Minutes of a meeting of the Finance Advisory Committee held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday21st October 2008.


PRESENT: Chairman - Cllr B M Edwards

Members - Cllrs Mrs S Collins, C K Langton, R H Osborne

Other Members in attendance were Cllrs R J Johnson and S Robinson

1. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held Tuesday 19th August 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

A question was raised as to the response from County Cllr Ford. The Town Clerk reported that he had met with Cllr Ford following the full Council meeting and that Cllr Ford had advised him that he had plans for spending the County money in the parish and that he was intending to write with further details. The Town Clerk advised that he would chase up by way of a letter.

2. Northam Hall

(a) The Town Clerk advised that the Hall was currently not registered for VAT purposes which would mean that any VAT payable on goods and services would not be recoverable and VAT would not be chargeable to clients. If the Council chose to register the Hall for VAT purposes then VAT would need to be paid by clients and the Council would then be able to reclaim the VAT from the Customs and Excise. Once registered the Town Council would be fixed in for 20 years. Members discussed the options and it was thought better, taking a long term view, not to register the Hall for VAT and it was RESOLVED to recommend this to full Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(b) The Town Clerk reported on the quotations received for electrical works at the Bridge Hall. The lowest prices were received from DS Electrical in the sums of £323.11 for the remedial works and £448.30 for the internal emergency lights over doors and 4 no external security lights. It was RESOLVED to recommend acceptance of these quotations to full Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

(c) The Town Clerk reported that as the property was owned by the Town Council then business rates were payable. He was investigating with the District Council the possibilities of reducing the figure and he would report back in due course.

3. Skate Park Tenders

The Chairman, Cllr Edwards, reported that three tenders had been received for the skate park. The lowest tender, with some adjustments, was now able to be accepted. It came within the sum of money allocated by the Big Lottery but there remained the question of entering into a suitable contract with the District Council. The contract offered by the District Council was considered to be excessive and Cllr Johnson offered to speak to the District Council's Solicitor to see if a simpler understanding could be reached. It was RESOLVED to accept the lowest tender for the skate park in principle at this stage pending resolution of the contract with the District Council.

(Vote: Unanimous)

4. Quotation Procedure

Members discussed the existing Standing Orders relating to contracts and it was generally agreed that these needed to be amended. This would be considered at the same time as Standing Orders were being reviewed generally.

5. Bus Shelters

The Town Clerk reported on further damage to the bus shelter on Golf Links Road and he also advised that the County Council had offered to repair the shelter at Limers Lane at their cost.

6. Notice Boards

The Town Clerk reported he had now received a further quotation for notice boards and that he had asked for a quote for supplying three as this would make best use of materials. The price now submitted was £374 each and it was RESOLVED to recommend acceptance of this quotation.

(Vote: Unanimous)


Members considered a request from the WRVS for a grant of £45 towards their Devon Home Library Service project. It was RESOLVED to award a grant of £45.

(Vote: Unanimous)

8. Anchor Park Fence

The Town Clerk reported that a further section of the boundary fence required repair. It was agreed to carry out the repair works and also to examine the fence as it was thought more extensive works would be needed as the fence was perhaps coming to the end of its useful life.

9. Ties, Badges, etc

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

10. Timetable for Budget

Members discussed various issues leading up to the preparation of next year's budget. It was agreed that a meeting of the Finance Committee to consider the grants would be held at 11.00 am on 18 th November and that a further meeting to prepare the budget would be held on 2nd December which would report to full Council on the 16th December. The Town Clerk to advise the Chairmen of the Town Projects, Northam Burrows and Sustainability Committees to prepare their budgets by 26th November.

11. Poppy Appeal

The Town Clerk advised that as in previous years he had received the invoice for the Royal British Legion wreaths to be placed on the war memorials. These were priced at £16.50 each. These charges covered the cost of the British Legion but there was a rider

to the invoice to the effect that they were asking for the Council to consider giving an additional donation. It was RESOLVED to recommend a grant of £100.

(Vote: Unanimous)