HELD AT 4-00 p.m. ON TUESDAY 9th JANUARY 2018 AT
Present Councillor Sally Pollitt (Chairman); Councillors Bob Stubbs (Vice Chairman);
Councillors Jane Brook; & Mike Clark.
Councillor Andrea Allgood in attendance.

Jason Grocock (Clerk & Proper Officer).

1 Member of the Public.

The Chairman made the usual announcement regarding the recording of the Meeting.

PR/79/17 Apologies:

Apologies were accepted from Cllr. Christine Burrows.

PR/80/17 Declarations of interest:

The Chairman, as a Trustee of Cuffley Hall, declared an interest in any items related to the Hall.

PR/81/17 Minutes of the last meeting:

The Clerk’s Minutes of the meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 14th November 2017 had been circulated in advance of the meeting, and were agreed as a correct record of that meeting. There were no matters arising from the Minutes.
PR/82/17 Draft Budget and recommended Precept 2018-19 – Report of the Clerk:

The Vice Chairman proposed that Item 12 should be taken first and this was agreed. The Clerk presented his budget report with 3 Appendices detailing the comparison of proposed income and expenditure budget for 2018-19 with the current year figures; a movement statement analysing mainly the growth and savings, or budget reductions, which had been discussed at the last Meeting of the Committee, and the full Council; and a statement showing forecast movement in balances from 31st March 2017 to 31st March 2019.

The Committee agreed to reinstate some proposed budget reductions, relating mainly to both Northaw and Cuffley Parks and Open Spaces, which will allow for more maintenance at Northaw Pond, in Home Wood, and for another review of all Council owned trees in the Parish. It was also agreed that the budget required for the Parish Review had been overstated and this was therefore reduced from £11,000= to £3,500=.

The Clerk also presented the Appendix C forecast movement in balances, firstly on the basis of a £55,000= budget reduction, as proposed by the Council, and secondly on the basis of the Chairman’s possible option a zero precept. The Committee discussed and agreed to stay with the recommendation of a £55,000= precept reduction, which would still reduce the General Balance in hand by over £130,000= between 31st March 2017 and 31st March 2019.

The Committee agreed to recommend the revised growth and budget reductions to the Council, with an implied contribution from balances of just over £200,000= and a Precept of £199,100=.

PR/83/17 Review of Grants Policy for 2018 – Report of the Chairman:

The Committee agreed that the Grants Policy should continue unchanged for 2018-19, and that an article including details of previous grants awarded should be included in the Easter Edition of Update.

PR/84/17 Parish Land for Siting an Aerial:

The Clerk introduced this item, with some background information, and stated that the company may not now be interested or have found another site, as there has been on further contact. After Cllr. Clark & Cllr. Brook commented on poor Broadband Mobile Phone Signals in Northaw, Cllr. Brook agreed to produce and item for the next Update Magazine. If the Company are still interested then they would need to come forward with a proposal for the Council to consider. In the meantime we could start to identify any suitable sites.

PR/85/17 Parish Council Review – Report of the Chairman:

The Chairman reported that she was still waiting for confirmation of the updated costs from the Consultant, but the Paper will be ready for the Full Council.

PR/86/17 Projected Revenue Outturn for 2017-18 – Report of the Clerk:

The Clerk referred to figures he had mentioned earlier on the Budget item and the circulated Monitor Report for the year to date, including the projected income and spend for the full year, and ran through the individual budget heads detailing the reason for the main savings, and shortfall on income. A discussion took place regarding the minimum wage and the living wage. The Clerk confirmed that the Council is currently paying all staff above the Minimum Wage. The report was accepted.

PR/87/17 Council Logo and future production of Update:

The Clerk introduced this under Agenda Item 8 by describing how changes in the process have gradually been made, such as delivery by Royal Mail which achieve a much higher number of deliveries. By using different printers over time however the look of the Magazine seems to change slightly with every edition. The Chairman and Clerk had discussed using a set format provided by a printer which would be the property of the Council and then provided to the selected printer so that each Magazine did not appear different in future. Quotes could also be invited for the next four Magazines as a single fixed price quotation. This proposal was agreed by the Committee. Cllr. Allgood had a quote for the reproduction of the Council Logo in a clearer form. Cllr. Clark would forward the detail, and the Committee agreed that this should be taken forward as soon as possible.

PR/88/17 Draft Financial Risk Assessment – Report of the Clerk:

The Clerk had previously circulated a draft Financial Risk Assessment (FRA) which he had compiled using a format provided by the Internal Auditor. The Chairman suggested that in addition to this the Council should have a Business Continuity Plan, and this was agreed as a future task. The FRA did have risk ratings for the various areas covered, but the Vice Chairman said that it should also be colour coded with a traffic light system, and this was also agreed as a future task for the Clerk. Time scales for outstanding work would also be included. The Chairman concluded that a good start had been made, and work to be done had been agreed.

PR/89/17 Data Protection – Report of the Chairman:

The was researching companies with the aim of obtaining quotes for assessing where the Council is current currently, which may be termed Gap Analysis; to specify what work needs to be done to comply with the regulations; provide say a half day training for Members and Staff; and cover the role of a Data Protection Officer. The Clerk had found that some companies are only interested in providing solutions for E-mails and databases. The company promoted by HAPTC had already provided a scale of charged linked to the size of Councils, but may be willing to negotiate to agree the rate for the next level down depending on the amount and complexity of data involved. The report was accepted and the Clerk would continue to take this forward..

PR/90/17 Outstanding Projects & Works – Report of the Clerk:

The Clerk ran through the spreadsheets previously circulated which detailed the outstanding projects and the current position. The details were also displayed on the OHP. Colour coding identified completed and outstanding projects. The lighting ceremony and the Community Party Events went very well. Regarding the heritage road sign for the Northaw Green, Cllr. Clark offered to provide a sketch for the Clerk to use for the Planning Application required. On Cllr. Clark’s request the Committee agreed that the Clerk should obtain quotation for 3 repair or replacement, and painting – Posts & Rails at Northaw Pond; Posts and Rails at the entrance to Hook Lane; and the two sets of Highways Traffic Calming Posts and Rails on Cattlegate Road. The Clerk advised that the Northaw Pond needed one post replacing, as rotten; one reseating, and then rubbing down and repainting, but the Committee agreed Cllr. Clark’s request for a higher standard job, with all woodwork burned off, primed, then two coats undercoat and two coats gloss.

PR/91/17 Committee Meeting Times and payment of Councillors Expenses and Allowances – Councillor Brook:

The Clerk had circulated some information before the meeting, and confirmed that Councillors were already entitled to claim expenses such as travel costs. The Committee agreed to recommend both the consideration of Meeting Times and the payment of Allowance to full Council for discussion and a decision, as two separate Agenda Items.

PR/92/17 Report of the Health & Safety Group – Report of Cllr. Allgood:

Cllr. Allgood reported that the H&S Group had not met since the full Council adopted the draft policy, and the policy will remain a draft until it has been reviewed by the external consultant. In the meantime, the Clerk had been completing Risk Assessments for all Parish Events.

PR/93/17 Aged Debtor Report – Report of the Clerk:

The Clerk presented the very latest Aged Debt Report, prepared on the OHP. There had been a further improvement since the last report with only one outstanding item now, which was not really overdue, as they had until the end of the year to pay the account.

PR/94/17 Report of the KGV Playground Working Group – Report of Cllr. Brook:

Cllr. Brook advised that the Working Group was about to meet again, and meetings had been held with two prospective companies. A third Company needed to be selected to quote for the work. It was now estimated that a budget of £50,000= was required for provision and installation of the Playground Equipment, and a further £25,000= for ancillary works such as fencing.

PR/95/17 Neighbourhood Plan and Local Plan – Report of the Vice Chairman:

Cllr. Stubbs provided an update on the current position. There had been no movement on the Neighbourhood Plan as this was waiting for the result of the Local Plan Inspection, which had been divided into four stages. The Inspector is still completing the second stage, and the Parish Council will not need to attend until the fourth stage, where we will be objecting to two sites being released for development, Wells Farm and the adjoining site on Northaw Road East. Cllr. Stubbs recommended that the report required from the Consultants for the fourth stage should be commissioned now, so that the preparation is well advanced when further questions are released by the Inspector, so that there is adequate time to deal with these ready for our representation by the Solicitor at stage four. The Committee supported this course of action.

PR/96/17 Questions from the Press & Public:

There was a statement by the member of the Public present, our Local Historian, Brian Warren, stating that he had now completed 27 years of volunteering work in Home Wood. The Chairman thanked Mr Warren for his service to the Council.

PR/97/17 Exclusion of the Press & Public:

This was not required as there were now no Members of the Public present.

PR/98/17 Maynard Place Development – Report of the Vice Chairman:

The Vice Chairman provided an update on the current position regarding the trespass on Parish Council Land.

PR/99/17 Items accepted as urgent by the Clerk:

The Clerk reported that there had been a large number of complaints regarding the enforcement of the “no return rule within the day rule” at Maynard Place Car Park, with a number of Penalty Notices being issued to those falling foul of the rule. This related particularly to people visiting Cuffley Hall more than once in a day.
There have also been a number of complaints regarding the increase from £5= to £10= for the more than four hours ticket. The Clerk will be discussing options with Parking Services and bring this back to full Council.

Cllr. Clark queried an issue regarding confidential E-mails. The Vice Chairman had asked for this to be put on the Agenda for the next full Council Meeting.

PR/100/17 Close of Meeting:

As there was no other business, the Chairman closed the Meeting
at 6-35 p.m.

You can download a formatted copy of these minutes by clicking on the following link: 09-01-18 Policy and Resources Committee Meeting Minutes