association be contacted to ascertain their views on this matter.
RECOMMENDED: that investigations be undertaken regarding the sundial on the front aspect of the Plume Building.
|| QUESTIONS FROM THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
There were no questions.
|| EXCLUSION OF THE PRESS AND PUBLIC
RESOLVED: that pursuant to section 1 of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 the meeting be not now open to the public and press for the following item of business and they be instructed to withdraw.
|| STAFFING MATTERS
(a) Members received and considered the report of the Town Clerk regarding annual staff appraisals.
Cllr. Savage stated that it may be possible to provide in-house training in the operation of the website to office staff and he was in the process of constructing templates to assist office staff in the update of the website.
RECOMMENDED: that (i) provision be included within the 2004/05 estimates for Town Council office staff to undertake the European Computer Driving Licence;
(ii) the possibility of the website being operated in-house be pursued;
(iii) there be no changes regarding the employment of the office staff and the situation be reviewed annually;
(iv) there be no change regarding the employment of the part-time Town Hall Cleaners/Caretakers;
(v) there be no change regarding the employment of the part-time Moot Hall Keeper and Tour Guide;
(vi) there be no change regarding the employment of the Macebearer;
(vii) there be no change regarding the employment of the part-time Public Convenience Attendants;
(viii) there be no change regarding the employment of the part-time Handyman.
(b) Further to minute 42 of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on 8th September, 2003 those members appointed to undertake the appraisal of the Town Clerk reported.
|The Town Clerk and Administrative Assistant retired from the meeting whilst the report on the appraisal of the Town Clerk was discussed.
On being invited to return to the meeting, members thanked the Town Clerk for all her hard work.
RECOMMENDED: that the report regarding the appraisal of the Town Clerk be noted.
||Councillor Mrs Mary Curtis
The Chairman closed the meeting at 8.15 p.m.
ITEMS (copy, report herewith) are available
for inspection at the Town Hall during normal office hours.