MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD AT 4-00 p.m. ON TUESDAY 8th NOVEMBER 2016, AT THE COUNCIL OFFICES, MAYNARD PLACE CUFFLEY
Present Councillor Bob Stubbs (Chairman); Councillors Christine Burrows (Vice Chairman); Councillors Sally Pollitt; Peter Dace; Mike Clark.
In attendance: Councillors Jane Brook and Andrea Allgood. Jason Grocock (Clerk & Proper Officer).
One Member of the Public.
The Chairman asked if the Member of the public present wished to record the Meeting, and he confirmed that he did, and then also confirmed that was aware of the rules for Recording or Filming Meetings, as agreed by the Council.
PR/219/16 Apologies: There were none.
PR/220/16 Declarations of interest: There were none.
PR/221/16 Minutes of the last meeting:
The Minutes of the meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 5th July
2016 as prepared by the Clerk had been circulated in advance, and were agreed as a correct record of that meeting. .
PR/222/16 Update re Maynard Place Development (Flats & Pizza Take-a-way):
The Chairman provided a verbal briefing on the current position regarding this development, covering the restricted covenants, leaseholder’s rights, and the reasons for the Parish Council refusal to grant a Scaffolding License.
The Council had now offered to join in an action with Leaseholders to obtain an
injunction to stop work on the project should it commence prior to reaching an agreement with the Developer in relation to the Council’s land holdings.
PR/223/16 Grants Policy for 2017:
Members agreed to defer this item to a special meeting of the Committee to be held at 2-00 p.m. on Tuesday 22nd November 2016.
PR/224/16 Policy re Bullying and Harassment:
The Clerk presented a report which had been previously circulated as Item 5
on the Agenda. The Committee requested further details and clarification to be added to the proposed policy and that the report be brought back to the next meeting of the Council.
PR/225/16 Outstanding Projects and Works:
The Clerk presented a report as Item 6 on the Agenda. Members asked for a separate report to be prepared on repairs and replacements to the CCTV System, and for a separate project to be included for the refurbishment of the Best Kept Village Sign on Northaw Village Green. The review of continuing with the PCSO Services would be considered at the next full Council Meeting.
PR/226/16 KGV North S.106:
The Chairman provided a briefing on the likely sums to be available for the relevant purposes under the Section 106 agreement for the Land Improvements proposed development on the site adjoining Greenfields. There was likely to be
£50,000=+ available for sport and youth, and £75,000= as a contribution for Health in Cuffley.
PR/227/16 S.106 re Station Road Development (Former Turbo Centre):
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated as Agenda Item 8, detailing the agreed contribution of £7,675= for “Play Facilities serving the locality”. The report was received.
PR/228/16 New Model Financial Regulations 2016:
The Clerk outlined the three key difference in the new Model Financial Regulations (previously circulated). The first change was in section 1.6, the withdrawal of reference to gross misconduct for a wilful breach of the regulations, and replacement with disciplinary proceedings. The Committee did not agree to this change and preferred to keep the previous reference to gross misconduct.
The second changes was in Section 6 dealing with bank signatories having a connection by virtue of family or business connections, widening this to cover any payments and not just those relating to disposable interests. The Committee agreed this change.
The third change related to the introduction of 2 new paragraphs in Section 11.1 covering the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015, and the Public Contracts Directive 2014/24/EU. As these regulations would apply anyway, subject to any further change re BREXIT, it was not felt necessary to detail these in the Financial Regulations.
PR/229/16 Budget Strategy 2017-18:
The Clerk distributed a bullet point prompt sheet and discussed the possible budget strategy for 2017-18 under 7 main headings. The Committee agreed that an overall inflation level of 2.5% should be allowed for on such items as Grants to Voluntary Organisations and the costs of the Village Day 2017. A budget of £25,000= should be included to allow for the continuing costs of preparing the Neighbourhood Plan, and £50,000= for the Local Plan related costs. Contingency of £50,000= should be retained for further potential costs relating to the Local Plan. Allowance would need to be made for continued loss of Council Tax
Support Grant from the Borough Council. The Committee agreed to recommend to the full Council a Budget Strategy for 2017-18 of allowing for an increase in Precept of 2.5%, plus all costs related to the Local Plan.
PR/230/16 Items accepted as urgent by the Clerk:
The Chairman briefed the Committee on three urgent items; Members Travel; the need to engage professional assistance regarding the Local Plan; and the Council Phone Box in Northaw.
PR/231/16 The Committee agreed that Members of the Council, when travelling on Council Business, may claim the standard mileage rate of 45p per mile for travel inside the County. For travel outside the County they must seek the agreement of the Clerk to the cost to be reimbursed, and this would not normally exceed the lowest cost form of travel.
PR/232/16 The Members of the Committee agreed that Council should engage professional assistance to represent the Council in actions related to the Local Plan. The Committee agreed to recommend to the full Council £50,000= budget provision in respect of the Local Plan work, and a further £50,000= contingence for this purpose.
PR/233/16 Regarding complaints and other issues with the Council’s Northaw Phone Box, the Committee agreed that a suitable disclaimer notice by the Parish Council should be included in the Phone Box. A single protocol should also be agreed with Artists to cover all art works displayed, stating that nothing racist, religious, sexist, etc., should be displayed. There should also be a notice to state who should be contacted to request that work is displayed. Any complaints regarding the work displayed should be referred to the Chairman and Vice Chairman, unless urgent action is required by the Clerk. The Clerk should hold a duplicate key to the Phone Box. There should also be a sign saying “Northaw Community Art Gallery”.
PR/234/16 Questions from the Public:
There were none.
PR/235/16 Exclusion of the Press & Public:
The Committee passed the standard resolution to exclude the Public from the remainder of the meeting due to the nature of the items to be discussed.
PR/236/16 Computer and E-mail use Policy:
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated as Agenda Item 14, setting out a proposed Computer and E-mail use policy. The Committee agreed that the proposed policy should be amended to also apply to “Smart Phones”; that reference should also be included to regularly renewing passwords; that all equipment owned by the Council should be security marked; and included on the Council Inventory of Equipment. The Committee agreed, subject to any further comments of the Vice Chairman, that the Policy should be recommended for approval by the full Council.
PR/237/16 Staff Pensions:
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated as Agenda Item 15. The Committee agreed to recommend to full Council that staff should be permitted to make contributions to the Council NEST Pension Scheme without limit, when the restrictions on the scheme are relaxed in April 2016. The Committee further recommended that the Council Employers Pension Contribution, currently 8% compared with Employees 4%, should increase as Employees increased their contribution on a two to one basis, up to a maximum of 12% Employer contribution. The Committee agreed, subject to the receipt of further information regarding budget provision previously provided and not used, to consider further backdating of Employer Contributions at the next meeting of the Committee.
PR/238/16 On-Line Banking Access and Authorised Signatories:
The Clerk presented a report previously circulated as Agenda Item 16 which set out the current arrangements for On-Line Access to Council Bank Accounts; listed current Authorised Signatories to all Council Accounts; and suggested changes to On-Line Access. Under the current approvals, only specific named Councillors, including the Chairman and Vice Chairman, are signatories on all Bank Accounts, except the Clerk’s Imprest Account. Two signatures are required for the main business Current Account in all cases.
On the Clerk’s Imprest Account, there are only two signatories, the Clerk, with the back-up signatory for emergencies being the former Chairman of the Council. Only one signature is required for cheques drawn on the Imprest
Account. Cheques are normally drawn by the Deputy Clerk before being signed by the Clerk.
PR/239/16 As the current Chairman did not wish to be a signatory, the Committee agreed that the Deputy Clerk should be made the reserve or back up signatory for the Clerk’s Imprest Account, replacing the role of the former Chairman, and that the Financial Regulations would be amended accordingly.
PR/240/16 Under the current authorised arrangements, only the Clerk is able to view all Council Bank Accounts On-Line. The Committee agreed that the Deputy Clerk should also be authorised to view all Council Bank Accounts On-line.
PR/241/16 Close of Meeting:
As there was no other business, the Committee Meeting Closed at 6-40 p.m.