MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 9th NOVEMBER 2021
PRESENT: Cllrs. Beck (in the Chair), Fletcher, Gilbert, Hatcher, Kings and Warne.
APOLOGIES: Cllr. Smith.
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.
56/21: Internal finance check:
Cllr. Beck confirmed that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.
57/21: Authorisation of payments made after the October meeting:
A list of payments totalling £15,641.51 made after the October meeting, is filed with these minutes.
58/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:
Members agreed to transfer £100K from the Lloyds Current Account to the Unity Trust Account, to allow for the majority of payments to continue to be made electronically.
59/21: Invoices for Payment:
A list of payments to be made in November had been circulated for approval, a copy of which is filed with these minutes. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to approve the payments as presented.
Policy and Resources £6,359.31
Properties & Burial Grounds £1,314.15
Environmental Management £3,160.34
Two members are required to log in to the account and authorise the payments following adoption of the minutes on Thursday evening.
60/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:
Cllr. Gilbert reported that following the GPs visit to the Southborough Hub, they were suitably impressed and re-energised. Dr. Karthika is taking the lead for the Cranbrook GPs and is working on the room sizes needed. It is hoped that Jonathan White will be provided with the specification by the end of December which will give him the opportunity to rerun the figures. In response to Cllr. Kings question as to whether the internal walls will be made mobile, to allow for changes in room sizes, Cllr. Gilbert advised we will need to see what the architects come up with. He is also keen to see how they will utilise the natural gradient of the site. An article documenting progress has been written for The Cake and will be circulated to all councillors.
Cllr. Fletcher referred to the area at the top of the Regal Car Park, adjacent to the Crane Valley, TWBC previously leased from the Co-Op, stating it would benefit from being assessed by landscape architects to see how the entire public space can be improved.
61/21: Cyber Insurance Renewal:
The Clerk advised we had not been able to secure a renewal quote with our current insurers following the claim made last year. There may be several steps needed to further improve our security, before seeking a quote elsewhere. Cllr. Hatcher will add the additional requirement to the specification sent to IT and website support companies that have already been invited to quote for their services. The Clerk also agreed to ask other clerks how they approach cyber security. Cllr. Warne suggested contacting Chris Woodward, Head of ICT at Mid Kent Services for advice.
62/21: British Gas contract – Vestry Hall:
We had been approached by the Energy Bureau, an organisation which provides quotes for energy contracts, to fix a contract for the Vestry Hall gas supply. We remain in contract with British Gas until March 2022. Members were advised of the current options available to fix a contract and as none were deemed favourable, it was agreed not to take any action at the present time.
63/21: Contain Outbreak Management Fund Application:
The Clerk advised we had received an invitation from Kent County Council to submit a grant application to cover some of the additional costs we incurred in preventing or containing the spread of COVID 19. Our application includes the costs incurred in setting up the dedicated phone line for Covid enquiries, PPE and the utility bills for the hall when it was used as a Covid testing station. Cllr. Fletcher suggested adding the cost of setting up the zoom account. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to submit an application totalling £4,775.28 for consideration.
64/21: Scribe Online Booking Software:
The Clerk advised we had received an online demonstration of the Scribe Booking System, which works alongside their accounting package. Members were advised of the costs involved and the benefits derived. The Deputy Clerk had already created a shared Outlook calendar, which will help manage the diary bookings for the hall, therefore Members agreed that the package was not necessary at the current time, however, it could be considered in the future especially when the new community centre is in use.
No issues were raised.
66/21: Items for Information:
a) Cllr. Gilbert advised Members that following a recent Properties and Burial Grounds meeting, a specification for recommissioning the toilets in Crane Lane was being prepared. He asked for suggestions on who we could invite to quote for the work needed.
b) Cllr. Hatcher gave an update as a member of Helen Grant’s Action Group against the Closure of HWA. The target for the Go Fund Me page, set up to help with legal costs had been reached. There had also been an appeal lodged against the decision for Legal Aid which had been successful, therefore all the money raised from the Go Fund Me page would be held in reserve.
c) Cllr. Warne advised that the draft Regulation 16 version of the NDP had been submitted to TWBC, who had responded with 219 comments. She has asked the Steering Group if they would like an informal meeting to discuss the NDP going forward.
d) Cllr. Warne advised that following her action to highlight the tree felling in the ancient orchard, Freight Lane, a TPO had been placed on all of the remaining trees on the site by TWBC. A member of the public has also alerted her to tree felling in ancient woodland in Bishops Lane, which is being investigated by the Borough.