Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Aquila House, Breeds Place, Hastings, TN34 3UY. If you are attending the Council Chamber for this meeting, please enter the building via the Tourist Information Centre entrance
Contact: Emily Horne on 01424 451719 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Items No. Item
Welcome from the Chair of the Charity Committee, Councillor Colin Fitzgerald
The Chair welcomed those present to the meeting.
The Chair paid tribute to the work of Councillor John Hodges, who had served as Chair of the Charity Committee until his death earlier in the year, and for his commitment to improving the Foreshore.
The Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues, presented a report for the committee to consider the 2015/16 annual report and financial accounts.
The report detailed key activities undertaken by the Trust throughout the previous year. The balance at the end of March 2016 was £1,236,463, the report noted that the trading surplus achieved in the 2015/16 was higher than projected in the budget. The report also set out expenditure the Trust had committed to in its business plan and its approach to maintain prudent levels of reserves
The Trust’s final accounts 2015/16 had been subject to an external audit, which found that they gave a true and fair view of the charity’s affairs as at 31 March 2016.
Councillor Forward proposed approval of the recommendations to the Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenue’s report, which was seconded by Councillor Cartwright.
RESOLVED(unanimously) that the annual report and financial accounts for 2015/16 are approved
The reason for this decision was:
The council has the responsibility for the proper management of the financial affairs of the Trust. In doing so it complies with the Accounting Codes of Practice and the high standards required for the accounting of public money.
The council as Trustee, through the Charity Committee is approved to approve the annual report and accounts by the 30th September each year.
Public Question Time
A notice had been placed in the local newspaper inviting written questions, however, none had been received. The Chair invited questions from the public gallery on matters relating to the Trust.
Mr Dick Edwards asked 3 questions of the committee, as follows. Mr Edwards also echoed the comments made in the Chair’s earlier tribute to Councillor Hodges.
The refurbishment of the White Rock Baths to form a new BMX and Skatepark is very welcome. However, the £6 entrance fee charge may be too expensive for many local families. Please could consideration be given to introducing a concession for local people?
The Resort Services Manager replied that the operators of the Source were very keen to support the local BMX and Skate community and were looking at a number of options to engage with local people. He added that the council and Foreshore Trust would support the Source in exploring funding opportunities to continue this work.
Before the Stade Amusements lease was renewed a public consultation was undertaken about potential improvements to the site. However, the planned improvements included in the final lease were more modest. Could more mechanisms for public engagement be included in the future?
The Assistant Director, Financial Services and Revenues, commented that it was unfortunate that not all of the works which had been subject to public consultation could be delivered under the new lease. An external contractor had carried out an assessment of the site and proposed the list of works to be included in the new lease. The new lease was also for a shorter length of time than originally planned. The committee acknowledged the challenges in gaining the opinion of all users of the Foreshore through public consultation exercises.
Given the significant demand for grants from the Foreshore Trust, could the level of funds made available be increased?
The Chair replied that a review of the small grants programme would be undertaken before the next round of grant allocations, and the level of funding made available would be considered as part of this process.
The Chair thanked Mr Edwards for his questions.