4 February 2020 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 4 February 2020 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BB & WM PC for Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, CIC for Community Interest Company, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoW for Rights of Way, SSEN for Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, SWAST for South Western Ambulance Service Trust, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chair), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Mike Daniel, Mr Terence O’Connor, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Ms Zandria Service.

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

Time Started: 19:32

  1. Welcome and introductions: the Chairman thanked PCSO Melissa Camilleri (up to and including item 2), and Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) for attending the meeting.
  2. Public question time: PCSO Melissa Camilleri reported that she was currently warning all villages to be vigilant as there had been several dwelling burglaries in other villages in Wiltshire. She was planning to hold a pop up meeting in Avebury to offer advice to residents and would advertise the date on Facebook. Members expressed interest in holding a joint surgery with the PCSO and it was agreed that Cllr Paradise would co-ordinate arrangements with the Police. PCSO Camilleri said that, if members of the public noticed vehicles lingering outside houses or other unusual activity, they should note the car registration number, call 101 and send her an email with the detail. If a crime was in progress, members of the public should call 999. She explained that there were ongoing problems involving thefts from vehicles parked at beauty spots and wondered if it might be possible to run a campaign with the support of the National Trust to highlight the issue. The Chairman agreed to mention the idea at his next meeting with the NT. Questions were asked as to whether there was a pattern to the burglaries and about the Police response times. PCSO Camilleri said that the burglaries had occurred in the day and the evening and that the Police response time depended on resources. She stated that she planned to be in Avebury once a month / once every five weeks. Thanks were expressed to PCSO Camilleri for her update and she left the meeting.
  3. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mr Ben Butler, Mrs Donna Byatt and Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager, NT).
  4. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  5. Minutes of an extraordinary meeting held on 14 January 2020: it was resolved to accept the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Lewis and carried unanimously.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: there were none.
  7. Planning applications:
    1. Application for full planning. Proposal:- Single storey extension, new external cladding and internal alterations. At: Avebury Sports & Social Club, Beckhampton Road, Avebury, Wiltshire, SN8 1RD. Ref: 20/00181/FUL. The Chairman reported that (i) Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager) had been consulted by ASSC (ii) the proposal would make ASSC much more of a facility in terms of catering and included the provision of a disabled toilet. It was resolved to support the planning application. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Service and carried unanimously.
    2. Application for Listed Building Consent. Proposal:- To repair by – cutting out and replacing – defective brickwork to the oil building, the east gable wall and the east wall to the office extension to the rear of the building. At: Manor Farm, High Street, Avebury, SN8 1RF. Ref: 20/00553/LBC. Mrs Paradise reported that the applicant was not able to repoint the existing brickwork as there was not enough brickwork left and was planning to replace old bricks with similar bricks. Members noted that the repairs would not be visible from a public space. It was resolved to support the planning application. Proposed by Cllr Service, seconded by Cllr Daniel and carried unanimously.
  8. Update from the National Trust: the Chairman reported that his monthly meeting with the NT had taken place on 30 January and the following issues had been discussed:
    1. The NT had decided not to install a height barrier at the entrance to the High Street car park due to cost (the estimated project cost was £10,000). The Chairman had also pointed out that a permanent height barrier would make turning at that point in the High Street impossible for commercial vehicles and the WC mobile library.
    2. The allocation of parking bays had been restricted to the Post Office for now because Mrs Tina May (Post Office Manager) needed a car parking space close to the Post Office for security and health and safety reasons. The NT was planning to install a sign on the front wall of the car park stating that the car park was for use of vehicles displaying a resident or disabled permit.  He explained that this would not prevent those having business on the High Street (at a shop, the church, the nursery, etc) from continuing to use the car park as had been the case since time immemorial. Members noted during that anyone working as a volunteer in the Community Shop would be given a permit.
    3. WC was planning to carry out work to the verge / highway at the entrance to the main NT car park, which would mean that it would be closed on 17 February.
    4. Imbolc festival had been calm.
    5. The Circles Café was going well and the NT was planning to install an attenuator to reduce the noise of the outside fan. The NT was interested in hearing from anyone with any historic photographs of the building.
    6. This year the Coach House would be refreshed and the Manor Tea Room closed.
    7. There was a new Chapel Manager starting from 1 March and meanwhile Stephan was taking bookings for the Chapel.
    8. The NT was planning to replace the gantry outside their gift shop. Work on the potting shed and thatched wall in the Churchyard was imminent and the NT was hopeful that the latter should be finished by the middle of that year.
  9. Project Updates: the Chairman proposed reversing the order of business and starting with item 9.f.
    1. Transport Group
      1. CATG issue 7023 speed assessment on A4361 from Beckhampton roundabout northwards to the county boundary: in discussion members noted that Broad Hinton PC had expressed concern about the speed of traffic on the A4361, the road was perceived as being unsafe and a speed limit reduction was supported by local residents. It was resolved that APC should press for the 40mph speed limit as per WC Highway’s original recommendation and not the proposed 50mph speed limit. Chairman to highlight the relevant criteria detailed in the Transport Strategy 2015, query the validity of the 50mph and that there would be no additional costs. Action: Chairman to attend the next CATG meeting and request a 40mph speed limit for the A4361 to be considered by CATG.
    2. Combined Parishes RoW meeting: Cllr Lewis reported that Anne Henshaw (Yatesbury and CPRE) was seeking advice on setting up a Community Interest Company (CIC) as a way of facilitating and focusing voluntary effort to rescue and maintain local rights of way. The Chairman explained that he had attended a recent Marlborough Downs Space for Nature meeting. The project is farmer-led and its aim is to find ways to preserve and enhance wildlife over an area of 12,000 hectares. He had suggested that the group might like to link up with RoW volunteers.
    3. Permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: Cllr Lewis and Cllr Service to attend the next ASSF meeting on 4 March.
    4. Play area refurbishment: in progress, estimates were being sought.
    5. 5 G and Fibre broadband: Cllr O’Connor reported that he had met with the NT that day and they were interested to support the community project and to be involved in securing full internet connectivity for all their sites. Both had agreed that they should aim to develop the infrastructure as close to 300 Mb in order to future proof the Parish. Cllr O’Connor said that the next step was for him to contact BT Openreach to identify all the existing green fibre boxes / points in the Parish, to work out how to link the spurs, whether any extra ones might be needed and the cost. Cllr O’Connor confirmed that BT Openreach had a dedicated Parish support line. Mrs Lewis reminded members that Beckhampton and West Kennett needed to be included in the plans.
    6. Permissive footpath next to the A4361: Cllr Daniel reported that he, Helen Ramsey (BB&WMPC) and Cllr Donna Byatt were due to meet with Stephen Leonard (Senior Rights of Way Warden, WC) on 11 February to walk an existing footpath that currently meandered across the fields not far from the A4361. The idea was to gauge the distance from an existing footpath to the proposed new footpath and to decide whether some of that footpath might link to the new one. Members noted that the natural route for part of the proposed new footpath closest to Avebury was down the Avenue of trees. Cllr Daniel said that Stephen Leonard was very supportive of the project. He recognized the need for the new footpath and had offered to make available scalpings in the form of pre-used tarmac for use as the surface material. Cllr Jane Davies advised that a joint application to the MAB with Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council would be preferable and, it if it was WC councilor-led, then she would be happy to support a request for funding in excess of the £5,000 limit should that prove necessary. She also suggested asking for funding from the developers of the new Village Hall / Community Centre that was planned for Winterbourne Monkton. Cllr Daniel emphasized the positive benefits that a footpath would bring for both Parishes in terms of villagers being able to walk or cycle safely to reciprocal amenities, shops or work and in reducing the carbon footprint. Thanks were expressed to Cllr Daniel for his perseverance in moving the project forward.
  10. Reports from PC Representatives:
    1. Wiltshire Council’s Strategic Plan 2020-2029: meeting notes previously circulated to members.
    2. MAB meeting 28 January: meeting notes previously circulated to members.
    3. ASSF: Cllr Lewis reported that camping dates had been confirmed and would be circulated in due course.
  11. Emergency Planning / Flood Group: Cllr Lewis reported:
    1. OFWG meeting: there had been no Thames Water company representation at the meeting. She had spoken with WC’s Danny Everett and he was organizing a SPOC (specific point of contact) for Parish and Town Councils. If there was a danger of flooding, then residents were advised to empty septic tanks and, if properties were flooded then residents should inform WC, which had the power to deal with the problem. She said that it was also possible to install approved flood gates on listed buildings.
    2. Communities Prepared introduction & Marlborough community resilience evening: Helen Voss (SSEN) was keen for residents to sign up to the Priority Register. In the event of a power cut, members of the public should call 105. There was information available on leats and the importance of keeping them flowing freely and Cllr Paradise offered to send the document to the NT. There was discussion about the sewage problem in Bray Street in December and ambiguity as to whether Thames Water had actually acknowledged that the pumping station was no longer fit for purpose. It was agreed that the PC needed to understand Thames Water’s strategy to better inform residents, and that the Chairman and Cllr Lewis write to Thames Water for an explanation. Cllr Daniel temporarily left the meeting.
  12. Defibrillators:
    1. It was resolved to agree that SWAST prepare an MOU in the name of the Parish Council, for all 3 defibrillators and order reduced cost defibrillator 3 now, in name of the Parish Council, for 30 months so MOU expires in July 2022 (current cost £625 plus VAT) plus commit to renewing the agreement in June 2021 and in July 2022 when all 3 defibrillators would be due for renewal. [SWAST to invoice the Parish Council for defibs 1 and 2, and the Sports and Social Club for Defib 3, which would remain in the name of the Parish Council]. Proposed by Cllr Service, seconded by Cllr Paradise and carried unanimously.
  13. Local Issues:
    1. To set a date for the community litter pick: to be agreed in collaboration with other organizations in the village.
    2. The next defibrillator training session was on 15 June at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Social Centre.
  14.  Response to consultations:
    1. Strengthening Police powers to tackle unauthorized encampments. The Chairman read out a summary of NALC’s position, which was NALC’s original response to the Home Office’s April 2018 consultation and members agreed to support it. It was resolved to submit by email the following feedback to the Home Office in response to the new consultation and also copy in NALC. Proposed by Mr Daniel, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
      1. All cases of unauthorised encampments should be criminalised on account of trespassing
      2. The police should have the power to direct trespassers to leave land as soon as it has been determined that they are there illegally
      3. The police should be able to take action regardless of the number of vehicles in the unauthorised encampment
      4. Principal authorities should have the power to demand the police attend as soon as an unauthorised encampment appears and to claim back costs incurred repairing damage caused by clearing up after unauthorised encampments
  15. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: Cllr Lewis requested that the Parish Steward check the High Street gullies and in particular the gully outside the Social Centre as there was a possible blockage. The Clerk reported that WC’s discretionary gully emptying service had been successfully used for the first time for clearing gullies in the layby at West Kennett and outside the Red Lion PH.
  16. Communications: the Chairman stated that he would prepare headlines from the PC’s January and February meetings for inclusion in the March Edition of UKN and also include information on the budget and precept for 2020-21.
  17. Correspondence: the Chairman reported that the following correspondence had been received:
    1. Police report (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1).
    2. Acknowledgment of £50 donation from North Wessex Downs Landscape Trust and Autumn 2019 newsletter.
    3. Thank you letter from St. John Ambulance for £50 donation.
    4. An invitation to take part in CPRE Wiltshire and the Hills Group Best Kept Village Competition 2020. In discussion it was agreed not to take part in the competition because there was not a dedicated community group to take on the work.
  18. Finance and admin including:
    1. Review of polices: deferred to next meeting agenda.
    2. It was resolved to accept a new quotation received from Branson Leisure for a 3 seater bench for £638 (ex VAT) to replace the 2 seater chair ordered in error. [Quotation pre-approved by the PC’s insurance company for £538 and includes deduction of policy excess]. Proposed by Cllr Service, seconded by Cllr Paradise and carried unanimously.
    3. Cheques for payment: it was resolved to approve payment of the following cheque. Proposed by Cllr Service, seconded by Cllr Lewis and carried unanimously.
      1. Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 December 2019 – 21 January 2020 inclusive (includes salary increase backdated from 1 November 2019)                          £126.52
  19. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 3 March 2020. Cllr Lewis and Cllr Daniel gave their apologies.
  20. To set a date for the Annual Parish Meeting: it was resolved to set the date for Wednesday 29 April 2020.
  21. Any other business: there was none.

The meeting closed at: 21:37

Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers)

  1. Police Report