HASSOCKS PARISH COUNCIL
To: All Members of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee (Ian Weir, Kate Bailey, Carolyn Barton, David Bunting, Dan Sewell and Paul Shepherd) with copies to all other Councillors for information.
A meeting of the POLICY RESOURCES & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE will be held on TUESDAY 6th June 2023 at 7.30pm in the Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks.
Parish Clerk – 31 May 202
1. TO ACCEPT APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
2. TO ACCEPT DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
3. ELECTION OF CHAIR AND VICE CHAIR
4. MINUTES to accept the Minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on 30th March 2023. (Previously Circulated).
5. PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
6. Budget Position
The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the out turn for the financial year ending 31 March 2023.
Financial Accounts Budget – 31 March 2023 provides a detailed position as per the RBS finance system and is produced for information in Appendix 1. To view Appendix 1 please click here.
The attached report sets out the following detail:
- Annual spend /income for the year
- 2022/23 budget
- Variance (difference between spend and budget – Expenditure and Income)
- Balance of budget
- % spent
In addition Appendix 2 sets out a summary of the Councils Income & Expenditure position for the year and identifies those funds allocated to Ear Marked Reserves and those allocated to General Reserves. The Council has continued to adopt a prudent approach and allocate funds for future projects. It is anticipated that two priority projects are expected to be delivered in the first half of this year (Burial Ground path network and installation of refurbished tennis courts). To view Appendix 2 please click here.
Although operating costs have continued to increase the Council income streams have recovered well post pandemic and in some instances exceeded the anticipated budget.
The detailed budget variances are set out in Appendix 3 which summarises the actual position against each of the respective budget descriptors.
Appendix 3 details some of the larger variances for the year together with an explanation. Members are requested to note the final out turn position. To view Appendix 3 please click here.
7. Internal Audit Report – The attached report sets out the findings /conclusion of the year-end review and follows on from the interim report undertaken earlier in the year. Members are requested to review the contents of the report and note any actions required to be taken. (Appendix 4). To view Appendix 4 please click here.
8. Communications – verbal update
9. URGENT MATTERS at the discretion of the Chairman for noting and/or inclusion on a future agenda.
10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. 18th July 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.
11. Minutes – to accept the confidential minutes of the Policy Resources & Communications Committee held on the 30th March 2023 (previously circulated).
12. Staffing matters (verbal update)
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 6th June 2023 at 7.30pm in Parish Centre, Adastra Park, Hassocks
Attendees: Parish Councillors, Carolyn Barton, David Bunting, Paul Shepherd and Kate Bailey.
Parish Clerk: Ian Cumberworth
PRC23/1 APOLOGIES Cllr Ian Weir and Cllr Dan Sewell
PRC23/2 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.
PRC23/3 ELECTION OF CHAIR & VICE CHAIR
The Clerk advised that at this inaugural meeting of the committee in the new municipal year it would be normal to appoint a Chair and Vice Chair for the year however, in light of the absences it was proposed to hold this process over until the next meeting.
Therefore the Clerk sought a volunteer from the members present to Chair the evenings meeting – Cllr Bunting indicated he was prepared to Chair the meeting. All members were in agreement and Cllr Bunting was duly appointed to Chair for this meeting.
The minutes of the meeting held on the 30th March 2023 were accepted as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
PRC23/5 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION
No members of the public were present.
PRC23/6 BUDGET POSITION
The Clerk introduced the report setting out the final out turn position for the Council for the financial year ending 31st March 2023.
The summary report set out in Appendix 1 detailed the individual descriptor out turn budget positions.
Appendix 2 set out the overall summary of income and expenditure for the year and identified expenditure of £283,790 with an income of £346,443 of which £312,302 was represented by the precept.
Appendix 3 set out some of the key variances together with a narrative, members attention was drawn to a number of income streams that had recovered strongly post the pandemic and in particular the burial ground.
The Clerk indicated he did not propose to go through the detail line by line but invited members to ask any questions.
Members asked a range of questions about specific income /expenditure lines which the Clerk responded to. Members were satisfied with the responses.
The Clerk advised members that at the year end the Council held £194,490 General Reserves (unallocated funds) which is within the permitted parameters and equates to approx. 9 months working capital to meet any unforeseen operating issues. In addition the council also holds funds Earmarked Reserves which are ‘ring-fenced’ and have been allocated to support specific projects.
Although some specific projects where significant spend is likely to occur in the first quarter of the current financial year, the Councils financial position remains strong and with rising interest rates opportunities will exist to explore opportunities to invest some of these funds.
Although the Council does have some interest bearing accounts better opportunities are likely to be available.
Members discussed this option and the Clerk advised that as a public body holding public funds the Council would be limited to the types of financial institutions they would be permitted to invest in. The Council currently has an investment policy and it was agreed that this would be considered and reviewed at the next Policy Resources & Communications meeting and the financial intuitions identified ratings will be updated to reflect their current position. Once clear parameters have been set opportunities will be explored on a range of investment terms/providers with a view to placing some of the funds later in the year.
Members duly NOTED the contents of the budget report and AGREED that the Investment Policy would be considered at the next meeting.
PRC23/7 Internal Audit Report – Members were advised that the year-end internal audit report was set out as Appendix 4 and provided a clean bill of health with the main points being raised at the interim audit stage being addressed .
Members acknowledged the point raised regarding the financial institutions FSA limits. The Clerk indicated that efforts had been made to set up an online account previously last year, however some potential signatories did not provide all the necessary data to enable the account to be set up.
With the newly formed council further efforts will be made to establish an on-line bank account once the current signatories have been updated for the Councils existing account provider. This is currently in progress with the bank.
Members NOTED the actions taken and the content of the report
PRC23/8 COMMUNICATIONS The Clerk advised that Cllr Sewell was due to update members but unfortunately he was unable to attend this evenings meeting therefore an item has been incorporated on the forthcoming council agenda.
Some of the members present at the PR & C meeting were able to update the group on the recent Communication focus group session and indicated that it was proposed to set up a further session with a view to increasing the number of members able to attend and provide a wider opportunity to participate in the initiative.
PRC23/9 URGENT MATTERS AT THE DISCRETION OF THE CHAIRMAN – none
PRC23/10 DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the date of the next as Tuesday 18th July 2023 at 7.30pm