Agenda and minutes
Venue: Council Chamber, Muriel Matters House, Breeds Place, Hastings, TN34 3UY. Please enter the building via the Tourist Information Centre entrance.
Contact: Emily Horne on 01424 451719 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The recording of this meeting is available on line at: https://www.hastings.gov.uk/my_council/cm/?video=293544662
Items No. Item
Welcome from the Chair of the Charity Committee, Councillor Sue Beaney
The Chair welcomed those present to the committee meeting.
The Chief Accountant, presented a report for the committee to consider the 2017/18 Annual Report and Financial Accounts.
The report detailed key activities undertaken by the Trust throughout the previous year. Members were informed the layout of the accounts had improved.
There has been no increase in fees and charges for the car park (this was reviewed March 2018), however car parking income was down due to fluctuations in the weather.
A surplus before grants and revenue funded projects of £253,000 for the year was achieved. The balance at the end of March 2018 was £1,445,112 (cash position), whilst total funds (which includes all assets) amount to £2,630,833. The budget was raised from £70,000 to £90,000. The report also set out expenditure the Trust had committed to in its business plan and its approach to maintaining prudent levels of reserves.
The contingency reserve is set at £900,000, which is the minimum level the Trust should retain at present.
The Trust’s final accounts 2017/18 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 2018. The Chief Accountant thanked the Protector and Mannington Auditors for their work.
The Committee expressed their thanks to the officers for their report and for keeping such complex accounts in order.
Councillor Batsford proposed approval of the report, which was seconded by Councillor Rogers.
RESOLVED(unanimously) that the Charity Committee approve the Annual Report and Financial Accounts for 2017/18.
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 Accounting Codes of Practice and the high standards required for the accounting of Public money.
The Council as Trustee, through the Charity Committee, is authorised to approve the annual report and accounts which must be done by the 30th September each year.
Public Question Time (30 minutes)
A notice had been placed in the local newspaper inviting written questions. No written questions had been submitted.
The Chair invited questions from the public gallery on matters relating to the Trust.
Mr Dick Edwards asked questions of the committee, as follows:-
1. Pelham Beach – will the Trust give a commitment to vigorously examine a way to achieve Blue Flag status and announce a timescale. The Marketing and Major Projects Manager said the Blue Flag criteria is very tough. To obtain a Blue Flag award is difficult while there is an outfall pipe on the beach. He would investigate further.
2. HOTRA suggested a new pedestrian walkway / cycle route be built to ease the pressure outside the Hastings & St Leonards Angling Club and west station on the miniature railway. This new path would start / end by the multi-use games area and pass south of the boat compound to join the path on the south of the boating lake. We submitted a drawing through Coastal Users Group earlier this year but have heard no more. The Marketing and Major Projects Manager said they could not find any record of the question, however they would endeavour to provide an answer if the question was reconfirmed.
3. The Stade Amusement Park changes – what consultation took place with the Trustees and HBC Planners? What independent advice was obtained? Can that be fully reported? Will there be a significant uplift in the site rent to reflect the increased earning opportunities? The Chief Legal Officer said that she would liaise with Planning Services Department and obtain a response.
4. The last Business Plan Review was presented to the Coastal Users Group 24hrs before the meeting. The Business Plan consultation exercise needs to include sufficient time for the community to comment. The Director of Operational Services said he would look into this.
5. Wet play facility – this should be a key project for the Business Plan going forward. The Marketing and Major Projects Manager said there is to be a mini wet play area near the White Rock Theatre above the Source. The wet play area in Bexhill was funded externally by a Coastal Community bid.
The Chief Legal Officer explained that the Foreshore Trust AGM is not the only opportunity that members of the public can ask questions. They can do so at the Council meeting. Rules are in Part 4 of the Council’s Constitution.
The Chair thanked Mr Edwards for his questions.
Mr Russell Hall asked several questions of the committee, as follows:-
6. The Stade Family Amusement Park footpath is not on the definitive right of way. Please consider registering the public right of way as definitive right of way route. The definitive route must be registered by 2026. The Director of Operational Services said he would look into this.
[Background information submitted: The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 contains provisions to extinguish on 1st January 2026 public rights of way before 1949 across Foreshore Trust land ... view the full minutes text for item 3.