August 2023 Minutes EOM (10th)
THE MINUTE REFERENCES FOR THIS MEETING ARE INCORRECT. ALL MINUTES SHOULD HAVE BEEN REFERENCED 23/24 NOT 22/23
Bardney Group Parish Council
Minutes from the Full Council Meeting
Bardney Village Hall Thursday 10th August 2023 at 7pm
Cllr Ian Fleetwood (Chairman)
Cllr John Papworth (Vice-Chairman)
Cllr Frank Bates
Cllr Michael McIlroy
Cllr Mary Corbould
Cllr Barry Newlove
Cllr Robin Darby
Cllr Barry Percival
Cllr Ken Hutchinson
Cllr Lou Reeves
Cllr Ruth Lane
Cllr Samantha Wright
Cllr Brian Lintin
Acting Clerk/RFO: Laura Allen
Cllr Lynne Newlove
Members of the Public
Seven members of the public were present
Meeting commenced at 7pm
The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting. The public forum was invited to commence:
A summary of matters raised by members of the public and responses are listed below:
1. It was asked where the information is regarding the contract for accommodation and if it was available? The Chairman clarified that there is no contract for accommodation because the agreement was on a short-term basis as an interim arrangement for hot-desking for the period of moving between the portacabin and the new office at the front of the village hall, which would also have a similar easy in-easy out arrangement.
2. The member of the public said it worried him from an HR point of view and also an audit point of view. The Chairman stated that the new arrangements were far mor compliant than the portacabin giving examples of heating, better access and also better facilities for staff.
3. A further point was raised had there been a fire officer’s inspection. The Chairman responded by saying that he had received notification that the Village Hall Committee had stated that all issues were in place excepting a check for Legionare’s Compliance which they are currently undertaking.
4. A further point was raised about nothing being in writing about the Parish Council occupying the Pavilion. The Chairman confirmed that there were proposals and agreements with regard to hot desking into the Pavilion.
5. A further point was made about how much was the cost per month. The Chairman confirmed that it is £300 per calendar month which includes electricity, heating, water and any other utilities. The arrangement is for an all-inclusive rental.
6. Another point was raised regarding if the arrangement needed planning permission. The Chairman stated that it was a short-term hot desking arrangement.
7. A further point was made regarding insurance and if a member of the public had an accident. The Chairman replied that the Parish Council insurance had been updated to cover the Council working from the Pavilion and that there is cover within the policy.
8. Another member of the public stated that at the last meeting there had been some doubt regarding using St. Oswald’s field as a football pitch. What has happened to the report from the representative from the Football Association which said it was suitable? What had happened to the £2500 from West Lindsey to cover any work required? The Chairman stated that the Parish Council are still awaiting the representative to visit the Panthers Football team or whoever regarding the arrangement, and that the Parish Council were also hoping to be included at that meeting. With regard to the paper trail, no agreements had been found in the Parish Office, there is a very limited number of emails which to date have an agreement or formal arrangement in them.
9. The member of the public said he knew that the report had been there and asked the Chairman what he had done with the report? The Chairman replied that he had not done anything with the alleged report. He went on to say that various Councillors and staff had also tried to locate information but had failed. He went on further to say that the Parish Council had contacted Lincolnshire Football Association asking them if they could provide a reverse trial of information and that a report had not been offered.
10. The member of the public then said what had happened to the £2500? The Chairman stated that nothing had been allocated or refused.
11. Another point was raised regarding the potential for an allotment being given to a local community organisation and that this was unlawful. The Chairman said that there was a potential for a policy revision later in the meeting so that any arrangement would fit within the Parish Council Allotment Policy. The situation had also been reviewed from a national basis by various Councillors and that there is a lot of enthusiasm for this to progress.
12. Another point was made that why was a Councillor writing to the Auditor querying the audit? The Chairman said that if a Councillor was a resident within the Group Parish Council they were entitled to write as an individual.
13. Another point was made that Lincolnshire County Council had recognised the issue of parking restrictions outside the Post Office. Will they be writing an apology to those people who have been affected and why have they not been removed? The Chairman replied that the resident was asking about a County Council issue within the public forum of the Parish Council, but he would address the issue as the local County Councillor. He went on to say that if the situation changed after the County Council review then the lines would be removed.
14. The member of the public then stated that he had been told a high percentage of parking restrictions in the County had not been dealt with correctly and that shortcuts had been taken and were unenforceable, and that it would be information that the audit office would be interested in. The Chairman stated that he should take his issues up with the appropriate Council. The member of the public said he was sending the information to his representative, so the Chairman asked that he communicated with him outside of the Parish Council meeting, and as County Councillor, would ask the question on his behalf.
15. Another member of the public asked if any progress had been made regarding the legal fees he had brought up at previous meetings. The Chairman stated that the investigation was still on-going and that things would becoming together in a short period of time.
16. A resident asked what square footage was being rented in the Pavilion. The Chairman stated the various rooms at the disposal of the Parish Council but had not measured them, but said it was around two-thirds to three-quarters of the Pavilion. The resident said he wanted to check whether the rent being paid was reasonable. The Chairman stated that the Council could measure the building if the resident wished.
Main meeting commenced at 7.14pm
76-22/23 Apologies for Absence
To receive and accept apologies where valid reasons for absence have been given to the Clerk prior to the meeting in accordance with Local Gov. Act 1972, Sch 12, para 40.
Apologies for absence were received and accepted from Cllr Lynne Newlove.
77-22/23 Declarations of Interests
To receive any declarations of interest under the Localism Act 2011 being any pecuniary interest in agenda items not previously recorded on Members’ Register of Interests and any written requests for dispensation.
Cllr Darby as an Allotment Holder declared an interest in Agenda Item 84-23/24 and requested a dispensation. The Chairman stated that there had been no request in writing for a dispensation.
It was proposed by Cllr B Newlove, seconded by Cllr Lane and RESOLVED not to grant dispensation to Cllr Darby to participate in Agenda Item 84-23/24.
78-22/23 Approval of Minutes
To approve as a correct record the minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 18th July 2023 and to authorise the Chairman to sign the official minutes.
The notes were proposed by Cllr Reeve, seconded by Cllr McIlroy and RESOLVED to approve as the minutes from the 10th July, with a clear majority.
To consider and agree courses of action for the following:
79-22/23 Requirements for progressing Community Speedwatch
The Chairman explained that the Council he had located most of the equipment in a dirty state in the Handyman’s Portacabin. He had cleaned the signs and the radar gun case but could not locate any hi-vis jackets. In order for the scheme to re-start volunteers (who could be Councillors or residents) would need to be trained and he had contacted Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership to progress this, and in addition there would be a need for say 6 new jackets which would cost less than £100.
After a debate, it was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Percival and RESOLVED to promote the scheme to find volunteers and then re-consider the scheme at that stage.
80-22/23 Remembrance Day Event Planning
A debate was held which included the necessary road closure, the purchase of 6 medium wreaths, cleaning of the War Memorial, propellor and wall surrounding the Green using ‘Wet and Forget’ by the Handyman, Councillors and Volunteers. The cost of the ‘Wet and Forget’ would be in the order of £180, but this would have a significant impact on the centre of the village. The electric supply was questioned regarding ownership and the Chairman stated that we receive an electricity bill for the supply; currently work in progress to illuminate the propellor. The sunken area was also discussed and more soil is required to complete this.
All of the above work and items were proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Lintin and RESOLVED unanimously to carry out the items.
81-22/23 Christmas Event Planning
A copy of the Report has been provided below:
The Chairman introduced this and it was discussed that the Christmas tree on the Green could be pruned to give it a more ‘christmas tree shape’, more lights could be purchased utilising some of the events budget, a potential Christmas market which could focus around the village hall with external stalls/attractions in the car park in late November / early December. This market could be run as a Parish Council event alone or in conjunction/partnership with other groups such as the Village Hall Committee and others. It was suggested that lighting could be placed on the front of the Village Hall with their agreement.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Reeve and clearly carried that these items should all progress with an appropriate paper trial of agendas and minutes. The date will be brought back to the next meeting, where the Council will decide if it will be a working group or run by the whole Council.
82-22/23 Maintenance and Repairs for Village Noticeboards
The Chairman stated that all of the Noticeboards had been in a very bad state. He had asked two people to clean them, but had spent a Friday afternoon and a Saturday morning cleaning them, and although they were not perfect they were now usable. The Southrey bus shelter board had been found and new timetable installed after he had cleaned it. This left Apley Noticeboard needing new locks with an anticipated cost of around £40.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Bates and RESOLVED for the Apley Noticeboard to have new locks fitted by the Handyman or volunteers. This was clearly carried.
83-22/23 Disposal of the old lawnmower
Following the purchase of a new mower in February, the Council still have the old mower on the asset register. The old mower allegedly has either a tensioner or belt issue according to the Handyman, otherwise it is well serviced. The asset value is somewhere between £1000 and £1200.
It was proposed by Cllr Hutchinson, seconded by Cllr Reeve and RESOLVED for the mower to be sold at £1000. This was unanimous.
Cllr Darby left the meeting for the following item:
84-22/23 To resolve to adopt and approve the Allotment Policy
The Chairman introduced the revised Allotment Policy. He stated that the only change was the introduction of ‘Clause 8’ which would allow Community Group to sell produce they had grown on their allotment at another location.
It was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Wright and RESOLVED for the new policy to be adopted. This was clearly carried.
Cllr Darby returned to the meeting.
85-22/23 To resolve to adopt and approve the Petty Cash Policy
The Chairman introduced the new Petty Cash Policy. He stated that a sum of money had been found in a secure filing cabinet and that it was not known what it was or where it had come from. The very recent AGAR statement had stated that no Petty Cash was held by the Council. Two Councillors and the Acting Clerk had witnessed the money being counted and it had been utilised in the last three weeks as Petty Cash with dockets to show any money movement. After a debate it was agreed that no Petty Cash would be kept and the money would be paid into the Current Bank Account. This was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Hutchinson and RESOLVED for the new policy NOT to be adopted. This was clearly carried.
86-22/23 To approve the Cemetery Committee’s Terms of Reference and the Cemetery Terms and Conditions
The Chairman introduced the amended Cemetery Committee Terms of Reference dated July 2023. A question was asked regarding the Cemetery Improvement Group volunteers and if they should be included and if their proposed works should be dealt with by Full Council. The Chairman said this was policy was for the Councillors who were part of the Council and that any volunteers would fall under any Volunteers Policy.
The Cemetery Terms and Conditions was then referred to. This Policy had a small amendment to it to allow internments to be made as before but with the additional days of Monday and Saturday if there were the various organisations available. A question was raised regarding additional costs to families, but if that was their wish the Council should try to accommodate them with either the Clerk or a Councillor available to oversee.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Wright and RESOLVED for the new policy to be adopted. This was clearly carried.
87-22/23 To review and approve the updated Co-Option Policy
The Chairman introduced the updated Co-Option Policy. There is a small adjustment to the Policy which is the removal of the need to DBS check new Councillors joining the Council. This has already been to Personnel and Review Committee and their view was that this checking was not necessary.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Percival and RESOLVED for the new policy to be adopted. This was clearly carried.
88-22/23 To ratify the approved users of the Parish Council’s Social Media Accounts
The Chairman introduced the report and it was confirmed that the named users are the Acting Clerk and Cllr Wright. It was asked if there were any more willing volunteers and there were none.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Lane and the users were RATIFIED by a unanimous vote.
89-22/23 To receive an update on the Freedom of Information Request in relation to the St Oswald’s Feast Event
The Chairman introduced the report and it was responded to on 14 th July by the Acting Clerk, which was within the twenty working days. They have a right to appeal within 40 working days so they can follow up if they choose to. This item was to be noted only.
90-22/23To ratify the payments for July 2023, note the receipts and to approve the list of payments to be made for August 2023
The Chairman introduced the report as the first accounting sheet. There is an item on 31 st July 2023 to Mr I Fleetwood for £38.00 and this was not Chairman’s expenses but it was a receipted invoice for £38.00 including VAT for the purchase of additional keys for the Pavilion. Grass cutting costs from 6 th July were also discussed, but it was stated that some of the costs were from the previous month. The grass cutting invoice had not cleared quickly due to the Council’s previous banking issues. NALC award scheme costs were also questioned and it was agreed that this was an annual payment for the Local Council Foundation Award.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Lintin and the users were RATIFIED by a clear majority.
91-22/23 To approve the Bank Reconciliation Statement as at 31 st July 2023
The Chairman introduced the Bank Reconciliation Statement. This showed the recent banking and also the small number of Petty Cash entries, with a residual of £40.80, which would get placed in the current account. This was the first month of using EasyPC software would cost around £5 to £8 per month after the trial period. The reports were relatively easy & quick to produce. One Councillor stated that he didn’t think the software was fit for purpose.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Wright and the Statement was APPROVED by a clear majority.
92-22/23 To approve the Budget Report as at 31 st July 2023
See attachments to the minutes:
The Chairman introduced the Budget Report which illustrated the first 4 months of the financial year. The Budget had been set up by the last Council at its precept meeting. Various balances were illustrated to Councillors and explained. The report illustrated balances including VAT which had been deemed to be the correct way for Parish Council accounts. A Councillor stated he wanted more detailed budget analysis, but they were told the Parish Council was working to the cost centres created in the precept meeting from last January. A full list of transactions had also been provided but with names obscured to resolve any GDPR issues. The Asset Register was also discussed, and it was agreed to get it updated. Room hire was also discussed, and it was stated that the Methodist Hall included some hire charges for the St Oswald’s Festival planning meetings. There are still some reference numbers that need adding to make the accounts complete.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr McIlroy and the Budget Report was APPROVED by a clear majority.
93-22/23 To agree the amount of funds to be transferred and maintained in the saving account
The Chairman stated that with increases in interest rates it might be prudent to place some funds on deposit and draw down as necessary from an instant access Unity account. Generally most of the income is from the precept paid by West Lindsey District Council early in the financial year.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Reeve that a £10,000 floor limit was operated for the current account, which was APPROVED by a clear majority.
94-22/23 To agree a maintenance budget for village flower planters
The Chairman stated that the planters in some areas had not been planted this year. He stated that although it was getting late in the season Parishoners were expecting them to be maintained across the villages. It was suggested that this was within the Handyman’s remit but somehow this year some planters had been missed, and that perenials could be purchased in future as well as bulbs. More plants could be added next year, but they will need to watered.
This was proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Wright that a £200 limit was operated for the current account, which was APPROVED by a clear majority.
95-22/23 To receive an update on insurance cover
The Chairman stated that the Council policy included hot-desking in the Pavilion now, but there was a need to ensure cyber-insurance is in place as well as legal fees which we are unsure if we have cover. The new lawnmower appears not to be covered because it is not in the asset register and had a purchase price over £3500. The Council are currently attempting to cover the lawnmower for road use which also included the tarmac footways through the village which would mean it would display a rear number plate. The current policy was an automatic renewal from last year’s policy and was renewed in May this year. There was also a discussion regarding the trailer insurance which the lawn mower is transported around the Parishes in. It was asked if there was anything in the Parish Office that highlighted any of these insurances and the Chairman stated he was unaware of insurance for the new lawnmower unless the previous Chairman could correct him.
This was proposed by Cllr Lane, seconded by Cllr Wright that the Handyman does not use the lawnmowers until adequate insurance is in place, which was APPROVED by a clear majority.
96-22/23 To receive and approve the Governance Report provided by LALC
The Chairman stated that it had been agreed by Council that LALC would complete a Governance Report. This was carried out about 4 weeks ago, but the report had only been available to the Council within the last 36 hours. It had been intended to run this meeting as a single agenda item to deal with this report, and the content of the report had been unknown until its arrival. When the report arrived by email, it was then forwarded to all Councillors and the Acting Clerk in around 20 minutes. It is a ten page report and very detailed, and he said that he didn’t feel the Council would do justice to the content at this late hour. It is a public report which is not confidential, and he proposed that a further Extra-Ordinary meeting was held within two weeks to discuss the report as a single item agenda. The report is not barred from distribution, so he proposed that the report was made available from the next day, and that it is published onto the Bardney Group Parish Council website, and that it was also available as a hardcopy in addition to being available via Social Media
The Chairman stated that after having read the report he really did need to apologise to the Parishoners on behalf of the Parish Council, but needed to re-iterate that this was a historical report based upon the Parish Council’s past. He reiterated that there was a lot of detail within the report.
Cllr Corbould seconded the Chairman’s proposal. The Chairman did question all the Councillors that they had seen the report, and also read the content. He reiterated that he formally apologised on behalf of the Parish Council for a lot of the issues illustrated. The recommendation to defer to a further meeting was APPROVED with a clear majority. The Chairman said a copy of the report should be sent to the Internal and External Auditors and the Monitoring Officer on the basis that it was a public report and may have implications.
97-22/23 To receive an update on the External Audit
The Acting Clerk sated that there had been a query from the External Auditor asking for a copy of the minutes when the AGAR was signed which was the 20 th April meeting. This was sent and their reply was that the accounts had not been signed in accordance of the approved accounts and audit regulations. When she researched the issue, it was the agenda that was wrong which had carried through to the minutes, but they would still carry out their report and that this would be in their findings. This agenda item was for noting.
98-22/23 To resolve to move into closed session in accordance with the public bodies (admission to meetings) act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be discussed in relation to the following matters:
Proposed by Cllr Fleetwood, seconded by Cllr Reeve. This was carried with a majority.
99-22/23 To note contact received from the Advisory, Concilliation and Arbitration Service
100-22/23 To approve backdated staff overtime payments from April, May and June 2023
101-22/23 To note the date of the next Council Meeting
The next meeting will be within the next two weeks to review the LALC report.
Meeting closed at 9:09pm.