LALC November 2023 Minutes

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Bardney Group Parish Council

DRAFT Minutes from the LALC Committee Meeting

Bardney Pavilion, 16th November 2023 at 7pm



Present  -  Cllr K Laughton (Chair),  Cllr B Newlove (Vice-Chair),  Cllr R Lane,

Cllr I Fleetwood,  Cllr K Hutchinson, Angela Smith Clerk.


Members of the Public and Councillors present

2 members of the public were present and 3 Councillors.



Meeting started at 7.00pm with the Public Forum


There will be a 15 minute public forum prior to the start of the meeting where members of the public may address the Council on current issues or items that may become future agenda items. 

Please note that this meeting is being recorded to assist in accurate minute taking.

Member of the public wanted to know the progress of the LALC report regarding certain issues in the report.  Chair advised this is the first committee meeting to go through this report and the committee will be reporting back to the Full Council in due course, whereby everyone including the public with be made aware of any recommendations.  An EOM will be in place in December to progress this more swiftly. 


The Chair of the Committee welcomed everyone to the meeting.


226-23/24  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 1972from, Sch 12, para 40.

No apologies.


227-23/24  Declarations of Interest  Declarations of interest

There were no declarations of interest recorded for the meeting.


228-23/24  The LALC report was received back in August this year with a series of recommendations.  Each recommendation will be gone through by the LALC committee to ascertain if any action / recommendations are needed. Chair has formulated an action plan to cover these recommendations.



Governance and Internal Control.

1) The council should adopt up to Standing Order, Financial Regulation Policies, Councillor Code of Conduct and ensure the Data protection policy, Freedom of information Policy and Publication policy is brought up to date as soon as possible.

 LALC have informed us that they will be updating policies including Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.  Chair recommended to contact LALC and ask if there are any other policies that they have that we can look at with the possibility of taking back to Full Council and adopting them, so they are functional for what the Parish Council needs.  Cllr Lane advised the committee that 30th April 2023 was the last time the Standing Orders and Financial Regulations were updated, and we would now be allowed as 6 months have passed to amend these policies, however, LALC are now adopting new policies soon, agreed to wait until LALC have published these.  Clerk advised that she would be seeing Andrew from LALC soon and she would ask if there was any update on when the new polices would be in place.  Committee agreed to wait for the new polices to be issued by LALC for this to be actioned by the responsible person (RFO), Chair recommended that a target completion date for all these polices mentioned for April 2024, Chair asked committee they thought this was reasonable, all agreed.  Cllr Lane suggested taking 2 to 3 policies could be amended and taken to Full Councill every month.  Chair agreed that some policies may be able to be completed before the completion date at the end of April 2024.


2)  Current Insurance and Public liability certificate should be displayed on website.

This has been actioned.



1) Spending items for the full financial year should be published alongside the AGAR, variables, analysis of reserves and spending ends budget should be published.  

Cllr Fleetwood confirmed there are monthly accounts published on the Parish website.  The Budget is currently being working on and will be taken to Full Council in next week’s meeting.  A monthly a report is available at Full Council Meetings including all expenditure and income for the previous month.   Committee approved that this recommendation is completed.


 2) Recommendation from the LALC was that documents could be easily accessed on the website from different browser types.

Cllr Fleetwood informed the committee that Full Council agreed several months ago to employ an IT professional from LALC to re-jig the website.  Chair reiterated that the website had now been restructured and is now accessible from different browser types and the recommendation has now been completed.  Cllr Lane highlighted for a member of the public that the LALC report was now on the front page of the website and can be accessed more easily as this was raised at the last Full Council Meeting.  Chair asked if there was any more information that needed to be put on the website. Cllr Fleetwood informed the committee that historical information needs to be placed on the website and could go back to 2002, however, Cllr Fleetwood is currently populating this information at present and is ongoing.  Action to be finished by 31st December 2023.


 3) Ensure that the exclusion from media and public from meetings are limited to suitable and resolutions are clearly minuted under confidential items only. 

Cllr Lane advised the committee that this came from the LALC report as such is historical, and now have adopted.  Chair advised that a lot of these recommendations are historical.  Cllr Fleetwood advised that since May the recommendations from the LALC report have been adopted where possible, which is why extra meetings have been in place since May 2023. Information is transparent and more available to the public by the recordings and detailed minutes taken.  Committee agreed this has been completed.


4) Procurement resolutions must comply with Standing Orders and Financial Regulations, the Practitioners Guide and Account Scheme, Council Audit Act 2014, Council and Audit Regulations 2015 and be disclosed

Committee felt this was historical and going on from this the introduction of new Financial Regulations and Standing Orders.  Committee felt this has been completed however, would be improved with the new regulation orders. 


5) To ensure Councillors have sufficient information about the business to be conducted to be able to disclose their interest prior to the item being debated or voted on and have an opportunity for a dispensation prior to the meeting if they wish to do so.

 This would come under Declaration of Interest which is on every meeting agenda.  Cllr Lane advised that this also come under the minutes distributed before a council meeting, having looked through historic agenda/minutes there has not been the information or time for the councillors to look at what is on the agenda.  This has now been rectified as agendas are emailed out in good time and minutes are more detailed, to the point that some criticism has been noted as too much information!  Cllr Fleetwood confirmed to support all minute’s audio recordings are taken.  Committee agreed we are now compliant with this.


6) Minutes must contain enough information to be able to see what has been decided by the Parish Council particularly spending decisions and background reports be published to justify the decision.

 This would include minutes to show what has been raised and agreed in the meetings.  Committee agreed we are now compliant with this.


7) Decisions made by the Clerk under delegated powers should be reported to the Council to be recorded in the minutes

Committee agreed we are now doing this by having a Clerks report every month.  Cllr Lane advised that in the last few meetings this has shown in the minutes, Clerk advised that she would be giving more detailed reports in future meetings and is also adding things that need to be agreed on the agendas.  Cllr Fleetwood advised that we are now documenting all training that Councillors and Staff are attending. 


8) Working Parties or Committees must report back to the Parish Council for recorded resolutions to be recorded regarding spending and other recommendation to be accepted by the council. 

Committee agreed we have adopted a process where whatever recommendations are made it is brought back to the Full Council. 


Financial Management


 1)  A robust budgeting process should be implemented, and the approved budget should be used as a regularly reporting tool identifying over and under spending in the financial year using up to date figures.

Cllr Hutchinson confirmed when he initially came to the council there were no useable accounting, and he did not accept the monthly figures. Cllr Fleetwood has recently worked on the accounts and is producing figures we can all agree on and feel we are now compliant.  Cllr Fleetwood advised that the important thing is that all the Parish Councils need to do an AGAR report each year which goes out to the external auditor, and everything is laid out in a particular framework.  As an example, he is working on putting next year’s budget together and has all the AGAR headings which is a lot more detailed than they have been previously. 


2) Petty cash handling needs to be improved.

 Cllr Hutchinson advised that on the AGAR report is stated NA on the Petty Cash which this should not happen, we asked for the Petty Cash to be banked so we no longer hold any Petty Cash.  This has now been banked and we do not hold any Petty Cash.  Compliant with the report.


3) Asset Register should be reviewed to ensure all assets have been identified and added to the register along with a purchase and insurance value figures so that a review of insurance can be completed. 

Cllr Fleetwood advised this is ongoing and that Cllr Lane and Cllr Hutchinson earlier in the year and started to put together an asset register and referred it back to himself.  Cllr Fleetwood has done some provisional headings prior to that, there is a piece of software on the old tower system with data on it, this has been printed off recently and talks in terms of the insurance policy being in 2016 and the council office being in the Fire Station.  I believe we have some updating to do on the asset register.  Cllr Lane asked who was inputting current purchases, Cllr Fleetwood advised the asset register will be updated to include all recent purchases.  Cllr Lane requested to know who currently was updating the asset register with the recent purchases.  Cllr Fleetwood advised the most recent work he has done on the asset register was that morning, Cllr Hutchinson asked if there was a minimum spend.  Cllr Fleetwood advised there is no criteria on minimum spend and no recommendation form the council.  Need to check guidance on the minimum amount to register.  Chair suggests if this should go back to the council urgently with recommendation that a committee investigate this.  Cllr Lane explained that herself and Cllr Hutchinson did asset register and added items to this, however, when passed it back to Cllr Fleetwood asked if he could investigate the depreciation.  Cllr Fleetwood advised that different items depreciate at different rates and would ask advice from LALC regards this.  Cllr Hutchinson advised the Chair that there would more than likely be insurance as it covers a generalisation of equipment to a certain amount and any more expensive items over a certain value would have to be named.  Chair advised the asset registered was not complete and the asset register is the responsibility of the Clerk to maintain when it has been updated.  Committee agreed to have this implemented by the end of March 2024.


4) General reserves low and have been decreasing each year and the Council must consider whether it has stronger engines in place to cope with any unforeseen incidents or votes and whether this means reductions in expenditure, increases in revenue or increase in Precept. 

In the process of putting together a more robust Budget to allow for the above recommendations.


5) The Council should ensure there is an active staffing committee to keep pay and conditions under review at least twice a year to ensure all staffing matters are kept under control. 

Chair advised we have an active P and R committee. 

Cllr Lane advised she would like to amend the Terms of Reference to include another member to investigate financial matters to help the Clerk and set up separate sub committees.  Committee agreed compliant with recommendations. 


Risk Management


1) The use of Portacabin does not seem to be carefully considered and minuted due to the need to move quickly and may not have met the needs of the Parish Council and Community

Parish Office has now moved to more adequate premises in the centre of the village which is more accessible to the Community.  Agreed compliant.


2) Policies and Risk registers need to be reviewed and updated.

 Chair suggested a Policy Committee to start looking at all the policies we have, the polices that need reviewing and policies we have not that need to be implemented. 


3) Financial risk should be fully costed and built into the financial plans for the council to reduce financial burden on reserves

This has been covered in the budget to build our reserves and a more robust financial planning put in place.  


4) Ensure council records its delegated powers in terms of reference for its committee and any decisions it delegates to the Clerk and any other Officers.

 Cllr Fleetwood advised that when the Polices are reviewed then the Terms of Reference should be reviewed at the same time.  Agreed to go to the committee who will be investigating Policies and Risk registers.


5) Private use of council assets should be limited and covered by employment contracts and employment policies and to ensure it complies with ACAS, HMRC and the Pensions regulators guidance when it makes decisions.

 Chair felt this would probably come under the P and R committee and asked if we were compliant with that.  Cllr Hutchinson advised some previous councillors were given tablets and asked Cllr Fleetwood if these had been handed back in.  Cllr Fleetwood didn’t have the answer to this however advised there were a selection of tablets in the Portacabin locked in the secure cabin and potentially there is probably 1 or 2 tablets still out in circulation.  Cllr Newlove suggested we recall all tablets as they are still council properties.  Clerk and Chair to communicate to all councillors who have a tablet. 


Chair proposed to resolve to move into a closed session in accordance with public

bodies (admission to meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the

business to be discussed in relation further issues raised in the report under use of council assets.



Moved to closed session @ 19.54