3 April 2018 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 3 April 2018 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, ASOPM for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning Meeting, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, EH for English Heritage, FWO PC for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, TRO for Traffic Regulation Order, 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), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Stephen Stacey.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Apologies: Mr Dave Brotheridge and Mr Terence O’Connor.
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 6 March 2018: unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Campbell and seconded by Mrs Paradise.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: members noted:
    1. Min ref 5.a. Future use of High Street car park: the Clerk had received an email from Mrs Tomlin to confirm there wasn’t anything further to share regarding the future use of the National Trust’s car park on the High Street. It was agreed the topic be removed from APC’s monthly agenda and put in a pending system for quarterly review.
    2. Min ref 5.b. Detached railing at Big Arch Bridge: the Clerk had added a new note to Service Request 1753449 and re-reported the broken metal railing as a safety risk to public. The Clerk was instructed to report the issue again as no response had been received from WC.
    3. Min ref 5.c. Coach House toilets: the toilets were open when the Coach House café opened and for longer hours now that the new second-hand bookshop was open. It was agreed the topic be removed from APC’s monthly agenda and put in a pending system for quarterly review.
    4. Min ref 10.e. Reinstatement of pavement cobbles outside 113 High Street: the work had been completed by Thames Water.
  6. Planning applications: there were none received.
  7. Transport Group:
    1. Exhibition output: (see appendix 1 for Summary record of about 50 post-it notes previously circulated to members). Dr Bedford gave an overview of the feedback recorded on the post-it notes as follows:
      1. Trusloe: main issues speeding and parking.
      2. A4 Scheme at Beckhampton: main issue speeding.
      3. A4 Scheme at West Kennett: main issues speeding and pedestrian safety.
      4. The Avenue: most comments received, with almost all calling for improvements and the majority for keeping the Avenue open.
      5. Green Street: main issues signage, safety and verge breakdown.
      6. High Street: suggestions for National Trust car park signage.
      7. Footpaths: attracted the most comments after the Avenue with state of footpaths and dog fouling recorded as issues.
      8. Safety along A4361 North of Avebury recorded as an issue.             Dr Bedford reported the following actions / recommendations from Transport Group Committee meeting held on 27 March 2018:

          • Investigate how we may influence GPS routes for HGVs.
          • Investigate how we might get data on speed and weight of traffic using the Avenue.
          • Investigate if the NT have any counts of Avenue use and of historical visitor numbers.
          • Investigate potential for running another exhibition for surrounding Parish Councils.
          • Transport Group would like the PC to approve the preparation of an action-oriented report.

        In discussion it was noted the PC needed a further extension of the post-it notes to include members’ views. In the light of the recent UNESCO Mission on the A303 tunnel, the Chairman reported that he had recommended that some ‘legacy’ funding might be provided for the Avebury Transport Plan, including improvements to the A4.  Mrs Paradise asked whether WC Highways had explored slowing the traffic on the Avenue. Dr Bedford explained that having a ghost turning on the A4 was a pre-requisite for the Avenue being open but that narrowing the A4 to improve safety and slow traffic would mean that there could no longer be such a turning. Members considered the feedback from the exhibition and interim recommendations from the Transport Group and felt that overall there needed to be an integrated scheme that linked to FWO Parish Council plans and provided as many benefits as possible for neighbouring parishioners as well as people in Avebury Parish. Action: Dr Bedford and Mr Stacey to prepare a draft action-oriented report to be circulated to all Transport Group members for approval and to be handed out at the annual village meeting on 24 April for wider discussion. An additional question was asked about timescales for repair work to the pothole in the north verge Green Street in the Henge and it was noted that the NT was leading on that work.

    2. Footpath signage progress: the Chairman reported AWHS had produced a first draft of a brief on the specifications for footpath sign-posting in the WHS and that it was currently being discussed.
    3. Beckhampton roundabout scheme: reported by the Chairman during item 7.a. that Atkins had now been instructed by WC to proceed with design work for the traffic calming project at Beckhampton.
  8. ACSReC: Mrs Paradise reported:
    1. The new Sports Field lease between NT and ASSC was likely to be exchanged and completed in the next couple of weeks.
    2. Storm damage to the roof of the Pavilion was reported that day to members. Mrs Paradise explained that the felt had lifted off part of the roof and that the Pavilion could not be used until the roof was fixed. The Clerk advised that in order for the PC’s insurers to open a claim they would need a photograph of the damage and a description of the state of the roof, the date the damage occurred and a description of the state of the roof before the incident. Estimates for repair work would then need to be sought. Members noted the insurance excess was £250 and it was agreed a claim should be submitted. Mrs Paradise to email the Clerk with the required information.
    3. ACC had requested help towards funding weed killing on the Sports Field for 2018 season and that ACC would make a donation towards the costs. An invoice had been received from S. Merrett Services for £246.75 + VAT £49.35 = £296.10 because the PC had previously paid for the weed killing. Members noted the new Sports Field contract between the NT and ASSC had not yet been exchanged and therefore it was resolved and agreed unanimously that the PC pay £296.10 for weed killing on the Sports Field from ACSReC funds.
  9. Defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe: Mrs Lewis reported that WC had emailed BT that day to request the PC be allowed to adopt the ‘phone box. Clerk to contact BT and request ‘phone box is adopted with the power supply intact.
  10. A303 Stonehenge Expressway public consultation 2018: the Chairman reported that the Highways England consultation had been extended to Monday 23 April and the PC had a second chance to submit feedback. The Chairman read out and proposed the following statement that could to be sent to Highways England: ‘Avebury Parish Council is concerned about impacts on the Avebury half of the Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site of the proposed A303 Expressway scheme.  We note that the recommendations of the UNESCO’s second Advisory Mission on 6 July have not been incorporated in the preferred route announced by the Secretary of State on 12 September 2017. We urge all concerned to ensure that all ICOMOS / UNESCO recommendations are met so that World Heritage status for Avebury is neither withdrawn nor the Site is put on the ’Sites in Danger’ list. We are copying this response to Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP as Secretary of State for Transport, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP as Secretary of State at DCMS, Dr Isabelle Anatole-Gabriel at UNESCO, Susan Denyer at ICOMOS-UK, Alistair Sommerlad as Chairman of the WHS Partnership Panel and Sarah Simmonds as WHS Partnership Manager.’  Members unanimously agreed the above statement be sent to Highways England and copied to those listed above.
  11. Local Issues:
    1. Great British Spring Clean 17 and 24 March: Mrs Lewis reported that both dates had been cancelled due to poor weather and that a new date would be arranged.
    2. Dog fouling: members noted the Clerk had published a notice in UKN asking residents to pick up after their dogs and requested WC’s dog warden to carry out some patrolling. In discussion other solutions were considered such as making dog poo bags available at various sites. It was felt however that this might encourage more plastic litter. It was agreed to review the situation at the next meeting.
    3. Removal of graffiti and re-painting Beckhampton bus shelter: Mrs Lewis reported the graffiti removal spray and a 5 Litre pot of paint had been purchased and that preparations for painting could be made when the weather warmed up.
    4. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: the Clerk reported a priority sheet had not sent because the Parish Steward’s priority through March and part of April was to fill pot-holes on roads.
    5. Re-instatement of Play Area fencing along main road: members noted the work had not yet started. Clerk to chase contractor.
    6. Resurfacing of footpath 22 and AVE30/10 from NT car park to High Street: the Clerk reported no further information had been received from Sustrans about any other footpath funding from WC.
    7. Summer solstice management and permits: the Chairman stated both he and Mrs Paradise would be making preparations for residents’ permits for that year. He had attended a recent ASOPM meeting and had requested improved performance by WC parking enforcement staff in 2018 and that a tow away truck should be available on the first night. Members noted that in the previous year there had been problems with some permits being photocopied. Mrs Service stressed that there also needed to be more bollards that year and spaced closer together to have any effect as a parking deterrent. Mrs Paradise requested for a telephone number to be made available so that the tow truck could be easily instructed and/or police contacted.
  12. Communications: the Chairman reported the PC Headlines had not been submitted to UKN as there was not enough information to report since the last meeting. A dog fouling notice and notification of the annual Village meeting had been submitted to UKN.
  13. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. SSEN Resilient Communities Fund 2018: applications invited for projects between £1,000 and £20,000. Deadline for applications 16th May 2018. Link to the site for the forms and guidance notes: https://www.ssen.co.uk/rcf/
    2. WC’s local highway town and parish council meetings will run from 19:00 – 21:00 various locations including 23 May at Kennet House, Devizes. Councillors may request agenda items.
    3. Avebury Police Report: unknown suspect had broken rear passenger window on car and stolen 1 handbag from under seat. Location High Street Car Park, Avebury.
    4. Invitation to a conference on 12 April from Frome Town Council: interactive workshop across a range of topics, cost £99 per delegate.
    5. Great West Way Ambassador Network Meeting: Hartham Park, near Corsham, on Tuesday 24 April from 10.30am to 12noon. It was agreed the Chairman and Mr Stacey to attend.
    6. The NT had partially closed Avebury Henge and West Kennet Avenue due to waterlogged ground and slippery surfaces. A member noted that erosion control was further complicated by the fact that footpath AVE 29/10 in the area behind the Community Shop was a public right of way and couldn’t be closed by the NT.
    7. A weather warning widget for website was being offered as a free community service. In discussion members decided to decline the offer.
  14. Finance and admin:
    1. Application for membership: the Chairman reported Mr Ben Butler had expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Parish Council. Members welcomed his interest. The next step was for the Clerk to give formal notice of Jon Campbell’s vacancy to WC.
    2. Employee holiday entitlement: it was resolved that one week of employee holiday entitlement may be transferred from one financial year to the next if not taken as holiday or pay in lieu of holiday. Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Mrs Stacey and carried unanimously.
    3. The approved minutes of the Transport Group Committee meeting dated 19 February 2018 were received for the minute book (see appendix 2).
    4. Cheques for ratification and cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
      1.  SSE Southern Electric: electricity for Pavilion 22 Nov 2017 – 1 Feb 2018   (inc VAT)                                                                          £98.31
      2. Mr P J Mills: rabbit and mole control on Sports Field 1 Feb to 1 May 2018                                                                                            £85.00
      3.  WALC: annual subscription 2018/2019 no. of electors: 417              (inc VAT)                                                                                     £208.81
      4. National Trust: rent of Sports Field 30 Mar 2018 – 29 Mar 2019  £60.00
      5. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 Feb – 21 Mar 2018£431.02
  15. Annual Village Meeting at 7pm on 24 April: the Chairman asked if anyone had any items for the agenda. Mr Campbell gave his apologies. There was general consensus that the Village meeting should be less focussed on the past and more focussed on what the PC wanted to achieve in 2018 and that this could be highlighted by the individual Councillors in their reports.
  16. Date of next meeting and AGM: it was agreed to start the meeting earlier to take into account the AGM. The date of the AGM was set for 7:15pm on Tuesday 1 May 2018 and the ordinary council meeting to follow immediately afterwards.
  17. Any other business:
    1. Parish Council web site development: the Clerk asked members if they had any outstanding tasks and to ensure they had sent their photograph for the website to Kate Fry.
    2. Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) for the year ending 31 March 2018: the Clerk reported AGAR would need to be completed by 11 June for publication on PC website and an exemption from external audit certificate would also need to be sent to PFK Little John by 11 June 2018 as the PC’s income / expenditure was below £25,000.
    3. AGM and appointment of representatives: it was agreed Mr Williamson should remain AWHS representative.
  18. The meeting closed at 9:41pm

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

  1. Summary record of post-it notes from 7 March Transport Group Exhibition
  2. Approved minutes of 19 February 2018 Transport Group Committee meeting – not seen by the meeting but added subsequently.