FGPC July 2020 Minutes

Deeping St James Parish Council

The Institute, 38 Church Street, Deeping St James, Peterborough PE6 8HD

e-mail: clerk.dsjpc@btconnect.com

Tel: 01778 343266

Webpage: parishes.lincolnshire.gov.uk/deepingstjames

Parish Clerk: Julie Fortnum


Minutes of the Finance and General Purposes Committee meeting held on Thursday 16 July 2020 at 7.00pm using virtual meeting code and password below:


Meeting ID: 919 5915 2198

Password: 064321

Present: Councillors Bowell, Gilbert, Halls, Hardy, Hosking, Shinkins-Hoppe, Stevens and Thomas

The minutes were taken by the Parish Clerk


13.21 To receive apologies of absence.

All present.


14.21 To receive any declarations of interest.

None received.


15.21 To adopt the minutes of the previous meeting held on Thursday 11 June 2020.

Agreed, to be signed at a later date.


16.21 To receive the Clerk’s report -

The year-end procedure on the Scribe accounts system is being completed by the Clerk and once closed the Annual Governance and Accounting Statement for 2019/20 will be completed ready for signing off by the Internal Auditor prior to being agreed by the Parish Council hopefully at the council meeting on Thursday 30 July 2020. The Clerk has requested an extension on the deadline for submission to the external Auditors of 31 July 2020 to 31 August 2020 to allow for any unforeseen issues.

The Staff Handbook has been referred to an external HR provider for review.

The webpage has been updated with the revised Standing Order and Financial Regulations.


17.21 To receive a report of the current financial position including up to date income and expenditure figures.

These figures were noted with just one comment being made by Councillor Gilbert referring to the insurance renewal being £121 more than had been budgeted for. Councillor Bowell advised that this had been because a review of the asset register had shown that some items had not been added and when they had been the renewal had increased. It was acknowledged that this exercise meant that the insurance now provided a true reflection of the council’s assets and liabilities.


18.21 To review the parish council’s Code of Conduct

Councillor Bowell had shared a draft amended code of conduct adoption of which was proposed seconded and Resolved.


19.21 To review the payments made regularly by standing order and direct debit.

Councillor Bowell introduced this item explaining that in Standing Orders stated that the parish council would review these items every three years which raised the question of why. As two signatories were required to authorise a direct debit mandate and as well as checks by the internal auditor and several councillors also having access to the bank accounts to view activity it was suggested that it was to pick up historic ones that had not been cancelled. If this was the case it was agreed to Recommend to full council that standing orders were amended to read that these would be checked annually at the same time as the year end accounts were signed off.


20.21 To consider adopting a lone working policy

Councillor Bowell introduced a draft lone working policy for consideration which raised a number of questions as it was very detailed (being 6 pages long) compared to the Lincolnshire Association of Local Councils model template (1 page long) which Councillor Gilbert referred to. It also used language which could be interpreted as discriminatory to females and young people. As the majority of members of this committee had not had sight of the LALC modal template it was agreed that consideration of this item should be deferred to the next committee meeting when everyone had read both documents.

It was Resolved to move into closed session in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be discussed in relation to the following matter.


21.21 To receive an update from the staffing sub-committee.

Councillor Hosking provided an update regarding the interviews for an Assistant Clerk saying 4 individuals had been interviewed and the position had been offered and accepted by Louise Brown who started on Monday 13 July 2020. This had allowed for the current Assistant Clerk, Kathy Bowles, who was due to retire on Friday 17 July 2020, to introduce Louise to the duties involved.

An update was also provided about the HR advice obtained and the action taken by the parish council in connection with a parish council employee’s fitness for work.

It was Resolved to move out of closed session.


22.21 To agree the date of the next meeting

7pm on Thursday 17 October 2020