Finance committee of Stourport-On-Severn Town Council
2.00pm on Monday 25th January 2021
Via a virtual Zoom meeting
The Mayor: Councillor K Henderson (Chairman)
Councillors: V Higgs; D Little; R Lloyd
Officers: Mrs S Saunders (Town Clerk); G Shaw (Treasurer)
23. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Thomas. Councillor R Lloyd was appointed as a substitute.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on the 12th November 2020 be confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.
25. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no declarations of interest.
26. ANNUAL AUDIT FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31ST MARCH 20220
The Committee received the External Auditor’s Report dated 4th November 2020 and this was approved.
Members thanked the Treasurer for his work.
27. REVIEW OF MAYORALTY
Members approved the increase (inflation) for both the Mayor (from £4,970 to £5,000) and Deputy Mayor allowances (£958 to £1,000) for 2021/22.
28. RISK ASSESSMENT REVIEW
The Town Clerk advised Members that the register had been updated and it was RESOLVED that the report be approved.
29. PARKS COMMITTEE MEETING – 21ST JANUARY 2021
Members approved Minute No. 12 of the Parks Committee meeting dated 21st January 2021. This included the Parks Committee recommending that allotment fees be increased from £44 to £46 for a large plot and from £22 to £23 for a small plot.
30. REPORT OF THE TREASURER ON THE BUDGET FOR THE YEAR ENDING 31ST MARCH 2022
The Treasurer took Members through the report which included some of the following points:
• It was forecast to show an underspend of approximately £18,000 mainly due to Covid-19 and events not taking place.
• The service charge invoices from Worcestershire County Council had still not been received for the last 4 years despite officers chasing for them.
• The agreed takeover of the Riverside Toilets showed an estimated cost in the budget of £31,000.
• A new works van and portakabin could need to be purchased in 2021.
• A discussion took place on incubator units and Members were informed that two tenants had given notice to leave their offices at the end of January 2021 (this was due to the impact that Covid-19 had had on their businesses). It was agreed to end the 10% discount that had been applied on rent with effect from 1st April 2021.
• Members discussed the options of an increase on the precept and perceived that by using some of the balances arising from the underspend, this was the preferred option for the residents of Stourport-on-Severn.
• There would likely be a need to further significant increases in the precept in 2022 as a “funding from balances” approach could only be a temporary measure.
The Town Clerk updated Members on quotations received for the cleaning and hygiene services of the Riverside Toilets. These had also been discussed in detail at the Localism Working Party.
The Town Clerk updated Members with regard to staffing and this was appended to the minutes as an “exempt” report.
31. RECOMMENDATIONS TO COUNCIL ON 2ND FEBRUARY 2021
a. Approved the burial fees detailed in Minute No. 30 above.
b. Approved the Revised Estimates for 2020/21.
c. Approved the draft budget for 2021/22 and the Vehicle, Equipment and Election Programme.
d. After a debate, a precept increase from £39.00 to £41.70 representing an increase of 6.9% was approved. This represented a total precept of £287,146.
32. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The Treasurer informed Members that the Town Council’s current bank – HSBC had recently blocked the account (for no reason) following a Safeguarding Review which had been undertaken. The Treasurer was asked to look at Lloyds Bank with the possibility of transferring the accounts.
The Meeting closed at 2.48pm.