3 March 2020 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 3 March 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, FB for Facebook, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, MDNEP for Marlborough Downs ‘Space for Nature’ Nature Enhancement Partnership, NALC for National Association of Local Councils, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoW for Rights of Way, SWAST for South Western Ambulance Service Trust, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chair), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chair: from item 6 onwards), Mrs Donna Byatt, Mr Terence O’Connor and Mrs Lynzey Paradise.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Parish Clerk).

Time Started: 19:36

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Mrs Maggie Lewis, Mr Ben Butler, Mr Mike Daniel, Ms Zandria Service, Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) and Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager, NT).
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of an ordinary meeting held on 4 February 2020: it was resolved to accept the minutes as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Stacey and carried unanimously.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Min ref. 9c Permit Scheme and arrangements for Solstice: the Chairman reported that he understood that neither Cllr Lewis nor Cllr Service would be able to attend the Solstice Planning meeting scheduled for 2pm the next day. It was agreed that Cllr Byatt would attend as the PC’s representative. Clerk to email her a copy of the paper outlining ‘a way forward for Solstice 2020’ that had been previously endorsed by the Parish Council on 3 September 2019. Cllr O’Connor said that it would be wise for the PC to be mindful that the Heras fencing for the nursery site might not necessarily be available if in use by the landscaping contractor who owned the fencing, and had kindly lent it to the PC last year.
    2. Min ref. 18b Bench for Play Area: the Chairman reported that the replacement bench was being delivered to his house on Thursday 5 March and agreed that he would keep the bench in his garden until the PC was ready for its installation at the Play Area.
  6. Planning applications:
    1. Application for full planning at 44 Trusloe Cottages, Avebury Trusloe, SN8 1QZ. Proposal: demolition of existing single storey extension to the front of the property and construction of a new single storey extension and porch to the front of the property. Ref: 20/01339/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Cllr Byatt, seconded by Cllr Paradise and carried unanimously.
  7. Update from the National Trust: the Chairman reported that Ms Hosie had sent her apologies and the National Trust had offered to provide a written update by Friday 6 March. [Attached as appendix 1].
  8. Project Updates:
    1. Transport Group:
      1. A4 Traffic Calming Project: Cllr Bedford reported that Steve Hind (WC Highways) had informed him that the Atkin’s safety audit of West Kennett was almost finished and he hoped that he would have been sent a copy by the PC’s next meeting.
      2. CATG meeting Thursday 12 March 2020: the Chairman confirmed that he would be attending the CATG meeting to press for a 40mph speed limit on the A4361 past Avebury Trusloe in place of the proposed 50mph limit. 40mph had been recommended in the 2015 Transport Strategy.
      3. The Chairman reported that Cllr Daniel would be continuing with his work on the permissive pathway. The rescheduled meeting with Stephen Leonard (Senior Rights of Way Warden, WC) was due to take place later that month.
    2. Permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: item covered under 5.a. The Clerk reminded members about point 1.8 on the action oriented paper adopted by the PC on 5 November 2019 that stated ‘the PC would encourage local groups to open additional spaces for parking over busy weekends’. In discussion it was noted that the decision to open up fields for parking would be at the discretion of the land owner, and the land owner would be wholly responsible for setting car parking fees if applicable, security, and any clear up operation. The PC thought that the community might be willing to help with any litter picking. Cllr Byatt said that she understood that insurance costs for landowners were in the region of £260 per field per day.
    3. Play area refurbishment:
      1. Estimates for new Play Equipment: Cllr Paradise had obtained a third quotation and was now in receipt of three quotations ranging from £20K, £54K and £60K as a guide. The Chairman said that he was confident that the PC should be able to find funding up to £25K, but alternative funding options would need to be looked at should the PC decide on going for a higher specification play area. Members noted that the project would then also need to be registered on the Contracts Finder website as per current tendering rules. It was agreed that Cllr Paradise would provide a presentation on the various options at the Annual Village Meeting. The PC would ask those attending for feedback and, to include the question of whether the PC should take out a loan through the Public Works Loan Board. This would enable the PC to pay up front for the new play equipment and pay back the loan over several years with the benefit of a very low interest rate. The other main funding options would be through the Area Board (possibly up to £5K match funding), grant funding by supermarkets, donations from the public and local businesses, or an application for funding to the National Lottery.
      2. Repairs to Play Area fencing: the Clerk reported that repairs to the Play Area fencing had been completed on time by the contractor and that he would advise her of the price for 3,5,8 mesh over a 5 metre area in due course. She said that she had not obtained pricing for the tubular metal bar for the top of the fencing as it was not possible to install this to current Play Area fencing. The contractor had advised her that the tubular system was a different fencing system that came as part of an integrated fencing solution and this meant that the PC would have to replace all the fencing at the same time as installing the bar. Cllr Paradise to consult Play equipment providers on further options. It was resolved that the two cheques for labour (payable to M.Nobbs of Kennet Fencing) and materials (payable to Oxford Fencing Supplies Ltd) up to the combined value of £250 be approved for payment in between meetings. Proposed by Cllr Byatt, seconded by Cllr O’Connor and carried unanimously.
    4. 5 G and Fibre broadband: Cllr O’Connor reported that the NT was keen to ensure that Cobblestones and the Chapel were included in plans to connect all areas of the Parish to the internet as both sites were currently not covered by WiFi. Cllr O’Connor explained that BT focused on a full fibre broadband rollout to rural areas. The cables could be installed alongside other overhead wires and this would negate the need for archaeological permission to dig up the ground. He said that in order for fibre to be installed, Openreach would need the majority of residents to opt out of copper. In further discussion Cllr O’Connor advised that mobile telephony need not considered by the PC for now as 5G implementation was currently in a citycentric transition phase. He said that it would be better to wait to see how many more ‘phones were likely to be made with 5G technology, and then to consider any potentially new and innovative mast solutions.
  9. Reports from PC Representatives: the Chairman reported:
    1. Solstice Planning: see item 5a.
    2. WHS Co-ordination Unit Workshops: that he had attended the 4 February workshop, and that Arup consultants were writing a report on sustainable tourism solutions due to be drafted by the end of March.
    3. Combined Parishes RoW meeting: the next meeting (12 March) was to define the area to be included in the plan to create a volunteer warden scheme and he hoped to bring a note of the meeting to APC’s April meeting.
    4. Meeting of Parish Chairs 10 February: the group was waiting for a response to a letter about safety on the A4 between Marlborough and Beckhampton that they had sent at the beginning of January to Danny Kruger MP and would meet again on 17 March to discuss next steps.
    5. Marlborough Downs Nature Enhancement Partnership (MDNEP) Habitats and Heritage Meeting: he had attended the meeting held on 4 February by the partnership, whose aim was to sustain and improve the Marlborough Downs habitat (see appendix 2 for the meeting notes). In discussion it was agreed to invite Laura Corbett to present to the village meeting.
  10. Open Space and Green Infrastructure Survey:
    1. Stakeholder Survey: members reviewed WC’s existing map for changes to PC owned amenity areas, noted that the Play Area was the only piece of land owned by the PC, and agreed that no changes were required to the map. The Chairman read out WC’s definition of a green space. In consideration of the survey, members felt that there was a need for more facilities for teenagers and better maintained RoW. The Chairman and Clerk to update document and return to WC by 31 March 2020. 
    2. Householder Survey: to be advertised on the PC website, FB and notice boards. Hard copies available from the Clerk and all responses to be sent to the Clerk for onward transmission to the WC Spatial Planning Team.
  11. Local Issues:
    1. Defibrillator for ASSC: 
      1. It was resolved to ratify the signing of the SW Ambulance Scheme’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by Cllr Lewis (Vice-Chair) and to adopt the signed MOU (previously circulated to members). Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Bedford and carried unanimously.
    2. Re-painting of ‘phone box at West Kennett: the Clerk reported that the kiosk had been added to BT’s 2020 painting and repair schedule, and that work was usually carried out by contractors between the months of April and September.
    3. High Street Planters: the Chairman reported that a new planter had been delivered by Grist to replace the one damaged beyond repair by one of their trucks and planted out courtesy of the Henge Shop. Thanks were expressed to Dominique Ullens and Ben the gardener.
    4. Bus shelters and services:
      1. Proposal from Cllr Lewis to introduce an ‘adopt a bus shelter’ scheme: members felt that there was a limited reservoir of goodwill from residents and that it should not be drained on looking after WC-owned bus shelters. The PC already carried out repair work on the bus shelters and should instead press WC for regular cleaning of the bus shelters because Avebury was uniquely located in a WHS and yet only had the Parish Steward allocated to it for half a day per month. The Clerk said that there was definitely a case to be made for requesting WC’s Sparkle Team to clean the shelters every month, as was the practice in the towns of Devizes and Marlborough.
      2. WC’s Bus Survey: WC had asked for input by 26 March in response to the government’s commitment to invest in urban and rural bus services. Members made the following points:
        1. We would like to see demand responsive transport services (i.e. services that can be summoned by phone or online as the need for them arises). This would help residents make appointments in GWH by using public transport.
        2. It was reported that it is a struggle to recruit candidates to fill employment opportunities in the village if they are wholly reliant on the current bus service. Although Avebury has an hourly service on the 49 route, the 42 route is much less frequent. This tends to put off candidates when they apply for a role, especially for weekend work when there are fewer buses. Furthermore the double-deckers used on the 49 route seem unnecessary. Smaller hopper style buses would be far more suitable, less harmful to the environment, and more appropriate to the Avebury landscape.
        3. There is a demand for buses to run later in the evening, especially on the 49 route, from two sources: actually from residents and potentially from visitors. Today residents arriving at Swindon station at the end of a working day spent outside the county or needing to be in Swindon later in the day do not have a bus service to Avebury. Weekend visitors reliant on the bus service will find their day in the village shorter than they might reasonably wish.
        4. Real time passenger information displays in Avebury’s bus shelters and state-of-art buses using battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell electric power would demonstrate Wiltshire’s commitment to sustainable transport and stimulate its use.
        5. Movement sensitive lighting in bus shelters would avoid night-time illumination (there is no bus service at night) and avoid impairing the night sky.
        6. We would like to see the bus companies look after bus shelters or formally contract with parish councils to do so (and compensate them financially).

          It was agreed to elicit further views from residents by advertising Wiltshire’s request for help through village noticeboards, the PC’s website and FB.

  12. Annual Parish Meeting: further discussion on arrangements was deferred to next meeting due to lack of time. It was agreed that Cllr Paradise would put together a poster for FB.
  13. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: members noted that the Parish Steward had been seconded to filling pot holes and that usual duties would resume in due course.
  14. Communications: the Chairman reported that PC Headlines had been submitted to the March Edition of UKN but due to a production error had not been published and would now be included in the April Edition. An additional box advert to notify the electorate of the date for the Avebury Annual Parish Meeting (29 April) had been published.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk reported that the following items of correspondence had been received:
    1. Police Report.
    2. Email from Wiltshire Crimestoppers and information on their Ambassadors Scheme.
    3. WALC news February 2020.
    4. Invitation to Marlborough Community Area ‘Our Community Matters’ conference on Tuesday 24th March 2020. Doors open at 6:30pm and the event starts at 7pm. The Chairman said that he had registered to attend the event.
    5. WC’s Rural Facilities Survey: a short survey to be filled in and returned to WC by the Clerk.
  16. Finance and admin including:
    1. It was resolved to appoint Cllr Paradise as PC representative for the Police. Proposed by Cllr Stacey, seconded by Cllr Bedford and carried unanimously.
    2. Review of polices including:
      1. Trees and PC’s Statement of Intent: reviewed and no changes required.
      2. Press and Media Policy: reviewed and no changes required.
      3. Complaints Policy and Procedures: reviewed and no changes required.
      4. General Policy on Charity Walks: in discussion, it was noted that during the past year unwelcome noise including loud fog horns had been experienced by some residents. It was agreed to insert an additional point in the policy to request that event organizers keep end of event celebrations within WC’s advisory decibel level to ensure that they are not a noise nuisance and are not breaking the law under the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. An updated copy of the policy was tabled and adopted. All agreed.
      5. Guidelines on Grants and Donation Requests: reviewed and no changes required.
    3. Review of statutory documents including:
      1. Constitution, Rules and Standing Orders: it was agreed that the PC should adopt the latest NALC Model Standing Orders 2018 (England). Clerk to update the document and present at next meeting for approval.
      2. Planning Committee Terms of Reference: reviewed and no changes required.
      3. Transport Committee Terms of Reference: reviewed and no changes required.
    4. Review of Earmarked Funds (EMFs): it was agreed to review the EMFs following consultation with residents at the Annual Village Meeting (29 April). Deferred to 5 May meeting.
    5. Cheques for payment: it was resolved to approve payment of the following cheques. Proposed by Cllr Paradise, seconded by Cllr Bedford and carried unanimously.
      1. South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust: Defibrillator Support Package 3 (including VAT)    £750.00
      2. Miss E. Moore: Clerk’s overtime + expenses 22 January – 21 February 2020 inclusive                                               £131.87
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 7 April 2020.
  18. Any other business: there was none.

The meeting closed at: 21:37


  1. Update from the National Trust – March 2020
  2. Notes of Partners meeting convened by the Habitats and Heritage Group of the MDNEP and held on the 4 February 2020. N.B. circulated to members after the meeting.