Minutes of a meeting of the Finance Committee of Stourport-on-Severn Town Council
Held in the Mayor’s parlour, The Civic Centre, Stourport-on-Severn, at 3.00pm on Tuesday 4th February 2020
The Mayor: Councillor K Henderson (Chairman)
Councillors: V Higgs; D Little
Councillor: D Russell
Officers: Mrs S Saunders (Town Clerk); G Shaw (Treasurer)
17. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor J Thomas.
It was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on the 12th November 2019 be confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.
The Town Clerk confirmed that a meeting had been held with the Civic Hall regarding the lease.
19. Declarations of interest
There were no declarations of interest.
20. Annual audit for the year ended 31st march 2019
The Committee received the External Auditor’s Report dated 16th September 2019 and this was approved.
Members thanked the Treasurer for his work.
21. Review of mayoralty
Members approved the increase (inflation) for both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor allowances for 2020/21.
22. Risk assessment review
The Town Clerk advised Members that the allotment representative at The Kingsway had given notice to finish at the end of March 2020, however, several people had shown their interest to take this role over and this was being followed up.
Members asked that the item on the roof of the civic hall be deleted from the register and approved the report.
23. Parks committee
The Town Clerk informed the Committee that following the Parks Committee meeting, she had followed up on the closing hours at the toilets in the Memorial Park. The Parks & Cemetery Manager had advised that the cleaner locked the toilets up between 6.30pm – 7.30pm in the summer months.
Members approved Minute No. 5 of the Parks Committee meeting dated 28th January 2020. This included the Parks Committee recommending that “headline” cemetery fees be increased from £720 to £800 with effect from 1st April 2020, together with the other cemetery fees being increased by the same percentage and an additional £2,000 be put into the budget for extra work should it be required.
24. Report of the treasurer on the budget for the year ending 31st March 2021
The Treasurer took Members through the report and the following was highlighted:
- A half year budget report had been reported to the Parks Committee in November 2019.
- There was an additional amount in the budget for the by-election to be held on 25th February 2020.
- The service charge invoices from Worcestershire County Council had still not been received for the last 3 years despite officers chasing for them. However, a new member of staff at the County Council had been appointed and it was hoped that this would be sorted.
- The rent for the incubator units had been reduced 18 months ago and all offices were now full. It was agreed to increase the rent from April 2021.
- No money would be put into reserves.
The Town Clerk had contacted three companies to quote for the running of the Riverside Paddling Pool. There had been only one company who could take on the work and a meeting with them was being held on 17th February 2020.
A discussion was held on the Twinning budget and it was agreed to reduce this to £1,800. The Town Clerk and Councillor Little would meet with Stourport Yacht Club to discuss details further.
The Town Clerk updated Members with regard to staffing.
A discussion took place on the recommendations made at the Council meeting with regard to Localism and Members approved the following:
- A Parks employee would increase working hours from 30 to 37.
- A new Administration Officer would be employed.
- The hours for the Town Clerk to be increased by 4 per week.
West Mercia Police had asked if the rent for one police car parking at the back of the Civic Hall for the months of November 2019, December 2019 and January 2020 could be waived as a gesture of goodwill. Members stated that they needed to pay and the Town Clerk would let them know.
Members agreed in principle to include at least £1,000 in the 2020/21 budget for improvements to the Town Centre.
25. Recommendations to council on 11th February 2020
- Approved the burial fees detailed in Minute No. 23 above.
- Approved the Revised Estimates for 2019/20.
- Approved the draft budget for 2020/21 and the Vehicle, Equipment and Election Programme.
- After a debate, a precept increase from £31.40 to £39.00 representing an increase of 24% was approved.
The Meeting closed at 4.00pm.