5 September 2017 Ordinary Council Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 5 September 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA for Aster Housing Association, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, EH for English Heritage, 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.

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Dave Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Mr Stephen Stacey and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk), and from items 1 to 7 inclusive Wiltshire Councillors Jane Davies and James Sheppard (Vice-Chairman WC).

The Chairman welcomed members of ASSC to the meeting and explained the Sports Field lease would be higher up on the agenda for their benefit.

Time Started: 19:33

  1. Public question time: there were eight members of the public present including members of ASSC (present from item 1 to item 5 including item 12b). No questions were asked.
  2. Apologies: Councillor Terence O’Connor.  Members noted that Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) had written to say that the NT would not be represented in person.)
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 4 July 2017: the Clerk read out an email she had received that day from Mrs Jan Tomlin regarding the accuracy of the minutes for members to take into consideration. The email also included the NT’s update.  Members decided to deal with her email under correspondence (see item 15) but agreed an amendment at Item 9, to change the end of the following sentence from ‘…it was clarified by Mrs Tomlin that only the monument and footpaths were open and the NT could make that clearer on its web site….’ to: ‘…..and the NT had made it clearer on its web site.’   Members proposed two other amendments: at Item 8. to change the following sentence from ‘…Members reported the bollards had not worked either…’ to: ‘ Members noted the bollards had not worked because they were spaced too far apart’ and at Item 6. to change the last sentence from ‘Ms Service left the meeting temporarily’ to: ‘Ms Service left the meeting for a couple of minutes’. It was resolved to include the amendments. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously. Further to the aforesaid amendments the minutes were unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Dr Bedford.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: there were none.                                               The Chairman proposed to alter the order of business and to move directly on to item 12.b Sports field lease. The resolution was carried unanimously.
  6. National Trust: closed session: The Chairman stated that in view of the confidential nature of the business that was about to be transacted on the NT update, dialogue and progress, future of URC Chapel and the Coach House toilets, it was advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded. The proceedings that followed were recorded in a confidential note.
  7. Report to the public on item 6: the Parish Council:
    1. received and noted NT’s update: see item 15
    2. reviewed dialogue and progress with the NT
    3. reviewed the future of URC Chapel
    4. reviewed work on improving the opening hours of the Coach House toilets
    5. noted that both Wiltshire Councillors Mrs Jane Davies and Mr James Sheppard would be meeting with the NT later that month.
    6. the Chairman expressed thanks to both WC Councillors and Mrs Davies and Mr Sheppard left the meeting.
  8. Planning applications:
      1. Listed building consent to demolish and rebuild part of the chimney to extend it by 4 courses of brickwork and replace the existing chimney pot at 6 Green Street, Avebury, SN8 1RE. Ref: 17/07513/LBC. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions.
      2. Work to trees in a Conservation Area to fell three conifers at High Trees, Bray Street, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RA. Ref: 17/08320/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions.
      3. Work to trees in a Conservation Area. Proposal:- T1 – Yew Tree – Reduce limbs away from neighbouring property and footpath at The Old Vicarage, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 17/07319/TCA. Members supported the application and there had been no objection from Wiltshire Council.
      4. Letter from WC regarding revised plans for 16/00151/FUL.
        Proposal: Demolition of agricultural buildings, conversion of Long Barn to form 3 no. dwellinghouses, conversion of cartshed to form single dwellinghouse and erection of 8 dwellings. Erection of community building (D1), erection of employment building (B1 & B8), extension to private way, car parking and associated landscaping (revision to planning permission 14/02910/FUL).
        Site Address: Manor Farm, Winterbourne Monkton, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN4 9NW. In discussion it was resolved that no further comments would be submitted to WC.
        The resolutions contained in items 8. a, b and d were proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
      5. Ms Service additionally reported with reference to item 10.e. of the 4 July 2017 meeting minutes that the owners of 2 Bray Street had been allowed a driveway but not a garage by WC.
  9. Transport Group including notes of inquorate meeting on 10 August for information (see appendix 2).  Mr Brotheridge reported with regret that he could no longer be a member of the Transport Group due to other lepidoptererological commitments. Dr Bedford reported:
      1. Plan for re-painting double yellow lines and additional lines: Mr Campbell and he had put together a document requesting feedback from residents in Avebury Trusloe regarding yellow lines and speeding in that part of the village. The document would be going out to residents shortly. Residents to respond to Mr Campbell and Dr Bedford. The Chairman reported APC had missed the deadline for the additional yellow line painting but that Mr Molton at WC had said that APC could work on a plan for next year to include areas such as Trusloe and Green Street. N.B. APC could still request other works via WC in the meantime.
      2. Possible closure of the Avenue: work in progress on a preliminary draft of a list of pros and cons, which would be further developed prior to public consultation in the Parish.
      3. Resurfacing of footpath 22: as per the advice from the WC on-line system the work was intended to be delivered later that year.
      4. Dangerous road surface at A4 Calne / Beckhampton roundabout: it was noted APC would be following the plan in the WHS Transport Strategy.
      5. Coaches parking in the High street: Mrs Paradise reported Ms Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager) was liaising with Mad Max Tours to see whether the NT could accommodate the vehicles in the High Street car park. Mrs Paradise recommended that the Transport Group approach Ms Hosie formally to discuss working on a list of coach companies to log where, when and at what time they park in Avebury.
  10. Avebury Housing Needs Survey: (second draft previously circulated to members). The document was received by APC and members agreed the wording in the draft.  It was agreed that WC be asked to finalise the document and send it to APC.
  11. Defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe:
    1. agree location: deferred to next meeting as further research needed to be carried out by Mrs Lewis.
    2. adopting the ‘phone box: as in 11.a. above.
  12. ACSReC: Mrs Paradise reported:
      1. Sports Field Noticeboard:
        1. ACSReC was not pursuing a new location for the notice board at present.
        2. £200 donation had been received from NT on 11 July.
      2. Lease: (see appendix 1. ACSReC’s proposal for Sports Field lease – 1st draft, previously circulated to members). Mrs Paradise explained ACSReC had looked at how to make the Sports Field more effective for the community and had come to the conclusion that due to issues with maintenance of the Pavilion and not being able to access other funding sources that potentially ASSC could access, then ASSC was best placed to renew the lease with the NT as opposed to APC. Mrs Paradise asked if anyone had any questions. Mr Brotheridge asked what the NT’s position was in terms of the NT leasing to ASSC. Mrs Paradise said the NT was very supportive of the idea and also for keeping the peppercorn rent model. Mr Campbell asked if all members of ACSReC supported the proposal or whether there were any reservations. Mrs Paradise confirmed that all members were unanimous in supporting the proposal. In discussion questions arose as to whether ACSReC could transfer funds to ASSC, whether there would be ongoing costs for APC such as mowing, how much APC and the community should continue to help, whether APC would have representation on ASSC’s sports-field sub-committee and whether the proposal had the support of the wider community. Mrs Paradise explained that many talks had taken place with the users of the Sports Field and she was confident that everyone was in favour of the idea. Mrs Lewis referred to point 8. in the proposal document that explained how ASSC might include representatives of other organisations. The Chairman asked if there were any points from those members of the public at the meeting.  Mr Alan Blake (Secretary, ASSC) said he felt there was nothing negative. It was noted that in the interim ASSC members would have to vote on the proposal as well. It was agreed (i) the Chairman and the Clerk to check on the proposal that APC might provide funds to ASSC (ii) Mr Alan Blake to organise an extra meeting for ASSC; it was noted 10 days’ notice was required for the meeting and it would be open to all ASSC members (iii) Mrs Paradise to update the draft proposal document for both ASSC’s EGM and the next APC meeting and (iv) APC to include the proposal that ASSC lease the Sports Field in its Headlines for UKN. The Chairman asked if there were any further questions from members of the public. A Football Club user said she was concerned about whether the rental of the field by AYFC would increase. Mrs Paradise explained that ACSReC would be looking at the fees for all users and did not envisage any issues because the money in from users of the field and the money out to maintain the field roughly evened out. There were no other questions asked. Mr Alan Blake expressed his thanks to APC. Proceedings continued from item 6.
      3. Repairs to Pavilion: on hold.
      4. Community Sport: WC was working with parish councils to provide sport for children over the holidays and APC might like to consider getting involved. Clerk to include item on next meeting agenda.
      5. Banking: deferred to next meeting.
  13. Local issues including:
    1. Damaged stiles on the White Horse Trail footpath: Mr Stacey reported the work had been completed and members offered grateful thanks to Laura Cooper (landowner).
    2. Play Area fencing and options: Mr Campbell reported the grass cutting that had been carried out in the Play Area was very poor as the grass cuttings had been left on the grass. In discussion it was noted that it might be pointless re-instating the damaged fencing or putting up a new fence as it was being wilfully damaged by an adult in the community. It was agreed Clerk to contact PlaySafety Ltd. for advice on APC’s legal liabilities regarding ball games and whether fencing was a requirement for the Play Area as it was relatively close to the road. Mr Campbell offered to cut back the brambles that were encroaching the see-saw.
    3. Resurfacing footpath AVE30/10 from NT main car park to the High Street: further information needed. Clerk to action and item deferred to next meeting.
    4. Obscured ‘no through road’ sign at entrance to Gunsite Road: the Clerk confirmed she had reported the problem to WC using the on-line system.
  14. Communications: the Chairman reported combined June and July 2017 Headlines had been submitted to UKN.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk reported the following correspondence had been received:
      1. National Trust Update – 5 September 2017

        Avebury Excavation

        Excavations took place at the foot of Avebury Down in August and finds are now being analysed. Four Early Bronze Age arrowheads have already been identified, made at about the same time round barrows were being constructed. We’ve also found some Early, Middle and perhaps Late Neolithic pottery (the same time as Windmill Hill, the West Kennet occupation site and Avebury henge respectively), which covers nearly 2000 years of activity on the site. Additionally, the team also uncovered the partial remains of an aurochs, an extinct breed of giant cattle, from a Neolithic pit. There were six pits in total, which was a good number for the size of the trenches.  Many thanks to those who attended the Village Tour led by some of the site’s Project Directors.  Further details of the excavation will be released in due course; in the meantime,  you can read the daily blogs on our “FragmeNTs” website. Find it by typing ‘Fragments Avebury’ into an internet search engine.

        Sculptures in the Manor Garden

        We are once again show-casing artists’ work in Avebury Manor Garden as part of our autumn programme of events. Around 75 sculptures will be dotted around the Garden with all of the exhibits available for sale. The exhibition runs until Sunday 1 October and entry to the Garden is free for Parish residents. Full details of all our events are available at https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/avebury.

        Toilets at Avebury

        Following agreement at the July meeting that an approach would be made to Wiltshire Council for funding to provide out-of-hours toilet provision if a need were established, we have again reviewed visitor comments.  Amongst last month’s feedback, there was once again no single comment suggesting overnight or extended toilet provision might be required.  However, the offer remains for the PC or Wiltshire Council to lease the Coach House toilets to provide out-of-hours toilets subject to a lease being agreed.

        Second-hand Bookshop & Avebury Chapel

        Work continues to renovate both the former stables building next to the NT car park on the High Street, and the former Chapel on Green Street.  We hope to be welcoming visitors and locals to both spaces in the next 6 months, subject of course to the extent of building works required.  As previously advised, the Coach House toilets will be open when these new facilities are open.  We will provide further updates in due course.

        Next Open Meeting with the National Trust Team

        Our next open meeting for Parish residents will be on Friday 29 September from 4pm to 6pm in Avebury Chapel.  Members of the local National Trust team will be available to listen to ideas, share thoughts and plans for the future, and to answer any questions or comments you may have.  Light refreshments will be available and it would be helpful to have an idea of numbers, so please contact Matt on 01672 538031 or matthew.claridge@nationaltrust.org.uk if you would like to join us.  We very much look forward to seeing you.

      2. July Minutes: members noted an email received from Mrs Jan Tomlin earlier that day as follows ‘…..In the interests of clarity, fairness and proper coverage, I think it is important that the points raised about potential extended toilet provision are accurately recorded.  There was a long and robust discussion on this matter, which included a number of key points and a way forward that have not been captured in the minutes. I made clear that the National Trust already provides toilets free of charge for all during our operating hours.  These are located in the Farm Yard, in the centre of our visitor facilities.  I also stated that the toilets next to the National Trust catering outlet in the Coach House are available whenever this outlet is open.  I went on to say that, although the National Trust does not operate toilets out of hours, we had previously offered and continue to be prepared to negotiate a lease for, the Local Authority to operate the toilets at the Coach House out-of-hours.  I also said that it would be important to establish whether there was a need for toilets out-of-hours, and especially for 24-hours a day opening, as had previously been suggested as necessary by the Parish Council.  And I confirmed that to date from the feedback received by the National Trust throughout the year, there is nothing to suggest that visitors feel the need for toilets outside our operating hours. I think it is really important to capture the discussion accurately because members were in agreement that – if a need for out of hours toilets were evidenced – then it would be appropriate to consider how such provision might then be enabled.  It was at this point that it was suggested that Wiltshire Council might be approached to see whether support was available. Regarding the National Trust web-site, I said that the information about access had been made clearer, not that it would be….’
      3. Letter from BBC Flog it! regarding information about a valuation day event at Grittleton House, near Chippenham on Tuesday 26th September 2017 between 9:30am and 4pm. Leaflets were tabled.
      4. North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Review for 2016-2017.
      5. The Story of the North Wessex Downs: a free presentation was being offered for parish councils and community groups. It was agreed the Chairman and Clerk organise a presentation for Avebury.
      6. Emails from Chris Gale dated 3 July and 2 August ref. complaint about NT Coach House toilet only being open during NT opening hours had been received.
      7. WALC newsletter and new Data Protection Act information. Further discussion needed on the requirements of the new Data Protection Act. Item deferred to next meeting.
      8. WC Waste Management Strategy Consultation 4 Sept – 14 Nov see link to survey.
      9. WC Highways Newsletter and Parish Steward Priority Sheet including dates Parish Steward will be in Avebury.
      10. WC Mobile Library Service Review 4 Sept – 4 Nov. The consultation documents are available to view online from the Wiltshire Libraries webpage at http://services.wiltshire.gov.uk/MobileLibrary/ from 4th September. Members of the public and customers can make a comment about routes in their community by downloading and completing the Consultation Feedback form. All review documents and feedback forms are also available from the mobile library.
      11. Community Policing Team Parish Report: members noted the Police Team’s new priority was hare coursing and poaching.
  16. Finance and admin: the Chairman reported:
    1. External auditor’s report: Grant Thornton had provided a clean audit report and it was noted that a copy of the Annual Return was on the APC web site.
    2. Cheques received for £76.35 and £51.35 from Broad Hinton and Winterbourne Bassett Parish Council and FWO Parish Council respectively for Councillor Training carried out on 7 June.
    3. RoSPA Play Area Inspection booked for September 2017. Noted on 24 July that APC’s laminated sign was missing from Play Area fence. The Clerk reported a new sign had been ordered and installed.
    4. The approved minutes of ACSReC meetings on 5 April and 31 May 2017 to be received (see appendix 3).
    5. Cheques for ratification:
      1. Thames Water: supply of water and wastewater services to the Pavilion for the period 21 Oct 2016 – 12 July 2017 (including VAT)                                                                                          £468.77
      2. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 21 June – 22 July 2017 inclusive                                                                                     £184.42
    6. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid and above payments (as listed in item 16.e. i – ii) be ratified. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously. It was additionally agreed to pay an extra £100.00 to ACC over and above its tendered sum of £850pa for extra expenses they had incurred during the maintenance of the Sports Field for the period April – September 2017. Members noted this was a change to the contract although it had been discussed in the past by members. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
      1. Stocksigns Ltd: new sign for Play Area (including VAT)            £43.76
      2. Avebury Cricket Club: maintenance of the Sports Field at Avebury for the period April – September 2017                                       £950.00
      3. Liz Moore: Clerk’s expenses 22 July – 21 August 2017 including salary underpayment and anti-virus software                                £120.17
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 3 October 2017 at the Social Centre.
  18. Any other business: none.
  19. The meeting closed at 9:59pm

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

  1. ACSReC’s proposal for Sports Field lease – 1st draft
  2. Notes from Transport Group’s inquorate meeting on 10 August 2017
  3. The approved minutes of ACSReC’s meetings on 5 April and 31 May 2017 (not seen by the meeting but added subsequently).