- Cllr Dan Beauchamp
- Cllr Giles Cattermole
- Cllr Claire Holford (Chairman)
- Cllr Katharine Keats-Rohan
- Cllr Marcus Harris (The Mayor)
- Cllr Deborah Whelan
- Michelle Taylor, Town Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer
- Andrea Lockie, Assistant Finance Officer
- Luke Whitcomb, Meetings Officer
- 2 members of the public
- 0 members of the press
439/22 MEETING PROTOCOL
The Chairman explained the protocol that would be followed in conducting the meeting
Apologies were received from Councillors Kidley and Newcombe.
441/22 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
No interests were declared.
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Harris, and RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Properties Committee held on 24 October 2022 be approved as a correct record and the Chairman is authorised to sign them.
443/22 ACTIONS FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
The Committee reviewed progress on public actions agreed at previous meetings. Most had been completed and the remaining others were in progress or would be considered at this meeting.
444/22 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
A member of the public spoke about a transport and parking needs survey that he and some other residents were undertaking and indicated that they would be attending and wishing to speak at the meeting of the Full Council on 12 December 2022.
445/22 TERMS OF REFERENCE
The Committee reviewed their terms of reference as requested by the Full Council.
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Whelan, and RESOLVED that the existing terms of reference be retained and not amended
446/22 BILL SCHEDULE
The Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer presented the Bill Schedule for October 2022 and took questions from Members. She confirmed that the grant for the conservation of the castle walls had been received.
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the Bill Schedule for October 2022 be approved
447/22 QUARTER 1 ACCOUNTS, 2022-2023
The Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer presented the accounts for the first quarter of 2022-2023 and took questions from Members. The costs of tree surgery had been greater than expected due to storm damage, but otherwise the financial position remained healthy. All debtors had settled.
The Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer was thanked for her work on the accounts.
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the Quarter 1 Accounts for 2022-23 be approved
448/22 DRAFT ESTIMATES FOR 2023-2024
The Town Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer presented the Draft Estimates for 2023-2024 and confirmed that £60k of expenditure would need to be removed for the Precept to remain at the level for 2022-2023. This would be a challenge due to rising energy costs amongst other things.
The Full Council had held a preliminary discussion about the budget on 7 November 2022.
The Committee reviewed in particular lines where costs had risen substantially and sought additionally savings from elsewhere. Various changes and provisional decisions were made, including:
- Keeping allotment rents at their current level
- Increasing energy costs by 50%
- Increasing costs of insurance by 5% across the board
- Salary increases of around 4%, as recommended by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC)
- Provision for equipment for the Parks Yard given their increased role for maintenance
- The cost of Christmas lights being reduced due to sponsorship
- The removal of the budget for the Freedom Parade
- The removal of the budget for the Climate Action Working Group
- Reduction in the events budget from £12k to £8k with any outdoor cinema events being funded by third parties and increased sponsorship
- The removal of the provision for bad debt (£30k)
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Cattermole, and RECOMMENDED at that Full Council adopt a revised budget showing a 7.42% increase which was equivalent to an additional £10.83 for Band D household or £1.08 for each of the 10 months
449/22 FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS
The following items were identified for future meetings:
- Wigod Centre
- Grants update – from the Grants Officer
- Regal update
450/22 EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
It was proposed by Councillor Holford, and seconded by Councillor Keats-Rohan, and RESOLVED that the press and public be excluded from the meeting due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted
451/22 ACTIONS FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS [confidential]
452/22 GENERAL PROPERTIES UPDATE [confidential]
453/22 TOWN COUNCIL OFFICE [confidential]
The meeting ended at 8.47 pm
Minutes of the meeting of the Finance and Properties Committee held on 5 December 2022, signed as a correct record
2022-12-05 FIN minutes PUBLIC