A Meeting of the Litton Cheney Parish Council will be held at
Litton and Thorner’s Community Hall
at 7:30pm on Tuesday 9 January 2024


1.     Apologies for absence

2.     Declarations of interest

3.     Democratic time

4.     Approval of minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14 November 2023.

5.     Matters arising since previous meeting not part of this Agenda - appointment of new Parish Clerk

6.     Dorset Council overview Cllr Mark Roberts (Ward Councillor for Chesil Bank)

7.     Clerk’s/RFO’s report including:

·                    Year to date finance report (appended)

·                    Recommendation that the RFO transfers funds, as and when required and subject to any banking terms and conditions, between the Treasurer’s and Bus Bank Accounts so as to maintain a minimum of £3k or 2 month’s forecast expenditure in the Treasurer’s Account, whichever is greatest. The accounts are linked and with instant access.  This will enable the PC to maximise interest whilst ensuring funds are available to pay invoices and staff costs

·                    Invoices for approval (appended)

·                    Proposal to update/amend bank mandate

·                    Proposal to agree Precept for 2024-25 (report appended)

·                    Proposal to amend contributions to reserves (report appended)

8.     Councillors’ Portfolios: Planning (Mr Orchard, Chairman); Highways/Transport (Mr A Price); Playground/ Field/Allotments (Mr A. King); Agricultural Liaison (Mrs A. Spurrier); Footpaths/Rights of Way (Mrs A Spurrier and Mr Q Blacke); Village Fabric/ Maintenance/ DAPTC/BLAP/Administration and Probity (Mr J. Firrell); Climate Change and Environment (Ms S Hewish). Including

·                    Playground maintenance update

·                    Discussion regarding Dorset Community Tree Project & appointment of tree wardens

·                    Discussion of EV charging units in Litton Cheney

·                    DC grant funding update

9.      Planning Matters – no new applications for consideration at the time of publishing the agenda.

10.   Correspondence not dealt with as part of agenda

11.  Date of next meeting: 14 March 2025

       Meeting closed.

Maggie Walsh, Parish Clerk




Finance report as at 1 January 2024

Parish funds


Balance brought forward as at 1 April


Income to date


Expenditure to date


Parish funds as at above date*


* Of which the following is held in reserves or CIL (before the Queen's Bench expenditure is assigned)

Earmarked reserves




Playground (ringfenced)


Community Bench Fund (ringfenced)


Total reserves/CIL held


Year end forecast


Forecast income for year including VAT & CIL receipts


Forecast expenditure for year including VAT


Annual contribution to named reserves


Forecast year end surplus (+) or deficit (-)


*Please note the predicted underspend is the net position after receipt of £17.1k CIL & queen's bench installation and goal posts, funded from reserves.

Approved spend since last meeting (all paid last financial year)


Employee costs


Donation towards upkeep of churchyard


Playground inspection Company Ltd


Clerk's expenses - Microsoft 365 2 x months fee


Clerk's expenses - paper purchased from Footeprints




Income since last meeting






Invoices for approval at time of publishing agenda


Refund Cllr Firrell for Tree lights purchased from UK Christmas World


Vision ICT website domain hosting fee


Clerk's expenses: 2 x MS 365 subs (Nov & Dec). Print cartridges from Amazon







Appendix 2

Litton Cheney Parish Council 2020-2021 Precept Report 10 January 2022

Summary and Recommendation

Through careful budgeting, there was a small increase to the Precept last year following modest reductions for the previous 3 years, having previously stood at £10,600.  It currently stands at £10,000 for 2023-24. 

However, employee costs (currently around 46% of the budget), recent national pay awards and a replacement Clerk when the current Parish Clerk retires next March, means costs will rise considerably next year. Other outgoings will continue to rise with inflation and it is not possible to make further savings elsewhere. The increase required to meet the Parish Council’s commitments and continue to make annual contributions to earmarked reserves will likely be unpalatable to Parish Councillors and local residents. The RFO therefore recommends reducing the annual contribution to reserves, reinstating them over a 3 year period to stagger the increase in precept.

Based on current commitments, and providing the RFOs recommendation to reduce contributions to reserves is acceptable to Parish Councillors, the Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) recommends the PRECEPT be set at £10,800 for 2024- 2025.

Impact of precept on Band D properties

If approved by the Parish Council, the tax base for Litton Cheney would increase from £48.47 in the current year (2023-24) to £52.68 for the year 2024-25 for a Band D house. An increase of £4.21 per year.

Detailed consideration – anticipated receipts and payments

The Parish Council has estimated costs for the next 3 financial years. Table 1 below sets out budget and actual outturn for last year, budgets and estimated outturn for the current year, and forecast budget for next year.  VAT is excluded from projections as the Parish Council reclaims this. 

In preparing these figures, the RFO has allowed for estimated and known inflationary increases.

Table 1


2022-23 actual

2023-24 estimated

2024_25 estimated

2025-26 estimated
















Precept & grant





Allotment fees















Latch contribution to hedge cutting










Donations to community bench fund





Donations to Queens Bench





Donation to info board










Total income


















Employee direct costs





Employee on costs





ROOM HIRE/zoom fees










Village fabric /maintenance










Goal posts





Queen's bench & info board





Info board










Telephone kiosk





Community Bench fund





laptop funded from earmarked reserve










Total Payments










Balance of Income over payments*










net contribution to earmarked reserves





Surplus of income after contributions to reserves





*Replacement slide & climbing wall purchased from reserves


Review of Reserves                                                                                                             Appendix 3

Reserves are held to cushion the impact of uneven cash flow or irregular/unexpected events. The levels of contributions to reserves are calculated based on past experience, life span of assets and estimated replacement costs.  Contributions are made at the year end, subject to funds being available.

During the current financial year £3,624 was spent from general reserves to fund the goal posts and part of the Queen’s Bench installation.  The table below assumes that contributions be made to ear marked reserves on 31 March 2023 as agreed by Parish Councillors at the meeting on 11 January 2023.  This would leave an estimated £3,092 in general reserves.  Whilst less than the recommended 6-12 months of precept, Parish Councillors could vire funds from ear marked reserves into the general reserves should the need arise. 

The RFO therefore proposes contributions are reduced from £1,750 to £800 for the forthcoming year, gradually increasing back to required levels over the subsequent 2 years.  With substantial CIL receipts available to fund capital projects and existing earmarked reserves, the RFO believes existing levels of Parish Council funds provide sufficient flexibility to support this.

Table 2 below details existing levels of reserves, the estimated level at the end of the current financial year and following proposed contributions at the end of 24/25.


Table 2


2022/23 Y/E

2023/24 YE










Net contribution


Net Contribution




Year end balances














Earmarked reserves







Local government reorg/devolutn







Playground equipment







Village fabric/maintenance







Equipment (e.g. Defibrillator, I.T.)







Election costs





















Ring-fenced reserves







Community Bench fund







Playground donation



































General funds



Goal posts & Queen’s bench funded from general reserves