Finance Committee Meeting
To: All Members of Winsford Town Council (for attendance)
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND THIS MEETING
You are summoned to attend a meeting of the Finance Committee to be held in the Winsford Town Council Council Chamber, Second Floor, Wyvern House, The Drumber CW7 1AH on Monday 17th July 2017 at 6.30pm.
Town Clerk/Finance Officer
- APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Members must provide apologies to the Town Clerk before 5.00pm on the day of the meeting, together with reasons for their absence.
- DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members to declare any interest under the following categories:
- Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
- Outside Bodies Interest
- Family, Friend or Close Associate Interest
- MINUTES – To sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on 17th July 2017 (‘A’)
- ARISING – any points of clarification from the above minutes.
- ACCOUNTS FOR APPROVAL
Schedule ‘B’ lists payments made since the last meeting
Schedule ‘C’ lists accounts for approval at this meeting
Schedule (‘D’) lists supplementary accounts for approval (to follow)
- BANK ACCOUNT MONTHLY RECONCILIATION STATEMENTS
Financial probity recommends monthly reconciliation of the Town Council’s accounts. (‘E’)
- GRANTS SUB-COMMITTEE
To approve or otherwise the minutes of a meeting of the Grants Sub-Committee held on 30th August 2017 (‘F’)
- CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
Members will be aware that the Town Council provides Christmas lights along the full length of the High Street.
The Committee is asked to
(a). Authorise the invitation of quotations for the installation, maintenance and removal of the Christmas lights
(b). Authorise the Mayor, in conjunction with the Chair and Deputy Chair of the Finance Committee to approve the quotations which offer best value
Members should note that the installation process will now include some additional lights purchased by CWAC. This additional lighting will be fitted to all light columns on the Old High Street. This has been done because a number of trees have now been taken down in the area. These trees have been used to hang the Christmas lights in the past.
Members should note that a number of replacement lamps may be needed, following completion of PAT testing. Details of the replacements required and costs will be provided when they are received by the Town Council.
RECOMMENDED: Members are asked to provide the necessary authorisations set out above and to note the other matters referred to above.
- EXTERNAL AUDIT
The external audit of Winsford Town Council for the year ended 31st March 2017 is being undertaken by BDO LLP.
A copy of the audit report will be circulated to Members when it is made available to the Council.
The Council has been informed that BDO intends to qualify the audit.
The reason for this is that the period of the exercise of electors’ rights (to inspect the accounts) for the 2015-16 accounts began (on 15th June 2016) before the Town Council approved the accounts (on 20th June 2016). This was highlighted in last year’s external audit report as an issue and the fact that the period was not observed correctly has led to the qualification of this year’s audit because question 4 on this year’s Annual Governance Statement – We provided proper opportunity during the year for the exercise of electors’ rights – should (for the reasons outlined above) have been answered ‘no’ in the 2016/17 Annual Return.
No other issues have been highlighted by the external auditor, although – as said – the Town Council has not yet received the formal report from BDO.
RECOMMENDED: Members are asked to note the developments set out above.
- PAYMENTS SINCE LAST MEETING
A number of payments have been agreed by the Town Mayor, Chair of the Finance Committee and Town Clerk since the last meeting of the Finance Committee. These are reported here as the payments were a result of urgent/immediate action required and/or the Council not being able to collect three quotes for the work involved.
- Winsford Voice – the cost to the Council was £1,742.00 for printing 14,000 copies (the work was undertaken by the Neuromuscular Centre) and £718.61 for distribution of the Voice (by The Leaflet Team). In both cases, there was a need to print and distribute the Voice quickly as no copy had been produced for some time and the distribution also included copies of the What’s On guide for 2017 which contained time-limited information
- Over Recreation Ground – urgent installation of a new boiler in the pavilion – cost was £220.00 plus VAT (installed by Weaver Horizons)
- Meadowbank Play Area – urgent repairs required to the flooring in the play area – cost of work will be £2,075.00 plus VAT (organised via Northwich Town Council). Other quotes were sought, but none received and work needed to be completed due to potential danger to users of the play area
RECOMMENDED: Members are asked to note the payments set out above
- BACS LIMIT INCREASE
The Town Council uses the BACS system for a number of its accounts. The Council’s limit for these transactions is currently £18,000. On a number of occasions, transactions have been completed by the Council for amounts greater than this limit. Exceeding the limit runs the risk of transactions being rejected or, as has been the case in the past, an additional fee being applied which the Council has to pay.
The advice from the Council’s bank is to build an additional 25% margin into the normal value of the Council’s largest transactions in order to deal with this issue. It is therefore suggested that the Council’s BACS limit is increased to £19,500.
In order to implement this increase, the following must be completed and submitted to the bank: –
- A copy of the trading accounts for the Council over the past two years;
- A letter signed in accordance with the account mandate to confirm the increase in the BACS facility; and
- Credit search authority from the key parties of the organisation (‘key parties’ means signatories to the account)
The Town Clerk will make arrangements for the trading accounts and the credit search authority to be completed, and a letter will be made available at the meeting to be signed by the Council’s signatories.
RECOMMENDED: Members are asked to approve the proposal for increasing the Council’s BACS facility as outlined above and the following signatories are asked to sign the letter referred to above – Cllrs Kennedy; Beckett; Gaskill-Jones; Smith; Clarke; Booher; and Hooton.
- EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
Due to their confidential nature, Members may decide to exclude the press and public from the meeting during consideration of the following matters in accordance with Section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960. Reports relating to these items have been withheld from public circulation and deposit.
- PAT TESTING – CHRISTMAS LIGHTS
As outlined above, the Town Council provides Christmas Lights along the full length of the High Street.
The Committee is asked to confirm acceptance of a quotation for the PAT testing (Portable Appliance Testing) of the Christmas lights.
- IT SUPPORT ARRANGEMENTS
To consider the future IT support arrangements for the Town Council (report from the Town Clerk to follow) (‘G’ – confidential)
- TELEPHONES/BROADBAND – TOWN COUNCIL OFFICE
A report from the Town Clerk will follow. (‘H’ – confidential)
18th September 2017