The minutes of this meeting are presented below.
You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Finance Committee – 11 June 2019
MINUTES OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY 11 JUNE 2019 AT 5.30PM
- Councillor Scicluna (Chairman)
- Councillor Barrie (Vice-Chairman)
- Councillor Dignum
- Councillor Harry
- Councillor K Hughes
- The Mayor (Councillor Plowman)
- Councillor Apel (Chairman of Community Affairs)
- The Deputy Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
- Councillor Joy
- Councillor Sharp
- Town Clerk
- Deputy Town Clerk (Responsible Finance Officer)
- Member Services Support Officer
- Mayoral/Administrative Assistant
1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that Councillor Scicluna be elected Chairman of the Finance Committee for the remainder of the Council Year. There were no other nominations.
It was proposed, seconded and RESOLVED that Councillor Barrie be elected Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee for the remainder of the Council Year. There were no other nominations.
2. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
As recorded above.
3. TO CONFIRM CHAIRMAN AND VICE-CHAIRMAN MEMBERSHIP OF SUB-COMMITTEES
In accordance with Standing Order 45, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were asked to indicate membership of the Sub-Committees reporting to the Finance Committee namely the Personnel Sub-Committee and Property Sub-Committee.
The Chairman indicated that she wished to be a member of the following Sub-Committees, namely Personnel and Property. However, the Vice-Chairman indicated that she did not wish to serve on these Sub-Committees. It was therefore RESOLVED that the Chairman be a member of the Personnel and the Property Sub-Committees but that the Vice-Chairman would not.
4. PROPERTY SUB-COMMITTEE EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR MEMEBRSHIP
The Chairman indicated that they wished to be a member of the Property Sub-Committee and it was RESOLVED that the membership of the Property Sub-Committee be Councillors Apel, Dignum, K Hughes and Scicluna. The Mayor and Deputy Mayor are members of all Sub-Committees.
The Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting held on 16 April 2019 having been circulated, were signed by the Chairman as a correct record.
6. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST BY MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE ON MATTERS ON THE AGENDA FOR THIS MEETING
The Mayor, as a member of the Rotary Club of Chichester declared a Personal Interest in Item 7 (Maurice Patten statue). Councillor Apel, as the initiator of the Mayor’s Trophy, declared a Personal Interest in Item 7. The Mayor, Councillor Dignum, K Hughes and Barrie, as members of Chichester District Council declared Personal Interest.
7. UPDATE FROM PREVIOUS MINUTES
(i) Mayor’s Trophy
The Committee noted the report of the Town Clerk appended to the Agenda and the contents therein.
RESOLVED that the sum of £110 be allocated for the purpose of obtaining a new front plaque and new name plaques to extend the life of the trophy.
(ii) 85 and 85a Bus Services between Arundel and Chichester
The Town Clerk explained that a request had been received for Parish Councils to help fund the Saturday Service of the 85 and 85a bus route from Chichester to Arundel following the decision to withdraw the service due to under-use. However, following receipt of statistical information it was felt that this request could not be supported.
RESOLVED not to support the request for funding for the 85 and 85a Saturday Bus Service between Arundel and Chichester.
(iii) Maurice Patten Statue
The Town Clerk informed Members that there had been no progress since the last meeting of the Committee.
It was agreed that all parties involved would meet and report back to the Finance Committee with a plan to move the project forward.
RESOLVED that this item be deferred for further discussion at the next meeting of the Committee.
8. INTERNAL CONTROL POLICY AND RISK MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN
A copy of the Internal Control Policy and Risk Management Action Plan for the year ending 31 March 2019 had been circulated to all members with the Agenda.
The Finance Manager advised that the Internal Control Policy and the Risk Management Action Plan showed that the City Council’s business was conducted appropriately. All of the risks identified during the year had been addressed.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 19 June 2019 that the amended Internal Control Policy and Risk Management Action Plan be adopted and signed by the Mayor and Responsible Finance Officer.
9. STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2018/2019
A copy of the Statement of Accounts 2018/2019 produced by DCK Beavers Ltd had been circulated to all members with the Agenda.
The Finance Manager’s accompanying report explained that the year end accounts to 31 March 2019 showed a surplus of £17,005. Overall the Earmarked reserves have increased from £349,801 to £406,345. The City Council’s total balances £521,544 plus £490,000 invested in the Local Authority’s Property Fund.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 19 June 2019 that the Statement of Accounts 2018/2019 be approved and signed by the Mayor and Responsible Finance Officer.
10. BUDGETS TO BE CARRIED FORWARD FROM 2018/2019 AND BUDGETS TRANSFERRED TO RESERVES
The Finance Manager explained the rationale behind the budgets being carried forward and the budgets transferred to reserves.
It was RESOLVED that the following budgets be carried forward from 2018/2019 to 2019/2020 financial year:
Council House cyclical
Painting Restoration (prof fees)
Cfwds to 19/20
RESOLVED that the following Underspends in 2018/2019 be transferred to Earmarked Reserves.
Public Realm Budget
11. ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT (Part 1 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019
A copy of Annual Governance Statement (Part 1 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019 was circulated with the Agenda to all members. The Finance Manager explained that this Statement assured the Auditors that Chichester City Council was conducting their accounts correctly.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 19 June 2019 that the Annual Governance Statement (Part 1 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019 be approved and signed by the Mayor and the Town Clerk.
12. ACCOUNTING STATEMENTS (Part 2 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019
A copy of the Accounting Statements (Part 2 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019 was circulated with the Agenda to all members. The Finance Manager explained that the figures on the Statement were extracted from the Statement of Accounts.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 19 June 2019 that the Accounting Statements (Part 2 of the Annual Return) 2018/2019 be approved and signed by the Mayor and Responsible Finance Officer.
13. INTERNAL AUDITOR
Report on Internal Audit Report Requirements
The Finance Manager explained that the Internal Audit scope and Report had been redesigned to robustly review all of the Internal Controls of the Council.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on Wednesday 19 June 2019 that the following be approved:
(a) the new scope of Audit and reformatted Audit Report be agreed for the financial year 2019/20.
(b) the appointment of the Internal Auditor be agreed to 31 March 2020.
14. INVESTMENT REGISTER
A copy of the Investment Register had been circulated to all members with the Agenda.
The Deputy Town Clerk advised that the Investment Register showed the purchase of the units in the Property Fund and the price per unit.
The Deputy Town Clerk was thanked by the Committee for her good work in the production of the City Council’s accounts.
15. CLIMATE CHANGE (Council Minute 52 and 53 refers)
NOTICE OF MOTION (1) FROM COUNCILLOR SHARP
In light of the incredible success of the Blue Planet series in raising awareness of the dangers of single-use plastic, this Council:
1. Thanks and congratulations to the City Council staff on their use of real glasses and crockery in City Council functions and meetings.
2. Supports and looks into the feasibility of joining the “Refill” Scheme that West Sussex is setting up
3. Will gradually work towards reducing and subsequently eliminating the use of single-use plastics (e.g. using refillable containers for cleaning products, eliminating so-called disposable plastic cups and avoiding using laminating sheets for one-off occasions – reusable plastic sleeves can be used instead.)
4. Encourages the City Council staff to liaise with hirers of the facilities to ensure that hirers have considered reducing or eliminating their use of single-use plastics.
This Council recommends that the conditions of hire of the building should in the longer term be modified to include discouraging the use of single-use plastics wherever practically possible and encouraging the use of other alternatives that are compostable.
5. Promotes a deposit system to the District and County Councils and to our MP. Such a scheme has the potential to revolutionize our reliance on single-use plastics and keep litter off the streets. (Residents would be incentivised to return bottles to shops in order to get their deposit back).
6. Sets up a Task and Finish Group to look into the use of single-use plastics in the City Council’s work and the Council’s role as a promoter of best practise to the citizens of Chichester.
NOTICE OF MOTION (2) FROM COUNCILLOR SHARP
1. All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of Chichester and the UK that cities commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;
2. Cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for local energy generation and public transport;
3. The consequences of global temperature rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority; and,
4. Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities (as well as improved well-being for people worldwide).
Full Council calls on the Mayor to:
1. Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;
2. Pledge to make the city of Chichester carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions;
3. Call on Westminster to provide the powers and resources to make the 2030 target possible;
4. Work with other councils and governments (both within the UK and internationally) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;
5. Continue to work with partners across the city and region to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;
6. Set up a Task and Finish Group to look into the matter in greater detail. Consider whether it would be advisable to take into account climate change impacts, when debating planning applications, or taking part in consultations, commenting on reports, plans and reviews put to the Council.
7. Report to Full Council within six months with the actions the Mayor/Council will take to address this emergency.
RESOLVED that this item be RECOMMENDED to full Council on 19 June 2019 for further consideration.
16. FINANCE COMMITTEE – TERMS OF REFERENCE REVIEW
The Committee noted the Terms of Reference of the Finance Committee appended to the Agenda.
It was RECOMMENDED to Full Council on 19 June 2019 that the following items be added:
- Public Realm Expenditure
- CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) Projects
- Biodiversity and Climate Change
17. CITY COUNCIL STANDING ORDERS – REVIEW
The Chairman asked members to consider a request to form a working party, chaired by the Deputy Mayor, to review Standing Orders. The Town Clerk said that ideally there should be a minimum of six members with an equal mix of all long-serving and new Councillors. The following members indicated their willingness to serve on the working party: Councillors Apel, Dignum, Harry, The Mayor (Councillor Plowman) and Scicluna.
The Town Clerk advised Members that he would prepare a draft revised Standing Orders document based on the new National Association of Local Councils (NALC) framework. The draft would also include those local Standing Orders from the current document that are of particular significance to Chichester City Council.
It was therefore RESOLVED that the Deputy Mayor would be asked to form a working party to review the draft Standing Orders put forward by the Town Clerk and report back to Committee with its recommendations.
18. REQUEST BY THE GREEN PARTY TO LAY A WHITE POPPY WREATH ON REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY
The Committee noted the report of the Town Clerk appended to the Agenda which outlined a request received from Councillor Sharp (on behalf of the Green Party) for a White Poppy Wreath to be laid at the War Memorial at the Annual Service of Remembrance.
After discussion during which members commented on the service being a “time of remembrance and peace” attended by several different organisations, the Committee RESOLVED to support the request.
19. REQUEST BY COUNCILLOR SHARP FOR THE ADDITION OF COUNCILLOR ATTENDANCE RECORDS TO BE ADDED TO THE WEBSITE
Councillor Sharp advised the Committee that she had received a request from a Constituent for an accessible record of attendance of City Councillors at Committee and Council meetings.
The Town Clerk informed Members that this was very much a developing trend and that, in line with Chichester District and West Sussex County Councils making the information available, a number of Councils across the country were also doing so.
The Town Clerk advised that the Member Services Support Officer had already started creating the records for the current Council and that it was ready to be made available.
Members discussed the merits and issues around making this information and it was generally felt to be a positive step towards more openness.
It was therefore RESOLVED that the Member Services Support Officer should make the information available on the City Council website and keep the records updated as appropriate.
The Mayor left the meeting.
20. ITEMS FOR INFORMATION ONLY
(a) Monthly Reconciliation with evidence of Bank Statements to the end of February and March 2019
RESOLVED to note the monthly reconciliation with evidence of Bank Statements to the end of February and March 2018.
(b) List of Cheques paid for February and March 2019
RESOLVED to note the cheques paid for February and March 2018.
(c) List of Barclaycard Payments for February and March 2019
RESOLVED to note the Barclaycard payments for February and March 2018.
21. ITEMS TO BE INCLUDED ON THE AGENDA FOR THE NEXT MEETING
- Standing Orders
- Business Plan
- Draft Budget
22. PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960
RESOLVED that, in the view of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public (including the Press) be excluded from the meeting because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, namely staffing and financial matters
23. STAFFING FOR A PERIOD OF 5 DAYS IN SEPTEMBER 2019
RESOLVED that during a period of 5 days absence of the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk in September 2019 that the office would operate on a normal basis.
24. CHARLES I BUST
RESOLVED that the Charles I Bust be placed on loan with the Novium Museum and that the Novium proceed with their application to the Government Indemnity Scheme.
25. FINANCE WORK EXPERIENCE
RESOLVED that the Finance Manager pursue the appointment of a work experience student as detailed in her report.
Councillor Apel left the meeting.
26. MARKET HOUSE – REASSIGNMENT OF LEASE – UNIT 4
RESOLVED that the City Council accept the terms of the Assignment of the remainder of the lease of Unit 4.
27. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Tuesday 22 October 2019 at 5.30pm
The meeting closed at 6.54pm.