7 November 2017 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 7 November 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, AONB for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CPRE for Campaign to Protect Rural England, DCMS for Department Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, EH for English Heritage, LTA for long term agreement, NT for the National Trust, OUV for outstanding universal value, UNESCO for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise (from item 4 onwards), Ms Zandria Service and Mr Stephen Stacey.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:32

  1. Public question time: there were two members of the public present for all or part of the meeting including Dr Kate Fielden (Vice-Chairman, Avebury Society). No questions were asked apart from a question about an influx of HGVs coming through Avebury and Winterbourne Monkton which was dealt with under item 9. Transport Group.
  2. Apologies: Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mr Dave Brotheridge and Mr Terence O’Connor.
  3. Declarations of interest: there were none.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 3 October 2017 and confidential note: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Campbell and seconded by Mrs Lewis. Decision on accuracy of the confidential meeting notes under item 6. National Trust update: closed session was deferred by the Chairman to later in the meeting (see item 5).
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:  Members noted that:
    1. Min ref. 7.c. Invitation to NT to APC meetings: there had been no reply to the Clerk’s email sent to the NT on 20 October. Action: Clerk to forward original email to Jan Tomlin as a reminder.
    2. Min ref. 8. Future plans for High Street car park: there had been no reply to the Clerk’s email also sent to the NT on 20 October, requesting the NT for clarification on its proposals for the car park. Action: Clerk to forward original email to Jan Tomlin as a reminder.
    3. Min ref. 14.e. Long grass encroaching footpath AVEB27 near South Street, Avebury Trusloe: the work had been logged on WC on-line reporting tool.
    4. Min ref. 14.f. Caravan parked on Nursery Site: an email had been sent to the private landowner, Centurion, but no response had been received. Action: Clerk to send follow up email to Centurion.                                                                                                         The confidential meeting notes under item 6. National Trust update: closed session were accepted as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
  6. Planning applications:
    1. Full planning for construction of new vehicular access at 2 Bray Street, Avebury, SN8 1RA. Ref: 17/09282/FUL. Members noted APC’s request for an extension to deadline for responses had been agreed by WC for 9 November. Plans were tabled and considered, photographs of the site displayed on a digital device and members noted the application was for retrospective planning permission. The Chairman reported he had spoken to Pippa Card (WC Conservation Officer) to express residents’ concerns that the new entrance had opened up Bray Street and that the sense of enclosure had gone. He had asked her to consider how the owners could address the issue. In discussion it was noted that in the original planning application for the house the owners had asked for a drive to get cars off the road and members were in agreement it was better to do so. The latest application stated the owners had plans to landscape and members felt a sense of enclosure could be improved by planting a native species hedge, installing a gate and providing a grass bank. It was resolved to support the application with the following conditions: the Parish Council suggests increasing the sense of enclosure in Bray Street by providing a five-bar gate, planting a hedge of native species next to the wall and a grassy bank between the road and wall.
    2. Application for work to trees in a Conservation Area. Proposal:-  2 Sycamore trees – crown raise and cut back to clear Dovecot at Dovecot, West Kennett Farm, West Kennett, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1QF. Ref: 17/10064/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.
    3. Full Planning for change of use of agricultural buildings A and B to B2 (General Industrial) uses at: Manor Farm Yard, Avebury Trusloe, Wiltshire, SN8 1QY. Ref: 17/09860/FUL. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.
    4. Application for work to trees in a Conservation AreaProposal:-  5 Sycamore trees – crown raise by 2 – 3 m to clear building at the Old Brewery, West Kennett Farm, West Kennett, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1QF. Ref: 17/10400/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.
    5. Application for work to 13 trees and felling one Ash in Conservation Area at National Trust Old Farmyard and Estate Office, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 17/10869/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.
    6. Application for work to five trees and felling three trees in a Conservation Area at Little Acre, Bray Street, Avebury SN8 1RA. Ref: 17/10881/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.
    7. Application for work to trees in a Conservation Area. Proposal:- crown raise and cut back boundary Sycamore, Horse Chestnut and Prunus at Rosemead, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 17/10950/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application.                   It was resolved to support the resolutions contained in items 6. a – g. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
  7. Parish Council budget and precept for 2018/19:  (Draft first budget for 2018/19 and note on likely reserves next March previously circulated to members was tabled – see appendices 1. and 2. respectively). The Chairman reported income due from ACSReC, as calculated up to 13 September, would be about £762; this would be £300 less than shown in the draft budget and took into account that the survey of the Pavilion in 2016 had originally been commissioned by APC and not ACSReC. He stated as APC would not be insuring the Pavilion if ASSC took on the lease for the Sports Field then APC’s expenditure on insurance would be about £390 less for the Pavilion and about £82 less for insuring fencing, fixtures and fittings, pavilion contents and sports-field external equipment. It appeared that APC’s net insurance premium for the next year would fall to about £273. Action: it was agreed Chairman / Clerk check with Community First that under the terms of the LTA the Parish Council could remove insured items from the schedule part-way through the year and request a new price. In discussion members agreed with the figure that had been budgeted for a second defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe and noted there was about £100 surplus from the High Street project that could go towards a second defibrillator. There was an in depth discussion on whether APC should continue to support the Sports Field and offer a contribution of £1,440 per annum in lieu of its contributions towards grass cutting and insurance. Members were happy to support the Sports Field but suggested that that a sum of money should be made available to support all Avebury community projects and to replace £1,440 earmarked for the Sports Field with a budget of £1,500 for an ‘Avebury Community Fund’. Action: a revised budget to be prepared by the Clerk and circulated to members for consideration at next meeting.
  8. ACSReC: the Chairman asked Mrs Paradise and the Clerk whether there had been any responses from the public on the Parish Council’s proposal to surrender the Sports Field lease and both reported that no comments had been received. A draft document detailing the terms of sports-field Agreement with ASSC was tabled (document previously circulated to members and see appendix 3). Members noted the document had been drafted by Sara Spratt and were content with the wording contained in it. It was resolved that APC endorse the draft sports-field Agreement. Action: Clerk to send agreement to Alan Blake (Secretary, ASSC) and to copy in Dominic Fry (Chairman, ASSC and ACC). Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. It was noted the Parish Council had received an email from Catherine Hosie to inform it that the NT had instructed its solicitors to prepare a Deed of Surrender. The Chairman stated ACSReC income and expenditure in APC’s accounts would need to be finally reconciled (see £762 in item 7 above) and that control of the Lloyds and Nationwide accounts, at present holding about £2,100, would be relinquished. Mrs Paradise reported she was looking into a WC project / programme of sport for children and that the nearest venue was Burbage and that Avebury Sports Field would also make a suitable location.
  9. Transport Group:
    1. Progress report on A4 traffic calming project: the Chairman reported that the meeting with Atkins had been postponed until 16 November 2017 and that both he and Mr Stacey would be available to attend. Mr Stacey stated that the original draft brief had included various counter measures to calm the traffic and that there had already been objections to the suggestions by Akins. Mr Stacey stressed that the overall objective for the meeting on the 16 November should be to push the A4 calming project forward by agreeing with design proposals put forward by Atkins.
    2. Results of double yellow lines and speeding questionnaire sent to Avebury Trusloe residents: Mr Campbell reported parking was still the biggest issue for residents in Avebury Trusloe. It was agreed that a summary of the results would be submitted to the Transport Group Committee meeting on 30 November and any recommendations from that meeting brought to the next full Council in December.
    3. The Chairman invited a member of the public to speak, who explained that he was a resident of Winterbourne Monkton and had noticed a large increase in the number of articulated lorries using the A4361 including Waitrose lorries travelling very fast along the road at midnight. It was waking him up and he asked whether the Parish Council could help in the matter. He also reported he had asked the Police to carry out speed traps but had been advised that they no longer had the resources. The Chairman explained there was a section in the WHS Transport Strategy that dealt with re-routing of HGVs (see p.33. 1.6 Long Distance Routing – Signage and p.34, 1.7 Long Distance Routing – Soft Measures) and one of the solutions was to engage with sat-nav providers to downgrade the status of the A4361 in their routing directions. A question was asked about implementing a weight restriction on the road; it was noted the WHS Transport Strategy stated the option had been considered, but the challenges of enforcement and regulatory signing outweighed the likely benefits. In further discussion it was noted the A350 (running North and South through Wiltshire) would be more suitable for HGVs trying to access the motorway, local farms had also created an influx of big grain lorries and that Avebury residents were not affected in the same way as Winterbourne Monkton residents whose properties were situated next to the A4361. The member of the public said he had already contacted Waitrose to ask them to slow down their lorries. Action: Mr Stacey offered to take the issue to the Transport Group Committee. Committee to refer to the WHS Management Plan for solutions.
  10. Future uses of High Street car park: members noted the only information received from the NT had been contained in the NT update received that day, which stated ‘We’ve received much really helpful feedback from the Parish regarding current and future uses of the NT car park on the High Street. We hope to be able to share plans for the car park before the end of the year. Thank you to everyone who took the time to share their thoughts and ideas.’
  11. Coach House toilets opening hours: members noted Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) had written to advise that the matter was now with Wiltshire Council at Trowbridge.
  12. Update on communications between the Parish Council and the National Trust: not covered.
  13. A303 Expressway announcement: (see link to Highways England). Members noted the most significant change was to the route and location of the western tunnel portal which was now closer to the line of the existing A303. The Chairman referred to UNESCO’s original concern that the 2.9km Stonehenge tunnel options and their associated dual carriageway approach roads and portals would impact adversely on the OUV of the WHS. The Parish Council had put forward the same reservations to Highways England in February 2017 and was concerned that Avebury should not lose its WHS status or be put on UNESCO’s list of ‘Sites at Danger’.  APC had requested that Highway England explore further options including the F10 non-tunnel by-pass option to the south of the WHS, a longer tunnel option, or that an amalgam scheme be adopted. The Chairman questioned whether Highways England had thought about the impact of the introduction of electric and driverless/autonomous vehicles given the high priority being given by government for their development coupled with the very large commercial investments being made by the car manufacturing and cyber sectors. The Expressway was not due to open until 2026, and electric and autonomous vehicles could well be commonplace shortly afterwards.  APC members were concerned that Highways England was not following UNESCO’s advice and it was agreed APC should write to the government to express the Council’s concerns and to urge that further options be explored. A question was asked as to whether the Parish Council should involve Dr Josh Pollard or other archaeologists. The Chairman invited Dr Kate Fielden to speak. Dr Fielden expressed the view that the NT should be ashamed they were supporting a scheme that was against WHS planning and explained that on the 6 July 2017 UNESCO’s WHS Committee had decided to urge the government to look at solutions that would not damage the OUV of the site at Stonehenge. On the question of costs, it was noted the project’s highest cost was estimated to be £1.8bn. In answer to an earlier question about involving archaeologists, Dr Fielden stated the archaeologists who had been concerned about the project were now part of a Scientific Committee advising the government on proper evaluation. It was resolved that the Parish Council write to the Department for Transport and DCMS outlining its concerns and copy in UNESCO. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mr Campbell and carried unanimously.
  14. Defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe: Mrs Lewis reported the most feasible location for the defibrillator would be the ‘phone box and that BT would leave the power supply to the ‘phone box intact if requested to do so. A member of the public offered to send the Clerk a link to an on-line company that sold parts for phone boxes. In discussion members were happy with the location but noted the ‘phone box was not upright and would need straightening and may need new foundations. It was resolved to adopt the BT ‘phone box in Avebury Trusloe for £1.00 and additionally agreed that a working party to be set up to research costings for the refurbishment and long term management and maintenance of ‘phone box. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
  15. Trusloe play area inspection report: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 4). Members noted rot had been discovered in one of the vertical swing posts. Action: Mr Campbell as Playground Councillor to inspect and monitor the swing post.
  16. Local issues including:
    1. Play Area fencing and options: Mrs Paradise and Mr Campbell reported site visit by Councillors on to do list / work in progress.
    2. Resurfacing footpath 22: the Chairman reported that further to a site meeting he had attended on 18 October with Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) and Martin Cook (WC Area Highway Technician), Martin Cook was trying to find a budget for the work. In discussion it was noted the footpath was in a very poor state and there was a question as to whether Sustrans could assist as it was part of their cycle system. Action: Clerk to send email to Martin Cook in one week’s time to enquire about progress.
    3. Resurfacing footpath AVE30/10 from NT main car park to the High Street: the Clerk reported the request for repairs to the footpath had been logged on WC on-line system and was under investigation by WC.
    4. Request for APC web site to be more village friendly: advice and costings from Kate Fry on (i) addition of new tab for public consultations (ii) addition of photos of the Councillors to the contacts page (iii) integrating social media into the web site – requested but not yet received. Mrs Paradise reported Kate Fry was helping her to set up an Avebury Community Page using Facebook.
    5. Mr Campbell asked who was responsible for bushes / hedges on the Avenue and reported that several bushes were encroaching the road half-way along the Avenue on the left hand side if travelling north to Avebury. Action: Clerk to log issue on WC on-line reporting tool.
  17. Communications: the Chairman reported October 2017 Headlines had been submitted to UKN.
  18. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Wiltshire Wildlife Community Energy Community Fund was open for applications, please see http://www.wiltshirewildlife.org/communityfund.
    2. Wicksteed flyer had been received offering to boost playground projects with 25% match funding. Leaflet tabled and given to Mrs Paradise.
    3. The Social Centre would have a new booking procedure from 2018. Cost of renting the Social Centre to be £8 per session regardless of length of time or £5 for one hour. A booking request form needed to be filled in and PC to agree frequency of meetings and it was noted payment due 7 days in advance of meetings. Action: it was agreed by members that the Clerk complete the booking form and request 10 meetings for 2018 on the first Tuesday of each month.
    4. National Trust Update dated November 2017 received (see appendix 5).
    5. Community First News Magazine had been received by post and was tabled.
    6. Town and Parish Councils Training and Networking Day was being run by WC in Trowbridge on 17 November 2017 and Mr Stacey had been booked onto the event.
    7. An email had been received from a member of the public asking whether a possible footpath from Beckhampton to Silbury Hill was still being considered by the Parish Council. In discussion members sympathised with the request but felt that there were other footpaths that needed support and that the Parish Council should address those priorities first. Action: Clerk to reply with PC’s response.
  19. Finance and admin: including:
    1. Review of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and TOR of Committees: not covered.
    2. Review and adoption of draft policy for disposal of APC’s assets and depreciation (previously circulated to members and see appendix 6). The policy was reviewed and everyone was happy with the document. For resolution see 20.c. below.
    3. Review of Asset Register: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 7). Members noted no new items had been added to the Asset Register in the past year. It was resolved to receive and adopt (i) the draft policy for disposal of APC’s assets and depreciation and (ii) APC’s Asset Register. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    4. Review of Risk Register: not covered, deferred to next meeting.
    5. Donations to charities: the Clerk reported requests for support had been received during the past 12 months from HELP Counselling Services, Bobby Van and Victim Support. Members noted money had been budgeted for such purposes and as per APC’s Policy on donations to charities it was resolved to donate £50 to each charity. Proposed Mr Campbell, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    6. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
      1. Playsafety Ltd: annual inspection of play area at Avebury Trusloe (including VAT)                                                                        £79.80
      2. Thames Water: supply of water and wastewater services to the Pavilion from 13 July 2017 to 18 October 2017                      £145.43
      3. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 Sept – 21 October 2017                                                                                        £296.87
  20. Date of next meeting: members agreed to set the date for the next Council meeting for 7:30pm on Monday 4 December 2017 at the Social Centre.
  21. Any other business:
    1. Ms Service reported work to cut back trees from the electricity lines along Bray Street was currently being carried out by Active Open Reach on behalf of SSE and that the wooden poles were also being replaced.
    2. Mrs Lewis reported she would be unable to attend the ASSF scheduled for Wednesday 15 November and Ms Service said she would be attending.
    3. The Chairman invited Dr Kate Fielden to speak. Dr Fielden asked members if they were aware that the Wiltshire Core Strategy was in the process of being revised and that meant the original Kennet plans for tourism would be wrapped up into a new policy. It was noted TR7 was of importance to the Parish and agreed that both Dr Fielden (in her respective roles within the Avebury Society and CPRE) and the Parish Council would work together to monitor the process.
  22. The meeting closed at 21:40

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

  1. Draft budget 2018-19 – first draft
  2. Draft APC’s Reserves for next March – first draft
  3. Draft agreement between ASSC and APC – dated 6 November 2017
  4. Avebury Trusloe Play Area Inspection Report by Playsafety
  5. National Trust update – November 2017
  6. Draft policy on disposal of APC’s assets and depreciation – dated 2 November 2017
  7. APC’s Register of Assets