Finance Committee Meeting

To:       All Members of Winsford Town Council (for attendance)

Local Press




Dear Councillor


You are summoned to attend a meeting of the Finance Committee to be held in the Winsford Town Council Offices, Wyvern House, The Drumber CW7 1AH on Monday 15th January 2018 at 6.30pm.


Yours sincerely



Mark Bailey

Town Clerk/Finance Officer






Members must provide apologies to the Town Clerk before 5.00pm on the day of the meeting, together with reasons for their absence.



Members to declare any interest under the following categories:

  • Disclosable Pecuniary Interest
  • Outside Bodies Interest
  • Family, Friend or Close Associate Interest


  1. MINUTES – To sign as a correct record, the Minutes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held on 18th December 2017 (‘A’) 


  1. ARISING – any points of clarification from the above minutes.



Schedule ‘B’ lists payments made since the last meeting (there are no payments under this heading)

Schedule (‘C’) lists accounts for approval at this meeting

Schedule ‘D’ lists supplementary accounts for approval (to follow)



Financial probity recommends regular reconciliation of the Town Council’s accounts.  (‘E’ – to follow)



 To consider the draft Capital and Revenue budget for 2018/19.

A copy of the draft budget is ATTACHED (‘F’)

Any comments received from the political groups will be issued in advance of the meeting.

The overall draft budget for 2018/19 is estimated at £438,372 compared to £401,672 in 2017/18.

Important changes were introduced four years ago by Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) which will continue to impact the way in which the Town Council’s precept is calculated.

As part of the 2010 Spending Review, the Government announced that it would localise support for Council Tax from 2013/14 and reduce funding for this by 10%. In February 2011, the Government published the Welfare Reform Bill, containing provisions for the abolition of Council Tax benefit, paving the way for new localised schemes. CWAC responded to this as follows:-

  • CWAC decided to utilise new Council Tax raising powers in respect of empty properties in order to encourage owners to bring empty properties back onto the property market and to contribute towards the cost of services.
  • Since 2013/14, the amount of the Town Council’s taxbase has been reduced because support for Council Tax is now at a cost that reduces the amount of income generated from Council Tax rather than being reimbursed in full by central government.
  • As a result of these changes the taxbase for Winsford in 2018/19 has been calculated as 8,396 Band D equivalent properties.

The financial impact of the 2013/14 taxbase reduction was offset through the payment of a grant of £59,817 from CWAC, which was used to reduce the amount of the Town Council precept.

Although CWAC has continued to maintain the Council Tax Reduction Scheme grant support to local councils, the grant has reduced each year, and the grant for 2017/18 will be £21,075 as opposed to £31,612 last year.

Taking into account these factors, and also a number of other factors including reduction in grants from a number of organisations; reduced income in some areas and cost pressures, the following budget calculation for 2017/18 is proposed:-


Budget 438,372
Less CWAC grant 21,075
2017/18 Precept 417,297


Members will recall that the agreed process for consideration of the budget was that these draft proposals would be discussed by Members either individually or within their political groups in advance of this meeting.

Representatives of each political group have therefore been invited to make a budget statement prior to detailed consideration of the draft budget set out above.


Finance Committee are asked to agree a budget and precept for 2018/19, taking into account Member and political group comments

Members are also requested to recommend a budget/precept for formal ratification by the Town Council on 19th February 2018.



Members will be aware that the Town Council provides Christmas lights along the full length of the High Street.

Members may wish to comment on the performance of the Christmas lights during this year’s festive period.

In terms of Christmas 2018, the Finance 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

This process is beginning significantly earlier than in previous years due a number of factors, including: –

  • The need to ensure that the ‘switch-on’ process is tested prior to the actual formal switching on of the lights to deal with any issues in plenty of time including the potential use of devices such as circuit breakers to aid the switch on process;
  • To work with the successful contractor in dealing with any outstanding issues regarding the lights themselves and the lighting columns to which the lights are attached and which provide the power for the lights;
  • To progress any purchase of replacement Christmas lights in conjunction with the successful contractor

Members should note that PAT testing will need to be undertaken as part of this process. Details of any replacements required and costs of the testing will be provided when they are received by the Town Council.


Members are asked to provide the necessary authorisations set out above and to note the other matters referred to above.



Members will recall that the matter of potholes at the Moss Bank entrance to the Over Allotments site has been raised at previous meetings.

Reports from allotments users and members of the public indicated that the potholes had become a potential danger to traffic and pedestrians given their depth and width.

Given this situation and the urgency of finding a solution, a number of approaches were made to potential contractors to carry out the work.

In response, Northwich Town Council quoted a figure of £366 plus VAT to make the necessary repairs to the surface.

This was raised under ‘Matters Arising’ at the December meeting of the Town Council and it was agreed that the Northwich Town Council quote should be accepted.


Members are asked to formally note and endorse the course of action set out above with regard to the appointment of Northwich Town Council to carry out repairs to potholes at the Moss Bank entrance to the Over Allotments site.


Document Last Updated Download
Finance-Agenda-150118-scanned.pdf Download



15th January 2018