Logo, company name

Description automatically generated

13 October 2021


Dear Councillor,


This is to inform you that the meeting of the Resources and Policy Committee will be held in the Sportsman, Birchwood Leisure Centre, Longmead, Hatfield AL10 0AN at 7.30pm on Wednesday 20th October 2021, to which you are summoned, for the transaction of the following business. 


Yours sincerely,




C. A. Lloyd

Town Clerk




1.               APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

              To receive and accept apologies for absence and reasons why (for the 6 month rule), if any.

2.                  QUESTION TIME

The first fifteen minutes of the Meeting will be given over to questions from members of the public on issues relating to the work of the Committee.


Members are reminded to make any declarations of disclosable pecuniary and/or personal interests that they may have in relation to items on this Agenda.


You should declare at this part of the meeting or when it becomes apparent your interest by stating:


(a)              the item you have the interest in

(b)              whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest and the nature of the interest, whereupon you will not participate in the discussion or vote on that matter, unless dispensation has been requested and granted

(c)              whether it is a personal interest and the nature of the interest


Members are also reminded of their obligation to report any amendment to their Register of Interests to the Town Clerk as soon as it becomes apparent.

4.               MINUTES

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meetings held on 8th September 2021 (copy attached).


In accordance with Standing Order 12;


a.                      The draft minutes of a preceding meeting having been served on councillors with the agenda to attend the meeting at which they are due to be approved for accuracy, shall be taken as read.

b.                      There shall be no discussion about the draft minutes of the preceding meeting except in relation to their accuracy. A motion to correct an inaccuracy in the draft minutes shall be moved in accordance with standing order 10(a)(i).

c.                      The accuracy of draft minutes, including any amendment(s) made to them, shall be confirmed by resolution and shall be signed by the chairman of the meeting and stand as an accurate record of the meeting to which the minutes relate.

d.                      If the chairman of the meeting does not consider the minutes to be an accurate record of the meeting to which they relate, they shall sign the minutes and include a paragraph in the following terms or to the same effect:

“The chairman of this meeting does not believe that the minutes of the meeting of the (   ) held on [date] in respect of (   ) were a correct record but their view was not upheld by the meeting and the minutes are confirmed as an accurate record of the proceedings.”


5.               CLOSURE OF THE 2020/21 AUDIT

To consider the attached final accounts from PFK Littlejohn

6.               RISK ASSESSMENTS 2021/22

To consider the attached report


To consider the attached Strategy.


To consider the attached Policy

9.              USE OF .GOV EMAIL POLICY

To consider the attached Policy


To consider the attached report


To consider the attached report


To consider the attached recommendation from Sport & Leisure Committee

13.            DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The date of the next scheduled meeting is 24th November 2021.


Recommended to RESOLVE that the press and public be excluded for the following items as their presence would be prejudicial to the public interest by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted.


(i)              Property Matters

(ii)             Commercial Matters



Members:          Cllr T. Wiltshire, Cllr C. Juggins, Cllr M. Bolitho, Cllr J. Bond, Cllr J. Brennan


For Information: All other Members of the Council.




Section 2 of the Annual Return. Please contact town.clerk@hatfield-herts.gov.uk for the figures included in this picture


Section 3 of the Annual Return, containing the External Auditor's opinion. Please contact town.clerk@hatfield-herts.gov.uk for details.




Grounds Maintenance

























Hedge cutting (hand)


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Hedge cutting (flail)


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Leaf Blowing


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Sharpening mower & hedge cutter blades

Separate risk assessment carried out




















Cutting roadside verges and hedges


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Hazardous Plants


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Working in the Sun


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Wasps & Bees


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Angle grinder


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Use of 240V cross cut / chop saws


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Operation of post hole borer


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Filling, transport, storage & dispensing of fuels

Separate risk assessment carried out




















Operation of tractor mounted wood chipper

Separate risk assessment carried out




















Grass cutting - strimmers


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Grass cutting - Ride on mowers


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Operation of pole pruner


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Grass cutting – hand mower


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Driving ride on machinery on public roads

Separate risk assessment carried out




















Vibrating Equipment


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Christmas Tree Co-op


Separate risk assessment carried out






















Separate risk assessment carried out




















Christmas Tree Memorial Garden


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Ladders & hop ups


Separate risk assessment carried out




















Lone Working


Separate risk assessment carried out

















Completed by:


Date: 16 Sept 2021

Position: Town Clerk

The Risk Assessments will be made available to Members at the meeting, this is required annually.


As part of the Annual Governance & Accounting Return, the Council is required to confirm;


“Assertion 5 Risk management


We carried out an assessment of the risks facing this smaller authority and took appropriate steps to manage those risks, including the introduction of internal controls and/or external insurance cover where required.


In order to warrant a positive response to this assertion, the authority needs to have the following arrangements in place:


1.31 Identifying and assessing risks The authority needs to identify, assess and record risks associated with actions and decisions it has taken or considered taking during the year that could have financial or reputational consequences.

1.32 Addressing risks Having identified, assessed and recorded the risks, the authority needs to address them by ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to mitigate and manage risk. This might include the introduction of internal controls and/or appropriate use of insurance cover.”


The auditor signs off every year as follows;


“C. The authority assessed the significant risks to achieving its objectives and reviewed the adequacy of arrangements to manage these.


Authorities should refer to Para 5.89 to 5.102 of the Joint Panel on Accountancy & Governance (JPAG) Practitioners Guide

·       Ensure that authorities have prepared, and formally adopted, at least once annually, an appropriate and comprehensive register of assessed risks, both regular and ad hoc

·       Ensure that appropriate levels of insurance cover are in place for land, buildings, public, employers’ and hirers’(where applicable) liability, fidelity / employees (including councillors) liability, business interruption and cyber security

·       Ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place for monitoring play areas, open spaces and sports pitches: such reviews should be undertaken by appropriately qualified external inspectors or, if by officers or members, that they have received the appropriate training and accreditation.”



Strategic Plan

A safe working environment







Crime & Disorder




Annual cost of Health and safety Advisor when appropriate


Resources (including workforce)

Officers’ time carrying out the risk assessments and review


Risk Management

Included in the report


Legal Implications

This complies with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.









Transparency and democratic accountability

1.     For each financial year, a local authority should prepare at least one Investment Strategy (“the Strategy”). The Strategy should contain the disclosures and reporting requirements specified in this guidance.

2.     The Strategy should be approved by the full council.

3.     Where a local authority proposes to make a material change to its Strategy during the year a revised Strategy should be presented to full council for approval before the change is implemented.

4.     The Strategy should be publicly available on a local authority’s website.




5.     Investments made by local authorities can be classified into one of two main categories:

·       Investments held for treasury management purposes; and

·       Other investments.


6.     Where local authorities hold treasury management investments, they should apply the principles set out in the Treasury Management Code. They should disclose that the contribution that these investments make to the objectives of the local authority is to support effective treasury management activities. The only other element of this Guidance that applies to treasury management investments is the requirement to prioritise Security, Liquidity and Yield in that order of importance.


7.     Local authorities should disclose the contribution that all other investments make towards the service delivery objectives and/or place making role of that local authority. It is for each local authority to define the types of contribution that investments can make and a single investment can make more than one type of contribution.

Use of indicators


8.     The Strategy should include quantitative indicators that allow Councillors and the public to assess a local authority’s total risk exposure as a result of its investment decisions. This should include how investments are funded and the rate of  return received. Where investment decisions are funded by borrowing the indicators used should reflect the additional debt servicing costs taken on.


9.     Local authorities should consider the most appropriate indicators to use, given their risk appetite and capital and investment strategies. Whilst this guidance does not prescribe specific indicators or thresholds, the indicators used should be consistent from year to year and should be presented in a way that allows elected members and the general public to understand a local authorities’ total risk exposure from treasury management and other types of investment.


10.  Where a local authority has entered into a long term investment or has taken out long term debt to finance an investment the indicators used should allow Councillors and the general public to assess the risks and opportunities of the investment over both its payback period and over the repayment period of any debt taken out.

Security, Liquidity and Yield


11.  A prudent investment policy will have two underlying objectives:

·       Security – protecting the capital sum invested from loss; and

·       Liquidity – ensuring the funds invested are available for expenditure when needed.


12.  The generation of yield is distinct from these prudential objectives. However, this does not mean that local authorities are recommended to ignore potential revenues. Once proper levels of security and liquidity are determined, it will then be reasonable to consider what yield can be obtained consistent with these priorities.


13.  When entering into treasury management investments, local authorities should consider security, liquidity and yield in that order of importance.


14.  When entering into other types of investments local authorities should consider the balance between security, liquidity and yield based on their risk appetite and the contribution(s) of that investment activity.



Financial Investments


15.  Financial investments can fall into one of three categories:

·  Specified investments;

·       Loans; and

·       Other Non-specified Investments. Specified Investments

16.  An investment is a specified investment if all of the following apply:

·       The investment is denominated in sterling and any payments or repayments in the respect of the investment are payable only in sterling.

·       The investment is not a long term investment. This means that the local authority has contractual right to repayment within 12 months, either because that is the expiry term of the investment or through a non- conditional option.

·       The making of the investment is not defined as capital expenditure by virtue of Regulation 25(1)(d) of the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (England) Regulations 2003 [as amended].

·       The investment is made with a body or in an investment scheme described as high quality (see paragraph 33 or with one of the following bodies:

i.                  The United Kingdom Government;

ii.                   A local authority in England or Wales (as defined in section 23 of the 2003 Act) or a similar body in Scotland or Northern Ireland; or

iii.                    A parish council or community council.


17.  For the purposes of paragraph 32 the Strategy should define high credit quality. Where this definition incorporates ratings provided by credit rating agencies paragraph 42 is relevant.



18.  A local authority may choose to make loans to local enterprises, local charities, wholly owned companies and joint ventures as part of a wider strategy for local economic growth even though those loans may not all be seen as prudent if adopting a narrow definition of prioritising security and liquidity.


19.  Local authorities can make such loans whilst continuing to have regard to this guidance if they can demonstrate in their Strategy that:

·       Total financial exposure to these type of loans is proportionate;

·       They have used an allowed “expected credit loss” model for loans and receivables as set out in International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9 Financial Instruments as adopted by proper practices to measure the credit risk of their loan portfolio;

·       They have appropriate credit control arrangements to recover overdue repayments in place; and

·       The local authority has formally agreed the total level of loans by type that it is willing to make and their total loan book is within their self-assessed limit.



Risk Assessment


20.  This Council only invests with 3A rated investment companies and spreads the risk across more than one investment company.


21.  This Council does not use external investment advisors.


22.  If credit ratings change this Council will move its investment to a more secure rating at the first opportunity.


23.  Advice from Joint Practitioners Advisory Group, Borough and County is received to assist with assessing and monitoring risk.




24.  This Council invests with Nat West and CCLA.

25.  Investments are not restricted.

26.  Proper budgeting allows this Council to retain sufficient current account funds to enable the Council to keep within the investment limits.  The Council refers to CIPFA's Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities and Treasury Management in the Public Services: Code of Practice and Cross Sectorial Guidance Notes.




27.  This Council does not plan to become dependent on profit generating investment activity to achieve a balanced revenue budget.

Borrowing in advance of need

28.  This Council does not borrow more than or in advance of its needs purely in order to profit from the investment of the extra sums borrowed.

29.  This Council currently has no borrowing.


Capacity, skills and culture


30.  All decisions on the accountability, responsibility and authority for decision making on investment activities within the context of the local authority’s corporate values are taken by the Resources & Policy Committee.


It is a requirement that the Council considers this annually.  There has been no change from previous years.





1.     The Reserves and Balances Policy


1.1           Setting the level of reserves and balances is just one of several related decisions in the formulation of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy.


1.2           In establishing and approving the Medium Term Financial Strategy, “the Council will ensure that it maintains a prudent level of reserves in line with best practice and relevant guidelines”.


1.3           Any surplus balances will be considered in the light of the budget forecast and the risks associated with that forecast. Any changes to this Policy will require approval by Members.

2.     Integrated Financial Planning

2.1           The starting point in assessing the minimum level of general reserves is £331,878 - 30% of estimated gross expenditure (£1,106,259), which is considered in line with Best Practice and therefore appropriate for this Council. This base figure will be subject to Annual Review by the Section 151 Officer in the light of risks within the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


In making a recommendation as to the level of balances which should be maintained, the Section 151 Officer will pay particular attention to:-


·       The overall financial standing of the Council.

·       The authority’s track record in budget and financial management including the robustness of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy

·       The authority’s capacity to manage in-year budget pressures

·       The strength of the financial information and reporting arrangements

·       The authority’s virement and end of year procedures in relation to revised budget and cash limit under/over spends.

·       The adequacy of the authority’s insurance arrangements to cover major unforeseen risks.


2.2           The Council will not hold significant un-earmarked balances above those required by the Medium Term Financial Strategy.


2.3           The level of earmarked reserves will be reviewed in the preparation of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and again as part of the Closure of Accounts process. The creation of any new Earmarked Reserves will be subject to Member approval.

3.     Reporting Framework

3.1           Any recommended changes to the level of Reserves held will be reported within the Medium Term Financial Strategy or in the consideration of the Annual Accounts and will take account of the strategic, operational and financial risks facing the authority at that time.


3.2           In making any recommendation the Section 151 Officer, will provide Members, (in line with the requirements of the Local Government Act 2003) with an opinion on the robustness of the budget estimates and on the adequacy of the Council’s reserves.

4.   Earmarked Reserves Position (as at 31st March 2021)

4.1       Earmarked reserves are a means of voluntary and prudently building up funds to meet known future or predicted liabilities.


In approving any new Earmarked Reserves the Council needs to identify the purpose of the Reserve, the protocol for its use and the procedures for its management and control. For clarity the Earmarked Reserves as at 31 March 2021 are set out in the table below: -


S.106 Funds - £469,904

General Reserve - £385,242


Purpose of Earmarked Reserves


Reserves are those sums set aside for purposes falling outside the definition of provisions. Reserves include earmarked reserves set aside for specific policy purposes and balances which represent resources set aside for purposes such as general contingencies and cash flow management.


The Council operates a number of different earmarked reserves, the purpose of each is summarised below:-



·       Facility Improvements – Projects not completed during the previous financial year.


·      Parks & Open Spaces Reserve – Developers’ who seek the adoption of areas of open space by the Council are required to deposit a commuted sum that is used to support additional grounds maintenance expenditure incurred by the Council following adoption.

For de Havilland Grange maintenance

 £ 176,411.78



 £   77,000.00

 £ 253,411.78



 £ 228,214.00

 £ 481,625.78

Acacia St s.106 reclaimed, reallocated to Roe Hill


 £      6,753.13

 £ 488,378.91




 £ 487,708.70

Van Ford



 £ 470,458.70




 £ 469,903.70




4.2       In line with this Policy earmarked reserves have been reviewed:


It is a requirement that the Council considers this annually.  There has been no change from previous years, except for an update in the amounts in Reserve.






The importance of secure email systems and GOV.UK domains for local councils



Almost all local (parish and town) councils now have an official website, as well as official email accounts. An increasing number of councils also provide official email accounts for their councillors as well as for their clerk and other officers. When choosing a domain name for the council's website and emails, many local council websites are appropriately making use of the exclusive GOV.UK domain (for example, ourparishcouncil.gov.uk), with email addresses being linked to that domain as well.

There are a number of important reasons why local councils of all sizes should ideally obtain an appropriate GOV.UK domain name for their council, and equally importantly, a secure and centrally-managed email system to sit behind it.

First and foremost, obtaining a GOV.UK domain for your council website and email accounts demonstrates the council's official local government status. Members of the public are increasingly cyber security-aware, so a GOV.UK domain can also help to build trust, credibility and visibly demonstrates authenticity. Many people will now reasonably expect a local council to have a GOV.UK domain name.

As well as building credibility for your website, a GOV.UK should also ideally then be used to support your council's official email accounts as well, for both officers and councillors. Getting a GOV.UK domain name is important in this regard - but it's not the only piece of the puzzle. It's also important to have a secure, centrally managed email system. There are many popular systems on the market, including Office 365 (which offers discounts for parish and town councils) and Google GSuite, amongst others. Regardless of which system you choose, there are a number of key benefits to using a commercial email system, rather than just a free email account.

Almost all commercial email systems provide a centralised dashboard that gives the council the ability to add, edit and remove users as appropriate. You can also immediately suspend user access in an emergency and, perhaps most importantly, they offer centralised searching of all data contained within the system for effective compliance with Data Subject Access Requests and Freedom of Information Requests.

As there is one central system sending email for all the registered accounts at the domain, regardless of what computer or Internet connection is being used to access it, emails are less likely to be identified as spam and therefore more likely to be delivered. A business-grade email system with its own spam filters built-in is more likely to be able to learn the kinds of email received and will reduce the risk of incoming emails being marked as spam or rejected entirely.

Joint Panel on Accountancy & Governance (JPAG) Practitioners Guide refers.

This Council uses Office 365 which is administered by Technical Merritt.  At present 4 Councillors do not use the .gov email assigned to them.


Members are requested to consider a Policy on the use of .gov emails by all councillors with no other personal email address being used as recommended by NALC.


Strategic Plan

A professional Corporate Identity







Crime & Disorder




Annual cost .gov domain and emails


Resources (including workforce)

Technical Merritt provide the Council’s IT advice


Risk Management

This matter is included in the Joint Panel on Accountancy & Governance (JPAG) Practitioners Guide - The importance of secure email systems and GOV.UK which is detailed within the Report.


Legal Implications

Cyber Security

Data Protection

Freedom of Information






I have now had the 3 quotes in for the replacement boiler for the Funzone, it has taken a lot longer than expected and a lot more investigating than first thought.


I have looked at 3 options:


Electric heaters – This wasn’t viable due to cost of installing the heaters and electricity supply.

Heat Air Source Pump – Far too expensive

Replacement boiler – This is the best option.


3 quotes for replacement boiler are:


A – £12,018

B – £7,600 (RECOMMENDED)

C – £9,600


The Leader and Deputy Leader were contacted so that the work could commence as soon as possible as the colder months are drawing in and there was a lead in time for the work to commence.  Following their consultation, the works order was placed.


This report seeks retrospective approval for the order placed to the value of £7,600.  Work is taking place in the next 2 weeks.


Strategic Plan

Keeping our facilities in good working order






All options were considered

Crime & Disorder




£7,600 for a gas boiler


Resources (including workforce)

Working around bookings in the FunZone.

Head of Estates time carrying out research into contract prices.


Risk Management

The FunZone cannot be left without heating due to the age of our customers.


Legal Implications

This seeks to retrospectively approve the order placed to bring it in line with Financial Regulations



Report by Head of Estates




Apple Day Care wish to install a toddler climbing frame at Lemsford Hall.


A picture containing of pirate ship climbing frame for toddlers


They have requested that an area of land adjacent to the bottle banks be fenced for their use Monday – Friday and community use Saturday and Sunday. 


This provision would enhance what is already on site for Community use.


Below is a photo of the suggested area for the equipment. 

Area outside Lemsford Village Hall adjacent to recycling bins.  Contains grass and 4 trees/bushes.


The trees are to be left but the bottom branches removed so the children can play around them.  Apple Daycare are willing to pay for any work involved in making this or the council could install it and charge Apple Day Care additional rent for the space to re-coup the costs of installation of the equipment and fencing.


Strategic Plan

Maximizing income

Improving our facilities







Crime & Disorder




Potential Capital cost of installing equipment and fencing.  Quotes not yet obtained.

Potential additional income stream.

The Council currently receives £2,800 per month from Apple Day Care.


Resources (including workforce)

Town Clerk’s time arranging the contract.


Risk Management

Equipment will be added to Council’s weekly / monthly checks.


Legal Implications

An amendment to the license.







Please find attached the 2 options for changing the area where the blue side currently sits.

Option one £25,650.00

Option two £25,980.00

Officers recommend Option 2.

Financially we have taken £47,440.00 in parties from 1st July 2021 until 20th October 2021.

Daytime slots have brought in £25,850.06 since 1st July 2021.

Total £72,767.60

Staffing has a cost of £8,950.00

Sport & Leisure Committee RECOMMEND TO RESOURCES & POLICY COMMITTEE that the 2 options that will make the FunZone more inclusive for all children in the community be considered for action as soon as possible with expenditure of up to £25,000 to be approved.  Cllrs noted that as the slide was over 30 years old this is now a priority and as the additional report notes the FunZone income for parties was £40,000 in just 4 months.

Report by Jane Anderson, FunZone Manager


Option 1 Quote from Funtasia Design - value £25,650


Schematic of Option 1


Schematic of Option 1

Schematic of Option 1 - level 3


Details of Option 2 from Funtasia Design - value £25,980



Schematic of Option 2 - level 1

Schematic of Option 2 - level 2


Schematic of Option 2 - level 3

Schematic of Option 2 - Tubes and Slides


FunZone Sales 1/7 - 12/10/21