Minutes of the Finance and Properties Committee meeting - 30th November 2020
Minutes of the Virtual TEAMS meeting of Finance and Properties on 30th November 2020 at 7pm
The Mayor, Councillor Lee Upcraft
The Chairman, Councillor Dolton
Councillors Beauchamp, Holford, Kidley and Whelan
The Town Clerk, Paula Lopez
Responsible Finance Officer, Michelle Taylor
Officer, Tracey Collins
Guest Councillor: Councillor Harris and 3 Members of the Public
TO ADVISE THOSE IN ATTENDANCE OF THE PROTOCOL FOR THE MEETING
Councillor Dolton reminded Members of the format and protocol for the meeting.
The Town Clerk reported that she had not received any apologies for absence but Councillors Beatty and Wilder were not present.
ADMISSION OF THE PUBLIC
It was Proposed by Councillor Holford, Seconded by Councillor Beauchamp and
RESOLVED THAT in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, as amended by Section 100 of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items and that the papers relating to these items remain confidential on the grounds that publicity would be prejudicial to the public’s interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted:-
- Agenda item – 12 – Confidential Minutes (Leases and tenants)
- Agenda item – 13 – Aged Debtors (GDPR)
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
A Councillor with voting rights who has a disclosable pecuniary interest or another interest as set out in our Council’s Standing Orders Code of Conduct (Item 13) in a matter being considered at a meeting is subject to statutory limitations or restrictions under code of conduct and his right to participate and vote on the matter (guidelines are available at the meeting and all Councillors have received a copy prior to the meeting) Information for each Member was available at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interests.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION – NOTIFIED AND IMPROMPTU (Total 15 Minutes)
Members heard reports from:
- Gareth Lloyd – Jones & Karen Whiting – The Beacon Project,
- Liam O’Brien and Ian Fell – Wallingford Radio.
VARIATION OF ORDER OF BUSINESS
There was no variation of order of business.
A letter from Mr Lloyd-Jones was sent out in advance of the meeting. Members discussed and considered the support for the Beacon Project. It was Proposed by The Mayor, Seconded by Councillor Whelan and RECOMMENDED: THAT Wallingford Town Council continues to support the Beacon Project.
Councillor Holford asked for a correction to Minutes in that she had been present at the meeting.
It was Proposed Councillor Beauchamp, Seconded by The Mayor and RESOLVED: THAT following the above correction the Minutes of the Finance and Properties Meeting held on the 10th November 2020 on Pages 193 to 195 of the Minute Book, copy circulated to members be signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
DOG BINS & SODC-INCREASE IN DOG BIN EMPTYING AS OF APRIL 2020
A report and the District Council’s letter was sent out in advance of the meeting.
The Responsible Finance Officer advised that SODC are to increase the cost of emptying the dog bins currently set at £3 + VAT per bin to £6 + VAT per bin from April 2021. Members discussed and concluded that this should be discussed further by the Parks, Gardens & Open Spaces Committee to explore alternatives which will be recommended to Full Council.
TO REVIEW THE TOWN COUNCIL’S CHARGES
The Mayor took the Chair for this agenda item as Councillor Dolton felt he could have an interest in this as he was a Director of Bunk Fest.
The Responsible Financial Officer reported that no increases were proposed, however a new one-off charge of £20 per event for the use of electricity at events on the Market Place and water on the Kinecroft was suggested.
Members discussed and it was Proposed by The Mayor, Seconded by Councillor Holford and RECOMMENDED: THAT Wallingford Town Council does not increase charges this year but adds a charge for the use of electricity on the Market Place and water in the Kinecroft for each booked event and that this should be introduced at a rate of £20 per day, this charge to be monitored to make sure that it covers costs.
Councillor Dolton then resumed his position as Chairman
Councillor Whelan asked if the mooring fees could be discussed with a view to increasing. Councillor Dolton asked that this be taken to the Tourism & Economic Committee as this was the most appropriate committee to discuss this.
DRAFT ESTIMATES 2021/2022
- i) Members received the draft estimates/budget for 2021/2022.
Members considered the draft estimates/budget. The Mayor suggested some areas where savings could be made thus reducing the overall increase in the precept from 9.24%. The Responsible Finance Officer was asked to recalculate the precept taking into account these changes and advise members of the new confirmed figure before the Full Council meeting on the 7th December. Following this the Town Clerk voiced her concern regarding the recovery of the substantial outstanding debt that was owed to the Council, if this was not forthcoming it would leave a major shortfall in the Council’s estimates. It had already eaten into the General Reserves this year leaving very little money for emergencies.
ii) Councillor Kidley – Restoring Water to the Fountain on the Market Place.
Councillor Kidley outlined the cost and problems associated with restoring water to the fountain in the Market Place, it was discussed, and members decided that this was not practical and therefore should not be added into the precept.
iii)Wallingford Radio – To consider whether financial support be given.
The Mayor spoke regarding support for Wallingford Radio and felt that the Council should be allocating some money in the estimates for this purpose. A discussion took place, it was suggested by Councillor Dolton that this would set a precedent and that Wallingford Radio should apply for a grant. Councillor Cattermole suggested that the Council purchase advertising from the radio station and pay for this upfront and review continuing this support next year. The Mayor suggested that this should be £500.
It was Proposed by Councillor Dolton, Seconded by Councillor Whelan and RECOMMENDED: THAT Wallingford Town Council’s amended estimates be put before Council on the 7th December for approval. THAT there should be no additional amount for the water fountain but there should be an additional amount of £500 payable to Wallingford Radio for town council advertising and promotion throughout the financial year
Applications sent out in advance of the meeting, £250 remaining for this financial year
- i) Wallingford Assessable Boat Club Grant Application
- ii) Sue Ryder Application
Members discussed the 2 applications as there were no others. It was decided that as Sue Ryder had received a grant this year that the remaining grant money of £250 should go to the Wallingford Assessable Boat Club.
It was Proposed by The Mayor, Seconded by Councillor Dolton and
RESOLVED: THAT Wallingford Town Council award a grant of £250 to the Wallingford Assessable Boat Club.
PAYROLL ARRANGEMENTS OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD
Payroll Dates 18th December 2020/22nd January 2021 – Members noted that Payroll dates for the Christmas, New Year period would be 18th December 2020 & 22nd January 2021.
Confidential Minutes on Page 212