HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: All Members of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee (Ian Weir, Kate Bailey, Carolyn Barton, Claire Tester, David Bunting and Dan Sewell) with copies to all other Councillors for information.
A meeting of the POLICY RESOURCES & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE will be held on THURSDAY 30 March at 7.30pm 2023 at 7.30 pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk 22 March 2023
1. To Accept Apologies For Absence.
2. MINUTES to accept the Minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 29 November 2022. (Previously Circulated).
3. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION.
4. Standing Orders/Financial Regulations Review.
The Council is required to review its Standing Orders and Financial Regulations periodically. It was identified in the recent internal audit that the Council should consider reviewing its Standing Orders alongside the current National Association Local Councils model documents published in April 2022.
The attached paper (Appendix 1) sets out the proposed updates/changes to the Councils current regulations (based on the NALC model documents) which for ease have been incorporated in tables within the Councils current Standing Order/Financial Regulations documents, in addition a summarised list detailing proposed changes is set out in Appendix 2.
To view Appendix 1 please click here.
To view Appendix 2 please click here.
These documents are from the governance framework which the Council operates therefore members are requested to consider the proposed changes prior to referral to full council for formal adoption.
5. Banking Signatories – the Council currently has four designated bank signatories (3 Councillors and the Clerk) however with the current elections forthcoming and some of the signatories unlikely to re-stand it would seem prudent to revisit this if possible in advance of the forthcoming election to ensure the Council maintain resilience during this period of change.
It’s anticipated that if the forthcoming election follows previous trends then it’s likely to be uncontested, therefore nominations will need to be sought from those members who intend to stand as a Councillor for the forthcoming term. It’s understood that identification checks undertaken by the bank can now be completed in person or on-line so should enable a smoother transition to add additional signatories.
Member’s views are sought to this approach.
6. Communications (verbal update).
7. Annual Parish Meeting – the Council is requested to consider what format they would like the Annual Parish meeting to take this year and indicate when they would like to hold this meeting.
URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.
9. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 18 April 2023.
Exclusion of Public and Press In view of the confidential nature of the business about to be transacted Councillors will be referred to the Confidential agenda. If any members of the public or press are present they will be requested to withdraw from the meeting.
10. MINUTES to accept the confidential Minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 29 November 2022. (Previously Circulated).
11. Staffing Matters
All members of the public are welcome to attend meetings of the Parish Council and its Committees.
Item 5 – a period of 15 minutes will be set aside for the public statements and questions relating to the published non-confidential business of the Meeting. It may be necessary to consider particular items in confidential session and where this arises, these items will be considered at the end of the agenda.
FILMING, RECORDING OF COUNCIL MEETINGS AND USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
During this meeting members of the public may film or record the Committee and officers from the public area only providing it does not disrupt the meeting. The Confidential section of the meeting may not be filmed or recorded. If a member of the public objects to being recorded, the person(s) filming must stop doing so until that member of the public has finished speaking. The use of social media is permitted but members of the public are requested to switch their mobile devices to silent for the duration of the meeting.
HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
Minutes of the meeting of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 30th March 2023 at 7.30pm in Parish Centre, Adastra Park, and Hassocks
Attendees: Parish Councillors Ian Weir, Claire Tester, Carolyn Barton, David Bunting and Dan Sewell.
Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth
Absent without apologies: Cllr Kate Bailey
As no Chair had been previously appointed the Clerk sought a volunteer from the members present to Chair this evenings meeting – Cllr Weir indicated he was prepared to Chair the meeting. All members were in agreement and Cllr Weir was duly appointed to Chair this meeting
PRC22/26 APOLOGIES none
PRC22/27 DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Disclosure by Councillors of personal interests in matters on the agenda, and whether the Councillor regards their interest as prejudicial under the terms of the Code of Conduct. – None.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 29th November 2022 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
PRC22/29 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
No members of the public were present.
PRC22/30 Standing Orders & Financial Regulations
The Clerk introduced the paper setting out a series of proposed amendments to the Councils current document to reflect changes to the NALC model documents that were updated in April 2022.
Council is required to review its Standing Orders / Financial Regulations periodically and it seemed appropriate timing to so in light of the forthcoming elections to enable revised copies to be issued to all councillors when the new municipal year starts in May.
To assist members the Clerk had incorporated all amendments within boxes to enable additions and omissions to be identified (Appendix 1) within the current document together with a summary of all proposed changes aa set out in Appendix 2. The Clerk then invited any questions from members.
Members discussed the proposed amendments set out in the attachments and RESOLVED to RECOMMEND to full Council to formally adopt the amended Standing Orders & Financial Regulations.
PRC22/31 Banking Signatories – Members were advised that the Council currently has 4 signatories (3 members & Clerk) one of whom will be stepping down from Council. To maintain resilience it is suggested that the Council should seek some additional signatories initially for our current accounts.
It is still proposed to operate an online bank account, however when previously trying to establish signatories some of those who volunteered did not provide the information required by the bank, whereas 2 members who did provide the required information will not be standing for re-election onto the council. By the 5th April we will know whether the Parish election will be contested or not and which members propose to stay on the council. If the election is not contested it would enable the signatory item for our existing account to be considered at the April Council meeting. Member’s views were sought regarding this approach. Members were supportive of this approach and AGREED that a paper should be taken forward to the next Council meeting seeking further volunteers. The timing on this proposal will be influenced by whether the election is uncontested.
Cllr Bunting indicated he would be prepared to be considered as a bank signatory.
PRC22/32 COMMUNICATIONS The Clerk advised members that an attempt was made to arrange some group meetings on behalf of Cllr Sewell however this resulted in a mixed uptake. It was hoped that a workshop session could have been set up pre elections, however in light of member availability at present members agreed to defer this until after the elections once the new membership is known.
Members discussed how they wished to progress this initiative and it was AGREED that a paper be considered at the Inaugural Council meeting in May setting out a timeline for the workshop to be arranged and programmed in.
PRC22/33 ANNUAL PARISH MEETING members were requested to consider the format of the Annual Parish meeting this year taking into the consideration the timing and the on-going elections.
Historically this has involved the respective committee chairs producing and reading out an annual report. It was anticipated that the piece of work being undertaken on Communications would have informed this process however for various reasons this initiative has stalled.
Member’s views were sought on how they wished to progress for this year.
Members AGREED that in light of the delay in the progression of the communications initiative at this time realistically the Council should adopt a similar approach to previous years which focussed on reports produced by the respective committee chairs.
Members discussed the preferred format of these reports and it was felt that rather than individual reports from the chairs it should be consolidated into one.
Members indicated that to inform a wider audience of the community that this report should also be published in Hassocks Life. In light of the proposed date 16th May 2023 this would fit in with the editorial deadlines for the publication. Members requested that the Clerk circulate last year’s Annual Parish meetings papers
Members were keen to revisit the format for 2024 and discussed the need to start planning at an early stage to have a clear vision on its format. This could be informed by the ongoing communications initiative.
Members requested the Clerk to review the Grounds & Environment Committee for the last year to identify specific initiatives/projects that are/have been delivered. The Clerk agreed to undertake this.
PRC22/34 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – none
PRC22/35 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the date of the next as Tuesday 18th April 2023 at 7.30pm
PRC22/36 Confidential Minutes – The confidential minutes of the meeting held on the 29th November 2022 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.