7 June 2016 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council    

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 7 June 2016 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket 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, CPO for Compulsory Purchase Order, EH for English Heritage, LGA for Local Government Act, NT for the National Trust, TOR for Terms of Reference, TTRO for Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, UKN for Upper Kennet News, URC for United Reform Church, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There were six members of the public present for all or part of the meeting. The Chairman welcomed everyone and said he would open the meeting from time to time for public contributions. He also welcomed having a new standing item on APC’s agendas of an NT Update for communication between the NT and APC, and would be opening the meeting at item 10 to invite NT staff in attendance to contribute.  He added that there would be a confidential session at the end of the meeting to co-opt a new member, and a hold a positive review of NT issues; APC wanted to focus on the present and the future, and how best the NT and APC could work towards the aims agreed at APC’s last meeting of achieving clarity, transparency, mutual respect and trust. The Chairman asked if any members of the public had any questions. Mrs Lewis said she had been asked to raise two issues by a member of the public. The first concerned fly tipping of building rubble on the Nursery Site and the second was people playing music inconsiderately. It was noted the first issue was for AHA to action as the waste material was on their land. On the second issue, members agreed a box advert would be submitted to UKN asking people to be considerate of their neighbours when playing music / entertaining.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice Chairman), Mr David Brotheridge, Mr Jon Campbell (from item 2 onwards), Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Ms Zandria Service. In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk) and, for NT update at item 10, Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) and Ms Catherine Hosie (NT Estate Manager).
  3. Apologies: Councillors Mr Stephen Stacey, Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman) and Mrs Jemima Milton (Wiltshire Councillor).
  4. Declarations of interest: Mrs Paradise declared an interest as Chairman of the Avebury Day Committee and Mr Campbell declared an interest later under item 8.c. to report he lived next to the Nursery Site in Avebury Trusloe that may be subject to a development scheme.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 13th May 2016: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Campbell.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: Minute reference 9: it was confirmed that item 14 of the Premises Licence decision for the NT estate was a sub-clause of clause 6 of the decision and not a separate item.
  7. Planning applications + results: including
    1. Full Planning and Listed Building Consent for new lighting in the car park of the Waggon and Horses PH Ref: 16/03642/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. It was noted the planning application was for 10 solar powered bollards in the parking area opposite the pub, four tall lamps behind the pub and 10 down lighters on the front of the building. The following points were made:
      1. WHS Management Plan’s aim was to reduce light pollution.
      2. The Parish Council’s general approach was to reduce the impact of street lighting and lighting around Beckhampton roundabout to enhance ‘dark skies’ for the benefit of local residents and the WHS.
      3. From a safety point of view more lighting would be preferable in the layby.
      4. The effectiveness of solar powered bollards in the shade of trees around the layby area was questioned.
      5. The Red Lion did much in 2013 to reduce the impact of its lighting proposals on the village in Avebury and on the WHS. The Waggon and Horses should do the same.
      6. The Design, Heritage and Access Statement was read out in part and it was noted there was no reference to the WHS Management Plan.

      Members supported the idea of safety but felt a statement on light pollution was required in the Design, Heritage and Access Statement to minimise the impact of the lighting. It was resolved to support the application subject to the following condition: 1. A review to be carried out on the likely effects of light pollution as site is in the World Heritage Site and should take into account the aims of the WHS Management Plan (see policy Ie).

    2. Response from WC to APC’s representations on the housing development at Manor Farm, Winterbourne Monkton Ref: 16/00151/FUL. (Previously circulated to members). The Chairman reported WC had considered there were no justifiable planning grounds upon which to refuse planning permission.
  8. Transport Group: the Chairman reported:
      1. Progress report following meeting on 8 March 2016: not covered in detail as Dr Bedford not present but see below.
      2. Applications to CATG:
        1. Wiltshire Council consultation on extending 30 mph limit on Swindon Road: it was agreed APC write in support of its own application.
        2. A4 improvements: Mr Steve Hind (WC) had responded to say the second stage of the feasibility study for the A4 would progress once WC had removed a backlog of construction projects.
      3. Parking in Trusloe: a report from AHA’s planning consultant was read out in part. Three points / recommendations from the report were that planning permission might be given under three headings 1. In-fill housing and parking 2. rural exceptions permission for affordable housing and parking 3. Community Right to Build. The report had concluded there were a number of existing trees to consider. Evidence of housing need and community support would be needed prior to an approach for pre-application advice from the Planning Department. It was noted the project would be dependent on the private landowner (Centurion Western) and their willingness to sell their land. Action: Chairman to email the report to APC members and the Chairman / APC to talk to Mr David Croft of Centurion Western. Mr Campbell declared an interest that he lived next to the site and that personally he would like to see the site better used and had no issue with building on it. He asked if APC had considered a CPO. The Chairman said APC had written in February 2014 to Mr John Thomson (Deputy Leader of Wiltshire Council) to ask if WC would consider using its CPO powers, but it had appeared unlikely that WC would be prepared to do so.
      4. Footpaths: No further update. Mrs Lewis to ask her husband if he had made contact with Beth Thomas (WHS Officer) as Mr Lewis’ footpath survey needed to be incorporated into the WHS Footpath Plan.
  9. ACSReC: including:
    1. Report on 24 May meeting: Mrs Paradise reported an in-depth meeting had taken place with lots of ideas for fundraising. The following points emerged:
      1. The King’s Drummers solstice parking and permit had been agreed and members noted an ACSReC member and King’s Drummer representative would both be supervising their parking on the Sportsfield.
      2. ACSReC had questioned if street trading rules applied to the map man as they were concerned about setting a precedent. The Chairman opened the meeting up to the public and asked if there were any questions. There were no questions. It was noted the map man sold his maps as a hobby and wished to carry on for as long as he could.
      3. Cleaning services had been arranged for the Pavilion.
      4. ACSReC was working on a proposal for a Scheme of delegation and a budget. The Chairman requested that ACSReC should not set up a petty cash float due to the problems of managing cash but that the costs of small items should be reimbursed as expense claims supported by receipts. APC members agreed. Mrs Paradise said the Committee would like to arrange for others to spend small amounts of money in between meetings. It was noted Standing Orders would need to be updated to reflect that request.
      5. The Pavilion roof was leaking again due to wear and tear of trees on the felt roof. Mrs Paradise was talking to Mr Andrew Jack (WC Co-ordinator) about possible funding options. In the interim ACSReC would explore ways of fundraising including working with others to find a long term solution for the Pavilion that would be more sustainable.            The Chairman opened the meeting to the public. The general view was that it was worth investigating thoroughly the options for the Pavilion with a suggestion from a member of the public that the space could be used to hold the existing pilates classes that were run in the village. The Pavilion could be a potential money pit and therefore there was a need to find low-cost interim solutions such as spraying the Pavilion roof with a sealant and cutting back the trees as opposed to re-roofing the building.
      6. Bookings: Wiltshire Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club would not be using the Sports Field that year.
      7. Mrs and Mrs Spratt (Residents, High Street) would be using the Pavilion as a Welfare Unit for their builders for a fee payable to ACSReC / APC.
    2. Items from APC 13 May meeting: Mrs Lewis to contact Lloyds Business Banking; account still not in APC control due to a further query from the bank.
    3. Aerator purchase: Mr Fry chasing the invoice from the supplier.
    4. Task and finish group on renewal of sports-field lease: the Chairman tabled a document he had put together entitled ‘Renewal of Sports Field Lease’ dated 2 June 2016 (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). The document brought members up to date on background of the lease, NT’s suggested terms, APC’s discussions to date and points for clarification. In discussion it was felt it would be useful if the lease included specific categories of use, worth exploring funding options and that a working party consisting of interested members and users of the field be set up to consider the details of the lease. Ms Hosie said she looked forward to receiving APC’s proposal. It was resolved that a Task and Finish Group be set up to look at the details of the lease and then make recommendations to APC. It was agreed its members be Mike Bedford (Chairman), Lynzey Paradise, Dominic Fry and Andrew Williamson. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    5. Progress report on installation of mains water supply to Pavilion: Mr Brotheridge reported that internal floor repairs had been completed and the contractor had made good an area on top of the trench that had sunk slightly by back filling with topsoil. Thames Water had given a provisional date of 23-24 June to do the final link up to the mains supply. Members agreed payment of Whatley’s invoice be deferred to the next meeting to ensure that the whole system worked once Thames Water had made the final connection.
  10. National Trust Update: the Chairman invited Mrs Jan Tomlin to provide an update on the work of the NT. She thanked members for the invitation and explained she was responsible for managing the various sites in the NT’s Wiltshire Landscape area which included Stonehenge. She said her colleague Ms Catherine Hosie’s role had recently changed from Rural Surveyor to Estate Manager and that she looked after the outdoor areas. Mrs Tomlin explained the NT had been overwhelmed by positive feedback from 19 May NT update evening and as a result had decided to run two meetings a year, alternating between a daytimes and evenings. She said the next meeting would be on Tuesday 25 October in the daytime and further information will be circulated nearer the time. Mrs Tomlin reported on the work of the NT as follows:
    1. NT was providing a bus on 10 August to the Durrington Walls excavation for local people interested in archaeology.
    2. The archway in the Coach House was being fixed that week; the Coach House would be open for Solstice but then closed again for refurbishment later in the year.
    3. Box blight had devastated the box plants in the Manor Garden and the Head Gardener had given a report on Wiltshire Radio (see BBCiPlayer).
    4. NT had plans to replace the freestanding sign outside the Manor with an oak framed sign on the wall and the sign would be fitted into existing holes.
    5. The Manor House boiler system needed to be replaced and options are currently being costed.

    Thanks were expressed to Mrs Tomlin for her report and the Chairman opened the meeting to the public to ask questions. Mr Brotheridge asked if the NT had any resources in place to monitor the small NT car park in the High Street and any future plans for charging / pay and display. Mrs Tomlin explained: 1. NT was not encouraging visitors to that car park and therefore from a personal point of view she was not wanting a pay and display system. She added the main NT car park was where visitors were welcomed. 2. Policing the small car park was a challenge as policing the car park is not a good use of staff or volunteer time. 3. The NT was conducting a national review of its car parks and would not want to introduce new solutions until the review was completed. Mrs Tomlin said she struggled to get parking space for volunteers and disabled people at the Farmyard. Two separate questions were asked as to whether it would be possible to make the small car park bigger and to change the sign from tourist to residents’ parking. Mrs Tomlin said it would probably not be feasible to extend the parking due to archaeology on the site and that the small car park was also for use by NT and the disabled. Rev Maria Shepherdson said the question was how APC might make its views known to the wider NT ‘umbrella’ organisation so that APC’s points could be taken into account during the national review, and the Chairman welcomed her suggestion. A final question was asked by Mrs Lewis as to whether the disabled bays in the car park could be re-painted and Mrs Tomlin agreed to take the request away for review. The Chairman thanked both members of NT staff.

  11. Avebury Day: Mrs Paradise said Eva Stuetzenberger (NT Visitor Engagement and Enterprises Manager) and Mr Dominic Fry (Avebury Day Committee) were working closely together on ideas for Avebury Day. Mrs Paradise invited Mrs Tomlin to report on the NT’s involvement:
    1. NT would be providing a Countryside Trailer with all sorts of nature related activities for children and families.
    2. NT would be providing toy tractors for children to ride on.
    3. NT was not able to promote Avebury Day on its main web site due to charity rules but had found ways to promote it elsewhere.                                                 Mrs Paradise asked the NT to pass on thanks to Eva Stuetzenberger. Mrs Paradise provided the following report:
      1. Letters had been sent to residents in the Parish inviting them to the residents’ lunch; blue wrist bands would be issued to those taking part as the lunch was intended for residents only. At the last event two years ago about 500 people had attended.
      2. The Committee had decided to extend the day into the evening with music from local bands.
      3. There would be a thank you barbeque on the Sunday after Avebury Day and a general clear up.
      4. 72 stalls were booked so far.
      5. Banners would be going up in the local area for a couple of days at a time.                                                                                                    Donation from APC for Avebury Day: the budget was discussed, Mrs Paradise reported there was some working capital available and the charity would be donating the majority of the proceeds for the Pavilion / Sports Field. In general members were happy to provide a donation for Avebury Day if it was required, but decision deferred to July meeting so that Mrs Paradise could provide details of the budget / report on income and expenditure to APC.
  12. Local issues: the Chairman reported:
      1. Parking permits for Solstice: parking permits would be issued to people who normally parked their cars on the highway, no permits would be needed for people doing drop-offs and WC wanted to keep the permit process low-key. In addition, it was noted the Henge Shop may need some permits, St James’ needed 12, the NT would have free access and shop volunteers could park at The Rectory. Action: the Chairman to email his contacts list with further information and instructions on how to request a permit and he and Mr Campbell to deliver the information by hand to those not on email that may need a permit.
      2. Results of community litter pick: the litter pick was very well received by the public.  In total 10 large bin bags were filled and a report of the event had been published in the Gazette and Herald on 2 June 2016. Members thanked Ms Service for organizing the event and other members agreed they would do more dates.
      3. Repairs to Trusloe Play Area: the Clerk and Mr Campbell had inspected the work to the seesaw separately. It had been completed to a high standard by Wicksteed, and Mr Brotheridge was thanked for repainting it.
      4. URC Chapel: no further information.
      5. Housing Needs Survey: deferred to next meeting.
      6. Community Wi-Fi and Broadband speeds: Mrs Lewis reported work in progress and soon to be available in the Social Centre.
      7. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis to put together a list of pros and cons for purchasing a defibrillator from the British Heart Foundation or the Ambulance Service.
      8. Avebury Rocks: the event would be taking place on 9 July at East Farm.
      9. Tree and hedge cutting in Trusloe: hedge work had been requested, Clerk to seek advice from WC on work to a tree overhanging the highway. It was noted additional hedge cutting was required on the A4 outside Jasmine Cottage, Clerk to refer request to WC Highways.
      10. Street cleaning in High Street, Church Walk / Hunters Walk and Avebury Trusloe: the work had been ordered, to be followed up at the next meeting with the Parish Steward.
      11. Jetting of culvert in Beckhampton: Mrs Lewis to email Mr Martin Cook (WC Highways) to chase original request.
      12. Footpath clearing along A4 at West Kennett: to be referred to the Parish Steward.
      13. Removal of footpath railings in Avebury Trusloe: Whilst eight households had requested the removal of the railings, several calls had been received over the past couple of months from other residents living in or near South Street requesting the railings not to be removed for safety reasons as the road was dangerous. In addition, the railings slowed down children on bicycles and helped prevent accidents to elderly people who might be walking on the footpaths. On balance members decided to maintain the status quo but review the situation in a year’s time.
      14. Pothole on the Avenue: to be ordered.
      15. Ms Service asked if the Parish Council could look at the verges in Bray Street in the next few months to see if it would be possible to create a small layby for parking. Request deferred to next Planning Committee Meeting.
      16. Mrs Paradise reported the top two planters in the High Street were still an issue for Mr Wilding, the problem might be resolved if the second planter was moved closer to the pavement and there had been several complaints about the scruffiness of the planters. Members agreed to try moving the second planter and, should traffic control be compromised, to move the planter back.
  13. Confidential session: Prior to commencement of item 13, Mrs Tomlin reported she was answering some questions following the NT’s meeting at St James’ personally and other answers to questions were included in a single information pack that would be put in the following locations for reference only: (i) the Community Shop, (ii) the Church and (iii) the NT Estate Office. It was noted the packs also contained a summary of the slides from that meeting, the packs could be copied for individual use but were not available in any other form. Mrs Tomlin wished to clarify to all that to the best of her knowledge the NT had no intentions of running weddings or wedding receptions at Avebury. A member of the public reported she had not had a response from the NT yet after reporting a nauseous smell coming from 4 Green Street. Mrs Tomlin said she had been assured a test had been carried out, but as there was still a problem she would look into the matter. The Chairman thanked Mrs Tomlin and Ms Hosie for attending the meeting that evening, especially as Mrs Tomlin had interrupted her annual leave to be present. The Chairman stated that in view of the confidential nature of the business that was about to be transacted it was advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded.
    1. Co-option of new member: in discussion members noted that Mr Terence O’Connor had expressed interest in the position and it was resolved unanimously that he be co-opted to the Parish Council. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. Clerk to write to Mr O’Connor.
    2. Review of:
      1. National Trust meeting on 19 May
      2. correspondence with NT
      3. subsequent meetings

    In discussion members agreed arrangements for working positively with the National Trust including provision of a standing item on each APC agenda for an NT update, working with the NT on joint projects and using APC’s consultation process as the need might arise.

  14. Communications: 3 May and 13 May Headlines submitted for June edition of UKN.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk tabled:
    1. Letter from Fields in Trust outlining the Centenary Fields Programme. It was noted the scheme was not relevant to APC as the NT owned the Sports Field.
  16. Finance and admin: the Chairman reported:
    1. Internal audit: completed on 26 May and a clean audit had been given.
    2. Accounts Audit year ended 31 March 2016: the Annual Return was tabled and it was resolved to approve the Accounting Statements (Section 2) of the Annual Return (see appendix 2) and that the form be signed and returned to Grant Thornton UK LLP. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously.
    3. Review of Financial Regulations, Standing Orders and TOR of Committees: Chairman and Clerk to work on updating Financial Regulations and Standing Orders. It was resolved to adopt the updated Terms of Reference for ACSReC (See appendix 3).
    4. The working draft of the Consultation Scheme dated 14 May 2016 was adopted and received for inclusion in the minute book.
    5. VAT registration status, payments: in progress.
    6. The approved minutes of ACSReC meeting 26 April 2016 were tabled and received. (See appendix 5).
    7. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously. Cheques were signed by the Chairman and Mrs Lewis.
      1. Jamie Guy: end of year internal audit for 2015/2016 accounts  £75.00
      2. Talits (J.A. Gunter): to carry out a watching brief at installation of new mains water supply and provide a report                                   £184.00
      3. Community First: annual membership 2016-2017                     £36.00
      4. Wicksteed Leisure Ltd: supply and fitting of new seats and protective skirt to see-saw                                                                          £828.00
      5. Mr David Brotheridge: paint for see-saw and basketball post    £16.96
      6. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 April – 21 May 2016                                                                                           £515.19
  17. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 5 July 2016 at the Social Centre.
  18. Any other business: none.
  19. The meeting closed at 22:13

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

  1. Renewal of Sportsfield lease dated 2 June 2016
  2. Accounting Statements (Section 2) of Annual Return 2015/2016
  3. Terms of Reference for ACSReC dated 14 May 2016
  4. Consultation Scheme for Avebury dated 14 May 2016
  5. Minutes of ACSRec meeting 26 April 2016