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].

7 March 2017 Ordinary Meeting : Agenda

Avebury Parish Council

An ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council will be held at 7:30pm on 7 March 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

All members of the public and press are welcome to attend.

Liz Moore, Clerk to Avebury Parish Council, 1 March 2017


  1. Public question time
  2. Apologies
  3. Declarations of interest
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 7 February 2017
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: Minute ref. 5 correction: date for ACSReC meeting minutes should be reinstated as 28 June 2016. Minute ref. 15 e. replacement planter ordered for High Street
  6. Planning applications + results including:
    1. Full planning consent for single storey rear extension at Freshfield, Beckhampton, SN8 1QJ. Ref: 16/12045/FUL.
    2. Full planning consent for extension of roof to front garage to create a car port at Freshfield, Beckhampton, SN8 1QJ. Ref: 16/12058/FUL.
    3. NT Stables application and decision by WC Planning Committee
  7. Transport Group: to set a date for next committee meeting
    1. A4 projects at Beckhampton and West Kennett including (i) report on meeting with Steve Hind of WC and Sarah Simmonds of WHS (ii) progress on fund-raising from local people
    2. Footpaths and signage meeting on 2 March: report 
  8. National Trust update
  9. A303 road scheme: APC’s response
  10. Improving opening hours of toilets at the Coach House
  11. Housing Needs Survey
  12. Defibrillator for Avebury and funding options
  13. ACSReC including: renewal of sports-field lease, repairs to the Sports Pavilion roof, banking, noticeboard, fundraising, PAT testing
  14. Local issues including: re-lining sewer from Avebury to East Kennett, to ratify re-submission of APC’s Community Right to Bid application, Beckhampton notice board, payphones consultation, new Perspex for Swindon Road bus shelter, leaf sweeping in High Street and Church Walk, jetting of culvert in Beckhampton.
  15. Communications
  16. Correspondence including Best Kept Village Competition
  17. Finance and admin: including: VAT rebate, confidential item: to approve confidential minute on item on Clerk’s terms and conditions of service and to consider point 1 from Appraisal, training for councillors, review of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and TOR of committees, ordering system, Emergency Plan, to receive note on Reserve Funds dated 1 March 2017, the approved minutes of ACSReC meeting 1 February 2017 and Transport Group Committee meeting 8 March 2016.
  18. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification
  19. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 4 April 2017 at the Social Centre
  20. Annual Village meeting 7pm on Tuesday 25 April 2017
  21. Any other business

7 February 2017 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 7 February 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, EH for English Heritage, HE for Highways England, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, URC for United Reform Church, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:31

  1. Public question time: There were 12 members of the public present for all or part of the meeting. The Chairman stated the A303 presentation at item 7. had been arranged because Avebury had an interest in 1. protecting its WHS status and 2. protecting the site and monuments. He said it would be useful if all present could introduce themselves and then questions could be asked. Mr Andrew Alcorn (Highways England’s Project Manager for the A303 Stonehenge improvement) and Mr Chris Jones (Atkins Arup Consultant leading the public consultation) introduced themselves, as did members of Avebury Parish Council, local parishioners and other members of the public including Mrs Jane Davies (prospective WC Councillor), Mrs Gill Swanton (local landowner and archaeologist), Mr Ewart Holmes (Committee member, Avebury Society), Dr Kate Fielden (Vice-Chairman, Avebury Society) and two members of NT staff (see item 2). A member of the public then asked why did the A303 tunnel have to be a short rather than long tunnel, why a bypass could not be built and would there be a study / investigation on the impacts of the project. A member of the Avebury Society asked about the brief and the constraints that had been given to HE, the add-on costs per kilometre of building an extra length of tunnel given that all equipment would already be on-site, whether securing extra funding from overseas had been considered and how light and noise pollution would be mitigated. There was anxiety within the Avebury Society about the knock on effect to the roads surrounding the A303 when it was widened and possible problems for users of minor roads joining the A303. A member of APC asked 1. what was the response of the local population at Stonehenge and 2. what were the justifications for building a tunnel. A final question was asked by a member of the public as to what was the total cost of the project. The consultants for HE said they would answer all the questions during their presentation.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Mr Stephen Stacey. In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk) except item 18.b, Dr Rosamund Cleal (NT Museum Curator, Alexander Keiller Museum) and Ms Catherine Hosie (NT Estate Manager).
  3. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mr Terence O’Connor and Ms Zandria Service. Apologies had also been received from Wiltshire Councillor, Mrs Jemima Milton and mentioned later in the meeting at item 10.
  4. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 6 December 2016: two amendments were requested. Item 12. second sentence: to change Mr Lewis to Mrs Lewis and to correct appendix item 5. from ‘…meeting 28 June 2016’. to ‘…meeting 28 May 2016’. It was resolved to include the amendments. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously. Further to the aforesaid amendments the minutes were unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Mr Campbell.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: the Clerk reported:
      1. Repairs to swings at Avebury Trusloe: (Minute ref. 15). The work had been completed.
      2. New bridge in Beckhampton: (Minute ref. 16. f.). The work had been completed. (Pictures of the new bridge with new railings had been previously circulated to members by Mrs Lewis).
      3. Web-Site updates: (Minute ref. 21.c.). The work had been completed and members to agree management of on-line community notice board. It was agreed that the Clerk and Mrs Paradise would keep the notice board up to date.
  7. Planning applications + results:
      1. Full Planning Consent for erection of three single storey timber stables on an existing base at Beckhampton House, Beckhampton SN8 1QR. Ref: 17/00295/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
      2. Work to trees in a Conservation Area to fell one Lawson Cypress at ground level at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 17/01010/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
      3. Members received the minutes of the Planning Committee meetings held on 17 December and 21 January 2017 (see appendix 1 and 2 respectively).
      4. Lower Acre, Bray Street: the Chairman stated the application had been withdrawn.
      5. NT Stables, High Street: the Chairman reported the application had been called in by Mrs Milton (WC Councillor) and the WC Planning Committee meeting was scheduled for Friday 17 February. It was noted the Chairman would not be able to attend, but other APC members would be present to put forward APC’s views as per 21 January Planning Committee meeting minutes. [The WC Planning Committee was in fact due to meet on Thursday 16 February.]
  8. Highways England presentation on A303 road scheme at Stonehenge:
    1. (map previously circulated to members and see appendix 3). Consultants Chris Jones and Andrew Alcorn distributed three hardcopy booklets entitled: 1. A303 Stonehenge Amesbury to Berwick Down: Public Consultation Booklet – January 2017. 2. The case for the scheme and 3. Creating an Expressway to the South West: the case for the A303/A358 Corridor. (See appendix 4 of the minute book). Mr Chris Jones explained there had been nine exhibitions to accompany the public consultation and the final one was to take place the next day. He then gave a power point presentation and background introduction to explain that Highways England had been created on 1 April 2015 and now worked under licence to the Department of Transport. There were eight sections of road for improvement on the A303 and the deadline for delivering the improvements was 2029. The objectives for the scheme were read out (see p. 17 of booklet A303 Stonehenge: Public Consultation January 2017). Mr Jones explained that Highways England was consulting on the 12 km of road that ran past Stonehenge and that Arup Atkins brief was to look at the options and propose solutions. The solutions were a pair of 2.9 km tunnels and a choice of a northern or southern bypass at Winterbourne Stoke to accommodate access.

    The following points emerged. 1. The tunnel would not be seen from Stonehenge 2. The Road Investment Strategy had come about through studies and had been put forward by the previous Prime Minister 3. Work with the NT and EH had informed and underpinned the decision that 2.5 – 2.9 km was an appropriate length for the tunnel including the location for the portals 4. Mr Jones had asked for the lighting to be removed from the portal entrances 5. It was estimated that £1.4 billon was the likely cost of the whole project. The final presentation was the project timeline (see Public Consultation Booklet, p.49 it was predicted work would start on site in 2020). Thanks were expressed to Andrew Alcorn and Chris Jones for their presentations.

    The Chairman asked members of APC for their views. Questions were raised as to how any adverse effects could be negated and whether all ICOMOS’s recommendations would be implemented (see ICOMOS web site for technical documentation). The Chairman stated if 60 scheduled monuments were likely to suffer slight to very large adverse impacts then those issues should be resolved. Mr Jones said that it was the UK Government who nominated Stonehenge to be a WHS and therefore they would be taking the ICOMOS recommendations seriously. The Chairman also pointed out that the word ‘protect’ did not come into Arup Atkins’ technical documentation but protection was the primary purpose of the WHS. APC members were concerned that a 2.9km tunnel necessitated about 1.5km of surface level dual carriageway in the western part of the Site.  The Chairman suggested an alternative solution could avoid a great deal of damage to archaeology if about 1.5km of the existing A303 in the western part of the WHS was recycled/reused as a one-direction pair of traffic lanes and coupled with a tunnel of about 2.9km and, for traffic travelling in the opposite direction, a longer tunnel of about 4.5km was built to emerge just outside the western end of the WHS. He also suggested that a test be applied to any scheme: if some monuments were 4,500 years old, was it likely that the built scheme would still be seen as an acceptable intervention in 4,500 years’ time?

    The Chairman asked members of the public for their views. Question 1. Would more money be going into the railways to counteract displacement of vehicles. Answer: the Government makes the policy and Highways England works on the specific brief. Referred to National Policy Statement. Question 2. Thanks were expressed to the consultants for their presentation and they were asked what was the Government’s brief on looking after undisturbed archaeology? What were the downsides? Answer: Atkins Arup was currently undertaking geophysical surveys and pit work that was overseen and signed off by the County Archaeologist and Historic England. Question 3. How would the likely increase in traffic on the A345 (Marlborough to Amesbury road) be managed? Answer: Atkins Arup would be putting in place Development Consent Orders to look at the temporary effects of traffic on A345 whilst the A303 road was a construction site and to look at any long-term effects.

    Action: It was agreed the Chairman draft a response to the Highways England and other authorities and circulate it to APC members for comment before submission.  The response should reflect points made in the meeting and should emphasise in particular that the Parish Council is concerned that the proposed A303 scheme could result in negative impacts on the Avebury half of the WHS if 1. UNESCO were to delist the WHS, or add it to its List of World Heritage Sites in Danger and 2. if a precedent was set whereby further damaging schemes in future could be built in either half of the WHS.  The Parish Council would therefore urge that 1. monuments, their settings and interrelationships including astronomical alignments be protected and adverse impacts on them be much reduced and 2. that all ICOMOS/UNESCO recommendations be included in the final design so that ICOMOS/UNESCO agreement is obtained.

    The Chairman warmly thanked Andrew Alcorn and Chris Jones for their assistance and advice.

  9. Transport Group: In the absence of Dr Bedford, the Chairman reported on the Committee meeting on 13 December:
      1. Atkins and A4 designs: CATG had agreed to fund 50% of the design project. (Total project cost = £18,775). It was resolved that APC fund 25% of the project from its reserves = £4,694. The Clerk stated APC had the power to act under section 274 of the Highways Act 1980. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously. A member of APC reported a member of the public had asked what was being done about yellow lines in Avebury Trusloe as there were on-going issues with parking. Action: yellow lines to be put on next Transport Group meeting agenda for re-consideration.
      2. Local fundraising: the Transport Group would be working on raising the rest of the money needed for the A4 design project.
      3. Footpaths and finger posts: a meeting was currently being arranged between Mr Tim Lewis and Mr Stephen Leonard. Mrs Paradise reported that footpath 22 was not safe. Members noted they had received no further response from WC even though the Deputy Leader of WC had agreed to put the project on to WC’s list of projects for 2016/17. The footpath had also been logged via WC’s on-line system. Action: issue to be put on Transport Group agenda for urgent attention.
      4. Great West Way: the Chairman and Mrs Lewis reported they had attended the Great West Way Wiltshire Group meeting held on 27 January. They said this was a two to three-year project plan to 1. support sustainable transport by encouraging people to visit the attractions along the A4 using different modes of transport 2. encourage pre-booked visits via overseas travel companies. The Chairman said it was important to have APC representation at the meetings to convey APC’s views that increased visitor income, but not increased footfall, was needed in the Parish.
  10. Improving the Toilet Facilities at Avebury: (Draft note on elements of a service agreement between APC and NT previously circulated to members and see appendix 5). Mr Stacey referred to page 2 of the draft note and explained that APC could decide if it wanted to consider a trial two-year lease / service agreement with the NT to assist the NT in running the toilets during daylight hours, 365 days a year if possible. The Chairman reported Mrs Milton had given her apologies for the meeting that night but wished to make her concerns known with regards to MAB agreeing to put £5,000 towards the capital costs of improving the NT toilet facilities. He asked if the NT had any questions; Ms Hosie said she had nothing further to add. Questions were then taken from members of the public. A question was raised as to why other bodies such as APC were putting in funding for existing toilets particularly as the NT were refurbishing the toilets anyway. Ms Hosie clarified the NT was funding the whole refurbishment and not seeking money for that project. A member of the public suggested APC should clarify the need and determine which pot of money was going to be used by MAB. Action: It was agreed that (1.) APC should now write to the WHS Steering Committee (as per last meeting minutes) to see if other WHS stakeholders would be willing to contribute over two years to the project and (2) APC arrange a further meeting with the NT to explore drafting a service agreement.
  11. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis reported:
      1. Location for the defibrillator: the Trustees of the Social Centre had agreed a defibrillator could be put on the outside wall of the Social Centre.
      2. Consider options for the heated storage box: not covered.
      3. MAB Grant Application Form: in progress. The Community Shop had generously offered up to £900 towards the project and there were other members of the community willing to put money forward. Members noted it might therefore be possible to fund the project without going through the MAB process as the total cost for the defibrillator was £2,160 (including VAT). Action: Mrs Lewis to meet with other donors and provide progress report at next meeting.
      4. SW Ambulance Scheme Memorandum of Understanding: (terms previously circulated to members and see appendix 6). It was resolved that the defibrillator would be located on an outside wall of the Social Centre and the SW Ambulance Scheme’s Memorandum of Understanding was accepted. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  12. National Trust update: Dr Ros Cleal reported that she had a short update due to the Christmas holidays and the main points were: a. the NT had supported Wassail b. the NT were about to reopen the Manor on Saturday 11 February 2017 and it would be open every day until the end of October c. the toilet refurbishments were ongoing and would be completed that Spring. The Chairman asked if members had any questions for the National Trust. Mrs Paradise asked what thoughts the NT had about the A303 project. Ms Hosie said they worked closely alongside the NT Project Manager assigned to the work and the NT as a stakeholder was committed to influencing the process to achieve the best possible outcome. Ms Hosie agreed that, if APC wished to ask NT for a view, they could do so. The Chairman thanked the NT for their report.
  13. Payphones Consultation:
      1. BT’s telephone box consultation: the Clerk reported she had submitted a response to WC (previously circulated to members) to object to BT removing the Avebury Trusloe and West Kennett ‘phone boxes on the grounds of poor mobile ‘phone signal coverage for both locations and accident blackspot by the A4. It was hoped the response would be enough to keep the status quo and allow APC more time to consider options such as adopting the ‘phone boxes as BT was not willing to extend the consultation deadline.
      2. High Street ‘phone box usage: not covered (NB. the ‘phone box had been used 144 times to make calls in the past year).
      3. Members to consider adopting Avebury Trusloe and West Kennett ‘phone boxes: deferred to next meeting or until formal response from BT received.
  14. ACSReC: Mrs Paradise reported on the following matters from the 1 February Committee meeting. She explained that fundraising for the Pavilion roof had been organized in the form of film nights at the Social Centre see item 14.d. She said clearing work behind the Pavilion had been excellent including work carried out on the fence by the NT and that risk assessments had been done. The Committee had been investigating access to the septic tank and discovered it could be accessed by a hatch in the kitchen. The tank was likely to be about 10 years old but no record of it being emptied had been found yet.
      1. Renewal of sports-field lease: in progress. In order for sports clubs to apply for certain funding they would be required to show legal rights to the Pavilion and as APC was not allowed to sub-let the sports-field in the current terms of the lease that might be an area to explore further with the NT.
      2. Avebury Day: Mrs Paradise requested Avebury Day to be itemized separately on next meeting agenda and not under ACSReC. No further information.
      3. Survey of condition of pavilion: the Committee had considered the findings of the ‘brief’ survey carried out by Dolman Building Surveyors on 20 December 2016 (report previously circulated to members) and were prioritizing the roof repairs to ensure the building was water tight.
      4. Funding repairs to the Sports Pavilion roof: Avebury Social Centre was fund-raising to help with cost of repairs by running the first two in a series of archive films of ‘Britain on Film Tour’. Next screening: Thursday 30 March entitled ‘Rural Life’, tickets £5 from village shop.
      5. Banking: Lloyds account now in the name of the Parish Council and operational. It was noted a separate cash book would be needed to record transactions for APC to run two bank accounts.
      6. Noticeboard: the Chairman tabled a letter received from Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) that day (also circulated by email to members) informing him that a watching brief should have been carried out at the same time as the removal of the noticeboard. Mrs Paradise reported that to the best of her belief the board had been lifted out with minimal disturbance but requested that APC put together a checklist to document the procedures for future projects. Action: Chairman to respond to Jan Tomlin out of courtesy as the letter had been addressed to him.
  15. Local issues:
      1. Housing Needs Survey: deferred to next meeting – results and analysis due to be sent to APC that month. The Clerk stated the Parish Summary and results were being sent to APC for approval prior to publication on the WC website.
      2. URC Chapel: the Chairman read an email received from the Trustees of the Avebury Sacred Trust in response to APC’s email last month (both previously circulated to members). In discussion members noted that conveyancing was in progress, no donation was requested from APC but individual donations welcomed. It was felt APC was entitled to a better response particularly as APC needed to know what the planned activities would be to assess the impacts, and had previously requested a business plan and financial details. The Chairman opened the meeting to a member of the public to speak. In discussion it was highlighted that conveyancing processes can be very swift and that any delay might be part of a caveat in the purchase process allowing a delay until funding was in place. Concern was also raised about the state of the building deteriorating in the meantime. Action: APC to write to the URC Synod to request information on the proposed activities and business plan for the Chapel and to highlight concern about the building deteriorating over the coming year.
      3. Drains in Bray Street: Mrs Lewis reported a blockage had been found to be causing the overflow and work had been carried out to rectify the problem.
      4. Bus shelters: the Chairman reported a large window pane was missing in the bus shelter on Swindon Road and a member of the public had emailed to report that WC were not going to replace it due to budget constraints (email previously circulated to members). The issue had originally been brought to APC’s attention by Mr Brotheridge. In discussion it was noted APC should not be doing WC’s work for them but members of the community would suffer if nothing was done. Members agreed APC arrange for a clear piece of Perspex to be fitted to the bus shelter window. Action: Clerk to instruct the repair works.
      5. Planters in the High Street: the Clerk said a planter had been damaged by a WC dustbin lorry on 20 January. She had reported the incident to WC that day but no response had been received to date. Action: Clerk to write to WC and Wiltshire Councillor Jemima Milton.
      6. Parish Council notice boards: not covered but general maintenance work needed. Deferred to next meeting agenda.
      7. Leaf sweeping in the High Street and Church Walk: work ordered but not yet done. Action: Clerk to chase WC.
      8. Jetting of culvert in Beckhampton: work ordered but not yet done. Action: Clerk to chase WC.
  16. Communications: the Chairman reported the December Headlines had been submitted for the January edition of UKN.
  17. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
      1. Thank you letter received from Citizens Advice Wiltshire for APC’s donation of £50.00. The Clerk tabled the letter.
      2. Avebury Police report: members noted that in the previous month one car had been broken into in the main NT car park.
      3. Sarsen Trail sponsored walk would be taking place on Sunday 30th April 2017.
      4. Planning for Communities Workshops delivered by Wiltshire Community Land Trust (WCLT) were available for members to attend in February. As a member of WCLT, the Chairman additionally offered to run a workshop for members at the Social Centre and that was the preferred option.
      5. South West Local Councils’ Associations’ Regional Conference: the venue was Taunton Rugby Club 10am – 4pm on Thursday 16th March 2017. Cost: £60 (+ VAT) per person. In discussion no delegates were proposed.
      6. Police Consultation: members of the public are invited to take part.
  18. Finance and admin: including:
      1. Budget 2017-2018: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 7). It was resolved to receive and approve the final draft budget dated 7 December 2016. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
      2. Confidential item: report on Clerk’s appraisal held on 2 December. The Chairman proposed to defer item 18.b to the end of the meeting to allow the Clerk to leave the meeting earlier. Carried unanimously.
      3. Training for Councillors: Mrs Lewis to progress.
      4. Review of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and TOR of Committees: the Chairman reported the he and Mr Stacey were working on the ordering process. The Clerk reported a correction was needed to the Standing Orders at item 26.i. Finance. to change the last sentence to ‘..payment shall be authorised by the Clerk.’ Members noted updates to the Financial Regulations and Standing Orders would be resolved at the next meeting.
      5. Ordering System: as above.
      6. Press and Media Policy: a draft Press and Media Policy had been previously circulated to members by the Clerk. It was resolved to adopt the new Press and Media Policy dated 7 February 2017. Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. (See appendix 8).
      7. The approved minutes of ACSReC meetings 27 July 2016, 24 October 2016 were tabled and received. (See appendix 9).
      8. Date for Annual Village Meeting: members agreed to set the date for Tuesday 25th April at 7pm. Clerk to book the Social Centre.

    i. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously. Cheques were signed by the Chairman and Mrs Lewis.

      1. Thames Water Utilities Ltd: water supply and wastewater disposal 21 Oct 2016 – 12 January 2017 (including VAT)        £275.97
      2. Elysium Woodworking Ltd: replacement of beam supporting swings on Play Area (including VAT)                £80.00
      3. Social Centre: PC meetings on 4 Oct, 1 Nov and 6 Dec + the Transport Group meeting on 13 Dec                  £16.00
      4. National Trust: annual rent of sports field          £60.00
      5. Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 Dec 2016 – 21 Jan 2017  £46.49
  19. Cheques for ratification: members noted at the instruction of the Clerk, the following cheques had been raised in January 2017, signed by two Councillors and payment sent to the respective suppliers. It was resolved to ratify the payments as listed below. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
    1. Mr P J Mills: rabbit and mole control at Avebury Sports field      £85.00
    2. Fiona Wood: cleaning materials and cleaning of Pavilion in December 2016                                                                                                  £19.40
    3. Thames Water Utilities Ltd: fixed charge and wastewater disposal for the Pavilion (from previous bill)                                                £114.70
    4. Dolman Building Surveyors: brief survey of the Pavilion (including VAT)                                                                                          £360.00
    5. Playground Services Ltd: two pairs of log clamps for swing unit (including VAT)                                                                                          £216.00
    6. Honeystreet Sawmills Ltd: 3.6 metre timber beam for swing unit (including VAT)                                                                                          £28.80
    7. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 November – 21 December 2016                                                                      £321.56
  20. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 7 March 2017 at the Social Centre. The Chairman gave his apologies.
  21. Any other business: Mr Brotheridge asked if the Parish boundary had changed because one of the Avebury WHS signs had been replaced and moved. The Chairman invited Mrs Davies (prospective Wiltshire Councillor) to speak and she reported the old WHS sign had not been in the correct place and that the WHS boundary sign was now much closer to the correct position. The Clerk left the meeting and the Chairman moved to Confidential item 18b: report on Clerk’s appraisal held on 2 December, see confidential minute.
  22. The meeting closed at 10.18pm

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

  1. Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 17 December 2016
  2. Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 21 January 2017
  3. A303 Map
  4. A303 Stonehenge Amesbury to Berwick Down: Public Consultation Booklet – January 2017. The case for the scheme. Creating an Expressway to the South West – the case for the A303/A358 Corridor.
  5. Draft note on Elements of a Service Agreement between APC and NT in respect of the Coach House Toilets
  6. SW Ambulance Scheme Memorandum of Understanding
  7. Budget 2017 – 2018 (dated 7 December 2016)
  8. Draft APC Press and Media Policy (dated 7 February 017)
  9. Minutes of ACSReC meetings 27 July 2016 and 24 October 2016

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.


  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

4 April 2017 Ordinary Meeting : Agenda

Avebury Parish Council

An ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council will be held at 7:30pm on Tuesday 4th April 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.  All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Liz Moore, Clerk to Avebury Parish Council, 29 March 2017


  1. Public question time
  2. Apologies
  3. Declarations of interest
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 7 March 2017
  5. Matters arising from the minutes
  6. Planning applications + results:
    1. Full planning consent for second storey rear extension, single storey front extension and new front entrance porch at North Rutlands, Swindon Road, Avebury SN8 1RH. Ref: 17/01667/FUL.
    2. Full planning consent for a two bay timber framed car port with storage over at Isobel Cottage, Beckhampton, SN8 1QJ. Ref: 17/01671/FUL.
    3. Full planning consent for outbuilding conversion to residential lodge as an annexe to the main house at The Grange, Beckhampton, SN8 1QR. Ref: 17/02397/FUL.
  7. Transport Group: to set a date for next Committee meeting, and issues including:
    1. A4 projects at Beckhampton and West Kennett including report on MAB recommendation that APC pay £1,000 for investigatory work at West Kennett, progress on local fund-raising, and banking Cyclothon proceeds
    2. Footpaths and signage meeting on 2 March: report
    3. Double yellow lines in Trusloe
  8. National Trust update
  9. Improving opening hours of toilets at the Coach House: progress report
  10. Defibrillator for Avebury including funding update and town planning feedback.
  11. ACSReC:report on April meeting including renewal of sports-field lease, repairs to the Sports Pavilion roof, banking, noticeboard and fundraising.
  12. Local issues including URC Chapel and Community Right to Bid, Housing Needs Survey, summer solstice management and permits, Beckhampton notice board, payphones consultation, new Perspex for Swindon Road bus shelter, jetting of culvert in Beckhampton, planters in High Street, faulty street lamps, low flying helicopters and re-lining sewer from Avebury to East Kennett.
  13. Communications
  14. Correspondence including Highways England’s reply to Parish Council’s response to the consultation on A303 road scheme at Stonehenge.
  15. Finance and admin including training for councillors, ordering system, to receive the approved minutes of ACSReC meeting 1 March 2017, cheques for payment and cheques for ratification.
  16. Annual Village Meeting at 7pm on 25 April: items for the agenda.
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm Tuesday 2 May 2017 at the Social Centre.
  18. To set date for AGM
  19. Any other business

1st February 2017 ACSReC Agenda

Avebury Parish Council

A meeting of Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee (ACSReC) will be held in the meeting room, Waggon and Horses, Beckhampton at 7.30pm on Wednesday 1st February

All members of the public are welcome to attend.

Maggie Lewis, Secretary ACSReC


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Declarations of interest
  3. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising
    1. Noticeboard
  4. Budget
    1. Financial statement
    2. Bank update
    3. Fundraising
      1. Film nights
  5. Pavilion – to consider the next steps in light of the surveyor’s repor
  6. Maintenance
    1. Safety checks
      1. Fire safety
      2. PAT testing of electrical equipment
      3. Risk assessment
      4. Inventory check
      5. Septic tank
  7.  Groups
    1. Community Orchard Group
    2. Football Club
    3. Cricket Club
  8. Next meeting – frequency of meetings




24th October ACSReC Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the meeting of Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee held on Monday 24th October 2016, in the pavilion, Avebury Sportsfield

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, COG for Community Orchard Group, NT for National Trust and WC for Wiltshire Council

Present: Parish Councillors Mrs Lynzey Paradise (chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis, Mr Stephen Stacey, Dr. Mike Bedford, Mr Dominic Fry (ACC), Mr Bruce Hinder (AYFC), Mrs Di Gater (COG), Mr Alan Blake (ASSC)

Apologies for absence None

Mrs Paradise welcomed Mr Stacey to the meeting as the newest member of the committee

  1. Minutes of the last meeting

As these had been circulated very late they were not reviewed or signed.  This will be done at the next meeting

Lease terms and conditions

Mrs Paradise and Mr Stacey reported that they had met with Catherine Hosie, NT Rural Surveyor for what was a productive and useful meeting.  Ms Hosie didn’t feel a need for the recital of the (factually accurate) history in the lease and is researching for her own satisfaction.  The recital is thought to be useful as it shows long term use by the community which could be useful when applying for funding.

The conditions of use were agreed as acceptable and Mrs Paradise asked if there were any specific prohibitions to which the answer was only activities for commercial gain.  The map seller may muddy the waters a little in this area but it was felt that as he was a part time seller this could be overlooked.

Ms Hosie asked that the NT be informed of any activities in advance as a courtesy to avoid a clash, it might be possible to liaise to run complementary events.  The committee felt that it would be nice to get more than a week’s notice of any events.  The expansion of the APC website to include a village diary would help – Mrs Gater noted that a physical diary used to be kept in the village shop.

The NT are happy to look at a 40 year lease, having initially suggested 25 years, which would also help with funding applications and they have agreed to provide a supporting letter to go with any funding applications.

Ms Hosie also told Mrs Paradise and Mr Stacey of a scheme in Lacock in which a private individual is putting a community building on NT land and she will provide some details of this to help inform ACSReC.

A meeting between NT, APC, ASSC and ACSReC to brainstorm ideas was suggested.  Mrs Paradise asked who would represent ASSC at such a meeting and Mr Fry said that he and Mr Blake would.  Mrs Gater reported that the Social Centre Committee didn’t view the idea of combining ASSC, the Social Centre and the Pavilion favourably but she would be interested in being involved.  Mr Hinder noted that, from his past experience, the agreement with the NT should be obtained first before any plans are drawn up.

Ms Hosie will now be ACSReC’s main point of contact with the NT.  A draft copy of the new lease will be sent in due course



The NT want the new noticeboard removed on the grounds that they were not consulted on the process.  Mr Fry has already circulated one email chain that indicates that they were consulted on the whole process as well as part funding it and has other emails that show that they were in the loop.  APC Chairman Mr Williamson has forwarded this to Jan Tomlin but has yet to receive a response.  A site meeting has been proposed with all interested parties.

The committee debated the objection from the NT and decided that on the evidence of co-operation from the NT no further action was required.  Mrs Lewis will check previous minutes for reference to NT being aware of the installation of the noticeboard.

Lloyd’s Bank Update

Mrs Lewis gave a brief résumé of her efforts to get the bank mandate sorted out – it would seem that 2 sets of correctly signed papers and proofs of identity from Mrs Lewis and Dr Bedford have been lost in the system and no-one knows what is happening!  Mrs Paradise asked that the complaints procedure be initiated as it has now been 9 months since the process started.

Dr Bedford gave a brief update on the budget and will go to see Mr Williamson to run through it before the APC meeting on 1st November as he is not able to attend.  The projected net outgoings are £4, 822 more than we earn at present.  The net gain/loss per year is £3-4,000.  Running costs are £4,200.  There was no income from Avebury Day.

If the outfield dressing, seeding and repairs and the cost of employing a cleaner are removed then the costs go down to £2,200 not including the capital expenditure which would be £6,486.  ACSReC will be £4,500 in debt in a year’s time if additional income isn’t generated.

Income yet to be received is £825 from the Spratts for the hire of the pavilion during their building works and £200 from Mr Colcomb in addition to the £300 already paid.

Mr Hinder suggested a fundraising committee and that participation in the village bazaar might raise some funds.  Mrs Paradise noted that Marlborough Area Board grants are capped at £5,000 but that our local councillor, Mrs Jemima Milton, is very supportive and councillor led funding isn’t capped.

Cost cutting measures were discussed at it was decided that we cannot afford to have a regular cleaner so Ms Wood’s services will be terminated.  Mrs Lewis to action.  If we don’t install new flooring and gate and undertake minimal maintenance then we could break even.

User fees to be reviewed and a possible cancellation policy – no play, no pay is the current policy but this is dependent on the weather and no shows.  Cancelled games are rearranged.

It was decided that a strategy to replace the building be formulated, that we tread water as far as the current building is concerned and fundraising is undertaken.


Until the new lease is in place it will be hard to know what we can and can’t do.  A first priority is to raise money to maintain what we already have.  It was decided that a working group should meet to discuss fundraising ideas.


The external tap has been installed and a notice informing people that the water is not suitable for drinking has been put up.  The tap should be turned off under the sink and drained after use.

User groups

    1. Community Orchard – Mrs Gater reported that the application for further work to the trees behind the pavilion has been submitted and that the work is hoped to be carried out before Christmas.  Following this clearance work will be undertaken by volunteers and more whips slit-planted and the fencing completed.  There will be some costs but there is no expectation of a contribution from ACSReC
    2. Avebury Youth Football Club – Mr Hinder asked if there should be a fee for the Sunday morning training session for the Starlets, the youngest group.  The participants pay and sessions last about an hour.  The general feeling was that no charge should be made but a donation would not be refused.

Mrs Paradise asked  that parents attending all sessions be asked not to park too far down the field so as not to damage the surface.

c. Avebury Cricket Club – ACC have gained promotion to the 1st Division.

Mr Fry reported that there is a community fund to bring an overseas player in again in 2017 who will coach the youth sides as well as play for the club.  The club has also received a grant of £10,000 from Sport England for new equipment to maintain the pitch as well as a grant for new covers.  He also reported that there had been no progress on maintenance works on copper beech on the northern side of the field, the crown of which needs raising a couple of feet.  Mrs Paradise suggested contacting Ms Hosie to see what can be done.

Date of next meeting

The next meting will be a working group to discuss fundraising and will take place on 1st December, venue to be advised.