4 Feb 2014 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 4 February 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: 19:30 

  1. Public question time:One member of the public was present
  1. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mike Bedford (Vice Chairman), Antoinette Kremer, Keith Howell, Mike Daniel and Paul Dixon
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk)
  1. Apologies for absence:Councillors Maggie Lewis and Karyn Pearson.
  1. Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest (except later at item 19b).
  1. Minutes of meeting held on 3 December 2013:Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mike Bedford and seconded by Antoinette Kremer.
  1. Matters arising from the minutes: None
  1. Membership:The Chairman reported Wiltshire Council had confirmed that APC could co-opt a member to replace Judy Miller. Expressions of interest had been received from Mr Paul Ryder-Morris and Mr Terry Dobney, both from West Kennett.The Chairman also reported that Mrs Karyn Pearson had written to resign as an existing Parish Councillor because she was moving to Calne. The Chairman read out Mrs Pearson’s letter, in which she noted that a resident of Avebury Trusloe might be interested in becoming a member of APC. Members felt Mrs Pearson had made many valuable contributions to APC’s work and expressed sadness at losing her.

    It was agreed that APC co-opt one member, and give notice to WC of a new casual vacancy so that electors could request an Election.

    Action: After discussion, members agreed that the Chairman contact Mr Ryder-Morris to offer him the position and that the Clerk inform WC of the casual vacancy arising from Karyn Pearson’s resignation.

  1. Planning applications:
    1. Work to trees at Avebury Manor: ref: 14/00887/TCA. All members agreed to support the application. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mr Dixon.
    2. Members unanimously ratified their decision, previously agreed by email, not to comment on three applications, for a garden room at Beckhampton House ref: 13/06618/LBC, works to trees at Fosse House ref: 14/00225/TCA and works to trees at Truslow Manor ref: 06862/TCA). Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mr Howell.
    3. The Chairman reported that planning permission for a grain store at Windmill Hill Corner had been given by WC subject to conditions, including one that a bund not be constructed.Mrs Kremer reported that there were many potholes in the road to Windmill Hill Corner. Action:Chairman to contact WC.
  1. Flooding, and formation of a Flood Group:The Chairman reported that a successful meeting had taken place on 27 January between Andy Theaker of the Environment Agency and about 14 local people including the three main riparian landowners. The first meeting of the Avebury Parish Flood Group would take place at 7.00pm on the 4 March. This meeting would be open to all and would determine ‘who does what’. Renate Malton (WC Project Officer) would be in attendance.Mr Howell stated that WC’s Health and Hygiene Department should be called to take a reading of water purity of surcharging drains at Beckhampton. Members agreed and Mr Howell to action.
  1. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide: The Chairman stated he had attended a meeting on the 30 January of the Task and Finish Group for this project and that he had emphasised APC’s priorities. The main headings in the first draft of the Guide had been completed by Atkins.Evidence from WC’s Metro Counts showed that the 85th percentile of cars were travelling at speeds of 55.5mph on the A4 beside Silbury Hill, at 55.3mph at the brow at Sanctuary and at 33.8mph on the A4361 in the Henge between the Red Lion and Avebury Club. The Chairman said the 85th percentile meant that 15% of cars were travelling faster than these speeds. In discussion, members felt that whilst 85th percentile speeds on the A4 was not breaking the 60 mph speed limit at these points, the Metro count evidence did not challenge whether 60 mph was a desirable speed limit. Given the numbers of WHS visitors crossing the A4, and the interests of local residents, employers and employees, it was important that recommendations in the Parish’s Traffic Plan for lower design speeds be incorporated in the WHS Strategy.

    Dr Bedford said that before Christmas he had carried out a random speed count on the A4 at the Waggon and Horses PH, Beckhampton and reported average speeds of 45 mph. Mr Dixon asked what evidence had been gathered for the Swindon Road and the Chairman reported that the count on the A4361 at Rawlins Park had not yet been completed due to a technical issue with the counter. The Chairman had contacted WC to report this.

    Mr Howell reported that police were using speed guns from the entrance of the Avebury Club and said that this was a waste of manpower as cars slowed down at the bend.

    Action: Next meeting of the Task and Finish Group would be in two months’ time and the Chairman would forward members a copy of the next draft of the Guide.

  1. Parking in Trusloe:the Chairman reported that Karen Kelleher, representing Trusloe residents, and he had met with AHA’s Land Efficiency Officer and Annette Gilbert on the 31 January. The Chairman tabled a plan of Trusloe (see Appendix 1). AHA had agreed to investigate five possibilities. These were:
    1. Option 1: AHA to provide parking on land in its ownership, outlined in blue on the plan. This would depend on WC consent to convert the footpath to the south of 1 Trusloe Cottages to use by vehicles, and possibly the acquisition of a narrow parallel strip of land from a private landowner to the south to provide adequate width.
    2. Option 2: AHA would hope to acquire a 20 foot wide strip to link its land to APC’s play area with a view to providing parking. AHA also wished to provide plots for about two low cost homes for local people.
    3. Option 3: The possibility of a partnership scheme between AHA, the private landowner, APC, WC and local residents. This could produce a comprehensive solution for the whole Nursery Site and could bring benefits for all.
    4. Option 4: AHA would consider financing and building a parking lay-by of about four spaces outside 5 and 6 Trusloe Cottages if WC would adopt it long term.
    5. Option 5: AHA would also consider providing two or three extra spaces in Longfields on the same basis.Members noted that a number of residents had been keen to put money into a partnership scheme to provide more parking. Members also agreed that APC would as a general principle wish to facilitate a project if it were in the interests of residents and the Parish, and that APC would be prepared to consider a land swap as part of a partnership scheme.

      Action: members agreed the Chairman write to the Deputy Leader of Wiltshire Council, Cllr John Thomson, to request that WC to agree to:

      1. the conversion of sections of footpaths to allow vehicular use
      2. the adoption of possible new parking areas outside 5/6 Trusloe Cottages and Longfields and
      3. the possible use of Compulsory Purchase Orders to facilitate Options a, b, and c above.
  1. Free Community WiFi:email update by Mrs Lewis previously circulated to members. Two hubs were already operating in the Henge Shop and two more were now working in the NT’s gift shop and cafe. The technicalities of installing three more – in the NT’s Study Centre, the Antiques Shop and in the Manor – were being explored. An eighth had been agreed by the Community Shop and the Chairman reported the Rev Maria Shepherdson had requested the church be considered as a further site.
  1. High Speed Broadband:the Chairman stated he had now heard that Avebury was not in the first phase of the fibre optics rollout. It was likely that high speed broadband for Avebury would not be introduced until the summer of 2015.
  1. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelter:The Chairman had previously circulated a schedule of repairs drawn up by Ron Dobson. Action: members unanimously agreed that three or more suppliers be invited to tender. The Chairman and Dr Bedford to action.
  1. Local issues:the Chairman reported:
    1. Wassail event 11 January 2014:successful event and over 200 people had attended.
    2. Chair of WHS Partnership Panel:the post had been accepted by Alistair Sommerlad.
    3. High Street Culvert:Jetting of the culvert at the end of the High Street was still work in progress.
    4. Connect2 Bus Service:Dr Bedford reported the service was not working properly and he would follow this up.
  1. Communications:the Chairman reported:
    1. Mr Dominic Fry had emailed about installing a new gate between the Sportsfield and the Glebe Field south of the Pavilion. The Chairman reported that Jenny Haines had no objection on behalf of ASA. Action: no objection.
    2. A letter of thankshad been received from Upper Kennet Churches’ Benefice Council for APC’s donation of £200. Rev Maria Shepherdson had reported that 46 people in 14 families had been helped by the Appeal so far.
    3. Annual contribution to UKN:members agreed to contribute £100 to UKN for publishing APC’s notices and adverts during 2013. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mr Daniel.
    4. TheGood Neighbour Coordinator scheme operated by Community First had requested a grant of £100. Letter tabled. Members unanimously agreed to give £100 to support the scheme as it was a local service. Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Daniel.
    5. Request from Victim Support for funding.Letter tabled. Members agreed the Parish was a low crime area and the Good Neighbour Coordinator scheme was a more relevant service. All agreed against funding this year. 
  1. Correspondence: the Clerk reported a poster had been received advertising the NCT Nearly New Sale at St. John’s School on Sunday 2 March 2014.
  1. Chairman’s action and information: 
    1. The Chairman and Dr Bedford reported that the play area’sswings’ bolts appeared to be tight, with one exception, and the swings clean. However they would both do a physical check at the weekend.
    2. Half year internal audit: postponed to 6 February 2014.
  1. Finance and admin:
    1. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid:
      1. Upper Kennet News: annual contribution: £100.00
      2. Community First: donation to the Good Neighbours Scheme: £100.00                 Cheques signed by the Chairman and Mr Dixon.
    2. For the avoidance of doubt, the Chairman declared that he had recently bought a builder’s bag of firewood for personal use from the National Trust for £73.50, including 5% VAT.
    3. The Clerk would be returning to work on 1 March 2014.
  1. Date of next meeting:7.30pm on Tuesday 4 March 2014. The first meeting of the Avebury Parish Flood Group would be held beforehand at 7:00pm.
  1. Any other business: Clerk to put on agenda for next meeting rules regarding Councillors duties in respect of attending meetings.
  1. The meeting closed at 21:02 

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

  1. Plan of Trusloe Cottages and Longfields