Minutes of the Finance Committee Meeting – Thursday 21st November 2019
BRACKLA COMMUNITY COUNCIL
FINANCE COMMITTEE MEETING
21 November 2019 at 6.00 pm
Committee Room, Brackla Community Centre
Cllr John Spanswick (Chair)
Cllr Keith Hughes
Cllr Ian Hibble
Cllr Tyler Walsh
4 Apologies for Absence
5 Declarations of Interest
6 Precept/Budget 2020-21
The Responsible Finance Officer presented the report to the Committee. Queries were raised in relation to the budget for pensions for 2020-21. The RFO clarified that as we do not yet know what the Council’s pension contribution rate will be there is a need to over budget slightly to account for any significant changes.
On the subject of the training budget, Members commented that there could be implications on this should the Local Government Election Bill go through as there were aspects of the Bill that directly related to staff training.
Discussions were held around the budget for advertising with the general agreement that more focus is needed next year to advertise events and to get out a newsletter to local residents.
The budget line relating to the website was discussed whereby the RFO clarified that this had been increased to account for the new work that had to be done to revamp the website and make it more accessible.
The RFO went through the community centre budget lines which initiated discussion around the possibility of new work needed on the centre in the future such as windows and doors. Members agreed that this could be put forward to the Community Centre Committee for consideration and proposals back to Full Council with the possibility of including a full maintenance plan for the Centre.
The RFO continued to go through the predicted budget and commitments and
recommended that the Council look to increase the budget by 1.5% in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) as of October 2019.
Cllr K.Hughes commented that he was of the view that if the Council did not increase the precept, the budget would still be workable and it would send a good message out to the public.
Cllr T. Walsh commented that what the Authority had done was quite considerable given the fact that some budgets had been reduced yet the Council was still delivering it’s events and services. He further agreed with Cllr K.Hughes’s comment that not increasing the precept would send a good message out and respect that for many times were tough. The Council, he stated, could still do what it wanted to do within the existing budget.
Cllr J Spanswick confirmed that if the Council were to stay in budget there would need to be changes made to the draft budget and some cuts in certain areas. Proposals were made to reduce the budget for the Christmas lights and hence not increase it to purchase any new lights next year. Other proposals were made to reduce the event budget as many of the events were underspent this year.
It was proposed by Cllr I.Hibble that it be recommended to Full Council that there be a 0% budget increase for 2020-21 so that the precept, including the base rate would be £169,630. This was seconded by Cllr K.Hughes.
Cllr I.Hibble noted that this was predicated on the Community Centre breaking even for 2019-20 and that any Capital expenditure would come from the Community Centre Earmarked Reserve Budget.
It was also agreed that a further finance meeting would be held prior to the December Council meeting to confirm areas where the budget forecast for 2020-21 would be reduced in order to remain within the £169,630.
Signed by the Chairperson 2019/20
Cllr John Spanswick ………………………………………………..
Dated: ………………………………………………Print Document