2 October 2018 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 2 October 2018 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes ACC stands for Avebury Cricket Club, APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EH for English Heritage, FWO PC for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, TG for Transport Group, TPO for Tree Preservation Order, 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, Mr Terence O’Connor, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and to item 13.b. Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk) and Wiltshire Councillor, Mrs Jane Davies.

Time started: 19:34

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present except from item 6 onwards when Mr Dominic Fry (ACC) joined the meeting.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mr Paul Ryder-Morris and Mr Andrew Williamson.
  3. Declarations of interest: Mrs Lewis, Mrs Paradise and Mr Stacey declared an interest as members of ASSC in respect of planning item 6.e. Mrs Paradise declared an interest in respect of planning item 6.d. as the applicant of the planning application.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 4 September 2018: Ms Service requested an amendment to item 9. Solstice Planning and to change (ii) to: or an accredited Community Officer ….. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously. It was unanimously agreed that the corrected minutes be accepted as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Butler.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Item 6.e. Play Area weedkilling: Mr Butler reported that the work had been completed and the Chairman thanked him for undertaking it.
    2. Item 15. Emergency Planning: Mrs Lewis reported that work was in progress including confirming location of existing salt bins and noting those that needed replenishing. Clerk to send map to WC so that salt bins can be re-filled before winter. In further discussion it was noted there was a need for a salt bin at the bottom of Gilbert’s Hill / Bray Street. Action: Clerk to contact WC to find out the cost for a new salt bin.
    3. Item 17.e. Great West Way: a presentation of the event held on 19 September 2018 had been circulated to members. For a copy of the presentation please contact Theresa Hopwood (Partnership Manager), VisitWiltshire Ltd. by email: theresahopwood@visitwiltshire.co.uk.
  6. Planning applications:
    1. Application for full planning for the installation of a new pay and display machine for visitor use within the National Trust Avebury car park at Beckhampton Road, Avebury, SN8 1RF. Ref: 18/08090/FUL. The plans were considered and it was noted that the third pay and display machine was to enable the NT to record parking of its’ members only. It was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
    2. Application for Work to trees in a conservation area. Proposal:- T1 – Ash – Remove 1 Limb, T2 Willow- Pollard high at 60ft & remove half broken stem
      T3 – Willow Repollard at 8ft at land opposite Sarsen Kennels, West Kennet, Marlborough, SN8 1QF. Ref: 18/08868/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to offer no objection to the application. Proposed by Mr O’Connor, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
    3. Application for Listed Building Consent to replace chimney pot to the west chimney supporting the wood burning stove, with a longer pot at Perrys Cottage, Green Street, Avebury, SN8 1RE. Ref: 18/08675/LBC. With the Chairman noting that in fact the chimney is at the east end of the roof and not the west as stated, the plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously. The Chairman altered the order of the business and proposed moving directly on to item 6.e.
    4. Application for Work to trees in a conservation area. Proposal:-  Fell – 6 Sycamore trees; 4 Ash trees & 3 Norwegian Maple trees, Crown reduce –  9 Ash trees; 1 Norwegian Maple; 1 Walnut tree & 8 Sycamore trees at Anvil Cottage, High Street, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire  SN8 1RF. Ref: 18/08876/TCA. Plans were considered and the Chairman invited Mrs Paradise to answer members’ questions including two that had been received that day from members of the public. Concerns included: cutting down healthy Ash trees not affected by Ash die back, changing the natural form of a Walnut tree and thereby increasing its’ risk of infection or death and the effect on site-lines at bottom of the High Street. Mrs Paradise explained that the proposed work was on the advice of tree surgeons in order to best manage the trees and permit the vigorous growth of those surviving the cull, adding that not all the Ash trees were being removed and that the effect on site-lines would be minimal. It was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Ms Service and all agreed. [Mrs Paradise abstained from voting].
    5. Application for Full Planning to demolish the existing cricket pavilion on the sports field and to build a new smaller cricket pavilion, similar to the existing structure but to be positioned in a new proposed location within the sports field at Avebury Sportsfield, Beckhampton Road, Avebury, Marlborough, SN8 1RD. Ref: 18/08886/FUL. The Chairman invited Mr Fry to provide some background to the application. Mr Fry explained that maintaining the existing Pavilion was a false economy. Much time had been spent in negotiating the new lease for the Sports Field. The proposed location for the Pavilion was in the south west corner of the Sports Field furthest from the monument. Many specialists had been engaged in the pre-planning work and Mr Fry wished to thank all concerned. Members were delighted with the plans because they offered significant benefit to the community. It was noted letters of support from ASSC, AYFC and ACC could be submitted to WC Planning using the on-line comments tool. It was therefore resolved to support the application. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr O’Connor and agreed.
  7. Transport Group: (Draft Notes from TG meeting with WC Highways on 19 September 2018 previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). The Chairman explained that the purpose of the TG meeting with Wiltshire Highways on 19 September was to review a pre-circulated paper listing 11 items of concern about road safety. The following key points had come out of the meeting: (a) Steve Hind (Wiltshire Highways) had advised that the first step in seeking reduced speed limits is to request data from the last speed assessments, which were taken about 8 years ago. If there has been significant material change since that date (i.e. if a new housing or industrial estate had been built along the road section in question), re-assessment of speeds could be requested through MAB / CATG. The Chairman commented that, as new estates were unlikely to be built in a World Heritage Site, this did not seem to be a promising way forward. (b) the design for a pedestrian crossing at The Sanctuary approved by the 2015 Avebury WHS Transport Strategy would be expensive and difficult to achieve and would have to be discussed as part of a wider group of solutions. (c) FP22 had once again dropped off WC’s list for re-surfacing as there was no money to carry out the work (estimated at +/- £35,000). The Chairman had attended the CATG meeting on 20 September and, on the advice of Martin Cook and Andrew Jack (Wiltshire Council), had written to Richard Broadhead (WC Rights of Way Officer) [see appendix 2 for copy of letter] to express serious concern. The Chairman said that he had been advised that any interim solution involving minor resurfacing work would require joint funding. He thanked Mrs Davies for her strong support on this item. (d) The Chairman said that, in his view, these and other road safety issues needed to be championed by the wider community to have any chance of a successful outcome and so he had proposed a meeting of the chairs of the three councils and the single meeting of parishes in the Kennet Valley. Nick Fisk (Fyfield and West Overton) had agreed to host it in the KVH. (e) The Clerk asked Mrs Davies (Wiltshire Councillor)why Somerset County Council and not Wilts Council had managed to seal all their roads before winter to negate the issue of potholes. Mrs Davies said that the use of a new road sealing technology was being trailed by other Councils and WC would most likely wait to see the outcome before committing to an expensive investment that may or may not work. [Mr Fry temporarily left the room and re-joined the meeting at item 9].
  8. Solstice Planning: It was agreed that Ms Service would attend the next ASSF meeting on 21 November and that Mr Williamson’s advice should be sought as planning for Solstice was complex. It was additionally agreed that Ms Paradise would bring a proposal for a parking permit scheme for the High and Green Streets for consideration at the next meeting.
  9. Local Issues:
    1. Dog fouling: members noted that funding from ‘Marlborough Downs Space for Nature’ had not been forthcoming and that Mrs Lewis was in the process of finding out pricing for the dog bin emptying service.
    2. Removal of graffiti and re-painting Beckhampton bus shelter: the Clerk reported that Mr Dave Brotheridge was available to start work. Action: Mrs Lewis to set a date for the work to be carried out.
    3. Repairs requested to road mirror in Beckhampton: Mrs Lewis reported that although it was legal to do so WC did not support the installation of mirrors on the highway and a replacement mirror of the same proportions would cost more than £200. In discussion members felt that replacing the frame and post might be a better option. Action: Mrs Lewis to measure the frame and Mrs Paradise to ask her husband whether he had any spare wood available to undertake repairs free of charge otherwise quotations would need to be sought for repair work.
    4. AHA tree and rubbish reported to Aster: the Chairman reported that the process of clearing rubbish and associated tree works on the nursery site had been delayed due to AHA staff vacancy. AHA had also advised him that the trees on the nursery site were protected by a group TPO. There would be a delay of at least 12 weeks before any work could be actioned. He undertook to continue to pursue the issue with AHA.
  10. Refurbishment of Benches:
    1. Advice and estimates from suppliers: the Chairman reported that three quotations had now been received. Condition surveys had been carried out by all suppliers and advice varied. There had been strong representation for the benches on footpath 22 to be repaired. The Chairman read out an email from a member of the public expressing annoyance that the benches had not been maintained annually and requesting that the bench at West Kennett not be removed as it was used by people waiting to catch the bus. In discussion members agreed that four of the benches should be refurbished forthwith and would decide not later than at the next meeting what to do with the damaged benches on FP22 at Big Arch Bridge. It was noted that the more badly damaged of the two benches had been removed for safety reasons and was currently being stored by Mr and Mrs Paradise. The Chairman thanked them for their prompt action. The Clerk gave a summary of the estimates as follows (prices exclude VAT if charged):
      1. Supplier A: bench 1 in High Street £40, bench 2 between Trusloe Cottages and Bray Street £60, bench 5 in West Kennett lay by £60 and bench 6 near bus shelter, Waggon & Horses £40.
      2. Supplier B: refurbishment of benches as listed above for £100 each.
      3. Supplier C: refurbishment of benches as listed above for £80 each.                                                                                                         It was resolved to instruct supplier A, John Giles to carry out refurbishment work to four of the PC’s benches as listed above for £200 (ex VAT). Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously.
    2. Price for a new bench: the Clerk reported that one supplier had quoted £416.69 including fixing bolts excluding VAT for a recycled plastic bench or £858 excluding ground fixings (£42.01) and excluding VAT for a hardwood bench. [Free delivery and commemorative plaques were extra]. The Chairman undertook to obtain further prices so as to allow an informed decision to be taken at the next meeting.
    3. Long-term maintenance of benches: in discussion it was strongly agreed that the PC’s benches should be maintained regularly and that the PC should put together a policy for a maintenance schedule such as sanding and treating every second or third year and also include the conditions of acceptance of any future benches that might be donated to the PC. Action: Chairman to work on a draft policy with the assistance of the Clerk and the Clerk to create a bench maintenance line in the annual budget.
    4. Bench at West Kennett: the Clerk noted that correspondence had been received from a resident urging the restoration of this bench. Members observed that not only the condition of the bench but also its location next to A4 were less than optimal. Nevertheless as recorded above at item 10.a. the bench will be refurbished.
  11. Parish Steward Priority Sheet:
    1. Report on work completed in September: the Clerk reported that the Parish Steward had carried out patch repair work on the footpath next to the pumping station in Church Walk and filled potholes near Horslip Bridge and potholes outside Bray Street Cottages but sadly there were many more left to fill, perhaps (it was suggested) about four months’ work at a rate of half a day per month.
    2. Job requests for October: the Clerk stated these included checking and clearing drains and grips in the High Street, filling pot-holes in middle of the road half-way along the Avenue and filling any remaining potholes in the road surface near Horslip Bridge. The Chairman asked that the grass adjacent to the bus stop, telephone box and bench on the West Kennett lay-by be strimmed. He noted that the street light on the gable end of the building used as a post office in the High Street was still not working. The Clerk explained that an agent used by Wilts Council had arrived on site at a time when the post office was closed and had been unable to shut off the electricity to effect whatever repair is required (e.g. replacing the bulb). Members asked that the Parish Steward look out for a small metal dog bowl belonging to the community shop that might have been lost in a drain in the High Street.
    3. PC to decide whether half a day per month from the Parish Steward is sufficient: the Chairman explained that Avebury was the only place on the list with 300,000 visitors per year and that the Parish was in a WHS and yet had no more of the Parish Steward’s time than some unvisited hamlets. In discussion it was resolved that the Chairman write to Wilts Council to request the Parish Steward for a whole day per month. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  12. Play Area:
    1. Results of the mandatory annual inspection of the Play Area by RoSPA: the Clerk reported that she had not yet received the report and would chase the supplier.
    2. Report from on-site meeting with Wicksteed including initial ideas on improving the provision of activities for children and adolescents, likely costs and funding options: Mr Stacey, Mrs Lewis, Mrs Paradise and the Clerk had attended the meeting on 25 September. Several ideas for new play equipment had been identified including a large basket swing, a slide on a mound with tunnel and a football goal. The broken baby swing had been photographed by Wicksteed for comment by customer services. Pricing for the new play equipment had been pre-circulated and concern was raised at the cost although funding options had yet to be explored.
    3. Next steps: Mrs Paradise offered to research more pricing as FWO PC was in the process of upgrading their Play Area at West Overton and the local school was also looking into new play equipment so there might be the option of bulk deals. Members noted that a public consultation would need to be prepared in due course.
  13. Consultations:
    1. Consultation from Wiltshire Association of Local Councils on a proposal to extend its member services with added employment services from Monahans: The merits of an additional HR service were debated and decision deferred to next meeting.
    2. Wiltshire Council Electoral Review: the Chairman invited Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jane Davies to speak. Mrs Davies reported that the proposals envisaged the disapearance of West Selkley with electors being moved en bloc into adjacent wards. Each Wiltshire Councillor would in future represent around 4,200 electors. In discussion members felt that they would be more comfortable with MAB as opposed to changing to Devizes. It was agreed Mrs Davies to send the Clerk further information for members to consider and to defer responding to the consultation. [Individuals and organizations can access the consultation via the following link: http://www.lgbce.org.uk. ]
  14. Communications: the Clerk stated that the PC’s September 2018 Headlines had been submitted to the October Edition of UKN.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk reported that in addition to community information already published on the PC’s web site, the following correspondence had been received:
    1. Police report for September (see appendix 3): 27/09/18 – Theft from a vehicle – parked in the National Trust car park – unknown suspect had smashed a window and stolen 3 bags and cash to the value of £1600.
    2. IMB Press Release and link to Erlestoke Annual Report 2017-2018.
    3. Letter from Royal Mail warning local community and raising awareness about scam mail: poster published on Community Shop Notice Board. Contact number for Royal Mail scam team T. 0800 0113 466.
    4. Constituency Community Volunteers ­Tour of the Houses of Parliament and Q&A Session 20 November 2018: places are limited, and applications can be made by email to claire.perry.mp@parliament.uk . Please include your name, address, organization you represent and phone number.
    5. Police response to ASB survey (see appendix 4).
    6. Invitation to WC’s consultation event – planning for 44,000 new homes (Trowbridge 18 Oct, Pewsey 22 Oct for 18:30 start).
    7. Invitation to the County of Wiltshire Carol Service on Tuesday 4 December, 12 noon at St Bartholomew’s Church, Church Square, Corsham SN13 0BY.
  16. Finance and admin including: the Clerk reported:
    1. The second half of the Parish Precept for £6,050 had been received from WC on 21 September 2018.
    2. Review of Asset Register: (document previously circulated to members and see appendix 5). She had updated the Asset Register to include the red telephone kiosk for £1 which was the price paid to BT, the fencing figure had been updated from ‘written off’ to £404, which was the cost of new materials, and one of the vandalized benches at Big Arch had been recorded as being written off. Items removed included: contents of the Pavilion, Sports Field notice board and 6ft aerator as those items had been legally transferred to ASSC on 17 April 2018. It was resolved to receive and adopt the updated Asset Register. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
    3. Review of Financial Risks: (document previously circulated to members and see appendix 6). The Pavilion had been removed from the document, the insurance figure for PC’s assets updated to £22,457 and loss due to failure to report data breach to ICO added as a new risk. It was resolved to receive and adopt the updated Financial Risk Assessment. Proposed by Mr Butler, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
    4. Web development: it was noted work was in progress.
    5. ‘Community Organising’ training event: she had attended the free training on 12 September and gave a positive review and advised councilors to find ways to ensure they were listening to everyone in the Parish.
    6. Cheques for ratification: the following cheque had been raised on 19 September 2018:
      1. Wadworth and Company Ltd: room booking fee for TG meeting at Waggon & Horses PH on 19 September 2018                      £30
    7. Cheques for payment: it was resolved to ratify the above expenditure (item 16.f.) and pay the following invoices. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr O’Connor and carried unanimously.
      1. Social Centre: rent for WC, WHS and TG meeting on 19 Sept 2018                                                                                       £8
      2. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses for the period 22 August – 21 September 2018                                                               £391.44
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 6 November 2018                     [Apologies received from Mrs Lewis]
  18. Any other business:
    1. Mr O’Connor stressed that the PC must address the issue of vehicles parking on either side of the High Street as emergency vehicles were unable to pass when that occurred and look into setting up a parking permit scheme. Action: request to be raised with Transport Group.
    2. Mrs Paradise stated that trees were overhanging footpath 22 next to the PC’s bench. It was noted the trees were on NT land and Mrs Paradise said she would report the issue to the NT.
  19. The meeting closed at 21:51
    1. The Chairman reported that Mrs Jan Tomlin (Wiltshire Landscape Manager) was progressing well following a recent cardiac arrest and said that he would send a get well card on behalf of the PC.

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

  1. Draft notes from TG meeting with WC on 19 September 2018
  2. Copy of email sent to Richard Broadhead (Rights of Way Officer, WC) – dated 2 October 2018
  3. Police report for September 2018
  4. Police response to ASB Survey
  5. Register of Assets dated 27 September 2018
  6. Assessment of Key Financial Risks dated 27 September 2018