MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY 10th JUNE 2021
PRESENT: Cllrs. Fletcher (in the Chair), Fairweather, Gilbert, Smith and Warne.
APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Beck and Hatcher.
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.
1/21: Internal finance check:
Cllr. Fletcher confirmed the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.
2/21: Authorisation of payments made after the May meeting:
A list of payments totalling £26,087.83 made after the May meeting, is filed with these minutes.
3/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:
The transfer of £125,000 from the Lloyds account to Unity Trust as agreed at Full Council in May had been completed.
4/21: Invoices for Payment:
This item had been deferred to Full Council for approval.
5/21: Internal Audit Report:
All members had received a copy of the Internal Audit Report completed by KCC. The Clerk confirmed that Issue 2 had already been rectified. The microwave and mini fridge for the Parish Office were added to the asset list with a purchase cost of £89.00 and £99.99 respectively.
Issue 1 referred to a risk assessment of cyber security crime and the development of a Business Continuity Plan. The Clerk explained that she was looking into training opportunities in respect of cyber crime and she had asked the internal auditor to provide some guidance as to what she felt should be included in a Business Continuity Plan. Cllr. Smith stated that he had received some training on cyber awareness at work recently and found it extremely useful. He would forward the details of the provider to the Clerk. It was suggested that all members would benefit from a training session.
6/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:
Cllr. Fletcher advised that until the GPs can tell us what they want it is very difficult to move forward with the project. He had been told that West Kent CCG see Cranbrook as one of the most important projects they need to get off the ground due to the impending retirement of the doctors in the Town.
7/21: Purchase of Microsoft Publisher Software:
It was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Warne and agreed to purchase Microsoft Publisher software for one of the office computers at a cost of £125 to assist with the design of posters and promotional material.
The Clerk confirmed that Deputy Clerk, Mrs Bezuidenhout had passed her Introduction to Local Council Administration (ILCA)and was now ready to progress to the Certificate in Local Council Administration (CiLCA). Cllr. Fletcher proposed that her registration at a cost of £410 plus any costs associated with relevant training and courses be approved. This was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.
9/21: Wellbeing in the Weald:
a) Office space:
Cllr. Fletcher reminded members that in April 2019, the Council had given permission for a Wellbeing in the Weald Social Prescriber to use the Addison Room for a couple of hours each week. A renewed request for their administrator to use the space for admin work and the possibility of meeting people that may benefit from their activities between 9-12 on a Tuesday or Wednesday had been received. Members discussed the request fully but felt as we now have an additional member of staff, there was less available space to offer. It was proposed by Cllr. Gilbert, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to offer the Council Chamber as an alternative as soon as all restrictions have been lifted and the facilities are subject to a normal cleaning regime. This would initially be free of charge and reviewed after three months.
b) Vestry Hall use:
A request had been received for use of the Vestry Hall for a weekly Welcome Drop-in starting in the autumn. It would offer friendship, tea and cake and maybe games and craft activities. It was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher and seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed that although the Council support the organisations aims, we are unable to offer the facility completely free of charge, but would be happy to accommodate the request at the current subsidised parishioner rate.
10/21: Grant Applications:
a) An application had been received from Cranbrook Apple Fair requesting £3,000 towards the cost of entertainment, insurance, printing of posters and a sound system. Cllr. Fletcher stated that if the Council are to support these organisations and events then we will need to use some of our cash reserves, which Members would need to approve. Organisations need to be made aware that any receiving funding for events this year, would need to use any profits they get to support their events in subsequent years. Cllr. Hatcher had offered to liaise between the organisers to see if any of the costs for services or equipment could be shared. Members agreed to defer the decision of awarding the grant until Cllr. Hatcher had spoken to the relevant parties.
b) West Kent Neighbourhood Watch Association had requested a contribution to keep the organisation running. It was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Fairweather and agreed to offer a contribution of £100 on the proviso that the Editor of The Cake could write an article to encourage more volunteers to come forward, thus making the organisation more effective.
11/21: Items for Information:
Cllr. Fletcher advised the Vice Chairman of this Committee would be elected at the next meeting.