2 Jul 2013 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of a meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on the 2nd July 2013 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, AR for Avebury Rocks, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, F&WO for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, 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 but no questions were asked.
  1. Present:  Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman and Acting Clerk), Mr Michael Bedford (Vice Chairman), Mr Paul Dixon, Mr Keith Howell, Mrs Antoinette Kremer, Mrs Judy Miller and Mrs Karyn Pearson
  1. In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor, Mrs Jemima Milton
  1. Apologies: Councillors Mr Mike Daniel and Mrs Maggie Lewis
  1. Declarations of interest: None, except later under item 8a.
  1. Minutes of meeting held on 4thJune 2013 were unanimously agreed as an accurate record.  Proposed Keith Howell, seconded Karyn Pearson
  1. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Small car park in the High Street(item 6a) The Chairman reported that he had arranged to meet Eleanor Eaton on the 10th July to agree usage of the small car park.
  1. Planning applications: Three had been received:
    1. Kitchen extension at 25 Trusloe Cottages (ref 13/00925). Karyn Pearson declared interest as she currently worked with the daughter of the applicant.
    2. First floor extension at Westbrook, Bray Street(ref 13/01059) to extend a lower floor wing to insert a biochip hopper for a wood burner and add a bedroom above.
    3. Fell a Lawsonia tree at Westbrook, Bray Street (ref 13/01233)
      It was unanimously agreed that all three be supported: Proposed Antoinette Kremer, seconded Karyn Pearson.
  1. Solstice review: 
    1. Keith Howell reported that a campervan had been parked in Beckhampton beside the bend at bottom of the stairs to Waggon and Horses. This could prevent long farm traffic from negotiating the bend and thus entering the village from the nearby access point from the A4. First noted on Thursday morning and reported to police at Avebury. The van had not moved by the evening, and was still there early Friday morning.  It eventually left in the afternoon of the Friday.  It was agreed it would be useful to write to the police to say that no response had been received about the complaint, and that it would also be valuable to request that there should be cones in this area next year.
    2. Keith Howell noted that Overton Hill car park had been heavily camped and a large amount of rubbish had been left from Friday till the next Thursday.
    3. The Chairman reported general feedback that Solstice had been quieter than last year:
      1. The Police had felt the event had passed off pretty well.  They had made two arrests, one for drugs and one of an individual for being drunk and disorderly.
      2. The Red Lion had had few problems and no apparent problems from the opening of the National Trust’s burger bar overnight
      3. Beryl Greenaway had rung to say that a good job had been done at West Kennett.  All camper vans on the Ridgeway were gone by 21st.  She had also been pleased that ‘Lay-by closed’ signs had been placed at each end of the lay-by and that they had been effective.
      4. The Community Shop had reported that Solstice had apparently been quieter than in 2012.  The NT’s burger bar had probably helped to reduce drunkenness by providing food and soft drinks.
      5. The Avebury Club had reported that Solstice had been very peaceful.  They would be reconsidering whether to sell food next year.
      6. Manor Farm had had about eight people camping in their field east of the Henge and two more in their field south of the Avebury Club.  The Ridgeway had been cleared quickly.
      7. The National Trust had felt the event had been quieter than in 2012.  While the informal camp site and the Ridgeway had been full, the overflow car park in the Manor grounds had not been brimful. There had however been more cars seeking parking after the King’s Drummers event and the closure of the overflow car park and that they had had to be waved on.  St John’s Ambulance had dealt with two cases.
      8. The Lodge had reported that Solstice had not had an impact
      9. The Henge Shop thought that noisiness went on longer into the night but the impact, if any, of the burger bar was unclear.  Bylaws on street trading on the High Street and Green Street had not been policed and some people had sold little paintings etc.
    4. Paul Dixon noted there had been no police presence at Rawlins Park and private security was hired instead.  It was agreed that a police presence be requested for 2014.
    5. It was agreed that the Parish Council:
      1. Write to thank the Police, the National Trust and Wiltshire Council for their investment of time and money in managing Solstice.
      2. Emphasise that Solstice would fall on a Friday/Saturday in 2014 and that the event might be more popular in Avebury than in 2013.  The impact of the new visitor centre at Stonehenge was also an unknown factor at present.
      3. Request Police action on points 9a and 9d above.
  1. Transport Group Report:
    1. Village Traffic Plan:
      1. It was unanimously agreed that the Village Traffic Plan dated 19 June 2013 be formally adopted.  It incorporated priorities for action and that the next step was to talk to Wiltshire Council, Aster Housing, the National Trust and the Police.  Proposed Mike Bedford, seconded Keith Howell.
      2. Jemima Milton was currently arranging a meeting with John Thompson (Deputy Leader of Wiltshire Council) and Parvis Khansari (Service Director, Highways and Transport) for APC to present the Plan.  Meetings with Aster Housing and the Police would also be arranged with suitable contacts. Issues for the National Trust were more focused on signage.
      3. The High Street was soon to be re-surfaced.  This could give an opportunity for improvements, including the introduction of more stone setts and changed kerb lines.
    2. WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide:  The parking count had been completed for the busy day.  A count on a quiet day was still needed.
    3. Parking in Trusloe: A meeting called by local resident Karen Kelleher had been attended by about 20 people in June.  It had been generally agreed that all tenants and owners on Aster’s estate at Trusloe should be invited to a meeting to address the lack of parking, and access to some houses, at 7pm on Monday 8th July in Mr Butler’s Barn opposite the nursery site. All councillors welcome.
    4. Application for licence: five trees and a hedge at West Kennett lay-by Wiltshire Council had emailed the Parish Council to seek its views on an application by Mrs Macaire at West Kennett House for a licence to plant five fruit trees and a beech hedge on the grass area between the A4 and the lay-by at West Kennett.
      It was agreed the Parish Council object to the proposal for the following reasons:

      1. Members were disappointed that the applicant had not consulted neighbouring households, and that although the Parish Council had consulted widely when drafting its Community Traffic Plan, it had not been consulted either.
      2. Members noted the views of local residents.  The Parish Council had given copies of Wiltshire Council’s email for information and comment to the other five neighbouring households beside the lay-by.  Four of the five households had raised questions, and three had objected to the proposal.
      3. The concerns of residents included:
        • uncertainty as to the purpose of the proposal
        • restricted sight lines
        • increased and more complex maintenance requirements (since currently there is a simple Council contract to mow grass) which would fall to the licence holder but may not be attended to regularly.  Without regular maintenance, the area would deteriorate visually.
        • maintenance liabilities not being honoured in the longer term after the licensee had moved house.
        • an undesirable change in the feel of the area, to more of a town park rather than a rural area.
        • possible damage by tree roots to underlying archaeology, West Kennett Avenue being an important guardianship monument.
      4. Members of the Parish Council thought the idea was not congruent with the basic philosophy of the Avebury Traffic Plan.  The Plan aimed to improve driver behaviour by increasing a sense of place in settlements and giving drivers ‘clues’ (such as houses, phone kiosks, notice-boards and other street furniture) that there might be inhabitants in the area.  Drivers would therefore slow down.  Members felt that the trees and hedge would, however, actually hide or partially obscure some dwellings and other features, and would make the area look less inhabited. This would encourage more relaxed driver behaviour and was not desirable.
      5. Planting trees and a hedge at West Kennett lay-by was not in the Avebury Traffic Plan.
      6. Members noted that Wiltshire Council’s standard licence conditions could allow the applicant with written consent to install one-metre high black and white marker posts along the verge.  This would be very unattractive in a World Heritage Site.
      7. Members did not know whether a licence might confer further rights now or in the future for the licensee to use the land in other ways, and that such uses might be inappropriate in West Kennett or the World Heritage Site.It was unanimously agreed that APC write to Wiltshire Highways to reflect the concerns of both local people and the Parish Council, and to object to a licence being issued.  It was also agreed that the Chairman circulate a draft of the text to members for comment.  Proposed by Paul Dixon and seconded by Keith Howell.
  1. Community Emergency Plan: The Chairman reported that Maggie Lewis had completed the plan.  It would be brought to APC’s next meeting for adoption.
  1. Paths for Communities Funding:  Keith Howell reported that Michael Crook (WC) was due back on the 8 July when a feasibility meeting would be arranged.  He would circulate members with the date so that they could also attend.
  1. Local issues 
    1. Dogs in Trusloe. An incident on 27 June had been reported to APC which involved an attack by dogs in Trusloe on two small dogs being walked by a passerby with a young child.  Police had been contacted and would deal with the incident. A previous attempt to contact the Wiltshire Council dog warden related to an earlier incident with these same dogs but had failed to get any response. It was agreed that this needed to be addressed as soon as possible as the incident noted above could have been avoided.
    2. Playground – replacement / refurbishment of see-saw. Karyn Pearson had analysed the survey forms.  54 had been completed, of which 20 households had suggested removal of the see-saw and replacement with a cheaper option.  A further 18 had suggested it be replaced with a slide.  Only nine people had suggested refurbishment and three had requested a new see-saw.  Other ideas included benches, roundabouts, fencing, litter bins and a place to tie dogs up. Agreed that Karyn Pearson would write up the results of the survey and circulate them before APC’s next meeting when members would consider removal of the see-saw and what to replace it with.
    3. Good Neighbour Scheme. Scheme to identify vulnerable elderly people in the community and get neighbours to help. Agreed that Lucy Hawkins of Community First be invited to APC’s meeting on 1 October.
  1. Communications.  May and June ‘Headlines’ had been placed in July’s UKN.
  1. Correspondence.  None
  1. Chairman’s action and information. None
  1. Finance and admin including: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be drawn:
    • Avebury Social Centre: rental for APC meetings                    £  21.00
    • Wiltshire Council: grass cutting in April and May                    £301.18
  1. Date of next meeting: 7.30pm on Tuesday 3rdSeptember 2013
  1. Any other business 
    1. Jemima Milton reported that a Marlborough Area Board meeting would be held on planning applications at 7.00pm on 16 July at Marlborough Town Hall.  All welcome.
    2. The Chairman reported that Liz Moore had had a baby boy, Henry, born on 21 June, Solstice day

Appendix (included in book of Parish Council papers)

Appendix 1: Avebury Parish Traffic Plan dated 19 June 2013