3 Apr 2012 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of a meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on the 3rd April, 2012 at the Social Centre, High St. Avebury, SN8 1RF 

In these minutes, APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council, WHS for World Heritage Site, FoR for Friends of the Ridgeway, GSW for Great Stones Way.

Time Start: 19.30

  1. Public question time: Two members of the public were present, including Mrs Judy Farthing partly in her capacity as the Parish’s Community Emergency Volunteer.
    1. Mrs Farthing told the meeting of the plan to put a beacon on Waden Hill as part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.  In order to register the beacon (for it to be included on a map of locations), a co-ordinator and organisation was needed for the form.  She asked if APC would be willing to be the organisation.  There were some reservations from members of the Council about insurance, liability and the consequences of any incident arising from the beacon.  Mrs Farthing said that it could be registered under A.A. Farthing as it will be on their land.  The general feeling was that this would be the best option as long as Mr and Mrs Farthing were happy having looked at the regulations.
    2. Mrs Farthing also asked what arrangements had been made for visitor parking over the Easter weekend.  A week ago the NT had approached the Farthings about using the Glebe Field for parking; the Farthings had made an offer but the NT had not taken it up.  The Chairman said that the NT had obtained a derogation order to allow them to put down rubber matting in the Manor Park for overflow parking over four days at Easter.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (chairman), Mr Mike Daniel, Mr. Paul Dixon, Mrs Antoinette Dyson, Mr Keith Howell and Mrs Maggie Lewis
  3. Apologies: Councillors Mrs Beryl Greenaway, Mrs Karyn Pearson and Dr. Mike Bedford.
    The Chairman opened the meeting by informing those in attendance of the sad death of Mr John Milton, the husband of our County Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton, a fortnight before.  The Chairman had not been able to attend a recent memorial service but had written to Mrs Milton expressing the condolences of all members of the Parish Council.
  4. Declarations of interest: There were no declarations of interest.
  5. Minutes: The minutes of the Council’s meeting held on 6th March 2012 were agreed by all and signed by the Chairman.  Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Howell.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Avebury Trusloe playground: Mr. Len Adams had removed the concrete from underneath the see-saw and turfed the area to improve the safety for children using it.
    2. The Chairman asked Mr Howell about the mud on the road around the Skokholm building site which he presumed was more dust than mud in the current dry conditions!  Mr Howell confirmed that this was the case.
    3. The Chairman reported that he had spoken to WC about the Mobile Library Service about the numbers using the service in Avebury and surrounding villages.  The minimum number of users per visit for the service to be maintained has to average 4 and the last available figures were an average of 5.8 users in Trusloe, 5.2 in the High Street and 6.5 in Rawlins Park.  This meant that the service was safe for the time-being.  It was felt that it should continue to be promoted and that it should be included in the APC Newsletter and in the UKN.
    4. The Chairman reported that the Pavilion was now insured at the higher rate as discussed at the last meeting [£166,522 instead of ££94,554].
  7. Emergency planning for possible tanker driver strike: Mrs Farthing reported that as Unite must give 7 days notice of any strike she has been informed, in her capacity of CEV that Parish and Town Councils should plan for any vulnerable residents in their areas.  The definition of ‘vulnerable’ varied according to the emergency (bad weather, transport strike, etc.) so we should know who would need help.  A list of such people and also of those who could offer help should be compiled and the information passed to the Area Board.
    The Chairman asked councillors to think of those who might be affected and Mrs Lewis volunteered to act as liaison with Mrs Farthing.  Councillors would call or email Mrs Lewis when they had identified any potential vulnerable people in their respective areas (Mr. Howell and Mrs Lewis – Beckhampton, Mr. Dixon – Rawlins Park, Mrs Dyson and Mrs Pearson – Trusloe, Mrs Greenaway – West Kennett and Mr Williamson – High, Green and Bray Streets).  Mrs Farthing would also contact Mrs Jenny Baldry to ascertain if she had a list from any previous emergency planning.  A list of those willing to offer help and assistance would also be required.
    Timing – this needed to be done quickly so the Chairman asked Councillors to contact Mrs Lewis as soon as possible.
  8. Planning applications
    1. Access track onto A4 at Galteemore Farm: E/2012/0238/FUL:  The planning sub-committee had carried out a site visit on 26 March and had supported the application with conditions – that more appropriate sets of gates be installed, especially at the roadside, because the metal ones were not felt to be in keeping with their position in the WHS, and that the signboard for the Waggon and Horses be moved back about 60m towards the new tree line so as not to be so prominent.
    2. The Chairman reported that the house in South Street had now been granted permission with a lowered slab height.
    3. There had not yet been any decision about the applications for a garage at Skokholm or the Trotting Ring at Beckhampton Stables.
  9. Visitor numbers: Members noted that there had been a larger number of visitors to Avebury since the Manor re-opened which was felt to be due to a combination of factors (the recent good weather, the BBC programme, etc.).  Numbers tended to be very weather dependent though the threatened fuel tanker drivers strike might affect this.  The NT had taken down any promotional information about the Manor on its website and was warning about full car parks and no tickets for the Manor.  The NT had made provision for overflow parking (see item 1b) and there would be NT staff on duty over the Easter weekend to direct and manage traffic and parking.
    It was suggested that APC should monitor the situation over the Easter weekend regarding parking; the existing car park can take 160-170 vehicles and the overflow about 90.  Mrs Dyson felt that the NT should be doing the monitoring and asked why the PC should, but members agreed that it would inform APC’s views on how to address the problem.  Keith Howell volunteered to monitor the situation.
  10. Transport group:
    1. The Chairman, Dr Bedford and Mr Howell had attended a meeting in Lockeridge when Mr Hamilton Baillie spoke about his vision for village traffic management.  It was most informative.  The Marlborough Area Parish Forum had secured £8,000 this and aimed to secure a further £10,000 next financial year in funding from MAB.  Avebury was due to be given a special bid as it had different needs and problems.  Jemima Milton was hoping to secure some additional funding too.
    2. High Street – it had been suggested that the High Street might be made accessible to permit holders only with permits being given to residents with spare permits for visitors etc, but the issue of how it would be policed would need to be addressed.  A change in road ‘scenery’ with different ‘treatments’ to the road surface could be used to help dissuade drivers from driving down the High Street.  This could also be used at the triangle at the top of the High Street to guide motorists on towards the car park and elsewhere in the WHS.
    3. Mr Howell said he had made an application under the Freedom of Information  Act for accident and incident statistics from Wiltshire Police Force to see what and how many accidents had occurred in the area.
  11. Local livelihoods and tourism meeting decisions: The Chairman reported that the Community Shop’s monthly trade had been up and down since the Manor opened, the Red Lion’s had been up and the Henge Shop and local B&B’s were about the same.  So the picture was mixed.
    Issues from the Livelihoods meeting held on 12 March were that:

    1. there was felt to be the need for a Beckhampton Road sign as there was no indication of the road name at present – Transport Group to include in the Design Guide Project
    2. Postcode change for Estate Office and yard to update Sat Navs – this is being dealt with by NT
    3. Lack of Tourist Information Centre – it was agreed that there needed to be information points to help visitors with accommodation etc.
    4. Large green information board by the car park was now displaying a map showing a route to the farmyard but not to other local businesses.  The Chairman said he had raised this with the NT and would be discussing it further.  The NT understood some years ago that there was resistance among residents to large numbers of visitors using the High Street.
      Members concluded that these issues should be raised at the village meeting on Tuesday 24th April to see what local feeling was.
  12. Great Stones Way: Councillors congratulated the Chairman on the draft consultation document which they felt perfectly encapsulated the views of APC on the issue. The proposals in the document were agreed, that Friends of the Ridgeway change the name of the route and that FoR enter into a long term protocol on management issues.
    Next steps: the Chairman had requested extra time to consider the proposals so that it could be put to the village meeting to include any further local views.  In the meantime he would submit APC’s paper to the consultants and add any further points in a supplementary document after the village meeting.  Proposed by Mr Howell, seconded by Mr Dixon and unanimously agreed.
  13. Jubilee arrangements:  So far funds had been received from:
    • Community Shop – £200
    • Parochial Church Council – £100
    • Social Centre – £118 raised by the Spring Fair
    • APC – £250

    Other amounts pledged were:

    • Marlborough Area Board – £500
    • Henge Shop – £200

    This gave £1,368 for the Jubilee celebrations plus a donation from the Avebury Society.
    A member of the public had suggested that a community orchard of Wiltshire varieties be planted to commemorate the Jubilee.  Mr. Holman had recently given a tour of the Manor orchard with six local apple varieties planted there, and Peter Oliver had given a similar tour of the new orchard at the NT’s office at West Kennett with 99 different varieties.  It was generally agreed that APC would encourage this initiative.

  14. Communications: advertisements for the Jubilee party, the Village Meeting and the photo exhibition would be placed in the UKN
  15. Chairman’s action and information:  the Chairman reported that he had been told of people camping on the Nursery Site in Trusloe.  He went to speak to them and was told that as they had been drinking they were waiting a while before they left.  They had departed a few hours later.
  16. Correspondence: nothing significant.
  17. Finance and Admin:  The Chairman reported on income and outgoings:
    1. Income:
      • £50 had been received from ASA for rent of the Sports-field for 2011/12
      • The money for the Jubilee celebrations as noted above
    2. Outgoings: It was proposed by Mr Howell, seconded by Mrs Dyson and agreed unanimously that the following cheques be paid:
      • £40 to Len Adams for removing concrete at Trusloe playground
      • £16 to the Social Centre for rents for APC meetings

    the Chairman had submitted an estimate of his expenses of £269.90 for the period 6 April 2011 to 5 April 2012 and left the meeting while the Council discussed them.  Members were unanimous in their agreement that the Chairman should be reimbursed.  The Chairman rejoined the meeting.

  18. The Chairman reported that Wiltshire Council had quoted £1882.35 including VAT for grass cutting at the Sports-field and the Play Area in 2012/13.  This was an increase of 5% on 2011/12 but members agreed it be accepted as the work was always done well.  Proposed by Mr Howell, seconded by Mrs Dyson.
  19. Revised date for Village Meeting: Thursday 24 April 2012
  20. Date of next meeting: Tuesday 1 May 2012
  21. Any other business:  Mr Daniel submitted his apologies for the next meeting.

It was noted that it was still not clear what the cameras on the A4 near Beckhampton were for.

There being no other business the meeting closed at 8.53 p.m.