13 May 2016 Extra Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an extra ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 13 May 2016 at the Avebury Sports and Social Club, Beckhampton Road, Avebury SN8 1RD.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, EH for English Heritage, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, TOR for Terms of Reference, TTRO for Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started:  19:32

  1. Public question time: there were 6 people present for all or part of the meeting. No questions were asked.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Ms Zandria Service and Mr Stephen Stacey. In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor, Mrs Jemima Milton and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies: Councillor and Vice Chairman, Mrs Maggie Lewis.
  4. Declarations of interest: Mr Campbell declared that he had yet to register his interests on the WC website.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 3 May 2016: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Ms Service.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: none.
  7. Membership: it was noted interest had been expressed from three members of the public but further information was awaited. Decision deferred to next ordinary meeting.
  8. Planning applications + results: none.
  9. Premises licence for the National Trust Estate: the Chairman said the deadline for lodging an appeal was the following Wednesday and asked everyone if they had received all the correspondence relating to the agenda item (previously circulated by email), which they had (see appendix 1 for decision letter). Informal legal advice had been sought from Mr Christopher Spratt and the Parish Council needed to decide if it would be worth appealing the licence decision. Mr Spratt had been looking into the issue on behalf of the Parish Council and the Chairman invited him to give his informal advice. Mr Spratt explained he had looked carefully at the conditions attached to the application and the background. To succeed APC would have to persuade the Magistrates’ Court that the decision of the Licensing Sub-Committee was wrong at the time of the Court’s sitting. Any appeal would take place as a complete rehearing at the Magistrates’ Court and the outcome could be the Court would (a) allow the appeal (b) allow the appeal with conditions or (c) refuse the appeal. It was noted if the appeal was lost the appellant might have to meet the costs of two parties (WC and NT). Mr Spratt explained there were three issues: 1. Conditions of the licence 2. Reasons for decision given by Licensing Committee 3. Licence granted had provisions that went above and beyond the NT’s solicitor’s advice. It was noted that even though the case for an appeal would be arguable, APC should also look at the practicalities particularly as the Licencing Act 2003 put the burden on objectors. Mr Spratt said he had initially felt the best way forward would be to find a way to put conditions on the licence such as a restriction to control the level of noise for events of <500 people. However having spoken to Hannah Hould (WC Licensing) he understood that due to deregulation it would not be possible to attach the aforesaid condition to restrain the activity which meant the outcome of the appeal would be limited. Mr Spratt said that in his opinion the best way forward would be to monitor the events to gather evidence and perhaps seek crowd funding to help with an application to vary the licence. He gave an example of the recent Supreme Court decision in Coventry v Lawrence; if a person caused nuisance by noise the common law action lay against the holder of the property even if they had a licence or planning permission to conduct the activity causing noise nuisance. Mr Spratt concluded the best way forward would be to set up a community scheme to monitor noise and involve an independent noise monitoring expert. He also advised to follow up with Mr Freegard (WC) on the email he had received from Mr Payne (NT’s Solicitor) as he may have thought the NT was limiting events with amplified music to two per annum for any number of people up to 1,000. The Chairman thanked Mr Spratt and asked members if they had any questions. In discussion the following points emerged:
    1. the Licensing Committee’s decision notice was not well drafted
    2. conditions 7-13 appeared to be tailored to the two events of >500 people
    3. it did not specify who would monitor the events
    4. there were no conditions requiring those events of 500 people and under to be monitored
    5. condition 14 did not specify the event to which the condition related
    6. the brochure produced by the NT and shown to the Licensing Committee could be construed as misleading

    Mr Spratt advised that an application to review the licence could be made to the Licensing Committee at any time. The Chairman asked Mr Spratt whether APC should clarify if condition 14 was a sub-clause. Mr Spratt affirmed that APC should email Hannah Hould to ask for official clarification and carbon copy Mr Payne. Mrs Milton thanked Mr Spratt for his advice.

    In further discussion it was recognised increased noise or music in the Manor Garden was of most concern as that location was most likely to be used and was closest to peoples’ homes. Mrs Milton said any number of people would have the right to complain to Environmental Health. The Chairman tabled an extract from an article from a National Trust Magazine featuring weddings at NT locations (see appendix 2). He said APC should probably look at weddings as potentially a main cause of concern for the community and members agreed there should be clarification over what types of events would be held. It was resolved that the Parish Council: 1) Monitor noise  2) Clarify whether item 14 on the decision letter was a sub-clause of clause 6, and 3) Send a follow up email Mr Freegard. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.

  10. National Trust meeting on 19 May: it was agreed that APC members should register for the event individually and noted that Mrs Lewis, Dr Bedford and Mr Stacey would be abroad and not able to attend. The Chairman tabled a note of seven points he had drafted (dated 14 May 2016 and see appendix 3) for possible communication to the NT and asked members for their views. In discussion it was recognized there had been multiple issues over 20 years. It was agreed there was a need to keep the points short. The Chairman invited Mr Adam Wethered to speak. Mr Wethered said he was aware of high feeling in the community. He suggested there were many issues and that it was necessary to embrace the fact people had different approaches. Members of the Parish Council agreed that three points be made: 1) The need to acknowledge that there had been significant differences of opinion on a number of issues  2) The principal cause had been a lack of communication, particularly on issues that impact directly on the lives of parishioners and 3) There was a need for clarity, transparency, mutual respect and trust.  It was also agreed that points 3-6 of the paper dated 14 May be included as examples of subjects for dialogue and that points 2 and 7 be removed. Mrs Milton had suggested point 3 should include senior NT staff to listen. It was resolved that the paper be emailed by the Clerk to the NT before the NT meeting on 19 May. In addition an updated draft of APC’s Consultation Scheme dated 5 May 2016 was tabled (see appendix 4) and it was resolved to adopt the document as a working draft with a review on 1 September 2016.  Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
  11. ACSReC: including:
    1. budgets: Mrs Paradise reported she was working with Mr Dominic Fry and Dr Bedford  to draft a budget. The budget would then be presented to APC for approval. It was noted due to a backlog of maintenance work there had been a higher proportion of expenditure compared with income. Dr Bedford reported £1,485 outgoings to date and a combined total of £4,719.80 currently held in ASA’s bank accounts.
    2. financial arrangements: It was resolved to move the balances of the two ASA accounts into the main APC bank account and to close the ASA bank accounts subject to changing any existing standing orders or direct debit instructions set up on the Lloyds account. ACSReC’s income and expenditure would be recorded in separate columns in APC’s books of account. Proposed by Dr Bedford, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously. Mrs Milton recommended the Parish Council contact MAB as they had funds available for youth projects.
    3. ordering, invoices and payments: It was noted once item 11.b. had been completed, ACSReC would decide on income and expenditure according to its budget and APC’s financial regulations and standing orders. It would then pass on requests to the Clerk to order all goods and services. All invoices would be then be received by APC and paid accordingly. All income and expenditure would be recorded in APC’s cash book.
  12. Avebury Sports and Social Club’s funding application to Sport England for improvements to internal layout of the Club: the Chairman read out part of a letter received from ASSC detailing proposed alterations to the Club (see appendix 5). A question asked about what was meant by improving the view but overall members had no issues in the interim with the proposed improvements. It was unanimously resolved to support the bid. Proposed by Dr Bedford, seconded by Ms Service.
  13. Local issues: the draft residents’ permit for parking at solstice was tabled (see appendix 6). It was noted the permit had yet to be signed off by Mr Simon Rowe (WC Highways). The Chairman reported that he and Mrs Paradise would be working together to register people for the scheme and they would be liaising with local community institutions to ensure others visiting the village over solstice would be accommodated. The Chairman clarified that the TTRO would be between the hours of 06.00 hrs Sunday 19 June to 12.00 hrs on Wednesday 22 June 2016.
  14. Communications: not covered.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk tabled:
    1. Thank you letter from Victim Support for APC’s recent donation of £50.
  16. Finance and admin: none.
  17. Date of next meeting: Tuesday 7th June 2016
  18. Any other business:
    1. Pavilion water supply: Mr Brotheridge reported (i) a plumber was booked for the following Thursday to carry out the plumbing inside the Pavilion (ii) Thames Water had not yet received the certificate sent by Whatleys to sign off the external work (iii) Thames Water had confirmed there was no requirement to turn off the water in the Pavilion for their provisioning work.
    2. Thanks for advice and voluntary work: The Chairman expressed thanks to Jemima Milton, Mr and Mrs Spratt, Mr Wethered and all members of the public who had either given advice or attended the meeting. Thanks were also given to Mr Brotheridge who had kindly given his time freely to repaint the see-saw at Trusloe Play Area. Mr Wethered thanked members of the Parish Council for their work.
  19. The meeting closed at 21:28

Appendices:

  1. Decision Letter for premises licence for National Trust Estate – dated 26 April 2016
  2. Extract on providing venues for weddings in National Trust Magazine
  3. Draft document of seven points for communication to NT dated 14 May 2016
  4. Draft consultation scheme for Avebury (working document) – dated 5 May 2016
  5. Letter from ASSC
  6. Proposed Summer Solstice 2016 parking permit for residents