12 Jun 2012 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 12 June 2012 at the Red Lion Public House, 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, DA for Discover Adventure, GSW for Great Stones Way, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MAPF for Marlborough Area Parish Forum, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News and WC for Wiltshire Council.

The meeting started at 7.30 p.m.

  1. Public question time:  No member of the public attended the meeting.
  2. Present: Councillors Mr Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mr Mike Daniel, Mr Paul Dixon, Mrs Beryl Greenaway, Mr Keith Howell, Mrs Maggie Lewis and Mrs Karyn Pearson.  Mrs Antoinette Kremer (Dyson) joined the meeting at 7.40 p.m.  (Antoinette Dyson has changed her surname to Kremer.)
  3. In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton
    The Chairman welcomed Mr Dixon to the meeting following his recent surgery in hospital.  He also expressed members’ deepest condolences to Mrs Milton on the death of her husband; Mrs Milton thanked members for their sympathy.
  4. Apologies for absence: Dr Mike Bedford
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 1st May 2012: It was agreed that minutes of the last meeting be signed.  Proposed by Keith Howell, seconded by Beryl Greenaway.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Trekathons on 30 June, 14 July and 16 September: (item 9b) The Chairman reported that he and Keith Howell had contacted Discover Adventure, who had been advertising ‘trekathons’ between Avebury and Stonehenge.  So far 32 participants had booked on the first date, and this might possibly rise to 50.  This trek would start at Salisbury and finish at Avebury.  On the two subsequent dates, which had early starts in Avebury, 111 had booked so far on 14th July and 90 on the 16th September.  DA had agreed to contact APC in the future about their proposed events to ensure that their dates did not clash with events in the Parish organised by others
    2. Great Stones Way consultation: (item 11) The Chairman reported that about 15 people had attended a meeting in the Social Centre with consultants Graham Bathe Associates on 20 May.  A wide variety of views had been expressed.  GBA’s Environmental Impact Study would be published in mid-July.  GBA had also met with residents in East Kennett later that day.  They would prefer the route to run from the Ridgeway via West Kennett to avoid disturbance in the village and to avoid crossing the A4 at Sanctuary, but that route was still not ideal.  Mrs Milton thought that walkers would still divert to Avebury from the Ridgeway.  Members restated that APC wished to enter into a dialogue with Friends of the Ridgeway about the long term management of the route and about changing the name to avoid a large increase in numbers of cars and visitors at Avebury, but Friends of the Ridgeway were not prepared to accept these points.  It was agreed that it was essential that the EIS clarify the numbers expected to use the route.
    3. Brown signs for the Old Forge B&B at East Kennett:  The Chairman read out an email he had sent Wiltshire Highways department congratulating them on the new, small village signs at West Kennett.  He had also asked for a reduction in size of the new brown signs that had recently been installed on the A4 for the Old Forge B&B.  Mrs Lewis commented that businesses usually pay for brown signs to be erected.  The Chairman had also asked the Highways Department to adopt a general policy of using small, discreet signs throughout the WHS.
  7. Planning applications:  Members ratified the minutes of recent planning sub-committee meetings from 26 March to 7 June 2012 (see Appendix 1).  Proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by the Chairman.  These minutes included:
    1. Change of use from C3 to C1 for B&B at Isobel Cottage, Beckhampton (E/2012/0606/FUL) to increase the number of bedrooms in use for B&B from two to four.  Mrs Kremer commented that there was a need for more B&B accommodation locally and that support was needed for those who wanted to offer it.  APC’s planning sub-committee had agreed to support the application subject to a condition that all vehicles leaving the premises should be required to turn left onto the A4.  (At this point Mrs Kremer left the meeting for a short while.)
    2. LPG storage tank at Carpenter’s Cottage, Green St, Avebury (E/2012/0606/FUL)  APC’s planning sub-committee had agreed to support this application subject to a condition that the tank be painted a neutral colour.
  8. Transport Group:
    1. LEADER funding bid for Design Guide:  The Chairman reported that APC’s bid for 15k had been turned down on two grounds, that APC had limited authority to implement changes recommended in the proposed Design Guide, and that the work should be funded by the local authority or other agencies.  The Chairman said he was working with Mike Bedford and WC to see if there was another way of pulling funding together from various sources.  The Chairman had met with NT and suggested that they might like to contribute to a patchwork of funding.  Members noted that APC might increase its contribution if other relevant authorities increased theirs.
    2. Village Traffic Initiative: Ben HamiltonBaillie scheme and funding:  Members noted that 15 villages around the Marlborough area were participating in this scheme sponsored by the Marlborough Area Parish Forum to address traffic issues and reclaim a sense of place in villages around Marlborough.  BH-B was interested in Avebury as a special case and it might be possible for APC to arrange for BH-B to spend extra time focussing on Avebury.  It was felt that APC should continue to be a part of the VTI scheme and although it would produce a less detailed study than the WHS Design Guide it would still provide useful evidence.  Mr Howell reported that he was still awaiting information from his Freedom of Information application about accident statistics locally.
    3. A traffic/parking count could be part of both the Design Guide and BH-B project and could include noting the numbers and timings of vehicles in and out of the main car park.
    4. Wiltshire Council support:  Mrs Milton said that Wiltshire Highways focussed on where accidents had occurred, not where they might.  The National Accident Database might provide more information.  Funding was tight but WC was very keen to support the Design Guide.  Evidence was essential to back up arguments for funding.  Mrs Milton also suggested that a letter to the Leader of WC, Jane Scott, about the help already received from Highways would be helpful and she thanked the Chairman for his work on the LEADER proposal.
    5. Speed monitor near Rawlins Park:  It was noted that the temporary speed counter at the entrance to the village on the A4361 had now gone but had been recording the speed of vehicles entering the village.
  9. Local issues:
    1. Undergrounding electricity cables – Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE) had asked at short notice where cables might be buried in the Parish. The Chairman had responded with some suggestions i.e. Turnpike Corner, Avebury High Street, the churchyard at St. James’ and other locations along the Swindon Road, in Beckhampton, West Kennett and Trusloe.  He said SSE normally prefer to bury cables in the countryside where the operation was easier than in built up areas, but the Parish might be favoured as a WHS.  Mr Daniel noted that telephone wires attached to electricity poles would also need to be buried.  The Chairman said that SSE would be developing proposals over the next few months.
    2. Grant for Social Centre stage lighting:  An application to MAB, propelled by Avebury Players and formally submitted by the Social Centre, had been successful in obtaining a grant of £1,950 towards installing lighting in the Social Centre for future productions.
    3. Resurfacing of the A4: there would be a local diversion overnight for 11 nights starting on 24th June to allow resurfacing of parts of the A4 between the Beckhampton roundabout and West Overton.
    4. Hazel/thorn whips along the north-east edge of the Sports-field:  Following a conversation with the Chairman, a member of the public would be sending  a written proposal about planting.
    5. Play equipment on the Sports-field:  Another member of the public had spoken to the Chairman about putting some play equipment on the Sports-Field now there are more young children in the village, and a written proposal was awaited.  Mrs Greenaway and Mrs Pearson noted that previous play equipment there had been vandalised or under-used.
    6. Solstice arrangements:  The Chairman reported that arrangements would be much the same as last year with the addition of one, or possibly two, police drugs dogs.  Police would be present from 19 June until the 22nd.
      Mrs Greenaway suggested that the police cordon on the edge of Trusloe should be slightly further back from the mouth of the junction so as not to cause a back-up of traffic on the A4361 as vehicles waited to turn in and be checked.  The Chairman said that he was due to attend a Solstice planning meeting the next day and would raise this there.  Mrs Pearson asked if there would be a cordon on Nash Lane; the Chairman understood there would, and that the lay-by at West Kennett would also be coned off.
      Mr Howell reported that Gordon Rimes had suggested at the last Sacred Sites meeting that the local community could serve tea and coffee etc.  Mrs Milton suggested that local clubs could do this.  The Chairman said it would be too late to arrange this year but could be considered for next Solstice.
      Mrs Kremer said that Mr Rimes’ Land Rover had been set alight a month ago and he had only been alerted by a motorist hooting their car horn.  It was fortunate that the thatch of their cottage didn’t catch fire.  Mr Howell noted that the Red Lion had now installed CCTV following the assault during last year’s Solstice.
    7. Jubilee Celebrations:  The Chairman reported that these went very well with about 250 people attending.  The budget of £1,468 needed to be considered; there was currently a slight surplus and a corresponding need to decide on the last elements of the commemoration.  Jan Polack had suggested a community orchard, Philippe Ullens had taken some very good photographs of the event that might be published and Diana Holmes had begun work on village recollections.  Beryl Greenaway suggested that more commemorative mugs be bought for children that had not got them and Mrs Milton suggested a collage of images that could be displayed in the Social Centre or pub. It was agreed that the use of the surplus be considered at APC’s next meeting.
    8. Hedge on A4 – The Chairman had emailed CLARENCE about cutting the hedge back at Jasmine Cottage as it obstructs the sightline for vehicles exiting the Avenue on to the A4.
    9. Parking in Trusloe:  Mrs Pearson and Mrs Greenaway said that some vehicles were being parked in Trusloe outside Nos. 15-43 in such a way as to obstruct the road and make it difficult, or impossible, for emergency services vehicles to gain access.  PC David Tippetts would be alerted to the problem.
  10. Communications:  The Chairman reported that the minutes for APC’s meeting were inserted into the UKN and that a report on the Jubilee celebrations being written by Sir Peter Beale would also be in the next issue.  Mrs Milton suggested that the MAB be sent a copy of this as well.
  11. Correspondence: A letter has been received about installing an automated defibrillator in the village.  The Chairman has been in discussion with the NT about jointly undertaking this.  The Trust had noted there had been five medical problems in the car park last year and two so far this year.  Mrs Milton said that Ramsbury and Aldbourne had both installed defibrillators and might be able to comment on how well they had been received.
  12. Chairman’s action:  The Chairman reported that he had filled in forms for a Rural Facilities Survey about pubs, churches, etc in the parish and also one about burial grounds.
  13. Finances:
    1. Asset register:  The Chairman had circulated a revised register to members (see Appendix 2).  In assets valued to date at approximately £108,000, the main item of value was the pavilion on the Sports Field.  This stood however on land owned by the NT and let on a tenancy to APC; it could not therefore be sold and so was not an asset.  However, the land that the play area in Trusloe stands on was owned by APC but was not in the register.  It could be quite valuable for development.  The Chairman proposed that the register be amended to reflect current assets; these totalled £61,334 instead of £108,299.  It was agreed the new asset register be adopted: proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mr Dixon.
    2. Insurance review:  The Chairman tabled a revised register of insurance values (see Appendix 3) which showed a small difference in current and proposed values.  A review of items to add was discussed.  It had emerged that both APC and the Social Centre had been insuring the glass engraving in the Social Centre.  It was decided that APC should propose to the Social Centre’s Trustees that APC would cease insuring it but offer a donation of £100 towards the Social Centre’s insurance costs for the next five years and review the position in five years’ time. Proposed by Mrs Greenaway and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    3. Risk Assessment:  The Chairman had circulated a draft risk assessment (see Appendix 4) which showed that APC’s main risks were financial and were already largely covered by insurance.  It was agreed the document be adopted; proposed by Mr Dixon and seconded by Mr Howell.
    4. Annual Return and external audit:  APC’s Annual Return to the Audit Commission was tabled and it was agreed it be signed and returned with a covering letter explaining the reasons for the reduced figure for assets, and attaching a copy of APC’s Risk Assessment.  Proposed by Mrs Pearson and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    5. VAT return:   A refund of £655.15 had been claimed for the period 22nd September 2010 to 31st May 2012.
    6. Jubilee costs:  Yet to be finalised and confirmed.
    7. Cheques to be paid:  It was agreed the following cheques be paid:
      1. Judy Farthing: Photocopying for Jubilee exhibition:  £51.58
      2. Diane Gater: Fruit trees for Jubilee celebration: £111.59
      3. Vicarage Lane: Jubilee cakes: £45
      4. Lady Beale: Jubilee catering: £83.81
      5. The Information Commissioner: Renewal: £35
      6. Covered Occasions: Jubilee marquee: £1,020
      7. Janet Polack: Jubilee sundries: £17.23
      8. Kate Fry: materials for children’s activities: £22.40
    8. Ratify cheques paid:  It was agreed that the signing of the following cheques issued before the meeting be ratified
      1. Wiltshire Association of Local Councils: subscription 2012/13: £165.04
      2. Wiltshire Council: grounds maintenance: April – June 2012: £451.76
      3. Jamie Guy: internal audit 2011/12: £75
      4. Michele Lomas: Jubilee mugs: £166.14
      5. Len Adams: Turf, and works to notice-boards: £37
      6. Community First: Annual insurance from 1 June 2012 : £1,134.86
  14. Date of next meeting:  Tuesday 3rd July 2012 at the Social Centre.
  15. Any other business:
    1. Archdeacon Alan Jeans would be visiting Avebury the next day.
    2. The Chairman reported that the Parish Clerk, Liz Moore, had said she would hopefully be returning to work on 1st September following her maternity leave
    3. Mr Howell reported that the footpath between the Waggon and Horses car park and the A4361 was again very overgrown.  WC had sent their grass cutting contractors but the finished work was of a very poor standard and the area under the trees outside Beckhampton House remained uncut as it was inaccessible to tractor mowers and needed to be cut with a lawnmower.  The matter will be raised with WC
    4. Mrs Pearson reported a dog found in Trusloe which was collected by the dog warden and that there were dogs loose on the road.
    5. Mrs Lewis and Mrs Milton both gave their apologies for the next meeting as neither would be able to attend.

Appendices to be included in the minute book:

    • Minutes of Planning Sub-committee meetings 26 March to 7 June 2012
    • Asset register
    • Insurance review
    • Risk assessment