Uploaded on April 4, 2024


Of Witham Friary Parish Council

Held on Tuesday 12th March 2024 at The Dovecote, Witham Friary 7.30pm


Present:                                Chair W Sheppard, Cllrs Sewell and Nicholls

Also Present:                       3 members of the public


02.24/24.01         Apologies for absence

Cllrs Ferrrari (holiday) Knowles (sickness)


02.24/24.02         Declarations of interest



02.24/24.03         Minutes of the previous meeting held


02.24/24.04        Report by Somerset Councillors

Regular email report provided, Somerset CC – still in dire financial straits.  Looking to sell assets.                                  Asking PC’s and TC’s to take on more tasks.

02.24/24.04         Planning Applications for consideration



02.24/24.05         Finance

  1. To receive financial statement

Cashbook figure as of 29th February £32431.28




  1. Chairman to contact Unity Bank to take Jen’s name off as signatory. Cllr’s Nicholls, Knowles, Sheppard and new Clerk to be signatories going forward.

Resolved:  The grant requested for maintenance of the churchyard was approved by all Cllrs.           Reports

  1. Chairman’s Report

Clerk position – Cllr Sheppard has received 2emails expressing interest.  To invite these two to interview.



Stella Hill is happy for a memorial bench in memory of John, PC to look into obtaining plaque and to think about suitable words.




  1. Highways (FN)

More potholes are appearing.  Cll Nicholls has cleared some drains.

Fencing on ‘S’ bends still needs to be repaired.


  1. Communication (MF)

Cllr Sheppard spoke to Julia from Heal re organising a meeting to discuss firebreaks and flood issues


  1. Witham water (SW/JK/FN)

No issues reported.


  1. Network Rail

Nil to report


  1. Recreation Ground (WS/JK)


Recreation sub-committee has had one meeting and it has been agreed that-

Air ambulance clothes recycling bin to be place on recreation ground carpark.

It has been agreed that there can be a toilet/changing facility put on the field but that there is no need for anything else and in fact it would be inappropriate to build a pavilion when there are already two building owned by the Parish (Village Hall and Dovecote)

Grass cutting:  3 companies have been approached for quotes, one has said that that they are not interested, Grass Valet have not yet returned a quote but have said that the cost will be no more than last year and the other company has not yet responded.

Field needs cutting now.

Robotic mower is still an option – need more information and a demonstration.

Carpark can be improved by –

  1. Cutting back hedges – to be done by the lengthsman.
  2. Moving stones for extra parking
  3. Improving pump track and continuing it around the carpark edge of the field to make it circular, this will improve safety.
  4. Basketball net has been agreed, need to be agree exactly where this will go


Materials for the fencing repair are still at Quarry Hill Farm awaiting installation.


  1. Play Patch (JK)

Nothing to report


  1. Footpaths (LS)

Email sent to SCC to find out when they will be repairing gully between fishing lakes and Sheppard’s land.


  1. Biodiversity and Environment (LS & MF)


Toad signs have been put out on toad migration areas, parishioners have remarked on how these signs have made them more aware of the plight of amphibians returning to the breeding ponds.


  1. Dovecote (MF & JK)


Electricity supplier to be changed asap.  MF and WS have quotes from other companies.


  1. Contingency Planning (JK)


To be discussed at next meeting


  1. Village Groups and Organisations