Little Totham Parish Council
Minutes of Meeting, Tuesday 9th January 2024
The Parish Council met on Tuesday 9th January in the Evangelical Hall, at 7.30 pm.
Chairman N. Lawrence
Councillors: T. Gritton, V. Hare, J. Hughes and S. Venton Parishioners: 4
24.01 Apologies for Absence: Councillor A. Philpott sent apologies.
24.02 To invite Councillors to declare an interest in matters on the Agenda. None were declared.
24.03 Minutes 05/12/23
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 5th December 2023 be approved and confirmed.
24.04 Finance update
Following the resignation of Councillor Siddall, the mandate and authorisation for online payments needs to be updated. Councillor Hughes agreed to become a signatory and authoriser for the bank accounts. The Clerk reported that there is £7,101 in the Parish Council’s community account and £10,124 in the business account. The precept form for 2024/25 has been submitted to Maldon District Council with a 3% increase as agreed so the amount requested is £9055 which is £46.53 for the year for a Band D property.
RESOLVED The Clerk to contact Barclays to update the mandate.
24.05 Update for parish newsletter
Councillor Hughes will write the update for January and will let residents know in the article that Councillor Siddall has resigned from the Parish Council.
RESOLVED Councillor Hughes to send paragraph to the Clerk.
24.06 a) Planning applications
23/01226/HOUSE Amendments to previous scheme for two storey side extension Holly Cottage, The Street – No objections to this application from Councillors.
b) Planning decisions
HOUSE/MAL/23/00996 Single storey garage extension for Seasons, School Road – Approved.
OUT/MAL/23/00651 Erection of two detached single storey units land north-west of Beckingham Business Park – REFUSED.
FUL/MAL/23/00920 Application for change of use of agricultural building to a cafe at The Granary, Chigborough Farm – will be decided at Planning Committee meeting to be held on 10th January.
24.07 Common land
Councillor Hughes reported that she has had no further communication with Richard Mabbitt and still has an outstanding action to talk to Eddy King about the cutting.
24.08 Local Authority Treescape project
The Clerk had received confirmation from Essex County Council that the tree planting is going ahead next week on 16th, 17th and 18th January. Chairman Lawrence is available for the tree delivery. The Clerk tabled the planting plans which ECC had recently emailed. Councillors had some concerns about the locations and types of species.
RESOLVED The Clerk will look through all of the correspondence regarding the scheme to determine what was previously agreed regarding planting areas and species and will forward to all Councillors. Chairman Lawrence will then contact Tom Moat at ECC to discuss.
24.09 Play equipment repairs
Local carpenter, Clive is happy to help with the job of replacing the swing timbers. Councillors agreed that it would be pertinent to firstly check if the play equipment was still under guarantee to be repaired by Playdale.
RESOLVED Councillor Venton will check the date plaque on the play equipment and the Clerk will check the old correspondence for invoices or a guarantee document.
24.10 TCWG and speedwatch
There were two drivers caught speeding during the Tru Cam patrols in December.
RESOLVED The Clerk to plot the monthly information from Tru Cam to determine if there is a decrease in number of offenders.
24.11 Invoices presented for payment
A.G. Boyle Xmas tree lights £27.48
Autela Payroll £37.29
Parish Clerk Third quarter salary £540.80
HMRC Income tax £135.20
LT Evangelical Church hire of hall £10.00
Councillors agreed to pay 50% of the hire cost for the hall this month as conditions were slightly better than previously.
Councillors agreed that the Christmas tree on the green had been successful at such short notice and appreciated by residents but that a longer term option could now be planned. Chairman Lawrence reported that he had spoken to Tiptree Parish Council to find out where their tree was from but discovered that their tree had cost £1500. It was suggested that Wilkins could be approached to donate a tree and Chairman Lawrence had asked Tom Moat at ECC if they could source a tree.
The Clerk reported that she had attended the recent MDC Town and Parish Council forum and that it had been very informative. All of the notes and slides from the meeting had been circulated to all Councillors.
The payroll company, Autela, had written with a new pricing structure for Parish Councils which will start as from April 2024. It will be a significant increase because they will no longer provide a quarterly payroll service.
RESOLVED The Clerk will get quotes for payroll from different companies.
24.13 Update from District Councillor
Councillor Hughes acknowledged the contribution that Councillor Siddall has made to the Parish Council over the last 7 years.
RESOLVED Councillors agreed to buy a gift for Councillor Siddall as a token of appreciation.
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.
24.14 Public questions
One of the parishioners present informed Councillors that there had been a recent theft of heating oil in the village and to be vigilant. Councillor Hughes will include in the Parish Council update for the newsletter.
The reporting of potholes was discussed and it was agreed to put the link to the Highways reporting site on the Parish Council facebook page.
Councillor Gritton agreed to take on the role of 20’s Plenty representative for the Parish Council.
There being no further business the meeting was closed at 8.42pm.
Signed by the Chairman…………..…………………………
ITEMS FOR NEXT MONTH’S AGENDA – 6th February