Finance & General Purposes update – May 2024

Finance & General Purposes update – May 2024

F&GP Chair John O’Brien updates on the successful refurbishment of the Day Centre and progress made renewing the lease of library.

Welcome to the first meeting of the new financial year.

Firstly, I should like to thank our Clerk and RFO Ruth for the tight financial control in keeping us within budget over the past year.

We have just received new Financial Regulations from the NALC and we are now in the process of revising our own Financial Policy to put before Full Council for approval.

This past winter’s heavy rainfall which severely tested our flood defences seems intent on continuing a while longer and it has become clear that unforeseen repairs will need to be carried out, including finding ways of  helping our volunteer Flood Wardens to work safely clearing the Trash Screen.

As mentioned previously, we are in the process of aligning our energy contracts to offer us a stronger bargaining position and more accurate budget forecasting.

Cyber security is becoming a hot topic as can be seen by the recent hacking into schools and Government departments. We are discussing with our IT consultants means of ensuring we are better able to protect our digital records and systems. A new cyber security policy will be drafted and brought before this committee at a future meeting.

The completion of the refurbishment project in the former Day Centre, and the connection into the ground floor of Crafton Green House has been a revelation. Full credit must go to TouchPoint for obtaining the majority of the funding and also to architects Ampersand, who managed the project.  The result is a 21st Century facility. I wish it great success.

A further benefit from this project is that we shall at last have proper scale plans and drawings of the building.

Finally, we are still waiting for Essex County Council to complete the signing of the Library Lease. This delay brings certain financial consequences, but it does now seem that we are nearly there. Report Ends.