SHREWSBURY TOWN COUNCIL - DOC 13

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					                     SHREWSBURY TOWN COUNCIL

                Finance & General Purposes Committee
       Meeting held at the Guildhall, Frankwell Quay, Shrewsbury
              At 6.30pm on Wednesday 19 January 2011

PRESENT – Councillors P Nutting (Chairman), M Price (Vice-Chairman), P
Adams, D Carroll (substituting for Cllr Farmer), I Jones, M Kenny & A Mosley

APOLOGIES – Councillors T Durnell & D Farmer

IN ATTENDANCE – Helen Ball (Town Clerk), Gary Farmer (Operations
Manager) & Andy Watkin (Responsible Financial Officer)

67/10 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
      CODE OF CONDUCT

All twin-hatted members of the        Personal interest in matters relating to
Council                               the Town Council’s financial
                                      arrangements with Shropshire
                                      Council

68/10 MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING

The minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting held on
10 January 2011 were submitted as circulated and read.

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the Finance & General Purposes Committee meeting held
on 10 January 2011 be approved and signed as a correct record.

69/10 MATTERS ARISING

(i) Re Min 65/10(i) Greenfields – The public meeting had been scheduled for
Monday 24 January. Councillor Baker had been assisting Shropshire
Constructing Excellence with the arrangements.

(ii) Re Min 65/10(ii) Crematorium – The OJEU Notice had now been
published and officers were preparing the necessary documentation in
readiness for tender submission.

(iii) Re Min 65/10(iii) Noticeboards – Details about noticeboards had been
circulated to all members

70/10 ACCOUNTS

(i) Schedule of Payments - The Responsible Financial Officer circulated a
schedule of payments since the last meeting. The Chairman encouraged
members to raise any queries regarding payments with either the Town Clerk
or RFO.
RECOMMENDED:

That the schedule of accounts passed for payment during the period 8
November 2010 – 14 January 2011 be approved.

(ii) Third Quarter Accounts - The Responsible Financial Officer presented
the accounts for the third quarter ending 31 December 2010. He reported that
the information was superceded by the budgetary information which looked
more at the forecast out-turn for the whole year.

RECOMMENDED:

That the Third Quarter Accounts for the period 1 April – 31 December 2010 be
approved.

71/10 BUDGET 2011/12

The Responsible Financial Officer presented budgetary information taking into
account the changes from the previous meeting. Members considered the
following additions:

(i) ICT Recharge – It was reported that after discussions with both officers in
IT services and the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Community Working, plans to
recharge Parish Councils have been deferred awaiting further information
gathering; provision was as a result removed from the budget.

(ii) Community Safety – Provision of £10,000 be made for possible vehicle
activated signs throughout the town and not at this stage in specific wards,
subject to further information being available.

(iii) Contingency – Provision of £30,000 be made for an operational
contingency to be used against income and expenditure unforeseen at the
current time.

(iv) Shrewsbury Summer Season – The Town Clerk had met with members
of the Shrewsbury Summer Season and given the deadline for the production
of a 2011 brochure, the group needed to move very quickly. There wasn’t
sufficient officer support available in the short-term. It was agreed to allocate
£4,000 from the 2010/11 budget to assist with the brochure collation and
production costs to allow the group to proceed, with further discussions on the
need for the brochure as part of the tourism offer at the next Destination
Shrewsbury meeting.

RECOMMENDED:

That a budget of £2,978,545 be set against a precept levy of £871,714; this
equating to a Band D rate of £36.77.

72/10 AUDIT

(i) Audit Letter 2009/10 – Members considered the Final Audit Letter in
relation to the audit of the 2009/10 accounts.
RECOMMENDED:

That the Final Audit Letter for the financial year 2009/10 be noted.

(ii) Internal Audit – Members considered the Interim Audit from the Internal
Auditors for the 2010/11 Accounts. Again he had no material issues of
concern to report to Council following his first visit. The Responsible Financial
Officer had responded to a number of operational queries.

RECOMMENDED:

That the Internal Auditor’s Interim Report for the financial year 2010/11 be
noted.

(iii) Change of Audit Manager – It was reported that due to the workload of
Erik Bagnall who had previously been allocated to be the Town Council’s
Audit Manager, the role would be undertaken by Joan Hall, with the majority
of the workload being undertaken by Joanna Wicketts.

RECOMMENDED:

That the change in Audit Manager be noted.

(iv) Meeting with the Auditor – The Town Clerk and RFO reported on a
meeting with the new Audit Manager and her assistant. The new areas for
detailed work were discussed together with a proposed work programme and
fee scales for 2010/11 and 2011/12. Officers expressed concern that the final
accounts would again not be audited until September and did not wish to see
a recurrence of the last minute need to prepare opinions in readiness for the
statutory end of September deadline. Officers also expressed concern
regarding the lack of experience in auditing Value for Money and would not
wish to see the system overly bureaucratic, particularly in view of the fact the
process was being disbanded for 2011/12.

RECOMMENDED:

That a letter of concern regarding timescales be sent to the District Auditor.

73/10 LICENSING OF STREET COLLECTIONS

It was reported that Shropshire Council wished to devolve the licensing of
street collections to Town Councils. Members reported on the process by
which the licensing of street collections was undertaken by the Borough
Council. It was not known at this stage what level of administration was
required for such a process.

RECOMMENDED:

That the principle of the Town Council taking on the Licensing of Street
Collections be approved, pending further discussions on process.
74/10 DESTINATION SHREWSBURY

Members considered the minutes of recent Destination Shrewsbury Meetings.
The Town Clerk reported that in readiness for budget discussions, she had
met with Economic Development Officers to look at ways of developing form
and structure to the partnership which would assist the Town Council in
understanding better its role in the development of tourism for the town.

The Town Clerk also reported on discussions with Mark Pembleton, Head of
Economic Development and whether the Town Council would contribute
towards the development of a Tourism Strategy. Members felt that it was
important to work together on one comprehensive strategy.

RECOMMENDED:

   (i)    That the minutes of the meetings on 15 October and 19 November
          2010 be noted;
   (ii)   That £10,000 be allocated from the 2010/11 budget for the Town
          Council’s contribution to a Tourism Strategy, on the condition that:
          a. The Town Council is involved in the setting of the brief;
          b. The Town Council is involved in the appointment of consultants;
          c. The Town Council is able to review the strategy prior to
             publication.

				
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