Minutes of the Annual Meeting

Held on Monday, 6th July 2020, via Zoom

Present: Alan Watkins, Phil Bayliss, Chris England, James Forrest, Ken Goodman, Geoff Greenhill, Nancy James, Terry Morgan, Clint Welson, Paul Whittall and Steven Whittall

In Attendance: Ward Councillor Graham Jones                   Clerk to the Parish Council, Alison Morgan

Members of the Public: 2

1. Cllr Alan Watkins was duly re-elected as Chairman for the period up to May 2021; the Declaration of Acceptance of Office was signed and will be retained by the Clerk in addition to being published on the web site.

2. Cllr James Forrest was re-elected as Vice Chairman for the same period, as above.

3. Apologies were accepted from Yvonne King and Tony Raymond. Not in Attendance: Andrew Layton, Sue Prosser, Lewis Price.

4. No Declarations of Interest or written requests for dispensation were received. All councillors were reminded of their responsibility to review and update their Notices of Registrable Interests within 28 days of a change to their Disclosable Pecuniary Interests, as per the adopted Code of Conduct.

5. Elections took place for the following roles – appointments were all extended until May 2021 with the current post holders remaining in situ:

5.1. Footpaths Officers: Cllr Steve Whittall (Eardisley), Cllr Ken Goodman (Winforton/Willersley), Cllr Terry Morgan (Whitney)

5.2 Eardisley Village Hall Representative: Cllr Chris England

5.3 Millennium Green Trust Representative: Cllr Geoff Greenhill

6. Membership of Working Groups was reviewed. All councillors agreed to continue in their existing roles. The Clerk will contact those councillors absent from the meeting; it was AGREED if they wished to continue, no further vote was required and their membership would be confirmed. The Chairman reiterated more resident members were always welcome to join. Anyone interested should contact a councillor or the clerk. Resident members can be co-opted on to a Working Group at any time.

7. Insurance: Insurance coverage was reviewed at a previous meeting and confirmed to be adequate. Payment of the annual premium is covered in item 11.

8. End of Year Bank Reconciliation: Figures were previously distributed to councillors, had been scrutinised by the Finance & Compliance Working Group (FCWG) and were included in the recent internal audit. No queries were forthcoming and the reconciliation was duly ADOPTED. It will be published shortly on the Accounts & Finance page of the PC’s web site.

9. Internal Audit Findings & Recommendations: The Clerk reported overall the PC had done well in the audit and received favourable feedback from the auditor. It was RESOLVED the FCWG would consider the findings in more detail and present its recommendations to the next PC meeting. It was noted the audit recommendations did not affect the PC’s annual return responses (see below).

10. Annual Governance & Accountability Return:

10.1  Exemption Criteria for 2019/20: The exemption criteria published by the external auditors were reviewed and it was DETERMINED EGPC was compliant; it was therefore RESOLVED for the exemption certificate to be signed and returned to the auditors by the 31st July deadline.

10.2  Internal Audit Control Objectives A-M: Item 9 above refers; the internal auditor’s assessment concluded EGPC was able to demonstrate compliance in all areas reviewed.

10.3  Section 1, Annual Governance Statement: Statements 1-9 were reviewed by full council and it was AGREED a ‘Yes’ assertion was appropriate for 1-8 and a ‘N/A’ for statement 9.

10.4  Section 2, Accounting Statements 2019/20: A draft was previously distributed to councillors, scrutinised by the FCWG and was included in the recent internal audit. No queries were forthcoming and it was RESOLVED the draft should be ratified by the Chairman and Responsible Finance Officer (Clerk).

10.5  Exercise of Public Rights 2019/20: The Clerk proposed and it was APPROVED this period should be set to the 30 working days from Monday 13th July to Friday 21st A notice explaining how members of the public can raise queries or request inspection of the accounts will be published on the PC’s web site and placed on physical noticeboards if possible, as per government Covid-19 advice to parish councils.

11. Payments for verification – see attached list. A number of payment requests were received since the last (March) meeting. All payments were either previously approved or met the criteria for them to be settled between meetings under delegated powers. The list was reviewed and APPROVED by councillors present.

12. The following policy procedures and documents were tabled for review as part of annual business as per Standing Orders. It was RESOLVED no changes were currently required. Therefore, the review date will be extended to the next annual meeting or sooner if required due to changing circumstances or statutory reasons.

12.1  Standing Orders

12.2  Asset Register

12.3  Risk Management Policy

12.4  Electronic Banking Policy

12.5  Grants & Donations Policy

12.6  Equal Opportunities Policy

12.7  Data Protection Policies

12.8  Complaints Procedure

12.9  Vexatious Complaints Policy

12.10 Press & Media Policy

 

The meeting closed at 8:30pm

 

Payments to be verified (since the PC meeting on 26.03.2020):

 

Ref: Payee Description VAT (£) Total Payment (£)
11.1 Autela Payroll Serv. Outsourced PY Services 8.04 48.24
11.2 Whitney VH Hall Hire (Feb/March) 0.00 42.00
11.3 R Mills Farm Serv. Parish Drive Round (Feb) 9.00 54.00
11.4 SLCC Membership Fees (Clerk) 0.00 126.00
11.5 A Morgan Office Expenses (+ paper) 2.99 37.12
11.6 Eyelid Productions Web Site Accessibility 0.00 50.00
11.7 Eardisley VH Hall Hire (March) 0.00 19.00
11.8 BHIB Ltd Annual Insurance Renewal 0.00 306.40
11.9 A Morgan McAfee Renewal (Reimburse) 0.00 89.99
11.10 MCG Davies Works Order 89 (PROW) 0.00 150.40
11.11 MCG Davies Works Order 92 (PROW) 0.00 166.44
11.12 A Morgan MS Office Renewal (Reimburse) 10.00 59.99
11.13 HALC Cllr Training (x 2) 16.00 96.00
11.14 HALC Internal Audit 2019-20 40.00 200.00
11.15 Herefordshire Council Electoral Recharges (May 2019) 0.00 203.26
11.16 A Morgan Offices Expenses (Apr/May) 2.72 16.18
11.17 A Morgan Office Expenses (June) 3.76 22.53