3 December 2019 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 3 December 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, BT for British Telecommunications plc, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, PS for Parish Steward, RoW for Rights of Way,  TG for Transport Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chair), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chair), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mrs Donna Byatt, Mr Mike Daniel, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time Started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Ben Butler, Terence O’Connor, Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) and Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager NT).
  3. Declarations of interest: Mrs Paradise declared an interest in respect of item 6.a. as the applicant for the application for work to trees in a conservation area.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 5 November 2019: there had been one request for amendments to the minutes from Hilary Makins (Countryside Manager NT) at item 10. c. Permissive footpath along the A4361. The first request was to correct her job title from Head Ranger to Countryside Manager and the second request was to change ‘.. They had discussed whether the footpath should be located on the east side of the A4361 to negate the issue of needing a crossing point..’ to ‘They had discussed roadside ‘pavements’ either to the east or west of the A4361, to join up with those pavements already in situ.’ It was resolved to correct the minutes. Proposed by Cllr Service, seconded by Cllr Lewis and carried unanimously. It was resolved to accept the corrected minutes as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Byatt and carried unanimously.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Min ref. 6.a. the Chairman confirmed that he had sent an email on the 7 November to thank Martin Cook (WC Highways) for overseeing completion of footpath 21 and 22 resurfacing works.
    2. Min ref. 11. the Chairman noted that the car parking action-oriented paper had been included in UKN as a flyer and thanked the distribution team.
  6. Planning applications:
    1. Application for work to trees in a conservation area: 3 x Chestnut to be felled at Ashcroft, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 19/10441/TCA. It was resolved to support the above application for work to trees in a conservation area. The reason for the decision was that: 1. the trees to be felled were diseased 2. the owner of the land was minded to replant trees on his land, and that year had already planted 25 new trees on the parcel of land as described in the planning application and 3. the applicant had referenced the PC’s Tree Policy in their planning application and fulfilled the guidelines set out. Proposed by Cllr Daniel, seconded by Cllr Byatt and agreed. [Mrs Paradise abstained from voting].
    2. Application for listed building consent to install secondary glazing to all windows without internal shutters at West Kennett Farm, West Kennett, SN8 1QF. Ref: 19/11069/LBC. In discussion members noted that secondary glazing would be installed on all inside windows, the glazing would not be visible from the outside and would reduce heat loss from the building. Members were sympathetic to the plans and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Cllr Bedford, seconded by Cllr Daniel and carried unanimously.
  7. Project updates:
    1. Play Area refurbishment: 
      1. Play Area inspection report by RoSPA: members reviewed the report and noted that there was no play equipment deemed to be high risk and that the Play Area was soon to be refurbished.
      2. Estimates received so far for a selection of play equipment: Cllr Paradise reported that she had yet to receive a third estimate. The pricing received to date had ranged from £20,000 to £50,000.
      3. To consider what equipment to include in the invitation to tender and to select up to four potential suppliers: it was agreed that Cllr Paradise and other members needed to propose what kit to purchase and how much to spend. The Chairman suggested there should be three options and a realistic price range would be £20,000 – £25,000.
      4. To set a target date for completion: estimate costs for the Play Area project to be provided by the second week in January 2020 to enable the budget to be finalized.
      5. To approve the quotation received for repairs to fencing: not yet received, Clerk to chase contractor.
      6. To consider estimates for installing a metal lintel around the top of the Play Area fencing: not yet received, Clerk to chase contractor and obtain quotations from other local fencing suppliers too.
    2. Superfast fibre broadband project and 4/5G: The Chairman reported that Matthew Claridge had been identified as the NT’s representative and that he had put him in touch with Cllr O’Connor. There was a brief discussion on involving other people in the village who had IT / Telecommunication expertise and it was suggested that Moya Brannan should also be contacted. Item deferred to next meeting agenda.
    3. Permissive footpath along the A4361 Swindon Road: Cllr Daniel reported that the project was gaining momentum, he had 500 signatures of support and a second meeting of the working group had taken place on Saturday to review and propose a route. Those present were Cllr Byatt, Cllr Daniel, Laura Corbett, Hilary Makins (Countryside Manager) and Helen Ramsey (member, BB & WM PC). Cllr Daniel noted a member’s request for pictures of the route and agreed to produce photographs for the next meeting. The Chairman reported that he had walked the southern end of the route with Briony Clifton (NT Assistant Archaeologist, Stonehenge and Avebury WHS), who had said that she did not know of any obvious archaeological constraints. Briony Clifton had advised that the NT might prefer to link up with the existing asphalt path leading to the bus shelter. The Chairman asked Cllr Daniel how that would work as the gradient was rather high south of the bus shelter. Cllr Daniel confirmed that it would be possible to join to the existing path and then divert behind the bus shelter where the ground level was the same, so there would be no problems for the elderly, disabled, cyclists, or parents with pushchairs. Cllr Daniel explained that he would involve Sarah Simmonds (Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Partnership Manager), BT, ProCam UK and Richard Broadhead (WC Rights of Way and Countryside Manager). BT would need to be involved as there was a gateway by the BT building that might need to be used and ProCam UK was to be consulted as the path would lead to their site. Cllr Daniel would also be consulting with Stephen Leonard (WC Senior Rights of Way Warden) about the possibilities, such as using scalpings, because the group would need to decide what surface they wanted in order to be ready to submit an application to the MAB by April 2020. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Daniel for his work on the project.
    4. Transport Group:
      1. Cllr Bedford reported that a safety audit was currently being carried out by Atkins on the Beckhampton and West Kennett Plans. There may be some amendments to the drawings requested and he would call a meeting of the Transport Group Committee for late January 2020.
      2. The Chairman explained that the speed limit review along the A4361 had been a geometry survey and not a speed assessment. The results had revealed that the site lines on the road from Beckhampton to Wroughton were inappropriate for a 60mph limit and the recommendation from Atkins was to impose a 50 mph on most of the length of the road. The Chairman said that he expected CATG to accept the recommendation at its meeting on the 12 December. It was hoped that this would set an important precedent as the survey could potentially be applied to the A4.
  8. Reports from PC representatives:
    1. Solstice Planning: Cllr Lewis provided a report on the ASSF meeting that she attended on 11 November 2019 (draft camping dates had been previously circulated). Members discussed the management of summer Solstice 2020 and whether the Ridgeway would be open. It was agreed that Cllr Lewis would (i) find out more about the role of the Avebury Guardians (ii) ask Hilary Makins (Countryside Manager) about arranging an early meeting (Q1 2020) involving the main stakeholders in order to plan for parking, security and ambulance services (iii) request consideration for closing Green Street. The PC to check that Messrs Butlers would be happy to arrange Heras fencing at the nursery site as per the year before.
    2. Avebury WHS Steering Committee: Cllr Byatt reported on the recent meeting she had attended. Members discussed the options given to them by Sarah Simmonds for the Wiltshire Core Strategy Policies Review (options previously circulated). It was agreed by all that the localized policy should be supported as Avebury was a very different site to Stonehenge. Members stressed the importance of understanding that Avebury is unique in that there is a living and working community within a WHS. It was felt that potentially removing the ‘local’ voice could be detrimental to the community that live and work within Avebury, may impact planning decisions, and possibly erode the trust the community has in the Parish Council. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Daniel and carried unanimously. Cllr Byatt would be attending the follow up workshops designed to look at how people visit sites. In discussion, members noted that Arup were the consultants working with Atkins to help Highways England select the A303 Stonehenge scheme’s preferred route and they would be carrying out a consultation in 2020 on sustainable transport. The Chairman reported that he had provided Arup with summaries of the recent public meeting on car parking in Avebury and the Transport Group exhibitions last year.
    3. RoW meeting 23 November 2019: the Chairman provided a report of his meeting (previously circulated see appendix 1). There had been a presentation by Becky Jones  (Volunteer Coordinator, Cotswolds Voluntary Wardens, Cotswolds Conservation Board) and the group had been tasked to think how the Cotswolds AONB Scheme might be replicated in an area from the Ridgeway to Yatesbury and from the A4 to Broad Hinton. A future meeting was planned for January 2020.
    4. North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Forum 2019: report previously circulated see appendix 2.
    5. National Trust: the Chairman reported:
      1.  A fire practice had been organized by the NT and the fire service had asked that a fire hydrant currently located in the tarmac road outside St. James Church should be moved as the current position of the fire hydrant meant that access could be prevented by a parked car. [Fire hydrants are administered by the water authority].
      2. The NT was planning works to the tree screen and fence line to the South of Rawlins Park. A letter had been sent to residents detailing the proposed works: see appendix 3.
      3. The High Street car park had been resurfaced and now provided space for two extra cars and disabled parking had increased from six to eight spaces. The NT plans to consider a trial scheme to designate spaces for certain categories of regular users and would ask for input from the PC. In discussion members felt strongly that NT volunteers should be directed to park in the main NT car park.
      4. A soft opening of the NT Circles Restaurant was planned for 6 December 2019 and the official opening was going to be on Saturday 7 December. The restaurant would be open during NT opening hours for the majority of the time and employed 20 people.
      5.  Eva Stuetzenberger (Operations Manager, NT Wiltshire Landscape) was keen to hear from local groups that would like to use the space in the first floor of the Circles restaurant and the NT would be offering discounted rates for locals. [Clerk to invite the NT to the PC’s February meeting].
  9. Local issues:
    1. Defibrillator for ASSC: there was a discussion about the pros and cons of different defibrillator packages. It was agreed that Cllr Lewis should send an email to ASSC to confirm that the rental model from SW Ambulance Trust was going to be ordered by the PC. It was understood that the donation of £800 would be sent in the next couple weeks from ASSC.
    2. Replacement planters for the High Street: the Chairman reported that there were now two broken planters including the one on the end that had signage. Members discussed whether to replace both planters or wait for sponsorship. It was agreed that due to the uncertain timescales for securing sponsorship it made sense to replace both planters. Action: Cllr Paradise to send a photograph of the latest broken planter to the Clerk to send to the PC’s insurance company. The Chairman would ask The Henge Shop to chase Grist Environmental, who had promised a replacement planter.
    3. Request for a plastic and metal recycling bin for the High Street: in discussion members felt that, whilst Avebury might have more of a need for litter bins due to its visitors, litter was not a pressing problem and the PC should be encouraging members of the public to take their litter home.
    4. Replacement bench and results of risk assessment carried out at West Kennett layby: the Chairman thanked Cllr Byatt for organizing the risk assessment through her colleague who was a trained Health and Safety Officer. The results of the risk assessment were discussed and, although the risk was deemed minimal, a repeat accident could not be ruled out and therefore it was resolved to move the bench to the Play Area. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Byatt and carried unanimously. [The payphones consultation closes on 28 January 2020 and after that date the PC would be able to invite BT to begin work to refurbish the ‘phone box at West Kennett].
  10. Parish Council budget and to set the precept for 2020/21: the Chairman reported that further work was needed to be done on the budget so that it would relate more accurately to estimates for the costs of various projects being run by members. Members had until the first week in January to come back with their estimates.
  11. Parish Steward Priority Sheet:
    1. Report on work completed in November: Mrs Lewis said that mechanical gully clearing had been carried out in Beckhampton by WC.
    2. Job requests for December 2019: leaf sweeping was requested at the entrance to Beckhampton from the A361 and window cleaning of the WC owned bus shelters.
  12. Communications: the Chairman reported that the following items were submitted to the December 2019 Edition of UKN: (i) PC Headlines and (ii) a polite notice requesting that families ensure their children respect the Play Area. The action-oriented paper on car parking was included in copies of UKN distributed to Avebury and Winterbourne Monkton residents.
  13. Correspondence: the Chairman reported:
    1. Email received from a member of the public in response to the PC and NT’s action-oriented paper on parking in Avebury. The resident was concerned about lack of monitoring of the High Street car park. Members were also aware that Tour buses were more often than not using the High Street when they had been instructed by the NT to use the main car park. The Chairman would feed back comments to the NT at his next meeting.
    2. Briefing note from WC on Community Foundation Warm and Safe: surviving winter grant of £300 per person is available to help vulnerable residents pay for winter costs. N.B. service is means tested. https://www.warmandsafewiltshire.org.uk/ or call free phone 0800 038 5722.
    3. Information on a new gully emptying service received from WC.
    4. Grants from Marlborough Area Board: MAB would like to encourage grant applications from community groups. Please see: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/council-democracy-area-boards.
    5. Police report: not received. Clerk to invite the PCSO to the February meeting.
    6. Election to NALC’s Smaller Council’s Committee was now open.
    7. Invitation from Reverend Maria Shepherdson for a member of the PC to read at the Carols by Candlelight service at St James on Sunday 15th December at 6pm. It was agreed to offer the role to Cllr Butler.
  14. Finance and admin including:
    1. Recommendations following Clerk’s appraisal on 2 December 2019: item not covered, deferred to next meeting agenda.
    2. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Dr Bedford and carried unanimously.
      1.  Kennet Print: x500 A4 car parking flyers                   £25.00
      2. Avebury Social Centre: 10 pre-paid room bookings: Feb, Mar, April, May, June, July, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 2020                                                                                                                £100.00
      3. UKN: annual donation towards advertising                £110.00
      4. Elysium Woodworking: glazing panel for WC owned bus shelter at Beckhampton (inclu VAT)                              £150.00
      5. St John Ambulance: donation as agreed at 5 Nov Council meeting                                                                                £50.00
      6. North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust: donation as agreed at 5 Nov Council meeting                                                 £50.00
      7. North Wessex Downs AONB: attendance for one delegate at Annual Forum on 15 November 2019                            £15.00
      8. Wiltshire Council: return of unused grant ref. Coach House Toilets                                                                                  £1,000
      9. Miss E. Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 October – 21 November 2019 inclusive                                          £439.26
  15. Date of next meeting: 7:30 pm on Tuesday 14 January 2020.
  16. Any other business:
    1. Cllr Byatt reported that the A4361 (Swindon) road closure from 9.00 – 15.00 Monday to Friday was in place until 11 December and was proving to be a nuisance.
    2. Cllr Paradise stated that Pewsey PC had a link to other PC profiles to ask for opinions and she would find out further information.
    3. Cllr Paradise reminded members to provide her with their profiles and photographs for the contact page on the website.
  17. The meeting closed at: 21:58

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

  1. RoW meeting 23 November 2019 – report by Cllr Stacey
  2. North Wessex Downs AONB Annual Forum 2019 – report by Cllr Stacey
  3. Proposed Works to Rawlings Screen – Avebury – NT letter to residents