MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 11th OCTOBER 2022
PRESENT: Cllr. Pethurst (in the Chair), Cllrs. Bunyan, Fletcher, Gilbert, Hatcher and Kings.
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.
47/22: Internal finance check:
Cllr. Pethurst confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.
48/22: Authorisation of payments made after the September meeting:
A list of payments totalling £16,890.36 made after the September meeting, is filed with these minutes.
Cllr. Bunyan referred to the cost of the energy for the electric vehicle points in Jockey Lane and queried if the costs were being covered? The Clerk confirmed that they were being subsidised at the current time. She explained that understanding how the project is supposed to work is complicated as there has been a change in the original company and how invoices are processed. We had also been informed that we could not increase the amount per kWh p/h to 55p as the points are listed on the public network. Cllr. Fletcher believed we could amend the amount charged ourselves, he would come into the office tomorrow to show the Clerks how to do it. The Clerk advised we have requested a face-to-face meeting with a Business Manager from BP Pulse to answer the numerous concerns and queries that have arisen.
49/22: Transfers of monies between accounts:
The Clerk confirmed none had been made this month.
50/22: Invoices for Payment:
A list of payments to be made in October had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. It was proposed by Cllr. Pethurst seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed to approve the payments as presented.
Policy and Resources £7,345.00
Properties & Burial Grounds £ 891.41
Environmental Management £ 741.06
Cllr. Fletcher raised concern at the level of support being given by Uprise Digital and if there was a timescale for the new website to be developed? Cllr. Hatcher agreed to speak to the Clerks regarding the support issues that he could raise with the tech company. He would also chase for a timescale to implement the new website.
Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.
51/22: BT Telephone Contract:
The current business package with BT for our telephone and broadband contract had expired. B.T. had provided a new proposal which had been circulated to the Committee. The analogue system we use at the moment will eventually be discontinued, therefore the proposal is for a voice over the internet system (Cloud Voice). The contract will be for a period of five years and provides a small monthly saving on what we currently pay. Cllr. Fletcher proposed the contract be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.
52/22: Editor Vacancy The Cake – Update:
Cllr. Somers has agreed to take on the role of Editor for the parish magazine. Cllrs. Fletcher and Somers and Tally Wade will co-edit the next edition. All the Committee Members have agreed to write articles on different subjects, for the Winter edition.
53/22: Budget for King Charles III Coronation:
Members discussed several ideas including installing a beacon, although due to the time of year the coronation will take place, Members were not sure it would be appropriate as it would be lit during daylight hours and not that visible? Cllr. Fletcher felt that we should ask the creative folk in the community to come up with ideas on how to celebrate the coronation? It was seen as a good opportunity to get the community involved. The Clerk was not aware as yet, of any grants that were available.
54/22: Update on Five Year Plans development:
Costs and energy saving:
Cllr. Hatcher advised that the renamed Community Development Committee, that he chaired had discussed the reassigning of certain cost codes in preparation of budget discussions.
Cllr. Kings advised the Environmental Management Committee were looking at fully costing certain projects to bid for S106 monies.
Cllr. Fletcher was keen to look into secondary double glazing for the Vestry Hall. He believes there maybe some remaining EU funds available from Locase, to spend on green initiatives. Members agreed that Cllr. Fletcher should be given the mandate to apply for any funding available on behalf of the Parish Council.
55/22: Community Centres/Medical Centre:
Cllr. Gilbert reported that at a recent meeting, the board members agreed to move forward with the recommendations presented in the Procurement Report. The four companies shortlisted on the KCC Procurement Framework will be approached to tender for the contract.
Pay award for Deputy Clerk – CiLCA
The Clerk was very pleased to announce the Deputy Clerk had attained her CiLCA qualification. As per the conditions of her contract, she would receive an increment rise of one spinal point to SCP 25 from 1st October.
57/22: Grant Awarding Policy:
As part of her CiLCA qualification, the Deputy Clerk had revised our current Grant Awarding Policy. Members had been circulated an amended draft policy and a new draft application form. An evaluation form had also been created, that all applicants would be required to complete within six months of the grant being awarded. The Committee agreed the draft documents went a long way to improving our current policy but would still like to make a few minor alterations. Cllrs. Pethurst and Fletcher agreed to make the revisions and present new drafts to the next meeting.
58/22: Grant Applications:
Dence & Weller
A request for £250 had been received from The Dence & Weller Charity to enable vouchers to be distributed to elderly parishioners of Cranbrook and Sissinghurst. Following a discussion on the application, Cllr. Hatcher proposed the grant be awarded in full, this was seconded by Cllr. Pethurst and agreed. Members agreed the award should be subject to clarification on how the recipients who receive vouchers, are chosen? The Charity may also be asked to include an invitation to the recipient, to come along to the Community Kitchen for soup and bread on Tuesday lunch times.
Cllr. Fletcher wanted to reiterate the Community Kitchen is not a soup kitchen for charitable purposes, it is a community event being held in a warm space.
59/22: Items for Information: Cllr. Hatcher advised he had been in discussion with Tunbridge Wells & District Citizens Advice Bureau and hoped to be in a position to give a full update on Thursday evening at the Full Council meeting.