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in the Bride Valley Litton Cheney Dorset
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LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL Draft Minutes of the meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council held on Tuesday 13 November at Litton and Thorner's Community Hall Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Kathryn Brooks; John Firrell: Andy King; Bella Spurrier; Steve Kourik; Maggie Walsh (Clerk). Also in attendance: Cllr John Russell; Cllr Mark Roberts; Giles Marking (applicant for Mill House planning application) and 5 local residents. 1. Apologies: Tessa Mulhall; Cllr Keith Day 2. Declarations of interest: none 3. Democratic time the following issues were raised: Q. Could villagers access the Housing Needs Assessment (HNA)? Should the PC repeat the survey on its own behalf? The village should embrace affordable housing if there was a demonstrable need. R. The PC had seen the raw data for the HNA and had not drawn the same conclusions as WDDC. The PC had discussed concerns with WDDC but had been assured that the HNA would not necessarily affect future planning decisions within the village. The local plan addressed the need for affordable housing and the local planning authority were currently determining planning applications in line with Local Plan Policies. Cllr Roberts explained that the new Unitary Council would decide whether to merge the local plans at the outset or in 4 years’ time – he felt they would probably continue separately. Q. The turnstiles at the top of The Rocks were often obstructed by a parked car. The turn stiles required maintenance. Q Should the Parish Plan be revisited? This would provide transparency over plans such as those for the village phone box and information/noticeboards and would facilitate financial planning for future expenditure. A. The PC could consider a cyclical maintenance programme similar to that of LATCH. In future, maintenance costs should be adequately covered by reserves (for discussion later on the agenda). 4. Approval of Minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 11 September 2018 - it was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Spurrier and carried unanimously that the minutes be approved. Approval of Minutes of Extraordinary Parish Council meeting held on 10 October 2018 – it was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Kourik and carried unanimously that the minutes be approved. 5. Matters arising from previous meeting not covered at this meeting: None 6. DCC/WDDC overview – Cllr Russell reported that the shadow authority was “keeping the day job going” until after the new authority came into existence in April and the May elections. Cllr Roberts reported that the main task was to TUPE 15,000 staff into the new authority, including all those in the Dorset Waste Partnership. There would be 250-350 redundancies, almost all at a senior level. The new Unitary authority had agreed a new logo. 74% of the current budget was spent on adult social care so this would be a key issue for the new authority. The Wessex Regional Flood and Coastal Committee had approved £9m spend at West Bay that would protect nearly 300 dwellings – this had been rushed through as the work needed completing before the holiday season started. The footpaths team leader, Tara Hansford, was drawing up a 5 year plan for the new unitary area – the PC should inform her of any footpaths works they would like added to the list. 7. Planning application – there was one application, which the Chairman brought forward on the agenda. WD/D/18/002298 (Full) and WD/D/18/002299 (Listed Building) THE MILL HOUSE, MAIN STREET, DT2 9AP Erection of extension and alterations and construction of a new bridge and vehicular access. Parish Councillors had undertaken a site visit on 5 November. The PC had been granted an extension until 15 November to submit comments on this planning application. Mr Marking (the applicant) explained that the application was to extend the porch from Mill House to the Mill to enable the ground floor of the Mill to be used as a reception room and to widen the footbridge and create 3 new parking spaces on the lawn area to the South of the Mill, thereby reducing the parking needs to the existing car park to 2 cars so that the 5 cars that currently park there could turn around within the site. The parking would be screened from the road. The application had been submitted following pre-application discussions with WDDC Planning and Conservation Officers. The original application had been for a concrete bridge but he had submitted amended plans for a stone bridge with brick arches and metal railings. He circulated photographs and copies of the amended plans. Cllr Firrell confirmed that the occupants opposite the proposed bridge had no objection. Parish Councillors noted that an objection had been registered citing loss of grass and potential archaeological artefacts on site. The PC felt there was a problem parking in that part of the village and that the benefits of the proposal outweighed the loss of grass. It was for the County Archaeological Officer to request an archaeological dig if he felt one was warranted. The possibility of loss of the non-native fir from root damage was noted but it was felt the tree should survive. It was proposed by Cllr Kourik, seconded by Cllr Spurrier and carried unanimously that the PC SUPPORT the application on the basis of the amended plans. 8. Finance report – RFO The finance report had been circulated with the agenda. Parish funds currently stood at £15,584.74. Approved spend since September’s meeting was £679.99 comprising £565.99 clerk’s salary and £114 for the playground inspection. Income since May’s meeting was £8,569.54 comprising £5,300 precept; £2,729.33 VAT refund from playground; £540 donation to playground; 21p interest. There were 2 invoices for approval: £6 for LATCH for room hire on 10 October - it was proposed by Cllr Brooks, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that this be approved. £937.20 for DCC for grass cutting for the year – it was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Kourik and carried unanimously that this be approved. After allowing for known commitments and income MW anticipated a year end surplus of income over expenditure of approximately £770. Work to determine the 2019-2020 precept had commenced. Although still at an early stage, it seemed unlikely there would need to be a significant increase and so it seemed the current and previous years’ increase had been pitched correctly. A full report and recommendation would be published prior to the PC meeting of 8th January, at which a decision would be made. Early work had however highlighted action required with regard to reserves. MW explained that councils hold reserves to protect against unforeseen expenditure and to spread significant costs over several years. The significant increase in precept over the last two years had been partly in anticipation of increased costs arising from local government reorganisation. Thus, PC reserves would increase to approximately £7,400 at the end of the current year. Best accounting practice was that the general reserve fund should not exceed approximately 3-4 months expenditure and that, beyond this, reserves should be ringfenced for specific purposes. After analysing historic and anticipated exceptional expenditure, MW recommended that funds be vired from the general reserve fund into the ringfenced reserves listed below. The January report would then recommend how much should be added to the named reserves on an annual basis. The Parish Council could, in future, formally decide to vire funds between reserves should they not be required for the purpose for which they were ringfenced. It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that these funds be vired as per the recommendation. MW undertook to have details of S106 funds available at future meetings and to ensure the defunct PC laptop was written off and removed from the asset register. MW 9. Councillors’ portfolios: Highways/Transport (Bill Orchard): he had met Becky Brookman of the Environment Agency at the site of the collapsed stream bank opposite Charity Farm. She had reiterated the EA policy of not piping, as this created blockages, but recognised the problem and undertook to discuss this with DCC Highways. Meanwhile, Mr Romans would reinstate the stream by excavating it and would put out bollards in an attempt to keep the entrance to Charity Farm free of parked cars when large vehicles were expected. A number of suggestions were discussed, which were felt unlikely to support the weight of agricultural vehicles however, the suggestion of paving the bottom of the stream, like at Charminster (similar to a Ford) was felt worthy of investigation. The double decker school bus would come through the village and would take paying passengers if space permitted.Hines Mead Lane would shortly close to resolve the flooding problem at the BT chamber. The forthcoming road closure in Long Bredy might result in cheese farm lorries coming through the village. Cllrs Kourik and Firrell reported that the Cheese Farm were doing everything they could to reduce the number of vehicles through the village and felt the situation had improved. The Cheese Farm were investigating the possibility of constructing a private road to ease access issues. Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): work should soon start on the allotment fencing. AK had received the playground inspection report. Some medium risk issues had already been addressed. Some of the original playground equipment still required attention. Most works could be spread over the coming year and some could be undertaken by the village lengthsman – he would give details to Cllr Firrell. AK Following the recent trial period, Cllr King proposed that the change to allow dogs on a leash on the playing field be made permanent. This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously.Cllr King proposed that the main goal posts be removed as they were loose. New goals could be erected if required. This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously. Cllr Firrell would arrange for this work to be undertaken by the lengthsman. JF Agricultural Liaison (Bella Spurrier): nothing to report Planning (Kathryn Brooks): the following planning matters were outstanding Land adjacent to Four Meads Farm (WD/D/16/001006): the enforcement officer had visited the site and had reservations about the use of the barn. He had reminded the agent of the need to submit a new application. Once an application was received, the case would pass back to the case officer to deal with. Charity Farm – erection of agricultural building – prior approval (WD/D/18/001183): a full planning application was required but had not yet been submitted. The Case Officer would speak with the Enforcement Officer in due course. Charity Farm – erection of 6 dwellings (WD/D/17/00758): the S106 agreement was ready to be signed. Parks Farm Cheese Dairy – effluent lake (WD/D/17/002317): no progress Land west of Tithe Barn House – erect new dwelling and garage (WD/D/18/001959): no update available at the meeting, but the case officer has since advised he/she had yet to visit the site but expected to make a recommendation before Christmas. In addition, the application to modify the S106 agreement for Ourganics (WD/D/18/000124) had been approved some time ago but the website had not been updated at the time. Footpaths/Rights of Way/Mobile Phone Mast (Steve Kourik): there was now a Vodaphone signal in the village. A new bracket had been installed on the mast but its purpose was as yet unknown. Now that the village had mobile phone coverage it would need to decide on future use of the phone box (which would not have power). Cllr Firrell would publish an item in the January Bride Valley News and seek villagers’ ideas. Mrs Walsh would place this on the next agenda. JF/ MW THE ROCKS Dorset CC had amended its proposals – simpler, remedial works would now be carried out in the middle where the flooding originated. The furniture at the top would be removed for access and the barriers stored safely. The turn stile at the bottom needed repair/replacement. The PC would debate the barriers and turn stiles at a future meeting, once repairs to the surface were completed. In response to a question from Cllr King, SK clarified that maintenance of stiles on public rights of way was the responsibility of land owners but that DCC found it more economical to carry out its own repairs rather than pursue the land owner: this also ensured that works were carried out to the required standard. Bridges were the responsibility of the CC as was upgrowth. Side growth was the responsibility of the land owner but again, it was more cost effective for the CC to clear side growth. Village Fabric/Maintenance/Devolved Services (John Firrell): the lengthsman team had been in the village for 4 – 5 hours and done a good job overall. They could have cleared up after themselves better and lessons had been learned. Two cars could now pass each other on Redway. Devolved services were still unclear but the PC had been reassured there would be no dramatic changes over the next 12 months and local councils would not be coerced into taking on any services. There were still unanswered questions about the role of DAPTC under the new Unitary authority and whether there would be area committees. Risk Assessment/Transparency Code/Annual Report (Tessa Mulhall): nothing to report 10. Election of new Deputy Chairman. Cllr Kourik confirmed he did not intend to stand for re-election next May and felt now would be a good time to hand over the Deputy Chairman role. The Chairman thanked Cllr Kourik for his long service as Parish Councillor, Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Villagers gave a round of applause. The Chairman invited nominations. Cllr Kourik nominated Cllr Brooks and this was seconded by Cllr Firrell. Cllr Brooks graciously accepted. There were no other nominations and the proposal was carried unanimously. 11. Other correspondence Request for donation: the PC had received a request for a donation towards the upkeep of the cemetery. The PC had previously donated £500. Cllr Kourik reminded the PC that it was the right of every villager to be buried there – regardless of religion or whether they attended the church. He updated the PC on proposed externally funded planting within the cemetery. Cllr Orchard proposed that the PC again make a donation of £500. This was seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously. 12. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 8 January 2019 13. Meeting closed Maggie Walsh - Parish Clerk
· · · · ·
Equipment
£700
Playground equipment
£200
Local Government Reorganisation
£2,000
Village fabric
£600
Parish Council Elections
£300
LITTON CHENEY PARISH COUNCIL A Meeting of the Litton Cheney Parish Council will be held at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 8 January 2019 at Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall 1. Apologies for absence 2. Declarations of interest 3. Democratic time 4. Approval of minutes of Parish Council meeting held on 13 November 2018 5. Matters arising that are not part of this Agenda 6. DCC/WDDC overview Cllrs Keith Day/Mark Roberts & Cllr John Russell 7. Finance Report (appended) and Precept Report for 2019 - 2020 (appended on website) 8. Councillors Portfolios: Highways/Transport (Chairman); Playground/ Field/Allotments (Mr A. King); Footpaths/RoW/Mobile Phone (Mr S. Kourik); Agricultural Liaison (Mrs A. Spurrier); Planning (Mrs K Brooks); Risk Assessment/Transparency/Data Protection (Mrs T Mulhall); Village Fabric/ Maintenance/Devolved Services (Mr J. Firrell). To include the following: • Village telephone box • The Rocks update Correspondence not dealt with as part of agenda: none as at 21 December 9. New planning applications for consideration at meeting: none as at 21 December 10. Date of next meeting – Tuesday 12 March 2019 11. Meeting closed Maggie Walsh Parish Clerk Finance report as at 21 December
Parish funds   General  fund   Playground   Total   Balance brought forward as at 1 April   £7,126.29   £11,432.71   £18, 559.00   Income to date   £14,496.91   £3,514.86   £18,011.77   Expenditure to date   £9,746.31   £14,988.69   £24,735.00   Parish funds as at 4 November 2018   £11,876.89   - £41.12   £11,835.77   Year end forecast         Forecast available income for 2018 - 19 including VAT   £14,936         Forecast expenditure for  2018 - 19 including VAT   £14,023         Forecast year end surplus (+) or deficit ( - )   £913   - £41             Approved spend since last meeting          Emloyment costs (paid November)   £565.99         Grass cutting   £937.20         Hall Hire   £6.00         Donation for cemetary   £500.00         Allotment fencing   £1,740.00             £3,749.19               Income since last meeting         Interest    £0.21             £0.21                 Invoices for approval at meeting (as at  4 November 2018)       Clerk's mileage   £17.55       Clerk's expenses   £57.26           £74.81
Litton Cheney Parish Council 2019-2020 Precept Draft Report 8 January 2018 Summary and Recommendation Forecasts suggest that the previous two years’ significant increases in precept were correctly pitched: the current precept of £10,600 remains appropriate for 2019-2020 and there will be adequate reserves to cover any irregular expenditure. The Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) therefore recommends that the PRECEPT BE FROZEN AT £10,600 FOR 2019-2020. This equates to approximately £52.21 per Band D household. It should however be noted that, given current uncertainties over the impact of local government reorganisation, the PC may need to consider appropriate increases in subsequent years. Detailed consideration Table 1 below sets out actual expenditure for the previous 2 financial years, estimated outturn for the current year and forecast expenditure for next year. An underspend of approximately £900 is anticipated at the end of the current year – this is primarily because the lengthsman scheme will not have been in place for the full year and also because the Litton Cheney Trust kindly refunded the cost of the bus shelter roof repairs. Allowance has been made in the 2019-2020 budget for modest inflationary increases. VAT is excluded as income cancels out expenditure (unless occurring in separate financial years). Table 1
Outturn   2016 - 17  Actual   2017 - 18  Actual   2018 - 19   estimated   2019 - 20  estimated   Income                   Precept & grant   £3,649   £7,225   £10,600   £10,6 00   Allotment fees   £100   £85   £125   £125   Donation from Litton Cheney Trust           £420       VAT   £279       £3,790       Total income   £4,028   £7,310   £14,935   £10,725   Expenditure                   Employee costs   £692   £2,152   £3,400   £3,500   Room hire   £70   £65   £70   £70   Admin   £726   £690   £1,050   £1,100   Maintenance/village fabric/lengthsman scheme   £1,147   £1,389   £3,680   £4,100   Donations   £725   £700   £725   £725   The Rocks       £420   £450       Other   £341               VAT   £207   £328   £3,463       Total expenditure   £3,908   £5,744   £12,838   £9,495   Balance of Income ove r expenditure   £120   £1,566   £2,097   £1,230   Contribution to ringfenced reserves           £1,200   £1,200   Surplus of income over expenditure           £897   £30
The significant increase in precept for the last two years anticipated, in part, unknown pressures from local government reorganisation and services devolving to parish councils. At its meeting in November, the RFO explained the background to reserves and the Parish Council agreed to vire funds from general reserves into ringfenced reserves. The local government reorganisation/devolution of services reserve now holds £2,000 and, whilst the implications of the reorganisation are still not known, this amount is felt to be sufficient to fund any transition over the next few years. However, the RFO recommends an ongoing annual contribution of £1.200 to other ringfenced reserves: this amount is based on historic and anticipated pressures. Reserve balances are set out in Table 2. Table 2
RESERVES                   Year - end   balance   £5,558   £18,557   £9,180   £10,410   Reserves C/F s plit as follows                   General funds       £18,557   £5,380   £5,410   Local government reorganisation/devolution           £2,000   £2,000   Playground equipment           £200   £600   Village fabric/maintenance           £600   £1,000   Equipment (e.g. Defibrillator, I.T.)           £700   £900   Election costs           £300   £500
Options considered 1. REDUCE precept – savings could be made by reducing or abolishing donations or contributions to reserves. The PC feels it is important to support organisations that benefit villagers and the level of donations budgeted equates to approximately £3.50 per band D household per year. The proposed £1,200 annual contribution to reserves is evidence based and reducing it would leave the PC vulnerable to having insufficient funds to carry out repairs or fund replacements. 2. FREEZE precept for one year – this is the recommended option. 3. INCREASE precept – option 2 budgets for all known costs and maintains adequate reserves. There is no justification for any increase next financial year.