Minutes of the meeting of Litton Cheney Parish Council
held on Tuesday 12 September 2023


Present: Bill Orchard (Chair); Quentin Blacke; John Firrell; Sue Hewish; Andy King; Andrew Price; Bella Spurrier, Maggie Walsh (Clerk). Also in attendance 1 member of public


1. Apologies None received

2. Declarations of interest None

3. Democratic time No matters raised

4. Approval of minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 11 July 2023 Item 11 para 4  Director of Highways amended to Head of Highways. 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

Cllr Orchard welcomed Cllr Hewish to her first Parish Council meeting.

The Clerk had received a request to extend the Metal Detecting Licence, granted by the Parish Council, until the end of the year. Parish Councillors had agreed by email to grant this request. MW

The Parish Clerk intended to retire no later than the end of May 2024. The PC would shortly advertise the vacancy.

6. Dorset Council overview  No update was available.

7. Finance report and invoices for approval (Clerk and RFO) At the time of publishing the agenda, Parish funds stood at #19,052.82. Budgets were on track, but the year end outturn figure was skewed by the net effect of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts and payments for items funded from reserves. Spend since the previous meeting was #2,1015.74 comprising #712.88 employee costs; #534 to Imperative Training for defibrillator cabinet required to replace the original corroded cabinet; #288 to Russell Randall for supplying replacement bench slats for 2 benches; #100 donation to Bride Valley News; #100 donation to Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance; #100 donation to Bridport Citizens Advice Bureau; #74 to LATCH for room hire; #54.22 refund to Cllr King for maintenance materials purchased from Travis Perkins; #35 to Information Commissioner for GDPR fee; #17.64 refund to Clerk for 3 x months Office 365 subscription fee. Income since last meeting was #312.14 comprising #300 donation from Ashley Chase Estates towards Village Information Board and #12.14 interest.

The following invoices were for approval:

Russell Randall  supply and fit framework and backing for Village Information Board (part funded by village duck race and donation from Ashley Chase Estates).


Sinclair Electrical  installation of replacement defibrillator cabinet


Refund Clerk for 2 x MS 365 subscription fee


Refund Clerk for ticket for COP event for Cllr Hewish


Refund Cllr Blacke for Teak Oil from Bartletts Country Stores




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

It was proposed by Cllr Firrell, seconded by Cllr Orchard and carried unanimously that the PC purchase a Remembrance Day Wreath at a cost of up to #75. JF/MW

Cllr King had received a letter requesting a donation from the PC to enable pupils of Litton and Thorners School to participate in Candles on St Catherines Hill. It was proposed by Cllr King, seconded by Cllr Price and carried unanimously that the PC donate #50 to the school for this purpose. MW

8. Councillors portfolios:

Planning (Bill Orchard, Chairman): Cllrs Price and King had met Mr Romans and discussed the new field access to Charity Farm which it was hoped might replace the existing farm access adjacent to the Tithe Barn: the PC hoped this would resolve the issue of contractors vehicles damaging the stream and road. Mr Romans had met with Highways and the PC understood that DC had indicated there was no issue with the access, subject to matters related to visibility and drainage.

The PC had written to DC Head of Planning, cc to Cllr Roberts, regarding the lack of progress over Legal Agreements related to Litton Lakes. The PC would follow this up as no reply had been received. MW

The PC understood that revised plans to address the visual impact within the AONB of the car park at Parks Farm were anticipated imminently.

The PC understood that permission to develop new dwellings at Charity Farm had been purchased by a developer. The PC had heard that the developer may seek to amend the affordable housing element on grounds of viability. The PC would write to the LPA expressing concern should this be the case, given that the original permission was granted purely because of the affordable housing element. MW

Highways/Transport (Andrew Price): The PC had a new Community Highways Officer who had undertaken to renew existing and add new white lines at the bottom of Whiteway as Beech House had been struck again by vehicles. DC would also repair the highways opposite the Charity Farm entrance where the bank had been pushed into the stream. Subsidence in Chalk Pit Lane had been filled with tarmac to avoid cars scraping the road. A TRO weight limit on Whiteway was complicated by the involvement of 2 highways authorities but the PC were hopeful that the issue would be resolved. A Cheese Factory Traffic Plan meeting was scheduled for 4 October.

Agricultural Liaison/Footpaths/Rights of Way/ (Bella Spurrier/Quentin Blacke): Cllr Blacke continued to tackle electric fencing across footpaths. A decision was awaited on where to locate restored benches.

Playground/Playing Field/Allotments (Andy King): the old goal posts were too decayed to be refurbished and would be removed. As the new goal posts are mobile, their removal was unlikely to be an issue. AK

Slabs had been installed to support the bench. The playground inspection was in hand. Cllr King was trying to establish what equipment local children would like to replace the steel rope climbing frame. AK

Slats on one of the benches had been replaced and the bench reinstalled. Slats would be replaced on the second bench when its location had been decided. Allotment holders were looking for pallets.

Village Fabric/Maintenance/BLAP/DAPTC/ Administration & Probity (John Firrell) Cllr Firrell reported that Russell Randall had offered to renovate the bench that was removed from beside the Jubilee Hut. Once restored, it would most likely be located on Magna Green. The noticeboard in The Snicket required attention/replacement - Cllr Firrell would obtain quotes to refurbish the one removed from adjacent to the Jubilee Hut. JF

The Queens Bench was finished. The Village Map/Information Board was part funded by the Village Duck Race and a donation from Ashley Chase Estates. The PC would write thanking Ashley Chase for the #300 donation. MW

It had taken some time from the original proposal until the Queens Bench was completed and Cllr Firrell thanked the PC for taking the time to get it right. He had received many positive comments about the finished installation and felt the village and PC could feel proud of it. Many talented local craftsmen had been involved in the installation. Cllr Price thanked Cllr Firrell for his role as the driving force behind The Queens Bench: a sentiment echoed by the rest of the PC.

The target for fibre pledges had been reached but further pledges were still encouraged.

Climate Emergency and Environment (Vacant) Cllr Hewish raised several questions including whether the PC should be concerned that removal of hedgerows/trees might increase the risk of flooding and what the PC could do to alleviate risk of flooding. The PC was in the process of drafting a Flood Action Plan.

Cllr Hewish also queried whether DCs approach to verge cutting was correct in all cases and whether more frequent cutting might be better in some areas for the safety of both pedestrians and drivers and to reduce the risk of vegetation blocking the stream on Main Street. The PC would add this to the next agenda. MW

9. New planning applications for consideration at the meeting None

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

11. Date of next meeting Tuesday 14 November 2023

Meeting closed

Maggie Walsh
Parish Clerk