Avebury Parish Council
Minutes of the Annual Parish meeting held on the 18 April 2013 at the Social
Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF
In these minutes, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, AONB for
North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish
Council, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, EH for English Heritage, NT for
the National Trust, TVM for Traffic and Vehicle Management Group, WC for Wiltshire
Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.
Time Started: 19:00
Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mr Keith Howell, Mrs Antoinette
Kremer and Mrs Maggie Lewis together with 23 members of the public who were
present for all or part of the meeting.
Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mr Mike Daniel, Mrs Karyn Pearson and Mr Paul
Dixon. [Apologies had also been
received but were not read out from the Farthing, Fry, Kelleher, Vickers,
Wilding and Scattergood households, and Mr Tony Millett.]
attendance: Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, Wiltshire Councillor,
PC David Tippetts (Community Beat Manager), Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer), Mrs
Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape), Dr Nick Snashall (NT
Archaeologist) and Miss Liz Moore, Clerk to APC.
Chairman opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees. He introduced the
Parish Councillors present at the meeting and said that members of APC were
very sorry to have recently lost Mrs Beryl Greenaway who had resigned in March
after over 10 years’ valuable service.
said there would be no election for Parish Councillors on the 2 May as there had
been nine vacancies and nine nominees. Eight councillors had been re-elected
and Mrs Judy Miller from Trusloe would join APC as a new Councillor on 7 May. There would however be Wiltshire Council elections
on 2 May.
of the Annual Parish meeting held on 24 April 2012.
Chairman asked all present to refer to a copy of the draft minutes and asked if
they were accurate. There were no amendments and it was unanimously agreed that
the Chairman sign the minutes.
arising from the minutes: None.
on the work of the Parish Council, Avebury Sports-field Association and other
local organisations in the past year:
Chairman reported APC had met 10 times during the year and had also held six Planning
Sub-committee meetings. APC had also attended 56 other meetings on regular
committees. These included ASSF, Social Centre Trustees, Solstice Planning,
TVM, the WHS Steering Committee and regular meetings with Mrs Jan Tomlin at the
NT. The Parish had also attended meetings with WC, EH, NT and other ad-hoc
APC had been consulted on 23 planning applications in the
past year and had supported 19 of them (seven of which had been applications
for works to trees in conservation areas). APC had objected to four:
of Lower Acre, Bray Street
to garage at Meadow House
at Avebury Manor
board at NT car park
Local improvements and works
Pavement extension at Trusloe: a 35 metre pavement extension on
the A4361 had been completed the previous week. Pedestrians now had
approximately seven seconds to cross the road as opposed to about four seconds.
WC had contributed £6,500 and APC £500.
Planters in the High Street: an experiment to make the area more
attractive and deter motorists from parking had been installed in the past
month. The Chairman asked for feedback. Mrs Dianna Holmes reported that, as a
resident of the High Street, she was very pleased with the planters. The
Chairman said the project had cost about £950, of which £250 had been given by
MAB, £350 by APC and APC had received £350 as donations or contributions in
kind. This meant about a third of the funding had come from the community and a
third from APC.
Swings at Trusloe: the seats had been renewed and the
Clerk confirmed the chains had also been renewed in the past week. A generous
donation of £100 had been received from a member of the community for the
Bus Shelter: painting had been completed.
Speed Indicator Device (SID) outside
Rawlins Park: A SID
was being installed for the first two weeks of every quarter in the year.
Resurfacing A4: white lines at West Kennett were
already deteriorating and would be repainted soon. The A4 from Beckhampton to
West Kennett would be resurfaced Tuesday 7 May to Wednesday 22 May. APC had
contacted Highways to see what they could do about possibly realigning the
white lines to narrow the apparent width of the road.
Flooding: the NT offices, Frog Lane,
Beckhampton, Bray Street and the High Street had suffered from flooding and
overflowing sewers for many months over the late autumn and winter. Mrs
Geraldine Wimble had been very active in mobilising Thames Water and the
Environment Agency to take action on behalf of residents. The next step would
be for APC to seek permanent improvements in the sewage system. Mrs Milton reported flooding was a
Mr Gater asked if there had been any feedback received
regarding the damage to the road in Bray Street. The Chairman said he would
look into this.
Stage Lighting: APC had helped in a small way by
donating £250 towards stage lighting in the Social Centre.
ASA: In the absence of its five members
including Mrs Jenny Haines (Chairlady ASA) and Mr Paul Dixon, the Chairman
reported that ASA continued to raise the majority of its money from fundraising
activities to improve and maintain the Pavilion and sportsfield. Action: it was generally agreed that APC
write to ASA to thank their members on behalf of the community.
Wiltshire Council: the Chairman invited Mrs Jemima
Milton, Wiltshire Councillor, to address the meeting. Mrs Milton thanked members
of APC for their work during the past year and especially for their work on the
Avebury Traffic Management Plan. Mrs
Milton said the Area Board would continue to provide small grants and that
although it was challenging times, she wanted to make it clear WC would not
affect frontline services. Mrs Milton paid tribute to the services of Mrs
Mr Ewart Holmes asked two questions:
Who was responsible for the sewers? Mrs Milton confirmed that Thames
Water was responsible for the sewers and WC would continue to put pressure on
Thames Water to improve the infrastructure.
Would it be possible to see a
drawing of the proposed High Street resurfacing prior to works taking place? Mrs Milton confirmed it was
possible and WC would be working with APC Transport Group on this. Mrs Milton
said it was frustrating that WC could not stop the utility companies from
coming in and digging up the highway for their repair works after Highways’ works
had taken place.
National Trust: the Chairman invited Mrs Jan Tomlin
(NT) to address the meeting (see Appendix 1, National Trust Update April 2013).
Mrs Tomlin raised the issue of visitor numbers to the Manor and said the NT had
specifically tried to play down advertising of the Manor to deter too many
people from visiting. Mrs Tomlin reported that conservation would continue to
be a main focus area and that Dame Helen Ghosh was the new Director General of
Mrs Tomlin said the NT was currently fundraising to
re-thatch the Great Barn that housed the Gallery Museum, and a number of bat
species. Funding had not been secured and the Barn roof might have to be
protected with tarpaulin. There were a number of questions from the public:
Lady Beale asked what fundraising
ideas were being run.
Mr Howell asked whether there was revenue
from the Manor to pay for re-thatching.
Mrs Alice McCaire asked if the NT
had any plans to renovate the NT buildings at West Kennett that were in need of
Mrs Tomlin gave examples of lots of small fundraising
activities but these were not enough to generate the £100,000 lump sum required
to renovate the Great Barn. When the NT had recently applied for large grants,
they had been unsuccessful due to heavy competition. There was also no budget
available to re-thatch the buildings at West Kennett. Dr Snashall said that as the
Great Barn was a grade 1 listed structure, the NT’s first priority was to
protect it and might well have to protect it by using tarpaulin.
The Chairman asked how much extra money was required /
annual deficit. Mrs Tomlin said she didn’t have the figures for the rest of the
estate and it was a shame that revenue had to be spread across her whole
Mrs Diana Holmes thanked NT for supplying the ride
on toy tractors outside the Great Barn.
Mr Vic Paradise raised an issue
regarding flooding caused
by NT having not installed field drainage / overflow pipes at Juggins Meadow in
the past five years. Mr Paradise said the field required three, 18 inch pipes.
Mrs Tomlin noted the issue.
Local improvements and
works for the future: The Chairman reported the following ‘works in progress’:
tension cables from Silbury to West Kennett were due to be undergrounded. Mr
Paradise said there were two oil pipes there.
had applied for a northward extension of the 30 mph limit on the Swindon road.
Howell was looking at costs and funding for a footpath from the Waggon &
Horses to Silbury Hill.
recent e-petition had been circulated against downgrading the direct Bedwyn to
Paddington rail service. Government was considering electrifying the line to
Street resurfacing had not yet been done yet and the see-saw at Trusloe had not
survey had found High Street drain improvement works were needed.
Transport Group, Community Traffic
Plan and WHS Design Project
In the absence of Dr Bedford, the Chairman reported that the
next stage of the plan was to finalise it and include design work. (See
web-site for draft plan). The Avebury Traffic Plan would then feed into the
design guide for the WHS.
The Chairman said APC had been unsuccessful in applying for
European funding of £15,000 for the WHS design guide but that WC and AONB had
now found the money. The Chairman encouraged the community to help or volunteer
in any way.
Ms Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) said the traffic strategy be starting in May. She asked for
volunteers for two areas, of transport and parking. Action: Starting in May, about four people would be required per
day to do surveys or traffic counts. Public asked to contact the Chairman if
Mrs Milton said it must be remembered the A4 is a main ‘A’
road through Wiltshire and as such will always be busy.
Mrs McCaire requested a timeline for
the project. Sarah Simmonds
said it would be three to four months before the plan would be in place and
then there would be a phased delivery. WC had to think about how the solutions
were going to be designed for the WHS.
Lady Beale asked if the plan would
be ready in time for the High Street resurfacing as she was concerned about it
delaying the resurfacing. Sarah Simmonds said there would be no attempt to stop
the resurfacing of the High Street.
Mrs McCaire said she would like to
extend a thank you to Dr Bedford for organising the Walk and Talk Session at West Kennett,
even though it had snowed on the day.
Mrs Kremer added her thanks for the all the other work that had
been done and said it the community traffic plan was a fantastic job.
Parking in Trusloe: Mrs Lynn Swatton reported she had
had no response from Mrs Annette Gilbert of Aster Housing and that she had
dropped off her report at Aster Housing’s offices the previous weekend. Action: Mrs Milton to contact Mrs Gilbert.
Archaeology of WHS: The Chairman invited Dr Nick
Snashell (NT’s Archaeologist, Stonehenge and Avebury WHS) to address the
meeting. (See Appendix 2, Avebury Archaeology Update 18 April 2013).
Dr Snashell introduced herself and said her role was to
provide advice and support on the archaeology in Avebury on, for example, the
condition of the monuments. Dr Snashell reported the NT had:
closed off the northern banks to allow the grass to grow and protect the
eight archaeological watching briefs in the past 12 months in the Parish of
fencing near Silbury House due to a hole opening up in the ground. This had
been identified as likely to have been the remains of the cellar of the
Catherine Wheel Inn. Dr Snashell now
had consent for infilling works to begin
research project was looking at areas in between the monuments to investigate
Neolithic and Bonze Age in Avebury
work on re-analysing flint collections in the Alexander Keiller Museum
had reached an extra 3-4,000 people.
All present congratulated Nick Snashall on her informative
Governance of WHS: The Chairman reported the way the WHS was governed was being
reviewed and that it was important that the community’s voice was clearly
Jubilee celebrations: The Chairman reported nearly £1,500 had been spent on HM The
Queen’s jubilee celebrations. Over £700
had been received as voluntary donations (Community and Henge Shops, the Social
Centre, St. James’ PCC and the Avebury Society), £500 from MAB and £250 from
APC. [PS. The Women’s Institute was not
mentioned at the meeting but had also made valuable in-kind contributions.] The Chairman thanked all those involved in
the Jubilee and reported that Mrs Jan Polack would be looking at organising a
follow-on, Jubilee themed Autumn Market.
Avebury Community Shop: The Chairman invited Mrs Michelle Lomas (Chairlady, Avebury
Community Shop) to address the meeting. Mrs Lomas reported:
shop had purchased a bread oven the previous autumn and now baked its own bread
flooring coverings had been laid upstairs
shop was keen to stock local produce
also keen to stock new lines by local request
Mrs Lomas stressed that profit was being put back into the
community, for example, the shop made up hampers for fundraising events. Mrs
Lomas requested anyone interested in volunteering to contact her.
Summer Solstice 2013: the Chairman reported:
would be a police presence from the afternoon of Wednesday 19 June to Saturday day-time.
days of informal camping on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 June.
met with Inspector Mark Thompson the previous day who had confirmed that at least
one police drugs dog had been allocated for part of the event.
passes would be issued for the disabled parking spaces in the village car park
and passes would also be provided for people visiting the Rectory.
Chairman invited PC David Tippetts to report. PC Tippetts introduced himself as
Community Beat Manager for Marlborough Rural West. PC Tippetts stated that Mr
Angus Macpherson had been elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and
Mr Mark Thompson was the new Police Inspector. See Police Crime Plan on
Mr Tippetts reported that the commonest crime had been theft
from motor vehicles and there had been three in the last month in Avebury.
Police would be doing covert work to catch the criminals. Mr Tippetts also
advised the public to be aware that people had recently been caught, in the
evening, with drugs in Avebury car park. He said he was looking to encourage Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in the
Mr Howell asked, if there were
similar problems on the Ridgeway as last year, would they be dealt with in the same way and would
the police be issuing Section 61 notices? Mr Tippetts confirmed Section 61
notices would be issued and the police would be doing joint patrols with NT.
Mr Howell questioned where people
were directed to once the NT campsites were full. Mrs Tomlin said people were
directed to other campsites. Mrs Tomlin confirmed to Mrs Milton that she would
be writing to thank the police in addition to giving her usual verbal thanks.
Mr and Mrs Swatton reported there
were ongoing problems with people parking on the nursery site at Trusloe and in the layby outside 5-7 Trusloe
Cottages. Mr Paradise said the back of
Windmill Hill was also an issue at Solstice.
Mrs McCaire questioned the purpose
of the grey posts that
had appeared on the A4 near Silbury Hill. The Chairman had not seen new posts but there were the remains of old sign
posts that had been vandalised.
Visitor numbers to Avebury and the
Manor: The Chairman invited Mrs Tomlin to
give feedback on visitor numbers. Mrs Tomlin estimated there had been about
85-90,000 visits (as opposed to visitors) to the Manor in 2012 but it was difficult
to estimate visitors to the landscape. The impression was that visitor numbers
had not increased on the Henge.
Mr Paradise asked about the NT
counters on boxes
in the NT car park and if they were in operation. Mrs Tomlin did not know.
Local issues and events: The Chairman reported:
Trail would take place on the 5 May. Charity walks such as Ridgeway 100 would
be on 13-14 July and Laura Cooper had made arrangements for the finish at
Rutlands Farm. It seemed likely that only small numbers would attend three
Discover Adventure walks.
Chairman had met with Visit Wiltshire and had asked them not to feature Avebury
on the Wiltshire Heritage Trail.
LEADER funding for the Great Stones Way had been declined and Friends of the
Ridgeway were rethinking the project.
Rocks was not being held in 2013.
Cooper would be organising a one-off event at Rutlands for NFU Open Farm Sunday
on 9 June, 11am-5pm. The event was for the community and local parishes to
highlight Marborough Downs Nature Improvement Area. It was estimated there
would be 800 attendees.
Council dog warden had been patrolling more frequently.
Gunter was likely to carry out a geophysical survey of the Sports-field in the
had contacted WC to carry out various small works such filling potholes, road sweeping
and repairing streetlights.
Communications: The Chairman stated APC continued with its aim to improve
communications with the public. The web
site was regularly updated, the headlines of APC meetings were included in the
parish magazine and on local noticeboards and APC had circulated a number of
fliers to all households.
Civil Emergency Plan: Mrs Judy Farthing requested anyone with equipment or skills
that could be used in an Emergency to sign up after the meeting. Mrs Tomlin
requested the NT to be put on the list as their rangers had equipment and many
Precept, finance and admin, the Chairman reported:
precept was down from £11,100 to £11,000 for 2013/14. Estimated outgoings for
2013-2014 included the Clerks’ salary/costs at nearly £5,000, grass cutting at £1,800,
smaller items such as web-site, subscriptions, training, printing, expenses and
audit work at a total of £1,400, insurance at £1,200 and match funding for
projects at £800.
balance at 31 March 2013 was about £10,500 but a more comparable figure was
£8,000 due to pledges outstanding at the end of the financial year for the pavement
extension at Trusloe and a contribution to the WHS traffic study. The figure of
£8,000 was broadly similar to the balance at the same time the previous year.
audited accounts for 2011-2012 were available for inspection.
issues from the public: the past year and for the next 12 months:
Holmes reported that on the east side of West Kennett Avenue, a number of
hollows had developed on the edge of the carriageway. Mr Holmes
will give further details to APC to action.
Kremer thanked the Chairman and the Clerk for their work.
issues from the Parish Council: aside from flooding and traffic, there were no more issues from APC.
Chairman thanked all those who supported the Parish Council, including:
Litter pickers and those who cleared up after their
dogs especially on the recreation grounds, the Circle and on footpaths.
Trustees, Secretaries and Treasurers of local
voluntary organisations and especially to Mrs Jenny Haines and ASA.
Police, staff at Wiltshire Council and the National
Miss Liz Moore (Clerk), Mrs Jemima Milton (Wiltshire
Councillor), Mrs Judy Farthing (Civil Emergency Officer), Mr Paul
Birkeland-Green (APC Web-Site) and Mr Len Adams (APC Handyman)
Colleagues on the Parish Council
and all those who attended the meeting.
The meeting closed at 20:46
Appendices (included in book of
Parish Council papers):
Trust Update April 2013
Archaeology Update 18 April 2013