MINUTES OF THE LOUTH TOWN COUNCIL GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE COMMITTEE
HELD IN THE OLD COURT ROOM, THE SESSIONS HOUSE, LOUTH
ON TUESDAY 14TH JUNE 2022
Present Councillor J. Baskett (JB) (in the chair).
Councillors: Mrs. E. Ballard (EB), M. Bellwood (MB), L. Cooney (LMC), S. Crew (SC), H. Filer (HF), J. Garrett (JG), D.J.E. Hall (DJEH), D. Hobson (DH), G. Horton (GEH), M. Lamb (ML), A. Leonard (AL), Mrs. S.E. Locking (SEL), Mrs. J. Makinson-Sanders (JMS), K. Norman (KN), B. O’Brien (BO), J. Simmons (JS), Mrs. P.F. Watson (PFW) and D.E. Wing (DEW).
Councillors not present: D. Ford (DF).
The Town Clerk, Mrs. L.M. Phillips, the Town Clerk’s Assistant, Mrs. M.C. Vincent and seven members of the public were also present.
Before the meeting began, a minute’s silence was held in respect of the passing of Cllr. Fran Treanor, Town Councillor and twice Mayor and John MacDonald, who had been a Town Councillor and twice Mayor of Louth.
· A resident expressed his concerns regarding motability problems since the changes had been made on Mercer Row in relation to the Active Travel Scheme; he had recently had surgery and was unable to walk far and so was finding it very difficult. He also had concerns that businesses along Mercer Row were losing money and would soon make redundancies or close.
· A second person, a business owner along Mercer Row, also addressed the Council with regards to the Active Travel Scheme. He explained that he considered the scheme undemocratic receiving notification only 10 days before the road changes started, further that it was having an impact on local businesses in a time when the country was already in crisis. He reported that the contractors undertaking the work were laughing at those people signing the petition in his shop. He concluded that the scheme was having such an impact on those who were elderly and disabled that it was as if the town was now not welcoming them.
· A third person, a business owner along Mercer Row explained that she had opened her shop six years ago but that the scheme was killing the town, and she now needed one or two less people working in her shop each day as the custom had dropped off so much since the implementation of the scheme. She was worried, that with all the energy bills increasing, that her business may not last through the winter. She finished saying that before there had been 4 disabled parking spaces on Mercer Row and 4 in the Cornmarket, and now that there were 9 on the Market Place but only available part of the week.
· The second person added that they used to get people pulling up in their cars and popping in on their way home from work to buy food for dinner, but now, as they could not park, they were using the large supermarkets instead. He concluded he wanted to see parking back on Mercer Row, even if only the disabled parking and the Cornmarket used for evening parking.
· A fourth person came to speak on the Charles Street Recreational Pond as it is no longer open and cordoned off for H&S reasons, (currently owned by ELDC). She reported that the vandalism was much worse than had been previously. She continued that community green space was very important in Louth and asked if Louth Town Council would intervene.
G1. Election of Governance and Finance Committee Chairman
It was RESOLVED that Cllr. Mrs. EB be elected as Chairman. Cllr. Mrs. EB took the Chair.
G2. Election of Governance and Finance Committee Vice Chairman
It was RESOLVED that Cllr. LMC should be elected as Vice Chairman.
G3. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. DF.
G4. Declarations of Interest / Dispensations
Cllr. Mrs. JMS – Item 6 as a Member of ELDC and Hubbard’s Hills Trust.
Cllr. AL – Item 6 as a Member of ELDC and Hubbard’s Hills Trust.
Cllr. DJEH – Item 6 as a Member of ELDC.
G5. Committee Minutes
It was RESOLVED that the notes of the Governance and Finance Committee Meeting held on 10th May 2022 be approved as the Minutes.
Following a recommendation by FOG, it was RESOLVED to approve/authorise the following:
a) Receipts and Payments – Cashbooks 1 and 2 – Month 12
i. Cash Book 1 Receipts £3,748.28 Payments £53,764.74
ii. Cash Book 2 Receipts £200.00 Payments £155.87
b) Detailed Income and Expenditure Report (Budget Variance Report) as at Month 12 to 31st March 2022.
c) Earmarked Reserves Report as at 31st March 2022.
d) Cashbook 1 and 2 Bank Reconciliations which reconcile to account statements showing balances as follow
i. Lloyds Treasurers Account (balance on statement 64) – £332,592.23
ii. Petty Cash (balance as at 31st March 2020) – £198.92
iii. Lloyds Deposit Account – £166,650.51
iv. National Savings and Investment Account (balance on statement 10) – £111,334.60
NB: During item 6 Cllr GEH left the room from 7:31pm-7:33pm
G7. Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 2021/22
a) The Council received the Balance Sheet for the year ended 31st March 2022. It was RESOLVED to approve it and it was signed by the Chairman and Responsible Financial Officer.
b) On the recommendation of FOG it was RESOLVED to approve the completion of the Annual Governance Statement (Section 1 of the AGAR) for the financial year 2021/22, and ticks were placed in all boxes except number 9 where n/a should be placed and the Chairman and the Town Clerk signed the statement.
c) The Accounting Statements (Section 2 of the AGAR) were considered for the financial year 2021/22 and it was RESOLVED that it was signed by the Chairman.
d) It was noted that the period for the exercise of public rights must include the first 10 working days of July, must be at least 30 consecutive working days long, must commence as soon as possible after approval of the AGAR and with this in mind, the period for the exercise of public rights should be set from Wednesday 15th June 2022 to Tuesday 26th July 2022.
G8. Review of Notices, Policies and Procedures
The Council noted that the following have been reviewed and documents which required more than a date change within the body had been circulated with others documents available to view on the Council’s website. It was RESOLVED to agree the changes with the additions to the Remote Meetings Policy relating to members of the public being required to give notice of wishing to join working groups remotely and Email Policy relating to clarification of children in the policy.
a) Cemetery Privacy Notice – Changes.
b) Staff and Councillor Privacy Notice – Change to date of last update required within body of document.
c) Email Contact Privacy Notice – Changes.
d) General Privacy Notice – Changes.
e) Remote Meeting Privacy Notice – Changes.
f) Data Protection Policy – No changes.
g) Information Security Incident Policy – No changes.
h) Subject Access Requests Policy – No changes.
i) Removeable Media Policy – No changes.
j) Retention of Documents Policy – No changes.
k) Secure Disposal of Information Policy – No changes.
l) Publication Scheme – No changes.
m) Policy on Handling of Freedom of Information Requests – No changes.
n) Co-option Policy – No changes.
o) LTC Vehicle Usage and Driving at Work Policy – No changes.
p) Members Allowance Policy – No changes.
G9. It was RESOLVED that the Financial Overview Group (FOG) should be re-established as a working group to the Committee, its terms of reference (as circulated with the agenda) should be approved, and its membership should consist of Cllrs: Mrs. EB (Chair), LMC (Vice Chair), JB, MB, BO, JS, DEW.
G10. Next Meeting
It was noted that the next scheduled meeting of the Governance and Finance Committee will take place on 26th July 2022.
The Meeting Closed at 7:50pm.
Signed_______________________ (Chairman) Dated_________________________