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Minutes – Finance Working Group (Special meeting) – 28 October 2021

The minutes of this meeting are presented below.

You can also download a PDF copy of the minutes here: Minutes – Finance Working Group (Special meeting) – 28 October 2021

NOTES OF THE VIRTUAL MEETING OF THE FINANCE WORKING GROUP
HELD ON TUESDAY 19 OCTOBER 2021 AT 2.00PM

PRESENT:

  • Councillors Scicluna (Chairman)
  • Councillor Harry

EX-OFFICIO:

  • The Mayor (Councillor J Hughes)
  • Councillor Apel (Chairman of Community Affairs)
  • Councillor Plowman (Chairman of Planning and Conservation)

ALSO IN ATTENDANCE:

  • Councillor Sharp
  • Town Clerk
  • Deputy Town Clerk (Responsible Finance Officer)
  • Emma Waterer (Expert Virtual Assistant Services)
  • A member of the public

57. APOLOGIES AND RECORD OF ABSENCE

No apologies for absence were received.

The Deputy Mayor (Councillor Joy) and Councillors Barrie, Dignum and K Hughes were absent.

58. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN – REQUEST FROM THE STEERING GROUP FOR FUNDING FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT

As requested at the last meeting, the Working Group gave further consideration to administrative support to the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

Councillor Plowman had arranged for a ‘Virtual Assistant’ to attend the meeting and outline customary duties and responsibilities. In essence this was to provide an administrative support function ie sending out agendas, writing minutes and other duties to support the task in hand. The cost of this service was an hourly rate of £30.

The Chairman drew attention to one of the Terms of Reference of the Steering Group requiring the appointment of a secretary and asked why this had not been done. Councillor Plowman said this was simply due to there being no suitable candidate being identified.

The Working Group considered it imperative that the next stage of development of the Steering Group presented a critical opportunity in furthering the work done to date as well as embracing the widest possible membership of the Group; this view was supported by Councillor Sharp (there is a meeting on 8th November at 5pm to consider expressions of interest of Steering Group membership).

The Working Group took a view that the principle of a ‘Virtual Assistant’ being appointed for a total of 12 months (total cost £3,600 on the basis of £30 per hour, 10 hours per month) be supported, the cost being met from CIL receipts, but they considered this appointment should not be made until the new Steering Group had been formed, a Secretary appointed, and a better estimation of the workload of the Steering Group established and further, that any appointment made conform to the usual principles of open competition.

It was therefore AGREED TO RECOMMEND to Full Council that administrative support for the new Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group (post 8 November 2021) be provided for up to 12 months, or up to the amount of £3600, to be funded from CIL receipts.

It was further RECOMMENDED to Full Council that the recruitment process commence once the new Steering Group had identified the support that was required and suitable candidates for consideration.

The meeting closed at 2.53pm

DATE OF NEXT ORDINARY MEETING: THURSDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2021

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