Avebury Parish Council
Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 5 March 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.
In these minutes AONB stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BT for British Telecommunications plc, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EH for English Heritage, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, TG for Transport Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.
Present: Councillors Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chair), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mr Terence O’Connor and Mrs Lynzey Paradise.
In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
Time started: 19:39
- Public question time: the Chairman welcomed Mrs Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor: up to and including item 9.c) to the meeting and thanked her for attending. There were no other members of the public present.
- Apologies: Councillors Mr Paul Ryder-Morris, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Andrew Williamson.
- Declarations of interest: none declared.
- Minutes of meeting held on 5 February 2019: unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Dr Bedford.
- Matters arising from the minutes: the Chairman reported:
- Min ref. 14.a. Further to a request by Tony Langridge to consider how best to use the nursery site including a proposal to exchange land, a meeting had been arranged at 11am on 12 March 2019. As previously discussed Mr Stacey and Mr Williamson would attend and report back to the PC.
- Min ref. 15.b. Swing seat: the new shackle assembly for one of the chains did not fit the existing fixing on the horizontal swing beam. Action: Clerk to contact Wicksteed to request replacement shackle.
- Planning applications: none received. The Clerk stated that several members of the public had noted that Sarsen Kennels on the A4 had recently erected a large business advertisement with down lighting on their fence fronting the A4. As the PC had received no notification from WC, it was believed that the work had been carried out without planning permission. The Chairman said that he had contacted Sarah Simmonds (WHS Manager) and had suggested that the sign would not enhance appreciation of the WHS. Sarah agreed and pointed out that it was contrary to WHS Management Plan recommendations. Mrs Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) added that, as the sign was clearly not a temporary banner, it would need planning permission. Action: Clerk to email WC enforcement with the details.
- PC’s Statement of Intent for handling applications to attend to trees: it was resolved to adopt a Statement of Intent concerning applications to fell trees. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. (See appendix 1).
- The Parish Emergency Plan (document previously circulated to members): members had reviewed the document. The Chairman thanked Mrs Lewis and Mrs Farthing for their hard work in updating the plan. One or two comments were made (e.g. there were in fact more salt bins in the parish than had been referenced) and Mrs Lewis asked that other remarks be sent to her by email so that she could update the plan in time for approval at the next PC meeting on 2 April.
- Project Updates:
- Transport Group progress report: Dr Bedford reported:
- Recommendations from Transport Group meeting 7 February: the meeting had focused on the Atkins initiative and since then he had contacted Steve Hinds (WC Highways) to again request the output for Beckhampton. He said that he wanted to encourage WC to start the design work for West Kennett as funding to do so had been committed locally and having the plans might help secure wider support from the community. In addition the TG had asked the PC to request WC to introduce a 40mph restriction on the section of the A4361 from Beckhampton roundabout to the existing 30mph restriction at Avebury. Dr Bedford undertook to do this using the MAB part of the Wiltshire online portal. In discussion it was noted that there was never likely to be the required material change of a new housing or industrial estate abutting the road, without which WC was reluctant to consider a request for speed restriction, since the area was in the WHS. It was suggested that there ought to be flexibility in interpreting the rule book given the challenging road safety issues at this point for pedestrians trying to cross the road to get to the bus stop and vehicles pulling into / out of the Trusloe turning that was on the brow of a steep hill. It was agreed that the Chairman and Dr Bedford would work on a draft document for submission to CATG. Dr Bedford explained that he had also been asked to identify the largest vehicles that would need to cross the new splitter islands on the A4 and had discovered that a bin lorry or medium articulated lorry was likely to be the biggest vehicle. Mrs Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) reported that decreasing speeds on A-roads was supported by many Parish and Town Councils including Royal Wootton Bassett and she intended to raise the following items at the next CATG meeting on 14 March to request: 1. WC carry out a long-term strategic review of roads 2. Police support for enforcement of existing speed limits. In further discussion a question was asked about whether there was a designated person responsible for road safety in WC, to which Mrs Davies advised that there was no such job role.
- A4 traffic calming project / road safety: report on meeting of the Chairs that took place on 18 February not covered.
- Project to improve road signage in Avebury: the Chairman reported that, further to a meeting he had attended on 27 February between representatives of the NT, WC and WHS Management Team, there had been agreement to renew highway signage and brown information signs (which would include no more than three symbols, being the WHS brand signifier, P for car parking, and M for museum) plus repaint existing signs on the road and renew yellow lines in primrose yellow where faded. It was noted that there would be no cost to the PC and that it was hoped that the work would be completed by the end of the summer or early autumn.
- Repairs to B4003 West Kennett Avenue: the Chairman reported that, following the 27 February meeting noted above, he had submitted a request to CATG to repaint the double yellow lines on the B4003. In parallel Wiltshire Highways would research how best to fill the two gaps where there were currently no double yellow lines, noting that this might require public consultation. He said that he expected the proposal to repair and reduce the ‘informal’ layby would be considered by the AWHS Committee next month. It was agreed that Dr Bedford or Mr Williamson would attend the next CATG meeting.
- ASSF meeting 14 January: Mrs Lewis said that there had not been much camping over winter Solstice and that the NT had observed that what appeared to be burial ash had been sprinkled on some of the sarsen stones.
- Proposed permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: Mrs Paradise explained that there had been no further progress on the general residents’ parking permit scheme and that for Solstice the PC would need to revert to existing arrangements. In discussion it was noted that previously there had been a lot of last minute requests for additional permits and it was agreed to set a limit of two permits per address. The Chairman thanked Mrs Paradise for her work on this subject. Action: Clerk / Mrs Paradise to check distribution list and the Chairman to find out the date for the next meeting of ASOP. Mrs Lewis said that camping dates would be from Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 June.
- Superfast fibre broadband project and 4/5G: Mr O’Connor reported that everyone who had taken part in the survey would like to see improvements to telecommunications in the Parish. He would raise the subject again at the Village meeting so that those interested in the project could give consent for further communication and supply their email addresses. He added that further to the Village meeting he would then approach the service provider (BT). The Chairman thanked Mr O’Connor for his research.
- Play area refurbishment: Mrs Paradise reported that there had been 54 responses to the survey with children’s responses recorded too. She said that the largest age group requiring equipment had been 4-7 year olds and teenagers and therefore the Play Area would need to be hard wearing as well as in keeping with the WHS setting. It was noted that the most popular equipment choices had been a slide, obstacle course and zip wire as well as several requests for seating. It was agreed that Mrs Paradise should select suitable play equipment suppliers from those that had emailed their details and set up meetings so that suppliers could provide design ideas and estimates. Thanks were expressed to Mrs Paradise for her work.
- Transport Group progress report: Dr Bedford reported:
- Electoral Review of Wiltshire: members reviewed the Local Government Boundary Commission’s draft recommendations, noted that Marlborough West would continue to have one Unitary Councillor, and agreed that the PC had no comment to make. [For information on the consultation please see www.lgbce.org.uk].
- Local Issues:
- Repairs to road mirror in Beckhampton: it was agreed that a small to medium sized mirror should be ordered by the Clerk. Mrs Lewis to supply the product details.
- State of BT ‘phone box in West Kennett: it was agreed that the Chairman would put a note in UKN asking for residents’ views on the state of the ‘phone box and send a letter to West Kennett residents asking them for feedback, too.
- Community litter pick: Mrs Lewis reported that notices for the litter pick had been put on the community Facebook page and that she would also put the information on the PC’s notice boards. It was noted that the litter pick was going to take place on Sunday 17 March and everyone should meet in the High Street car park at 9:30am. Hilary Makins (Head Ranger) at the NT had once again agreed to lend litter picking equipment for the event. It was envisaged the event would finish at 12:30pm and members of the public were advised to bring Hi-Viz jackets and gloves if possible.
- Replacement planters for the High Street: Mrs Paradise reported that several planters were showing wear and tear due to the wood rotting or vehicles having knocked into them and she thought that recycled plastic might be a better option. Mr O’Connor said that sustainability was an important criterion. It was noted that Mrs Paradise had sought the views of several households living adjacent to the planters and ascertained that they were not in favour of having a seat around the planter. It was agreed Mrs Paradise to seek the view of the WHS team on the use of recycled plastic for street furniture and continue to research pricing.
- Street lamps at Beckhampton roundabout: in discussion members noted that all the lamps were now working and indeed new poles had been inserted with exceedingly bright LED bulbs, which residents especially of Isobel Cottage found distinctly irksome. Mrs Lewis offered to seek redress from WC Highways.
- Annual Parish Meeting: PC to set out its projects and aims for the year and theatre style seating to be set up with overhead projector. It was agreed to set the date for the Village meeting for Tuesday 16 April 2019 at 7pm with refreshments being served from 6:30pm. Clerk to check availability of the Social Centre.
- Parish Steward Priority Sheet:
- Report on work completed in February: the Clerk reported that the following jobs had been requested: fill potholes and check culverts and gullies along the High Street.
- Job requests for 13 March: Mr Butler requested that the white metal railings at Big Arch Bridge on footpath 22 should be repainted. There were no other requests.
- Communications: the Chairman reported that the PC’s Headlines had been submitted for the March Edition of UKN.
- Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
- Thank you letter had been received from The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust for £50.00 donation.
- Police report for February 2019: not received.
- Finance and admin including:
- Training: the Clerk reported that members were invited to take part in Community Organising training and a taster session had been arranged for 7pm on Tuesday 2 April 2019 prior to full Council meeting from 7:30pm on the same day.
- The approved minutes of the Transport Group Committee meeting dated 11 June 2018 were received for the minute book (see appendix 2) and the minutes of a meeting with Wiltshire Highways dated 19 September 2018 were also received for the minute book (see appendix 3).
- Cheques for ratification and cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Dr Bedford, seconded by Mrs Paradise and unanimously agreed.
- ASSC: 1st part payment of donation towards new Pavilion £750.00
- Wicksteed Leisure Ltd: fixings for baby swing (including VAT) £20.40
- Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 January – 21 February 2019 £328.58
- Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 2 April 2019 [apologies received from Mr Stacey].
- Any other business: members noted that:
- A water leak on Green Street had been reported on the 25 January and would be repaired by Thames Water once scheduled monument consent had been granted (six to eight weeks hence).
- The meeting closed at: 21:41
Appendices: (included in the book of Parish Council papers)
- Statement of Intent – Felling of Trees and the Ten Principles of the Tree Charter
- Approved minutes of 11 June 2018 Transport Group Committee meeting
- Minutes of 19 September 2018 meeting with Wiltshire Highways