Town Council Meeting Minutes 11/01/2019

Carnegie Centre, Warren Avenue, Stapleford, Notts

Present:

Cllr A Britton (A)

Cllr R Browne (Chair)

Cllr C Bollen

Cllr R Darby (A)

Cllr D Grindell

Cllr P Ensor (A)

Cllr S Ensor (A)

Cllr J Goold

Cllr A Hull

Cllr B Hull (A)

Cllr I Lawton

Cllr J Longdon

Cllr R MacRae

Cllr J McGrath

Cllr D Pearson

Cllr C Rice (A)

Cllr S Roome (A)

Cllr J Townend (A)

In Attendance Isobel Greenhalgh (Town Clerk ) Kim O’Keefe (Assistant)

112/2019 Apologies for absence

Apologies for absence were received from:-

Cllr A Britton, Cllr R Darby, Cllr P Ensor , Cllr S Ensor, Cllr B Hull, Cllr C Rice

No apologies for absence:- Cllr J Townend, Cllr S Roome

113/2019 Confidential Item – Councillor Carla Bollen

Before this was discussed, the member of the public present was asked to vacate the room.

The Town Clerk reported that Councillor Carla Bollen had not attended a meeting in the last 6 months and therefore was technically no longer a Councillor. She has given good reasons for non-attendance and she was here to present her reasons to the Councillors to ask if she can continue to the end of the term.

The reasons were explained to the Councillors and after some discussion it was agreed to accept all the reasons presented and to allow Councillor Bollen to continue in her role until the end of term.

The member of the public was invited to return to the meeting.

114/2019 Declarations of interest

Councillors: J Goold, J Longdon and R MacRae declared an interest in any discussion relating to Broxtowe Borough Council by dint of their status as serving Councillors on Broxtowe Borough Council.

J Longdon declared an interest in any discussion relating to Nottingham County Council by dint of his status as a serving Councillor on Nottingham County Council.

Councillors J Goold, D Grindell, A Hull declared an interest in any discussion relating to allotments.

Councillor D Grindell declared an interest in any discussion relating to Hemlock Happening, Stapleford Town Carnival, Christmas Events and Inspire.

The Town Clerk requested that Members, who are resident in Stapleford who wished to discuss the setting of the budget and annual precept, must declare their intention. All members present declared that they were residents.

114/2019 Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 30 November 2018

The Minutes of the Town Council Meeting held on 7 September 2018 were approved and signed (2 corrections noted and actioned).

115/2019 Actions from previous minutes

All actions from the previous minutes were completed with nothing to report.

116/2019 Section 137 Request

Requests were received from Rockwell Social Group and The Getaway Club (additional request received within the time scales for agenda items).

The Getaway Club £250 was requested for the support of social and leisure activities at the club, e.g. arts and craft materials, board games. A discussion was held and it was agreed to allocate £450.

Sect. 137 cont’d…

Action :-The Town Clerk to issue the cheque to The Getaway Club.

Rockwell Social Group. A discussion was held and it was agreed that the request for funding under section 137 application did not apply on this occasion.

Section 137 Request cont’d…

Action :- The Town Clerk to write back and explain the refusal for an unsuccessful application for funding.

117/2019 Poll cards

A discussion was held as to whether we need polling cards for the forthcoming election. It was agreed that Stapleford Town Council do want poll cards.

Action:-

  • Town Clerk to contact Broxtowe Borough Council to inform them that we do want the poll cards.
  • Town Clerk to invite Sue Rodden (Broxtowe Borough Council ) to the next Town Council meeting to discuss the new voting rules

118/2019 Budget 2019 / 2020

The Town Clerk went through the PRECEPT REPORT and each section was voted on the recommendations made.

Introduction

The Town Council is required to set a BUDGET for the municipal year 2019 / 2020 in order that the necessary steps can be undertaken to secure the Town Council precept for the year. It has been traditional for a report to be presented to Town Council and I have prepared this with the Leader in conjunction with the budget arrangements. Please note the figures quoted at this meeting are up to 31 December 2018.

Preparation

We have prepared the report in line with the finance regulations that came into force in 1997/98 as this legislation we are obliged to take as the basic figure for the year the full precept figure as received from Broxtowe Borough Council for April 2019. We have examined the Town Council income and expenditure for the coming year(2019/2020).

Income

The main income comes from precept (£74,420) and in addition we have income from the letting of Carnegie Centre premises, and rent from the Annex. (£5,400) and Helpful bureau (£5,000). This amounts to an estimated income of around £32,280. We also get allotment rents of around £11,000.

Expenditure

The Town Council expenditure is predominantly split between the cost of enabling the Town Council to maintain the Carnegie Centre, management of the allotment sites, providing a service to the electors and civic initiatives such as Remembrance, Christmas, and summer activities. The more activities that take place, potentially more costs are incurred.

Costs are rising, and we must accept the additional costs such as :- insurance, salaries, tax, pensions, accountants & auditors etc

  1. Administration

The additional contribution for Nottingham County Council pension fund for 2019/20 is £3,675. We must pay this.

Monetary deficit contributions were introduced as part of the 2013 fund valuation. The fund is subject to triennial valuation, so the most recent valuation was 31.3.2016. I have a copy of the latest report – the employer contribution rate and monetary deficit contributions payable by Stapleford Town Council are noted on page 24 of the report.

The next valuation is due at 31.3.2019 which will set rates from 1.4.2020 to 31.03.2023.

Staff Salaries

The increased expenditure is in line with the National Wage Rise and increased Living Wage.

It was agreed to allocate £72,500 for administration costs.

  1. Allotments & Maintenance

All income must be only used for the purpose of allotments.

It was agreed to continue with an allocation of £7,000

  1. Fencing

No longer applicable

  1. Building fund

Last year a budget was set at £2,000. This was clearly inadequate and there is no longer money in the ring–fenced allocation for buildings. Clearly, we need to build up this fund for future works.

We need to allocate funds towards several things such as :-a new boiler and or repairs. In addition to this, the CCTV needs urgent upgrading, the automatic door system needs upgrading with regards to health and safety, possibly some decorating after the completion of any work.

Security needs to be reviewed especially with the Helpful Bureau being in the building all day.

I am suggesting that we undertake a review of the whole security situation and that in doing so we replace the security cameras rather than undertake costly repairs (the present system is old and outdated and probably not suitable for the purpose any longer).

I am suggesting that we undertake this work now and that as this is a one-off cost, that it be paid for out of reserves. The reserves are still quite healthy, and I feel there is sufficient money to allow us to do this.

I am also suggesting that should there be any funds surplus at the end of any financial year that they be allocated to the ring-fenced building fund.

It was agreed to undertake the review now and pay for the work from the reserves.

It was also agreed that should there be any funds surplus at the end of the financial year that they be allocated to the ring-fenced building fund.

It was also agreed to allocate £3,200 in the next financial year’s budget.

5,6,7 Civic Costs

Play Day

Liberty Leisure have requested £2000 for this event excl. vat (this is an increase of £500). We would recommend that if Stapleford does not have the play day in town, we should not finance it as agreed in previous years.

It was agreed to allocate £1500 to Liberty Leisure

Flowers presentations

Traditionally the Town Mayor visits Stapleford residents on the following occasions Birthdays – 90, 95, and 100th and Anniversaries 50, 60, 70, onwards.

We recommend this continues as it costs very little over a year.

It was agreed to continue with this

Town Council Garden Competition

This is a most popular event within our town and should we continue this for 2019 / 2020, and we need to allocate funding. The costs for this in 2018/19 was £400

It was agreed to continue with this.

Stapleford carnival

Over the last years Stapleford Town Council have supported the carnival presenting cheques for best decorated charity stalls :- cost are normally 1st – 3rd prize £30 -£20-£10. (2018 £20 was awarded to each winner).

It was agreed to continue with this

Coffee Mornings and Special Events

Does the Town Council wish to continue these events? The expenditure in 2018 (2 coffee Mornings, Mayor Making and Civic Service is around £400 ) .

It was agreed to continue with this

Councillor R MacRae passed on the thanks to the Town Clerk from the Combined Services for the funds raised from our coffee morning (£118).

The Town Mayor / Town Deputy Mayor

The Town Clerk read out the declaration of interest that must be declared. Members who have any intention of representing the Town Council in a Civic capacity in 2019/20 must declare their intentions at this point in the meeting.

There were no declarations made.

Do you wish to give the Town Mayor £400 towards his / her year of Office?

Do you wish the Deputy Mayor to receive £100?

Do you wish the Mayor or Deputy to attend events ?-

  • Within the town of Stapleford ?
  • Outside of the town for special events?

Town Mayor/Deputy Mayor cont’d…

  • Pay for tickets if required and for escorts ?
  • Do you wish to pay for a Civic Service in 2019 / 2020?
  • Do you wish for normal Civic costs to continue? Costs for 2018/2019 Estimated £3390 actual 2017/ 2018 £2666 ?

It was agreed to continue with all of the above.

8. Running Costs

Includes gas/ electric/ water phones etc Costs are rising and we must accept the additional costs. It was agreed to continue with the figure of £9,000 for 2019-20

9. Section 137

Local Government Act of 1972 council can make awards to groups, for special projects. Last year the town council awarded in the budget £1,000 .

It was agreed to continue with the same figure of £1,000

Grant Application

We also have I grant application from St Helens, who have requested a contribution of £750 towards production of Stapleford’s INSPIRE – for 2019/20.

Please note :-This amount would be the equivalent of 1% increase in Council Tax. It is far too large a sum to come out of section 137 and probably not appropriate. Whilst the magazine provides lots of local news, it does gain revenue from advertising, and is still a Church Magazine. It would set a dangerous precedent to fund this as the Council could be inundated with request from similar religious organisations for funding of their magazines etc.

A discussion was held and this application was declined. Inspire is a church driven magazine and Stapleford Town Council have previously given £2,500 towards the annex .

Action :- The Town Clerk to write back and explain the refusal for an unsuccessful application for funding.

10 Election Fund

The Town Council must reserve at least £4,000 a year to pay for the General Election. Since there are elections this year, it is essential that this amount be maintained every year. The cost of an election is around £12,000. This amount needs to be put aside for by equal amounts each year. It was agreed to continue with maintaining this amount every year

11/12. Website / IT Equipment

IT and Web costs should not increase for 2019/2020.

This was noted

14 /15 Christmas Lights & Events

We recommend that the costs of the event should be maintained – i.e. the same allocation as last year £2000 (excl. vat) for the Christmas Events but there is no further funding for Christmas lights. This is not needed because we have now paid the full contribution of £6,300 as agreed in meeting in Stapleford Town Council meeting on 13 January 2017.

We paid £2,300 from reserves in 16/17, £2000 paid 2017/18 , £2000 paid 2018/19. The full payment is now completed i.e. £6300, so no further payments are required for 2019/20.

It was agreed to maintain the allocation at £2,000

16 Remembrance Sunday

The Town Council organises, for the people of the town, a Remembrance Service. Stapleford Town Council should continue this for the year 2019 / 2020.

In 2018/19 we received a grant from Broxtowe Borough Council toward this for £1547. There is no guarantee that this will happen next year, and the Councillors must consider how much to allocate in the new budget.

Councillor R Macrae gave thanks to the Town Clerk and her staff for the last Remembrance Service .

It was agreed to allocate £2500 as per the budget forecast.

Allotments

There is no plan to increase the charges for the new financial year.

This was noted.

Lettings

There is no plan to increase the lettings fees as such, however, the current lettings have been grouped into specific categories to try and make the fees consistent ( fees were ad-hoc).

I suggest these fees :-

£25 per hour – profit making groups

£20 per hour – professional groups e.g. NHS

£15 per hour – meetings (daytime) e.g. The Helpful Bureau

£15 per hour – Community groups – (evening) e.g. Gardeners (currently £8) Art (£8 – should have been £9 per hr as agreed at last budget meeting – not actioned by previous Town Clerk )

£9 per hour – Community clubs – (day) – e.g. Art

It was agreed to change the lettings fees from April 2019 as above and to give the hirers plenty of notice and remind them that they have been undercharged for the past year.

Hemlock Happening

Liberty Leisure have requested £2000 financial support to support this event.

Whilst many people from Stapleford attend this event, it is not held in the Town and the many residents of other areas do not have to contribute to this. The figure would represent the equivalent of over 2% increase in Council Tax. So it is suggested, as in previous years, that we do not contribute to this event

This was agreed.

London Bridge

There could be extra costs in the event of incumbent Monarch Death and you need to be prepared under Civic Costs or other sources to cover the New Monarch events which may be in same year.

As this has not yet happened and of course may not do so in the next financial year then I do not recommend that we allocate money specifically for this. Our reserves are quite healthy, and I feel any costs incurred when this happens could be covered with money from reserves as and when.

This was agreed.

Reserves

We have very little movement on this. We are trying to ensure the expenditure stays within the budget allocated. We have had to take out £5000 for the Cemetery Bell.

It is hoped that there may be a surplus on the Neighbourhood Plan ring-fenced sum to go back into here.

This was agreed

The precept

When discussing the precept for 2019/2020, listed below are the percentage increases relevant to the precept. This is for members information. The percentage increases between 0% and 5% are shown below. It was agreed that there would be no increase in precept for 2019/20.

(The current precept is £74,420)

119/2019 Date of next meeting.

The next Meeting of Stapleford Town Council will be held on 22 FEBRUARY 2019 at 7.00 pm.

The meeting finished at 8.31 pm

Signed ____________________________ Date __________________________