Minutes of a meeting of the FINANCE & GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE held on Wednesday 5TH April 2023 at 7.45pm in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex
PRESENT Cllr J O’Brien (Chair), Cllrs M Caton, M Jessup, P Jones and G Sell
ATTENDING Mrs Ruth Clifford – Parish Clerk
Mrs Emma Philbrick – Deputy Clerk
Cllr Alan Barnes – via Zoom
Cllr Thomas Smith – via Zoom (arrived at 7.51pm)
1 member of the press – via Zoom
1 member of the public – via Zoom
423 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Richards – holiday and Cllr Hogg – unwell. It was unanimously:
RESOLVED to accept the apologies for absence from Cllrs Richards and Hogg.
424 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST – None
425 TO APPROVE THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 22ND FEBRUARY 2023
Cllr O’Brien advised that he had been incorrect, and that Cllr Prior had in fact responded to his request and agreed to still be on the Christmas Lights Working Group.
RESOLVED To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd February 2023, as amended, as a true and accurate account.
426 TO RECEIVE AN UPDATE ON ACTION POINTS FROM THE LAST MEETING
366 – Done
370 – Awaiting the new council to see who will be on the Working Group
a) TO RECEIVE AN OUTAGE REPORT – None
b) TO RECEIVE A GENERAL REPORT ON LIGHTING
Cllr O’Brien advised that he was awaiting responses from Essex Highways as there was an issue of ownership with a number of new lights installed by Essex in the village. He was in communication with Cllr Lee Scott and hopes or replies soon.
It has been advised that 80% of the grant for £34,900 which had been awarded to the Parish Council from UDC’s zero-Carbon fund will be in the bank account imminently.
428 FINANCE – TO APPROVE THE LIST OF PAYMENTS FOR AUTHORISATION
The Clerk advised that Cllr Jones had checked the invoices against the payment schedule at the start of the meeting and found no issues. No questions were raised and the list of payments was approved.
429 TO CONSIDER ANY GRANT APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
The Chair advised that one of the councillors had suggested that when awarding the grants, it should be a condition that the Parish Council are given an update on how much of the money has been spent and what the money had been spent on. After discussions it was agreed that they would set the conditions on each application when awarding grants as evidence would depend on who the grant was going to and what the money was being used for.
Three applications had been recently received and were considered:
Grant Application 1 – Stansted Cricket Club
Having been proposed by Cllr Sell and seconded by Cllr Jessup, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to award a grant of £1,500 to Stansted Cricket Club.
Grant Application 2 – Stansted Hall and Elsenham Cricket Club
After discussions, it was agreed to defer a decision on this and ask them to provide details of how many Stansted residents are registered with them and where else they will be seeking grants from.
Grant Application 3 – Music@Stansted
Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Caton it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to award a grant of £1,000 to Music at Stansted.
It was also agreed to ask them what other sponsors they have and to make a suggestion that if they are not at capacity, could they offer 4/5 tickets to those who could not afford to go to such events. People could apply and have a name drawn out of a hat or this could be done through Touchpoint.
430 TO RECEIVE THE MINUTES OF THE PERSONNEL SUB-COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON 15TH MARCH 2023
The minutes of the Personnel Sub-Committee meeting held on 15th March 2023 were received.
431 TO CONSIDER RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE PERSONNEL SUB- COMMITTEE
a) TO INCREASE THE WORKING HOURS FOR ONE MEMBER OF STAFF
Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Caton, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED To increase the working hours for one member of staff
b) TO AWARD ANNUAL PAY INCREASES IN LINE WITH THE BUDGET
Having been proposed by Cllr Jones and seconded by Cllr Jessup, it was unanimously:
RESOLVED to award annual pay increases in line with the budget
432 CHRISTMAS LIGHTING – TO RECEIVE ANY UPDATES
Nothing much to report as the Working Group will meet once the new council is in place. Discussions took place on whether trees around the village was a better option to the lights but it was agreed to let the Working Group meet and look at options.
433 CRAFTON GREEN – TO RECEIVE ANY UPDATES ON THE COMMUNITY BUILDINGS
Quotes have been requested for solar panels as a mean of powering a new heating system in Crafton Green House which involves infrared. Cllr Caton commented that she agreed with Paul at Touchpoint at a meeting earlier today, that they needed to focus on getting all of the windows replaced first. The Clerk commented that they would now be working on a grant application to put in a bid to cover the windows, insulation and any new heating system.
Day Centre – Quotes have been requested for a complete refurbishment of the toilets. This would be to get rid of the female and male toilets and replace with three large toilets for anyone to use which would each have a large amount of space, be wheelchair friendly and have baby changing facilities etc. The Clerk advised that due to the increased use of the Day Centre, the current toilets and drainage system was not up to scratch and a plumber is being called out too often to sort out blocked toilets. This is not cheap.
434 WINDMILL – TO RECEIVE ANY UPDATES
Cllr O’Brien gave updates from the meeting earlier that evening with regards to maintenance work that had been carried out and the situation with grant applications.
435 YOUTH MATTERS – TO RECEIVE ANY UPDATES
Cllr Caton advised that the Youth Club had an open day on Saturday 1st April. The Club is not due to open until later in April. The feedback from the event was that it was not well supported and there was also a number of issues with the poster for the event having lots of mistakes in it. It is not a good start and a meeting is being called to discuss this. The Clerk advised that PCSO Alex Stewart had been in the office earlier and reported that he had visited the Youth Club earlier today as it was the first of two fun days organised and he was pleasantly surprised by the number of youths there and by the lively atmosphere which is a positive.
With regards to the Youth Council, Cllr Caton reported that another visit to Forest Hall School had taken place and they have one more young person wanting to join. A visit to Bentfield School had also taken place and along with a current member of the Youth Council, they will be going along to talk to students.
436 STAFF MATTERS – TO RECEIVE ANY AVAILABLE UPDATES
Nothing to report.
Meeting closed at 8.34pm
429 Add conditions to grants being awarded if felt applicable
429 Ask Stansted Hall and Elsenham Cricket Club for more information for grant application
429 Contact Music@Stansted with question and suggestion
NOTICE OF MEETING You are summoned to attend a meeting of the FINANCE AND GENERAL PURPOSES COMMITTEE which will be held at 7.45pm on Wednesday 5th April 2023 in The Mountfitchet Exchange, Crafton Green, 72 Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex where the following business will be transacted:
1 To receive apologies for absence.
2 To receive declarations of interest.
3 To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22nd February 2023
4 To receive an update on action points from the last meeting.
- a) To receive an outage report
- b) To receive a general report on lighting
6 Finance: To approve the list of payments for authorisation – To be tabled.
7 To consider any grant applications received
8 To receive the minutes of the Personnel Sub-Committee meeting held on 15th March 2023
9 To consider recommendations from the Personnel Sub-Committee
- a) To increase the working hours for one member of staff
- b) To award annual pay increases in line with the budget
10 Christmas Lighting – To receive any updates.
11 Crafton Green – To receive any updates on the community buildings.
12 Windmill – To receive any updates.
13 Youth Matters – To receive any updates.
14 Staff Matters – To receive any available updates.
Ruth Clifford, Parish Clerk – 30 March 2023