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Telephone & Fax (01634) 241551 Clerk: Mr W R Swan Assistant: Trudi Smith
Halling Parish Council
[ DRAFT MINUTES - to be confirmed at next meeting ]
Minutes of extra-ordinary meeting of Halling Parish Council held on 29th October 2013 at the Jubilee Hall.
Present: Mark Joy (MJ) in Chair, Sally Brady (SB) vice-Chair; Chris Herbert (CH),
Jenny Robinson (JR), Matthew Fearn (MF) Kevyn Wightman (KW); Jim Sutherland (JS) and Tony Pickard (TP)
Bill Swan Clerk (WS), 3 members of the public
Trevor Reynolds; Les Hitchcock and Daryl Palmer (who gave prior notification but when he met the Clerk in the Village earlier said that he might be able to attend the meeting at around 8.45 pm.)
2. Disclosure of Pecuniary and/or Prejudicial Interests – none
3. To discuss the findings of the audit of the FW11 and FW12 accounts. Further to receivingreports to propose to accept recommendations of the auditor and also on any further action to be taken
MJ said that the accounts have now been made available to the auditor who has completed the audit. He took members through the auditor’s report. FWC had its own Constitution and Rules which were approved by HPC in November 2009. He took the meeting through this also. KW asked who were the 5 members of HPC who sat on the FWC. MJ said that these were from the following: DP, LH, TR, Richard Thorne, Norman Godding, Sam Walsh and Hayley Winter. The last 4 are no longer on HPC.
KW asked who were the reps from Halling Association? - answer: TR and DP.
JR asked if minutes were ever made available to HPC. MJ said no.
CH said that the FWC accounts going through the HPC had a full paper trail but there was nothing else from FWC.
SB said that DP has queried the audit report about VAT not being reclaimed on some invoices but investigation had shown that these were not proper VAT invoices and the firms involved were just passing on the VAT they had paid.
CH said that he had raised concerns with the HPC Chairman at the time (DP) in order to have the 2011 accounts made available. Also £1000 of bar stock was wrongly included in the accounts.
MJ said that there was a problem with the Constitution in as much as that at HPC meetings no interests had ever been declared by FWC members and expenditure was always voted through.
CH said that the original statement by Richard Thorne and the audit report showed an increased loss of £2900.
JS said that as 5 members of HPC were also on FWC, HPC must share some responsibility as 50% of HPC and 50% of FWC were the same people.
CH said that there was a failure of those involved to separate their duties.
MJ said that excuse after excuse were made why FW11 accounts were not available and this was minuted at each meeting of HPC. The promises have always been broken. At a meeting between HPC and FWC on 2nd October 2013 the accounts were again promised. SB said that the 2013 accounts had been promised at this meeting but never materialised. CH asked if the 2011 and 2012 accounts were ever approved by FWC before they went to the auditor. No answer could be obtained as no FWC member present.
MJ said that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of HPC at the time should take full responsibility for this problem. HPC must invoice FWC for the time spent by the Clerk on preparing items for DP prior to the audit.
MJ said that Halling Association is very concerned that FW accounts have not been produced.
MF said that it is clear HPC will never find out the truth of the matter.
CH said that the bar started in 2011 not shown as 2012 in the audit report so the auditor has been misinformed by FWC . The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that there is more to this story than the report shows. It took more than 12 months to present accounts based on false figures.
MJ said that HPC must ensure that this never happens again.
SB and JS said that the Councillors concerned have brought HPC into disrepute.
MJ proposed, seconded by SB, that HPC adopts the recommendations of the auditor and any current HPC member associated with FWC should be reported to the Monitoring Office as a breach of the Code of Conduct under LTn 80 section 5. This was agreed unanimously.
CH proposed, seconded by SB that future FW events must be run by a Committee of the Parish Council and MJ proposed, seconded by SB, that any person involved with FWC and who wishes to come on to the new Committee must be interviewed and approved by HPC. Agreed by all.
Finally MJ proposed, seconded by CH , that the auditor’s bill for £225 be paid by HPC and recovered from FW13. Agreed unanimously.
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7 November, 2013
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