Policy & Resources 7th December 2021

MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 7th DECEMBER 2021

PRESENT: Cllrs. Beck (in the Chair), Fletcher, Gilbert, Kings and Smith.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Hatcher and Warne.

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.

67/21: Internal finance check:

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

68/21: Authorisation of payments made after the November meeting:

A list of payments totalling £13,671.75 made after the November meeting, is filed with these minutes.

69/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:

The transfer of £100,000 from the Lloyds account to Unity Trust as agreed at Full Council in November had been completed.

70/21: Invoices for Payment:

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

These included:

Policy and Resources                         £12,182.04

Properties & Burial Grounds              £1,162.36

Environmental Management             £17,800.00

      Total          £31,144.40

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

71/21: Audit Report:

The Chair highlighted the report that had been circulated prior to the meeting. There are no new issues raised.

72/21: Five Year Plan and Budget – Policy & Resources and General Funds:

Members discussed the working budgets and Five-Year Plan which had been prepared by the Clerk and Cllr. Beck. The proposed Policy & Resources total being £279,906.

Cllr. Beck highlighted:

Community Facility Fund      £52,000

Parish Cake                             £6000

Public Toilets                         £5000

Cllr. Gilbert enquired if any reassurance had been received that deliver issues affecting the previous edition of The Cake won’t happen again. Cllr. Fletcher responded that there is no reassurance. Royal Mail had rejected responsibility for the issue. Coffee Shop Media are using an alternative company for delivering the winter edition.

As the tax base has increased by just under 60, the proposed increase in the precept is an extra £4.99 per year on a Band D property.

Cllr. Beck proposed adoption of the 5-year plan and budgets, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed.

73/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Gilbert reported that the Cranbrook Community and Medical Centre continues to gain traction. The parish council’s project manager is in discussion with the project manager representing the GPs.

Cllr. Smith reported that TWBC planning had insisted that Fernham Homes provide mitigation for dormice within their plans at Sissinghurst as there is currently scrubland between the tennis club and the hall that will be lost. Fernham have contacted Cllr. Smith with a proposal to provide alternative dormice habitat within the Jubilee Field, behind the swings. Fernham propose including educational boards, and managing the scrub as part of the management contract for the estate. Cllr. Smith undertook to share the communication from Fernham Homes to the committee, and suggested that, at the appropriate time, the Jubilee Trust should meet to fully discuss.

74/21: KALC Awards:

The Clerk advised that the 2022 KALC Community Awards Scheme had been launched.

Cllr. Beck proposed the scheme be adopted, seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

Cllr. Bunyan had put forward two names. Both nominees were worthy recipients. It was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed that Peter Allen, who is retiring from CCAAC after 40 yrs service, receive the parish council nomination.

75/21: Website Redesign and Ongoing IT Support:

Cllr. Hatcher had provided a statement for Cllr. Fletcher to present to the committee in his absence. He had reviewed the quotes and website examples provided by the two companies he had engaged with. Both companies’ offerings were very comparable, however, he recommended moving forward with Uprise. This was proposed by Cllr. Fletcher, seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed.

76/21: Staffing:

The Clerks salaries for 2022/23 were discussed. It was proposed by Cllr. Beck, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed to approve the annual incremental pay increase, as per the conditions of their contracts. The Clerk remains on SCP 32 as this is the top of the scale for this council’s profile. The deputy Clerks move to SCP 26 and 24 respectively. The calculations for budget purposes also include the proposed 1.75% NJC National Pay Award which is applicable from 01.4.21. It also includes increase in the caretaker’s wages in line with minimum wage increases.

77/21: Grant Applications:

a) Messy Church Hall Hire – A request had been received for waivered hall hire fees.  It was proposed by Cllr. Smith, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed that a charge of £10 would be levied to contribute towards heating and cleaning costs.

b) Citizens Advice had requested funding to continue the charities work in the region. Cllr. Beck proposed £1000.00, seconded by Cllr. Smith and agreed.

c) Wellbeing in the Weald had requested reduced hall hire fees for an event taking place in December for people in the parish who will be spending much of the Christmas period alone. It was proposed by Cllr. Smith, seconded by Cllr. Gilbert and agreed that on this occasion a charge of £10 would be levied to contribute towards heating and cleaning costs. Councillors suggested that Wellbeing in the Weald might consider asking their attendees for donations towards activities.

d) Town Market – Purchase of Christmas Decorations – The application was withdrawn by the applicant as no costings had been received prior to the meeting.

78/21: Items for Information:

None

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