3 Jun 2014 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 3 June 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, BBLP for Balfour
Beatty Living Places, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, 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, PCC for Parochial
Church Council, 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 five members of the public present for
    all or part of the meeting. Three questions were asked.

    • Mr Adrian Mieras expressed much concern over the health risks of wi-fi to
      people, particularly children, and asked about the recent implementation of Community
      wi-fi in Avebury. Mrs Lewis gave details of the current installation and said that she
      was aware of evidence for and against wi-fi. Mr Mieras said he was a specialist who
      treated people for the effects of wi-fi and that he had a document detailing the
      issues. Action: Mr Mieras to email the document to the Clerk and to Mrs Lewis,
      who would then send the information to MADT for their response.
    • Mr John Wilding reported that the path between the NT Manor gate and the bus
      shelter on the west side of Swindon Road was overgrown with nettles.
    • Mr Bruce Hinder said the grass on the east side of the A4361 at Rawlins
      Park was very long. Mrs Lewis added that the grass on the verges in Beckhampton was
      also long. Action: Clerk to email WC Highways.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford
    (Vice-Chairman), Paul Dixon, Mike Daniel (items 1-15), Antoinette Kremer, Maggie Lewis,
    Paul Ryder-Morris and Zandria Service.
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillor Keith Howell and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs
    Jemima Milton. Members noted that Keith Howell was in hospital for an operation and
    signed a card to wish him a speedy recovery.
  4. Declarations of interest: None.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 6 May 2014: Unanimously agreed as an accurate
    record. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mr Dixon.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Benches at Beckhampton and West Kennett: (Minute ref 6c). No update given
      on state of repair. Action: Mr Ryder-Morris to inspect West Kennett bench and
      Dr Bedford to inspect the bench at Beckhampton.
    2. 1 Tonne Salt Bag Scheme 2014/2015: (Min ref. 14a). (Further information
      on the scheme previously emailed to members). Members discussed whether additional
      salt was needed in the Parish and felt that WC provided a reasonable number of
      salt bins overall and that it was not a major requirement. The question also arose
      of where to store a tonne of salt.
      Ms Service reported that the road at the bottom of Gilbert Hill linking to Bray
      Street became very icy in winter and was particularly dangerous. Members noted there was
      no salt bin at this location. Later, under Any Other Business, members agreed that Ms
      Service contact neighbours to find a possible place to store a tonne bag of salt. See
      item 17d.
  7. Membership: Members unanimously voted in favour of co-opting Ms Zandria Service as a member
    of APC. Prior to the meeting, Ms Service had signed a declaration of acceptance of office, witnessed
    by the Clerk. Action: The Clerk to forward a copy of APC’s code of conduct to Ms Service.
  8. Planning applications and results:
    1. First Floor Extension at 6 Beckhampton Road. Ref: 14/04877/FUL. Plans
      were tabled and considered. Members unanimously agreed to support the application.
      Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Dr Bedford.
    2. Results: Wall at the Great Barn, High Street. Ref: 14/01280/FUL.
      To create opening in field wall and insert one-way field gate for visitor access
      with automatic closing device. Members noted that despite APC having objected to
      the gate, WC had approved the application (with conditions).
  9. Flood Group:
    • Report on site visit by Thames Water on 28 May 2014.
      Mrs Lewis gave a report. (See Appendix 1 for site visit report and actions from
      meeting). Members noted that Mr Danny Everett (WC Drainage Engineer) had not
      attended the site visit. Mrs Lewis said that Mr Ian Binding (Thames Water Field
      Operations Specialist) would be coming back on 11 June to see if it would be
      possible to seal manhole covers. Mrs Lewis also reported she had received an
      email response from Richard Williams of Atkins who had confirmed that the culvert
      at the end of the High Street
      was in part owned by Thames Water but also the
      landowner(s) and that WC might be agreeable to clean it.
      Action: Mrs Lewis to forward the email to Mrs Paradise who would provide a
      hard copy for Victor Paradise.
    • Draft Terms of Reference: (previously circulated to members). Members
      agreed the title of the document should be changed to ‘Terms of Reference for
      Avebury Community Flood Group’. Action: Mrs Lewis to update the document;
      approval deferred to next meeting.
    • Members to appoint a Flood Warden: Mrs Lewis to look into this.
  10. Transport Issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: A final draft was being
      produced for the WHS Steering Committee. The Chairman said he had requested that
      a statement be included in the document that APC had not seen the draft nor
      commented on it.
    2. Parking in Trusloe: The Chairman reported no further progress had been
      made on the Nursery Site. He had spoken two weeks previously to Mr John Thomson
      (Deputy Leader of WC) who had said he would respond to APC’s earlier emails, but
      had not done so to date.
      Members discussed how to move forward with the other possible parking areas.
      Ms Service suggested that in order to maximise parking outside 5 and 6 Trusloe
      ottages, more parking bays could be accommodated by creating parking up to the
      hedge. Mrs Kremer pointed out there might be objections regarding ownership of
      parking spaces. The Chairman said he would ask Mrs Karen Kelleher to consult
      with the local residents. Members unanimously agreed that the Chairman contact
      Mrs Kelleher. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris.
  11. Marlborough Area Board (20 May): no report given
    Avebury Day: Mr Daniel reported on work in progress and confirmed the
    Community Lunch would be at 12:30pm. Members welcomed his report.
    The Chairman wished to find consensus on a difference in local opinion regarding
    the banner advertising Avebury Day currently fixed to the Henge Shop fence
    within the Henge. The Chairman also read out an email received from Mrs Janet
    Tomlin (NT Manager) in which she had requested the removal of the banner; she had
    said it was wholly inappropriate and not at all in keeping with the setting of the
    Scheduled Monument. The Chairman said other local people had expressed concerns
    regarding:

    1. Setting a precedent
    2. Two or more banners being put up at any one time for various events
    3. The length of time the banner would be in-situ.

    Mr Daniel emphasized that the whole purpose of Avebury Day was to make it a special
    day for all. Mrs Kremer with the consent of the Chairman said she would like to hear
    Mr John Wilding’s view. Mr Wilding said this was a one-off event banner.
    In discussion, some members noted the banner faced a very small part of the Henge and
    that it was not objectionable; it was aimed at everyone, especially visitors.
    Mr Ryder-Morris suggested that the banner could be moved around the Parish. Mr Daniel
    said the intention was to display the banner at Open Farm Day.
    The Chairman invited comments from the public.
    Mrs Lynzey Paradise introduced herself as the Chairlady of the Avebury Day
    Committee.She said a lot of work had gone into the Communication and Marketing Plan
    for the event and that the banners in particular had been designed to be sympathetic
    to the landscape. Mrs Paradise said that in the 1970’s, neon boards had been used
    to advertise the event. She confirmed that the plan was always to move the banners
    around and she welcomed suggestions from APC as to where to put them. Mrs Paradise
    also confirmed she had spoken to ASA for advice on siting the banners.
    Mr Wilding said he could not see an issue as lots of other signs, such as ice cream
    advertisements, were also visible from the Henge.
    Action: Members agreed that APC wished to support both Avebury Day and the
    objectives of the WHS. Members thought the impact of the banner on passers-by would
    decline if it remained in the same place for three or four months and that it would
    be more effective in promoting the event if it were put up for short periods in
    different locations in the Parish. It was agreed that Mrs Lewis look at possible
    sites for the banner at Beckhampton, possibly to include the bus shelter owned by
    APC and the Waggon & Horses PH, Mr Daniel to look at placing the banner outside
    Rawlins Park and his house, Dorwyn, and Mr Ryder-Morris to investigate possibilities
    in West Kennett.
    Members also unanimously agreed APC write to the NT to confirm they had proposed that
    the banners be moved for short spells to places considered appropriate. Proposed by
    Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    Mr Brian Holman asked if APC had complained about the NT’s advertising. The Chairman
    said it had: APC had objected to the NT’s planning application for the sloping board
    by the car park. Mr Holman highlighted that the NT had put up big banners for the
    Easter Egg Trail.

  12. Local issues, including:
    1. Grass cutting: the Chairman reported he had written to Mr Dominic Fry
      (ACC) to let the contract to mow the Sports-field to ACC. Action: Clerk to
      contact Mr Fry to chase the previously requested copy of ACC’s insurance policy.
      The Chairman also reported that it appeared the grass on the Sports-field had last
      been cut by BBLP on the 11 April 2014. The Chairman proposed that APC ask BBLP
      to account for the work they had done in the past three months. Seconded by Mr
      Dixon and unanimously agreed. Action: Clerk to email BBLP to request a
      list of dates.
    2. Litter bin(s) in Avebury: the Chairman reported that he and Mr John
      Wilding had been in contact with WC to find out if they could supply a litter bin
      for the High Street. The Chairman said the NT had a couple of bins in the
      ‘Farmyard’ but their policy was not to provide bins and they preferred to encourage
      the public to take their litter home. The Chairman tabled two pictures of black
      litter bins provided by WC and stated that WC would provide the Parish a bin free
      of charge being as part of BBLP’s contract. Members chose the Jubilee Bin. Members
      agreed the bin could be sited opposite the Henge Shop or the Community Shop and
      that APC press for it to be emptied at least three times a week rather than twice.
      Members also agreed to explore the possibility of installing a second bin at the
      intersection of High Street and the footpath between the car park and the
      ‘Farmyard’.
      The Chairman read out an email he had received from Mrs Lynn Bennett-Nutt on the
      7 May. Mrs Bennett-Nutt had reported that the Henge and Community Shop both paid
      for the recycling bin for cardboard, but that it was frequently used by the public
      for other waste including dog faeces. The Chairman said that WC had ceased to
      provide separate bins for dog faeces and ordinary bins were now used for the
      purpose. Following the Chairman’s invitation to speak, Mr Wilding said he would
      be happy for a bin to be installed opposite the Henge Shop. Mr Wilding asked whether
      a bin might be required for Trusloe. Members felt there was not a sufficient
      problem with waste to warrant a bin there.
      Action: Members agreed the Chairman request WC to provide a bin for the
      High Street and press for it to be emptied three times a week. Proposed by Mr Daniel
      and seconded by Ms Service.
    3. High Street road surface: the Chairman confirmed parts of the High Street
      would be resurfaced on the 4th and 5th of June 2014
      (email previously circulated to members). Mrs Lewis asked how this might affect
      access to the Community Shop. The Chairman said visitors would still be able to
      access the shop. Dr Bedford asked if resurfacing work was due to take place at
      Beckhampton.
      Members noted that at the APC meeting on 6 May, Mr Howell had said
      WC would need to wait for Thames Water to re-lay sewage / storm drains prior to any
      resurfacing works in Beckhampton.
    4. NT Car Parking Fees: no further progress, but the Chairman would raise
      the issue at his next meeting.
    5. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelter: the Chairman reported no further
      progress. Action: The Chairman and Dr Bedford said they would look up some
      recommended suppliers so that a tendering process could be initiated.
    6. Footpath between the Waggon & Horses and Silbury Hill: the Chairman
      read out an email from Mr Michael Crook (WC) to Steve Leonard (WC Rights of Way
      Officer) that had been forwarded by Mr Howell. The email had requested a
      feasibility survey to be initiated.
    7. ‘Not suitable for motor vehicles’ warning sign on Windmill Hill: Members
      noted that the sign had been removed as part of the de-cluttering initiative and
      agreed no further action be taken as it was self-evident that the track was not
      suitable for normal vehicles.
    8. Drop kerb in Avebury Trusloe: The Chairman reported that the idea of
      installing a dropped kerb on the pavement at the junction with the A4361, to allow
      access for wheelchair users, raised safety issues and it would probably be better to
      explore the removal of railings across the footpath near the bus shelter.
  13. Communications: the Chairman reported that the May ‘Headlines’ had been
    included in UKN.
  14. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Posters for local area notice boards had been received from ‘Develop’
      – a charity that provided services to voluntary and community groups. The Clerk
      had posted the information on several notice boards.
    2. Race to the Stones 19 – 20 July 2014: exactly the same as last year.
      Email confirmation had been received that the event would be finishing at Rutland’s
      Farm and all signage would be removed post event by the organisers.
    3. Email from Wiltshire Commissioning Clinical Group: There was a public
      meeting on Thursday 29th May, 9:30am – 11:30am at Marlborough Town Hall about
      proposed changes to NHS services in Wiltshire over the next five years.
    4. Email: consultation process Wellington Primary Academy, Tidworth: comments
      had been invited for proposed structure of governance at new school. Members
      declined to comment as school was not within the Parish.
    5. Reminder: D-Day 70th Anniversary Celebrations Friday 6th
      June.
    6. Review of Local Transport Plan Car Parking Strategy (a pre-consultation
      phase with key stakeholders). Email from John Thomson (Deputy Leader WC) previously
      circulated to members. Action: members declined to provide feedback as
      there were no WC owned car parks in the Parish.
    7. Councillor training: WALC newsletter May 2014: Action: members
      interested to inform the Clerk.
    8. North Wessex Downs E-Bulletin May 2014 had included the following
      information:

      • Electricity cables buried at Alton Barnes: over 1km of overhead
        electricity cables had been undergrounded by SSE.
      • Conversion of agricultural buildings to new homes without the need for
        planning permission:
        The Government had now confirmed that planning permissions
        would still be needed for such conversions in National Parks and AONBs.
      • The Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) for 2014-15 was now open for new
        applications. SDF funding was aimed at supporting a range of projects that brought
        environmental, social and economic benefits to the North Wessex Downs AONB and
        contributed to the objectives of Natural England. Members did not know of any projects
        that would benefit.
    9. Email from the Police: Wiltshire Horse Watch Bulletin
    10. Email from WC: Briefing Note 188 Business Rates and Rates Relief
      Schemes
      : the Clerk had circulated the information to the Red Lion PH, the Henge
      Shop and the Community Shop. Action: Clerk also to email the Waggon & Horses
      PH.
    11. Salisbury Plain Newsletter June 2014: levels of military training on the Plain
      would increase significantly in June due to Armoured Units training.
    12. Email received from Mrs Susan Duck 14th May regarding poor state of
      Churchyard
      and particularly the graves. Clerk had forwarded email to Reverend Maria
      Shepherdson who confirmed she would be bringing the complaint to the attention of the
      PCC. The Clerk said the Church spent about £1000.00 per annum on grass cutting at St.
      James and that the individual families were responsible for managing their relatives’
      graves.
  15. Finance and admin:
    1. Annual Return 2013-2014. The Chairman tabled the Annual Return and read out
      Section 2 of the return (See Appendix 2). Members unanimously approved the Annual
      Return and resolved that the form be signed and returned. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded
      by Dr Bedford.
    2. Community First: Zurich Insurance Policy Renewal. The Clerk had previously emailed
      members with information relating the 3 year Long Term Agreement (LTA) and had confirmed that
      the penalty for breaking the contract was £75.00. Action: members resolved to
      accept the 3 year long Term Agreement at £1,025.35 per annum (fixed for three years).
      Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    3. IT and members’ email addresses: (response from Mrs Kate Fry previously circulated
      to members). The Clerk reported that it would be possible to set up individual member
      email addresses but this could not take place until Mrs Fry controlled the current
      domain and hosting package.
      Mr Ryder-Morris explained the benefits of having
      separate APC email addresses and the reasons for his original request.
    4. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid.
      1. Complete Weed Control: weed killing on Sports-field £282.00
      2. Membership of Community First: annual renewal £36.00
      3. Liz Moore: additional hours work in May + expenses £149.12
      4. Community First: annual insurance from 1 June 2014 £1,025.35

      Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris. Cheques signed by Dr Bedford and Mr Dixon.

  16. Date of next meeting: 7.30pm on Tuesday 1st July 2014.
  17. Any other business:
    1. Football Club: Mrs Lewis reported Mr Hinder had notified her that the Football
      Club would now be based at the Sports-field, and the Chairman invited him to speak. Mr Hinder said
      there was a problem with storage and asked about the procedure for putting up a shed (10ft x 10ft)
      on stone slabs. He had spoken to ASA who had referred him to APC. Action: Mr Dixon suggested
      Mr Hinder speak to Mr Fry (ACC) as they already had a shed on the Sports-field. Members also asked Mr
      Hinder to send in his request to APC in writing.
    2. Mr Hinder was also concerned about the length of grass on the Sports-field. The Clerk said
      ACC had taken over the new grass cutting contract from 1 June and therefore the new contract had only
      just got underway.
    3. West Kennett residents to adopt phone box: Mr Ryder-Morris reported the phone
      box at West Kennett did not work and was in a poor state of repair. Residents had therefore
      proposed they would adopt it for £1.00 and tidy it up.
    4. 1 Tonne Salt Bag for Bray Street: see item 6b. Ms Service requested that APC participate in
      the scheme for Bray Street and said she would like to ask people in Bray Street for ideas on where to
      house the salt bag. Mrs Lewis said she would take responsibility for including the Snow Plan in the
      Avebury Emergency Plan.

The meeting closed at 21:21

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

  1. Site visit report by Avebury Flood Group: 28 May 2014
  2. Sections 1-2 Annual Return 2013-2014