Minutes of the meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council
held on Tuesday 14 March 2023


Present: Bill Orchard (Chairman); Quentin Blacke; John Firrell; Andy King; Andrew Price;  Maggie Walsh (Clerk).   Also in attendance 5 local residents


1.    Apologies Cllr Bella Spurrier; Cllr Mark Roberts

2.    Declarations of interest None

3.    Democratic time

·         The owner of The Old Rectory asked to be kept informed about works to The Queen’s Bench, as she wished to replace fencing behind the Jubilee Hut.            JF

·         A Trustee of the Litton Cheney Trust wished to understand proposals relating to the Queen’s Bench.

·         There was a request for information relating to development at land off Barges Close – the PC had received no information.

4.    Approval of minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 10 January It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Blacke and carried unanimously that these be approved.

5.    Matters arising since the previous meeting not part of this agenda NA

6.    Dorset Council overview – The Clerk read out Cllr Mark Roberts’ written report.  DC had approved the budget for 2023-24 and council tax would rise by a total of 3.99%. This was 1% less than the increase permitted by government.  There would be no mass redundancies and no cuts to services.  Short stay car parks were now all 3 hours, rather than 2. All 260 car park ticket machines across Dorset would be replaced: the new machines would allow payment by cash, card and phone. DC had approved the change to double council tax on 2nd homes if the legislation is passed, in which case, the change would be implemented in April 2023 and could raise an extra £9.5m.

7.    Finance report and invoices for approval (Clerk and RFO) At the time of publishing the agenda, Parish funds stood at £22,598.61. Since the previous meeting, spend was £1,485.76 comprising £1,425.76 employee costs and £60 to Vision ICT for website domain hosting.  Income since last meeting was £253.59 comprising £50 contribution from LATCH towards website hosting; £200 donation to the Community Bench Fund and £3.59p interest. The PC wished to record its thanks for the generous donation to the Community Bench Fund.  The Community Bench fund currently held £677.  The RFO estimated an overspend of £2,790 at the year end: however, this assumed the goal posts would be purchased during the current financial year.  The remainder of the estimated overspend was due to playground repairs and would be funded from reserves: all other payments were within budget.

       The following invoices were for approval:

Reimburse Cllr Firrell for copies of Queen’s Bench drawings by Footeprints


Clerk’s expenses




       It was proposed by Cllr Orchard, seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously that these be approved.                                                                                                                     MW

       Following a walk around of the village in January, the Clerk had drafted an initial Flood Action Plan and Flood Warden Action Templates, initially for comment by the Flood Warden and PC.


8.    Councillors’ portfolios:

Planning (Bill Orchard, Chairman) Cllr Orchard reported on the recent Councillor Networking event he attended at Kingston Maurward. Key messages were that assets, income and responsibilities would devolve from DC to local councils but any funding would need to be raised through Precepts.  DC was looking closely at how the Cornwall Planning Partnership operated.

Other planning matters:

·         DC had raised no objection to the proposal to remove a length of hedgerow at Charity Farm (P/TRC/2023/007755): the applicant was therefore at liberty to implement the works.

·         There was an application for Change of Use from live firing range and caravan site to a glamping and Shepherd’s hut site at Looke Farm in the Parish of Puncknowle (P/FUL/2023/00512).

·         The application for internal changes at Peggotty’s, Chalk Pitt Lane had been approved (P/LBC/2022/06341).

Highways/Transport (Andrew Price) Manor Farm Close was due to be resurfaced: there may be some knock on parking issues whilst these works were underway. The PC was unsure why this location had been prioritised as it felt other locations within the village were in a worse state.  Whiteway had recently been closed again whilst Open Reach installed cables to the new communications mast. HGVs continued to take the wrong route through the village: there had been 4 recent incidents and properties had been damaged. DC’s decision to introduce a weight limit on Whiteway was back under review.  Chris Loder MP had been supportive and was trying to set up a meeting between Ford Farm, DC, National Highways and the Parish Councils.

Agricultural Liaison/Footpaths/Rights of Way/ (Bella Spurrier/Quentin Blacke): DC’s “Rights of Way” book clarified the rules on electric fences near footpaths.  The PC agreed that Cllr Blacke and Spurrier should bring any incidents in adjacent parishes to the attention of the relevant Clerk. Any incidents within the Litton Cheney Parish would be reported via DC’s online reporting tool.                                                                                                                               QB, BS

Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): The PC had agreed to purchase full sized goalposts before the end of the financial year (31 March) but there had been no progress: Cllr King would chase.                                                                                                      AK

The playing field awaited its first cut: Cllr King assumed it had been too wet for this to happen. Replacement slats were still required for the damaged bench.                          AK/JF

Cllr King would organise a “Big Help Out” at the playground over the Coronation weekend. Meanwhile, he planned to organise a survey via social media to ask if playground users would prefer to repair the damaged rope climbing net or replace it with different play apparatus.     AK

The PC had received an application from a metal detectorist to carry out historical research at the recreation field.  This required the PC to formulate a Policy.  The “Draft Policy concerning Metal Detecting on Land owned by the Parish Council” had been published with the agenda.  It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Firrell and carried unanimously that this be approved.                                                                                                                     MW

The PC went on to consider an application to grant a licence to an individual to undertake metal detecting at the recreation field in line with the newly adopted Policy.  It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Blacke and carried unanimously that this be approved.

Village Fabric/Maintenance/BLAP/DAPTC/ Administration & Probity (John Firrell) A recent car collision on a track across private land had left debris that was hazardous to members of the public using the track.  Most of the debris had been removed and it was no longer  hazardous but Cllr Firrell was unclear whose responsibility it had been to remove it and would speak to the footpaths officer and the PCSO.                                                                              JF

Cllr Firrell provided an update on The Queen’s Bench proposal.  The proposal was to construct an interpretation board and a wall incorporating the Queen’s bench behind the jubilee hut.  Three quotes had been received, one of which had since been withdrawn.  The full cost would be up to £9,000, of which the PC could reclaim the VAT.  This would be funded from a combination of PC reserves, the Litton Cheney Community Bench Fund, a generous donation from The Litton Cheney Trust and Community Infrastructure Levy, which the PC should shortly receive arising from new dwellings at 2 sites within the village.  Cllr Black proposed that the PC accept the quote from Russell Randall and that, subject to any necessary permissions, he be instructed to proceed with the works. This was seconded by Cllr King and carried unanimously.                                                                                                                                       JF

Cllr Firrell provided an update on arrangements for the Coronation weekend.  This would be lower key than for the 2022 Jubilee. Details were on the village website and in the Bride Valley News.

The Clerk and Cllr Firrell had reviewed the following documents: Climate and Ecological Plan; Grants and Donations Policy; General Data Protection Regulations Policy; Privacy Notice; Email Policy.  All had required only minor amendments and the PC were asked to NOTE that these had been reviewed and would be updated on the website.                                 MW

Climate Emergency and Environment (Vacant) Nothing to report.

9.    New planning application for consideration at the meeting

·           HOLM HOUSE, SCHOOL HOUSE LANE, DT2 9AU – erection of car park, stone wall and porch (P/HOU/2023/00789). The PC discussed this application, which was similar to a previous, lapsed, planning permission.  Cllr Firrell proposed that the PC commented NO OBJECTION on this planning application. This was seconded by Cllr Blacke and carried unanimously.                                                                                  MW

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

11.  Date of next meeting The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council would be held at 7:30pm on Tuesday 9 May 2023.  The Annual Parish Assembly would take place at 7:00pm on Friday 12 May.  The Annual Parish Assembly had been postponed to allow Chris Loder MP to attend.

Meeting closed

Maggie Walsh
Parish Clerk