1 May 2012 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 1 May 2012 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.  

In these minutes, APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ASA for Avebury Sports-field Association, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, FWOPC for Fyfield and West Overton Parish Council, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MAPF for Marlborough Area Parish Forum, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WALC for Wiltshire Association of Local Councils and WC for Wiltshire Council.

Meeting started at 19.40.

  1. Public question time: one member of the public was present.  No questions were asked.
  1. Present:  Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Mr Paul Dixon, Mrs Antoinette Dyson, Mrs Beryl Greenaway, Mr Keith Howell and Mrs Maggie Lewis.
  1. Apologies: Councillors Mrs Karyn Pearson and Mr Mike Daniel.
  1. In attendance:Mrs Jan Williamson joined the meeting for item 12.
  1. Declarations of interest: Andrew Williamson declared an interest in a planning application for works to trees at Ashdown (item 8d below).
  1. Minutes of meeting held on 3 April 2012:  Accepted by all.  Proposed by Antoinette Dyson and seconded by Keith Howell.
  1. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Skokholm garage: Planning consent had been given in March but APC had not been aware because APC had not been sent the weekly list.
    2. Tanker driver dispute:  A list of vulnerable personnel, and people who might be able to help, was being created by Maggie Lewis and Judy Farthing.
  1. Planning applications:
    1. Conservatory at 3 Harrington Court, Swindon Rd(E/21012/0459/FUL) Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Keith Howell and seconded by Antoinette Dyson.
    2. Galteemore farm: access to A4 (E/2012/0238/FUL)Amended plan now had only one pair of gates and would not result in any trees being cut down as originally planned.  Gates would remain metal, a little bit bigger than at present to let combines through and as a result wooden gates as APC had suggested would not be practical.  Unanimously agreed the application be supported. Proposed by Antoinette Dyson and seconded by Beryl Greenaway
    3. Felling tree at Henge Shop (E/2012 0492/TCA)The Henge Shop had applied to cut down a Birch tree which was in the middle of a group of three crowded trees.  Unanimously agreed that the application be supported. Proposed by Beryl Greenaway and seconded by Paul Dixon.
    4. Ashdown, High Street: raising the crowns of five Sycamores and one Ash by three metres and removing major deadwood (E/2012/0491/TCA)Mr Williamson left the meeting for this item.  Members noted APC had objected to the removal of a Chestnut and the crown raising of some other trees along same footpath last year.  No objections were noted on this application and it was agreed that the application be consequently supported. Proposed by Antoinette Dyson and seconded by Keith Howell.  Mr Williamson rejoined the meeting.
  1. Visitor numbers
    1. The Chairman reported that the NT and many local people had noted increased numbers following the opening of the Manor. Keith Howell reported that Good Friday had been sunny and as a result the main car park and the campsite area had filled rapidly and the Manor car park had also been used to take the overflow. There was a great deal of non-resident parking in the High Street and its small car park.  For the rest of the Easter weekend the weather deteriorated and numbers had dropped off.  It was agreed that parking be reviewed regularly with the NT and that it was also due to be one of the main subjects of the proposed Design Guide.
    2. Charity walks: Keith Howell reported that Discover Adventure, working on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society, was organising 500 person ‘Trekathon’ walks between Stonehenge and Avebury on 16 June, 14 July and 16 September.  Police and ambulance had not apparently been consulted and nor had APC.  Noted that APC should inform this group that Avebury is a WHS and has a WHS Management Plan that states that Avebury is already at capacity.  If such events became frequent occurrences, 500 extra people would be a significant addition on any one day and could create problems for a number of reasons:
      1. There may other events on the same day.  The Chairman had checked with the Social Centre and all three dates clashed with other events
      2. Limited parking
      3. Lack of stewarding may create traffic problems
      4. The limited capacity of Avebury to deal with health and safety emergencies.

      It was agreed that APC would develop its policy on charity walks.  As a first step it would write to event managers as a matter of course when it became aware of such proposals to ensure walks were properly managed, to warn of potential problems and to represent the interests of the Parish.

  1. Transport Group: Report on progress, and application for EU LEADER grant
    1. Mike Bedford reported that the Group had completed its initial survey and APC was further ahead than most Parishes in identifying the main concerns locally. He was currently transferring this information onto a large scale map for ease of communication.
    2. Keith Howell reported he was collecting information on accidentsof vehicles in the area together with fatalities and injuries.
    3. The Chairman reported that a Permit Holders Only Scheme was being mooted for the High Street together with suitable signs and road treatments at the entrance.  Permits would be issued to residents, church congregations, local businesses and other local people.  He had contacted the majority of those in the High Street who thought this was a good idea.
    4. The Chairman reported that he had been informed that the EU LEADER programme might be able to provide a grant of £15,000 to help pay consultants to develop a design guide for traffic, parking and signage in the WHS.  APC had previously earmarked £250 for the Transport Group and WC was likely to provide the balance to make up £18,000 in total.  A grant application had to be in by 2 May.  Three points arose:
      1. APC would have to pay bills up front ahead of the grant coming in and this would not be possible given APC’s current finances.  WC had therefore agreed to consider underwriting this money which APC would then pay back on receipt of the grant.
      2. If APC got the grant it would be important to agree who would manage the project on APC’s behalf.  It was likely that Tim Davis at WC would do so.
      3. APC would need to reclaim VAT on this work.
    5. Members agreed that the costs represented a considerable amount of money for APC and that APC needed to be clear that the cash flow requirement to meet bills upfront and claim grant back later was covered.  It was unanimously agreed that APC apply for EU LEADER funding on basis that adequate assurance was received from Wiltshire Council to assist with cash flow, that WC would give assistance in the management of the project and the VAT position was clear.  It was also unanimously agreed that if these conditions were not met APC would withdraw.  Proposed by Mike Bedford and seconded by Keith Howell.
  1. Great Stones Way: consultation response to Environmental Impact Study
    Members noted that although Friends of the Ridgeway had given some assurances in a recent email there was still a need for FoR to engage in helping find solutions to the problems of increased numbers and congestion.  APC would continue to request them to remove the reference to ‘Great Stones’ in the title and enter into a protocol for long term management.  Consultants writing the Environmental Impact Study would be in Avebury on Sunday 20th May to hear the concerns of local people.
  1. Jubilee arrangements: Mrs Jan Williamson attended the meeting for this item and reported that she and Jan Polack were working on the Big Jubilee Lunch together with Cllr Paul Dixon and the Jubilee Committee.  Circa £1,450 had been raised so far; the Community Shop, the Henge Shop, the Parochial Church Council, the Avebury Society, the Social Centre and APC had all donated and MAB had pledged £500.  Entrance tickets would be free and were only needed to get an idea of numbers attending.  They would be available at the Community Shop, the two local pubs and the Club.  Everyone would bring a plate of food to share and catering arrangements would be organised by the WI.  Music and alcohol licences would be obtained by the Club but confirmation was needed that they were not in conflict with ASA’s licence, because the bar would be in the marquee on the field.  MAB funding required all receipts be provided and an after-the-event report made back to MAB.  A risk assessment has been completed.
    A marquee would be erected at cost price and a bar would be provided by the Club.  APC would take out extra insurance to cover the marquee at a premium of £31.50.  Attractions would include Tom and Kerry Blower doing 1960-2000 numbers, madrigals (Peter Beale’s choir), brass (Lomas family), a surprise performer, games, activities and kwik cricket. Skittles teams were being set up for evening.  A beacon on Waden Hill would be lit at 10.00-10.30 weather permitting.  50 Jubilee mugs would be given to local children and any surplus mugs would be available for sale.  An audio tape history was being constructed and photos taken to record the event.  A community orchard was being promoted: five trees had so far have been selected for auctioning or sponsorship and a site was needed.
  1. Communications, Chairman’s actions and information and Correspondence:No additional significant items to report.
  1. Local affairs:  It was agreed the following actions be taken following the annual village meeting: proposed by Paul Dixon and seconded by Beryl Greenaway:
    1. Drain silting up in High Street: APC to report to CLARENCE.
    2. Leaks through a manhole in Trusloe needed reporting to Thames Water.
    3. East Kennett signs had gone up on the A4 as had large B&B signs for the Old Forge: APC to complain about the size of the signs to WHS and Cllr Milton.
    4. Dogs bins and litter bins: Members questioned who would empty them and it was agreed the matter be kept under review.
    5. APC to write thanking Jenny Haines and her colleagues for running ASA.
  1. Finance and admin:
    1. The Chairman reported that Jamie Guy, APC’s internal auditor, would be signing off APC’s accounts for 2011/12 the next day.  At the outset of the year APC had about £3,900 at the bank and currently had about £7,300. Cost savings in 2011/12 were similar to those in the previous year. One reason for these savings was that the Clerk’s wages were lower due to her maternity leave
    2. It was agreed that cheques be drawn for £60 to the NT for sports-field rent and £108 to Paul Birkeland-Green for work on the website.  It was also agreed that an additional insurance premium of £31.50 for the marquee be paid by APC.  Proposed by Antoinette Dyson and seconded by Keith Howell.
  1. Date of next meeting:Tuesday 5 June 2012
  1. Any other business:None
  1. Meeting closed at 9.25pm