28 April 2016 Annual Parish Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council          

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 28 April 2016 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF

In these minutes, ACSReC stands for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AONB for North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, DfT for Department of Transport, EH for English Heritage, FWO for Fyfield and West Overton, LGO for Local Government Ombudsman, LTA for Long Term Agreement, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MDNIA for Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area, NT for the National Trust, TTRO for temporary Traffic Regulation Order, TVM for Traffic and Vehicle Management Group, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:04

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Stephen Stacey, together with 23 members of the public including one non-elector who were present for all or part of the meeting.

Apologies: Councillor Dr Mike Bedford, Wiltshire Councillor Jemima Milton, PC Richard Barratt (Acting Sergeant and Community Beat Manager), Sir Peter Beale, Tony Farthing, Ewart and Diana Holmes, Heather Peak-Garland, Katie Guest, Inspector Nick Mawson, Mike and Janet Polack, Dr Josh Pollard (Southampton University), Dr Nick Snashall (NT Archaeologist and Deputy Manager NT), Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape), Adam and Diana Wethered.

In attendance: Michele Lomas (Chair of Avebury Community Shop and representative of the Community Orchard), PCSO Pauline Ritchie (Police Community Support Officer) part way through item 1. to 4.f.ii, Sarah Simmonds (WHS Manager) and Miss Liz Moore, Clerk to APC.

  1. Welcome and introductions: The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all present and introduced members of the Parish Council including Lynzey Paradise who had joined in December, Stephen Stacey who had joined in March and Jon Campbell who had joined that day. He said that members of APC were greatly saddened at the death of Keith Howell in June 2015 who had played a very active part in the work of the Parish Council since he had joined in 2011 and that they missed him. The Chairman reported three members of the Parish Council had resigned during the year, Paul Ryder-Morris in October (who had joined in 2014), and Mike Daniel in February and Antoinette Kremer in March (both had joined in 2011). The Chairman said APC had been very grateful to all of them for their service to the community and to the Parish Council. The Chairman introduced Liz Moore as APC’s Clerk, Judy Farthing as Civil Emergency Officer and Kate Fry who looked after the Parish Council’s web site. He reported that Ron Dobson gave advice to APC on buildings, David Throup was the editor for UKN and Martin Rendle provided Handyman services to the Parish Council. Apologies were noted as above and the Clerk read out an email she had received from Jan Tomlin on 27 April: ‘Dear Liz, Please read out the following apology verbatim tomorrow evening:“Jan Tomlin, General Manager for the National Trust, has apologised for not being here this evening because her husband underwent surgery this afternoon.  It is unfortunate that this is the second time village meetings have clashed with operations and funerals of close family.  She has provided a written update on the Trust’s work, along with an invitation to meet and talk with the NT team at an open evening in May.  She has asked me to stress that she and her team are happy to answer questions, or discuss concerns, directly with Parish residents at any time, not just at meetings.” The Clerk stated hard copies of the NT’s update and invitation to a public meeting on 19 May were available for everyone. The Chairman said he had emailed Jan Tomlin to accept her apologies and had offered good wishes to her and her husband, and to him for a speedy recovery. The Chairman said the absence of anyone from the NT was regrettable and made communication difficult. He had previously made representations, but had received no reply. More recently he had encouraged attendance, especially as the NT had not attended the meeting a month ago at the Red Lion. The Chairman explained that in terms of balance, it was useful to record the number of ways in which the Trust had taken steps to support the community recently, including:
    1. Helping to finance new notice-board on Sports-field
    2. Helping with coppicing of sports-field hedge by putting many man-hours of Rangers’ time into supporting the Community Orchard
    3. Providing a five-bar gate on the north side of the sports-field at no charge
    4. Continuing to let Hope Cottage at a low rent to the Community Shop
    5. Managing Solstice and other observances. The Chairman stated for those that were not at the Red Lion he would read out what he had said and the Parish Council had minuted last month: ‘…He said that the NT, Police, Wiltshire Council and others had done a very good job in managing solistice in previous years, and read a statement that: ‘Members of the Parish Council are aware of the very valuable and costly work the Trust does to manage solstice each year. We understand that Trust staff should not be exposed to some of the hazards and unpleasantness of managing a number of badly behaved people occupying the Ridgeway at solstice.  We also understand the Trust’s concern that the issue of informal occupation of the Ridgeway has been a growing problem in the past few years and that it should be tackled.’

    The Chairman reported there had been significant shortfalls in communication by the Trust in recent months over proposals for changes. He said he had drafted a note on the need for a consultation scheme to help cope with change through the democratic process and that this would be covered later on the agenda. He asked members of the public if they would like to start thinking about the idea; at present individuals or small groups were coping with change but a pro-active system was needed to help take the strain. The Chairman said the NT’s invitation to a meeting at St James’ was on the agenda later and it would be useful to hear the public’s views.

  2. Minutes of the annual Parish meeting held on 21 April 2015. (Draft minutes published on Parish Council web site www.aveburyparishcouncil.org). The Chairman asked if the draft minutes were accurate. The Clerk said the name Fred Montague should be corrected to Fred Gillam. Further to the one amendment it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman sign the minutes.
  3. Matters arising from the minutes: None.
  4. Report on the work of the Parish Council, ASA, ACSReC and other local organisations in the past year:                                                                           The Chairman said APC represented the interests of Avebury residents, employers and employees. He explained the Parish Council had met 14 times in the past year but normally met 10 times a year. There had been four extra meetings to discuss:
    1. the handover of the management of the Sports field
    2. the future of the URC chapel and a possible Community Right to Bid
    3. Trusloe issues and
    4. the impact of the proposed closure of the Ridgeway at solstice and other NT issues; Coach House, licensing and small car park.

    The Chairman explained, as well as the Social Centre, APC had met in the Pavilion, twice in the Red Lion and once at a walk-about meeting in Trusloe – where the Parish Council had had to adjourn its meeting for five minutes to help Robin Butler round up some of his heifers that had escaped onto the road. APC’s Planning Committee had met twice and APC also attended many meetings on regular committees such as MAB, CATG, Solstice Planning and Sacred Sites Forum, Social Centre Trustees, WHS Steering Committee and launch of WHS Management Plan, WHS Partnership Panel and WHS Transport Strategy. APC also attended meetings with NT staff and ad hoc events and meetings such as those with Aster Housing, AONB, MDNIA, WC, EH and NT.

  • Membership and elections: already covered.
  • Transport Group: in Dr Mike Bedford’s absence, the Chairman reported:
    1. the Transport Group was chaired by Mike Bedford and its members were Dave Brotheridge, Stephen Stacey and Andrew Williamson from APC and local residents Kate Fry, Rob Macaire, Angela Norman, Tim Lewis, Moya Brannan, Peter Wilson and Simon Vatcher
    2. Avebury WHS Transport Strategy had been adopted and included the great majority of proposals in the Avebury Parish Traffic Plan.
    3. two useful meetings had taken place with Cllr Philip Whitehead (Wiltshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport). Councillor Whitehead was very supportive of the Transport Group’s plans.
    4. the application to CATG to move the 30mph sign on the Swindon Road about 100 metres north of Melbourne House was now in CATG’s five top priority schemes.
    5. WC was in the process of obtaining a quote from consultants Atkins for the second phase of a feasibility study to improve the A4 at West Kennett and Beckhampton including the roundabout. The strategy was to commission a feasibility study of necessary works so the project would be oven-ready as and when additional funding became available.
    6. Tim Lewis (Secretary, Ramblers’ Association) had carried out an extensive audit of the footpaths across the Parish and was working with WC and the Parish Council to progress required works.
    7. plans were in motion to improve the road surface at the racehorse crossing at Beckhampton Stables which had become slick and therefore dangerous.
    8. the concrete bus shelter by the Waggon & Horses had been re-roofed and its floor drainage improved.
    9. further progress was planned for WHS signage in the next 12 months.

    The Chairman invited questions from the public.

    A member of the public asked if there were any improvements planned to slow traffic on the A4361 at the Avebury Trusloe entrance. The Chairman said two options had been raised with Cllr Philip Whitehead (i) extension of the existing 30mph limit westwards to the junction or (ii) introduction of 40mph limit from the existing 30mph zone to Beckampton roundabout. The Chairman explained government guidelines restricted what could be done and it would be difficult to extend the 30mph limit. It had been agreed to review the project at the next meeting with WC. Rev Maria Shepherdson asked if the Parish Council had considered joining forces with FWO Parish Council and reminded everyone that it was only recently that a child had been knocked down near Beckhampton roundabout. A member of the public stated the traffic bollards outside the Waggon & Horses PH were not in the right place and it made crossing the road from the village dangerous. Another person said the traffic islands had brought the speed down but it was only half the solution. The Chairman explained the new design in the plan would be to have grass splitter islands in the A4 at Beckhampton and these would narrow the carriageway and slow traffic by design. Rob Macaire thanked the Chairman for the work that had been done and said his reflection of the WHS Transport Strategy was that it was a really good tool. He urged the Parish Council to keep the political momentum going because the WHS was a very special place. Sarah Simmonds stated that community support was crucial. Gordon Rimes asked if the group had considered a 20mph speed limit through the middle of Avebury. It was noted the strategy was to use design to lower the speed as opposed to putting up signs. Rev Maria Shepherdson reported that she had an insight into the regulations due to the recent death in Lockeridge and explained that existing speeds needed to be an average of 24mph or lower before WC would consider reducing the speed limit.

  • ASA / ACSReC: Maggie Lewis gave an overview of the work that had been done by the new Committee that had been formed last November to continue the work of ASA. It included work to the roof of the Pavilion, improving drainage on the Sports Field and a new noticeboard that had been part funded by the Community Shop and the NT. She said the Orchard Group and volunteers had successfully planted the new hedge on the western boundary of the Sports Field but there was still some more work to do on trees behind the Pavilion. Dave Brotheridge reported the new mains water supply was just about to be installed. A question was asked as to whether the car boot sales would continue and it was noted ACSReC had decided not to run them due to lack of resources but anyone else was welcome to organise and run them. A question was also asked as to what basis the map man sold maps on the field and what happened if other people wished to do similar. Maggie Lewis explained it was on a historical basis and that ACSReC intended to formalise the arrangement. It was noted the map man contributed about £70 per annum towards income. The Chairman reminded all present of the huge amount of good work ASA had done in the past 13 years whilst running the Sports Field and said that a tribute had been put into UKN to thank ASA’s members.
  • Local initiatives:
    1. Community Shop: Michele Lomas reported the shop continued to remain financially viable and the committee had recently installed new air conditioning, bought a printer and introduced charges for carrier bags with a reduced price on reusable bags. She explained that last year there had been a distraction burglary and on the advice of the Police they had installed CCTV. She was aware the CCTV was not popular with everyone in the village but it was unfortunately necessary. She said the shop had made the following donations to the Community including: hampers for Trussell Trust, Kennet Valley School, food towards Lent Lunches at Avebury and Winterbourne Monkton, money pledged to AYFC, money donated to ACSReC for the new notice board. She reported the shop volunteers had been asked to choose a charity to receive donations from the charity box on the shop counter and Hft had been nominated [a national charity that supported people with learning difficulties]. Michele Lomas thanked all the volunteers especially Kate Fry and Victor Paradise. Rev Maria Shepherdson thanked the Shop for supporting the Church with the Winter Crisis Appeal and for collecting for the Trussell Trust. The Chairman thanked Michele Lomas for her contribution and for chairing the Community Shop.
    2. Possible cuts to WC Services: the Chairman asked members of the public for their views on whether APC should raise the precept to pay for services provided by Parish Council if WC withdrew those services. It would mean that the electorate would potentially be paying twice, once in the Council Tax and once in the precept. The following points were made:
      1. There was a query as to whether the electorate would be paying twice, if Wiltshire Council did withdraw a service; the Council Tax payer might not be paying twice if it was considered that Council Tax no longer met the costs of providing that service.
      2. There was some interest in using the precept to fund local contractors to do work such as strimming.
      3. It was stated the Parish Stewards would be doing the work. The contractor Ringway had recently invested in a fleet of new vehicles for the County.
      4. It was suggested if WC did withdraw services then a concerted approach across, for example, five parish councils would be better. Rev Maria Shepherdson suggested using a charity such as Hft should it become necessary to employ additional contractors.
      5. The question of giving every person the opportunity to vote using a simple letter drop was raised.
      6. There was concern about the effect of any increase in tax on people with low incomes.
      7. It was suggested the Parish Council could link up with the job centre to get free labour as part of the job centre’s back to work scheme.
    3. Between the Monuments Dig: the Chairman reported the proceeds from Jane Brunning’s art sale had originally inspired fund raising for the dig. The Parish Council had pledged a contribution and many donations had then been given to meet the last £2,425 shortfall including a valuable grant from MAB. The Chairman stated Dr Josh Pollard might be able to give a presentation at Avebury Day and that this would help fulfil a requirement of MAB funding which was that the public should hear the results of the dig.
    4. URC Chapel: the Chairman asked if there was anything new to report. Natascha Kenyon stated there were no further updates. It was noted people in the Parish could keep up to date by subscribing to an email address.
  • Summer Solstice 2016: the Chairman explained that:
    1. The National Trust will not be applying for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to close the Ridgeway at Solstice this year.
    2. A partnership of the Police, Trading Standards, Environmental Health, Parking Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, the National Trust and others will be politely but robustly managing the Ridgeway this year.
    3. The general view of the Police, National Trust and Wiltshire Council is that the changed arrangements at Stonehenge will not have a significant impact on Avebury.
    4. A Temporary Traffic Regulation Order to prohibit waiting/parking on certain roads in the Parish over solstice, see below, will be processed by Wiltshire Council.
    5. The TTRO will except permit holders, and the Parish Council will be working with Wiltshire Council to sort out the permits and the people that will need them.
    6. Providing a TTRO is in place, the Police can consider putting officers on point duty on the entrances to the High Street, Green Street and Avebury Trusloe as in previous years.
    7. Although there will be some reductions in Police numbers, new arrangements will ensure that the apparent Police presence will be much the same as in previous years.
    8. The TTRO will be applied to the roads that have previously been coned or subject to Police officers on point duty at their entrances.  The coned roads have been the A4361 from Beckhampton to Winterbourne Monkton including the lay-bys in Winterbourne Monkton, the B4003 Avenue and West Kennett lay-by.  The areas that have been subject to Police officers on point duty at their entrances have been the High Street/Church Lane, Green Street to the end of the tarmac and Avebury Trusloe (which includes the main highway in Trusloe, Bray Street and out to Robin Butler’s new barn, Frog Lane, Longfields, and South Street/Nash Lane to its junction with the A4361).  As Beckhampton and Gunsite Lane have not been coned or policed before, they won’t be included in the TTRO, but Wiltshire Council will consider other options such as signage for Beckhampton to help deter informal camping.
    9. Dates for the TTRO had not yet been fixed but the Parish Council and Wiltshire Council will be liaising on these shortly.
    10. A general media message will be put out by all involved that these new arrangements will be in force. Please see the following link as an example  http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/National-Trust-crackdown-Avebury-solstice/story-29147628-detail/story.html
    11. Wiltshire Council will be holding a substantial review shortly after solstice with a view to making adjustments and agreeing a long term, comprehensive plan, and the National Trust will also be reviewing solstice arrangements as in previous years.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Chris Spratt proposed a vote of thanks to the Parish Council. Robin Butler added his thanks, and voiced concern about the Nursery Site; he asked if it would be possible to have the loan of some Heras fencing from the NT.

      There was consensus that finally there would be proper policing of the Ridgeway and that steps had been taken to look after the whole area.

  • Updates:
    1. Wiltshire Council: no report as Cllr Jemima Milton was not present.
    2. Police: the Chairman invited PCSO Polly Ritchie to provide an update. PCSO Ritchie reported in the past year there had been 47 car break-ins in the area, one person had no insurance, one road rage incident, one theft of a staddle stone, two shed break-ins, a farm fence had been cut, two arrests for drugs offences, thefts from three farms, hunting deer and hare coursing offences, criminal damage to two cars, one instance of a person shooting from inside a car, two drunks arrested and one vehicle stolen. PCSO Ritchie stated the current priorities were to work on theft from cars, non-dwelling burglaries, van break-ins with work tools being taken and theft of bicycles. Rev Maria Shepherdson thanked PCSO Ritchie on behalf of the community for her care, listening and help for the elderly including the Bobby Van Trust service. PCSO Ritchie acknowledged the thanks and in response to two questions from the public confirmed that Wiltshire Police did attend house burglaries and were aware of motorbikes speeding on the A4361 past the NT car park. The Chairman thanked PCSO Ritchie and asked her to convey thanks to PC Richard Barratt and Inspector Nick Mawson. PCSO Ritchie left the meeting.
    3. National Trust: the Chairman handed out the NT update (see appendix 1) and update as follows: ‘The National Trust is an independent conservation charity that was founded in 1895 on the simple and enduring premise that people need historic, beautiful and natural places. We look after some 650,000 acres of land, over 500 historic houses, 775 miles of coastline, and help to manage 10 World Heritage Sites. The comparatively small core of just 10,000 staff is supported by over 60,000 volunteers and over 4 million members. The Wiltshire Landscape team are responsible for looking after NT sites across the county, including over 3,500 acres of land and property in the WHS, some 1,800 acres of land of Special Scientific Interest across about a dozen sites, numerous listed buildings and the Accredited Alexander Keiller Museum (AKM). Here at Avebury, the National Trust has once again delivered exemplary conservation and engagement work, welcoming over 100,000 visitors to our Farmyard site, and significantly more to our open access land, including the Avebury Stone Circle. We have continued to support the Parish through the provision of the Community Shop, the Post Office, offering free access to the AKM, giving talks and lectures to local groups (including talks to the Kennet Valley NT Association and the annual Avebury Society Lecture) and by supporting the local community through foot patrols and litter-picking throughout the year, and especially by providing extensive support and resources at key Observances, notably Solstice. In addition, we have helped the Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee to fund their new notice board at the sports field, provided a unique tour of Avebury Manor for the Auction of Promises, once again helped to organise and host the village Wassail, and are looking forward to supporting both the upcoming Avebury Rocks and Avebury Day. During the final year of excavation on the Avenue, we hosted special visits for local residents and groups, providing a ‘behind the wire’ tour for our neighbours. The Museum has continued to be popular with schools (particularly primary schools) and colleges which are now required to include Stone Age to Iron Age on the history curriculum. In the first year of the new curriculum the AKM saw 5,507 students visiting across all levels of education, including many from Wiltshire schools. Entrance is free to educational groups, but many schools also take our optional talks and tours. Circles Nursery visit the open areas of the site throughout the year and particularly look forward to visiting the Manor at Christmas, enjoying songs and stories amongst the decorations of the period. Each year the Museum and Manor accept secondary school students from local schools for work experience and are currently preparing for five to come in June and July for a week on site. In terms of conservation, survey work has re-confirmed that water voles are breeding on the River Kennet. This is excellent and exciting news after a long dry run, and we will continue to monitor progress. Please look out for more information in our newletters. Through prudent financial management we were able to build up sufficient resources to rethatch the cart shed at West Kennett Farm, and continue to work to find a solution to the ongoing challenge of jackdaw damage to thatch on the threshing barn in the Farmyard. We also carried out extensive improvements to the main visitor car park. Maintenance of this area is a real challenge as we’re restricted in the type of surface dressing and working practices that are appropriate within the WHS. That said, we have identified funding for regular maintenance in coming months, and now have sufficient monies to refurbish our toilets. The programme of works is currently being drawn up by our Building Surveyor and is planned to be delivered in 2016. Recognising the 30th Anniversary of our inscription as a WHS, we recently launched “The Stonehenge & Avebury Walking Challenge”, setting a challenge for people to walk eight routes across both halves of the WHS. The walks follow ancient routes, sharing facts and stories about the amazing landscape and wildlife of the area. The current presentation of Avebury Manor continues to be popular with visitors, allowing them to enjoy this property in a unique way. The team have welcomed visitors from around the world, and continue to respond to their insightful questions about the lives and times of those who once lived here, including Alexander Keiller. In the Garden, the new team are tackling the significant problem of box blight in a professional and sustainable manner. In addition, we are progressing major changes and improvements in management and horticultural practice. We have identified a sum of money to improve the walls and paths, and this work is due to be completed in 2016. Across the estate, we reviewed and removed signs from many areas, and will be leading on the wider interpretation strategy as part of our commitment to the WHS Management Plan. We have also completed phase one of our strategy to improve interpretation across NT countryside sites, installing panels at The Coombes, Lockeridge and Cherhill Down. Fund raising is a vital part of our work to allow us to deliver conservation across the whole portfolio. In the shop, we’ve introduced exciting new products, including a range of plants, as well as introducing more local products and a wider range of Avebury related gifts. The Catering Team introduced new seasonal dishes in the Circles Café and are baking delicious cakes for our wonderful tea-room in the Manor. We’re working towards the ambitious target of achieving the Soil Association’s “Food for Life” catering mark, demonstrating our high environmental standards in buying and producing our food. Finally, the NT team hope very much that you will join us for an Open Evening on 19 May so we can share a little more of our work, and hear your thoughts and ideas about how we might work together more closely as neighbours. Please see the attached invitation’.
      1. Premises Licence: the Chairman said the licence had been granted subject to some extra conditions. It was noted that it was difficult for the community to understand the logic behind the decision to grant such an extensive, blanket licence.
      2. Coach House: the Chairman reported after a 5:3 vote planning consent was granted at the Planning Committee meeting.
      3. Invite to St. James: (see appendix 1). The Chairman asked if anyone had received a hard copy invitation to the NT’s open evening. Rev Maria Shepherdson said her loose understanding was that a paper drop had been organized for the meeting that would be in 19 days’ time but that most people had expressed a preference for electronic communication. She said because of anxiety, she had felt as Rector and backed by the PCC to respond to the NT and allow them to use the Church for the venue. Rev Shepherdson said she understood the meeting was meant to be a two way street. She also expressed concern that two children of a NT employee living in the village were being affected by negative criticism directed towards the NT. At that point Sara Spratt interjected to say it was inappropriate to personalise the issue. Jan Williamson said she considered their neighbour, who happened to be a NT employee, to be a good neighbour and a friend, and had expressed that sentiment to the person concerned at the recent hearing. She stressed that communications should not be personal. Lady Beale referred to the recent licence hearing and gave a personal account of her frustrations regarding the proceedings. Victor Paradise stated as the oldest family in the village he had witnessed the NT steam roller its way and gave an example of many years ago when field trenches for drainage had been filled in by the NT. A general discussion took place on the process and procedure for appealing decisions on the Coach House and the Licence.  On the Coach house: 1. had  the application been done before the new core strategy it would not have gone through and 2. WHS residents were the key custodians of the WHS and it was a shame their views were not listened to. On the Premises Licence 1. the appeal period was 21 days from the decision notice and 2. only objectors could appeal. An alternative was for objectors to go through WC complaints procedure about the behaviour of a member of the Licensing Committee. An offer of legal assistance was given by a member of the public.              Alice Macaire expressed thanks to Sarah Simmonds for working tirelessly on the WHS Plan.
        • The need for a consultation process: The Chairman suggested the Parish Council put in place a process of consultation (see appendix 2). In discussion and in response to several questions asked by the public the following points were made:  1. APC represented employers and residents 2. the consultation process was mainly for bodies / organisations as opposed to individuals 3. the process would help facilitate two-way, open communications 4. opening communications early applied to any group involved in the village and 5. taking part was optional.
        • The Chairman said that the NT update meeting on 19 May could be a good opportunity for both parties to listen to each other. Sarah Simmonds emphasized that the local NT General Manager wanted residents to have an equal hearing.
    4. WHS Officer: the Chairman invited Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) to provide an update. She explained her priority last year was working on the publication of the WHS Management Plan. She reported the major threats to the WHS included: 1. cultivation and the need to work with farmers; she gave the example of the Countryside Stewardship Scheme. 2. badgers and other burrowing animals 3. traffic on roads causing damage to monuments.                                                                                                      She stated her priority was now to ensure that actions in the Management Plan were implemented, including getting tourists into the landscape, producing a WHS leaflet and increasing research. This could be achieved by working with the Parish Council and many others. She reported there was a meeting planned in May to see how to get all parties on board. Various documents were tabled including a synopsis of the WHS Management Plan and ‘Megalith’ for distribution to members of the public. It was noted Stonehenge and Avebury were celebrating 30 years of being a WHS that year. She reported the general conference of UNESCO would be taking place on 19 November and she was waiting for a report on the feasibility of a tunnel in the WHS at Stonehenge. Several questions were asked by members of the public concerning damage to the monuments and it was noted one possible solution such as closing the Avenue would need to be reviewed in great detail prior to any decision. Repair work to paths around the Henge was the responsibility of the NT. It was agreed that APC would contact Sarah Simmonds if significant issues of Outstanding Universal Value arose when APC was considering a planning application.
    5. APC Website: the Chairman introduced Kate Fry. She reported on her work for the past two years on the Parish Council website and gave an overview of the functionality of the new website. Thanks were expressed by Sara Spratt.
    6. Community Wi-Fi and High Speed BroadbandMaggie Lewis reported MADT offered a certain amount of free Community Wi-Fi and that an annual pass could be purchased for greater use. She said four new nodes had recently been installed in the village with the NT hosting six at various locations around the Trust’s properties and it was noted there had been 700 individual users in the month of March. She thanked everyone who had responded to the broadband speed survey. A member of the public questioned whether the broadband speeds could be improved by upgrading local phone lines.
    7. Planning: the Chairman reported WC planners had consulted APC on 22 applications during the past 12 months. He said the Parish Council had supported 20 of them, some subject to conditions, or had agreed not to comment in a few cases. APC had objected to two, which were for a change of use at the Coach House and advertisement consent for the Coach House. The Chairman also reported that outside of the Parish, APC had objected to a clay pigeon shoot off Gunsite Lane in East Kennett and an increase in the number of houses proposed at Winterbourne Monkton.
    8. Housing Needs: no report; to be progressed later in the year.
    9. Civil Emergency Plan: it was noted Maggie Lewis and Judy Farthing were currently working on updating the document.
    10. Flood Group: Maggie Lewis stated no one had contacted her to report any flooding issues.
    11. Local improvements and works: the Chairman reported:
      1. Various requests for leaf clearance, street cleaning, potholes, street lamps, salt and strimming verges had been actioned and some potholes had been filled in on West Kennett Avenue, Green Street, Church Walk and Footpath 22.
      2. Renewal of sportsfield lease was being negotiated; it had originally been issued in 1947 for one shilling a year for 21 years.
    12. Other local issues and Parish Council decisions:
      1. APC had endorsed the WHS Management Plan in October
      2. Meetings had been held about the Great Stones Way which was not accepted by the parishes at the northern end of the walk.
    13. Precept, finance and administration: the Chairman reported:
      1. Precept was £10,900 in 2015/16 and was now £11,000 in 2016/17. He gave a brief overview of estimates for 2016/17; he said that about £9,000pa met fixed, recurrring costs leaving only about £2,000 available for discretionary spending.
      2. Bank balance at 31 March 2016 was £19,200 and compared with about the same as the previous year. In reality the balance was about £4,700 because £14,500 had been reserved for outstanding commitments and pledges.
      3. A Complaints Policy had been adopted earlier that year by the Parish Council.
      4. The The audited accounts for 2014 – 2015 were available for inspection.
      5. The Parish Council’s asset register and risk assessments had been updated.
      6. Insurance cover: current supplier was the most competitive of three and the Parish Council was in the third year of a three year Long Term Agreement.
      7. The Play Area was inspected by RoSPA annually.

5.  Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months

  1. Julie Butler asked if the Parish Council had any plans to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday in June. The Parish Council had no plans in place but she would speak to members of the community to see if they would be interested in running an event. Kate Fry reported Kennet Valley School was planning to do a tea party and would be inviting members of the public.

6. Local issues from the Parish Council: none

7. Any other business:

    1. Kate Fry asked why the Avenue was being closed 3-5 May. Sarah Simmonds reported WC Highways was retexturing the surface to improve adhesion.
    2. Sarah Simmonds reported the old WHS signs on the main roads would be replaced very soon.
    3. Robin Butler reminded everyone that Open Farm Sunday would be on the 5 June between 11am-4pm at his new grain store and entry was free of charge.

8. Thanks: The Chairman thanked all those who supported the Parish Council:

  • Litter pickers and those who cleared up after their dogs especially on the recreation grounds, in the Henge and on the footpaths. He also thanked Robin and Ben Butler for mending the play area fence.
  • Trustees, Secretaries and Treasurers of local voluntary organisations and especially members of ASA in 2015 and now ACSReC members.
  • Police, staff at Wiltshire Council and the National Trust.
  • the Parish Council’s wider team of Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Officer), Kate Fry (APC web site), Ron Dobson (advice on buildings), Martin Rendle (small works) and David Throup (Editor, UKN)
  • Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Councillor)
  • Liz Moore (Clerk),
  • Colleagues on the Parish Council.
  • All those who attending the meeting.

Judy Farthing thanked the Chairman and the Parish Council.

The meeting closed at 21:40

Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers):

  1. National Trust Update and invitation to an evening with the National Trust.
  2. A possible consultation scheme for Avebury by Andrew Williamson dated 27 April.
  3. Documents available for inspection were the APC’s minute book, audit reports, bank statements and books of account. [The accounts were inspected by two members of the public after the meeting].

25 April 2017 Annual Village Meeting – AGENDA

Avebury Parish Council

The Annual Village Meeting will be held at 7pm on Tuesday 25th April 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Agenda

  1. Welcomes and introductions
  2. Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 28 April 2016 (see 28 April 2016 Annual Parish Meeting : DRAFT minutes)
  3. Matters arising from the minutes
  4. Report on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee and other local organisations in the past year, including:
    1. Elections and membership
    2. Transport Group: report on local road and footpath schemes
    3. Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee: report
    4. Local initiatives, including Community Shop and Community Orchard
    5. Reports from Wiltshire Council, the Police, the National Trust and the World Heritage Site Officer
    6. Planning decisions
    7. Housing needs survey
    8. Local issues and Parish Council decisions including Trusloe parking, Defibrillator, A303 consultation, sewer improvements, Great West Way, Ridgeway, URC chapel and BT phone boxes
    9. National Trust: representations on issues and planned improvements in dialogue
    10. High Speed Broadband, Community Wi-Fi and Parish Council website
    11. Civil Emergency Plan
    12. Flood Group
    13. Arrangements for Summer Solstice 2017
    14. Local improvements and works, including play equipment and bus stops
    15. Precept, finance and admin, including mains water supply to pavilion.
  5. Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months
  6. Local issues from the Parish Council: the past year and for the next 12 months
  7. Any other business

28 April 2016 Annual Parish Meeting : Agenda

Annual Parish Meeting

The Annual Parish Meeting will be held in the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF at 7pm on Thursday 28th April 2016.

All members of the public are very welcome.

Andrew Williamson

Chairman     14 April 2016

Agenda

  1. Welcomes and introductions
  2. Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 21 April 2015 (see Parish Council website www.aveburyparishcouncil.org)
  3. Matters arising from the minutes
  4. Report on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Sportsfield Association, Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee and other local organisations in the past year, including:Elections and membership

    Transport Group: update on local schemes

    Recreation and Sportsfield

    Local initiatives, including Community Shop and Community Orchard

    Local archaeology: Short talk on the ‘Between the Monuments’ project on West Kennett Avenue in the past three years by Dr Josh Pollard

    Summer Solstice 2016

    Updates from Wiltshire Council, Police, National Trust and World Heritage Site Officer

    High Speed Broadband and Community Wi-Fi

    Planning decisions

    Housing needs

    Civil Emergency Plan

    Flood Group

    Local improvements and works

    Other local issues and Parish Council decisions

    Precept, finance and admin

  5. Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months
  6. Local issues from the Parish Council: the past year and for the next 12 months, including people’s response to the question: Do parishioners wish the Parish Council to provide some services if they are withdrawn at a time of austerity by Wiltshire Council, and increase the Precept to meet the costs of doing so?
  7. Any other business

 

 

21 Apr 2015 Annual Parish Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 21 April 2015 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, AONB for North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, DfT for Department of Transport, EH for English Heritage, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, TVM for Traffic and Vehicle Management Group, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:05

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Mike Daniel, Mr Keith Howell, Ms Zandria Service, together with 18 members of the public who were present for all or part of the meeting.

Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mrs Antoinette Kremer and Mr Paul Ryder-Morris. Apologies had also been received from Jenny Haines (Chairlady of ASA), Ewart and Diana Holmes, Kate Fry, Mike and Janet Polack, Tony Farthing, Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) and Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer).

In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, Mrs Michele Lomas (Chair of Avebury Community Shop and representative of the Community Orchard), Dr Nick Snashall (NT Archaeologist and Deputy Manager NT), PC David Tippetts (Community
Beat Manager) and Miss Liz Moore, Clerk to APC.

  1. Welcome and introductions
    The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all present and introduced members of the Parish Council. He said that members of APC were greatly saddened at the death of Paul Dixon on 17 December and that they greatly missed his valuable advice, his commitment to others, and his sense of fun. The Chairman stated that members of APC, as individuals, were planning to plant a tree in his memory.
    The Chairman said APC were also very disappointed that Karyn Pearson had had to resign in February last year following the need for her to move to Calne due to the imposition of the Bedroom Tax on her home.
    The Chairman introduced Jemima Milton, WC Councillor and Chair of MAB, Liz Moore as APC’s Clerk and Judy Farthing as Civil Emergency Officer. He said that Kate Fry had taken over from Paul Birkeland-Green on 1 May 2014 and now looked after APC’s website, Ron Dobson gave advice to APC on buildings and David Throup was the editor for UKN. The Chairman expressed how very sorry members were to lose Len Adams, APC’s handyman, who had died on 4 March and that many had attended his Service of Thanksgiving on 23 March. He said Martin Rendle also provided Handyman services to the Parish Council.
  2. Minutes of the annual Parish meeting held on 24 April 2014. (Previously published on Parish Council web site).
    The Chairman asked if the draft minutes were accurate. There were no amendments and it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman sign the minutes.
  3. Matters arising from the minutes:None
  4. Report on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Sportsfield Association and other local organisations in the past year:
    The Chairman said APC represented the interests of Avebury residents, employers and employees. APC had met 10 times during the year and its Planning Sub-committee had met twice. APC met on the first Tuesday of the month, except January and August. The Chairman reported that APC had attended 53 meetings during the past year on regular committees such as MAB, CATG, Marlborough Area Parish Forum, Solstice Planning and Sacred Sites Forum, Social Centre Trustees, WHS Steering Committee and current sub-committees including WHS Management Plan Review, WHS Partnership Panel, WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide and Task and Finish Group. APC also attended meetings with NT staff, especially Jan Tomlin, and other ad hoc events and meetings such as those with Aster Housing, AONB, MDNIA, WC, EH and NT.
    The Chairman reported:

    • Membership and elections
      Following Karyn Pearson’s resignation in February 2013, APC had decided to give priority to co-opting someone from Trusloe or Bray Street. APC advertised and seven people in the Parish expressed interest. APC was pleased that Zandria Service joined in June 2014 and represented Bray Street. Also, following Paul Dixon’s death, APC advertised having decided to give priority to Rawlins Park, and was pleased when two residents there expressed interest. APC appointed David Brotheridge who joined APC in April 2015. Furthermore, as a result of Mike Bedford being away a lot on business APC had appointed Maggie Lewis as a second Vice Chairman last year.
    • Planning applications
      APC had been consulted by WC planners on 25 applications (from 24 April 2014 to 21 April 2015) and had either supported 23 of them, some with recommended conditions, or agreed not to comment in a few cases. APC had objected to two:

      1. Garden wall at Bridge House. The application had been withdrawn by the applicant.
      2. Installing gate in field wall north west of the Great Barn. The application had been approved by WC.

      In addition, APC had been consulted on an application for a licence for a mobile food stall at the lay-by half a mile west of Beckhampton. APC had supported the application with conditions, including: mobile food van to park at west end of lay-by, discourage trucks, clear up litter daily, no advertising, no availability over solstice fortnight and to remove van every evening. APC had not yet heard whether a licence had been given.

    • Avebury Sportsfield Association:
      the Chairman read out an email received from Jenny Haines (Chairlady ASA):‘As a committee our efforts to run the summer Car Boot sales has once again paid-off and has brought in enough money to pay the costs involved to run and maintain the Pavilion for another year and also add to our contingency fund.We are currently looking into the possibility of widening the gateway into the sports field to make it safer for vehicles to enter and leave. We understand that the P.C. has committed £250 in this year’s precept towards a new gate and we will fund the balance of the work. We are ready to ask the P.C. to enquire if planning permission is required.Over the winter months we seem to have suffered a leak in the roof and the repair of this is in hand.

      As in other years the testing of the water supply, carried out by the Environmental Health Department at W.C., has once again highlighted the increase in the result of the Nitrate content. Last week I was informed that we must start to investigate the installation of Nitrate treatment as soon as possible. This must be installed within a reasonable timescale. I have already spoken with someone at Whatley’s in Pewsey who will give me some prices sometime this week. We are also in the position to fund this work. I have already informed W.C. of our intention to investigate the installation of a filter system.

      The only age group that is affected by a high Nitrate content in the water are bottled fed babies under the age of 6 months. I have put notices in the Pavilion advising that the water must not be used for this purpose.’

      The Chairman emphasized how well the Sportsfield was being managed. He said the cost of running it was in the low thousands and that ASA did a really good job through their fundraising.

    • Policing:
      the Chairman invited PC David Tippetts to provide an update.PC Tippetts said he had been Community Beat Manager for Marlborough Rural West for the past three years and he was aided by PCSO Polly Ritchie. He gave the following report:Overview of crimes from 2015 to date:

      • At the start of the year there had been five burglaries from dwellings. The CID was still investigating and two people had been arrested and were on bail.
      • There had been a theft of stone from St. James’ Church.
      • Seven thefts from motor vehicles and most of them had been parked in the NT car park.

      In the past 12 months:

      • The police had carried out a rural crime day targeting people carrying red diesel, waste and so forth. The message the police wanted to send out was that they did not want people using the road illegally.
      • The police had also carried out a speed enforcement day. There had been 97 offences and 40 officers on the ground taking part.
      • There had been a spike in non-dwelling burglaries predominately in the East of Wiltshire.
      • Police had been putting their efforts into minimising thefts from beauty spots.

      PC Tippetts said he had leaflets available on how to sign up for free messages about policing and crime matters in the area. See appendix 1 or go to http://www.wiltsmessaging.co.uk.

      PC Tippetts reported he had recently been promoted to Sergeant and would soon be working in Swindon. He said his replacement would be PC Richard Barrett who was currently Beat Manager for Pewsey. PC Tippetts invited members of the public to ask questions.

      Mrs Alice Macaire asked how the thefts from cars were carried out. PC Tippetts said that usually the windows were broken into, but that depended on the car and that most of the thefts were being carried out by people visiting or travelling through the area.

      Mr Brotheridge reported there had been three recent accidents near Rawlins Park involving people in cars coming off the road. He said he had been told the Police were not in favour of extending the 30mph speed limit northwards and asked if there was any opportunity for the police to come and have a look at that. PC Tippetts said he shared Mr Brotheridge’s concerns but the police had no control in terms of signage and stressed he would support anything that improved safety.

      Ms Service asked if the burglaries in Trusloe represented a significant increase compared with the previous year and PC Tippetts said they did. PC Tippetts confirmed that in the main, properties were targeted when people were away or in the day time. The Chairman thanked PC Tippetts.

    • Local improvements and repairs to Highways:
      the Chairman reported

      1. APC had previously requested an extension of the 30mph limit on the A4361 north of the Henge, and had objected to Highways’ subsequent briefing note. APC then asked for their request to be deferred while the AWHS Transport Strategy was being drawn up. Atkins (the consultants for the AWHS Transport Strategy) had recommended extending the 30mph limit and APC had therefore now decided to re-apply to the Community Area Transport Group (chaired be James Shepherd (WC)).
      2. Parking in Trusloe: APC had considered plans drawn up by Aster for parking on the Nursery Site and, following a letter to John Thomson (Deputy Leader, WC), had met with WC (including Karen Kelleher, an Avebury resident, and Jenny Rowe, a WC Surveyor). As a result, WC was exploring more parking in a lay-by outside 5 and 6 Trusloe Cottages. APC had yet to write to the private development company about the Nursery Site.
      3. Horse crossing at Beckhampton Stables was in the process of being improved.
      4. Beckhampton roundabout road surface had been shot-blasted and then the A361 had been resurfaced.
      5. Wooden bus shelter at Beckhampton had been replaced by WC.
      6. Concrete bus shelter at Beckhampton had been repaired and was partly financed through the generosity of the Beckhampton Community Group who donated £54.00.
      7. Path from the Waggon & Horses to Silbury Hill was being pursued by Mr Howell.
      8. APC had signed up for the one tonne salt bag scheme.
      9. Speed Indicator Devices had been withdrawn and WC had invited parishes to take on the scheme. APC had decided not to do so as the management issues versus the cost and effectiveness were not worthwhile. APC had decided to concentrate on funding the extension of the 30mph limit.
      10. Various requests for leaf clearance, street cleaning, potholes, street lamps, salt, strimming verges. The Chairman said APC had requested various works during the year. Some potholes had been filled in including the Avenue and footpath 22, and the High Street tarmac had been rectified in June 2014.

       

    • Wiltshire Council:
      the Chairman invited Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, to provide an update. Mrs Milton stated WC had to find £30m in savings across the board and therefore the Council was putting more emphasis on helping parishes do their own thing. WC priorities were:

      • vulnerable adults
      • vulnerable children
      • the environment

      Mrs Michele Lomas asked how shutting down the WC Music Service helped vulnerable children and also raised the question as to whether WC might like to consider provisioning a whole class service so that all children had the chance to take part in music lessons. Mrs Milton stated that WC had simply acted as a conduit for the service and had now given lists of music teachers to schools and / or would make available those lists. Mrs Lomas pointed out it would not be as easy for small, rural communities to attract teachers.

      The Chairman observed WC had been contact with Parish and Town Councils about parish elections and that due to austerity cuts the Parish Council would now have to pay WC for the service. The Chairman said WC could have increased the Council tax to cover this but instead APC would have to make provision in its budget. Mrs Milton provided further explanation of the election service and said she was saddened by WC’s decision both in terms of funds being withdrawn for the music service and parish elections.

      Mrs Judy Farthing asked if there was any update on the garden waste bin service. Mrs Milton commented that the consultation had been poor, whilst members of the public explained the process for those that wished to continue with the waste bin service. A member of the public commented that the road-side litter seemed to be very bad and asked whether WC provided any help with this. Mrs Milton confirmed WC would be very happy to provide tools and equipment to members of the public and that WC did regular litter picks. Mrs Milton reported road-side litter had increased twentyfold and part of the solution was education, starting in schools.

      Mrs Milton wished to express thanks to APC for being one of the hardest working Parish Councils in the area. The Chairman thanked Mrs Milton for her support.

    • Summer Solstice 2015:
      the Chairman reported that the normal series of planning meetings were going on and Inspector Armstrong had indicated the forthcoming Solstice would be managed the same way as in previous years. APC had details of the camping dates. The Chairman said that last year 230 campervans had been parked on the Ridgeway. PC Tippetts said the event was very much weather-dependent.
    • Avebury WHS Transport Strategy completed:
      the Chairman reported

      1. Drafts of WHS Transport Strategy had been developed over the past year
      2. Final draft included the great majority of proposals in the Parish Traffic Plan
      3. Village meeting held on 19 March
      4. Copies available

       

    • Transport Group:
      the Chairman reported the Transport Group was chaired by Mike Bedford and there were 11 members including himself, and they were: Dr Mike Bedford, Mike Daniel, Keith Howell, Kate Fry, Rob Macaire and, following the village meeting, Dave Brotheridge, Moya Brannan, Peter Wilson, Simon Vatcher and Stephen Stacey.
      The Chairman read out APC’s list of priorities for action:
      ‘All schemes should be in APC’s Parish Traffic Plan and the WHS Transport Strategy, unless there were very exceptional circumstances:

      1. benefited the greatest number of residents, businesses and local employees, as well as visitors
      2. attracted the largest amount of ‘partnership funding’ from others, and so gear up APC’s money as much as possible
      3. were nil cost, or very low cost schemes
      4. were nil or low cost if they were pre-planned as a part of routine Highways’ maintenance
      5. were, if possible, funded largely by others that had a special interest in a project (i.e. perhaps Greene King for the Red Lion forecourt area and possibly Wadworths for the extended traffic island outside the Waggon & Horses, or the NT for the pedestrian route across the High Street?)
      6. were schemes that had already been in the Parish Council’s pipeline for some time, i.e. APC’s application to CATG to move the 30mph signs northwards on the Swindon Road, or the scheme with Aster and Wiltshire Council for parking at Trusloe Cottages
      7. were particularly important for safety or amenity reasons
      8. ensured that each of APC’s four communities benefited from one or more projects
      9. were realistic and deliverable fairly soon
      10. were based on evidence

       

    • Flood Group:
      Mrs Lewis reported

      1. Silt under bridge at Beckhampton had been removed and other ditches dredged with the help of local landowners.
      2. Culvert at end of High Street had been jetted out.
      3. Repair and Renew Grant was available for a limited time to those households who had been flooded last winter.
      4. APC had signed up to PEAS (Parish Emergency Assistance Scheme) and now had 150 gelsacs and a collection of flood warning signs and tabards. Gel sacs were also being stored in Victor Paradise’s shed and some had been distributed across the Parish. Mrs Lewis said she would like to see more residents come forward for gelsacs if they required them.
      5. Outstanding issues: Wansdyke Byway in Beckhampton. APC hoped to get drainage gripps put into the byeway.

      Mrs Macaire asked if anyone knew what work was being done along the River Kennet as she had noticed pipes and huts in the fields south of West Kennett. Dr Nick Snashell said it was most probably the water company carrying out required works. Mr Paradise reminded everyone that 40 bags of salt were being stored in his garden shed behind the hedge. N.B. salt only for use on highways and byways.

    • Community Wi-Fi and High Speed Broadband:
      the Chairman stated there were seven wi-fi hubs altogether and cables for high speed broadband were now in the road. There was no further information on whether the cables had been connected.
    • Local initiatives:
      1. Community Shop: Mrs Michele Lomas reported the shop had been open for six years; there were three part-time managers and 35 volunteers including bakers and they were looking for more volunteer bakers. Mrs Lomas was very happy to report they had just negotiated a new lease for the building from the NT and she thanked the NT for carrying out regular maintenance work. Mrs Lomas said the shop supported a lot of local groups, it had:-
        • bought an apple press for the Orchard Group
        • bought a projector for the Social Centre
        • given donations to local churches (including Avebury and Winterbourne Monkton), ACC, Avebury Social and District Club
        • installed a charity box in the shop

        Mrs Lomas said the shop was keen to develop local products that year.

      2. Community Orchard: Mrs Lomas stated the Orchard had been planted as a lasting outcome of the Jubilee and to help replace the loss of Orchards in past years. The Group had planted 12 trees next to the Pavilion and two apple trees donated by local individuals. The idea was for local people to be able to harvest the apples. Mrs Lomas added that in 2014, the group acquired 300 whips of native species.
      3. Fence/hedge on west of Sportsfield: Natascha Kenyon reported the Community was looking for volunteers to clear the hedge, coppice and then replant the boundary. Mr Fred Gillam said he would be applying for Conservation Area consent for the work.
      4. Avebury Day: APC had donated £250.00.
      5. Litter bins: supplied for the High Street by WC. The Chairman observed that the cleaner a place, the less litter was dropped.
      6. APC had objected to removal of High Street phone box on the grounds it was a listed building, and it was required as an emergency telephone due to poor mobile telephone signal in the area.
      7. Between the Monuments dig: APC had donated £200.00.

       

    • Local archaeology, National Trust and WHS updates:
      the Chairman invited Dr Nick Snashall to address the meeting.Dr Snashall introduced herself and reported that the team had been recently restructured. Mrs Hilary Makins (NT Head Ranger) would also now be responsible for the Countryside Team. Abby George was the new Marketing Manager and in May 2015 the NT would be joined by Mr Simon Brooks, the new Head Gardener. Dr Snashall reported there were three launch events planned for the AWHS Management Plan. They would be at Avebury, Trowbridge and Stonehenge. Dr Snashall thanked the Chairman for both APC’s input and that of the AWHS Steering Committee.Archaeology Update: (See Appendix 2, Archaeology Update to view the report).Mrs Macaire asked Dr Snashall if the NT had any plans to improve the NT owned buildings in West Kennett including a dovecot covered in ivy. Dr Snashall reported that conservation work had already been done on the dovecot and its condition was fine. Dr Snashall said there were unfortunately no funds for all conservation work needed across NT’s portfolio of properties and work would be done in order of priority.
      Mr Howell posed the question regarding ownership of Silbury Hill. Dr Snashall confirmed the NT had been interested in owning the monument but EH had ceased negotiations pending a split in their organisation. A new body had been set up called Historic England. Dr Snashall confirmed that EH still owned Silbury Hill. Dr Snashall asked members of the public to contact the NT if they noticed any coach companies taking people onto the monument.

      Mrs Milton said she was saddened the NT had not been able to renovate their properties in West Kennett and questioned whether the land could be sold. Dr Snashall stated the NT had no intention of selling the land, quite a lot of land was inalienable and there was underlying archaeology present. The Chairman agreed to raise the concern with Mrs Tomlin (NT, Manager).

      The Chairman thanked Dr Snashall for her input.

    • Other local issues:
      1. Great Stones Way: the Chairman reported a meeting had taken place the previous night and the parishes of the Pewsey Vale had decided to object to the proposed footpath.

       

    • Precept, finance and administration:the Chairman reported:
      1. The precept was £10,900; but Precept Grant would eventually be withdrawn.
      2. Bank balance at 31 March 2015 was about £19,200. This compared with about £16,600 for last year. However the balance was in reality in the region of £7,100 because of £12,100 pledges outstanding. The balance was therefore much the same as £7,100 at 31 March last year.
      3. BBLP mowing contract terminated on Sportsfield and APC instructed ACC with a two year mowing contract. BBLP mowing Trusloe Play Area as part of WC contract
      4. Annual accounts and internal audit were available for the public to view.

     

  5. Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months:
    1. Mr Vic Paradise asked why dangerous nails were sticking out of pieces of wood beside the Manor Garden fence (north side of the fence). Mrs Judy Farthing said she thought the nails had been driven out of the logs to deter burrowing animals. Mr Paradise stated it must be a badger. Dr Nick Snashall said she would relay the report to Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT Manager).

     

  6. Local issues from the Parish Council: past year and for the next 12 months: none
  7. Any other business:The Chairman thanked all those who supported the Parish Council, including:
    • litter pickers and those who cleared up after their dogs especially on the recreation grounds, in the Henge and on the footpaths.
    • Trustees, Secretaries and Treasurers of local voluntary organisations and especially to Mrs Jenny Haines and members of ASA.
    • Police, staff at Wiltshire Council and the National Trust.
    • Miss Liz Moore (Clerk), Mrs Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Councillor), Mrs Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Officer), Mrs Kate Fry (APC web site), Mr Ron Dobson (advice on buildings), Mr Martin Rendle (small works) and Mr David Throup (Editor, UKN).
    • colleagues on the Parish Council
    • and all those who attended the meeting.

     

The meeting closed at 20:45

Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers):

  1. Police Community Messaging Leaflet
  2. NT Avebury Archaeology Update
  3. National Trust Update 17 April 2015
  4. Documents available for inspection were the AWHS Transport Strategy, the Avebury Parish Traffic Plan and APC’s minute book, audit reports, bank statements and books of account.

24 Apr 2014 Annual Parish Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 24 April 2014 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF

In these minutes, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, AONB for North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, DfT for Department of Transport, EH for English Heritage, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, TVM for Traffic and Vehicle Management Group, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:00

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford, Mr Mike Daniel, Mr Keith Howell, Mrs Antoinette Kremer, Mrs Maggie Lewis, Mr Paul Ryder-Morris, together with 28 members of the public who were present for all or part of the meeting.

Apologies: Councillor Mr Paul Dixon, Mrs Jenny Haines (Chairlady of ASA), Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape). Apologies had also been received but were not read out from Lady Beale, James and Laura Corbet, John and Betty Cronk, Ewart and Diana Holmes, Keith and Sally Paradise and Brian and Helen Vickers.

In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, PCSO Polly Richie, Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer), Dr Nick Snashall (NT Archaeologist and Deputy Manager NT), PC David Tippetts (Community Beat Manager) and Miss Liz Moore, Clerk to APC.

  1. Welcome and introductions
    The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all present and introduced members of the Parish Council. He said that Judy Miller had resigned in October when she had moved to Broad Hinton and that Karyn Pearson had resigned in February when she had moved to Calne, after serving twice on the PC.
    The Chairman introduced Jemima Milton, WC Councillor and Chair of MAB, Liz Moore as APC’s Clerk, who had been on maternity leave from 1 June 2013 to 28 Feb 2014, and Judy Farthing as Civil Emergency Officer. He said that Paul Birkeland-Green had been managing APC’s IT and web site and that Kate Fry had taken on this role since his resignation; Ron Dobson had advised on buildings; David Throup was editor for UKN and Len Adams and Martin Rendle had provided handyman services
  2. Minutes of the annual Parish meeting held on 18 April 2013. (Previously published on Parish Council web site www.aveburyparishcouncil.org).
    The Chairman asked if the draft minutes were accurate. There were no amendments
    [apart from the prior deletion of one item of non-Parish business under Any Other Business] and it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman sign the minutes.
  3. Matters arising from the minutes: None.
  4. Report on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Sports-field Association and other local organisations in the past year:
    The Chairman said APC represented the interests of Avebury residents, employers and employees. APC had met 10 times during the year and its Planning Sub-committee had met three times. APC met on the first Tuesday of the month, except January and August.
    The Chairman reported that APC attended 66 meetings during the year on regular committees such as the Marlborough Area Board, the Community Area Transport Group, Marlborough Area Parish Forum, the Traffic and Visitor Management Group (now disbanded in favour of the Task and Finish Group for the WHS Transport Plan project), Solstice Planning Group, Avebury’s Sacred Sites Forum, Social Centre Trustees, Avebury WHS Steering Committee (which the Chairman now chaired) and other WHS committees. APC also attended meetings with NT staff, especially Jan Tomlin, and other ad hoc events and meetings with the Environment Agency, Aster Housing, AONB and others.The Chairman reported:

    • Elections and membership
      APC had co-opted Mr Paul Ryder-Morris earlier in the month in place of Judy Miller.
      Residents had not called for an election for Karyn Pearson’s seat and so APC would be co-opting in May. Bray Street was not represented on APC, and Trusloe was under represented.
    • Planning applications
      APC had been consulted on 23 planning applications in the past 12 months and had either supported 21 of them, some with suggested conditions, or had agreed not to comment in a few cases. APC had objected to two:

      1. a new house in the garden of 44 Trusloe Cottages
      2. increased prominence of signage and lighting at the Red Lion
    • Local improvements and works: the Chairman reported
      1. High Street resurfacing had been completed. This had included the
        installation of a formal pattern of Sarsen stone setts beside 110 High Street: several tons of cut stone setts had been provided by the NT. WC and consultants Atkins were recalling the contractor to rectify some faults in the High Street surface, probably in May.
      2. Planters in the High Street: the Chairman asked the public for feedback.
        Sir Peter Beale reported the planters were indeed effective and there had been a reduction in the number of visitor cars travelling down the High Street. Miss Heather Peak-Garland said she felt the general situation had worsened with cars reversing into the lane to turn round and cars hitting fences. When questioned by Mrs Kremer, Miss Peak-Garland clarified this was not a consequence of the planters and that a solution would be to make the parking cheaper. Mrs Jan Williamson said she thought the signs on the planters did deter people.
      3. De-cluttering scheme: Mr John Thomson (Deputy Leader WC) had established this scheme and APC had identified 25 redundant signs and ironmongery on roadside verges in the Parish which WC staff had promptly removed. Mr Vic Paradise requested that
        1. 30mph signs on New Bridge be repainted. The Chairman confirmed that Wiltshire Council had made new ones and would be replacing them once the WHS Traffic Plan had been completed and decisions taken
        2. the no through road sign at the top of the High Street be put back as it had been missing for four months. Action: Clerk/Chairman to contact WC.
      4. Corrugated iron barn beside road to Windmill Hill: The Chairman reported a large section of this dilapidated barn had blown off in recent high winds and that APC had arranged for the barn to be demolished.
      5. Speed Indicator Devices: the devices were installed on the A4361 by
        Rawlins Park in the first fortnight of every quarter. There had been problems with batteries running down.
      6. Various requests for leaf clearance, street cleaning, potholes, street lamps, salt and grass cutting: the Chairman thanked Paul Birkeland-Green and the NT for strimming verges by pavements near Rawlins Park and in the High Street respectively but added APC had had problems with Balfour Beatty Living Places in getting works done. Balfour Beatty had also only given two months’ notice of withdrawing from its contract to mow the Sportsfield and Play Area.
      7. ASA: in the absence of Mrs Jenny Haines and Mr Paul Dixon, the Chairman read out an update from ASA. It reported that in the last financial year the Avebury Sportsfield Association Committee had continued to raise funds to improve and maintain the Pavilion and area. The cost of the everyday things to keep the pavilion going i.e. electricity, rodent control, insurance and the ‘dreaded’ charge by Wiltshire to have the water tested, had risen to a total of £1,680. Samples of the water had to be tested twice last autumn due to high nitrate levels, these cost
        ASA a total of just over £203. ASA would welcome all to support ASA’s car boot sales.
      8. Jim Gunter’s geophysical survey of Sportsfield: Jim had completed a survey of part of the Sportsfield but not found a great deal. Vic Paradise recalled that a heavy roller had been used on the Sportsfield in earlier years and thought that compaction of the ground might make a difference to any geophysical survey.
        Dr Nick Snashall (NT) thanked him for his local knowledge and agreed.
    • The Chairman reported the following work in progress:
      • APC had applied to CATG for a northward extension of the 30 mph limit on Swindon Road and was now waiting for completion of the WHS Traffic Plan.
      • Footpath from Waggon & Horses to Silbury Hill: Mr Howell was progressing the project.
    • Wiltshire Council: the Chairman invited Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, to address the meeting and added that Mrs Milton also chaired MAB.
      Mrs Milton thanked members of APC for their work during the past year. Mrs Milton said that it was a challenge for WC to ensure there was no rise in Council Tax and that WC pledged to:

      • protect the elderly
      • invest in highways
      • protect jobs
      • invest in flood relief
      • work with the community

      Mrs Milton reported that more houses had been flooded in Wiltshire than Somerset.
      Mrs Milton highlighted the following:

      • For those that ran clubs, £50,000 had been given out for capital funding
      • WC had helped local resident Mrs Beryl Greenaway find a bungalow in Avebury.

      The Chairman thanked Mrs Milton for her valuable support for the work of APC and with planning issues in particular.

    • National Trust: the Chairman invited Dr Nick Snashall (NT Archaeologist and
      Deputy Manager NT), to address the meeting in the absence of Jan Tomlin (see Appendix 1,
      National Trust Update 2014). Dr Snashell stated the NT continued to focus on
      conservation work and had been successful in securing a grant from Viridor for about £100,000 to re-thatch the Great Barn and other projects.
      Dr Snashell reported the NT had been advised that from 5 May 2014, WC would no longer be providing public recycling bins in the NT High Street car park. (See Appendix 2, letter from WC to NT). Dr Snashall said WC would now be charging NT the full cost of waste collection, a difference of £8,000, and this would hit their conservation work. Dr Snashall reported that Jan Tomlin was currently revising NT waste policy and would be liasing with the Chairman. Also reported, Hilary Makins (NT Head Ranger) was taking the
      lead for the Trust regarding Solstice and Jan Tomlin would be working with EH to ensure people visiting Stonehenge over Solstice would not be redirected to Avebury.
      Dr Snashell explained the NT had tried to keep the parking charge for the main car park low and that the new £7.00 charge for the main car park, was the only charge levied on people when seeing the stone circle. It directly helped with conservation.Mrs Milton reported mini-recycling sites cost WC over £200,000 a year across Wiltshire and that this cost was prohibitive when households now had their own bins.

      Mrs Alice Macaire asked if the NT had any plans to replace the thatch roof on the barn at West Kennett. Dr Snashall said the NT had prioritized the Avebury Great Barn as it was grade 1 listed and dated from the 17th century. However, the NT was trying to secure funding to re-thatch West Kennett Barn this year.

      Sir Peter Beale asked if the NT had had any feedback from the public regarding the high charge of £7.00 for parking and whether NT monitored whether people paid the charge. Dr Snashell confirmed that staff did monitor the car park in the high season but that the majority of people were NT or EH members for whom parking was free. Dr Snashell said she was surprised there had not been many complaints, only half a dozen, and added the signs on the ticket machines now included an explanation that the cost of parking
      went towards conservation.

    • Transport Group, Community Traffic Plan and WHS Design Project
      Dr Bedford reported the Community Traffic Plan had been published and presented to John Thomson (Deputy Leader of WC) when he had visited Avebury in October. Mr Thomson had been sympathetic to limiting signage and slowing down traffic by natural means.
      Dr Bedford said the integration of the plan into the WHS Management Plan was thanks to the Chairman. The Chairman added that over 100 local people had contributed to the Traffic Plan.
      The Chairman reported the Plan’s two main points were:

      • reconciling the interests of users of main roads with those of the WHS as well as residents in West Kennett, Beckhampton, Trusloe and Avebury by creating a design speed of 40mph in the WHS and other works in nine focal points
      • easing congestion due to visitor traffic in Avebury and residents’ parking in Trusloe.

      The Chairman reported local residents would like to get more parking in Trusloe and that APC was supporting them in a partnership scheme with Aster Housing and a private landowner which was currently being developed. Mrs Michelle Lomas asked the Chairman to explain a proposed new housing scheme for Trusloe. The Chairman said AHA would like to build two or three one-bedroom houses on the Nursery Site but this depended on agreeing a joint scheme between APC, AHA and a private landowner.
      The Chairman reported Atkins had provided a sketch scheme for the WHS Traffic Plan on how to cope with the A4 severing the WHS and another indicating a possible treatment for West Kennett. He anticipated that Atkins would shortly draft similar schemes for the junction at Trusloe, the roundabout at Beckhampton and the centre of Avebury.
      Sarah Simmonds said she hoped the draft report from the Task and Finish Group would be ready by the end of May.
      Mrs Macaire asked Sarah Simmonds what the timescale was for the outline scheme for the traffic initiative. SS said the outline scheme would be finalized by the end of the summer and then funding would be required.

    • Flood Group: Mrs Lewis reported the Flood Group held its second meeting on 8 April which was attended by about a dozen people, though quite a few more were unable to attend. Several problem areas were identified and noted on a map which would be submitted to Wiltshire Council following a site visit, probably in mid-May, with Wiltshire Council’s Chief Drainage Engineer, Danny Everett. Mrs Lewis said she hoped that a representative from Thames Water would also attend the meeting and that a programme of works would be agreed. Mrs Lewis reported she had attended a meeting of Wiltshire Council’s Operational Flood Working Group on 16 April. The meeting was interesting as it revealed that many areas in Wiltshire had had similar problems to Avebury (surcharging drains and mixing of foul and ground water), though some had fared far worse. Mrs Lewis said she would be grateful if people could contact her with any flooding problems they had experienced in the past few years, including lavatories backing-up with sewerage.
    • Community Wi-Fi and High Speed Broadband: Mrs Lewis reported she was working with Mr Jeff Brickell of the Marlborough Area Development Trust and that Wi-Fi hubs had been installed in the Henge shop (two points), Community Shop, NT’s Gift Shop, Coach House, Estate Office and Circles CafeŽ. The aim was to get a hub into the Manor. Mrs Lewis said anyone now could log on for free for 20 minutes or purchase an annual pass.
    • Policing: The Chairman invited PC David Tippetts to report. PC Tippetts introduced Polly Ritchie as PCSO and himself as Community Beat Manager for Marlborough Rural West. PC Tippetts said there had been one arrest for drugs last year at Solstice and reported criminal offences were as follows:
      • a theft from the Manor
      • five thefts from cars in main NT car park
      • a theft from a non-dwelling building at Beckhampton
      • four incidences of criminal damage at Trusloe
      • a theft from the Community Shop

      Criminal damage at Trusloe and the theft from the shop had been attributed to some young people and that they had since been dealt with.
      PC Tippetts reported that ‘Operation Banning’ had been initiated in Marlborough at Christmas and involved the use of a passive drugs dog. The police had dealt with over 70 offences and as a result had found there was a drop in antisocial behaviour (the biggest drop was by 30%). PC Tippetts said work was also being done with St. John’s School: surgeries were being held at the police station and 12 children had been seen in June 2013. PC Tippetts reported an initiative on the 20 March had resulted in three vehicles being seized for using red diesel, one HGV vehicle seized for being un-roadworthy and two people from Swindon were stopped in Avebury for possession of
      drugs. PC Tippetts said the penalties were now much higher for crimes. He added the police were not able to get covert cameras in the main car park in Avebury due to it being in a WHS (but see Sarah Simmonds’ response under WHS Officer’s report).
      Mrs Peak-Garland said that in the past the police would talk to children out and about in the village. PC Tippetts said these days resources were limited however PCSO Polly Ritchie worked with the local schools.
      Mr Howell asked if Sergeant Barry Reed would be present at Solstice. PC Tippetts confirmed that both he, PCSO Ritchie and Sergeant Reed would be on patrol over Solstice.

    • Summer Solstice 2014: the Chairman reported
      1. Police presence would be from 10.00am Friday 20 June to 2.00pm Sunday
      2. Two days informal camping on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 June
      3. There were problems in providing a drugs dogs this year as one was needed at Stonehenge and the other had died. But the Police hoped a presence could be arranged, especially on Thursday evening
      4. Parking for the disabled would be allowed in the village car park and passes would be provided for people visiting the Rectory
      5. Five or six campervans would be allowed in the main car park for people with disabilities if their vehicles were self-sufficient
      6. Road closed signs would be provided on West Kennett lay-by
      7. Campervans on Ridgeway would be moved on as soon as possible

      Mrs Julie Butler congratulated the Police for their work at Solstice and the Chairman thanked the Police on behalf of the Parish Council for their work throughout the year as well as their significant presence at Solstice.

    • Local initiatives:
      1. Community Shop: Mrs Michele Lomas reported it was the Community Shop’s 5th Birthday. The shop had given donations to the Cricket Club, Winterbourne-Monkton Church (for lighting) and Kennet Valley School and had promised an apple press for the community. Mrs Lomas said that various improvements had happened to the shop and she thanked the NT for sorting out the windows and roof, Mr Vic Paradise for putting up shelving and the Shop’s many volunteers too. Mrs Lomas reported £140 worth of fake £20 notes had passed through the shop recently, and a power cut had meant they had lost some frozen food.
        Mrs Lomas stressed that if local groups needed donations then to please let her know.
      2. Avebury Day 13th September 2014: Mr Daniel reported the community lunch would be held at 12 – 12:30pm and stressed the first half of the day was for the community and that the event would only be open to visitors outside the Parish later in the afternoon. There would be various attractions including a dog show, a bar, 26 stalls, birds of prey, classic cars and more. Mr Daniel said the project was self-funding with a small donation from APC, a possible donation from MAB and raffle tickets which would be on sale. Mr Daniel added that banners had already been put up and leaflets were to be sent to all households. Mrs Williamson and Mrs Farthing advised the banners should only be put up within 28 days prior the event.
      3. Open Farm Sunday 8 June: the Chairman reported that Gill Swanton was holding this event at North Farm and that about 1000 people were expected to attend.
    • Local archaeology: the Chairman invited Dr Nick Snashall to address the meeting.
      (See Appendix 3, Avebury Archaeology Update 24 April 2014 and Appendix 4, Between the Monuments: Fieldwork on the West Kennet Avenue). Dr Snashall reported the NT would need to remove a Sycamore and Lilac tree that were pushing on wall in High Street and this was being done as a matter of urgency. Dr Snashall summarized that the NT carried out a watching brief on development works and in 2013-2014 14 separate briefs were carried out for
      improving pedestrian access. Dr Snashall said Between the Monuments Project results were available on the internet (see Appendix 4) and thanked local farmers, Mr and Mrs Farthing, for their support. The NT would be organising an Open Day.
      Dr Snashall reported that further Geophysical Survey techniques could be done on the Sports field and that results of the work at Carpenters Cottage would be available soon.
      Dr Snashall thanked all NT volunteers and said this year they had delivered tours to 2,710 visitors; the Keiller Museum volunteers given primary and secondary education talks to 949 people in addition to the 3,500 people that had received education.
    • World Heritage Site Officer: the Chairman invited Miss Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) to address the meeting. Miss Simmonds reported that she looked after 25 square kilometres of landscape and her role involved looking at how the monuments related to the landscape and protecting, conserving and keeping them safe.
      Miss Simmonds highlighted the Transport Strategy was key to resolving the issue regarding the impact of traffic in the WHS.
      Both Stonehenge and Avebury were being combined into one WHS Management Plan which was currently being up-dated, but it was important to keep the aims of both sites separate as they required different methods of management. Miss Simmonds said that recent changes in governance had included the creation of the WHS Partnership Panel, chaired by Mr Alistair Sommerlad, and that the Panel would be working to achieve the aims of the whole WHS. Full-time WHS staff, being Miss Simmonds for Avebury and Beth Thomas for Stonehenge, would be working with Nick Snashall (part-time) in the new Coordination Unit that reported to the Panel.
      The WHS Management Plan was due to go out to public consultation in the autumn.
      Miss Simmonds reported the following projects:

      • Risk assessment produced for climate change
      • WHS web site launched
      • Undergrounding of cables at Gunsite Lane was being planned
      • Developing Research Framework (for Universities)
      • New Partnership Panel
      • Workshops

      Miss Simmonds referred to PC Tippetts’ earlier reference to covert cameras not being allowed in WHS but confirmed that there was no reason why security cameras should not be allowed in NT main car park. Miss Simmonds would contact PC Tippetts.

    • Other issues and APC decisions: the Chairman reported
      1. DfT 20mph consultation: APC had put forward the need for 40mph design speed throughout the WHS.
      2. APC had pledged financial support for the Flood Group, Community Orchard, Avebury Day and weed killing on the Sportsfield.
      3. APC had made grants to the Community First Good Neighbour Scheme and the Benefice Winter Appeal.
      4. Wiltshire Council had given a briefing in May about 4x4s and informal camping on the Ridgeway. Management by NT and Police had been successful and it was overall agreed APC should monitor the situation in 2013/14 and should proceed with care. APC was awaiting Professor Fowler’s archaeological review and might establish a working group if archaeology was being degraded.
      5. APC had agreed to monitor charity walks such as Discover Adventure.
      6. Avebury Rocks would be held on 13 July.
      7. Countryside Access Improvement Plan: APC had lobbied for mention of Avebury as a WHS in the document.
      8. During the past 12 months, APC had objected to:
        1. Visitors climbing Silbury Hill
        2. A WC proposal to install commercial adverts on the roundabout at Beckhampton
        3. A proposal to plant fruit trees and a hedge on the grassy island between West Kennett lay-by and A4.
        4. Race to the Stones using the Sports-field as a destination
        5. A PR stunt of a Peace sign being temporarily painted on the Sports-field for aerial shots for an advert for deodorant Lynx Peace
        6. Launch of hot air balloons from the Sports field
        7. increased parking charges at the NT’s main car park
        8. APC had contacted Police and the Dog Warden about the control of dogs and dog fouling
    • Civil Emergency Plan: the Chairman reported the Plan had been updated by Mrs Lewis and Mrs Farthing, adopted by APC and was now operational.
    • Precept, finance and admin: the Chairman reported
      1. The precept was down from £11,000 to £10,900.
      2. The bank balance as at 31 March 2014 was about £16,600 or approximately £15,200
        allowing for unpaid cheques. This compared with about £10,500 for last year. However
        the balance was in reality in the region of £7,100 because £8,100 pledges were
        outstanding. The balance was therefore much the same as £8,000 on 31 March last year.
      3. Savings of approximately £3,500 during the past financial year were mainly
        attributable to the Clerk’s maternity leave.
      4. The audited accounts for 2013 Ð 2014 were available for inspection. The external
        auditors were now Grant Thornton. The Chairman invited anyone interested to inspect
        APC’s audit report, books of account and minutes.
      5. The asset register and risk assessment had been reviewed
      6. Internal audit had been completed
      7. RoSPA had inspected the Play Area.
  5. Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months: none
  6. Local issues from the Parish Council: the past year and for the next 12 months: none
  7. Any other business:
    The Chairman thanked all those who supported the Parish Council, including:

    • litter pickers and those who cleared up after their dogs especially on the recreation grounds, in the Henge and on the footpaths.
    • Trustees, Secretaries and Treasurers of local voluntary organisations and especially to Mrs Jenny Haines and members of ASA.
    • Police, staff at Wiltshire Council and the National Trust.
    • Miss Liz Moore (Clerk), Mrs Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Councillor), Mrs Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Officer), Mr Paul Birkeland-Green and Mrs Kate Fry (APC web site), Mr Martin Rendle, Mr Len Adams (APC Handymen) and Mr David Throup (Editor, UKN).
    • colleagues on the Parish Council
    • and all those who attended the meeting.

The meeting closed at 20:55

Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers):

  1. National Trust Update April 2014
  2. Letter from WC to NT: removal of mini-recycling site
  3. NT Avebury Archaeology Update 24 April 2014
  4. NT Between the Monuments: Fieldwork on the West Kennet Avenue
  5. Documents available for inspection were a plan of land ownership at the Nursery Site in Trusloe, two indicative diagrams drawn up by Atkins of the parts of the A4 and West Kennett, the Avebury Parish Traffic Plan and APC’s minute book,
    audit reports, bank statements and books of account.

18 Apr 2013 Annual Parish meeting : Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Parish meeting held on the 18 April 2013 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF

In these minutes, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, AONB for North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, EH for English Heritage, NT for the National Trust, TVM for Traffic and Vehicle Management Group, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:00

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mr Keith Howell, Mrs Antoinette Kremer and Mrs Maggie Lewis together with 23 members of the public who were present for all or part of the meeting.

Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mr Mike Daniel, Mrs Karyn Pearson and Mr Paul Dixon.  [Apologies had also been received but were not read out from the Farthing, Fry, Kelleher, Vickers, Wilding and Scattergood households, and Mr Tony Millett.]

In attendance: Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, PC David Tippetts (Community Beat Manager), Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer), Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape), Dr Nick Snashall (NT Archaeologist) and Miss Liz Moore, Clerk to APC.

  1. Welcome and introductions
    The Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees. He introduced the Parish Councillors present at the meeting and said that members of APC were very sorry to have recently lost Mrs Beryl Greenaway who had resigned in March after over 10 years’ valuable service.
    The Chairman said there would be no election for Parish Councillors on the 2 May as there had been nine vacancies and nine nominees. Eight councillors had been re-elected and Mrs Judy Miller from Trusloe would join APC as a new Councillor on 7 May.  There would however be Wiltshire Council elections on 2 May.
  1. Minutes of the Annual Parish meeting held on 24 April 2012.
    The Chairman asked all present to refer to a copy of the draft minutes and asked if they were accurate. There were no amendments and it was unanimously agreed that the Chairman sign the minutes.
  1. Matters arising from the minutes: None.
  • Report on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Sports-field Association and other local organisations in the past year:
    The Chairman reported APC had met 10 times during the year and had also held six Planning Sub-committee meetings. APC had also attended 56 other meetings on regular committees. These included ASSF, Social Centre Trustees, Solstice Planning, TVM, the WHS Steering Committee and regular meetings with Mrs Jan Tomlin at the NT. The Parish had also attended meetings with WC, EH, NT and other ad-hoc events.
    The Chairman reported:
  • Planning applications
    APC had been consulted on 23 planning applications in the past year and had supported 19 of them (seven of which had been applications for works to trees in conservation areas). APC had objected to four:

    • Rebuilding of Lower Acre, Bray Street
    • Extension to garage at Meadow House
    • Polytunnel at Avebury Manor
    • Information board at NT car park
  • Local improvements and works
    1. Pavement extension at Trusloe: a 35 metre pavement extension on the A4361 had been completed the previous week. Pedestrians now had approximately seven seconds to cross the road as opposed to about four seconds. WC had contributed £6,500 and APC £500.
    2. Planters in the High Street: an experiment to make the area more attractive and deter motorists from parking had been installed in the past month. The Chairman asked for feedback. Mrs Dianna Holmes reported that, as a resident of the High Street, she was very pleased with the planters. The Chairman said the project had cost about £950, of which £250 had been given by MAB, £350 by APC and APC had received £350 as donations or contributions in kind. This meant about a third of the funding had come from the community and a third from APC.
    3. Swings at Trusloe: the seats had been renewed and the Clerk confirmed the chains had also been renewed in the past week. A generous donation of £100 had been received from a member of the community for the swings.
    4. Bus Shelter: painting had been completed.
    5. Speed Indicator Device (SID) outside Rawlins Park: A SID was being installed for the first two weeks of every quarter in the year.
    6. Resurfacing A4: white lines at West Kennett were already deteriorating and would be repainted soon. The A4 from Beckhampton to West Kennett would be resurfaced Tuesday 7 May to Wednesday 22 May. APC had contacted Highways to see what they could do about possibly realigning the white lines to narrow the apparent width of the road.
    7. Flooding: the NT offices, Frog Lane, Beckhampton, Bray Street and the High Street had suffered from flooding and overflowing sewers for many months over the late autumn and winter. Mrs Geraldine Wimble had been very active in mobilising Thames Water and the Environment Agency to take action on behalf of residents. The next step would be for APC to seek permanent improvements in the sewage system.  Mrs Milton reported flooding was a Marlborough-wide problem.
      Mr Gater asked if there had been any feedback received regarding the damage to the road in Bray Street. The Chairman said he would look into this.
    8. Stage Lighting: APC had helped in a small way by donating £250 towards stage lighting in the Social Centre.
    9. ASA: In the absence of its five members including Mrs Jenny Haines (Chairlady ASA) and Mr Paul Dixon, the Chairman reported that ASA continued to raise the majority of its money from fundraising activities to improve and maintain the Pavilion and sportsfield. Action: it was generally agreed that APC write to ASA to thank their members on behalf of the community.
  • Wiltshire Council: the Chairman invited Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, to address the meeting. Mrs Milton thanked members of APC for their work during the past year and especially for their work on the Avebury Traffic Management Plan.  Mrs Milton said the Area Board would continue to provide small grants and that although it was challenging times, she wanted to make it clear WC would not affect frontline services. Mrs Milton paid tribute to the services of Mrs Greenaway.
    Mr Ewart Holmes asked two questions:

    1. Who was responsible for the sewers?Mrs Milton confirmed that Thames Water was responsible for the sewers and WC would continue to put pressure on Thames Water to improve the infrastructure.
    2. Would it be possible to see a drawing of the proposed High Street resurfacing prior to works taking place?Mrs Milton confirmed it was possible and WC would be working with APC Transport Group on this. Mrs Milton said it was frustrating that WC could not stop the utility companies from coming in and digging up the highway for their repair works after Highways’ works had taken place.
  • National Trust:the Chairman invited Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT) to address the meeting (see Appendix 1, National Trust Update April 2013). Mrs Tomlin raised the issue of visitor numbers to the Manor and said the NT had specifically tried to play down advertising of the Manor to deter too many people from visiting. Mrs Tomlin reported that conservation would continue to be a main focus area and that Dame Helen Ghosh was the new Director General of the NT.
    Mrs Tomlin said the NT was currently fundraising to re-thatch the Great Barn that housed the Gallery Museum, and a number of bat species. Funding had not been secured and the Barn roof might have to be protected with tarpaulin. There were a number of questions from the public:

    • Lady Beale asked what fundraising ideas were being run.
    • Mr Howell asked whether there was revenue from the Manor to pay for re-thatching.
    • Mrs Alice McCaire asked if the NT had any plans to renovate the NT buildings at West Kennett that were in need of repair.Mrs Tomlin gave examples of lots of small fundraising activities but these were not enough to generate the £100,000 lump sum required to renovate the Great Barn. When the NT had recently applied for large grants, they had been unsuccessful due to heavy competition. There was also no budget available to re-thatch the buildings at West Kennett. Dr Snashall said that as the Great Barn was a grade 1 listed structure, the NT’s first priority was to protect it and might well have to protect it by using tarpaulin.
      The Chairman asked how much extra money was required / annual deficit. Mrs Tomlin said she didn’t have the figures for the rest of the estate and it was a shame that revenue had to be spread across her whole portfolio.
    • Mrs Diana Holmes thanked NT for supplying the ride on toy tractors outside the Great Barn.
    • Mr Vic Paradise raised an issue regarding flooding caused by NT having not installed field drainage / overflow pipes at Juggins Meadow in the past five years. Mr Paradise said the field required three, 18 inch pipes. Mrs Tomlin noted the issue
  • Local improvements and works for the future: The Chairman reported the following ‘works in progress’:
  1. High tension cables from Silbury to West Kennett were due to be undergrounded. Mr Paradise said there were two oil pipes there.
  2. APC had applied for a northward extension of the 30 mph limit on the Swindon road.
  3. Mr Howell was looking at costs and funding for a footpath from the Waggon & Horses to Silbury Hill.
  4. A recent e-petition had been circulated against downgrading the direct Bedwyn to Paddington rail service. Government was considering electrifying the line to Westbury.
  5. High Street resurfacing had not yet been done yet and the see-saw at Trusloe had not been repaired/replaced.
  6. A camera survey had found High Street drain improvement works were needed.
  • Transport Group, Community Traffic Plan and WHS Design Project

In the absence of Dr Bedford, the Chairman reported that the next stage of the plan was to finalise it and include design work. (See web-site for draft plan). The Avebury Traffic Plan would then feed into the design guide for the WHS.

The Chairman said APC had been unsuccessful in applying for European funding of £15,000 for the WHS design guide but that WC and AONB had now found the money. The Chairman encouraged the community to help or volunteer in any way.

Ms Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) said the traffic strategy be starting in May. She asked for volunteers for two areas, of transport and parking. Action: Starting in May, about four people would be required per day to do surveys or traffic counts. Public asked to contact the Chairman if interested.

Mrs Milton said it must be remembered the A4 is a main ‘A’ road through Wiltshire and as such will always be busy.

o        Mrs McCaire requested a timeline for the project. Sarah Simmonds said it would be three to four months before the plan would be in place and then there would be a phased delivery. WC had to think about how the solutions were going to be designed for the WHS.

o        Lady Beale asked if the plan would be ready in time for the High Street resurfacing as she was concerned about it delaying the resurfacing. Sarah Simmonds said there would be no attempt to stop the resurfacing of the High Street.

o        Mrs McCaire said she would like to extend a thank you to Dr Bedford for organising the Walk and Talk Session at West Kennett, even though it had snowed on the day.

o        Mrs Kremer added her thanks for the all the other work that had been done and said it the community traffic plan was a fantastic job.

Parking in Trusloe: Mrs Lynn Swatton reported she had had no response from Mrs Annette Gilbert of Aster Housing and that she had dropped off her report at Aster Housing’s offices the previous weekend. Action: Mrs Milton to contact Mrs Gilbert.

  • Archaeology of WHS:The Chairman invited Dr Nick Snashell (NT’s Archaeologist, Stonehenge and Avebury WHS) to address the meeting. (See Appendix 2, Avebury Archaeology Update 18 April 2013).

Dr Snashell introduced herself and said her role was to provide advice and support on the archaeology in Avebury on, for example, the condition of the monuments. Dr Snashell reported the NT had:

o     Recently closed off the northern banks to allow the grass to grow and protect the archaeology

o     commissioned eight archaeological watching briefs in the past 12 months in the Parish of Avebury

o     erected fencing near Silbury House due to a hole opening up in the ground. This had been identified as likely to have been the remains of the cellar of the Catherine Wheel Inn.  Dr Snashell now had consent for infilling works to begin

o     New research project was looking at areas in between the monuments to investigate Neolithic and Bonze Age in Avebury

o     Started work on re-analysing flint collections in the Alexander Keiller Museum

o     Volunteers had reached an extra 3-4,000 people.

All present congratulated Nick Snashall on her informative talk.

  • Governance of WHS:  The Chairman reported the way the WHS was governed was being reviewed and that it was important that the community’s voice was clearly heard.
  • Jubilee celebrations:  The Chairman reported nearly £1,500 had been spent on HM The Queen’s jubilee celebrations.  Over £700 had been received as voluntary donations (Community and Henge Shops, the Social Centre, St. James’ PCC and the Avebury Society), £500 from MAB and £250 from APC.  [PS. The Women’s Institute was not mentioned at the meeting but had also made valuable in-kind contributions.]  The Chairman thanked all those involved in the Jubilee and reported that Mrs Jan Polack would be looking at organising a follow-on, Jubilee themed Autumn Market.
  • Avebury Community Shop:  The Chairman invited Mrs Michelle Lomas (Chairlady, Avebury Community Shop) to address the meeting. Mrs Lomas reported:
  1. the shop had purchased a bread oven the previous autumn and now baked its own bread on site
  2. new flooring coverings had been laid upstairs
  3. the shop was keen to stock local produce
  4. it was also keen to stock new lines by local request

Mrs Lomas stressed that profit was being put back into the community, for example, the shop made up hampers for fundraising events. Mrs Lomas requested anyone interested in volunteering to contact her.              

  • Summer Solstice 2013: the Chairman reported:
  1. There would be a police presence from the afternoon of Wednesday 19 June to Saturday day-time.
  2. Two days of informal camping on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 June.
  3. APC had met with Inspector Mark Thompson the previous day who had confirmed that at least one police drugs dog had been allocated for part of the event.
  4. Parking passes would be issued for the disabled parking spaces in the village car park and passes would also be provided for people visiting the Rectory.
  • Policing:  The Chairman invited PC David Tippetts to report. PC Tippetts introduced himself as Community Beat Manager for Marlborough Rural West. PC Tippetts stated that Mr Angus Macpherson had been elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Mr Mark Thompson was the new Police Inspector. See Police Crime Plan on website: http://www.wiltshire.police.uk

Mr Tippetts reported that the commonest crime had been theft from motor vehicles and there had been three in the last month in Avebury. Police would be doing covert work to catch the criminals. Mr Tippetts also advised the public to be aware that people had recently been caught, in the evening, with drugs in Avebury car park. He said he was looking to encourage Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the area.

o        Mr Howell asked, if there were similar problems on the Ridgeway as last year, would they be dealt with in the same way and would the police be issuing Section 61 notices? Mr Tippetts confirmed Section 61 notices would be issued and the police would be doing joint patrols with NT.

o        Mr Howell questioned where people were directed to once the NT campsites were full. Mrs Tomlin said people were directed to other campsites. Mrs Tomlin confirmed to Mrs Milton that she would be writing to thank the police in addition to giving her usual verbal thanks.

o        Mr and Mrs Swatton reported there were ongoing problems with people parking on the nursery site at Trusloe and in the layby outside 5-7 Trusloe Cottages. Mr Paradise said the back of Windmill Hill was also an issue at Solstice.

o        Mrs McCaire questioned the purpose of the grey posts that had appeared on the A4 near Silbury Hill. The Chairman had not seen new posts but there were the remains of old sign posts that had been vandalised.

  • Visitor numbers to Avebury and the Manor:  The Chairman invited Mrs Tomlin to give feedback on visitor numbers. Mrs Tomlin estimated there had been about 85-90,000 visits (as opposed to visitors) to the Manor in 2012 but it was difficult to estimate visitors to the landscape. The impression was that visitor numbers had not increased on the Henge.

o        Mr Paradise asked about the NT counters on boxes in the NT car park and if they were in operation. Mrs Tomlin did not know.

  • Local issues and events:  The Chairman reported:
  1. The Sarsen Trail would take place on the 5 May. Charity walks such as Ridgeway 100 would be on 13-14 July and Laura Cooper had made arrangements for the finish at Rutlands Farm. It seemed likely that only small numbers would attend three Discover Adventure walks.
  2. The Chairman had met with Visit Wiltshire and had asked them not to feature Avebury on the Wiltshire Heritage Trail.
  3. EU LEADER funding for the Great Stones Way had been declined and Friends of the Ridgeway were rethinking the project.
  4. Avebury Rocks was not being held in 2013.
  5. Laura Cooper would be organising a one-off event at Rutlands for NFU Open Farm Sunday on 9 June, 11am-5pm. The event was for the community and local parishes to highlight Marborough Downs Nature Improvement Area. It was estimated there would be 800 attendees.
  6. The Wiltshire Council dog warden had been patrolling more frequently.
  7. Mr Jim Gunter was likely to carry out a geophysical survey of the Sports-field in the near future.
  8. APC had contacted WC to carry out various small works such filling potholes, road sweeping and repairing streetlights.
  • Communications:  The Chairman stated APC continued with its aim to improve communications with the public.  The web site was regularly updated, the headlines of APC meetings were included in the parish magazine and on local noticeboards and APC had circulated a number of fliers to all households.
  • Civil Emergency Plan:  Mrs Judy Farthing requested anyone with equipment or skills that could be used in an Emergency to sign up after the meeting. Mrs Tomlin requested the NT to be put on the list as their rangers had equipment and many lived locally.
  • Precept, finance and admin, the Chairman reported:
  1. The precept was down from £11,100 to £11,000 for 2013/14. Estimated outgoings for 2013-2014 included the Clerks’ salary/costs at nearly £5,000, grass cutting at £1,800, smaller items such as web-site, subscriptions, training, printing, expenses and audit work at a total of £1,400, insurance at £1,200 and match funding for projects at £800.
  2. The bank balance at 31 March 2013 was about £10,500 but a more comparable figure was £8,000 due to pledges outstanding at the end of the financial year for the pavement extension at Trusloe and a contribution to the WHS traffic study. The figure of £8,000 was broadly similar to the balance at the same time the previous year.

iii.            The audited accounts for 2011-2012 were available for inspection.

  1. Local issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months:

o        Mr Holmes reported that on the east side of West Kennett Avenue, a number of hollows had developed on the edge of the carriageway. Mr Holmes will give further details to APC to action.

o        Mrs Kremer thanked the Chairman and the Clerk for their work.

  1. Local issues from the Parish Council:aside from flooding and traffic, there were no more issues from APC.
  1. Any other business
  • The Chairman thanked all those who supported the Parish Council, including:

o        Litter pickers and those who cleared up after their dogs especially on the recreation grounds, the Circle and on footpaths.

o        Trustees, Secretaries and Treasurers of local voluntary organisations and especially to Mrs Jenny Haines and ASA.

o        Police, staff at Wiltshire Council and the National Trust.

o        Miss Liz Moore (Clerk), Mrs Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Councillor), Mrs Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Officer), Mr Paul Birkeland-Green (APC Web-Site) and Mr Len Adams (APC Handyman)

o        Colleagues on the Parish Council

o        and all those who attended the meeting.

The meeting closed at 20:46

 

Appendices (included in book of Parish Council papers):

  1. National Trust Update April 2013
  2. Avebury Archaeology Update 18 April 2013

24 Apr 2012 Annual Parish Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of the annual Parish meeting held on the 24 April 2012 at The Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF 

In these minutes, APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, NT for the National Trust and WC for Wiltshire Council.

There were 34 members of the public in attendance and the meeting started at 7.32.

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mr Paul Dixon, Mrs Beryl Greenaway, Mr Keith Howell and Mrs Maggie Lewis

In attendance: Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, and PCSO Jonathan Mills

Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mr Mike Daniel, Mrs Antoinette Dyson, Mrs Karyn Pearson, Mrs Liz Moore and several members of the public.

  • Welcomes and introductions 

The Chairman welcomed all attending the meeting and introduced those Parish Councillors present.  He outlined how the Council had changed and developed over the last year.  He said there was now a full complement of Parish Councillors following two elections and the co-option of two more members.  He said that 12 people had expressed interest in serving.  He also introduced Mrs Milton as Avebury’s local Wiltshire Councillor and three other people who help with the Council’s work; these were Mrs Judy Farthing (Community Emergency Volunteer), Mr Paul Birkeland-Green (website co-ordinator) and Mr Len Adams who had taken on the job of Handyman following the advertisement of the post in June.  Mrs Liz Moore, Parish Clerk, was currently on maternity leave following the birth of her daughter Victoria.

  • Minutes of the annual Parish meeting held on 7 April 2011

The Chairman distributed copies of the minutes of the last meeting and asked if they were accurate.  Miss Heather Peak-Garland commented that the path between her house and the Old Vicarage was a footpath and not a right of way as stated and that it was being used by cyclists etc.  She also asked if it would be possible for a movable bollard, and not just a cone, to be put in place to prevent motorists using the entrance to the footpath to turn round.  The Chairman confirmed that the status of the path would be checked and the minutes amended accordingly.  Subject to this potential amendment, the Chairman asked if he could sign the minutes as an accurate record.  This was proposed by Mrs Jan Williamson, seconded by Mrs Geraldine Wimble and agreed unanimously.

  • Matters arising from the minutes: There were no matters arising from the minutes
  • Report on the work of the Parish Council and Avebury Sportsfield Association

The Chairman outlined the work of the Council.  Members had represented the community at 47 meetings during the past year and the Parish was a member of seven bodies, such as the Sacred Sites Forum and the Marlborough Area Parish Forum.  He noted that the Parish Council’s monthly meetings had been changed from the third to the first Tuesday of the month so that notes of its meetings could be included in Upper Kennet News whose deadline for submissions was the third Friday of the month.

The Chairman then outlined specific aspects of the Council’s work:

  • Planning: The Chairman said that Wiltshire Council was responsible for granting planning permissions but consulted Avebury Parish Council on each application.  The Parish Council had set up its Planning Sub-Committee in May 2011 and had supported most of the 24 applications that had come before it during the year, often recommending that conditions be imposed.  APC had twice opposed an application for a garage at Skokholm in Green Street and had supported Fyfield and West Overton PC in its objection to a proposed grain store at a site adjacent to the World Heritage Site (WHS) opposite the Bell Inn on the A4.

The Parish Council had refused a (non-planning) application to launch hot air balloons from the Sports-field.  It was noted that Mr Robin Butler had granted permissive open access to the Long Stones for visitors.

  • Transport:   APC had set up a Transport Group in October 2011 chaired by Dr Mike Bedford.  An open meeting in March had been well attended and showed the levels of concern locally.  It highlighted two main problems – redressing the balance between pedestrians and motorists, especially at bus stops and in the Circle, and congestion in the High Street and Green Street.

Marlborough Area Parish Forum had commissioned consultants Ben Hamilton-Baillie to review traffic issues in the 15 villages around Marlborough and he had given a presentation to a meeting in March at Lockeridge which had been very interesting.  Avebury WHS Traffic Management and Design Guide Project had been launched and APC was about to make an EU LEADER grant application for £15,000 to help finance the Design Guide project.  Wiltshire Council had pledged £2,750 towards this initiative and APC had earmarked £250 as well.

The Chairman asked for comments from the meeting: Lady Beale asked about a large pothole in the High Street outside her house; she had reported it, as has APC, but she would report it again.  The Chairman agreed that APC would also report it again.  Lady Beale commented that she was in favour of the Design Guide Project.

The Chairman suggested those present sign a petition on the LEADER grant application.

  • Wiltshire Council:  The Chairman invited Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton to address the meeting.  She commended the Parish for its work on transport and local livelihoods and noted that WC was keen to support partnership working with parishes and others.  She brought those present up to date with WC’s priorities and noted that parishes would have a greater say in many issues in future.  Mrs Milton then left to attend another parish meeting at Winterbourne Monkton.
  • Local Livelihoods and Tourism Group:  The Chairman said that APC had set up this group as it was aware it should represent the interests of local employers and employees as well as residents.  There had been meetings in January and March and a further meeting was planned for July.  The Group was taking action on a number of issues:
    • A road-sign for Beckhampton Road was needed to direct visitors; the Transport Group would ensure this was addressed in the Design Guide Project
    • A revised post code could ensure that more delivery truck drivers using SatNav would avoid the High Street; the National Trust was working on this
    • The Group was exploring what could be done about slow business in the winter
    • APC was discussing with the NT the need for the notice board at the pedestrian exit to the main car park to show village facilities in the High Street, although the NT was aware that there had been tension in the past as not all residents wanted increased footfall in the High Street
    • APC had circulated a contacts list of all traders in the Group.
  • Community Shop:  The Chairman invited Mrs Michele Lomas to address the meeting as chair of the Community Shop Committee.  Mrs Lomas thanked the village for its continued support of the shop and to the volunteers who run it.  This year the NT had replaced the roof at Hope Cottage and had insulated it. A new till system had been purchased with the help of a grant from WC and the Marlborough Area Board.  The shop was also shortlisted for a volunteer award and made the top three.  She noted that new volunteers were always welcome and needed.  The shop would always try to source items requested and also did home deliveries.
  • National Trust:  The Chairman then asked Mrs Jan Tomlin to address the meeting.  She noted that the year-long transformation of the Manor was now complete and that it had been well received by visitors who were keen to know more about the stories behind the house.  She thanked Brian Holman and his team for all their work on the gardens.  There had been an increase in visitors and the museum visitor numbers were now almost back to their former levels. The café and visitor centre had been transformed with Trust support and the Museum was next for an upgrade.  A new member of staff, Nikki White, would be joining the NT team the following Monday.  She would be in charge of visitor experience and would be the first point of contact for the village.  A 1930’s themed tea room would be opening in the West Library at the Manor in a week’s time.
  • Visitor numbers:  Mrs Julie Butler asked if thought had been given to increases in visitor numbers.  Mrs Tomlin replied that the Easter weekend was always the busiest so the worst was over.  The Manor field had been opened for parking to cope with demand and this had worked well.  Miss Peak-Garland stated that the High Street was blocked on Easter Sunday by cars but she was told that the NT had no jurisdiction over the public highway but that they endeavour to move cars on and park properly.  PCSO Mills said that if cars were causing an obstruction then residents should call the police who would ensure that offending vehicles would be towed away.
  • Car parking:  A member of the public asked if it was NT policy to open extra parking.  Mrs Tomlin said the Manor park had been open for Easter and would also be open over Solstice, although this was not a long term solution.  The thorny issue of parking charges was also raised.  Mrs Tomlin said the NT would be revising the charging policy but its scope was limited; if the parking charge was lowered then revenue for the care of the Henge would be diminished.  If it was increased then it would increase the parking problem elsewhere in the village.  Mrs Judy Farthing asked if the NT was looking for a long term solution to the parking issue.  Mrs Tomlin said a limit on parking and camping meant that the current situation was self-limiting, which had its benefits; the NT was also managing the situation as best it could.  A survey some years ago had not come up with any solutions.  Mrs Butler commented that it seemed that more visitors were encouraged but available parking was not increased.  Sarah Simmonds said that the parking issue was prominent in the current review of the WHS Management Plan.  Mr Vic Paradise said that Mrs Tomlin had stated that the overflow car park only had consent for 28 days a year but it was his understanding that WC had given permission for a permanent car park at the site.  The grass was now waterlogged despite the matting that had been put down to protect it.  Mrs Tomlin said she would check regarding the car park.
  • Charity walks:  Parish Councillor Keith Howell drew the meeting’s attention to an advertisement he had seen in the Guardian newspaper placed by a commercial company (Discover Adventure) offering services to charities for ‘Trekathons’ between Stonehenge and Avebury to raise funds.  He had contacted the company who seemed surprised that APC should be concerned.  They had agreed to write to APC so that the matter could be discussed at APC’s next meeting. They had said they had conferred with NT, WHS and military authorities.  Proposed dates for various charity walks were 30 June, 14 July and 16 September.  Mr Robert Cooper had been approached in previous years for parking facilities but not this year.  The Chairman noted that Avebury had in the past been keen to ‘do its bit’ for charities by accommodating some events but APC was not always notified about them, and more events might be sponsored in future.  He asked for the feeling of the meeting.  Sir Peter Beale said that Avebury was in danger of being overcrowded.  Mr Paul Birkeland-Green was concerned that the village could not provide the increased services needed if Avebury became a starting or finishing point.  Mrs Geraldine Wimble said that the PC had in the past always been notified by the organisers of the Sarsen Trail and that they had been very good about clearing up afterwards. Lady Beale suggested that APC write to Discover Adventure to highlight the lack of available facilities such as toilets and parking.  The Chairman said the APC would be developing its policy towards charity walks.
  • Avebury Sportsfield Association:  Mr Paul Dixon reported on behalf of ASA:
    • The remaining six volunteers had raised £3,070 with £695 coming from involvement with Avebury Rocks – a long, hard day but worthwhile financially
    • As well as paying for running costs for the pavilion, the maintenance of the building and the control of rodents, a large bill had been received from WC for water quality testing.  ASA had also met the cost of winter weather damage to the UV water filter
    • When the Pavilion was not being used during the past winter, a local volunteer had kindly painted the inside at a reduced rate which had been a great help
    • It was hoped to renew the floor covering in the main part of the Pavilion in 2012 and perhaps have safety flooring in the changing rooms.  Hopefully the refurbishment would be completed by the end of the year so ASA would then only need to raise funds to cover running costs and maintenance
    • Mr Dixon thanked all those who gave their time year round and commented that they would welcome new volunteers, although that this did involve a rota system to provide hot drinks to football spectators on cold winter Sunday mornings!

The Chairman said that the relationship between APC and ASA had been reviewed and formalised during the year.  It had been agreed that ASA pay APC £50 per annum in rent and would run the booking system and maintain the pavilion.  APC would insure the pavilion and pay for grass cutting.  APC had recently increased the insured sum of the pavilion to about £166,000 being the amount needed to re-build.  Miss Peak-Garland commented that the sports-field always looked lovely.

  • World Heritage Site Officer:  Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) explained that the WHS Management Plan was being updated and that this involved English Heritage, NT, Natural England, North Wessex Downs AONB, WC, the three local parish councils, farmers, archaeologists – and the community.  The Management Plan included everyone involved in keeping all the elements of Avebury (traffic, parking, tourism etc) well managed and it would be very useful if all local groups signed up to it.  It was currently being updated as there had been many changes since it was produced in 2005.  In July there would be an exhibition in the Social Centre outlining the issues affecting the area and she would welcome input from the community.

Mr Vic Paradise asked what was proposed to help with increased traffic flow on the A4361 through the WHS and was used as the most direct north/south route across the county.  Sarah Simmonds stated that these routes were part of the review including those used by HGVs and that the plan would try to achieve as much consensus as possible.

Sarah Simmonds asked if all Avebury residents had Residents Packs; if not, they were available from her.

  • Marlborough Area Board:  The Board had pledged £500 towards the village’s Jubilee celebrations and Jan Rendle had applied for nearly £2000 for stage lighting in the Social Centre.
  • Avebury Sacred Sites Forum:  This was attended by Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson, Mrs Antoinette Dyson and/or Mr Keith Howell.  Mr Howell reported that the groups attending the forum shared the local community’s concerns about drugs and drunkenness.  The aim was to move people on quickly from the Ridgeway area after the celebration.  Fences in this area had been installed and it was hoped that the farm water supply was now secure against misappropriation.
  • Summer Solstice 2012:  The Chairman reported that there had been meetings between NT, WHS, police, security, St. John’s Ambulance and the camping community regarding this year’s Solstice celebrations.  Arrangements would be similar to those in 2011.  Those celebrations had gone reasonably well although there had been an unpleasant assault on a member of staff at the Red Lion and there were too many drugs around due to the lack of the presence of a police drugs dog.  This year it was hoped that there would be one and possibly two dogs present, and that other precautions would include improved policing for Trusloe residents and coning off of local lay-bys, including West Kennett.
  • Policing, crime and scams: PCSO Jonathan Mills addressed the meeting and said that Ron Peach had been promoted to Inspector, CBM Sarah Watts has been transferred to Swindon and PC David Tippetts would be returning to the area in the post of Community Beat Manager.  He also reported that:
  • Most crime statistics were down and the Parish was a low crime area.  Theft from motor vehicles was a problem; a ‘bait’ car had been out in the area, but no bites!  
  • Not much of a problem with cold-calling in the area but if anyone was cold-called he advised taking the vehicle registration of the caller if possible and reporting it to the police.  Mrs Jan Williamson said that there had been two young men purporting to be collecting for the Red Cross who were quite assertive which could frighten older residents.  PCSO Mills said he hadn’t heard of this.  Mrs Beryl Greenway said she had called the Red Cross who told her that they sent out collectors in the evening as more people were at home.  
  • Fuel thefts remained an issue – red and white diesel from farms was being targeted.

Miss Peak-Garland said she would like to commend the police for the help she had received when burgled.

  • Local issues and events:  The Chairman noted a number of points:
    • Tanker drivers’ strike:  The Parish Council was identifying any vulnerable people in the area who might be affected in the event of a strike by the petrol tanker drivers.  Mrs Judy Farthing and Mrs Maggie Lewis were liaising on the issue.
    • Fence in Church Walk:  The suggestion that this fence be taken down had been discussed at APC meetings. Mrs Sally Nelson said it used to be open land there and that it would enhance the area if the large fence were taken down or replaced with a more aesthetic alternative.  It was thought that the fence was erected by Mr Ken King when he owned the Manor.  Mr Paradise stated that Alexander Keiller originally erected the fence to prevent people from accessing the land.  The fence was now owned by the NT and Mrs Tomlin stated that there were cost implications and concerns about the area being used for informal camping if accessible.  It was decided to review this matter in future, especially when the fence needed replacing.
    • Great Stones Way:  APC had made submissions to the consultants conducting the Environmental Impact Study and there had been a meeting the previous week in Woodborough for all villages on the route.  A report was currently being prepared by the consultants.
    • Mobile library service: The service was reviewed recently and, at present, the numbers using it in the Parish were above the required four users per location (Rawlins Park = 6.5, Trusloe = 5.8, High Street = 5.2)
    • Ridgeway camping:  This was under review.  A new fence had been installed.
    • Panto:  It was likely that the successful panto last December would be repeated
    • Diamond Jubilee celebration:  The event would be held on 4 June on the Sports-field with funding from MAB, APC and local organisations.  Mrs Williamson said she hoped everyone had received their invitations; the tickets would be free and would be available from the Community Shop, the Red Lion and the Club from 1 May.  Everyone attending would be asked to bring a plate of food to share.
    • Community orchard:  Janet polack had taken the initiative to plan this as a part of the Jubilee celebration.  Brian Holman had arranged for a group to see the NT’s Manor orchard and the orchard at West Kennett, both of which included a wide range of local varieties.
    • Avebury Rocks would be held on 7 July.

 

  • Communications:  The Chairman reported that:
    • ‘Headlines’ from APC meetings had been included in UKN throughout the year and had been put up on the five notice boards in the Parish.
    • APC had distributed seven newsletters and fliers to each household in the Parish.
    • Play area in Trusloe:  APC had arranged for RoSPA to prepare a safety report.  Mr Adams had removed concrete under the see-saw and had completed works to the swings, basketball net and fencing.
    • Noticeboards: one had been donated by the NT and had been installed at Beckhampton.  Two had been refurbished at West Kennett and Trusloe.
    • Water leaks by the pumping station and in the High Street had been reported repeatedly and had eventually been repaired.
    • Potholes in the High Street had been reported repeatedly to WC and APC had also reported general street cleaning and lighting issues to WC.  The NT continued to do a Monday morning litter clean up
    • Betty Hunter bench: Gillian Bushell had generously donated a bench in memory of her late aunt, Betty Hunter.  It had been installed by the south door of the church
    • Millennium Bench: This had now been refurbished by the estate of Sherrie Echols and APC had thanked Jenny Bromilow for her work on this.
    • Roads and footpaths:  WC had carried out surface dressings at Beckhampton and along the Avenue and had repaired Big Arch bridge on Footpath 22
    • Items not done:  These included resurfacing the High Street and updating APC’s Civil Emergency Plan.
  • Finance:  The Chairman said that copies of APC’s audited accounts and financial records were available for inspection at the end of the meeting.  The Precept for 2012/13 had been set at £11,100, a 2.6% reduction on 2011/12’s figure of £11,500.
  • Local issues from the public
    • Miss Peak-Garland raised the issue of flooding during rainstorms due to the silting up of the drains as chippings and mud washed into them.  She stated that the drains needed clearing.  The Chairman said he would email WC about this matter, and he would also email the NT following a complaint from a member of the public that the access to the public toilets needed sweeping.
    • Mrs Jane Garnett asked if general litter bins and bins for the disposal of dog faeces could be installed.  The general consensus was that they were much needed. APC would discuss this at its next meeting.
  • Local issues from the Parish Council:  There were no more issues from APC.
  • Any other business
    • Sir Peter Beale proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman and members of the Parish Council for all their work, and this was heartily endorsed by the meeting.
    • The Chairman thanked Sir Peter and also thanked:
      • All those who picked up litter and those who cleared up after their dogs, especially on the Sports-field, the Circle and local footpaths
      • Trustees, secretaries and treasurers of local voluntary organisations, especially Mrs Jenny Haines and the volunteers who ran ASA
      • The Police and staff at Wiltshire Council and the National Trust
      • Liz Moore, Jemima Milton, Judy Farthing, Paul Birkeland-Green and Len Adams
      • his colleagues on the Parish Council
      • and all those who attended the meeting.

The meeting closed at 9.00 p.m.