Agenda and draft minutes

The Charter Trustees for Poole - Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021 5.00 pm

Venue: Solent Hall Bournemouth International Centre, Exeter Road, Bournemouth

Contact: Karen Tompkins (01202 451255)  Email: democratic.services@bcpcouncil.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

10.

Apologies

To receive any apologies for absence from Charter Trustees.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllrs P Broadhead, D Butt, J Butt, B Dion, L-J Evans, S Gabriel, M Howell, M Le Poidevin, C Matthews, K Rampton and T Trent.

 

Councillor L-J Evans wished to be recorded as not being able to attend due to Covid legislation.

 

11.

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 no declarations of interests had been received for this meeting.

 

12.

Confirmation of minutes and matters arising pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To receive the minutes of the meetings held on 27 January and 21 May 2021 and to consider any matters arising.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meetings held on 27 January 2021 and 21 May 2021 were confirmed as a correct record.

 

Councillor Butler advised the Charter Trustees that the Poole Civic Workshop was formed at the meeting in January and had met on 12 March 2021.

 

13.

Charter Mayor's Report

The Charter Mayor will report on her recent activities.

Minutes:

The Mayor reported on her activities since her election as Charter Mayor for Poole on 21 May 2021.

 

She advised the Charter Trustees that she had attended the following engagements:

 

  • Opening the play area at Poole Park which was her first event – she welcomed the event and thanked the volunteers that had helped.
  • Royal Visit on 9 June 2021 by Prince Charles to the RNLI which she was honoured to attend.
  • Visit to Millennium House on 11 June - she congratulated BCHA on the work they do in helping the residents move forward with their lives and in particular their life skills.
  • Surgery at Sainsbury’s Alder Hills on 12 June where she had the opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers doing the work to vaccinate everyone.
  • Armed Forces Day on 21 June 2021.

 

14.

Charter Trustees 2020-21 Internal Audit Report pdf icon PDF 260 KB

To consider and approve the outcome of the internal audit report and the management responses to the recommendations.

Minutes:

The Responsible Financial Officer - RFO, Dan Povey presented the Internal Audit Report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Trustee and a copy which appears as Appendix ‘A’ to these minutes in the Minute Book.

 

The RFO explained that the report was a summary of the review undertaken by internal audit on the internal controls and governance of the Charter Trustees. He explained that the report would aid the Charter Trustees when considering agenda item 7 which sought approval of the Accountability and Governance Return which included the Annual Governance Statement which was an assessment built on the internal audit’s review of the governance arrangements of the Charter Trustees.

 

The Charter Trustees were referred to the internal control objectives.  The RFO reported that the list of applicable controls that audit were asked to assess had resulted in either a substantial or reasonable audit assurance which means that in the main the Charter Trustees was operating well.  He explained that the only control that provided a partial assurance was risk management.  The Charter Trustees were reminded that the risk register was approved at the January meeting and the reason it was a partial assurance was because it was not in place for the entire 2020/21 financial year.

 

Councillor Brooke asked for clarification relating to the issue raised concerning credit cards and the submission of evidence and the potential risk.  The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported that operational arrangements were subject to continual review and in respect of that particular recommendation it was a general reminder to staff to ensure that when they were using the credit card for transactions that all relevant receipts and paperwork was completed and submitted.

 

RESOLVED – that the 2020-21 Internal Audit Report be received and adopted.

 

Voting - Unanimous

         

15.

Budget Outturn Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Due to effects of the pandemic, the Charter Trustees of Poole underspent against their approved budgets by £28,647 for 2020/21. The underspend plus the budgeted contribution to reserves of £19,272 has been added to the opening reserves position of £37,658 to give total reserves carried forward of £85,577 as at 31 March 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Responsible Financial Officer presented a report on the budget outturn for 2020/21, a copy of which had been circulated to each Trustee and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

The RFO explained that this report provided the detail of the budget before the Charter Trustees were asked to approve the Governance Return.  He reported that throughout the year there was a significant underspend forecast due to the pandemic with the activities of the Charter Trustees seriously curtailed.  The Charter Trustees were informed that the year-end outturn position was £28,647 underspent which was mainly savings against supplies and services, hospitality and civic budgets with Appendix A providing the full detail of the spend against the budget which shows expenditure of £77,303 which was reflected in the annual governance return.  The RFO referred to the table at the bottom of page 24 of the report and explained that there was a total contribution to reserves of just less than £48,000 which means at the end of March 2021 the Charter Trustees had just over £85,000 of reserves at their disposal which has been carried forward into the 2021/22 financial year. 

 

The Charter Trustees were advised that there would be approximately 70% of the annual precept in reserves.  The RFO reported that when the budget was set for the current financial year, he advised that a prudent level of reserves would be approximately 20% of the precept which was about £25,000 explaining that 2/3rds of the budget was allocated to recharges to BCP Council which may not be subject to fluctuation .  The Charter Trustees were advised that there was a significant amount of reserves at their disposal which they could take the opportunity to consider how they wish to utilise.

 

Councillor Slade sought clarification on the latest position relating to reclaiming VAT and asked if the situation had been resolved. She also asked about the provision of transport explaining that at the BCP Council O&S Scrutiny Board the previous week it had been reported that it was ok to purchase the new mayoral cars proposed for 2022/23 because the Charter Trustees would pay to use the vehicles being purchased by the Council.  Councillor Slade referred to the budget for vehicle hire of £750 for this year which was not the amount that she would have expected in the budget as a recharge for the use of Council vehicles and highlighted that this would not be the expectation in a normal year of mayoral activity.  Councillor Slade asked about the timeline if the Charter Trustees wanted to undertake a one-off spend from reserves for a memorial for Covid or the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the governance arrangements to make that decision including appropriate consultation.  The Honorary Clerk suggested that a report be submitted to the next meeting of the Charter Trustees which set out the procedures and governance arrangements. He reported that Charter Trustees would not want to see the reserve being  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 856 KB

The Charter Trustees are asked to consider and approve the Annual Governance Statement 2020/21.

 

Please note that the paper attached for this item also relates to item 8 below.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Charter Trustees considered the Annual Governance Statement and Accountability Return, which had been circulated to each Trustee and a copy of which appears as Appendix ‘C’ to these Minutes in the Minute Book which included the Annual Governance Statement for 2020/21.

 

The RFO report referred to page 29 of the agenda pack which set out the Annual Governance Statement.  He explained that this was a set format and any organisation who spends more than £25k and less than £6.5m was subject to external audit.  The Charter Trustees were asked to approve the submission as set out on page 31 of the agenda pack which included the internal audit report signed off by the internal auditor which fed into the formal Annual Governance Statement that confirmed to the external auditors that the internal auditors view was that controls were operating.

 

Clarification was sought regarding the documents made available on modern.gov in comparison to the information published on the website. 

 

RESOLVED that the Charter Trustees approve the Annual Governance Statement for 2020/21.

 

Voting: Agreed

 

17.

Statement of Accounts for 2020/21

The Charter Trustees are asked to approve the statement of accounts for 2020/21.

Minutes:

The RFO presented the Statement of Accounts for 2021/22 as set out in the Annual Governance and Accountability Return which showed expenditure of £77,000 and reserves of £85,577.00 with comparatives from the previous year. The RFO reported that he had signed the statement of accounts to certify that it represented a true and fair view of the financial position. Once approved the Mayor and Honorary Clerk would be asked to sign it.

 

Charter Trustees referred to versions of the documents in modern.gov compared to the website.  The Head of Democratic Services reported that he had provided a link to the document on the website as it appeared that the modern.gov app version did not include the detail but the version on the website did.  The Charter Trustees adjourned to read the relevant document from 17:43 – 17:46.

 

Councillor Brooke referred to section 3 and the certificate which was not complete.  The RFO reported that the AGS and Statement of Accounts once agreed would be sent to the external auditors.  The external auditors would then review the documents along with the supporting evidence and they would only fill in section 3 and the certificate once they had completed their audit. The RFO confirmed that the certificate should be blank at this stage.

 

The RFO, in response to a question, confirmed the vehicle number plate APR 1 was not included in the value of assets. He explained that with regard to the value of this asset on the balance sheet Officers would undertake further checks and provide a written response.

 

RESOLVED that the Statement of Accounts for 2020/21 be approved.

 

Voting: Agreed

 

18.

Responsible Financial Officer

That in accordance with the Standing Orders the Responsible Financial Officer from 1 July 2021 following the resignation of Daniel Povey, will be Nicola Webb in a temporary capacity. 

Minutes:

The Charter Trustees were advised that in accordance with the Standing Orders the Responsible Financial Officer from 1 July 2021 following the resignation of Daniel Povey, would be Nicola Webb in a temporary capacity.

 

The Mayor took the opportunity to thank Mr Povey for his support to the Charter Trustees and wished him well in the future. In particular she thanked him for his advice and guidance in supporting the Charter Trustees as a new organisation.

 

Councillor Iyengar referred to Nicola Webb taking over the role of RFO in a temporary capacity and asked if the intention was to have an officer on a permanent basis and dedicated to the role.  Mr Povey reported that the intention was to have an officer who was responsible for this role on a permanent basis.  However, the temporary arrangements would be in place while a replacement for Mr Povey was recruited.

 

19.

Remembrance Day Events - Poole pdf icon PDF 52 KB

This report outlines the current activities supported by the Charter Trustees in relation to Remembrance Services across the former borough and asks Trustee Members to determine the level of support to be provided in future, including the potential financial support to the Broadstone Branch of the Royal British Legion.

Minutes:

The Head of Democratic Services presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Trustee and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'D' to these Minutes in the Minute Book.

 

The Charter Trustees were asked to determine whether to allocate the sum of £2,000 in the 2022/23 base budget and from the 2021/22 in-year unallocated reserves to provide financial support towards the Remembrance activities in Broadstone.

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that the report was before the Charter Trustees at their request which outlined the current activities supported by the Charter Trustees and asked Members to consider whether to support financially the activities in relation to Broadstone. He explained that the current activities included financial support for the civic events in Poole Park, the two-minute silence at the civic offices and the laying of wreaths in Broadstone and Hamworthy.  The Head of Democratic Services reported in respect of the supply of wreaths that there could be activities throughout the Charter Trustee area therefore it would be right and proper to have representation at such events.  Therefore, it was suggested to reduce wreaths to one per ward upon request.

 

Charter Trustees were advised that the report set out the history relating to road closures which in the past had been relatively informal and undertaken by volunteers.  However, there had been changes for a number of reasons including compliance with regulations and increased traffic volumes and the arrangements have had to be formalised with formal road closures, marshalling by professionals and liability insurances which involved costs for organisers creating an impact on community and charitable events. He referenced the position in Broadstone.  The Head of Democratic Services set out the option for the Charter Trustees to consider providing financial support to Broadstone as detailed in the report. The Charter Trustees were advised that there was guidance from the national Royal British Legion suggesting that RBL branches cannot organise remembrance events and it should be up to the local authority to organise.  The Head of Democratic Services reported that having checked with the events team and the road traffic team that any organisation could organise and make an application for a road closure for any event.  However, a local community group could be formed working with the RBL Branch to undertake that activity.  The Head of Democratic Services reported that the Civic Team do not have the capacity to organise remembrance services in local areas. He confirmed that if the Charter Trustees supported the recommendations it would be to fund the work of others to formalise the road closures and for that particular event to take place.

 

Councillor Mike White proposed an amendment to recommendation (b) which was supported by the three Hamworthy councillors.  He explained that for 10 years the ward councillors had supported the Remembrance Service at St Michael’s and the laying of two wreaths in a major public ceremony at the war memorial.  The amendment proposed was as follows moved by Councillor White and seconded  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19.

20.

Flag Flying Arrangements for the Charter Trustees for Poole

The Charter Trustees are asked to consider its flag flying arrangements.

It is a matter for the Charter Trustees to adopt its own flag. The Coat of Arms for the former Borough of Poole is in the ownership of the Charter Trustees. There is an opportunity for the Charter Trustees to adopt the Coat of Arms as their flag.

Set out below are the proposed events that will be respected by the Charter Trustees:

 

Occasion

Flag

Mayor Making

adopted flag of the Charter Trustees

Formal Meeting of the Charter Trustees

adopted flag of the Charter Trustees

Civic Service

adopted flag of the Charter Trustees

 

The following notes should be considered

1.             Flags will also be flown on other occasions on the instructions of the Honorary Clerk who will consult with the Mayor (or in the Mayor's absence with the Deputy Mayor) in appropriate circumstances.

2.             The death of a serving civic dignitary will be observed by flying the appropriate flag at half-mast. The death of a former civic dignitary or former Charter Trustee will be observed by flying the adopted flag of the Charter Trustees at half-mast.

3.             Remembrance Day events are arranged by both Charter Trustees whilst the flying of appropriate flags in accordance with national guidance is reflected in the BCP Council flag flying policy.

Provision of Flagpoles for The Charter Trustees for Poole

The Charter Trustees currently do not have dedicated flagpoles which allow the flying of their adopted flag for relevant events. It is suggested that options be explored to allow for such a provision subject to necessary approvals.

 

Minutes:

The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported on the opportunity for the Charter Trustees to consider the adoption of its own flag.  She highlighted the Borough of Poole Coat of Arms that was in the ownership of the Charter Trustees and could be an option.  The Charter Trustees were also asked to consider its own flag flying arrangements as a separate organisation which could include identifying specific events when a flag would be raised together with the provision of a flagpole for use by the Charter Trustees.

 

A question was raised on recognising former Borough of Poole Councillors who had passed away but were not Charter Trustees. The Deputy Head of Democratic Services reported that recognition for former Councillors was reflected in the BCP Flag Flying Protocol agreed by Cabinet earlier in the day and there was an opportunity to recognise former Charter Trustees in the same way.

 

Councillor Haines referred to the approval of the BCP Flag Flying Protocol at the Cabinet meeting earlier in the day. She emphasised the need for synergy between the Council and the Charter Trustees arrangements.  The Deputy Head of Democratic Services confirmed that the aim was for the BCP Council Flag Flying Protocol and any arrangements put in place by the Charter Trustees to be complimentary and work together.  Councillor Slade referred to a potential conflict of interest between the Coat of Arms and the Poole Flag highlighting that the Poole residents feel strongly that Charter Trustees should be flying the Poole flag, but it has no official status. She emphasised that she would be uncomfortable if the Charter Trustees adopted its own flag that was then in conflict with the historic people of Poole.  She highlighted the need for discussions on any proposals including the reasons for pursing a particular option and requested that Charter Day be included in the list of events when the adopted flag was flown. Councillor Stribley suggested that it was necessary to determine what we were referring to by the Poole Flag and to agree what we adopt as the Charter Trustees flag.  She explained the use of the coat of arms and potential changes since 1996 and in doing so expressed her preference for the coat of arms as the Charter Trustees flag.  The Deputy Head of Democratic Services referred to the suggestion of a small working group to look at this issue and report back to the Charter Trustees.

 

RESOLVED that a working group be established to consider the flag flying arrangements for the Charter Trustees for Poole and the adoption of a flag.

 

Voting: Agreed 

  

21.

Twinning Association

The Charter Trustees are asked to consider the allocation of funding under the Twinning budget head in 2021/22 to the Twinning Association taking account of 5.8 of the Financial Regulations.

 

Minutes:

The Charter Trustees were asked to consider the allocation of funding under the Twinning budget head in 2021/22 to the Twinning Association taking account of 5.8 of the Financial Regulations.

 

Councillor Iyengar reported on the role and history of the Twinning Association and the request for £1,500 for grant funding in the base budget subject to annual scrutiny by the Charter Trustees.  He reported that he had been the Chairman of the Cherbourg Twinning Association since December 2019.  He referred to a trip to Cherbourg taken in February 2020, which he financed and the reception that he received which he described as magnificent. He reported that nothing had diminished in respect of the warmth of the relationship and the engagement between the two towns which included sport, cultural activities, a celebration of what the two towns have in common, the farmers market and relationships with the health service.  He reported that the funds that have been requested would be to develop the online content to enable more information to be shared together with regular contact and the second option was for events.

 

Councillor Slade indicated that she was delighted to support the proposal which she highlighted was really important to maintain cultural, business and leisure links.  She reported that Poole only had one place that it was linked with but suggested that the Charter Trustees could build on the relationships with places that have historic and cultural links.

 

Councillor Haines seconded the proposal from Councillor Iyengar for the request for £1,500 to be allocated to the twinning association and welcomed the potential for other contributions from partner organisations. 

 

Councillor Stribley reported on previous proposals by the Borough of Poole to twin with St Johns in Newfoundland due to the potential close links but it was deemed to be too far for a twinning visit.  Councillor Stribley referred to the active Wessex Newfoundland Society.  Councillor Brooke supported the request from Councillor Iyengar.  He also updated the Charter Trustees on the Wessex Newfoundland Society.  Charter Trustees were advised that the Society had now been disbanded and was part of another organisation.  Councillor Brooke reported that it would be a real tribute if a twinning relationship could be established with St John’s Newfoundland and made a move on that basis which was seconded by Councillor Stribley.  The Head of Democratic Services reported that creating and establishing twinning towns was actually a BCP Council function.  He explained that there would be nothing to prevent the Charter Trustees from starting that dialogue and establishing some communications and making a recommendation.  Councillor Brooke in light of this advice suggested that a recommendation was submitted to BCP Council.

 

The Head of Democratic Services reported that ordinarily the Twinning budget would cover other incidentals of the Charter Trustees. He sought clarification on the funding of travel and accommodation costs for future events and asked if the grant was made to the Association there would be no further costs to Charter Trustees. Councillor Iyengar confirmed that if the £1,500  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.