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19th December 2000
Minutes of Corporate Affairs Meeting held on Tuesday 19th December 2000 at 7.30pm in the Council Offices, 47 Derry Road, Strabane.
Present:-In the Chair:- Cllr. J. McNulty Other Members;- Cllrs. Mrs A. Bell, I. Barr, A. Bresland, J. Donnell, J. Emery, D. Hussey, T. Kerrigan, T. McBride, C. McHugh, J. O’Kane, E. Turner M.B.E. Total = 12 In Attendance:- Clerk & Chief Executive Head of Finance Administrative Assistant
SCHEDULE OF ACCOUNTS
The Schedule of Accounts for the month of December 2000 was presented by the Head of Finance (HF) to the meeting, a copy of which was previously circulated. There were no queries from Members.
General Exchequer Grant to Councils – Penny Product Calculations
The HF referred to correspondence circulated regarding the above. She indicated to Members that following a Finance Officers Meeting held earlier in the month an update has been given today stating that the recalculations for 1997/98 and 1998/99 are complete and the 1999/2000 recalculations should be completed today. On this basis the February installment will not be adjusted. It is anticipated that the 2001/2002 grant data will be available on 5th January 2001. The HF agreed to table the relevant information for discussion at the next Audit & Staff Committee Meeting scheduled for 15th January 2001.
The HF informed Members that telephone bills from British Telecom for the council offices have been in the region of £3,500 per quarter for the last 2 quarters. Two companies offering discounted call rates have approached council. These companies are Cable & Wireless (C & W) and Lloyd Communications. The HF outlined to members a comparison of the rates per minute for the different types of calls which proved C & W to be the most competitive as savings of £1,000 was achieved.
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor Emery, that the telephone service be switched to Cable & Wireless for a trial period of six months.
Expenditure in the Republic of Ireland – VAT Implications
The HF informed Members that the Revenue Commissioners, Ennis have advised Council that VAT incurred in the Republic of Ireland cannot be reclaimed. Pricewaterhouse Coopers have confirmed this as correct. In response to Councillor Bresland the HF confirmed that when buying other goods from the Republic of Ireland, which are delivered to Northern Ireland Council does not incur vat as long as the Council’s vat number is quoted. All Chief Officers have been advised of this matter and requested to brief staff involved in purchasing. This was noted.
The HF reported that further to the Finance Committee meeting of 15 February 2000, Council has been in correspondence with this individual to recover arrears of £4,677.09. To date, £2,550 has been paid. Council has paid direct costs of £46.75 and £515 (Enforcement of Judgements Office). This leaves a balance owing of £2,688.84. Correspondence has been received from a solicitor acting on behalf of this individual requesting a settlement figure. Authority is sought to confirm a figure of £2,688.84 to the solicitor.
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Barr, seconded by Councillor Turner, that the recommendation from the HF be agreed.
NAC Conference – Environment 2 – 4 February 2001 – Belfast
NAC Training Course – Sport, Recreation & Arts – 26-28 January 2001 – Blackpool
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor McHugh, seconded by Councillor McBride, that there be no representation of Members to the above Conferences.
The New Opportunities Fund
The CE advised Members that a consultation document, ‘New Opportunities from the Lottery’, has been published by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport outlining the new initiatives to be implemented by N.O.F. throughout the UK. The document outlines national plans for allocating almost £1.5 billion extra lottery money to local communities for sport, health, childcare and environmental projects. Locally the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has asked organisations across the Province to respond to these proposals emphasising in particular the need to ensure they are sufficiently flexible to meet Northern Ireland’s particular requirements. The additional funding is aimed at supporting projects in the areas of sport in schools, outdoor adventure activities for young people, heart disease and stroke initiatives, palliative care, childcare, environmental renewal and community regeneration, and awards for groups engaged in local health, education and environmental projects.
The CE indicated that Members are invited to submit views and comments on the proposals by 31st December 2000 to inform a corporate response from Council. A copy of the document has been placed in the Members Library.
It was agreed on the proposal of Councillor Emery, seconded by Councillor McBride, that the meeting be held “In Committee”.
The CE indicated to Members that IDB have decided to invite the Chairman and Vice-Chair of Council together with a representative of each party to the launch of Fabplus to be held on Wednesday 20th December 2000 at 10.30am in the Fir Trees Hotel, Strabane.
The Chairman of the Corporate Affairs Committee wished everyone a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
The Meeting concluded at 8.00pm