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Next PC Meeting 2018 Parish Assembly Minutes 8th May Minutes
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Minutes of 2018 Annual Parish Assembly
LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL Minutes of the Village Assembly held on Tuesday 8 May 2018 at Litton and Thorner's Community Hall Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Kathryn Brooks, John Firrell; Andy King; Tessa Mulhall; Maggie Walsh (Clerk).  Also in attendance: Cllr John Russell,  Alan Marler, Paul Turner and Paul Delves of Wessex Water and 31 local residents 1. Apologies: Steve Kourik; Bella Spurrier; Cllr Mark Roberts 2. Presentation by Wessex Water Alan Marler from Wessex Water (WW) explained forthcoming works, commencing on 14 May, to replace the water main. He also brought walnut cake and biscuits, which were much appreciated. The project would use every type of construction method available to the water industry using disused pipes as ducts where possible to minimise excavation.Works would be undertaken by one of their most experienced teams. They would work closely with residents, knocking on doors to minimise disruption as far as possible. Residents would be able to get their cars on and off their drives when they needed to (but not necessarily by their normal route) and receive deliveries etc. AM asked residents to inform WW operatives about deliveries and any exceptional events affecting access/traffic. WW would give 48 hours’ notice if the water was to go off and could provide bottled water if required. They had worked closely with Dorset County Council (DCC) to ensure bins would be emptied as normal and the school bus would get children to and from school on time. There would be a temporary bus stop and two WW staff would be allocated to ensure children were able to get on and off the bus safely. After-note: WW had also discussed matters with Dorset Community Transport who run the weekly bus service to and from Bridport. The water main had been prioritised for replacement because of its history of bursts.  The new main should last 80 years.  The site office would be based on land beside Tithe Barn House. Work would be completed in two phases: phase one would be from Tithe Barn House to the bus shelter; phase two would be from the bus shelter to Whiteway.  Diversions would be set up during each stage of works and pedestrians would be encouraged to use Church Path/The Rocks.  John Firrell asked WW to inform the school that there would be increased traffic along School Lane during the works.  Alan undertook to liaise with DCC Highways to ensure the proposed resurfacing of The Rocks would not occur at the same time as the water main replacement.  Road closures would remain in place over weekends but, where possible, WW would try to move barriers back so people can get through.  WW would not know what was involved until the project was underway and so works were scheduled to last 10 to 12 weeks but would hopefully take less. In response to residents’ questions:Water pressure in mains naturally varies but residents should not notice this unless the pressure relieving valve was not working properly – contact Alan to get it checked.Excavations would be patched but WW would not resurface the road.Residents living in the east of the village should not be affected (other than by the road closures) as the main there was replaced fairly recently. They would only notice an increase in pressure if there were significant leaks in the main being replaced. Villagers should contact WW with any problems, questions or concerns using the contact details below.  All WW staff carry ID cards – anyone in doubt about the ID of anyone claiming to be from WW should contact the emergency number.Alan Marler, Design Engineer Tel 01225 528129 Mob 07909 545562Email: Alan.Marler@wessexwater.co.ukEmergency Number: 0345 600 4 600 3. Chairman’s review of the year Bill Orchard, Chairman, reported that at last year’s Village Assembly he had explained why it had been necessary to increase the precept in order to employ a village clerk, as John Firrell was stepping down after many years of undertaking the role for a stipendOnce the Unitary Authority replaced the existing authorities, there would be a shortfall of £16 million and some services would devolve to town and parish councils.  Parish Councils would therefore need to decide whether to allow things to fall into disrepair, utilise volunteers, or pay to maintain services.  Litton Cheney Parish Council was open to suggestions about how to protect the precept.  Bridport Town Council had also asked parish councils whether they would be willing to contribute to town centre services such as toilets, Citizens Advice Bureau etc.  Parish Councils had responded that they did not believe they were in the position to raise the precept sufficiently to fund these services. This year the parish precept was set at £10,600, which equated to £65 for a band D house for a year.  This level would not allow the parish to build up sufficient reserves to meet the challenges ahead.  Currently the access track to the playing fields was subsiding and repairs would have to be funded from reserves.The Parish Council had traditionally donated approximately £700 each year to several organisations and to the upkeep of the churchyard but had received increasing numbers of requests for donations from other organisations.  The maximum the parish could donate was approximately £2,200 a year but if villagers wished to increase donations beyond current levels, this would increase the precept. Developers paid “S106” contributions for certain types of development.  These contributions were held by the District Council on behalf of parish councils.  Litton Cheney Parish Council had used S106 funds to help pay for the playground and planned to use some for resurfacing The Rocks.  The Parish Council would like to identify other projects that could benefit from S106 funds before the Unitary authority came into effect, when those funds may be diverted elsewhere.The Charity Farm planning application had been agreed in principle subject to the applicant undertaking a Housing Needs Assessment.  The results of this indicated that villagers supported in principle development of affordable housing in the village. There may therefore be further applications with developers looking to finance affordable housing with full price housing.There had been spirited debate over The Rocks. The £1,904 cost of resurfacing would be split between the County Council and the Parish Council (funded by S106 and the Litton Cheney Trust).  The Turnstiles would be re-erected slightly offset to allow access by pushchairs in order to comply with the Equalities Act.  The Parish Council would notify villagers about where they were to be reinstated and would hold another Village Assembly if required.John Firrell had spearheaded the replacement bus service and was currently pursuing use of bus passes and access for schoolchildren aged 16 to 18.  The bus shelter ridge had been rethatched.The official opening of the revamped playground had preceded the Assembly.  He wished to minute the Parish Council’s thanks to Diana Cheater, Hannah Bunting and Andy King for their vision and doggedness to see the project through.A vacancy had recently arisen on the Parish Council.  This time, two candidates had come forward but, in the past, the Parish Council had struggled to get candidates to stand.  Further vacancies would arise in the future.  It was important that the Parish Council should be broadly based and representative of the village and being a Parish Councillor was not a great time commitment – all that was required was to be approachable and available – being an active participant is better than being a passive complainant. Local residents were asked to seriously consider running for election to the Parish Council.Bill Orchard finished by introducing each of the Parish Councillors and the Clerk. 4. Open Floor This was an opportunity for local residents to raise matters they wished to bring to the attention of the Parish Council and/or other residents. The recent Housing Needs assessment was discussed.  The Parish Council had received the survey results that day which showed that there was support for affordable housing in the village – a summary of the results would be published on the village website.  A number of villagers felt it had not been clear that the survey had been undertaken by the Charity Farm applicant and said they would have responded differently had they understood this.  The District Council Rural Housing Enabling team had provided the applicant with the template and methodology and had collated the results. The question was asked as to whether the village should reconsider its decision not to proceed with a Neighbourhood Plan.  It was not yet known when the telephone mast would go live.  (Since the meeting it has been established as likely to be mid June.) 5. Meeting Closed. Maggie Walsh Parish Clerk
LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL Draft Minutes of the Annual Meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council held on Tuesday 8 May 2018 at Litton and Thorner's Community Hall Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Kathryn Brooks; John Firrell; Andy King; Tessa Mulhall; Maggie Walsh (Clerk).  Also in attendance 3 local residents 1. Apologies: Bella Spurrier; Steve Kourik; Cllr Mark Roberts 2. Declarations of interest: none 3. Democratic time Reminder that Wessex Water and Dorset County Council held funds that the village could use.  The Parish Council confirmed it had made enquiries about using these funds to repair the collapsed access track to the playing field. There were questions about who could apply for funds under the proposed Donations Policy. Cllr Brooks confirmed that to be considered, organisations would need to have either a local connection or be of benefit to people living in the village: they would not necessarily need to be based in the village. There was some concern that the limit of £2,200 might give false hope to organisations.  Cllr Brooks clarified that this reflects the maximum the Parish Council could give in a year rather than the amount budgeted, which was debated each year when setting the precept. Concerns were expressed about a perceived lack of transparency in decision making within the Parish Council; decisions being made by sub-committees; and about lack of diversity and debate.  Parish Councillors clarified that there were no sub-committees but that there had been an occasional working party.  Working parties made recommendations but had not made decisions – all decisions were made through the Clerk and the Parish Council. The Parish Council noted observations about the need for transparency. 4. Approval of minutes of Village Assembly held on 9 May 2017 it was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that these minutes be approved. 5. Matters arising from Village Assembly: none 6. Approval of minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 13 March 2018 it was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that these minutes be approved. 7. Matters arising not part of agenda – none 8. DCC/WDDC overview – there were no councillors present to provide an update 9. Election of Chairman: it was proposed by Cllr Brooks, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that Cllr Orchard be appointed Chairman of the Parish Council. 10. Election of Vice Chairman: it was proposed by Cllr Orchard, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that Cllr Kourik be appointed as Vice Chairman of the Parish Council. Cllr Kourik had indicated that he would step aside as Vice Chairman in 6 months if another suitable candidate came forward. 11. Introduction of new Parish Councillor: the Chairman introduced Cllr Tessa Mulhall and looked forward to working with her. 12. Finance report – RFO Maggie Walsh reported as follows: Year ending 31 March 2018 The balances as at 31 March 2018 were £18,581.47 of which £12,232 was held for the playground All required paperwork had been completed and would be sent to the external auditor once approved.  In accordance with requirements under the exercise of public rights, the accounts would be available for inspection from 18 June to 27 July. These dates would be published.  The Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2017/18 had been circulated to members prior to the meeting. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Brooks and carried unanimously that Section 1 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return  (Annual Governance Statement) be approved. It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that Section 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (Accounting statement) be approved. Current year Parish funds currently stood at £23,859.11: comprising general fund £11,926.40 and playground fund £11,932.71.  A further £3,515 was awaited towards the playground fund. Income since the last meeting was £5,385.11 comprising £5,300 precept and 0.11p interest.  A VAT refund of £328.21 was anticipated. The Parish Council had received a contribution of £420 from the Litton Cheney Trust towards the rethatching of the bus shelter ridge, which was yet to be banked.  The Parish Council wished to minute its thanks to the Litton Cheney Trust. Approved spend since the March meeting was £705.79. Invoices for approval: Grass cutting £902.40. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that this be paid. Three invoices had been received in relation to the playground refurbishment: £2,092.08, £1,868.90, £14,025.44.  These were as expected and the work had been funded from lottery grant/donations.  The invoices included £4,741.13, VAT, which would be reclaimed.  It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that these be paid. Latch – hall hire - £61.00. It was proposed by Cllr Brooks, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that this be paid. New Data Protection legislation was due to come into effect on 25 May.  The new charges had not yet been announced, meanwhile, councils could continue to register under the old charge of £35.  It was proposed by Cllr Orchard, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that the registration fee be paid. The public liability and property insurance expired on 31 May.  The inventory had been updated to reflect the value of the new playground equipment and would be published on the website.  As a result of the increase in assets, the insurance with the current insurer had increased to the following levels: 1 Year Premium - £584.94   3 Year LTA Premium - £563.41 5 Year LTA Premium - £541.84.  Other quotes were awaited. The Clerk recommended that, subject to confirmation that the five year premium would be fixed for five years, this or cheapest equivalent alternative, be accepted.  If the premium were not fixed, the one year, or cheapest equivalent alternative be accepted.  It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously that this recommendation be accepted. The Clerk/ROF also highlighted that the National Association of Local Councils had reached agreement on new salary scales which took effect on 1 April 2018.  As a result, the Clerk’s salary would increase by £156 per annum in accordance with the contract of employment.  An allowance had been made for an increase at the time of setting the precept and sufficient funds were available in the budget.  Commencing at the next meeting, a financial summary showing expenditure against the budget and anticipated year end outturn would be published with the agenda for each meeting 13. Councillors’ portfolios: Highways/Transport (Bill Orchard). The PC had continued to report potholes but they had not been filled as efficiently as staff had been deployed elsewhere.  Cllr Orchard had attended a meeting at LATCH concerning the cheese factory travel plan. The situation regarding lorries through the village had improved. The cheese factory sometimes used a small van to ferry goods to and from HGVs on the A35 and he hoped this approach could be adopted more frequently.  The cheese factory were also looking to set up a transfer station in Somerset.  Cllr Spurrier was pressing her tenant farmer to repair the damaged verges in Whiteway – the damage had not been caused by Richard Cuzens.  Footpaths/Rights of Way/Mobile Phone Mast (Steve Kourik – not present at the meeting). The parish council had contacted the Environment Agency for advice about Giant Hogweed at The Rocks – this needed to be followed up. MW Cllr Brooks thanked James Williams for stopping the water from running down The Rocks.  The Parish Council had been pressing Dorset CC for a start date for resurfacing The Rocks but agreed this must not happen at the same time as the road closures whilst the water main was replaced. Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andrew King). The playground had been officially opened earlier that evening and the new equipment appeared to be a success with both local children and holidaymakers. Now that the playground had been fenced in, it had been decided to relax the rules, for a trial period of 6 months, to allow dogs to be brought into the playing field provided they were kept on a short leash and any deposits bagged and removed. Dogs would not be allowed in the playground area.  The signage would be amended to reflect these new arrangements.  If the trial was successful, and dog owners responsible, the rule relaxation would be made permanent.  The large goal posts were an eyesore.  It was suggested that children who play there would prefer full size goal posts with nets.  Cllr King undertook to obtain quotes for full size goals and nets, as well as line marking, and report back to the next meeting in July.   AK Cllr King was still looking into replacement of allotment fencing.  There were now only 2 vacant plots and every allotment holder had attended the last maintenance day. Risk Assessment/Transparency Code/Annual Report (Kathryn Brooks). All the documents approved at the last meeting were now on the website.  The updated asset register needed to be published online. MWA data audit was currently underway to establish what personal data the Parish Council holds.  The Parish Council may be required to appoint a data officer: this could not be the Parish Clerk, however, the DAPTC hoped to provide a central resource for parish councils to use. The Parish Council would need to adopt a data policy: it did not, however, hold sensitive data – the biggest risk was inadvertently sharing contact details when forwarding emails. Village Fabric/Maintenance/Devolved Services (John Firrell): Dorset CC still had not provided any information about devolved services.  However West Dorset was further ahead than other Dorset councils. A schedule of works had been collated showing work that could be done under the lengthsman scheme, by volunteers or by contractors.  He intended to write an item for the BVN encouraging villagers to take pride in the area around their homes. James Williams had offered to assist in the scheduling of tasks around the village that might be carried out by the lengthsman team. 14. Correspondence not dealt with as part of the agenda. The DAPTC had consulted parish councils asking which of 58 listed services were essential to retain, which were preferable to retain and which should not be provided by the public sector.  The deadline for responses was 20 May.  Councillors would coordinate a response by email but would value the thoughts of residents and it would be arranged for the list to go on the website. MW 15. Draft Donations Policy. In light of comments made during democratic time, Cllr Brooks undertook to amend the Donations policy and recirculate. KB 16. Planning Matters Pending & Outcomes. There had been one new application since the last meeting: Barges Cottage, Hinds Meads Lane – Erect rear porch (WD/D/18/00424 full planning permission & WD/D/18/00425 Listed Building Consent).  The PC had dealt with this via an exchange of email and determined it had no objection to the proposals. Update on applications previously reported: Old Rectory, Church Path – Erect greenhouse – Application approved on 19 April 2018 Ourganics, Litton Lane – Application to modify S106 legal agreement that restricted occupation of dwelling to existing occupant (WD/D/18/00124) – an amended S106 agreement had been signed.  The application was still under consideration. Charity Farm - Erection of 6 no. dwellings and conversion of redundant agricultural building to a dwelling, and dismantle pig barn (WD/D/17/000758 & 59).  The Housing Needs Survey, which had been required before permission could be granted, had been completed and early discussions had commenced on the legal agreement (S106). Parks Farm (outside parish boundary) - Construction of effluent lagoon (WD/D/17/002317) – This application was still under consideration. 17. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 10 July 2018 at 7.30 pm. 18. Meeting closed. Maggie Walsh  Parish Clerk
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The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 10th July at 7.30 pm.