A Meeting of the Litton Cheney Parish Council will be held at
Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall
on Tuesday 11 January 2022 at 7.00 pm


1.    Apologies for absence

2.    Declarations of interest

3.    Planning application: White Thorne Cottage, Main Street. Outline application for 9 dwellings, White Thorne Cottage (Ref: P/OUT/2021/03262). This item is back on the agenda following submission of Indicative site layout plan, Design and Access Statement and Flood Risk Strategy.

4.    Democratic time

5.    Approval of minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 9 November 2021

6.    Matters arising since previous meeting not part of this Agenda

7.    Dorset Council overview Cllr Mark Roberts (Ward Councillor for Chesil Bank)

8.    Financial matters including:

·           Note year to date finance report and review of reserves

·           Proposal to agree Precept for 2022-2023 (report appended to this agenda)

·           Note annual review of reserves policy and agree recommendations (appended to this agenda)

·           Invoices for approval

·           Cost of repairs to playground

8.    Proposal to reappoint Richard Jones and Lyn Lacey as the two Nominated Trustees of The Litton Cheney Trust following the end of their current term on 13th March 2022. 

9.    Councillors’ Portfolios: Planning (Mr Orchard, Chairman); Highways/Transport (Mr A Price); Playground/ Field/Allotments (Mr A. King); Agricultural Liaison (Mrs A. Spurrier); Footpaths/Rights of Way (Mrs A Spurrier and Mr Q Blacke); Village Fabric/ Maintenance/ DAPTC/BLAP/Administration and Probity (Mr J. Firrell); Climate Change and Environment (Mrs D Maston). Including

·      Proposal that the Parish Council contribute up to a maximum of £500 from general reserves (currently £10,555) towards the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the village. The precise nature of the donation will comply with the PC’s Spending Powers and be agreed by full council nearer the time.

·      A number of playground repairs are required at significant cost.  Works are currently being prioritised, additional quotes sought and possible sources of grants investigated.  Meanwhile, it is proposed to use some of the forecast year end underspend to progress the most urgent works.

·      Flood alerts and mitigation within the Bride Valley

10.  Planning matters including update on current applications and recent decisions. No new planning applications at the time of publishing the report.

11.  Correspondence not dealt with as part of agenda

12.  Date of next meeting 8 March 2022

       Meeting closed.

Maggie Walsh, Parish Clerk



2021/22 Finance Report as at 2 January 2022

Parish funds


Balance brought forward as at 1 April


Income to date


Expenditure to date


Parish funds as at above date*


* Of which the following is held in ring-fenced reserves



Community Bench Fund


Year end forecast

Forecast available income for 2021-22 including VAT


Forecast expenditure for 2021-22 including VAT


Donations to ring fenced reserves received this year


Annual contribution to named reserves


Forecast year end surplus (+) or deficit (-)


Approved spend since last meeting

Dorset Council - grass cutting


Employee costs


Donation to upkeep of Churchyard


LATCH - Hall hire




Income since last meeting

Proceeds from wine tasting event for Community Bench Fund


Donation to Community Bench Fund






Invoices for approval at time of publishing agenda

Clerk's expenses



Litton Cheney Parish Council 2020-2021 Precept Report 11 January 2022

Summary and Recommendation

A number of costs will increase during 2022-23.  However, the village fabric/maintenance budget has consistently been underspent for several years: the RFO therefore recommends that this budget be significantly reduced, offsetting increases elsewhere.

Reserves are healthy but the RFO recommends minor changes to contributions to named reserves, resulting in a net increase of £200 (details below).

The Precept was reduced to £10,400 for 2021-22.  The net outcome of all these proposed changes would further reduce the precept from £10,400 to £9,900.

Based on current commitments, the Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) recommends that the PRECEPT be set at £9,900 for 2021-2022.

Impact of precept on Band D properties

If approved by the Parish Council, the tax base for Litton Cheney would decrease by 4.81% from £50.68 in the current year (2021-22) to £47.64 for the year 2022-23 for a Band D house.



Detailed consideration – review of receipts and payments

The Parish Council has estimated costs for the next 3 financial years. Table 1 below sets out actual outturn for last year, budgets and estimated outturn for the current year, and forecast budget for 2022-23.  VAT is excluded from projections as the Parish Council reclaims this. 

In preparing these figures, the RFO has allowed for estimated and known inflationary increases.  Insurance costs are estimated to rise substantially once the current 3 year fixed term agreement ends.  Since the lengthsman’s contract with Bridport Town Council ended in March 2021, maintenance/repair costs have continued to be lower than budgeted, partly because of the effect of the pandemic and also due to kind donations from The Litton Cheney Trust.  Whilst significant maintenance and repair costs do intermittently arise, an earmarked reserve is held for this purpose and the RFO proposes increasing the annual contribution to this reserve by £100 to compensate for the significant reduction in the revenue maintenance budget.

Table 1


2020- 2021 actual

2021-2022 budget

2021-22 estimated

2022-23 estimated











Precept & grant





Allotment fees










Misc income including costs below funded by LCTrust)





Donations fo community bench fund










Total income















Employee costs





ROOM HIRE/zoom fees










Village fabric /maintenance










Telephone kiosk















Total Payments










Balance of Income over payments*





* of which donations to ringfenced reserves





contribution to earmarked reserves





Surplus of income after contributions to reserves






Review of Reserves

Reserves are held to cushion the impact of uneven cash flow or irregular/unexpected events. Contributions to reserves are calculated based on past experience, life span of assets and estimated replacement costs. 

Going forward, reserve balances are healthy, with appropriate annual contributions to most earmarked reserves.  The RFO recommends the following changes:

·         Increase the annual contribution to the playground reserve by £100 to £850 in light of anticipated repair and maintenance costs and input sought from similar sized Parish Councils.

·         Increase contributions to the village fabric/maintenance reserve by £100 for reasons set out above.

·         Increase contribution to equipment reserve by £100 to reflect current replacement costs and equipment lifespan.

·         Reduce the contribution to the elections reserve by £100.  It is anticipated this reserve will hold £900 at the current year’s end and, whilst the cost of an election can be significant, the likelihood of a contested election is considered low.

·         Any underspend at the year end, over and above the budgeted £1,550, contribution to earmarked reserves be transferred to the Playground Reserve rather than the General Reserve.

Parish Councillors should also note the agenda items relating to the playground repairs and the proposal to contribute up to £500 of general reserves towards the Village’s Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration.

Contributions to reserves are undertaken at the year end, when the outturn is known.  Assuming sufficient funds are available at year end, the proposed changes would represent a net increase of £200 to £1,750 per annum.  Reserves are reviewed on an annual basis at which point contributions to earmarked reserves may increase, decrease, or be frozen.

Table 2 below details the existing level of reserves, the estimated level at the end of the current financial year and the RFO’s recommended contribution for 2021/22.

Table 2

2020/21 Y/E

2021/22 Y/E

2022/23 Y/E








Y/E balance


Y/E balance



Year end balance














Named reserves







Local government reorg/devolution







Playground equipment







Village fabric/maintenance







Equipment (e.g., Defibrillator, I.T.)







Election costs





















Ring-fenced reserves







Community Bench fund







Playground donation





















General funds