18 May 2017 Ordinary Council Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Thursday 18 May 2017 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, EH for English Heritage, FWO for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, SSE for Scottish and Southern Electric, URC for United Reform Church, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Started: 19:16

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Dave Brotheridge (left the meeting part way through item 9), Mr Jon Campbell, Mr Terence O’Connor (from part way through item 9), Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Mr Stephen Stacey and Ms Zandria Service. In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies: Wiltshire Councillor Jane Davies.
  4. Declarations of interest: Mrs Paradise declared she was married to a member of the Avebury and District Club’s Committee that had put in a planning application for work to trees (see item 10.c). Declarations of interest were also received later under item 10.b. from Mr Williamson who said he was also Chairman of the Avebury WHS Steering Group.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 2 May 2017: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Mr Stacey. The confidential meeting minutes under item 6 on NT relations and item 13 on ACSReC lease were accepted as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Item 10.a. Emma’s Country Kitchen: the Clerk read out Mrs Jan Tomlin’s (General Manager, Wiltshire Landscape) email response that declined a meeting with APC on the basis of client confidentiality. In discussion members asked why the NT had not given APC a prior ‘heads up’ of their plans and it was noted that a meeting need not be confidential. It was agreed that the Clerk respond to Mrs Tomlin to state there may have been a misunderstanding as members were not necessarily requesting a meeting with the NT’s client, simply a meeting with the NT to put forward the community’s views.
    2. Item 10.b. driving at 30 mph: the Chairman said the request for residents to drive at 30 mph or less in the 30mph limit area would be going into UKN. The aim was to change driver behaviour of others to keep within the speed limit.
    3. Item 10.c: the Chairman reported he had spoken to Martin Cook of WC highways about parking restrictions in the High Street. The current planters’ scheme was the only option short of a full residents’ parking scheme.
    4. Item 14.d: Replacement planter: thanks were expressed to the Paradise family for collecting and replanting the planter in the High Street.
  7. Membership: Members discussed co-option to the remaining seat on the Parish Council and it was agreed by all that Dr Mike Bedford be invited to re-join. It was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Ms Service to co-opt Dr Bedford to the Parish Council. Carried unanimously.
  8. National Trust update, dialogue and progress: The Chairman stated that in view of the confidential nature of the business that was about to be transacted in this item and the next on the Coach House toilets it was advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded. Proceedings recorded in a confidential minute up to and including item 9.
  9. Improving opening hours of Coach House toilets including:
    1. trial period and lease agreement
    2. extending MAB grant period
  10. Planning:
    1. NT request for informal advice on new gates at the Manor: the Chairman tabled the documentation provided by Ms Catherine Hosie (NT Estates Manager) and additionally reported he had emailed Ms Hosie to clarify two points. Mrs Paradise read out the covering letter sent by the NT to APC. In discussion members noted the plan included replacement of six solid wood gates to be installed in the Manor Garden and it was agreed everyone was happy with the NT’s proposal. Action: APC to write to Ms Hosie to confirm there were no questions from the Parish Council.
    2. Mobile phone mast in WHS behind The Bell PH. Ref 17/03498/PNTEL: Mr Campbell stated he had experience working in the industry and advised more masts would be needed to provide a service in dips in the landscape. Both he and Mrs Paradise felt the mast was progress and there was a need for some compromises especially as there was no signal along that stretch of the A4, which meant that telephone and conference calls simply disconnected. Mr Stacey pointed out that SSE had gone to great lengths and costs a few years ago to bury the electricity cables to enhance the landscape at Overton Hill. In discussion members agreed it was important to have better telephone signals but to request that the provider bear in mind the sensitivity of the site and explore all other possible options. Action: APC to respond to the National Infrastructure Consultation to request that the applicant review the location of the proposed mast and explore all possible alternative sites that would maximise mobile phone signals for West Kennett, Beckhampton, Avebury, Avebury Trusloe and the A4, and minimise visual impacts on the World Heritage Site in line with local plans.
    3. Work to trees in a Conservation Area to fell 3 Sycamore trees at Avebury and District Club. Ref: 17/04520/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. It was resolved to support the application without conditions. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
  11. Housing Needs Survey: deferred to 6 June meeting.
  12. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis reported the installation of the defibrillator on the outside of the Social Centre was booked for early June (5 June for the electrical works) and members agreed they would explore funding a defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe. The Chairman reported that local postman Mr Mick Moylan had given a donation of £100 for use towards the defibrillator in the High Street or for one in Avebury Trusloe. Members were very grateful for his generosity and signed a thank-you card for him.
  13. ACSReC: Members discussed future leasing options. Item deferred to next meeting.
  14. Local issues: the Chairman reported the Parish Steward had strimmed the grass on footpath 22 and members noted the grass highway verges in Beckhampton and West Kennett had been cut to a high standard. Mr Campbell reported the footpath running next to his house at 1 Trusloe Cottages needed strimming and Mrs Paradise said the verges in Frog Lane were also in need of attention. Action: Clerk to log requests on WC on-line system. Mr Campbell and Ms Service additionally reported two separate health and safety issues in Avebury Trusloe regarding tree branches overhanging SSE power cables along a footpath next to AHA land and along Bray Street. It was agreed Mr Campbell email the Clerk with further details and a letter be sent to either AHA or SSE.
  15. Communications: none
  16. Correspondence: the Clerk reported a thank you email (previously circulated to members) had been received from local resident Mrs Kathy Hole for the replacement panel in the Swindon Road bus stop.
  17. Finance and admin including:
    1. Quotations for Parish Council insurance renewal due 1 June 2017 (previously circulated to members). It was noted three quotations had been received ranging from approximately £767 to £820 for one year or £729 to £780 annual fee for the first year in three year Long Term Agreements. In discussion members noted their existing supplier Zurich had reduced its quote following a query but was £16.50 higher than the lowest quotation for a three year LTA. Members noted APC had submitted no claims in the last three years and that APC had been with Zurich for the past 10 years. Members agreed that continuity was important along with the fact that Community First who administered the policy benefited too. It was resolved to purchase Parish Council insurance with Zurich through Community First for a three year LTA at £745.06 for the first year. Proposed by Mr Stacey, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    1. Annual Return 2016/17: the Clerk reported the end of year internal audit had yet to be carried out and therefore approval of section 1 and 2 of the Annual Return was deferred to 6 June meeting.
    2. Councillor Training: Mrs Lewis reported she had booked the training date with Katie Fielding at WALC for the 7 June.
    3. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification:  it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mr O’Connor, seconded by Mr Campbell and carried unanimously. Cheques were signed by the Chairman and Mrs Lewis.
          1. John Giles: replacement of panel in Bus Stop and remedial work to stabilize notice board at Beckhampton (including VAT)                                                                       £168.00
          2. Community First: membership renewal 2017/18    £40.00
          3. Social Centre: rent Feb 7, March 7, April 4, 25, May 2, 18                                                                                 £26.50
  18. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 6th June 2017 at the Social Centre.
  19. Any other business: none declared.
  20. The meeting closed at 9:03pm