Minutes of meeting Tuesday 6th February 2024

Little Totham Parish Council


Minutes of Meeting, Tuesday 6th February 2024


The Parish Council met on Tuesday 6th February in the Evangelical Hall, at 7.30pm.




Chairman N. Lawrence


Councillors: T. Gritton, J. Hughes and A. Philpott                                                           Parishioners: 6


24.15 Apologies for Absence: Councillors V. Hare and S. Venton sent their apologies.


24.16 To invite Councillors to declare an interest in matters on the Agenda. Councillor Gritton declared an interest in item 24.20 planning matters as his property is adjacent to one of the applications to be considered.


24.17 Minutes 09/01/24

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th January 2024 be approved and confirmed.


24.18 Update for parish newsletter

The Chairman will write the update for this month.

RESOLVED Chairman Lawrence to send paragraph to the Clerk.


24.19 Finance and banking arrangements

As reported at the last meeting, the current payroll company Autela will no longer provide a quarterly service from April 2024 and their charges will significantly increase. The Clerk had sourced quotes from alternative providers including DCK at £22.50/month, PGA Payroll at £25/month and the cheapest SALC at £9.60/month (£8+VAT). Councillors agreed for the Clerk to approach SALC to discuss terms and requirements.

The Clerk had contacted Barclays Bank to add Councillor Hughes to the mandate and again, encountered problems communicating with them. The previous Clerk and former Councillors names had been added back to the mandate and the contact details were still incorrect despite numerous previous updates. The Clerk had printed new mandate forms which were signed during the meeting to add Councillor Hughes and remove the out-of-date names. Councillors agreed for the Clerk to explore new banking options.

RESOLVED The Clerk to progress new payroll and possible new banking options.


24.20 a) Planning applications

23/01242/FUL PP-12643762 Construction of a single dwelling and detached cartlodge land adjacent to Eagle Lodge, Plains Road – District Councillor Siddall has called in this application so it will be considered by the North West Planning Committee in the next few weeks. Councillors had no objections to this application and confirmed their support to the applicants who were in attendance at the meeting.

24/00083/HOUSE PP-12774284 First floor extension, single storey side extension and new garage for Two Jays, Green Lane – Councillors felt that the footprint of the proposed garage is close to the highway boundary but do not object to the application.


b) Planning decisions

FUL/MAL/23/00920 Application for change of use of agricultural building to a cafe at The Granary, Chigborough Farm – Approved by Planning Committee.


24.21 Common land

Prior to the meeting, the Registered Commoners for Little Totham Common had written to the Parish Council with concerns about the tree/hedge planting which has recently been carried out through the Local Authority Treescape project. Some of the Commoners were in attendance at the meeting to present their historical evidence and explain how their rights have been infringed because the planting encroaches on the grazing area. Copies of the historical documents were taken.


Councillor Hughes will seek advice from Simon Quelch at MDC and councillors will use the time before the next meeting in March to go through all of the information available, including that presented from the Commoners. All agreed that a collective approach to managing the common with Parish Council and Commoners in discussion going forward would be mutually beneficial.

RESOLVED To carry this item forward to the next meeting when councillors have had time to research, absorb the information and discuss the Commoner’s concerns in detail.


24.22 Local Authority Treescape project and potential follow-on projects

All planting was completed, there were some whips that were felt to be too close to the war memorial so Councillor Venton has removed these and replanted them. It was agreed to leave the remaining whips in this area and monitor as the plants mature, if necessary cutting in the future to create a tapered hedge leading towards the memorial. There are other potential habitat creation projects which can be explored in the future via contacts made with officers through the tree planting scheme.


24.23 Christmas tree

Tom Moat from ECC has sourced a Christmas tree for the parish from a nursery in Ely. ECC will order and pay for the tree.

RESOLVED Chairman Lawrence to liaise with Tom Moat regarding delivery.


24.24 Play equipment repairs

It has been established that the play equipment was installed with a 15 year guarantee in 2010. However Councillor Venton has been informed by Playdale that the guarantee is void because the damage appears to have been done by strimmers.

RESOLVED Chairman Lawrence to get prices to replace all of the swing timbers.


24.25 TCWG and speedwatch

The Clerk tabled a line graph from the tru cam patrols data from March 2022 to present which confirms that the overall trend for number of offenders is a decline.


24.26 Invoices presented for payment


MDC  Tru cam patrols             £291.82

Skippers                                   Instalment for ground maintenance £414.00

LT Evangelical Church         hire of hall                                                  £20.00


24.27 Correspondence

The Clerk had forwarded all email correspondence to councillors. David Brewer from the Evangelical Church had asked if Maldon Orchestra can perform on the little common on Sunday 14th July and councillors all agreed to this request.

RESOLVED The Clerk will respond to David Brewer.


24.28 Update from District Councillor

Councillor Hughes reported on feedback received from residents about the tree planting. There is an important series of meetings in the next weeks at MDC including setting the budget for 2024/25.


24.29 Public questions

Parishioners present at the meeting had already raised their questions and spoken under previous items. Councillors confirmed to the owners of Eagle Lodge that a response will be submitted to MDC from the Parish Council with no objections to their planning application.


There being no further business the meeting was closed at 8.27pm







                                                                            Signed by the Chairman…………..…………………………




Response to Commoners