Minutes of Finance Committee 27 March 2024

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF CHOPPINGTON PARISH COUNCIL FINANCE COMMITTEE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 27 MARCH 2024 IN THE PARISH COUNCIL OFFICES

THOSE ATTENDING:

Cllr H Allsopp

Cllr K Burn

Cllr J Foster

Cllr G Huntley

Cllr A Iley

Cllr J Rowell (Chair)

Cllr P S Vaughan

Cllr L Watson

 

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs A Brindley Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, Mr D Iley Finance Officer

AGENDA PART 1

F021/23         1.         APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

All committee members present

F022/23         2.         MEMBERS DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER REGISTERABLE INTEREST(S).

No declarations were made.

F023/23        3.         PUBLIC QUESTIONS.

There were no questions from the public

F024/23         4.         TO RECEIVE AND AGREE AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES  OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11 OCTOBER 2023

The minutes were agreed, and the Chairman was approved to sign them as correct

F025/23         5.         MATTERS ARISING

The Clerk advised that the credit card is yet to arrive.

 

Cllrs Allsopp, Foster, Huntley and Vaughan declared an interest and left the meeting

F026/23         6.         REVISION OF OFFICE ACCOMMODATION 

Members received the report of the independent rent valuation increasing the rent of the office accommodation provided by Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare, above the level anticipated in the 2024/25 budget.

Members considered options of

  1. cost of renting elsewhere including an example of rent for office and storage accommodation available out of area.
  2. purchasing accommodation in the area including re-modelling costs and monthly expenses
  • balancing the increase costs of rent with the benefits of the current arrangements that are particular to renting accommodation on this site.

Members agreed that in their current building the Council received far more than office accommodation for the cost of the rent.  In addition to the shared office accommodation on the first floor, the Council has shared access to the ground floor which comprises a larger meeting room and hall for public meetings and is supported by additional kitchen facilities; the external area includes car parking with 24-hour access and on-site storage facilities.  The building has full security cover including out of hours call out and included in the rent is full services to the first-floor accommodation, the cleaning and waste removal and all utilities; The situation of the offices is easily accessible on a main road and bus route and is in walking distance to the Stakeford Depot from which the NCC local services work.  Members were also mindful that this rental provides a regular income to a community organisation which supports the Council’s strategic objectives of providing community facilities, and opportunities for both older and younger persons.

RESOLVED:  Members agreed:

  1. To accept the recommendations of the independent rental valuation
  2. To increase the office budget 2024/25 to £15,000 fixed for 4 years.
  3. Authorised the Parish Clerk to sign a fixed period rental agreement with the Trustees of Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare.

On conclusion Cllrs Allsopp, Foster, Huntley and Vaughan returned to the meeting.

 F027/23         7.         FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE TO THE END OF FINAL QUARTER

The Parish Clerk/RFO presented the budget report to the end of February 2024 and anticipated out-turn for the end of the year.  Members were advised that included in cash received this year were  ringfenced payments against expenditure next year.

£20K grant towards Cleaswell Park and

£10,436 received from Cllr Foster towards interactive signage

 

Members noted that due to the pay award, the final payment to NCC will be 5% over budget.  The allotment costs over budget is related to the clearance of empty allotments and the removal of asbestos from the site.

Members received the list of payments made from the repair and replacement earmarked balance.  The Parish Clerk advised that still to pay from this fund is festive lighting of £4576 and installation of litter bins along Riverside Park of £5,000, branding for bus shelters (£1,000), spares for bus shelters (£4,000)

RESOLVED:  Members approved the expenditure and noted that the anticipated out-turn will be within budget, with any underspend moving into earmarked balances for Cleaswell Park.

There being no further business the meeting closed at 11 am

 Signed by the Chairman: …………………………………………….               Date:  …………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF CHOPPINGTON PARISH COUNCIL FINANCE COMMITTEE HELD ON WEDNESDAY 11 OCTOBER 2023 IN THE PARISH COUNCIL OFFICES

 

THOSE ATTENDING:

Cllr K Burn

Cllr A Iley

Cllr J Rowell (Chair)

Cllr P S Vaughan

Cllr L Watson

 

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs A Brindley Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, Mr D Iley Finance Officer

AGENDA PART 1

F010/23         1.         APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

The following apologies were received:  Cllr J Foster (County Council commitment), Cllr H Allsopp (out of the area) and Cllr G Huntley (illness). The meeting agreed that these were proper reasons for absence.

F011/23         2.         MEMBERS DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER REGISTERABLE INTEREST(S).

 No declarations were made.

F012/23        3.         PUBLIC QUESTIONS.

 There were no questions from the public

F013/23         4.         TO RECEIVE AND AGREE AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES  OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26TH JULY 2023

The minutes were agreed, and the Chairman was approved to sign them as correct

F014/23         5.         MATTERS ARISING

The Clerk advised that the equipment for Liddells field play area was still to be fitted.

F015/23         6.         MEMBERS AUDIT SCHEDULE FOR OCTOBER TO MARCH. 

The Parish Clerk/RFO advised that internal checks had been completed to date including bank reconciliations.  Cllr Rowell and Cllr Watson are to meet on Tuesday 17th to audit the September accounts.  The Clerk was asked to email each month for members availability to audit future accounts.

F016/23         7.         CHARGES UNDER THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ADDENDUM

 The PC/RFO reported the payments previously agreed under the MoU addendum.

Warm Hub refurbishment               £2671.45

Shared utility charges                     £1844.51

Shared lighting improvements       £4530.00

F017/23         8.         ON-LINE PAYMENTS

 Increasingly the Parish Council makes purchases on line requiring upfront payments.  Members are asked to approve the application for a Council credit card.

RESOLVED:  Approval was given for the application of a Council credit card and members requested that a procedure note is produced giving instructions for its use.

 F018/23         9.         FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE TO THE END OF THE FINANCIAL QUARTER.

 The Finance Officer reported on expenditure and income undertaken during the first 6 months.  Members were given explanations for exceptional variances.

RESOLVED:  Members noted the variances and thanked officers for the report.

 AGENDA – PART 2. 

Members considered under Standing Order 3, that in view of the special and confidential nature of the business to be transacted, it was advisable in the public interest that the press and public be excluded and asked to withdraw.

F019/23         10.       Members considered grant requests and made awards as

follows:

Snooker B team awarded         £100

Escape Family Support            £500

Wansbeck Christmas Appeal   £400

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 10.55am

 

Signed by the Chairman: …………………………………………….               Date:  …………………..

                                   

 

 

 

Agenda item 6                                                                                             Appendix One 

Revision of Office Rent 2024/25

1          Legal Implications

LGA 1972 S111 and  133

A local council has a general power to provide accommodation for the use as council offices and for public meetings

2          Cost Implications

The budget 2024/25 includes an uplift in anticipation of the review although the revision is higher than the budgeted sum.

3          Background

 In 2019 the Parish Council Offices were remodelled.  As a condition of the change, it was agreed that the rental income should be reviewed in no less than 5 years.  The welfare has recently undergone an independent insurance valuation (IIV) which included a separate rental valuation for the shared community and Parish Council space on the first floor.  The IIV and the associated fair rent assessment were undertaken by chartered surveyors who specialise in buildings such as the Welfare and who are known to the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation (CISWO) and the building’s insurer.

4          The accommodation at the Welfare is particular to the requirements of the Parish Council:  the Council has shared access to the ground floor which comprises a larger meeting room and hall for public meetings and is supported by additional kitchen facilities; the Welfare provides full services to the first floor accommodation, the cleaning and waste removal and all utilities; the shared external area includes car parking with 24 hour access and on site storage facilities.  The building has full security cover including out of hours call out.  The situation of the offices is easily accessible on a main road and bus route and is in walking distance to the Stakeford Depot from which the NCC local services work.  In addition, the Parish’s rental provides a regular income to an organisation which is considered fundamental to the Council’s strategic objectives of providing community facilities, and opportunities for both older and younger persons.

5          The open market rent assessment has expressed the opinion ‘that it would be reasonable to pay an annual rent of £15,000 (Fifteen Thousand Pounds).’

 6          Decision Required

  1. Members are to review the valuation and in consideration of the valuation, may make amendments to the budgeted rent for 2024/25, and
  2. Consider alternative actions.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Angela Brindley

                                                                                                                                                                                  Parish Clerk/RFO

                                                                                                                                                                                  20 March 2024

 

Agenda item 7                     Financial Performance                             Appendix Two

Income and Expenditure by Budget as at end February 2024
Income%
BudgetActualVarianceResource spentNote
Precept435,889435,8990100
Partnership8,03039,049-31,0194861
interest89612,875-11,9791,4362
Neighbourhood plan6,00006,0000
Misc income011,880-11,80003
Total450,815499,703-48,798
Expenditure
Staffing costs175,299156,10219,19789
Office Costs13,93413,8389699
Members Costs10,9065,7165,19052
Fees And Charges18,32812,5485,78069
Contingencies/mis exp17,5009,6477,85355
Contracts4,9005,314-414108
Local Service Delivery83,07387,000-3,9271044
Allotment Expenses1,2502,914-1,6642335
Community Services9,4433,1726,27134
Grants and donations9,0001,2507,750146
Sport in the community20,86018,0242,83686
Youth Provision13,2506,4016,84948
Total
Earmarked projects73,07253,94319,1297
450,815375,86974,946
Note
1Includes Cllr Foster MLIS funding for interactive signs £10,436
includes £20K grant towards Cleaswell project
2Interest from savings account increased year on year
3insurance claim for bus shelter
4included in total but not paid CPC advised NCC of this payment which will be paid by end March in mth12
5Allotment water expenses have increased
6Budget includes £6000 for neighbourhood planning
7payment out of earmarked balances year to date