Minutes of the meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council
held on Tuesday 14 September 2021


Present: John Firrell (Vice Chairman); Quentin Blacke; Andy King; Andrew Price; Maggie Walsh (Clerk).   Also in attendance one local resident.


1.    Apologies Bill Orchard (Chairman); Bella Spurrier; Diana Maston; Cllr Mark Roberts

2.    Declarations of interest None

3.    Democratic time No issues raised

4.    Approval of minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 4 May 2021 It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously that these be approved.

5.    Approval of minutes of the Village Assembly held on 14 May 2019 It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these be approved.

6.    Approval of minutes of the Village Assembly held on 27 July 2021 It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these be approved.

7.    Matters arising since the previous meeting not part of this agenda None

8.    Dorset Council overview – N/A

9.    Finance report and invoices for approval (Clerk and RFO) At the time of publishing the agenda, Parish funds stood at £20,393.44. Approved spend since the previous meeting was £2,735.05 comprising £1,784.16 employee costs; £348.99 annual insurance to BHIB; £250 sundries related to restoration of kiosk (paid for by donation from The Litton Cheney Trust); £150.80 DAPTC annual subscription; £115.38 for defibrillator replacement parts; £38.02 Zoom fees; £35 GDPR annual registration fee; £12.70 to Dorset Council for dog signs.  Income since last meeting was ££958.39 comprising £708.31 VAT refund relating to previous financial year; £250 donation from The Litton Cheney Trust for telephone kiosk restoration and .08p interest.

       There were no invoices for approval.

       The PC normally donated £75 each year to the Bridport Citizens Advice Bureau, Bride Valley News and Somerset and West Dorset Air Ambulance.  Parish Councillors felt that all continued to provide a valuable service and discussed increasing the donation this year in recognition of the impact of the COVID pandemic on these charities and those who benefit from them. The RFO confirmed there was £250 unallocated in the donations budget.    Cllr King proposed donating £100 to each of the three charities: this was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously.                                                                                                               MW

       The Parish Council laptop had been decommissioned for some time and the Clerk had been using a personal laptop, which had recently broken.  The PC held a named reserve for replacement equipment, including IT equipment, which currently held £1,100.  The Clerk recommended the PC purchase a replacement laptop for use solely by the PC and also that the PC subscribe to MS Office 365, as this would address back up vulnerabilities and provide access to MS Teams (as an alternative to Zoom should the PC need to resume virtual meetings).  Ongoing software licence costs for MS Office 365 and anti-virus software would be approximately £70-90 per annum and could be funded from the existing admin budget.  It was proposed by Cllr King that the Clerk be authorised to purchase a laptop up to the value of £750, proposed make and model to be approved via email once the Clerk completed research, and that ongoing licence costs be approved. This proposal was seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously.                                                                                                               MW      


10.  Councillors’ portfolios:

Planning (Cllr Orchard, Chairman): Cllr Firrell read the Chairman’s written report.  Looke Farm (not within the Litton Cheney village boundary) had submitted a number of applications relating to change of use from live firing range to glamping and shepherd hut site; restoration of farmhouse; conversion of granary to dwelling; erection of agricultural structure and conversion of single dwelling to pair of dwellings. 

P/FUL/2021/00153 Erection of two dwellings, land off Barges Close was outstanding as was P/FUL/2021/00949 - Fry and Son DT2 9AS. Erection of workshop extension.

The following applications had been approved:

P/HOU/2021/01692 - The Old Rectory, Church Path, DT2 9 AH. Installation of freestanding aluminium greenhouse

Application ref: WD/D/20/003272 - Kowhai Cottage, School L Lane DT2 9AU.  Erect two storey side and rear extension.

The PC understood that DC was progressing enforcement action with regard to Litton Lakes, but had no further information.

Cllr Price understood that the fixed term Enforcement Officer dealing with Parks Farm was nearing the end of his contract and in the process of handing back outstanding cases.

An error on the DC planning application site meant a large number of tree applications were erroneously listed when using Litton Cheney as a search criterion.

Highways/Transport (Andrew Price): following concerns expressed at the Village Assembly about Traffic signage, Cllr Price and the Clerk had met on site with Patrick Carpenter, DC Traffic Engineering Tech Officer and Michael Potter, DC Road Safety Team Leader.  At that meeting changes to signage were agreed and those changes were promptly implemented by DC.  The owner of Baglake Farm and Long Bredy and Kingston Russell PC were willing to move the 30 speed limit sign to a better location and Cllr Price was waiting for DC’s response on this.

Cllr Price hoped DC funds would be made available next financial year for some structural road repairs in Litton Cheney.  The bollards opposite Tithe Barn had been damaged again and repairs to the fire damaged road were outstanding. He understood that construction of a haul road for use by HGVs accessing Parks Farm was unlikely but had yet to hear details: the next liaison meeting was 4 October.

Agricultural Liaison/Footpaths/Rights of Way/ (Cllrs Spurrier/Blacke): Cllr Spurrier would progress paperwork to DC relating to the Watery Lane Right of Way; she had chased up the issue of the blocked bridleway to Four Meads with DC.  Two new gates had been installed.

Cllr Blacke proposed the PC approve the Community Bench Fund Policy and create and administer a Community Bench Fund as per that policy.  This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously.                                                                                                  MW/QB

Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): some allotment holders were giving up their plots and these were being allocated to those on the waiting list.  Some plots were being halved.  There might be one plot vacant at the end of the process.  The basketball net on the playing field would be replaced when he had use of a suitable ladder. Annual hedge cutting would be done shortly. He would obtain quotes for various playground repairs.              AK

Village Fabric/Maintenance/BLAP/DAPTC (John Firrell) DAPTC and BLAP were both frustrated with DC.  Parish Councillors discussed the DC Governance Review and concluded that they did not wish to request any boundary changes but would once again press DC Planning to treat Litton Cheney as a consultee for Parks Farm applications.                                MW

Cllr Firrell highlighted that Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration to be held 2 – 5 June 2022 and Parish Councillors wholeheartedly agreed that the PC should play as active part as possible in planning for these celebrations.  A possible financial contribution would be considered at the time of agreeing the Precept for 2022-23.                                                              MW

Risk Assessment/Transparency Code/Annual Report (Cllr Firrell) Nothing to report.  The Clerk would advise Cllr Firrell which policies were due for review.                               MW

Climate Emergency (Cllr Maston): Cllr Maston provided a written report. There would be an Eco-Café at LATCH on 6 November. This would include tours of the Discovery Area with apple pressing, stalls on tree planting and bee keeping, information about the recent eco refurbishment of a village home, and a meat free breakfast.  Visitors would be encouraged to leave their cars at home.

11.    New planning applications for consideration at the meeting No new applications for consideration

12.    Correspondence not dealt with as part of the agenda none

13.    Date of next meeting Tuesday 9 November 2021

Meeting closed

Maggie Walsh
Parish Clerk