Minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 19th June 2018 at 7pm in Storridge Village Hall
Present: Councillors Ann Carver, Alan Eldridge, Geoff Fielding (chair), Janita Goodwin, Wynne Harries ( Vice-chair), Clare Jones, Diane Merker (minute-taker), David Roys, Sarah Thomas, Anne Scarsbrook (arrived at 8.15pm)
In attendance: 2 members of the public
1. Apologies for absence
1.1. It was RESOLVED to accept Simon Davies request for leave of absence until October due to bereavement. All in favour.
1.2. Councillors Giselle Edgar (holiday), Miles Meager (prior engagement), Judith Aldridge (prior engagement)
2. Declarations of interest and written requests for dispensation
David Roys – Cradley Village Hall.
3. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 12th June 2018
3.1. It was RESOLVED to adopt the minutes subject to the following amendments:
3.1.1 Item 5.2 Balfour Beatty empty the dog poo bins at a cost of £183.83 per annum.
3.1.2 Item 10 VIWG. Clare Jones “introduced” the report and not read aloud.
4. Planning Matters
4.1. 181759 – Land at Grittlesend – proposed erection of stables (change of use), and hay barn/feed shelter and retrospective planning approval for existing track (deferred from 12.6.18 meeting). The new amendment regarding the raising of the roof height from 3.0 m to 3.5 m was noted.
PC comment: The council feels strongly that the proposed development should be restricted to personal/equine use only. Also, the possible fire risk of having the hay barn attached and opening facing towards the proposed stable area should be taken into consideration.
5.1. To consider temporary arrangements for updating the Council website in the absence of a clerk and training for new clerk when appointed.
Mark Millmore of Eyelid website design service has been managing our website whilst the Council has been without a clerk for some time. From the beginning of June, he will now be charging the Council £30.00 per month for updating our website inc. the home page, agenda, draft and approved minutes on a month by month basis.
It was RESOLVED to pay for this service from June onwards until the Council has a new clerk in place.
He also offers training for a fee of £60 [2-hour session] and it was RESOLVED to accept this training for the new clerk and the CPC Chairman, when appropriate.
6. Audit 17/18
6.1. Consider the internal audit and decide action on recommendations
Geoff Fielding explained the previously circulated Final Internal Audit Report to all councillors and highlighted our current difficulties. It was noted that we had now changed to an electronic form of accounting from the 1st April 2018. The manual Receipts / Payments Ledger system has been discontinued as from 1st April 2018. We have been allocated a new external auditor by Herefordshire Council and they are PKF Littlejohn LLP, appointed for a 5 year period.
Council agreed that the Internal Auditor’s recommendations in the report 5.1 to 5.4. were accepted. 5.5 would be dealt with in the closed session and 5.6 was queried as we have an Insurance policy in place.
6.2. Consider the governance statements.
It was RESOLVED that Section 1 Annual Governance Statement 2017/18 should read
A covering letter would be sent along with this form explaining our difficulties over the past year. It was agreed that Geoff Fielding and Wynne Harries would witness the Statement as the Council currently has no Clerk in post.
All in favour.
6.3. To consider the statement of accounts.
It was noted that the assets register for the Council was missing. It transpired that the last internal auditor had a copy and that Geoff Fielding would recover it and fill in point 9. Point 10 should read nil.
It was noted that the Council may incur costs in finalising our accounts for the year 2017-18 with the external auditor.
It was RESOLVED to accept Section 2 accounting statements 2017/18 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2017-18 Part 3.
Proposed by Clare Jones seconded by Geoff Fielding. All in favour.
6.4. Dates for the public to view the accounts
It was decided that the 2017 -18 Accounts would be available for public viewing by appointment from Monday 2nd July for 10 working days.
All in favour.
All councillors were appreciative of the hours of work that Geoff Fielding and Wynne Harries have put in to try and update the accounts.
7. To finalise arrangements for appointing a new clerk
7.1. It was RESOLVED to adopt the model contract agreed by NALC and SLCC for a new Parish Clerk. Geoff Fielding proposed, Ann Carver seconded. All in favour.
7.2. Fourteen application packs had been sent out and 7 candidates had applied. It was agreed that The Employment Working Group (GF/MM/WH) would be joined for the shortlisting and interview process by Anne Scarsbrook who would lead the preparation and chair the interview panel. The aim would be to complete this process before our next ordinary meeting and to recommend a candidate for the post of Clerk to full Council for approval. It was noted that for shortlisting scoring would be based on the essential job criteria.
All in favour.
8. To adopt the following policies:
8.1. Equal Opportunities Policy
8.2. Sickness and Absence Policy
8.3. Grievance and Disciplinary Policy
8.4. Health and Safety Policy
These policies are all NALC standard models. Wynne Harries proposed, Geoff Fielding seconded.
All in favour.
9. Date of next ordinary meeting
Tuesday 10th July 2018 at 7pm in Cradley Village Hall.
A resolution was passed to exclude the public from the following confidential item.
10. Confidential item
10.1. It was agreed to seek further legal advice and report back to Council. All in favour.
10.2 To consider matters regarding the ex-internal auditor
The meeting closed at 10.26 pm.