Agenda and draft minutes

The Charter Trustees for Poole
Wednesday, 27th January, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Democratic Services  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

31.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Charter Trustees.

 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors J Butt and M Andrews.

 

32.

Declarations of Interest

Charter Trustees are requested to declare any interests on items included in this agenda. Please refer to the workflow on the preceding page for guidance. Declarations received will be reported at the meeting.

 

Minutes:

The Honorary Clerk reported that there were no declarations of interest.

 

33.

Confirmation of Minutes and Matters arising pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To receive the minutes of the meeting held on 28 October 2020 and to consider any matters arising.

 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 28 October 2020 were confirmed as a correct record.

There were no matters arising from the above meeting.

 

34.

Charter Mayor's Report

The Charter Mayor will report on her activities.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on her activities since the last meeting of the Charter Trustees on 28 October 2020.

Before making her report the Mayor referred to the recent death of Ian Andrews who was the Town Clerk and Chief Executive for the Borough of Poole for 20 years from 1973-1993. She explained that he was a fountain of local knowledge about Poole's history and heritage and had been involved in many local organisations. He wrote several books and articles on Poole and made an immense contribution to Poole.

The Mayor presented her report.  She explained that at the time of the last Charter Trustees meeting there was still some uncertainty about the form Poole's commemoration of Remembrance Day would take. The Mayor reported that in the event a short ceremony was held at the War Memorial at 10 am on the Sunday with a limited number of members of the British Legion and the public present. Poppy wreaths were laid there and at the Burma Star memorial. Later in the day the Mayor went alone to lay wreaths in Falkland Square and at the Quay.  On 11 November a short ceremony was held on the steps of the Civic Centre at 11 am and although there had been no publicity a number of people attended in the expectation that the usual practice of the 2 minutes silence would take place.

The Mayor highlighted that the introduction of the 2nd lockdown put an end to further public events but after it was lifted, she was able to go to Upton Bay Care Home in Hamworthy to open the marketing suite. She outlined her attendance at the event and explained that she was interested to be told that the site of the landmark chimney had been marked on the ground to retain links with the former use of the site.

The Mayor reported that it seemed that residents had made an even greater effort to decorate their homes at Christmas, encouraged in some areas by a challenge to 'light up ….'.  The Mayor reported that she had the pleasure of presenting the winners with hampers of goodies, having been asked to judge the competitions in Broadstone and Upper Parkstone from photos.   The Canford Heath competition was organised by the Residents Association and the winners (5 of them) were selected in an online poll.  The top prize went to a 90-year old resident who had decorated his bungalow and garden for several years, making many exhibits himself from scratch, much to the delight of children passing on their way to school.

The Charter Trustees were informed that the Mayor had attended the Holocaust Memorial Day, taking place this year on Zoom, but following the usual pattern.  The Mayor emphasised that the whole event was very meaningful and moving, and at the same time inspiring.

The Mayor reported that just this morning she, the Sheriff and Deputy Mayor had selected the winning photograph in a competition organised by McCarthy and Stone to mark the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

Budget and Precept 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 227 KB

The Charter Trustees are required to set their 2021/22 budget, council tax requirement and resultant precept for submission to BCP Council by 31 January 2021.

 

This report also updates the Charter Trustees on the conclusion of the external audit of the 2019/20 Annual Governance and Accountability Return.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Responsible Financial Officer presented a report on the Budget and Precept 2021/22, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'A' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

The Charter Trustees were advised that the report set out the recommended budget for the 2021/22 financial year which if approved would result in a council tax requirement of £121,920 as set out in the recommendations.  The Responsible Financial Officer reported that the detail of the budget was set out in Appendix A and built on the discussion and guidance from the discussions at the budget workshop held in December 2020. The Charter Trustees were advised of the main features of the budget which included the individual budget heads being maintained at the current levels so that the base budget was fit for purpose as the Charter Trustees emerge from the pandemic and activity returns to normal. The Responsible Financial Officer reported that some of the budget heads had been reviewed such as premises, post and stationery where the budgets had been reduced to reflect savings and the actual costs that would be incurred. In addition, based on the guidance from the workshop, a Twinning budget of £1,500 had been included.  Charter Trustees were informed that a significant review of the salary costs and recharges had been undertaken and the salary recharge had increased to £59,400 with a detailed calculation set out in Appendix B to the report.  The Responsible Financial Officer reported that the calculation included time for the Head and Deputy Head of Democratic Services and the percentage allocation of staff time for the Civic Team. The Responsible Financial Officer reported on the review of the accountancy recharges which had increased to £3,400 to reflect the work and support provided by the finance team. 

The Charter Trustees were advised that expenditure of £120,600 would be funded from the precept of £121,000 less a modest investment income included this year and a small contribution to reserves.  In respect of reserves paragraph 16 refers to £37,000 which was carried into the financial year and because of the pandemic and the reduced activity it was expected that over £50,000 would be added this year from the underspend and therefore it was anticipated at 31 March 2021 the level of reserves would be over £88,000 which would be 73% of the precept .  The Responsible Financial Officer reported that a more prudent level of reserves would be 20% and explained that the budget had been constructed removing the base contribution to reserves of £19,000 and replaced with £1,400.  He referred to recommendation (c) of the report and forming a working group on how to spend the reserve for one-off activities with the initial focus on the £37,000.

The Responsible Financial Officer reported on the Tax base and explained that this had gone down from 58,609 to 56,971 which was due to the pandemic with the cost of Council Tax Support increasing and amendments  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.

36.

Mayor's Award

The Charter Trustees will be updated on the progression of the proposed Awards and asked to formally approve the expenditure for the purchase of the lapel badges.

 

Minutes:

The Mayor reported that during the last few months she had been developing proposals for the Mayor's Award. She reported that she had worked with the Deputy Mayor and Sheriff to draw up draft criteria which she had circulated for comment.

The Mayor reported that five Charter Trustees had responded to her request for comments on the draft criteria: of these one gave wholehearted support and the other four made suggestions or raised queries.  The Mayor reported that no Charter Trustees had argued against the principle of the awards and she had since re-drafted the criteria document incorporating the points raised.

The Mayor explained that she had contacted potential suppliers for the Mayor’s Award which was proposed to be dolphin lapel badges and had now received costings.  The Mayor reported that as there would be a lead-in time of at least 6 weeks she was keen that the order was placed at the earliest opportunity. Charter Trustees were informed that the budget signatories had already agreed to the purchase of 250 badges at a unit cost of £5.25 including a set-up charge of £195, making a total of £1,507.50.  The Mayor moved that the Charter Trustees of Poole also give their consent for this expenditure from reserves.

RESOLVED that in support of the Mayor’s Award the expenditure for the lapel badges of £1,507.50 be funded from reserves.

Voting: Unanimous

Councillors Mellor and Rampton left at 18.08

 

37.

Financial Regulations pdf icon PDF 227 KB

Since their establishment on 1 April 2019 the Charter Trustees have used the BCP Council financial regulations and accounting systems.

 

This report asks the Charter Trustees to approve their own set of financial regulations and to note changes being made to financial processes and procedures that recognise that the Charter Trustees as a separate legal entity to BCP Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Responsible Financial Officer presented a report on bespoke Financial Regulations for the Charter Trustees, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

The Charter Trustees were advised that the Financial Regulations which govern the financial conduct, internal control and financial management of the Charter Trustees apply equally to the Trustees and the Officers who were supporting the Charter Trustees.  The Responsible Financial Officer reported that since their establishment on 1 April 2019 the Charter Trustees had used the BCP Council’s financial regulations and accounting systems. The Responsible Financial Officer outlined key elements of the proposed Regulations as detailed at Appendix A to the report, including appointment of officers and responsibilities of Charter Trustees and Officers, which would be supported by the scheme of delegation set out at Appendix B to the report  The scheme of delegation was derived from the authorities which were set out in the financial regulations which defines what officers can do and what were reserved matters for the Charter Trustees and sought to separate duties to ensure sound internal controls .  The Responsible Financial Officer explained that Appendix C set out the banking arrangements.  The Charter Trustees were referred to paragraph 11 of the report.  The Responsible Financial Officers reported that instead of using the BCP Council bank account the Charter Trustees would have their own bank account and part of the BCP Ledger so that they were separately identified which would aid transparency and reporting whilst balancing cost efficiencies by being under the BCP Council Banking umbrella.

RESOLVED that:-

(a)           The Charter Trustees approve the financial regulations as presented in Appendix A to this report.

(b)           The Charter Trustees approve the scheme of delegation presented in Appendix B to this report.

(c)           The Charter Trustees approve the bank mandate as presented in Appendix C to this report.

(d)           The Charter Trustees note the other arrangements being made to further improve financial processes and procedures.

Voting: Unanimous.

 

38.

Risk Register pdf icon PDF 334 KB

The Charter Trustees will be updated on the development of the Risk Register.

Minutes:

The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported that an initial draft of the risk register was submitted to the Charter Trustees in August 2020 as part of the outcome of the internal audit report.  The Charter Trustees had agreed to establish a small group to look at the risks facing the Charter Trustees.  The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported that this work had been undertaken and comments from the Charter Trustees inserted into the updated document.  The Deputy Head of Democratic Services highlighted that the risk register was an evolving document which needed to be kept under regular review and if there were future risks or changes the Charter Trustees would be updated.

A Charter Trustee suggested that an additional column be added to the register to identify what date the issue was actioned/completed.  Other authorities use red, amber, green.

The Health and Safety Risks were highlighted and the associated risk score emphasising that the mitigation does not reduce that hugely. It was suggested that consideration be given to the lone working policy and any equipment that may be needed to mitigate the risk. The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported that the existing lone working policy would be regularly reviewed and adapted as appropriate to see how the risk can be mitigated further.

RESOLVED that the risk register as submitted to the Charter Trustees be agreed subject to the above suggestion and the comments on lone working with the register being reviewed on a regular basis as appropriate.

Voting: Agreed

 

39.

Poole Civic Centre - Civic Space

The Charter Trustees will be asked to approve the establishment of a workshop comprising of Charter Trustees to consider options and provide feedback to the project team on requirements in respect of the above.

 

Minutes:

The Charter Trustees were asked to approve the establishment of a workshop comprising of Charter Trustees to consider options and provide feedback to the project team on requirements for the civic space at the Poole Civic Centre.

RESOLVED that the establishment of the workshop be agreed comprising of the Mayor, Councillors Bagwell, Butler, D Butt, J Butt, Howell, Moore and Trent.

Voting: Unanimous