Minutes of Finance & General Purposes Committee Meeting 17th November 2020

Minutes Uploaded on November 21, 2020

Minutes of Finance & General Purposes Committee Meeting Tuesday
17th November 2020 7.30pm
Held via Zoom

Cllr M Wells (Chairman)
Cllr R Tripp
Cllr L Simons
Cllr D Marks
Cllr F Fielding

In attendance:
Mrs S J Cockburn – Clerk to the Council
Mrs C Byron – Rostrum Correspondent
1 member of the public

1 Apologies for absence – none

2 Declarations of Interest/Dispensations – none

3 Draft Budget 2021/2022

Salaries – After discussion it was agreed any increase would be in line with that agreed by the National Association of Local Councils and Central Government and come out of surplus.
Donations: budget – £2000
Scouts & Guides – £500
Wateringbury WI – £300
Crossroads Care – £300
Watch Club – £300
Royal British Legion – £200
Citizens Advice North & West Kent – £100
Heart of Kent Hospice – £100
Kent & Surrey Air Ambulance – £100
Marie Curie Nurses – £100

General Purposes
Repairs to play equipment – the amount would be increased to include a new football net on the goal post at present left open. This would match the other goal which recently had new goal net.

It was felt the £3000 allowance for tree maintenance should remain in the budget for next year

Street Lighting & Highways
It was agreed a further £10,000 be included for traffic calming

With changes to date the draft budget was agreed.

4 Street Lights
Councillors had copies of all papers including information on interest free loans from Salix Finance. It was stated a lot of information was needed from Ken Bonner of Streetlights to assist in any application. It was
agreed to the put in an Expression of Interest to Salix for their comments before proceeding.

5 Drayhorse Meadow
A 6year lease dated 1st May 2017 stated during the third year of the lease there should be a rent review. It was stated the tenant had carried out some improvements and Council had no complaints. After discussion, and taking into consideration present financial strains, it was agreed there would be no increase in the rent and this would remain until the end the of the term of the lease.

6 Cemetery
A request from Terry Bird of Wateringbury History Society to consider funds towards a refurbishment of Tom Smith’s grave was considered. Tom Smith was the only WW1 soldier buried in the cemetery. He died in June 1920 in Fox Pitt Hospital Chatham from a disease contracted on the Salonica front, but because he was buried in a private grave and not a war grave the Commonwealth War Graves Commission would not give any recognition to the grave. His name is shown on the school memorial. £250 was already being held by Rostrum towards the project. After discussion it was greed the Council should support this. The headstone would need to be straightened and any plaque should be sited outside the confines of the grave. It was agreed to contact Viners & Son to arrange a site meeting.

7 Any other business of finance
The Chairman referred to the ROSPA play equipment reports that all Councillors had received, highlighting issues that need attention. It was agreed Cllr Tripp and Cllr Fielding would inspect the equipment and report their findings. Any costs identified would need to be added to the budget.
James Woolley had recommended some maintenance on the playing fields for next Spring. As there are funds allocated in the budget for maintenance of the playing fields, it was agreed the work should be carried out.
The Chairman raised that despite all the bank statements going direct to the Clerk she was unable to ring the bank to stop a cheque. It was confirmed the bank would only accept requests from an authorised signatory. The Clerk stated she did not wish to become a signatory.
Mrs Byron said if the meeting had been held in the hall hard copies of documents would be available for the public and asked if those attending zoom meetings could be offered sight of documents via email.

There being no further business the meeting was closed at 8.40pm