Parish Council Meeting Agenda
Parish Councillors are summoned to
A MEETING OF THE PARISH COUNCIL
|DATE:||TUESDAY 21 JULY 2020|
|NOTE VENUE:||MEETING TO BE HELD REMOTELY, VIA VIDEO-LINK|
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Meeting ID: 710 9056 7253
Enquiries to: Clerk: Carol Jones
|Signed:||Date of Issue: 16 July 2020|
|Notes for Members of the Public:|
1. This meeting is being held remotely in accordance with regulations made under S.78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020. There are, therefore, no paper copies of the agenda or the accompanying documents.
2. All documents (other than those which are restricted) can be accessed from the Parish Council’s website – www.cholmondeley-chorley.co.uk.
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
2 DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Members to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or non-pecuniary interest which they have in any item of business on the agenda, the nature of that interest, and in respect of disclosable interests, to leave the meeting prior to the discussion of that item.
Whilst the Clerk can advise on the Code of Conduct and its interpretation, the decision to declare, or not, is the responsibility of the Parish Councillor, based on the particular circumstances.
To approve the Minutes of the Meeting held on 9 June 2020.
4 PUBLIC QUESTION TIME
In accordance with the Parish Council’s Standing Orders (i.e. its Constitution) members of the public are able to ask a question of make a statement, both of which must relate to matters with fall within the remit of the Parish Council.
5 S.85 LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 (DISQUALIFICATION THROUGH NON-ATTENDANCE)
In these times of infrequent meetings, Members are reminded that although the Coronavirus Act 2020 introduced new regulations governing town and parish council meetings, the ‘six month rule’ still applies.
Under S.85 of the Local Government Act 1972, a Councillor who has failed to attend consecutive meetings for a period of six months, without having first submitted his/her reasons for absence to the Parish Council, and those reasons have been accepted, the councillor is automatically disqualified.
Although apologies are usually tendered at each meeting, they are received without comment. It is prolonged absence which requires specific consideration by the Parish Council prior to the expiry of the six-month period. For example, a councillor who is aware that they are not able to attend a meeting for six months, must, by the fifth month, have submitted his/her reasons for the prolonged absence so that this can be considered and approved by the Parish Council at that fifth meeting.
Attendance as a member at a meeting of any Committee or Sub-Committee of the authority, or at a meeting of any joint Committee, joint Board or other body, by which the functions of the authority are being discharged, is deemed to be attendance at a meeting of the authority.
6 COVID-19: REGULATIONS FOR TOWN AND PARISH COUNCILS – UPDATE
The following up-dated guidance has been issued by the National Association of Local Councils, based on Government guidance.
6.1 Re-opening of Multi-purpose Community Buildings
Although this does not apply in Cholmondeley & Chorley, the Government guidance note issued may be of interest to Members.
6.2 Continuation of Remote Council Meetings
The latest advice from the National Association of Local Councils is that where a local council has an identified a need to hold a physical meeting, as it is unable to conduct Council business in any other way, they can consider doing so from 4 July 2020.
These meetings must be managed within social distancing and safer workplaces guidance produced by the government, which includes the requirement to conduct a risk assessment to determine if it is feasible and safe to hold a physical meeting.
It is important that this risk assessment is carried out and any identified actions to reduce risk to attendees are implemented before any face-to-face meetings resume. Councils must keep documentation of this risk assessment and the reasons why the Council has taken the decision to return to face-to-face meetings.
7 ANNUAL ACCOUNTS – 2019-2020
7.1 Internal Audit – JDH Business Services Ltd.
The accounts have now been received following the internal audit and the Internal Auditor’s report is enclosed.
On the basis of the internal audit work carried out, the Internal Auditor’s view is that the Council’s system of internal controls is in place and adequate for the purpose intended, and effective.
The recommendations in the action plan are as follows:
- Ensure that there is proper provision for the exercise of public rights. This was not carried out in 2019-2020.
- There is an outstanding issue from 2018/2019, namely monitoring the level of reserves from year to year to ensure that excessive reserves are not carried forward.
7.2 AGAR and Exercise of Public Rights to Inspect the Accounts
The full AGAR, which was approved at the meeting held on 9 June 2020 will require a signature by the Chairman. As this must be a wet signature, the AGAR will be posted to the Chairman for signing and return to the Clerk.
The notice of the exercise of public rights to inspect the accounts will be published on the Council’s website.
7.3 Review of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit
The Parish Council is asked to review the effectiveness of the internal audit process using page 1 of the Internal Auditor’s report as the checklist against which the process should be judged.
The Internal Auditor’s report shows that a robust audit has been carried out and the Parish Council is recommended to accept that the audit has been effective, and all requirements have been met.
8 AUTHORISATION OF PAYMENTS
The Parish Council is asked to authorise the following payments:
|£40.00||HMRC – Tax on Clerk’s salary|
|£142.80||JDH Business Services Ltd. – Internal audit 2019-20 (£119.00 net; £23.80 VAT)|
|£82.44||Cheshire Association of Local Councils – Affiliation Fee|
|£35.00||Cheshire Association of Local Councils – Inv. 2019/483 Outstanding invoice for Chairmanship training.|
9.1 Councillors Chris Baker and Chris Nickson to report on the draft changes made to the website. The Parish Council will be asked to approve the changes for implementation.
9.2 Enclosed are several documents relating to The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018). Local councils are expected to be compliant by 23 September 2020, or at least have a plan of action in existence.
- NALC Guidance on the regulations.
- Government guidance on compliance.
- Exemplar of an Accessibility Statement, as recommended in the NALC guidance.
As the deadline date is 23 September 2020, it may be helpful to set up a small Committee which would have delegated powers to make decisions about how the website could be comply with the regulations in a timely manner.
10 BOROUGH COUNCILLOR W S DAVIES
Borough Councillor Stan Davies to report on Cheshire East Council matters.
11 APPOINTMENT TO WRENBURY CONSOLIDATED CHARITY
Roger Blake, the former Trustee on the Wrenbury Consildated Charity, has moved out of the area and is no longer able to represent the parish.
The Parish Council is asked to nominate another trustee to enable the charity to administer its funds. The appointment is for four-years.
The Charity distributes £10,000 a year in the way of ‘doles’ and it gives to churches, chapels and schools in the six parishes. The charity also supports people attending university and those who are studying in the form of an apprenticeship.
The Charity meets twice a year: once before Easter and once before Christmas.
12 DISTRIBUTION OF SELECTMARK KITS
At the previous meeting, this item was on the agenda, but no decision was made about the distribution of the kits to households.
The Parish Council is asked to consider this matter.
13 INFORMATION ITEMS
(A) Police and Crime Commissioner Stakeholder Update
To receive a copy of the July update from the Police & Crime Commissioner.
(B) CEC Strategic Planning Update
To receive a copy of Cheshire East Council’s Strategic Planning Update, dated June 2020.
(C) Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
Cheshire East Council is currently carrying out a general consultation on a number of its Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) and is not specifically consulting local councils. Members will be able to comment as individuals. The consultation closes on 10 August 2020.
Full details of the process and the documents are available by clicking the link
14 SHARED ITEMS
As the meeting on Zoom is only scheduled for 40 minutes, it might not be possible to raise any issues under this item.
15 MEETINGS FOR 2020-2021
It is suggested that the Parish Council continues to meet on the fourth Tuesday in the month. The next meeting would, therefore, be held on 22 September 2020.
At that meeting, the Parish Council will give consideration to a first draft of the budget for 2021- 2022 and may wish to consider if any projects should be added.