3 July 2018 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

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

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ARK for Action for River Kennet, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EH for English Heritage, KVH for Kennet Valley Hall, FWO PC for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, SWAST for South Western Ambulance Service Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Councillors Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Ben Butler, to item 10 Mr Terence O’Connor, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Andrew Williamson.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: there were three members of the public present for all or part of the meeting.
    1. Why was the PC wasting tax payers’ money on changing the layout of the road network at Beckhampton roundabout because single lanes to the roundabout would cause traffic queues. How much would the scheme cost and had the PC thought about less costly solutions such as speed humps?
      1. The Chairman explained that the new road design for Beckhampton had been created as part of the overall traffic calming scheme for Avebury and would improve safety for everyone approaching the roundabout, trying to cross the main roads and navigating from other roads onto the main highway. He said that, whilst the project was a long way from the final costing stage the idea was to ensure it would be oven ready so that, in the event of Wilts Council being able to make funds available, it would be to hand for consideration. The Chairman further explained that the PC was working with other Parishes to achieve an overall speed reduction on the main roads that passed though the WHS. The PC had run two exhibitions to gather a range of opinions and wanted to respond to concerns from which it was clear that there was agreement that speed on the A4 and A4361 in particular was a significant concern.
    2. Did the PC know there was a new ‘reduce speed now’ sign on the A4 near the Grange at Beckhampton?
      1. It was noted the PC had not received information about a new sign.
    3. This year was the first time the turning into Avebury Trusloe from the A4361 had not been policed over solstice and people had been entering Avebury Trusloe via Nash Road from the A4361 and via Bray Street from the A4. There had been 27 vehicles parked on the nursery site and health and safety issues included open fires being lit, party-goers wandering into the Play Area and parked vehicles potentially blocking access for emergency vehicles and delivery vehicles.
      1. The Chairman said that the comments were very helpful and would be reported by the PC at the solstice debriefing meeting taking place the following day. A review of solstice was also on the agenda that night.
    4. A member of the public reported that the new Play Area fencing had been damaged by local children and part of the fencing had been bent over at the top.
      1. Mrs Paradise (Play Area Representative) to check fencing.
    5. How much revenue had the PC received in fines issued by the Dog Warden?
      1. It was noted that WC received revenue from dog fines and members said that to best of their knowledge the dog warden had not issued any fixed penalties in Avebury because he had not yet caught a dog owner committing an offence.
    6. There were many residents’ cars parked on verges and elsewhere whilst AHA garages in Avebury Trusloe remained empty. These might be used by local people if the rent was cheaper and this could help ease the parking situation.
      1. The Chairman asked the Clerk to contact AHA Neighbourhood Housing Officer with this comment.
  2. Welcome and introductions to new members: the Chairman warmly welcomed Mr Ben Bulter as a new member and said that the PC looked forward to his contributions.
  3. Apologies: Councillor Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman) and apologies also received but not read at the meeting and added subsequently for Paul Ryder-Morris.
  4. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 5 June 2018: unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Ms Service.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: none that was not already covered on the main agenda.
  7. Planning applications: none received from WC.
  8. Transport Group: in the absence of Dr Bedford, the Chairman reported:
    1. Feedback from CATG meeting on 21 June: Unfortunately Dr Bedford, Mr Williamson and the Chairman had not been able to attend this CATG meeting, item 4.(d) of which was “A4 at Beckhampton and West Kennett – speeding.” Andrew Jack (WC’s Communities and Engagement Officer for the Marlborough Communities) had reported back to the Chairman that it appeared that Atkin’s was making slow progress on developing a design guide for the traffic calming project at West Kennett. Action: Dr Bedford to be requested to contact Steve Hind (WC Highways) for information.
    2. Recommendations for action paper: the main change to the document, previously agreed by APC included the proposal that the Transport Group and PC should work closely with Fyfield and West Overton PC, Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton PCs to press for WHS wide 50mph speed limit as more likely to get a positive response from WC.
    3. Discussion: members supported the changes recommended at item 8.b. It was noted the Transport Group now included observers from other Parishes. Mrs Paradise reported that she had booked an exhibition slot for the Transport Group Exhibition at Avebury Day. Mr Butler asked if there was a point when the public consultation would cease and the Chairman said that he believed we had now reached the stage when it would be possible to draw up a shortlist of proposals for consideration by WC Highways, which he hoped the Transport Group would be able to endorse very soon. Mr Williamson asked whether Steve Hind (WC Highways) had reported on Beckhampton at the CATG meeting and it was noted that according to Andrew Jack, he had not done so.
  9. Review of solstice: it was noted Mr Williamson and Ms Service would be attending the ASOP meeting taking place the next day from 1:30 to 5pm but would not be able to attend all of the meeting due to other commitments. In discussion the following points emerged:
    1. Police decision to restrict access to the High Street had worked well for the High Street.
    2. Permit system had not worked well and various reasons given including permit holders passing permits to people not all of whom would have been entitled to receive them had they applied through the official channel.
    3. Restricting access to the High Street had moved the problem of feral parking to Green Street and Avebury Trusloe.
    4. WC did not have authority to tow cars if they were not blocking the highway.
    5. People had simply moved cones out of the way to park.
    6. WC had been active in ticketing vehicles and Chris Clarke (WC Highways) had carried out an excellent service.
    7. If the current approach at Stonehenge continued the result would be more people coming to Avebury since those attending the solstice would reasonably ask: why pay money to go to Stonehenge when Avebury is free?
    8. The overall cost of security provision for the various stakeholders should be considered.
    9. Resident’s solstice parking permit in the form of a car sticker might be an option, which would need to be funded by the PC.
    10. The following extra vans and cars, parked illicitly, had been noted: approximately 3-4 parked in the High Street, 12 on the nursery site in Avebury Trusloe, 8-10 parked along the road to Windmill Hill, and up to 20 in Green Street.
    11. NT had been particularly active in helping to move vehicles off the Ridgeway though it was suspected that this had contributed in displacing many of them to the Village.
    12. The rules had changed and, whilst the police could now get a temporary order to move vehicles on, they did not have the power to close a public highway.
    13. NT took on a lot of the responsibility for the management of solstice and planning started in October with 5-6 meetings over 12 months.
    14. The majority of people started arriving on the afternoon of the 20 June and therefore resources to manage vehicles would be needed from that point onwards.
    15. If the NT was prepared to pay for security and fencing at the Sanctuary, perhaps it could help pay for security in Avebury Trusloe, using car parking fees at Avebury to subsidize this.
    16. Accredited Community Support Officers were used successfully to manage access to the High Street and could also be used in Avebury Trusloe.
    17. There were approximately double the amount of vehicles parked on the nursery site in Avebury Trusloe compared to the previous year and various health and safety issues as reported in public question time at item 1.c. as well as human excrement left on the site.                                                     The PC concluded that problems with feral parking and behaviour were significantly worse than the previous year and one of the main causes was due to displacement of vehicles off the Ridgeway. Action: PC to consider report that will come out of ASOP de-briefing meeting, put management of solstice as a regular item on its’ agenda and consider arranging a separate meeting with the police in September.
  10. Defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe: Mrs Lewis reported:
    1. Electrical installation work for defibrillator cabinet: a quotation of £105 (ex VAT) had been received from the electrician who had installed a heated cabinet at the ‘phone kiosk in Little Cheverell. It was agreed that the PC proceed with placing an order with Cecil Withers (M.D. of C.S. Electrical Engineers and Consultants Ltd.) It was noted that the electrician would need to know the wattage specification for the cabinet and Mrs Lewis said that she would ensure the electrician had that information.
    2. Refurbishing the telephone kiosk: three quotations (not incurring VAT) had been received for re-painting the outside of the kiosk on the understanding that the PC supplied the paint:
      1. A written re-quote had been received for £485 (from £550) to prepare surface, apply one coat of primer and one coat of gloss to outside and inside door.
      2. A written quotation had been received for £480 to prepare surface, apply one undercoat and two top coats to outside only.
      3. A oral quotation had been given for £200 to prepare surface, apply one coat of primer and one coat of gloss to outside and inside door. In discussion members noted that the third contractor could start work later this week and finish early next week. It was resolved to accept the third quotation for £200 from Chris Gale if a written quotation was supplied to the Clerk. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. It was noted that the Clerk had ordered the paint and four defibrillator signs and delivery was scheduled for Thursday.
  11. Local Issues including:
    1. Dog fouling: it was noted dog fouling was particularly bad in Avebury Trusloe. Mrs Lewis reported that she had spoken with Gemma Batten at  Marlborough Downs Space for Nature about funding for a dog bin and that the organization would consider the PC’s request at its board meeting that Thursday. Further investigation into costs including the cost of emptying the bin would need to be carried out.
    2. Removal of graffiti and re-painting Beckhampton bus shelter: Mrs Lewis said that work had yet to start. The Chairman offered to help with the project and said that Mrs Lewis should let the PC know if she needed additional volunteers.
    3. New glazing panel for Swindon Road bus shelter: the Clerk reported work had been completed and that a visual check had been carried out by the Chairman.
    4. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: it was noted that the PC’s requests on June priority sheet had been completed by the Parish Steward [except repair work to footpath next to pumping station but this would be done in the next few weeks]. The Clerk reported that requests for Parish Steward’s next visit on 18 July included checking culverts at end of High Street and checking drainage ditch outside the Community Shop. Members considered whether there were any other highway matters that needed attention and there were none. The Chairman said he had been asked if the PC could cut back nettles encroaching the WC footpath from Rawlins Park to Red Lion PH as this was causing a problem for wheelchair users. The Chairman offered in the meantime to cut back the nettles with shears as it might take WC some time to respond to the request. The Clerk stated that the Parish Steward was not required to do footpath strimming and carried out highway related work only and that the WC Rights of Way team was responsible for cutting back encroaching vegetation on WC footpaths. The Clerk said that although some parishioners did informally carry out strimming work that benefited the Community, should members of the PC wish to volunteer to carry out work then it should be agreed by the PC at a full council meeting so that volunteers might be covered under the PC’s insurance scheme for public liability. The other option was for the PC to employ the services of a qualified tradesman. It was additionally reported that Church Walk needed cutting back and the Clerk was requested to log issue with WC Rights of Way.
    5. Resurfacing of footpath 22: Mrs Lewis said that she had sent photographs of the path to Councillor Bridget Wayman.
    6. Request for repairs to road mirror in Beckhampton: Mrs Lewis and Mrs Paradise said they were progressing with investigations and it was noted that the wooden structure holding the mirror was leaning as the posts may have rotted.
    7. Community Shop Notice Board repairs: Mr Williamson said that he had spoken to the Community Shop and that they were happy for a non-locking system to be installed on the noticeboard and that work would be carried out very soon.
    8. Replacement noticeboard for West Kennett: the Clerk advised that the notice board should be scheduled for replacement. Item deferred for consideration by members at budget setting meeting in November.
    9. Play Area weedkilling: the Clerk explained that weedkilling was needed to avoid the possibility of mowers catching on the fencing and Mr Butler’s kind offer to carry out the spraying along the perimeter of the Play Area was accepted.
    10. Sports Field weedkilling: item not discussed. [ASSC was making arrangements to pay for the work].
  12. Communications: the Chairman reported that the PC’s June 2018 Headlines had been submitted to UKN.
  13. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Email from Sarah Wright (Ridgeway National Trail): the PC had received an initial enquiry asking whether there had been any complaints about the condition of the Ridgeway. Members noted that no complaints had been received.
    2. WC had issued a notice advising temporary closure of: A4361 (Part), Broad Hinton (11/07/2018 – 13/07/2018)
    3. CPRE Wiltshire fundraising event: the Community was invited to a private tour of Great Chalfield Manor, 6:30pm on 5 September.
    4. Cherhill New Village Hall Community Right to Build Order: extension of consultation period to 5pm on Monday 30 July 2018. The PC would not be responding to the consultation.
    5. Police report for June and July: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). The Clerk provided an overview of crimes committed in Avebury and it was noted several were solstice related.
  14. Sports Field: it was resolved to dissolve ACSReC (Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee). Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  15. Finance and admin including: the Clerk reported:
    1. Insurance Claim payment of £510 (with £250 excess deducted) for repairs to Pavilion roof had been received from Zurich Insurance plc. The PC had also received an invoice from London Road Roofing and Mrs Paradise confirmed that the work had been carried out. It was resolved to pay London Road Roofing £760 (not VAT incurring) for repairs to the Pavilion roof. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
    2. Web development: members who had not yet provided photographs agreed to have their photos taken by Mrs Paradise for publication on the PC’s web site.
    3. Cheques for ratification and cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Williamson and carried unanimously.
      1. Avebury Social Centre: rent for Transport Group meeting 11 June and defibrillator training 9 July 2018                                                  £16.00
      2. London Road Roofing: repairs to Pavilion roof                           £760.00
      3. Elysium Woodworking Ltd: replacement vision panel for WC owned bus shelter outside Rawlins Park (inclu VAT)                             £164.40
      4. Liz Moore: overtime and expenses 22 May – 21 June 2018       £516.86
      5. X2Connect Ltd: 1x tin of primer (2.5 Litres), 1x tin of red currant gloss (2.5 Litres) and 4 defibrillator signs (inclu VAT)                          £196.96
  16. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 4 September 2018
  17. Any other business:
    1. Mrs Paradise reported that she had been advised by WC that they strimmed the verges before solstice so that the cones put down to stop people parking would not get lost in the long grass. Mr Williamson said that the Parish Council had asked WC not to strim verges before solstice as it deterred feral parking.
    2. Members noted that no evidence had been submitted to the PC about misuse of Kyter’s Walk and the matter appeared to be closed.
    3. Concerns were raised about the safety of children climbing trees on AHA land in Avebury Trusloe and throwing items into a resident’s garden. Clerk to report concern to AHA and ask whether the lower branches could be reduced or cut to discourage children from climbing the trees.
    4. In that connection Mr Williamson made some observations about the strip of land owned by Centurian and Mrs Paradise said that she understood that in the past the owners had offered to fence the area off.
  18. The meeting closed at 21:28

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

  1. Police Report: June – July 2018