MINUTES OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
MADRON PARISH COUNCIL
HELD AT MADRON COMMUNITY ROOMS
THURSDAY 5th MAY 2016 AT 7.00pm
Cllr Mrs C. Roberts (chairman) Cllr V. Peake (vice chairman)
Cllr Mrs A. Jenkin Cllr Mrs G. Burlton
M. Scoble Cllr S. Pritchard
Cllr G. Tanner Cllr H. Eddy
Cllr C. Bone Cllr S. Bates
Cllr I. Phillips
Clerk, Mr W.E. Wilkins, and 2 members of the public
Cllr R. Matthews, Cornwall Cllr W. Maddern
2. Acceptance of Minutes
The minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting on 7th May 2015 were unanimously accepted having been recirculated by clerk by email.
3. Chairman’s Annual Report – Cllr Mrs Clare Roberts
I have enjoyed my second year as Chairman, and hope that I have carried out my duties to this Parish Council’s satisfaction.
Thank you to everyone involved in the Trafalgar celebrations and those members who attended this and the Remembrance Service.
This year we have been very careful with our budget. We have still been able to grant donations to a few charities connected to our Parish and continue to support the Playing Field Committee.
I believe as a Council we are a good team and have a positive attitude to the challenges we are facing which have included paperless planning and hopefully taking over the allotments at Parc Abanac.
The building of a small housing development off Trafalgar fields will bring new people to the area and hopefully support to our schools.
The Poltair Hospital site has now been sold and we will await the plans together with other areas in the parish that appear to have been earmarked for development.
The initial meetings have been held with regard to the development of a Neighbourhood Plan and only time will tell if the interest shown results in a successful plan being created.
Looking back as we approach the final year of this term of office our roles as Councillors have undergone many changes. As a result we need to be pro-active as greater responsibilities are placed upon us. We are now more answerable to the parishioners and it is no longer acceptable to just turn up once a month.
I would like to thank you all for your support and regular attendance at meetings. Vic, (Peake) I thank you for your support, also to our County Councillors Bill Maddern and Roy Mann, for their continuing help and finally to our Clerk for his tireless hard work and welcomed advice.
4. Financial Report from Clerk, Mr Wib Wilkins, as Responsible Finance Officer.
Clerk reported that all accounts for the financial year 2015-2016 have been completed and forwarded to councillors. During the year they have been audited by Cllrs Tanner and Scoble and the final audit by councillors was completed by Cllr Tanner with Cllr Roberts as Cllr Scoble was unavailable. Mr David Gallie, the ex-Clerk to Penzance Town Council, completed the internal audit on 19th April and he has certified that all accounts, records and procedures are correct and in good order. The accounts will be put before the Annual Parish Council meeting for approval after this meeting and then forwarded to Grant Thornton who are acting on behalf of the Audit Commission for final approval.
This year the income has exceeded the payments by £10145 comparted to expenditure exceeding income by £586 last year. This is largely due to the fact that the purchase of assets in the previous year exceeded this year by £10421.
The income this year was £1483 less than in 2014-2015. This year there was a £700 bonus from Cornwall Council to assist with paperless planning arrangements, £165 extra in LMP funding and £395 more refunding from VAT paid in the previous year. However the government CTS payment was £672 less than in the previous year and also in 2014-2015 there were donations from Young Farmers of £1500 and Cornwall Councillors Community Chest of £645 towards the cost of defibrillators during that year.
The expenditure this year was £12214 less than the previous year when payments were made for playing field equipment and the defibrillators for Madron and Trythall. There obviously were other comparatively minor changes – £426 increase in clerk’s salary and mileage largely due to working longer hours, £175 increase in National Insurance and PAYE, £174 increase in grants (including £576 match funding for the playing field), £54 increase in cutting public rights of way, and £1058 spent in respect of weed spraying throughout the parish and the emptying of litter bins. Reductions in expenditure included £48 in councillors’ mileage due to less journeys for training, £377 in administration as more use is made of emails, £200 in S.137 donations, £35 on Trafalgar celebrations, £2225 on reclaimable VAT, £170 on miscellaneous items and £610 on the website as the previous year’s costs were mainly for setting up the site.
The result of this is that we are carrying forward to the new financial year £41784 compared to the sum of £31640 brought forward from last year. All of this has been done without any increase to the precept which would have increased council tax paid by local people.
The council is fully aware of the likely increase in responsibilities falling on the Parish Council due to lack of available funding to Cornwall Council. Examples of this during the financial year have been the responsibility for weed spraying the roads and collection of rubbish from new litter bins. There is a fear that it will not end there, hence the intended build-up of reserves which may well be needed to maintain services for the public of the parish. We have been told that if this council does not take over the Parc Abnac allotments they will be left as waste ground and whilst we have agreed to take over the administration and expenses the solicitor acting for this council has pointed out a danger in one clause which could cost this council a considerable sum in the future and negotiations are in progress with Cornwall Council over this. There will be a small income from the allotments but there will also be expenses in maintenance and repairs where necessary.
Consideration is also taking place with residents of the parish into the prospect of a Neighbourhood Plan which, in spite of a grant being obtainable, can cost a considerable sum to produce. This is in the pipeline, but financial reserves have to be in place to support this if there is sufficient interest among the public to proceed.
Overall as the Responsible Finance Officer, I am satisfied that there is sufficient funding for this council to operate safely during the forthcoming year.
On a personal basis as clerk, I would like to thank the chairman, vice chairman and auditing councillors for their support and co-operation during the year. I also would like to thank the councillors who have been active with their allotted responsibilities and also those who have taken on the concerns of their local residents and worked with me to solve the various issues.
5. Questions and Comments from electors of the Parish