4 January 2018 Extraordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an extraordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Thursday 4 January 2018 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACSReC for Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Committee, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, AONB for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, DCMS for Department Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, DfT for Department of Transport, EH for English Heritage, NT for the National Trust, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), from item 5.a. onwards Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Mr Jon Campbell, Mr Terence O’Connor, Mrs Lynzey Paradise, Mr Stephen Stacey and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: there were no members of the public present.
  2. Apologies: Mr Dave Brotheridge.
  3. Declarations of interest: Mr O’Connor declared an interest in respect of item 6.a. as the applicant of the planning application.
  4. Minutes of meeting together with confidential notes of item 22 held on 4 December 2017: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Stacey and seconded by Mrs Paradise.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes and confidential notes:
    1. Min ref. 7.a. Progress report on A4 traffic calming project. The Chairman reported CATG had met on 14 December and agreed to go ahead with the Beckhampton project and that Atkins would be instructed to do the design work. Dr Bedford said that £1,100 had been pledged of which £500 had already been collected from Beckhampton residents. It was noted that a quarter of the project cost for a design study was a lot of money to ask residents to fund.
    2. Min ref. 7.b. Possible transport exhibition. Mr Stacey stated the purpose of the exhibition was to focus and encourage interest in the various Transport Group projects, to gather further facts and views, to decide on priorities and then where to spend money. It was noted the exhibition was being planned for March. The Transport Group meeting planned for 16 January was an opportunity to gather more information and facts including peoples opinions and perceptions. Mr O’Connor asked whether the bus companies had been approached and it was noted that although buses should not be using the Avenue it was still being used as short cut despite the PC contacting the bus company in the past. Ms Service asked whether a usage survey of the Avenue had been carried out; it was noted that one had not been done recently and it was agreed that APC organise one to gather the facts.
    3. Min ref.  8.c. SSE Southern Electric contract. Dr Bedford to email SSE to inform them the PC was in the process of surrendering its lease of the Sports Field and therefore would prefer a rolling contract for the time being.
    4. Min ref. 11. Future use of High Street car park. Nothing to report as no further information had been received from the NT.
    5. Min ref. 12. Coach House toilets opening hours. It was noted Jane Davies (Wiltshire Councillor) was making a follow up enquiry of Wiltshire Council.
    6. Min ref. 14. Defibrillator for Avebury Trusloe. Mrs Lewis reported £550 had been committed for the project, being a £450 contribution from APC and a £100 donation from Mr Mick Moylan. Mrs Lewis said she had asked Michelle Lomas (Chairman, Avebury Community Shop) if the shop would be able to provide a donation and that she was waiting for a reply. It was noted AHA had been contacted but the Local Housing Officer had responded to say they were not able to part or fully fund the project. Mr O’Connor asked if APC had put in writing why it would like a defibrillator and made it clear that it was proposing a way of helping people who would potentially be at risk. In discussion it was noted the PC could write a second letter and send it higher up AHA but there were local residents in the meantime who had expressed an interest in providing a donation and therefore it was likely sufficient funding would be found. It was agreed to wait until the next PC meeting on 6 February and if necessary to consider how to meet the balance at that meeting.
    7. Min ref. 15.a. Shed break-in on Sports Field. Mrs Paradise reported Mr Bruce Hinder (AYFC) had asked whether the PC could reimburse him for the loss of his socket set. It was noted a new socket set would cost £52.99. It was resolved that subject to Mr Hinder putting his request in writing, the PC would reimburse him for a sum of £52.99 for a new socket set. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. [Noted subsequently cheque to be paid to AYFC].
    8. Min ref. 15.b. Footpaths 22 and AVE30/10. The Chairman explained that there were two WC budgets, a capital budget and a revenue budget. He said that because the whole of footpath 22 needed relaying it had been put into the capital budget but it was now ninth in the queue for 2018/19 and it was unlikely that there would be funding for more than eight. It was noted Martin Cook (WC Highways) had suggested footpath 22 would become second in the queue for 2019/20. The Chairman reported that WC considered that footpath AVE30/10 only required repair work and therefore had been put into the revenue budget and that work was scheduled to be done in the next financial year. In discussion it was stressed that relaying footpath 22 was urgent, the footpath posed a real safety risk to the public and that it would not be sufficient to carry out remedial work. Martin Cook was well aware of the risks as he had inspected the path with both the Chairman and Mrs Jane Davies. It was noted the WC budget was clearly overstretched and members agreed the PC should find out whether Sustrans could offer financial assistance although the total amount for relaying the footpath was likely to be in the region of £20,000. It was also reported that a railing had become detached on the Big Arch Bridge along footpath 22 and posed a safety risk. Action: Clerk to work with Dr Bedford and contact Sustans to find out what funding might be available for footpath 22 and also to log the repair work to Big Arch Bridge on the WC on-line system.
  6. Planning applications: Mr Stacey expressed concern that the Parish seemed to be losing a lot trees and that the PC shouldn’t allow too many trees to be cut down without them being replaced. It was noted the majority of tree work was management of trees including crowning and pollarding although the WC application process did not require a full explanation or justification for felling a tree. It was agreed that if a planning application contained a tree or trees that were going to be felled then the PC ask for a reason for felling from the tree owner if a reason was not already stated on the application form. The Chairman noted that Mr O’Connor had previously declared an interest on item 6.a but invited him to comment on his application:
    1. Works to trees at Fosse House, High Street, Avebury. Ref: 17/11993/TCA. Mr O’Connor stated he had met with five tree surgeons in the past to take advice about managing the trees on his property and he had been advised that some trees should be felled because they were either too close together or too near a building. Plans were tabled and considered. It was noted T1 on the application form was to reduce a huge sycamore by 1-2 metres and raise its crown. T2 to fell a sycamore as it was growing through a wall and was very close to a barn. T3 to fell a Scots Pine as it was too close to the house and three times the recommended size for management. T4, T5, T6, trees that were growing too close together and Mr O’Connor said he would like to replace them with apple trees.
    2. Works to tree at the Henge Shop to fell a Willow tree. Ref: 18/00029/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. It was noted the Willow was leaning in towards the Henge Shop and that the applicants were minded to replace it with a different species more appropriate for the site.
    3. Works to trees at Avebury Manor Garden. Ref: 17/12516/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered and a list of scheduled work to trees by the NT for the winter season was noted. It was resolved to support the planning applications listed in items 6.a – c. Proposed by Mr Campbell, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously subject to Mr O’Connor abstaining from voting on item 6.a.
  7. Avebury Sports-field: Draft Agreement between ASSC and APC previously circulated to members (see appendix 1) and draft Deed of Surrender (see appendix 2) previously circulated to members.
    1. It was resolved that the Chairman and the Clerk sign the Agreement between ASSC and the Parish Council subject to the document being executed simultaneously with the executions of the Deed of Surrender and the new lease of the Sports-field between the NT and ASSC. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
    2. It was resolved to enter into and sign the Deed of Surrender of Avebury Sports Field in the form sent to APC on 4 December by the NT’s solicitors subject to:
      1.    The description of the Parish Council in the first section on the Parties being THE PARISH COUNCIL OF THE PARISH OF AVEBURY in the County of Wiltshire (Tenant).
      2.    The Deed of Surrender only being completed and coming into effect if Avebury Sports and Social Club simultaneously enters into:
      a.    a lease of the land from the National Trust
      b.    an Agreement with the Parish Council as in Appendix 1.
      3.    The Parish Council’s signatories to be the Clerk and the Chairman.
      4.    The spelling of the word ‘Marlborough’ to be corrected in the description of the Property under Interpretation.

      Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.

      It was noted the PC would need to remove the Pavilion from its insurance schedule once the transactions had been completed, check on its public liability premium and that a small refund of APC’s rent would be due for the remainder of APC’s term.

  8. A303 Expressway: the Chairman reported the letter of representation had been sent to government. It was noted that although DfT that was promoting the A303 scheme, it had passed the letter to DCMS, which was not sponsoring the scheme but had obligations to protect the WHS. It was agreed that the Chairman and the Clerk find out who had received the letter at DCMS.
  9. Avebury matters: to consider current issues and resolve to take action: not covered.
  10. Communications and correspondence: the Clerk tabled letters of thanks from the three charities: Bobby Van Trust, Help Counselling Services and Victim Support that had all received a donation of £50.00 from the PC. It was additionally noted that details of the Policing Precept 2018/19 consultation had been received by email and published on the PC web site and it was agreed that the letter should also be published on all notice boards for those without access to the internet.
  11. Finance and admin:
    1. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
      1. WALC: General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) briefing by Meera Tharmarajah, Head of Legal Services at National Association of Local Councils on Thursday 25th January 2018  (including VAT)     £42.00
      2. Avebury Social Centre: extra bookings during the year for rent of the Social Centre on 4, 16 January, 24 April 2018                          £24.00
      3. Kate Fry: web site hosting to April 2017 and additional work agreed by the PC but not previously invoiced for noticeboard page and email sign-up service                                                                          £144.66
      4. Mr P.J.Mills: rabbit and mole control on Sports Field 1 Nov – 1 Feb 2018                                                                                           £85.00
      5. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 Nov – 21 Dec 2017                                                                                           £235.20
  12. Date of next meeting: Tuesday 6 February 2018
  13. Any other business: none declared.
  14. The meeting closed at 9:05pm

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

  1. Draft agreement between ASSC and APC – third draft
  2. Draft Deed of Surrender