MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 6th JUNE 2023
PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fairweather, Fletcher and Hatcher.
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Gilbert.
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.
1/23: Election of Committee Vice Chairman:
Cllr. Pethurst proposed Cllr. Bunyan be elected as Vice Chairman of the Committee; this was seconded by Cllr. Fairweather and agreed.
2/23: Internal finance check:
Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order, all paperwork had been signed and initialled.
3/23: Authorisation of payments made after the May meeting:
A list of payments totalling £17,370.75 made after the April meeting, is filed with these minutes. Cllr. Fletcher queried where the revenue from the E.V points is documented. The Clerk advised any income is listed in a receipts report, which is run off each month. It can also be seen in the summary of cost codes provided to every councillor each month.
4/23: Transfers of monies between accounts:
No transfers had been necessary.
5/23: Invoices for Payment:
A list of payments to be made in June had been circulated, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. Cllr. Pethurst proposed the payments be approved as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Hatcher and agreed.
Policy and Resources £25,410.64
Properties & Burial Grounds £ 1,515.00
Environmental Management £ 6,439.39
General Funding £ 2,250.00
Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments.
6/23: End of Year KCC Internal Audit Report:
The report had been circulated to all Members. No new issues had been raised. No further comments were necessary.
7/23: Quote for Cyber Insurance:
A lack of cyber insurance had been raised as an issue by KCC in a previous internal audit. This is still under review. The Clerk advised she had spoken to other Clerks in the Borough, none of which had separate cyber insurance, however, it was not raised as a concern by their internal auditors. We had received one quote from a specialist insurer, but due to the claim we made several years ago, their conditions of cover and cost of the premium was fairly high.
A further quote had been obtained, although it would require some tweaking, to ensure it would be suitable for a Parish Council. Cllr. Hatcher offered to examine the new quote and report back at the next meeting.
8/23: Utility Aid Complaint – Update:
The Clerk reported that the Energy Ombudsman had dismissed our complaint against Utility Aid, which was disappointing news. The Clerk was awaiting a phone call from the Ombudsman with feedback on how the decision had been reached and would report back to the Committee at the next meeting.
9/23: Tree Safety Report:
A quote to undertake a Tree Safety Report had been received from The Living Forest at £880 + VAT to cover all the sites the Parish Council are responsible for. We had been advised that the optimum time to carry out the survey would be around October time. Cllr. Fairweather proposed the quote be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.
10/23: E.V Charge Points Update:
The Clerk advised there was still issues with the administration of the account with B.P Pulse. They were not providing the information we require to produce an invoice for reimbursement. Cllr. Pethurst offered to take on the responsibility of liaising with B.P Pulse to resolve the issues.
11/23: Community Centres/Medical Centre:
Cllr. Fletcher advised there was no further update at the current time.
Members raised concern at the lack of movement on the demolition of the Tanyard Dental Surgery. An application to the Building Control dept. at TWBC had been submitted. Cllr. Bunyan believes that we do not need to wait for them to respond we can just go ahead and inform them we are going to demolish the building on Health and Safety grounds. The Clerk advised we are still waiting for South East Water to disconnect the water supply. Members suggested we get a local plumber to cap the supply at ground level with full disconnection to be undertaken at a later date. Cllr. Fletcher agreed to obtain contact details of a local South East Water engineer, who may be able to help us navigate this process more quickly.
No issues were raised.
13/23: Grant Applications:
We had received one application from the Cranbrook Apple Fair, however, there was insufficient time for Members to look in depth at the application. The applicant had been told that it would be considered at the next meeting in July. Members had a brief discussion to decide what further information they may need before they can consider the application. They agreed they would like more detail on the expenditure detailed on the latest bank statement and suggested it may be worth looking into covering the cost of a specific item rather than providing a monetary grant? The Clerk would circulate the application as soon as possible so the Committee can raise any other questions before they consider a response in July.
14/23: Items for Information:
Cllr. Fletcher advised he intended to submit a bid to TWBC Community Grants to purchase benches to commemorate the King’s Coronation. He had received a quote of £1600 for four heavy duty recycled plastic benches, similar to the one recently installed in the Regal Car Park, three of which would be sited on the Ball Field and one in Sissinghurst. He would also include the purchase of two wooden benches at £500 each and the cost of installing all the benches.