Minutes of the Finance Committee meeting of the Council held at the Centre, Bodorgan on Monday evening, 13 August 2018.

1 Present:

Councillor Mr Dafydd Jones (Chairman), Councillor Mr Tim Owen, Councillor Mr Alwyn Rowlands & Mr Alun Foulkes (Clerk).

2 All members were welcomed to the meeting by the Chairman.

3 The Cemetery Agreement.

3.1 As there is no statutory liability, the members were in agreement and recommended that the agreement of the Association Council of contractor towns for the Bethel Church Cemetery tower expires at. The back end of this year

3.2 It was agreed that the Council should make a contribution as part of the S137 list and ask that this be decided at the next full meeting.

3.3 It was agreed that he should also consider a similar contribution to Llangadwaldr Church Cemetery

4 Account Keeping.

4.1 It was decided that he should open a Savings Account and transfer £12,000 to it for the Centre.

5 Revision of the Clerk's Salary.

5.1 Salary £7,495 (12 hours per week) was agreed for this year in order to include the work since September 2017 and reduce to £4,350 (7 hours per week) from April 2019 onwards.

5.2 The PAYE refund to HMRC was discussed and that the Council will have to pay if required. The Clerk said that he has completed current settlements with HMRC and, in the meantime, will receive a full salary from the Council and make arrangements to pay PAYE directly to them in person.

6 Inspection of Playground- In law.

7 Dwr for cemetery - paid and changed contact details with Dwr Cymru.

  1. Annual Council Insurance 2018-2019 - paid.

9 Attach the Council's Risk Policy - completed and attached.

10 The Council's Asset Register - completed with the valuation of all assets.

11 The Council's Cemetery Register - the Chairman, Cllr Alwyn Rowlands and the Clerk arrange to update the register as soon as possible

12 Review of Statutory Rules - for V to organize at the next meeting.

13 Review of Finance Rules - to be arranged at the next meeting.

  1. Installation of the Council's 2019-2020 Precept - to be arranged at the next meeting.
  2. The Welsh Audit Office report - the Clerk said that he had sent them an email asking for the report because it had been a while since Mr Ian Hughes visited the Council.

16 DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING - December 2018.

16.1 The Chairman thanked his members for attending the meeting and the meeting closed at 8:15 o'clock.

Finance Sub-Committee

[This section of the minutes reported in English]

Following the meeting of the Council on the 17th July, when the issue of discretionary expenditure regarding the maintenance of two cemeteries resulted in a heated debate which concluded in a decision to defer any decisions until the next Council meeting in September.

Having regard to the above the Chairman in consultation with the Clerk decided to refer the matter to the Finance committee for an objective review based on facts and not sentiments.

The sub - committee found as follows -

Section 137 Local Government Act 1972 permits the Council to incur discretionary expenditure if it considers that the expenditure is in the interest of some or all its inhabitants and will bring direct benefit to the area, provided that the benefit is commensurate with the expenditure.

The amount expended is regulated by Schedule 12B of the principal act. In Wales the formula regulating the expenditure is calculated by the Welsh Assembly Government. For 2018/19 it permits expenditure of £7.86 per elector. For 2018/19 in Bodorgan that is (754 x £7.86) £5926.44

For the current year, the budgeted expenditure for this heading is

Bethel Cemetery                  £800

Llangadwaladr Cemetery      £150

Community Centre              £2000

Bodorgan School                  £250

Total budgeted expenditure £3200. Any charitable donations made by the Council must be added to that figure and must not exceed the permitted limit.

The Cemeteries

There are three cemeteries located within the Council's boundaries

Trefdraeth Old and New - these are the statutory responsibility of the Council apart from a small section controlled by the Church in Wales. That section is maintained and operated by the Church and the Council expends no monies on it except for the access path which is through land in the control of the Council.

Maintenance of the Council responsibilities is achieved by the employment of competent contractors.

Burial fees and charges are set by the Council which currently are in line with the fees charged by the Church in Wales for sites where it is the responsible body.

Bethel Chapel Cemetery

This is the responsibility of the Chapel Trustees who are advised to adhere to the "Guidance on The Management of Cemeteries" as published by the Presbyterian Church of Wales.

It is the Trustees that determine the level of burial fees and charges, and all those monies are retained by them.

The Council have currently agreed to the grass cutting aspect of the maintenance of the cemetery at a cost of £800 in the current year utilising the contractor engaged by the Council. In so doing, the Council has exposed itself to Health and Safety risks in grounds where it has no control over. The letter of complaint received, suggests that the Council is held responsible for Health & Safety. That risk would be eliminated if the agreement to cut the grass were terminated, and the Chapel employed its own contractor. The Council can legitimately contribute towards those costs.

Llangadwaldr Church Cemetery

This is the responsibility of the Church in Wales. They set the burial fees and charges, which they retain. They engage maintenance contractors at their own expense. The Council makes a donation of £150 towards the maintenance costs.

The Council has a duty to the taxpayer of Bodorgan to act in a fair, open and transparent manner and to ensure that equity prevails in the services to the local inhabitants. Currently when considering the two latter cemeteries, it is clear mat fairness and equity does not prevail.

It would be very difficult to defend the unfairness that exists if the question was raised by any ratepayer or other relevant body.

We conclude that equity should prevail. In going forward to the next financial year these assumptions have been made

Sum donated to cemeteries maintenance (non-Council) £1200. This figure is the sum of this year's contributions together with the school monies, as there will be no Bodorgan School in the next fiscal year. Community Centre Support - up to £4000. This is on an assumption that we can secure ownership of the building. It is difficult to accurately estimate costs at

this time but it is highly likely that the current allocated sum of £2000 would be insufficient. That would amount to a Section 137 commitment of £5200.

Our conclusion is to recommend to the Council that we terminate the current agreement to cutting the grass at the Bethel Chapel cemetery, but that we make a donation of £600 towards the work. To ensure fairness we would recommend the same level of support to the Llangadwaladr Church.

Burial fees in either site is of no concern of the Council, but it is reasonable to assume that a prudent, well managed organisation would set their fees at a level that would contribute to their maintenance costs. One burial (at a reasonable fee level) and the proposed level of contribution should more than cover all grass cutting costs.

The Chapel are free to engage whoever they want including the existing contractor, whose fees are known.

The Council is asked to accept this report.