1 Apr 2014 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 1 April 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, MAB for Marlborough
Area Board, MADT for Marlborough Area Development Trust, 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 and Paul Ryder-Morris.

     
    In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton (items 1-13a) and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Mike Bedford, Keith Howell, Antoinette Kremer and Maggie Lewis.
  4. Declarations of interest: None.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 4 March 2014: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Daniel.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Avebury Day arrangements: (Minute ref 17a). Mr Daniel will contact Andrew Jack regarding MAB funding.
    2. Weed killing on Sports field: (Minute ref 17d). The Chairman reported Mr Dominic Fry would like the quotation from Complete Weed Control accepted.
    3. NT main car park fees: (Minute ref 17c). The Chairman reported no response from NT to
      letter sent by APC. Mrs Milton advised APC should also write to WHS Steering Committee, Mr John
      Thomson (WC Deputy Leader) and Mr Stuart Wheeler. Action: Members agreed Clerk and Chairman
      to draft a similar copy of letter sent to the NT and send to additional contacts as per Mrs
      Milton’s advice.
  7. Membership: Members unanimously voted in favour of co-opting Mr
    Ryder-Morris as a member of APC. Mr Ryder-Morris signed a declaration of acceptance
    of office witnessed by the Clerk and received a copy of APC’s code of conduct. The Clerk reported that WC
    had not yet advised whether an election would be called for the seat vacated by
    Karyn Pearson. Members agreed that discussion on co-option be postponed until
    next meeting.
  8. Planning applications and results:
    1. Felling one Corsican Pine at Fosse House, High Street: Ref: 14/03441/TCA. Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris.
    2. New Garden Wall along Church Walk at Bridge House, High Street: Ref: 14/02666/FUL. Plans were tabled and the Chairman reported that:
      1. A number of differing views had been expressed by members of the public.
      2. There appeared to be a mistake in the plans and it was not clear if the wall was to be built from the level of Church Walk or at the higher level of the garden of Bridge House. If the wall was built from the garden level, then this would make the wall higher than shown on the drawing.
      3. The NT had informally indicated that it might replace its close boarded fence on the opposite boundary with a lower barbed-wire fence that would reveal part of the garden in its grounds. This meant a very high wall might look out of place with the NT’s possible future design.

      Action: It was agreed that an on-site Planning Sub-Committee meeting be held on Saturday 12th April at 10:30am. The Chairman to invite all members.

    3. Results: Works to trees at Fosse House ref: 14/00225/TCA and at Truslow Manor ref: 06862/TCA had been approved by WC.
  9. Flood Group: In the absence of Mrs Maggie Lewis, the Chairman reported:
    1. Terms of Reference: postponed until next meeting.
    2. Jetting out High Street culvert: Mrs Lewis was chasing this and there was no further information to date.
    3. Beckhampton ditch: this had been partly dug out by WC Highways.
    4. Flood damage to Beckhampton road surface: WC had committed to resurfacing the road.
    5. Flood damage to Footpath 22 (Church Walk to Bray Street): potholes had been filled in.
    6. Green Street potholes: WC planned to fill in potholes soon.

    The Chairman highlighted that Becky Busby in WC was doing a very good job of managing the maintenance works.

    Mrs Milton reported that more homes were flooded in Wiltshire than in Somerset.

     
    Members discussed the merits of setting up the Flood Group as a Sub-Committee of APC
    and concluded to move forward with this because it would give the group direction.

    Action: the Clerk and Mrs Lewis to produce a draft Terms of Reference document for approval at next Council meeting.

  10. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: the Chairman reported:
    1. Speed review on A4361 by Harrington Court and six other Metro counts: Consultants
      Atkins had stated that they had already incorporated proposals into their report and that they
      would not require further evidence from a speed review in six locations. The Chairman reported
      he had not written to Mr Andrew Jack (CATG and MAB) but had spoken to him instead. It had been
      agreed that the WC briefing note advising against moving the 30mph speed limit should be put on
      hold.

      Action: Members decided to object to WC Highway’s briefing note and request it be amended as per the reasons outlined in the Chairman’s email (previously circulated to members). (See appendix 1).
    2. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: the Chairman had attended a Task and Finish Group with Atkins on 26 March. and that the overall theme of the guide was focussed on achieving tranquillity in the WHS. Objectives were as follows:
      1. prevent damage to the monuments
      2. Incorporate pedestrian cycle networks
      3. Reduce severance of WHS caused by the A4
      4. Manage visitor impact
      5. Support the needs of the community
      6. Sustainable travel
      7. Achieve buy in from stockholders

      The Chairman tabled plans showing Atkins’ preliminary ideas for possible works to the A4
      carriageway and specifically at West Kennett (appendices 2 and 3 respectively).

      Mr Ryder-Morris asked why 60mph was allowed in the WHS and Mrs Milton responded to say
      that WC had to go with Government guidelines. Mrs Milton emphasized that speed limits were
      not effective in slowing traffic and that changing the road itself, to make drivers slow down,
      was more effective. The Chairman said the Parish Traffic Plan requested a maximum ‘design speed’
      of 40mph for the WHS and that this had also been requested in the Design Guide. Mrs Milton
      advised that 40mph repeater signs would need to be used and this posed a problem as additional
      signage was not desirable in the WHS.

      Action: the Chairman proposed APC ask Atkins to sketch a scheme and conduct a study
      on the Beckhampton roundabout (similar to the West Kennett indicative sketch). The Chairman
      noted the budget from the previous year was available. (Note: APC has power to act under Local
      Government and Rating Act 1997, s.30). It was unanimously agreed the Chairman negotiate an
      arrangement with Atkins within a ceiling of £1,000. Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by
      Mr Dixon.

  11. Parking in Trusloe: work in progress. The Chairman reported he was waiting for a response from Mr John Thomson. Mrs Milton agreed to contact Mr Thomson. Map of Avebury Trusloe tabled.
  12. Marlborough Area Board and ‘What Matters to You’ Seminar: Mrs Milton reported the Seminar had looked at what was good about the area e.g. low crime, low obesity records and what was not so good. The objective was for WC to then focus on improving areas of concern. There were about 100 attendees in total.
  13. Local issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. Cessation of Balfour Beatty Living Places contract:The Clerk had received a letter dated 26 March 2014 from BBLP (letter tabled); to advise they would not be extending the grounds maintenance contract beyond May 2014. Members agreed this was very short notice. In discussion, members agreed to contact two possible suppliers and that the Clerk to contact WC for advice on a third. Action: Clerk to put on agenda for next meeting.
    2. Wiltshire Council grass cutting and maps: (previously circulated to members). The Chairman tabled grass cutting maps provided for comment by Wiltshire Council (appendix 4). The Chairman reported he had contacted WC to let them know the maps were incorrect. The Chairman had informed WC that an area marked blue on the Nursery Site in Trulsoe was largely private land and should be mown occasionally if possible, but WC should be mowing a green area roughly coinciding with the Play Area in its fortnightly plan. Mrs Milton said this area should be in their contract anyway.
    3. High Street road surface: some parts needed rectification and would most likely be resurfaced in May
    4. Repairs to Beckhampton Bus Shelter: the Chairman and Dr Bedford had yet to seek tenders.
    5. Request for dropped kerb on A4361 pavement at entrance to Trusloe: WC had been informed of this request
    6. Weed killing on Sports field: the Cricket Club had requested weed killing for a second year. ACC and ASA were happy fund one-third each as last year. Members questioned the need for this to occur annually but decided to agree to fund one-third for 2014 but not for next year. (Note: APC has power to act under Local Government {Miscellaneous Provisions} Act 1976, s.19). Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris. Action: Clerk to contact Dominic Fry (ACC) to let him know APC’s decision and then contact Complete Weed Control to accept quotation based on a figure of about £276.00 (as per year’s invoice).
  14. Communications: March headlines submitted to UKN and advert for forthcoming annual village meeting on 24 April.
  15. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon would be taking place on 4 May 2014.
    2. Visit Wiltshire 2014 Guides available to download at: www.visitwiltshire.co.uk
      The Chairman said Avebury was not featured in the guides on purpose and as part of the WHS strategy to key down promotion of Avebury.
    3. Email invitation from Claire Perry to Flood Support Forum 21 March in East Grafton. The Chairman reported Mrs Lewis had attended.
    4. CPRE Planning Seminar 31 March 8pm at Worton Village Hall.
    5. Email from WC ‘What Matters to You’ Seminar 31 March 6:30-9:30pm at Marlborough Town Hall.
    6. Salisbury Plain newsletter – email previously circulated to members.
    7. WC and public sector equality duty – email previously circulated to members.
    8. Hard copy received of WC Financial Plan 2014/15 Executive Summary. Tabled.
    9. St John’s Ambulance and NSPCC requests for a donation. The Chairman proposed APC consider charitable requests once a year due to the increasing number of requests for donations. Members agreed November would be a good time. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Daniel. Action: Clerk will write to both charities to advise their requests will be considered in November.
    10. Marlborough Downs Spring Celebration: 7.00pm Thursday 10 April
  16. Finance and admin:
    1. APC Website management: The Chairman reported that Mr Paul Birkeland-Green had said he would no longer be able to run the APC web site from the end of the month. The Chairman reported that Kate Fry would be willing to take on the job and had given an estimate of £320.00 (excluding VAT) per annum for the work. In discussion, members agreed that due to the relatively limited sum required, the emergency nature of the situation and because Mrs Fry had previously worked successfully on the report for the Avebury Traffic Plan that APC not seek three quotations but the Chairman negotiate only with Mrs Fry to minimise disruption to the service. (Note: APC agreed to waive its financial regulations relating to contracts). Unanimously agreed: proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris.
    2. Forthcoming internal and external Audit 2013-2014. The Clerk reported she was in receipt of the annual return and that the Council must approve the return including accounting statements by 30 June 2014.
    3. Community First: renewal of Zurich Insurance Policy Renewal 1st June 2014. The Clerk asked if there were any planned or special events that were likely to require cover. Action: Clerk to request three competitive insurance quotations on a like for like basis from three suppliers.
    4. A standing order was signed on 4 March 2014 for Clerk’s basic salary @£195.83 per month to be paid on the 26th of each month. Members unanimously agreed to ratify the signatures of Mr Dixon and the Chairman.
    5. Cheque received from ASA for Sportsfiled rent on 14/03/2014 for £50.00
    6. APC resolved to pay Balfour Beatty invoice up to Feb 14 and not to May 14 as per invoice. The Clerk reported pro-rata had been agreed with the supplier.
    7. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Ryder-Morris.
      1. NT Sportsfield Rent inc VAT: 30 Mar 2013 – 29 Mar 2014     £60.00
      2. Balfour Beatty: grass cutting inc VAT (June – Aug 2013)     £450.00
      3. Balfour Beatty: grass cutting inc VAT (Sept 13 – Feb 14)     £900.00

      Cheques signed by the Chairman and Mr Dixon.

  17. Annual Parish Meeting: Thursday 24 April. The Chairman asked if members had any items they wished to put on the agenda. Mr Ryder-Morris suggested getting Atkins to attend and report on the work being done on traffic calming. The Chairman said Atkins would be reporting at a meeting in June and therefore it might be premature to ask them to the Parish Meeting. APC could however report on an interim basis on Atkins’ work instead.
  18. Date of next meeting and formal AGM: 7.30pm on Tuesday 6 May 2014.
  19. Any other business: Mr Dixon reported the following issues had been brought to his attention:
    • Benches at Beckhampton and West Kennett require attention. Members will investigate.
    • Lamp number 8 (outside 6 Trusloe Cottages) not working. Action: Clerk will email Clarence.
    • Thatch at West Kennett Farm viewed as an eyesore. Members noted this was the responsibility of the NT.
  20. The meeting closed at 21:22

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

  1. Email to Mr Andrew Jack (CATG)
  2. Atkins’ preliminary plans for A4
  3. Atkins’ sketch of A4 at West Kennett
  4. WC grass cutting maps for the Parish of Avebury