Minutes of a meeting of the Finance Advisory Committee held in the Council Chamber, Windmill Lane, Northam on Tuesday 17 th February 2009

PRESENT: Chairman - Cllr B M Edwards

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

Other Member in attendance Cllrs R W A Miller and R Tisdale

1. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held Tuesday 2 nd December 2008 were approved and signed.

(Vote: Unanimous)

2. Purchase of land at Burrough Farm and Seagate

Members discussed the financing of the purchase of land at Burrough Farm, Northam and Seagate site, Appledore from the District Council. The District Council has accepted the Town Council's application in the sums agreed of £25,000 for the Seagate site, being 50% of the District Valuer's valuation, and £68,500 for the Burrough Farm site, being 65% of the District Valuer's valuation. The Committee decided that in view of the Council's decision to retain £100,000 as their reserve they would need to borrow the money in order to purchase this land. The total initial costs were anticipated to be £100,000, this would make allowance for Solicitor's fees and set up costs for the allotments and allowing a contingency sum of £1500. It was therefore RESOLVED to recommend to Council that application be made to borrow £100,000 from the Public Works Loans Board.

(Vote: Unanimous)

Members also discussed the claw back provisions within the sale of land contracts and it was agreed to recommend that these be negotiated on the same basis as the purchase i.e. 50% for the Seagate site and 65%/35% on the Burrough Farm site.

3. To consider purchase of Northam Town Council ties

Cllr Tisdale reported that many of the local Town Councils sported their civic credentials by way of ties and other such means. It was agreed to seek further details on the cost of providing ties, scarves, brooches etc.

4. Northam Hall

The Chairman reported that the Northam Hall Committee was seeking tenders for the external works to the Hall which included replacing gutters, bargeboards and soffits, windows and doors and also improvements to the entrance. This was a re-tendering process as the initial specification resulted in excessive costs. Quotations were also being sought to replace the boiler for the heating system and the supply of hot water. Quotations and tenders were to be returned by Wednesday 25 th February 2009. It was RESOLVED to recommend that acceptance of an appropriate tender and quotation be delegated to the Finance Advisory Committee who would have a meeting on Thursday 26 th February at 11.00 am.

(Vote: Unanimous)

5. Appledore Skate Park

The Town Clerk reported that the lowest tenderer had withdrawn from the contract. It was agreed to approach the District Council asking them to discuss the matter with Big Lottery to ascertain the best way of proceeding.

6. Request for Grant St Margaret's School

Members discussed the possibility of St Margaret's School being awarded a late grant of £280 for the purchase of microphones. There was concern that this would set a precedent with regard to the award of grants. It was RESOLVED to recommend that a sum of £500 be allocated each year to the Mayor as a Mayor's Charity Donation account, thereby allow the Mayor discretion on matters such as this