Little Totham Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting, Tuesday 5th December 2023
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 5th December in the Evangelical Hall, at 7.30 pm.
Chairman N. Lawrence
Councillors: A. Philpott, R. Siddall and T. Gritton Parishioners: 1
23.99 Apologies for Absence: Councillors V. Hare, J. Hughes and S. Venton sent apologies.
23.100 To invite Councillors to declare an interest in matters on the Agenda. None were declared.
23.101 Minutes 07/11/23
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 7th November 2023 be approved and confirmed.
23.102 Update for parish newsletter
The Clerk informed Councillors that the newsletter deadline is earlier this month because of Christmas. Councillor Gritton will provide the text for the upcoming edition.
RESOLVED Councillor Gritton to send paragraph to the Clerk by 13th December.
23.103 a) Planning applications
23/01015/FUL Replacement stables and tack store Land East of New Farm, Beckingham Street – No objections to this application from Councillors.
b) Planning decisions
No planning decisions received from MDC.
23.104 Common land
Chairman Lawrence reported that he had recently encountered youths using motorbikes on the common. Councillor Gritton will include this in the parish newsletter update and remind residents that it is illegal to use vehicles on the common. Dates and times of any further incidents need to be logged so that it can be reported using the 101 system or to the Rural Engagement Team.
RESOLVED The Clerk to forward dates of local police surgeries to Chairman Lawrence.
23.105 Local Authority Treescape project
Volunteers for the tree planting on 16th, 17th and 18th January can register on the Essex County Council website and Councillor Gritton will ask residents to give some time to help in the parish newsletter update. A further village tidy day will then be held in February.
Councillor Siddall reported that three names will be included on a new slate plaque for the war memorial and the Lord Lieutenant will be invited to unveil it in the Spring next year.
23.106 Play equipment repairs
No update received for this meeting.
A 10ft Christmas tree has been purchased for £50 from Toms Farm Shop as a short term measure for this year. Chairman Lawrence will advise Councillors when he has erected the tree and if he needs any help.
23.108 TCWG and speedwatch
Tru Cam information for November has not yet been received.
23.109 Invoices presented for payment
Councillors agreed that the £20 hire fee should again be asked to be waived this month because conditions in the church are still not ideal for meetings.
The precept letter from MDC should be sent to parish councils soon. Councillors agreed that a 3% increase for 2024/5 should be requested.
RESOLVED The Clerk to prepare finance update for the next meeting.
The next MDC Parish and Town Council Forum meeting will be held on 14th December at Maldon Town Hall. The Clerk will attend and any Councillors are welcome if available. All other correspondence had been circulated to Councillors.
23.111 Update from District Councillor
The Local Plan review is moving forward and the budget setting process is currently taking place. MDC finances are in a better position than was previously thought, so savings needed for 2024/5 are not as much as was anticipated.
The new GP surgery and relief road for Heybridge should be open within a year. For the new Health Hub to be constructed at Wycke Hill, Essex County Council need to agree to release funding for a new road and access.
Agreement needs to be reached between Essex County Council and Southend and Thurrock Councils by the end of this month if the devolution plan is to go ahead.
Councillor Siddall is chairing the North Essex Economic Board which supports local businesses.
The Local Government Association has stepped back from its observation of MDC and awarded a grant to the authority because practices there are improving.
23.112 Dates for 2024 meetings
The next meeting will be held on the second Tuesday in January – 09/01/24.
RESOLVED The Clerk will circulate schedule of meetings for 2024 to Councillors.
23.113 Public questions
One of the parishioners present reported that the signage at Loamy Hill junction is particularly obscured and generally through the village. This has all previously been reported to Highways.
There being no further business the meeting was closed at 8.34pm.
Signed by the Chairman…………..…………………………
ITEMS FOR NEXT MONTH’S AGENDA – 9th January 2024
Tree planting project
Play equipment repairs