FGP32/22To receive Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Cllr S Williams.
FGP33/2Declarations of Interest
There were no interests declared.
FGP34/22Minutes of the previous meeting
The minutes of the meeting held on 24 May 2022 were considered. Subject to the correction of typos the minutes were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.
FGP35/22Election of a Committee Vice Chairman
Cllr Foster was elected as Vice-Chair of the Finance & General Purposes Committee for the coming year.
FGP36/22Review of Income & Expenditure
a) Members reviewed the income against expenditure and trial balance for Q1 and focused on areas of spend that had exceeded 25%. The Clerk had provided Members with snapshot of the accounts with a detailed breakdown, in the areas that had exceeded 25%.
4002 Pension (59%) - Whilst the budget heading would be overspent, the Clerk advised it needed to be looked in the context of the clerk’s salary (4001) which was below expected spend at 19%. In the previous year’s, the two areas of spend were combined.
4002 IT Upgrade (227%) The Chair advised the overspend was anticipated. Specifically, the upgrade the office laptops was required to meet the operating specification of MS365.
4013 & 4016 – The Clerk explained why these two accounts had two print outs. that she had moved some budget codes to Administration which it transpired was not straight forward. Realtis had worked with the clerk to ensure the changes were correct.
4021 Subscriptions (87%) – HALC & NALC’s fees had been paid upfront in April. The Clerk advised the SLCC Membership is due in December.
4070 Litter pickers (105%) – The Clerk advised the area of spend related to the purchase of litter bins. She also confirmed that the new litter bins had been added to the Asset Register. The Clerk was asked to follow up with the New Blendworth Centre to confirm whether teams of litter pickers were operating.
4072 – Tennis Court Maintenance (budget £1,100). The management and maintenance of the tennis courts have been transferred to Community First, therefore there will be zero expenditure.
4074 – Grounds Maintenance Contract (35%). Members agreed that Officers should monitor the contractor to ensure it delivered what was needed. The impact of the dry hot weather on the growing season was evident and the contractor should be flexible enough to adjust its scheduling to accommodate weather changes. The Clerk had already challenged why the contractor was still cutting and strimming. It was agreed the Ranger role would be an important addition to monitoring the contractor’s work.
The crossover between F&GP and the Property Management Committee was noted in this regard. Cllr Hurst would email Cllr Williams to highlight the issues raised during the meeting at the meeting.
b) Member considered how the Council could manage a reserve surplus
The Chair explained that a surplus at year end had accumulated over the years and the Council was holding general reserves more than its 12 months precept policy. Members had
previously considered whether the surplus could be invested in improving Council facilities.
After a discussion about how a surplus might be used, it was agreed it would be prudent to review the likelihood of a surplus at year end in November.
Members discussed John’s resignation and the amount of work that would need to be undertaken in house. Cllr Harris highlighted that unless Councillors were prepared to pick up the additional work, there needed to be a review of staffing to pick up the workload. It was agreed a meeting of the Staffing Sub-Committee would meet on 4 August to discuss options.
FGP37/22Review of the Council’s General Reserve Policy
Members had previously discussed whether it would be prudent to review the Council’s policy of 12 months which was based on its risk profile.
It was agreed that until the Council’s risk profile changed it would remain at the current level.
Members discussed the Council’s investments in terms of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. It had been agreed at the previous meeting to invest with CCLA which would help spread the investments.
It was noted A PRA-authorised firm may own several banking and building society brands. This means that anyone who has deposits in more than one account under a single brand, or multiple accounts under different brands owned by a single firm, is only protected up to a total of £85,000 across all these accounts. The Clerk was asked to review the Council’s accounts to this effect.
FGP38/22Update on Lloyds Bank
It was confirmed that the Clerk now had access to all accounts held with Lloyds.