Declarations of interest: None
Public recess: No public
15/24. Minutes of the previous committee meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on 28 September 2015 were approved on a proposal by Cllr Walton seconded by Cllr Harris; all at the meeting in favour.
15/25. Matters arising
Matters arising are dealt with on the agenda.
The Clerk still needs to contact the Bobby Van Trust with regard to a presentation / Jubilee Fund application.
We are awaiting written advice from HMRC with regard to the Council’s ongoing liability for National Insurance payments. The current Clerk will submit an invoice as a contractor for the six months she has worked.
All other action points have been actioned.
15/26. November payments.
The Clerk presented the income and expenditure figures for November. As a result of a VAT refund, income was £5,046.56. Expenditure was £3,593.97. The only non-routine items were £100 to clear the compost heap at the Butts Road cemetery and £1,900 for work done on the ponds at the Washpool (although the Council is only paying the VAT element of that bill before reclaiming it at a later date).
The figures for November were approved on a proposal by Cllr Brady, seconded by Cllr Harris; all at the meeting in favour.
15/27. Receipts and payments for year to date.
The Clerk presented a summary of receipts and payments for the year to 30 November. Income stands at £62,584.65 and expenditure is £66,808.82. Current bank balances are £30,000 in the Aldermore Bond, £11,395.14 in the Santander Savings Account and £15,091.76 in the Santander Current Account.
Taking into account VAT to be reclaimed (+£1,161.67) and uncashed cheques to be deducted (-£2533.72), this means the Council’s assets at the bank stand at £55,114.85. However, £30,000 of this cannot be accessed before April 2016 and a further £19,500 is needed for expenditure this year. That leaves a contingency fund of around £5,600 and the committee agreed that this figure should be maintained at closer to £10,000 in future years.
15/28. Scale of charges for 2016/17.
The committee then discussed the Council’s scale of charges for the coming year and made the following decisions:
• Cemetery charges will increase by 1% (to the nearest round figure).
• The charge for the Fair to hire the Recreation Ground for six nights will increase to £300.
• Following the recommendation of the Environment Committee, the charges for allotments will increase to £25 for a full plot (£15 for concessions) and £12.50 for a half plot (£7.50 for concessions).
• The hiring fee for the Recreation Hall will be reduced to £30 per half day and £15 for an evening. This is to encourage additional bookings and will be reviewed after one year.
• Fees for the Football Club will remain unchanged.
These charges were approved on a proposal from Cllr Harris, seconded by Cllr Walton; all at the meeting in favour.
15/29. 2016/17 precept.
The Clerk introduced a set of calculations to help predict the 2016/17 general running costs for the Council. These come to £36,633. Taking into account the precept (previously £32,000) and income from cemeteries, allotments and the Recreation Ground, this means the Council is just about breaking even. However, these figures make no allowance for additional projects, maintenance of buildings etc.
The Committee then discussed funding requests for additional work from the Environment and Recreation Committees. The following items were proposed to go forward as part of the precept bid:
- New fence for allotments – £100
- Cleaning and decoration of the Old Chapel – £2,500
- Re-plastering and re-pointing at the Old Chapel – £1,000
- Clearance of the compost area at the Old Chapel – £868
- A temporary camera to monitor the compost area and prevent fly-tipping – £100
- Upgrade for the sensor lighting at the Old Chapel – £300
- Additional litter bins – £500
Total – £5368
15/29. 2016/17 precept (continued).
- Paint for the Recreation Hall – £500
- Storage improvements for Football Club equipment – £2,000
- Access controls for Recreation Ground – £2,500
- Rolling of the senior football pitch and improvements to goal mouth – £500
Total – £5,500
Following discussions it was agreed that the Recreation Hall floor could wait until 2017 and the need for security cameras at the Recreation Ground would lessen as a result of improvements to lighting and access controls.
Cllr Brady then explained the implications of Swindon Borough Council looking to place some services with Parish Councils. The proposal is that Councils will received 100% of the funding for these services in year one, 50% in year two, 25% in year three and no additional funding in year four. If the Council goes down this route it will, therefore, be necessary to gradually increase the precept over the next four years to ensure sustainability of services.
A number of approaches are currently being considered, including independent service provision, joining forces with Wanborough and/or Liddington, or sub-contracting via Wroughton. Cllr Brady will pull together a small team of Councillors to look at the different financial models and put forward the best approach.
15/30. Any other business.
The Clerk asked if the Planning Committee was likely to need additional funding for 2016/17 and it was agreed that £3,000 should be allocated in case it proves necessary to hire a planning consultant at some stage.
It was also agreed that £200 should be set aside as a training budget for the new Clerk.
The meeting closed at 8.40pm.
Date of next meeting: TBC
Cllr Brady 15/29 Bring together a small group to look at the implications of/models for Parishing
Cllr Costigan 15/29 Ensure the 2016/17 precept form is submitted by 29 January 2016
Clerk 15/25 Contact the Bobby Van Trust