4 Mar 2014 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 4 March 2014 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AR for Avebury Rocks, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EA for Environment Agency, 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: 19:43 

  1. Public question time:One member of the public was present. There were no questions asked.
  1. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Antoinette Kremer, Keith Howell, Maggie Lewis, Mike Daniel and Paul Dixon
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk) and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton (items 1-12).
  1. Apologies for absence:Councillor Dr Mike Bedford
  1. Declarations of interest: Mr Dixon declared an interest (item 17b).
  1. Minutes of meeting held on 4 February 2014:Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mr Dixon.
  1. Matters arising from the minutes: None
  1. Membership:The Chairman reported Mr Paul Ryder-Morris had given his apologies. As per the Clerk’s advice, APC would formally co-opt Mr Ryder-Morris at the next Council meeting.
    The Chairman reported that the notice for an additional casual vacancy on the Parish Council had been displayed on APC’s notice-boards that day. The vacancy had also been publicised in ‘Headlines’ and an advert was in UKN. A member noted the possible interest of a local resident but the Chairman recommended that APC should only consider possible members once WC had advised whether an election would be called.
  1. Planning applications: none
  1. Flooding, and formation of a Flood Group:Mrs Lewis reported the first meeting of the Avebury Parish Flood Group had successfully taken place that day. Twenty-five people, including Renate Malton (WC Project Officer), had been in attendance. The next meeting would be on the 8th April. Mrs Milton asked APC to liaise with other parish councils to inform them of any planned works and Mrs Lewis agreed to contact East Kennett Parish Meeting and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council.
  1. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: the Chairman reported:
    1. A4361 Speed limit review for 30mph zone: A response to APC’s request for a speed limit review on Swindon Road had been received in the form of a briefing note from WC (tabled and previously emailed to members). The Chairman stated that if Highways adhered to Department for Transport national guidance it would be difficult for APC to achieve its goals. Members noted there was no consideration in the note that Avebury was a WHS and agreed to reject it. Mrs Milton said APC should request consultants Atkins to commission a Metro Count to secure evidence. Action:as per Mrs Milton’s advice, the Chairman to write to Mr Andrew Jack (CATG and MAB) to object to the briefing note and cc Mr John Thomson (WC).
    2. Metro counts:the Chairman tabled a Metro Count request form and reported that he and Mike Bedford had identified seven locations for Metro Counts in the Parish. Members discussed where to site them and agreed: 1. Harrington Court (A4361 at Rawlins Park) 2. West Kennett (between the Avenue and Gunsite Lane) 3. Beckhampton (on the A4 to Calne) 4. Beckhampton (on the A361 to Devizes, 100 metres west of bus shelter) 5. A4361 near Nash Lane 6. A4 to the east of the Waggon and Horses and 7. The junction on the A4361 at Trusloe. Action: the Chairman to request at the next Task and Finish Group meeting with Atkins and to ensure the above is raised as an issue with MAB.
    3. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: next Task and Finish Group 26 March.
  1. Parking in Trusloe:the Chairman reported he was awaiting a response from Mr John Thomson. See letters to John Thomson dated 14 February 2014 (appendix 1) and to Julian Paine dated 5 November 2013 (appendix 2).
  1. Free Community WiFi:Mrs Lewis reported that five hubs and two repeaters were now in operation. Two were located in the Henge Shop and one each in the Community Shop, the NT’s office (as a short-term solution, with the aim to get the hub into Avebury Manor), the NT’s gift shop, Coach House and Circles Cafe.
    Mrs Lewis said the public could log on for 20 minutes at a time or purchase an annual pass for £10.00 that would give unlimited use. The pass could be bought from the Marlborough Area Development Trust.
    Members discussed other locations and agreed that APC might approach Circle Nursery in phase two. The Chairman said Avebury Club was interested; Mrs Lewis agreed it would be an ideal position but stated the Henge might block a signal and therefore a hub might not work at that location.
  1. Community Infrastructure Levy and Neighbourhood Plans:Members had a preliminary discussion and noted that the Parish would receive payments of 25% of the Community Infrastructure Levy charged on new developments if it had a ‘Neighbourhood Plan’ in place, or 15% if it did not. Action: APC agreed to discuss this again in six months’ time.
  1. Countryside Access Improvement Plan consultation: (consultation document previously emailed to members). The Chairman stated that there was no reference to the WHS in the plan. Action:members agreed APC support the submission on behalf of the WHS by Beth Thomas, Stonehenge WHS Officer, and also request that APC be represented and formally consulted on future changes.
  1. Local issues:the Chairman reported:
    1. High Street Culvert:Jetting of the culvert at the end of the High Street had not been done despite Atkins and Balfour Beatty contacting Mr Danny Everett. Action: Mrs Lewis to ask Renate Malton (WC Project Officer) to raise this.
    2. High Street road surface:The Chairman had contacted WC Highways about faults in the new road surface. He had met a surveyor from Atkins who would be arranging for the contractor to rectify the faults.
    3. Transport Group membership. Members noted Dr Bedford had sent an email to Mr Rob Macaire to invite him to join the Transport Group.
    4. Corrugated iron barn on the track to Windmill Hill:A large part of this barn had blown over the road to Windmill Hill and into Mr Robin Butler’s field in the recent high winds. The Chairman had rung David White who had demolished part of the barn on behalf of Hibberd Farming.
    5. Best Kept Village Competition: members agreed that there was no need for Avebury, Trusloe, West Kennett or Beckhampton to enter the competition this year.
    6. Paths for Communities funding:Mr Howell reported no further progress.
    7. Repairs to Beckhampton Bus Shelter:the Chairman and Dr Bedford had yet to seek tenders.
  1. Communications:none
  1. Correspondence: the Chairman reported:
    1. Avebury Day arrangements. A letter had been received from Mr Dominic Fry requesting APC acknowledge arrangements for Avebury Day.The letter was tabled and the Chairman read out the schedule for the event. The event would be on Saturday 13 September 2014 at 12.30 with a marquee on the Sports Field. The schedule set out Thursday 11th September for the set-up and Sunday 14th September for the marquee removal. The Chairman invited Mr Daniel and Mrs Paradise to report. Mr Daniel (APC’s Avebury Day representative) reported a few more recruits had been enlisted for the Avebury Day Committee including Mr Jonathan Guest. Mrs Paradise said it was important to get local business involved and confirmed the Red Lion would be supplying fish and chips. Members noted APC had earmarked £250.00 for this revived and traditional event and that funding might also be available from MAB as it had been for the Jubilee.
      Action: Mr Daniel to investigate possible funding from MAB.
    2. Grants for St James’ Church: The Chairman read out aletter received from Reverend Maria Shepherdson requesting financial assistance for three projects. In discussion, members noted that APC had recently contributed £200.00 to the Upper Kennet Churches’ Council for its Winter Appeal, that APC’s funds were limited and that APC needed to balance its use of funds throughout the whole community. While sympathising with the requests for donations, members decided against making grants for the three projects but made the following points:
      –     Solstice Arts and Crafts Fair 2014: it might be possible to charge exhibitors a small pitch fee and, say, a 10% levy on sales over £100.
      –     Notice Board: the Parish Council already owned four notice-boards, some of which were in a worse condition than St James’. It appeared that St James’ notice-board could be repaired.
      –     Heating: Some members were surprised the church received no help or assistance from the diocese or the Church of England nationally. Members suggested it might be possible to include a levy where people wished to use the church for functions.
      Action: the Chairman to write to the St James on behalf of APC to decline assistance this time and outline the points above.
    3. National Trust main car park fees: letter received that day and tabled. Eleanor Eaton (NT Visitor Services Manager) had written to advise the all-day NT parking fee in Avebury would be increased from £5.00 to £7.00. (£4.00 after 15:00 hours), effective from 1 April. The Chairman observed that as the letter had been received that day there had been little time for any members of the public to comment. In discussion members deemed the increase unacceptable and that short-term stay should be accommodated for. Action:the Clerk to put the item on the agenda for APC’s next meeting so that the views of local people could be taken into account. In the meantime the Chairman to write to the NT to advise that decisions to increase parking fees should have awaited the publication of the WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide in the next few months and that special rates for short-stay parking be introduced.
    4. Unsolicited quotation for weed killing on Sports field: members agreed to pass the letter to the Cricket Club. Chairman to action.
      The Clerk reported:
    5. A letter of thanks had been received from Community First for APC’s donation of £100.00.
    6. Active Wiltshire website: a poster had been received advertising WC’s new web site promoting sport, physical activity and health across the county. See: www.activewiltshire.org.uk.
  1. Finance and admin:
    1. RoSPA and play area inspection:the Chairman reported the swing bolts had been fixed by Mr Martin Rendle without charge. One of the swing seats had also needed correction and was now level again.
    2. Half year internal audit: the Chairman and Clerk confirmed this had beencompleted satisfactorily.
    3. The Chairman recommended that a note dated 28 November 2013 on the Parish Council’s Reserve Fundand relating to item 9 of the minutes of the Parish Council’s meeting on 3 December 2013 be included as appendix 3 to the minutes of the current meeting. The note had been omitted from the December 2013 appendix and as per the Clerk’s advice could not now be added to those minutes but could be added to the March minutes appendix instead. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Howell and unanimously agreed.
    4. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
      1. Clerk’s pay in lieu of holiday entitlement:                                £226.00
      2. Clerk’s pay for February and expenses (for work
        undertaken for February meeting and minutes only):           £75.03

Cheques signed by the Chairman and Mr Dixon.

  1. Dates for the Annual Parish Meeting scheduled for Thursday 24thApril 2014 at 7pm and APC’s AGM for Tuesday 6th May 2014 at 7:30pm. Both meetings at the Social Centre, Avebury. Action:Clerk to arrange for adverts to be submitted to UKN and Clerk to book the Social Centre.
  1. Date of next meeting:7.30pm on Tuesday 1 April 2014.
  1. Any other business: none
  1. The meeting closed at 21:23

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

  1. Letter to Mr John Thomson dated 14 February 2014
  2. Letter to Mr Julian Paine dated 5 November 2013
  3. Note on Parish Council’s Reserve Fund dated 28 November 2013 (relating to item 9 of 3 December 2013 minutes).