2 Sep 2014 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 2nd September
2014 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

 

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club,
AHA for Aster Housing Association, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, CATG for
Community Area Transport Group, EA for Environment Agency, EH for English Heritage,
MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MADT for Marlborough Area Development Trust, MDNIA for
Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet
News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There were no members of the
    public present.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman),
    Mike Daniel, Paul Dixon, Antoinette Kremer, Maggie Lewis, Paul Ryder-Morris and
    Zandria Service.
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford
    (Vice-Chairman), Keith Howell and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton.
    Members were glad to hear from the Clerk that Mr Howell had returned home
    and was recovering from his operation.
  4. Declarations of interest: Ms Zandria Service declared an
    interest; she had filled in a paper copy of her register of interests but it was
    currently in the post to WC. A further declaration of interest was made later
    under item 11.g.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 1 July 2014: Unanimously agreed
    as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Ms Service.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Bench at West Kennett: (Minute ref. 6d). Mr Ryder-Morris
      had reported by email on 2 July 2014 (previously circulated to members) that
      the bench at West Kennett was in need of a lick of varnish. By instruction
      of the Clerk, the bench was refurbished on 7th July by Mr Len Adams. Mr
      Ryder-Morris reported a fantastic job had been done.
    2. 1 Tonne Salt Bag Scheme 2014/2015 and storage: (Min
      ref. 6e). Ms Service reported most residents in Bray Street had expressed
      an interest in the salt scheme and there were several offers of places to
      store the salt.
    3. ACC’s Insurance Schedule: (Min ref. 12a i). The Clerk
      said that a copy of the relevant appendix page to ACC’s Insurance Schedule
      was received on the 2nd July and public liability insurance confirmed. The
      document was tabled (see Appendix 1).
    4. Damage to Apple Tree: (Min ref. 17a). The branch of an
      apple tree on the sports field had been snapped off by a jogger who had been
      running backwards and hadn’t seen it. He had sent his apologies to the
      Community Orchard group and offered to pay for a replacement tree but as the
      tree stump was sprouting already, they would wait to see if that would be
      necessary.
  7. Planning applications and results:
    1. Reconstruct roof, fit roof lights, re-site French doors and
      windows and repair flue for wood burner at The Forge, High Street, Avebury.

      Ref: 14/07554/FUL, 14/07051/LBC. Plans were tabled and considered.
      Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mr
      Dixon and seconded by Mr Daniel.
    2. Results: Two new windows at 2 Chapel Cottages, Avebury Trusloe.
      Ref: 14/05583/LBC. Approved by WC.
  8. Flood Group:
    1. Report by Mrs Lewis: Mrs Lewis reported there had been
      no further incidents of sewage leakage in Bray Street and that contractors
      for Thames Water had put a camera down the drains and found the blockage. Mrs
      Lewis also reported that Butler Bros had started to clear the riverbed in the
      water meadow and would be clearing their part of the river over the next few
      days. The cost of the combined works was £4,500.00 and was being funded by
      Butler Bros. Mrs Milton (WC Councillor) had previously suggested APC might
      contact Wiltshire Councillor Jonathan Seed to find out about grants for flood
      works. The Chairman reported that Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) had said she
      did not know when the NT would be carrying out their part of the river
      clearing. In discussion, members noted that Butler Bros and the NT were
      riparian owners and were responsible for the works. While APC wished to
      support both landowners, it was not appropriate for APC to offer financial
      help, but APC would be willing to help in other ways, including supporting
      applications for funding for projects such as flood defence and ditch clearing.
      Action: Mrs Lewis agreed to contact Cllr Seed at WC.
    2. Participation in Parish Emergency Assistance Scheme: Mrs
      Lewis reported on a scheme by WC that offered, free of charge, a variety of
      flood defence items from a builder’s bag of sand to gel sacks. In discussion,
      members agreed that overall it would be worthwhile to participate in the
      scheme, but it was dependent on finding an area to store the items. It was
      proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mr Dixon and unanimously agreed that
      APC participate in the PEAS Scheme. Action: Mrs Lewis to
      contact Mr and Mrs Wimble and others, regarding storage.
    3. Avebury Community Flood and Drainage Group: Draft Terms of
      Reference
      : Action: Draft had yet to be finalized,
      deferred to next meeting.
  9. Transport Issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. WHS Transport Plan and Design Guide: the consultants
      were closer to finalizing the guide and it should be ready in the next week.
      Mr Ryder-Morris said the work was urgent in order to reduce fatalities,
      especially on the A4, and reported how he recently witnessed tourists putting
      their lives at risk crossing the A4 at Sanctuary. The Chairman reported on the
      recent fatal car crash on the A4 at Silbury Hill and the importance of making
      the A4 a less fast road within the WHS.
    2. Parking in Trusloe: The Chairman reported that Jenny
      Rowe (WC surveyor) had looked at the Nursery Site. She would be carrying out
      further investigation into Rights of Way and had asked other officers at WC to
      explore the creation of two lay-bys. Once she had sorted out Rights of Way,
      it would be possible to develop a plan for Centurion to develop their land and
      contact them.
    3. Crossing for horses at Beckhampton Stables: The Chairman
      reported that he had met Roger Charlton to discuss methods of improving
      safety for horses crossing the A4 including the use of flashing amber
      lights. They had noted the difficulties of slowing traffic, especially in
      fog. The Chairman had observed that their current system, of having one man
      on each side of their crossing to halt traffic, appeared very effective. The
      Chairman said they had discussed two additional solutions to improve safety
      which were to:

      1. make the crossing safer for horses by roughening the road surface
        at the crossing, because horseshoes had made the road surface slick and/or
      2. narrow the carriageway. The Chairman said APC wished to press for
        action once the WHS Transport Plan had been published.
    4. Marlborough CATG meeting: the Clerk reported it would be
      held at 10.00 on Thursday 9th October 2014 in the Council Chamber, Marlborough
      Town Hall.
  10. Avebury Day: Mr Daniel reported on final preparations.
    Activities included: the Community Lunch (people should turn up at 12:15pm), the
    Fete at 1:45pm, Dog Show at 3pm and Evening Skittles. Mr Daniel said a Volunteers
    Meeting would be taking place the next day at 8pm at the Club. Mr Daniel confirmed
    he had secured a grant from MAB for £750.00. Members agreed to pay their grant of
    £250.00 to Avebury Day as swiftly as possible.
  11. Local issues, including:
    1. Future use of Avebury URC Chapel: the Chairman had
      previously circulated a letter about the future of the URC Chapel. Regular
      services would no longer be held but the regional Synod planned to use it as a
      Spiritual Centre and hopefully to use it also for community events and as a
      focus for the arts. The Chairman reported he had spoken to Suzanne Stimpson
      and Reverend Heather Whyte to request whether one use might be as a WHS
      Centre under UNESCO; he understood that this might be a possibility if
      it helped to generate income. In discussion, members agreed APC should
      contribute to the discussion of the future use of the Chapel and think
      about possible uses. Action: Clerk to put issue on agenda
      for next meeting.
    2. Litter bins in Avebury: the Chairman reported that three
      bins had been installed in or near the High Street and that they were
      currently being emptied every day. This was an experiment and the bins
      would be withdrawn if they overflowed or other problems arose.
    3. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelters: Mrs Lewis reported
      on the state of repair of the wooden bus shelter and that WC was still chasing
      the insurer of the driver involved.
      The Chairman reported on the concrete bus shelter. Further to the Clerk putting
      the work out to tender to three suppliers, no one had replied. The Chairman
      said he has since spoken to two of the tenderers to explore the possibility
      of negotiating a price. One of them was happy to do so but the other was not.
      He had not yet contacted the third but would do so.
    4. Solstice review: the Chairman reported he had written
      thank you letters to various Police officers, including the Chief Constable,
      and the National Trust, including its Director General.
    5. Avebury Rocks 2014: members noted the event had gone
      well but had not been well attended.
    6. Footpath between the Waggon & Horses and Silbury Hill:
      no report.
    7. Re-thatching the barn at West Kennett: the Chairman reported
      he had spoken that day to Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) and she had said that although
      the NT would like to re-thatch the barn, there were no funds to do so at
      present. Mr Ryder-Morris said that a tarpaulin had been put over the roof
      in September 2012 and had remained there with no further action. At the
      Chairman’s suggestion he declared an interest, as a tenant of NT and because
      part of the barn was his garage. Mr Ryder-Morris expressed concern that
      the tarpaulin was dangerous and could get blown off in very strong winds.
      Action: the Chairman to raise the issue again at his next
      meeting with the NT.
    8. Housing Needs Survey: the Clerk reported she was in
      contact with WC to find out about the process for carrying out a local survey.
      Update deferred to October meeting.
  12. Communications: the Chairman reported he had submitted a
    combined June and July Headlines to UKN and that the Parish Council contact lists
    had been updated on all notice boards.
  13. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Thank you email received 21 July regarding the
      new bins installed in Avebury High Street from Lyn
      Bennett-Nutt (Avebury Community Shop Manager)
    2. Email from Sarah Simmonds ref. distribution of ÔMegalith’ WHS
      Newsletter
      via Upper Kennet News.
    3. Email: Theme Park Safety
    4. Email invitation received from Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) for special
      residents’ tour of the “Between the Monuments” dig on the West Kennett
      Avenue
      on Tuesday 5 August at 10.30am. The Chairman and Mr Daniel
      said they had attended the event. Mr Daniel reported that arrowheads had been
      found.
    5. Victims of Crime Questionnaire (previously circulated to
      members). Members had been asked to comment on what sorts of services and
      support for victims the Commissioner should be planning for the future.
    6. Email to APC giving information on Associate Membership of
      Wiltshire Citizens Advice:
      Clerk to email that their request would be
      considered at APC’s November meeting.
    7. MDNIA: Bat Walk 29 August 8-10pm, Clouts Wood near
      Wroughton.
    8. Email from Claire Perry: Shop Local Awards 2014,
      competition to find the best independent shop.
    9. Notice from WC: temporary road closure (Part), Avebury and
      Bishops Cannings;
      from its junction with A4 Beckhampton Roundabout
      in a south-westerly direction for approximately 150 metres. These works would
      commence nightly from 8th of September 2014 for 15 nights (week nights only
      between the hours of 19:00 – 06:00).
    10. Letter from Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service:
      consultation and questionnaire on strengthening the Fire and Rescue Service.
      Action: Members declined to comment.
    11. Wiltshire Open Spaces Study – town and parish needs and
      aspirations. Wiltshire Council had commissioned Ethos Environmental Planning
      to undertake an open spaces study to collect information about how much and
      what type of open space/outdoor facilities were required to meet the needs of
      local people. They would also be mapping all outdoor recreational provision
      and later in the process APC would receive by post a parish map to check.
      Action: the Clerk said she had responded to the initial
      survey.
    12. North Wessex Downs Annual Forum, Wednesday 15th October
      2014.
    13. Email: Free Highway Code Training at www.rightdriver.co.uk
    14. Acknowledgements from Dame Helen Ghosh (Director General of NT)
      and Sgt Barry Reed:
      the Chairman tabled thank you letters.
    15. Copy of letter from John Cronk to Jane Scott (Leader of WC):
      the Chairman read out the letter and reported that Mr Cronk was very concerned
      about the poor state of Footpath 22 (Bray Street to Pumping Station at the end
      of Church Walk) and pedestrian safety and mobility access. The Chairman said
      that he has spoken to WC 18 months ago and had been told it would cost about
      £20,000 to restore the path; this was their footpaths’ budget for the whole of
      Wiltshire for the year.
  14. Finance and admin:
    1. External auditor’s report: report tabled which members
      received. The Clerk reported Grant Thornton has sent a clean external audit.
    2. Clerk’s Annual Appraisal 29th August: the Chairman said a
      satisfactory meeting had taken place and that he had emailed a copy of the
      appraisal document to both the Clerk and Mrs Lewis; they would review the
      document prior to it being sent to members. Action: matters
      arising from the appraisal to be discussed at next meeting.
    3. Councillor training. Mrs Lewis reported that she had
      received no interest in training except from Mr Daniel who had already
      completed a course. Action: Mrs Lewis would send out
      information again to those that might benefit.
    4. Annual Inspection of Trusloe Play Area: the Clerk
      reported she had instructed RoSPA Playsafety to carry out the inspection in
      September and to include an accompanied inspection that would cost an
      additional £35.00 + VAT Action: Clerk to email all members on
      receipt of date of inspection so that interested members might attend the
      meeting.
    5. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the
      following cheques be paid.

      1. Mr Len Adams: refurbishment of West Kennett bench £63.99
      2. WALC: Good Councillors Guide x3 £8.40
      3. Grant Thornton: external audit fee: 2013/14 £120.00
      4. Avebury Day: grant from APC £250.00
      5. J A Williamson: Chairman’s expenses: April 13 – March 14 £335.60
      6. J A Williamson: reimbursement of photocopying costs £81.40 during
        April 13 – March 14

      Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mrs Lewis. Cheques signed by the
      Chairman and Mr Dixon.

  15. Date of next meeting: 7.30pm on Tuesday 7th October 2014.
    The Chairman gave his apologies. He also suggested that it could be useful for
    APC to appoint a second Vice-Chairman, especially as Mike Bedford
    was often away. He wondered whether Maggie Lewis might be interested in view of
    her work with the Flood Group, Wi-Fi etc. Members agreed to consider the proposal
    and Mrs Lewis said she would like to think about it.
  16. Any other business: Ms Service reported that two people in
    Bray Street had complained about poor mobile telephone reception
    and one person had asked if it might be possible to install an unobtrusive mast.
    Mr Ryder-Morris said a solution might be for residents to purchase a product such as
    SureSignal (for Vodafone users) to improve signal strength. Action:
    Clerk to put issue on October agenda.
  17. The meeting closed at 20:57

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

  1. Copy of ACC’s Insurance Schedule