P & R March 2022

MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 8th MARCH 2022

PRESENT: Cllrs. Fletcher (in the Chair), Bunyan, Gilbert, Hatcher and Pethurst.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Beck and Kings

Declaration of Interests, Dispensations and Predetermination:

Members are required to declare any interests, dispensations or predetermination on items on this agenda in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct. Members are reminded that changes to the Register of Interests should be notified to the Clerk.

Cllr. Pethurst declared a personal interest on item 109/21 (a) as he is a committee member at the Museum. 

100/21: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Beck had confirmed to the Clerk prior to the meeting that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.

101/21: Authorisation of payments made after the February meeting:

A list of payments totalling £11,899.61 made after the February meeting, is filed with these minutes.

102/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:

£125,000 would be transferred from the Lloyds account to Unity Trust before the end of the financial year.

103/21: Invoices for Payment:

A list of payments to be made in March had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed to approve the payments as presented.

These included:

            Policy and Resources                          £12,936.37

Properties & Burial Grounds              £  2,177.74

Environmental Management               £     983.70

Transfer of Reserves                           £  1,800.00

      Total         £17,897.81

Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.

104/21: Approval to replenish petty cash and make payments relating to this financial year before 31st March 2022:

It was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to replenish the petty cash to £250 as stipulated in our Financial Regulations for the beginning of the next financial year. Approval was also given to pay any contractual obligations relating to this financial year before 31st March 2022.

105/21: KCC Audit Plan 2022/23 for approval:

The proposed audit programme for 2022/23 had been received from our Internal Auditor, Kent County Council and circulated to Members. Cllr. Fletcher proposed the plan be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed. Members noted the cost per visit is estimated at £526.50 + VAT.

106/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert reported the CCG had confirmed the square meterage required for the Medical Centre. The specification still required signing off by the relevant parties and the revision of costs undertaken. Three quotes had now been received for geotechnical testing of the site.

107/21: Renewal of British Gas Energy Plan:

We had received an invitation to renew our energy plan with British Gas at the end of January. They had offered options for fixing for 1,2 or 3 years. The assumption is they will honour this if we respond by 31st March 2022 as stipulated in the invitation. The Clerk would check this with the supplier. If we accepted the 3 year offer this would still see our expenditure for heating the Vestry Hall and Parish Office increase from £2,934 (April 21- Feb 22) to approximately £8,597 for the period Apr 22 – 23 based on estimated annual consumption. Members discussed how this would impact the budget and possibly effect bookings. Serious consideration needs to be given to what improvements we can make to better insulate the building and possibly reduce energy consumption. It was agreed to recommend to Full Council on Thursday that we request a renewal of a fixed 3 year price of £1.37pence per day standing charge and 14.1 pence p/kWh. The Clerk would check when the current electricity contract expires.

108/21: Staffing:

The Clerk had been informed that the Nation Joint Council for Local Government Services (NJC) has agreed the new rates of pay applicable from 1st April 2021. Councils are encouraged to implement the pay award including back pay as swiftly as possible.

109/21: Grant Applications:

a) Cranbrook Museum

A request had been received seeking £500 towards a total project cost of £750 to help with advertising. Cllr. Hatcher proposed the full amount requested be awarded, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

b) Colliers Green Primary School PTFA:

An application had been received seeking £1,000 towards a project to purchase iPads for their students. Although a worthy project, members agreed they would be unable to support the request at the current time, but wished the PTFA well with their fundraising efforts.

c) 1st Cranbrook Rainbows and Brownies:

A request for £300 had been received to support the groups continual presence in the Town.

It was proposed by Cllr. Pethurst, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to award the request in full.

110/21: Items for Information:

a)  Cllr. Gilbert reported that the inaugural meeting of the Men’s Shed Group would be held on the 21st March at 10am in the Coach House, Cranbrook School.

b) Cllr. Hatcher reported he had attended a zoom meeting for ‘Crowd Fund Kent’ a Kent County Council project to fund community projects up to 50% of the project cost and up to a maximum value of £20,000. He would give a full report on Thursday at Full Council.

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