4 October 2016 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 4 October 2016 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, AHA for Aster Housing Association, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, DCLG for the Department for Communities and Local Government, EH for English Heritage, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, TRO for Traffic Regulation Order, URC for United Reform Church, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:32

  1. Public question time: the Chairman welcomed members of National Trust staff, one member of the public and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton to the meeting. The member of the public asked for an update about a request for double yellow lines on the corner of the turning outside 4 and 5 Trusloe Cottages. It was noted the request was with the Transport Group for consideration but that the group had not met again since March. Action: Clerk to email Dr Bedford.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell, Mr Terence O’Connor, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Mr Stephen Stacey and Ms Zandria Service. In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, Miss Liz Moore (Clerk) and up to item 19. h. Dr Nick Snashall (Archaeologist (Stonehenge and Avebury WHS)) and Ms Catherine Hosie (NT Estate Manager).
  3. Apologies: Councillor Dr Mike Bedford.
  4. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 6th September 2016: the Clerk reported Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) had requested the last paragraph of item 9.c. to be changed to ‘She suggested that a joint welcome might be included on a parish notice board’. It was resolved to include the amendment. Proposed by Mr Campbell seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. Further to the one amendment the minutes were unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Campbell and seconded by Mrs Paradise.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Min ref. 11.c. tree and hedge cutting in Avebury Trusloe: the Clerk reported she had logged the request on WC’s on-line system but it had not been actioned and advice had been given instead. The Clerk said that it was not the correct process for the Parish Council to contact the landowners directly either. Mrs Milton suggested APC could ask the Parish Steward to look at the various tree works as long as they were within the boundary of the public highway.
  7. Planning applications + results:
    1. Full Planning Consent for conservatory to front of property at 5 Trusloe Cottages, Avebury Trusloe. Ref: 16/08511/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
    2. Full Planning Consent for a two storey extension at 1 Red Houses, Green Street, Avebury. Ref. 16/08415/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. The Chairman asked Dr Snashall if Scheduled Monument Consent was required. Dr Snashall said if foundations were being dug and the work was in the area of Scheduled Monuments then consent would be needed. It was resolved to support the application subject to a recommendation that condition that Scheduled Monument Consent be obtained. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr O’Connor and carried unanimously.
    3. Full Planning Consent for a single storey rear extension at 6 Beckhampton Road, Avebury Trusloe. Ref: 16/08619/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
  8. Housing Needs Survey: the standard WC survey form to all households was tabled and considered (see appendix 1). Clerk to check if it would be possible to add an additional option at question 8 to include ‘pre-school children’ and at question 13 to include ‘self build housing’. Otherwise the questions would be added to a separate form as per the advice of WC. It was resolved:
    1. Additional questions to be added to survey: (i) Please provide the number of pre-school children in your household if applicable (ii) Would you support self-build housing?
    2. Point of contact for WC survey team for distribution of hard copy surveys to be the Chairman and all other Councillors to collect the forms and hand deliver to households in the Parish.
    3. Agreement on who would complete the Parish Summary: deferred. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  9. Transport Group: the Chairman reported on:
    1. Existing applications to CATG:
      1. extension of 30 mph limit on Swindon Road: work due to start on 28 October 2016.
      2. A4 improvements: a recent MAB meeting had received a report that the approximate costs for Atkins’ design studies at West Kennett and Beckhampton roundabout were £8,000 to £9,000 for each area. Mr Steve Hind (WC Highways) would be looking at Atkin’s preliminary proposals and then responding to Dr Bedford in ten days’ time. Members noted that a combination of private offers, CATG and MAB funding could enable the design work to proceed.
    2. Other works in pipeline: (i) informal crossings (ii) signage audit: not covered, deferred to next meeting. The Chairman tabled a location map for the new WHS boundary signs, but there was no implementation date as yet.
    3. Parking in Trusloe: the Chairman read out the email he had sent Mr David Croft (Centurion (Western)) updating him on APC’s intentions to carry out a Rural Housing Needs Survey.
    4. Footpaths: (i) Mrs Lewis reported her husband had met Mr Steve Leonard (WC) in August. WC had agreed to install a new signpost on A4361 pointing towards Windmill Hill and would be arranging a meeting with the NT to discuss materials. (ii) Members noted there had been no further progress on APC’s request to resurface footpath 22 and that the project appeared to have been dropped from WC’s 2016/17 list. On the advice of Mrs Milton, it was agreed APC email Councillor Philip Whitehead (Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport) to find out what had happened to the project. Email to be actioned and signed by the Chairman and Dr Bedford.
    5. Possible Ridgeway Traffic Regulation Order: the Chairman tabled a draft letter from the Avebury WHS Steering Committee to Lady Scott as Leader of WC requesting an extension of the existing TRO period to close the Ridgeway year round. He explained that the closure would be from Sanctuary to the beginning of the tarmac on Green Street and to Hackpen Hill. The WHS Steering Committee’s draft had included the need for a plan to avoid displacement from the Ridgeway at summer solstice impacting on visitors, residents and the wider WHS. In discussion it was agreed that a plan to avoid displacement would not only be needed but should also be implemented, and that it should also refer to avoiding impacts on farmers and landowners.  The Chairman invited Mrs Milton to speak. Mrs Milton explained that in the past the Government had objected to a blanket ban on the full length of the Ridgeway and that any closures had to be done piecemeal. The Chairman invited Dr Nick Snashall to give her views. Dr Snashall stressed the Ridgeway represented a reservoir of archaeology particularly from the Bronze Age period and that motor vehicle activity was predominantly destroying this. It was agreed the Chairman consult with Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) with a view to amending the letter to include APC’s views.
  10. National Trust update: Dr Nick Snashall gave an update on the work of the NT as follows: ‘As already shared with local residents, our next open meeting with the Parish will be on Tuesday 25th October, in the afternoon.  Invitations have already been put up in a number of locations in the village (and a copy of the invitation was passed to Liz Moore to attach to the minutes of the meeting).  All parish residents are welcome, but we would ask that anyone wishing to attend please book a place (this is due to fire regulations in the Manor which restrict numbers).  Details of how to book can be found on the invitation. This will be an informal open session with key members of the team, followed by a guided tour of the Manor given by Dr Ros Cleal.                                                                                                                        ‘We’re looking forward to celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the inscription of Avebury (and Stonehenge) as a World Heritage Site.  And we’re delighted to be hosting the unveiling of a commemorative plaque in the Farm Yard on Saturday 12 November.  The exact location of the plaque has yet to be agreed, and further details will be shared shortly. The following week, on Saturday 19 November, our Director General Dame Helen Ghosh will be helping to host the 30th Anniversary Conference in Devizes.  It promises to be an excellent day of lectures, including pieces from me (NT Archaeologists Dr Nick Snashall) and Dr Ros Cleal (Curator, Alexander Keiller Museum) as well as visiting experts including Dr Alison Sheridan of the National Museums  Scotland and Dr Serge Cassen of the University of Nantes.                                                                                                                 ‘And finally, we’re planning a range of activities for Halloween.  As always, these can be found on our website, a link to which will be included in our written summary: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury/whats-on.’                                                                                                                               The Chairman thanked Dr Snashall for the update.
  11. Provision of toilet facilities: Mr Stacey reported on a preliminary meeting with Mrs Tomlin and Ms Hosie that had taken place on 26 September to discuss the progress of the plan to improve the Coach House conveniences. (Summary note of the meeting previously circulated to members and see appendix 2). Mr Stacey referred to point 12 and explained the conveniences would be opened longer hours when the food facility was open in Easter. In discussion the following points were made:
    1. NT had no staff capacity to open the Farmyard toilets earlier than 10am.
    2. A solution might be to recruit volunteers from the community to open the Farmyard toilets.
    3. Additional signage outside the Coach House toilets in the High Street could be put in place to guide members of the public to the main Farmyard toilets.
    4. A budget including the costs of maintaining a toilet facility needed to be researched and that a large part of the maintenance costs would be attributed to repair of repeated vandalism.

    It was recognised that improvements to toilet facilities in the WHS could not be progressed any further by APC at this stage and it was agreed that the issue should be brought to the attention of the WHS Steering Committee. It was agreed the Clerk write to the WHS Steering Committee to request that it consider the issue.

  12. Defibrillator for Avebury: work in progress.
  13. Avebury Day: the Avebury Day 2016 Souvenir Programme was tabled, see appendix 3. Mrs Paradise reported income and expenditure was in the process of being collated. She said the event had been a great success despite the rain with 406 people from the Parish taking part in the sit-down community lunch and 760 additional people coming through the gates. Mrs Paradise expressed thanks to all those involved. It was agreed the Clerk write to the Avebury Day Committee to thank them for organising Avebury Day for a second time and for creating such a fantastic community event.
  14. ACSReC: Mrs Paradise reported:
    1. There had been no ACSReC meeting last month due to the non-availability of several members but a meeting would be arranged shortly to discuss fundraising and to finalise the priority capital expenditure projects and draft budget. Members noted APC was not egible to apply to MAB for help with funding the roof repairs and an alternative way forward needed to be sought via ACSReC and further meetings with others such as MAB.
    2. Request for alteration to ACSReC Terms of Reference: a paragraph was tabled for consideration. Clerk to put request on next meeting agenda.
    3. MAB funding for Pavilion: see item 14. a.
    4. Renewal of sports-field lease: a meeting with the NT had been arranged for Monday 10 October to discuss APC’s proposals.
    5. Possible need for planning permission for new noticeboard: the Chairman reported Mr Mike Wilmott (Head of Development Management, WC) had advised that local authorities, which included Parish Councils, had permitted development rights and the notice board could be erected without planning permission. The Chairman explained that subsequently Mrs Jan Tomlin had emailed to express concern that the NT’s permission should have been obtained, and that the board was too tall, was in the wrong position and should be removed. She had suggested that a meeting should be held to consider options and should include Sarah Simmonds. Members noted observations that the noticeboard could affect views of the Henge and was on or near an Anglo-Saxon burh. The Chairman reported Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager) had suggested a meeting should be arranged of all involved. It was agreed a meeting and site meeting to be arranged by ACSReC.
    6. Permanent capping off of the old water supply and new outside tap: Mr Brotheridge reported both works had been completed.
    7. Banking: in progress.
  15. Capping town and parish council precepts: email from Lady Scott (Leader WC) and WALC (previously circulated to members). The Chairman explained DCLG was running a consultation that proposed capping the level of precept given to Parish Councils. He said Lady Scott was lobbying against this as she felt the level of precept should be decided locally and not by central government. A referendum would also impose extra costs on the town or parish that chose to have one, putting additional pressure on the precept. WALC was also urging parish councils to respond to the consultation. In discussion members agreed fully with the views of the Lady Scott. Action: Clerk to write to Lady Scott to express APC’s support of her plans to lobby against the capping of town and parish councils in the new 2017/18 finance settlement. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
  16. Local issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. Invitation to unveiling of WHS plaque: APC members were welcome to attend the 30th anniversary event that was taking place at 11am on 12 November.
    2. Planters in High Street and community planter day arrangements: work in progress.
    3. Tarmac footpath adjacent to Red Lion car park wall and A4361: repair work was currently in progress to fix a loose curb stone, but resurfacing did not currently meet WC intervention levels.
    4. Reinstating verge on A4361 near NT main car park: WC’s response was that the verge did not meet intervention levels but could be added to the Parish spreadsheet as discretionary works. Mrs Paradise tabled a photograph of cars parked on the verge as evidence. She said vehicles parking illegally either side of the field entrance meant that farm vehicles could not easily enter and exit and proposed that the solution was for WC Highways to put topsoil on the verge and create a grass bank. The Chairman invited Dr Snashall to speak. Dr Snashall advised that the County Archaeologist should be consulted if a grass bank was to be created. It was agreed that Mrs Paradise and Ms Hosie would work together to take the project forward. Mr Stacey asked if APC could add the Avenue layby to the works as another area that could be rebuilt as a green bank.
    5. URC Chapel: Mrs Suzanne Stimpson had apologised as her husband had been ill and they had not yet been able to respond to APC’s request for financial information, but would do so shortly.
    6. Jetting of culvert in Beckhampton: the work was on WC’s to do list.
    7. Footpath clearing along A4 at West Kennett: to be referred to the Parish Steward.
    8. Community Wi-Fi and Broadband speeds: Mr Campbell was assisting Mrs Lewis with research.
  17. Communications: combined July, August and September Headlines submitted for October Edition of UKN.
  18. Correspondence: the Chairman read out an email he had received from a resident asking that he pass on a request to the NT.  The resident thought it was important to prevent people exiting the small NT car park through its entrance, and said that the No Entry sign on the inside of the wall by entrance was now completely white and needed to be replaced. The resident felt this was an accident waiting to happen. Ms Hosie agreed to take the request away for review.
  19. Finance and admin:
    1. Improvements to Parish Council web site: the Clerk reported costings not yet received from Kate Fry.
    2. Additional bandwidth: the Clerk reported she had ordered additional bandwidth due to website going down on 16 September and that the approximate additional annual cost was £35.
    3. Income received including WC precept: the Clerk tabled APC’s cash book for review by members. It was noted the half year internal audit would be booked by the Clerk.
    4. APC budget for 2017-2018: the Chairman said members could put forward requests for items to be added to the budget and that its first draft would be considered at the November meeting.
    5. Review of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and TOR of Committees: work in progress.
    6. VAT registration status, payments: not covered.
    7. Training for Councillors: Mrs Lewis reported that training would be in the New Year.
    8. The approved minutes of ACSReC meeting: not applicable.
    9. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification: the Chairman reported Thames Water had incorrectly addressed the bill for the water supply to the Pavilion and that had resulted in a late payment notice being issued. It was resolved to ratify the cheque written to Thames Water on 16 September 2016, to ratify the order for additional bandwidth and for the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously.
      1. ACC: grass cutting to 30 September 2016 (remaining sum due)                                                                                           £212.50
      2. Thames Water Utilities Ltd: water charge for Pavilion               £23.19
      3. Grant Thornton UK LLP: fee in respect of 2016 Annual return (including VAT)                                                                          £120.00
      4. Fiona Wood: cleaning materials and cleaning of Pavilion on 6, 13, 20, 27 September 2016                                                                    £107.35
      5. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 August – 21 September 2016                                                                             £265.34                Cheques were signed by the Chairman and Mrs Lewis.
  20. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 1 November 2016 at the Social Centre.
  21. Any other business:
    1. Mr Brotheridge advised that a ‘Not Drinking Water’ prohibition sign was needed for the outside tap. Clerk to action request.
    2. Mrs Paradise requested that a form be added to the web site so that the public could propose agenda items. Clerk to ask Kate Fry for costings.
  22. The meeting closed at 21:35.                                                                 Appendices: (included in the book of Parish Council papers):                              1. Example standard WC Rural Housing Needs Survey to all households              2. Summary note by Mr Stacey                                                                               3. Avebury Day 2016 Souvenir Programme