1 October 2019 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 1 October 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BB & WM PC for Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, KVH for Kennet Valley Hall, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoSPA for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoW for Rights of Way, SSEN for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, TG for Transport Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council, WHS for World Heritage Site and WHS PU for World Heritage Site Partnership Unit.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mrs Donna Byatt, Mr Terence O’Connor (from item 11.a. onwards), and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time Started:  19:30

  1. Public question time: there were two members of the public present; Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager, NT) and Janet Tomlin (General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape, NT), both up to and including item 11.e. There were no questions asked. The Chairman welcomed the NT representatives to the meeting.
  2. Apologies: Dr Mike Bedford (Vice Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mr Mike Daniel and PCSO Melissa Camilleri.
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 3 September 2019: unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mrs Byatt.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: none declared.
  6. Police report: item not covered due to absence of police presence; for the August report, please refer to appendix. It was noted that there had been thefts from vehicles at beauty spots and thefts and attempted thefts of lead from several churches in Wiltshire.
  7. Planning applications:
    1. Minutes of Planning Committee Meeting 18 September 2019: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). It was resolved to receive and accept the Planning Committee meeting minutes as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Mrs Byatt.
    2. Amended Application Form for 19/06853/FUL – Earley House Beckhampton: it was resolved not to comment on the amended plans.
  8. Project updates:
    1. Transport Group: the Chairman reported:
      1. CATG meeting 19 September 2019: he had attended the meeting and two items in CATG’s top five priority list were:
        1. The A4 project at Beckhampton and West Kennett: as both the Transport Group and the PC had been content with the designs (subject to a couple of small amendments), stage 3 plans were now complete and accordingly the item had been removed from CATG’s list of priorities. Stage 4, to implement the plans, would be ready to go ahead when funding becomes available. Wiltshire Highways had reported that the current consultancy costs were in the region of £18,000 and the PC should expect an invoice for 25% by the end of the financial year. This was equivalent to £4,500, previously ringfenced in the PC’s budget.
        2. Improved pedestrian safety on A4361 at Avebury Trusloe: planned speed assessments had not yet started because Wiltshire Highways was waiting to receive answers from Atkins, to questions asked.
      2. Repairs to B4003 West Kennett Avenue: the project to diminish the size and reconstruct the layby, as well as fill the two gaps in yellow lining, was second in CATG’s first reserves and seventh on the overall priority list. The Chairman invited questions from members. Mrs Paradise reported that a resident in West Kennett was unhappy with the outcome of a risk assessment carried out by WC on the changes to the bus route at West Kennett. The new route meant that the resident has to cross the busy A4 with her young family to drop off and collect one of her children from the school bus when previously the bus used to stop outside their house. In discussion members felt that the change in the bus route was putting the family at risk and suggested that a petition be brought to the PC. In the meantime it was agreed that the Chairman write a letter to WC to highlight the concern.
      3. Resurfacing of footpath 21 and footpath 22: the Chairman had written to Martin Cook (Senior Highways Engineer, WC) and had been told that work to resurface footpath 22 and part of footpath 21 would be completed in FY2019.
    2. Play Area refurbishment: Mrs Paradise reported that she had received a free consultation and estimate from a supplier and equipment only including a climbing frame with two slides, a zip wire and extra swings, which would cost about £20,000 with an option to spread the total project cost over three years. A general discussion took place on the pros and cons of providing a form of shelter in the Play Area, as a result of which a number of points emerged. Mrs Paradise explained that the Play provider had advised that putting a roof on the climbing frame might encourage anti-social behavior. Mrs Tomlin mentioned that the NT had recently found people using one of their staff tents in the farmyard for rough sleeping and members should be aware that any forms of shelter might be used in that way. The issue for the NT was that they were then left to clear up after the occupants. It was agreed that the PC wanted to provide opportunities for social behaviour and the next steps would be as follows:
      1. Obtain further quotations
      2. Arrange a separate meeting to look at play equipment options
      3. Visit Mildenhall play park for inspiration
      4. Keep in mind provision of activities for teenagers
      5. Review the status of an extraordinary meeting (later agreed for the 26 November: see item 9 below).
    3. Superfast fibre broadband project and 4/5G: in the absence of Mr O’Connor there was no report until later in the meeting. Please see item 18. Any Other Business.
  9. Solstice Planning: Ms Service reported that the ASSF meeting she had attended on the 16 September (chaired by Hilary Makins) had been very useful. The group had concluded that much planning was needed for the following year because Solstice would be over a weekend. Ms Service tabled a double sided leaflet that she had been given at the ASSF meeting (originally produced by the NT for the Avebury Guardians, currently in draft form and not yet published). She explained that Hilary Makins was working on the leaflet to update it and understood that the purpose of the leaflet was to give volunteers a clear and simple reference document to aid them in their work. Members felt that it would be a useful tool for those working at Solstice. In discussion it was confirmed that Ms Service had already asked Ms Makins if it would be possible to include a calendar of ceremonies on the back of the leaflet too. The Chairman reminded members that the PC should aim for meetings with the relevant agencies in good time. It was noted that that year, early engagement with authorities had been hampered due to WC having to deal with the Salisbury poisoning incidents. It was agreed that Ms Service would attend the next ASSF meeting on 11 November and that members would hold an extraordinary meeting at the end of November for Solstice Planning and to look at play equipment options. [Clerk to book the Social Centre for 7pm on Tuesday 26 November 2019].
  10. Residents’ car parking concerns and feedback from public meeting on 10 September: (notes from the meeting previously circulated to members and see appendix 2). The Chairman invited Jan Tomlin and Catherine Hosie to the table. Jan said that she and the Chairman had looked at the notes produced by both the Clerk and Helen MacBeth (Business Support Co-Ordinator, Wiltshire Landscape) and that the output from that was a deliverable action plan. She handed hard copies of the draft action paper to members. The draft paper was considered and it was noted that actions were split into three chronological blocks; actions for early implementation i.e. by the end of 2019, work that could be carried out in 12-18 months and work that could be considered in two years plus. Members were very grateful that a structured action plan had resulted from the public meeting and it was agreed that it would be helpful for the paper to be signed off at the PC’s meeting on the 5 November. Jan then updated members on the plans for resurfacing the High Street car park and explained that resurfacing and relining would be as the existing car park. A question was asked about contingency plans for alternative parking for when the car park was being resurfaced. Jan confirmed that parking provision would be in the main visitor car park. A general discussion took place on the merits of putting together a note to inform High Street residents of the arrangements. It was agreed that the content of the note would finalized with Jan by the end of the third week in October (Friday 18 October 2019) and that members would assist with distributing the note through residents’ letter boxes. A further question was asked about whether the NT had considered liaising with owners of private parking. Jan explained that extra parking was for event organizers to arrange themselves but agreed that there might be value in opening up private parking at busy times of the year. Members asked for the option to be added to the draft action paper.
  11. Local issues:
    1. Bench at West Kennett: the Chairman reported that work was in progress, the risk assessment in relation to replacing the bench at the same location still needed to be carried out, and the PC was having to make a claim for a new bench through their own insurance policy as the other party has not been in contact. Mrs Byatt offered to email a contact she knew who was a Risk Assessor to see if they could provide some advice.
    2. Replacement planters for the High Street: Mrs Paradise reported that she had sourced some wooden troughs that were the same size as the existing planters but double the length and better value. She said that members might consider using slate plaques on the planters, each individual plaque and planter being attributed to a local business sponsor. The sponsor would need to agree to planting up the planter and looking after it for pre-agreed period of time. It was noted that the original purpose of the planters had been to discourage cars parking on that side of the High Street. It was agreed that the idea should be further researched by the working party set up to look at banners and advertising. It was additionally noted that a replacement planter had yet to be received from Grist Environmental and that the Clerk would look into the matter.
    3. Repairs to Play Area fencing: in progress and the Clerk to chase quotation for repairs.
    4. Request for a plastic and metal recycling bin for the High Street: Mrs Lewis reported that she had spoken to the Manager at the Community Shop about her request for a recycling bin and explained that what was being proposed was a multi compartment bin for glass/paper/plastic so that visitors and locals alike could dispose of rubbish in an environmentally friendly way. Streetscene had advised her that such requests needed to go to the Area Board. Mrs Lewis to contact Alexa Davis (Community Engagement Manager, WC) for further advice on the matter.
    5. Re-painting of ‘phone box at West Kennett: the Chairman read out an email received from BT on 23 September 2019: ‘Thank you for your email. We will soon be initiating the 90 day consultation with the Local Authority for removal of this box (Wiltshire Council in this instance).  Therefore, as soon as the notice has been posted inside the box, payphone users and interested parties will have 42 days in which to contact the Planning department at Wilshire Council to raise objections/provide comments and feedback. We will only be able to arrange any refurbishment or painting work once we know the outcome of the consultation. If, following the consultation, it is decided that the box must remain then we would happily consider your request to have the box painted. We would normally ask you to send in a few photographs showing the condition of the paintwork and then forward these on to the Commercial Field Officer for consideration’. It was agreed that, as soon as the notice had been posted in the ‘phone kiosk that the Clerk write to WC Planning department with the PC’s response to the consultation (see 2 July 2019 minutes ref. 11.b) and register objection to removal of the telephone kiosk. Thanks were expressed to Jan Tomlin and Catherine Hosie, who left the room at this point.
  12. Grant Offer from SSEN for a third defibrillator: in discussion it was resolved to rescind the decision made at full Council meeting on 4 June 2019 item 9.g. not to proceed with a grant application to SSEN. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously. It was resolved to accept the grant of £1,000 for a defibrillator from SSEN and to agree to the standard terms and conditions of the grant (see appendix 3 for copy of Standard Terms and Conditions). Proposed by Mr O’Connor, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously.
  13. Parish Steward Priority Sheet:
    1. Report on work completed in September: the Chairman reported that strimming requests on FP22 had been carried out by the Parish Steward.
    2. Job requests for October 2019: Parish Steward to ensure gullies continue to be checked in the High Street, Green Street and Beckhampton and to request that he undertake cleaning of the bus shelters on the A4361 near Rawlins Park and on the A361 at Beckhampton. The Clerk was asked to report to WC the missing glazing panel on the WC bus shelter at Beckhampton (westbound shelter). Mrs Byatt to report a missing street light on the bracket attached to Elements Shop building.
  14. Communications: the Chairman reported that PC Headlines had been submitted to the October 2019 Edition of UKN. 
  15.  Correspondence: the Chairman reported that the following correspondence had been received:
    1. Invitation to North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Forum: “The Future of our Finest Landscapes”, 9am – 2:30pm, Friday 15th November 2019 at Englefield House, near Theale, Berkshire. Tickets £15.
    2. Wiltshire Council Joint Strategic Needs Assessment / Local Area Priorities 2019/20: Parishioners are being asked to complete a very short survey which has been developed as part of a review of local priorities and to inform the next round of “Our Community Matters” events planned to take place in the Spring of 2020. Please find the link to the short survey below, the survey ends on the 13th October: https://surveys.wiltshire.gov.uk/snapwebhost/s.asp?k=156838465703
    3. Information from CMAS, an organization that has been providing various youth work services since 2013, their work includes youth groups, target youth groups (LGBT, SEN, Life skill’s groups), Mentoring (both educational and social-emotional), youth councils and consultations, and much more. See http://www.communitymas.co.uk/
    4. Police Report for August 2019 and information about church roof lead thefts across Wiltshire. Anyone who wishes to report a crime, or who has information about this spate of lead thefts, should call Wiltshire Police on 101, or report it online via https://www.wiltshire.police.uk/Report_a_crime Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
    5. August Highways Newsletter
  16. Finance and admin including: the Clerk reported:
    1. The second half of the Parish Precept for £6,350 had been received from WC on 23 September 2019.
    2. Review of Asset Register: deferred to next meeting
    3. Review of Financial Risks: (document previously circulated to members and see appendix 4). It was resolved to receive and adopt the updated Financial Risk Assessment. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
    4. New Councillor Training: Mr Butler, Mrs Byatt and Mr Daniel had attended the training session at the KVH in Lockeridge on 30 September 2019.
    5. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously.
      1. John Giles: new noticeboard for West Kennett (including VAT)                                                                                £354.00
      2. The Social Centre: hire of hall for Transport Group meeting 2 September 2019                                                         £10.00
      3. Playsafety Ltd: annual inspection of Play Area (including VAT)                                                                                 £82.20
      4. Miss E. Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 August – 21 September 2019 inclusive                                     £306.19
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 5 November 2019
  18. Any other business:
    1. Mr O’Connor reported that Venture Security had been awarded a contract by EH to protect Stonehenge.
    2. Mrs Lewis reported that she had attended the Flood Working Group meeting on the 11 September and that the Highways England presentation had focused on drainage issues.
    3. Superfast fibre broadband project and 4/5G: Mr O’Connor reported that he had spoken with BT and had been offered two options; BT could recommend a contractor or the PC could choose their own contractor and, the PC could choose to have a copper or fibre connection to each house. It was noted that Mr O’Connor had yet to engage with the NT on the project and the Chairman said that he would put it on his next meeting agenda with them.
    4. Mrs Byatt reported that the NT had recently paid £200 to remove a dangerous and heavy tree branch that had been found dangling from the tree on the green triangle (opposite the Coach House). Members of the PC were very grateful for the emergency action taken by the NT, particularly in the absence of an immediate response from WC, who had been notified of the issue.
  19. The meeting closed at: 9:40pm.

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

  1. Minutes of Planning Committee Meeting 18 September 2019
  2. Open Parking Meeting 20 September 2019: (i) Notes from the presentation and question and answer session – recorded by the Parish Clerk (ii) Suggestions and feedback – recorded by the NT
  3. SSEN Standard Terms and Conditions of Grant (document not tabled but added subsequently)
  4. Financial Risk Assessment September 2019.