P&R 10th May 2022

MINUTES OF THE POLICY & RESOURCES COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 10th MAY 2022

PRESENT: Cllrs. Fletcher (in the Chair), Bunyan, Hatcher, Kings and Pethurst.

APOLOGIES: Cllrs. Beck and 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.

122/21: Internal finance check:

Cllr. Beck had signed the bank reconciliation to confirm that the internal finance check had been completed and everything was in order.

123/21: Authorisation of payments made after the April meeting:

A list of payments totalling £15,336.54 made after the April meeting, is filed with these minutes.

124/21: Transfers of monies between accounts:

The Clerk confirmed no transfers had been necessary.

125/21: Invoices for Payment:

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

These included:

            Policy and Resources                          £10,440.02

Properties & Burial Grounds              £  3,445.79

Environmental Management               £  1,616.40

      Total          £15,502.21

In response to Cllr. Bunyan, the Clerk confirmed the invoice from EDF for the electricity supply in Vestry Hall covered the preceding quarterly period.

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

126/21: Year End Figures and Earmarked Funds:

Members had been circulated a Balance Sheet, Income and Expenditure Report and a copy of the Earmarked Funds held on 31st March 2022. Cllr. Fletcher suggested amending one of the descriptions listed, to clarify it is earmarked for Car Parks. The full list of Earmarked Funds and the General Fund Balance as of the 31st March 2022 will be circulated to all Members with these minutes. Cllr Hatcher asked if the cost code allocated to grants could be moved to Policy & Resources, as this is where the grants are decided? The Clerk explained that to change the allocation of a cost code, although possible, would complicate searching historical transactions under a previous cost code. She also confirmed addition cost codes could be generated for the Economic & Community Committee when their budget is discussed later in the year.

127/21: Insurance Renewal:

A renewal quote totalling £10,309.35 had been received. The Clerk reminded the Committee that the Council chose to set up a three-year binding Long Term Agreement with Hiscox Insurance Company Limited which expires on 31st May 2024. If we choose to remove ourselves from the agreement early, we would be liable to repay any discount secured on the previous year’s premium. On studying the policy schedule the Clerk had raised an issue with the sums assured for the properties covered. She had been assured the sums assured had been updated following the valuations we had undertaken last year as part of an insurance review. Cllr. Fletcher reported that the public toilets had been included for Public Liability, although the fabric of the building would not be insured. Cllr. Kings proposed the renewal invitation be accepted as presented, this was seconded by Cllr. Fletcher and agreed.

It was also agreed to review the Council’s broker arrangements, or possibly search for direct quotes from insurance companies when the current agreement expires.

128/21: Request to use material from the Cranbrook & Sissinghurst NDP:

The Chairman had received an email from Nancy Warne. She was requesting permission to use draft material prepared by AECOM, but subsequently not used, for our Neighbourhood Plan, to illustrate a case study for an internal training session with her team at Natural England.

Cllr. Fletcher proposed the request be granted; this was seconded by Cllr. Pethurst and agreed.

129/21: Community Centres/Medical Centre:

Cllr. Fletcher confirmed the ground work investigations had begun. Several samples need to be collected over a period of time, before a report can be produced.

Cllr. Hatcher reported he had recently spoken to the Deputy Mayor of Southborough Town Council who offered to speak to us about their recent experience.

130/21: Staffing:

No issues were raised.

131/21: Grant Applications:

Concerns were voiced that some applicants were not putting enough effort into raising funds for events themselves and it was felt this needed a wider discussion.

a) Cranbrook Apple Fair:

Stuart Cleary had attended the meeting to ascertain the process of applying for a grant. He gave a brief history of the Apple Fair and how it had been funded previously.

He outlined the plans for the event this year and it was suggested he submit a revised grant application for consideration at the Policy & Resources meeting in June.

b) Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations:

Cranbrook – A request for £1,491.02 to finance the event had been received. Members agreed that the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was a momentous occasion that should be supported. It was proposed by Cllr. Hatcher, seconded by Cllr. Kings and agreed to award the grant in full.

Sissinghurst – A request for £413.00 had been received. This was to cover the cost of a live band, insurance and advertising. Cllr. Hatcher proposed the grant be awarded in full, this was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

c) Kent Victim Support

An email had been received from the independent charity requesting a financial donation.

Their primary funding comes from the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner but they are aiming to raise additional income to further expand and improve their service. They are based in Ashford, their service dedicated to residents in Kent and Medway who have been affected by crime. Members discussed the application. Cllr. Pethurst proposed that the application should not be supported, primarily as the vast service area was not sufficiently specific to our Parish and did not fit the criteria in our Grant Awarding Policy. This was seconded by Cllr. Bunyan and agreed.

132/21: Items for Information:

a) Cllr. Fletcher offered congratulations to Cllr. Hatcher on the votes he had garnered in the recent Borough Election. Although not successful in being elected, he had done very well.

b) Cllr. Hatcher reported the meeting he had arranged with the Citizen Advice Bureau to discuss a possible location for the service in Cranbrook, had been cancelled at the last minute.  He hoped it could be rescheduled soon.

c) Cllr. Kings suggested that the food wastage from Cranbrook School could be utilised by the Community Kitchen if the logistical practicalities can be overcome.

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