Minutes of a meeting of the FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE held at 7.30pm on Wednesday 15th September 2021 at The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllr J O’Brien (Chairman), Cllrs J Hogg, J Hudson, M Jessup, F Richards, G Sell and T Smith
Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mrs Emma Philbrick – Trainee Deputy Clerk
1 member of the press
162 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr M Caton as she is on holiday.
Having been proposed by Cllr Jessup and seconded by Cllr Richards it was:
RESOLVED to accept the apologies from Cllr Caton
This was unanimously agreed
163 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
164 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 2ND JUNE 2021
RESOLVED to accept the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June 2021 as a true and accurate account
81c – Completed
83b – Taken to Full Council last week
85 – On the agenda to be discussed
165 MATTERS ARISING – None
166 CHAIRMAN’S REPORT – Attached
Cllr Sell asked for more detail on the situation with Stansted In Bloom and the Clerk gave a more in depth explanation on what had happened and why the group could not continue for now. Cllr Hogg asked for clarification on what work was undertaken by Stansted In Bloom.
a) OUTAGE REPORT
The Clerk advised that they had received the usual adhoc report of lights not working and last week a light in Grove Hill had to have a new lantern fitted due to the previous one being old and parts no longer available.
Cllr O’Brien commented that he had walked the Hargrave Estate after the lights were all changed to LED and residents seemed very happy with them. The Clerk advised that no complaints had been received.
Cllr Sell advised that he had been approached by a resident in Millfields who had previously asked for the light outside their house to be removed but was unwilling to pay the £2000 to cover the cost of this. The residents now feel the light is redundant and that it should be removed by the Council. After discussions it was agreed that the light shines on the entrance to the twitchel and to remove the light would be dangerous, especially in the winter. The light serves a useful purpose to the community so members agreed that it will not be removed.
a) PAYMENTS FOR AUTHORISATION
The list of payments was circulated to members ahead of the meeting
RESOLVED to accept the list of payments for 15th September 2021
b) TO RECEIVE THE EXTERNAL AUDITORS’ COMPLETION CERTIFICATE FOR 2020/21
The Clerk tabled the certificate for members. She advised that there were no reservations or queries and that it had been put on the website and displayed on one noticeboard.
169 BONFIRE NIGHT – TO CONSIDER OPTIONS FOR 2021 EVENT
The Clerk gave the following update:
Venue – Forest Hall School has been booked
Fireworks – They have been booked with the increased budget as previously agreed. The order can be cancelled without charge if the event has to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions and the Government advises that events should not go ahead.
Display Team – Have confirmed they are available
First Aid – This is in progress. St John’s Ambulance have been contacted and so has a private provider and we are awaiting confirmation on whether any of them are available. The British Red Cross no longer attend public events.
Catering – The scouts had previously been used but after discussions it was agreed that catering vans who pay for a pitch at events should be looked into.
Volunteers – Councillors needed to help with the set-up of the event, working on the gate and clearing away after. Litter pickers would also be needed on the Sunday. The Clerk will send an email to all members’ but Cllrs O’Brien, G Sell and J Hogg all confirmed they would be able to assist.
Music – Richard Thomas to be asked to supply the music as he has done in previous years.
Luke Thomas to be asked to help to MC.
Portaloos – It was agreed that these should be supplied so the office to look into availability and costings.
Booking System – After discussions it was agreed that the office should look into Eventbrite booking system so tickets could be pre-purchased.
Fees – After discussions it was agreed that the charge would be £5 per ticket for over 16’s and under 16’s would be free.
170 BLOOR HOMES PLANNING APPEAL – TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE FINAL FINANCIAL POSITION
The Clerk reported that the public fundraising appeal launched by Save Stansted Village had been extremely successful with close to £18,000 having been raised. In addition, the Parish Council had contributed £4,000. The total expenditure incurred amounted to just under £26,000. As agreed, the shortfall would be met from the Parish Council’s Professional Fees budget.
Cllr Hogg took the opportunity to thank all concerned for the amazing effort in fighting the Appeal. The result, which had been expected by 2 September, was still awaited.
171 WINDMILL – TO RECEIVE A REPORT ON THE BANK HOLIDAY FETE
Cllr O’Brien reported that the fete had been a huge success. They estimate that the attendance was in the region of 1500 people which is a record attendance. They sold 450 children’s wristbands alone. It is a testimony to the Millers who arrange the event and the Lottery Fund secured by Trevor Lloyd.
The Clerk reported that she was investigating options on a new fire alarm as they have had nothing but issues with the current one and it was going off all hours of the night with Molly or Neil having to go out and attend. She is meeting with the suppliers of the fire alarm systems in the Day Centre and Mountfitchet Exchange next week and she had also been given details of a company in Saffron Walden by the Windmill contacts in Thaxted.
172 YOUTH MATTERS – TO RECEIVE A REPORT FROM THE CLERK
The Clerk advised that she and the Chairman had met with Linda Barnes last week. The Club has been back in person for a week but the numbers so far have been low. Linda outlined her strategy to increase numbers and flyers have been distributed. They are keeping in touch with her and keeping it under review. Linda and her volunteers ran the entry table for the Skatepark Jam which took place as a number of their members attend this event and it’s a good opportunity to interact.
The Parish Council had received the annual UDC grant towards the costs and Linda has been successful in obtaining a further grant from UDC to get their garden area into a fit state. The grant has been paid to the Parish Council and supplies have been ordered.
The Youth Council has had three active members but one of those has just turned 18 so can no longer continue. The Clerk will be having a meeting with the Chairman once she is back from holiday to discuss the future.
Meeting Closed at 8.15pm
The office to look into all the action points for Fireworks night such as booking systems, caterers and portaloos.
NOTICE OF MEETING You are summoned to attend a meeting of the FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE to be held on Wednesday 15th September 2021 at 7.30pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted, Essex, where the following business will be transacted:
1 To receive apologies for absence
2 To receive Declarations of Interest
3 To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 2nd June 2021
4 Matters Arising
5 Chairman’s Report
6 Lighting: a) Outage Report b) General
7 Finance: a) Payments for authorisation – to follow b) To receive the External Auditors Completion Certificate for 2020/21
8 Bonfire Night – To consider options for 2021 event
10 Bloor Homes Planning Appeal – To receive a report on the final financial position
11 Windmill – To receive a report on the bank holiday fete
15 Youth Matters – To receive an update from the Clerk
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 9 September 2021