14 January 2020 Extraordinary meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an extraordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 14 January 2020 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EMF for ear marked funds, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoW for Rights of Way, SID for Speed Indicator Device, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chair), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mrs Donna Byatt and Mrs Lynzey Paradise.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk: up to and including item 13).

Time Started: 19:31

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chair), Mr Mike Daniel, Mr Terence O’Connor and Ms Zandria Service.
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of the council meeting held on 3 December 2019: it was resolved to accept the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: there were none.
  6. Planning applications: the Clerk reported that no planning applications had been received from WC.
  7. Projects:
    1. Play Area:
      1.  Mrs Paradise reported that she was waiting for a third estimate from a supplier and that she hoped to present a progress report at the PC’s meeting in February.
      2. The Clerk reported that she had instructed Martin Nobbs of Kennet Fencing to carry out emergency repairs to the Play Area fencing by replacing the old damaged green chain link with the stronger galvanized chain link for £250 (ex VAT, includes labour and materials). It was resolved to approve expenditure of £250 for repairs to the fencing and installation of new galvanized chain link. The Clerk said that the fencing contractor had recommended installing 3,5,8 mesh onto the existing galvanized wire fence as it was a product designed to take the impact of a football, and a five metre area could be installed specifically for footballs to be shot at. Action: Clerk to request pricing.
      3. The Clerk reported that installing a metal lintel bar across the top of the fencing would cost about £1,000 (ex VAT, includes labour and parts). In discussion it was noted that the contractor had expressed his doubts about how effective a lintel might be in strengthening the fencing as children might try to walk across it. Mrs Paradise clarified that a tubular bar and not a square bar had been mentioned by a play provider as a possible solution to strengthen the fencing. Action: Clerk to request additional pricing for tubular bar.
      4. The Chairman reported that on Friday he would be taking delivery of the new bench for Play Area and storing it in his garage. The Clerk said that she had obtained a price from the fencing contractor for installing a concrete slab under the bench legs and it would cost £300 (ex VAT, includes labour for one days work and materials). In discussion members noted that the price quoted was for installation of concrete under the legs only so that the bench could be bolted to a hard surface to prevent removal. Other solutions discussed included chaining the bench to the fence and / or using Metposts as feet to help prevent the wood rotting. It was agreed to defer installing the bench in the Play Area until the actual design of the Play Area had been finalized. Action: In the meantime the Clerk would obtain pricing for Metposts for the bench legs.
  8. To review and approve the budget for 2020/21: (draft budget and note on reserve fund previously circulated to members). The Chairman explained that the budget was the PC’s best effort at working out income and expenditure for the next financial year and the PC would need to increase the precept by just over £1,000 (an increase of 9.6%) to deliver on planned projects such as the Play Area, permissive path and improving broadband. In discussion members noted that the 2020/21 projected tax base was 216.50. If the precept was set at £13,787 then the band D property would be £63.68 an annual increase of £5.58 on 2019/20 figures (£58.10). The Chairman reminded members that recent achievements for the community included the resurfacing of the NT’s High Street car park and footpaths 21 and 22. The budget was scrutinized and members were content with the provision for the planned projects. It was agreed to review the Earmarked Funds (EMFs) in March and again in April after the Annual Parish meeting. The draft budget was tabled (see appendix 1 for budget and note on reserves) and it was resolved to approve the budget for 2020/21. Proposed by Mrs Byatt, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
  9. To set the precept: it was resolved to set the total precept for 2020/21 at £13,787.00. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously. Clerk to email WC with precept requirement.
  10. Finance and admin including:
    1.  RoW meeting at ASSC, 13 January 2020: in discussion it was felt that other parishes attending the meeting should also contribute to future room hire and on a rotational basis. It was resolved to pay £10 towards room hire for the group to meet at ASSC [using powers under s.137 of the Local Government Act 1972]. Proposed by Mrs Byatt, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously. Mrs Lewis additionally reported that she had attended the RoW meeting held the previous evening and that the group was currently looking at the group’s constitution and setting itself up as a community interest company (CIC).
    2.  Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. 
      1. Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 November – 21 December 2019 inclusive                                  £248.36
      2. WALC: Chairing Skills course 17 January 2020 x 1 delegate (includes VAT)                                                           £78.00
      3. ASSC: Hire of room for RoW meeting                  £10.00
  11. Actions from Clerk’s appraisal on 2 December: confidential item. The Chairman’s proposal to defer the item to the end of the meeting was agreed. Decision: Chairman to draft a letter that would be sent to members for comment with the objective of advising the Clerk on the outcome of her appraisal and pay award.
  12. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 4 February 2020
  13. Any other business: the Chairman reported:
    1. Communities Prepared evening workshop exploring the topic of community resilience was being held on January 29th at Marlborough Town Hall, from 6.30-8:30 pm. Mrs Lewis confirmed that she and Mrs Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Volunteer) would be attending the workshop.
    2. The next ASSF meeting was on 22 January from 2- 4 pm at the Study Centre. Mrs Lewis confirmed that she would be attending the meeting. Members asked Mrs Lewis to encourage Hilary Makins (Countryside Manager NT) to arrange a Solstice Operational Planning Meeting as soon as possible.
    3.  A resident at Rawlins Park had requested that the council consider installing permanent SIDs on the WC bus shelters on the A4361 Swindon Road. In discussion it was noted that WC’s advice was to rotate the location of SIDs, a person needed to be trained to install them, currently the PC did not own any SIDs as it had been previously resolved not to purchase them due to the cost, and installation on WC owned property could only be with WC’s permission. Members were however sympathetic to the reason for the request as speeding vehicles were a problem on most roads. Clerk to respond to the resident with the council’s feedback.
    4. The leaking sewer in Bray Street had been reported to Thames Water by many residents including the Clerk and also to the Environment Agency. A representative of Thames Water had told the Chair by telephone on 14 January that it was a reactive organization resourced only to respond to residents whose buildings were actually inundated by sewage and that its assessment was that the pumping station was adequate for a community of Avebury’s size. A representative of WC’s environmental protection team had explained that its very limited power to oblige Thames Water to act would not have helped in the recent circumstances. Mrs Lewis confirmed that she would be attending a WC Flood Group meeting being held in Dinton the next day.
    5. The Clerk had requested WC’s discretionary gully emptying service for gullies in the layby at West Kennett and outside the Red Lion PH. The original issue had been reported using WC’s online system but the feedback report had said that if a gully was not causing flooding to a high speed road or causing damage to property then it was not considered a high priority by WC, and registering the issue with the discretionary gully emptying should be considered. Members asked the Clerk to also request that the Parish Steward check the gully outside the Social Centre in the High Street.

The meeting closed at: 21:32

Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers)

  1. Draft budget for 2020/21 and note on reserves