6 Oct 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 6th October 2015 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, AHA for Aster Housing Association, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, ASA for Avebury Sportsfield Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, DCMS for Department for Culture Media and Sport, LGA for Local Government Act, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, UNESCO for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, URC for United Reform Church, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:31

  1. Public question time: There were 10 members of the public present and the following points were raised or questions asked:
    1. A resident from Trusloe tabled photographs of cars parking dangerously on the bend of the road outside 4 Trusloe Cottages and reported they had contacted the Police who would be taking action as the parking was illegal. Mrs Kremer said the solution was between AHA and the Police.
    2. A resident from Rawlins Park reminded members of the danger traffic posed to people on the A4361 north of the Henge. It was noted this was already a priority project being actioned by the Parish Council’s Transport Group.
    3. A resident from Trusloe advised everyone to be aware of a door to door scam that had taken place last year involving people purporting to be from a government rehabilitation scheme and that soon afterwards a series of burglaries had taken place. The same person reported that in the past week he had been bitten by a dog on Knoll Down. Mr Brotheridge asked if the resident had noticed any improvements to the cleanliness on Knoll Down; the resident replied he had not. The resident also reported that a bed had been dumped on the road at the top of Bray Street and the phone kiosk at Trusloe was in a very poor state and that this reflected poorly in an area that was supposed to be a WHS. Action: Clerk to put item on next meeting’s agenda. Ms Kremer asked how the door to door scam was linked to the burglaries and the resident replied it was coincidence but highly likely to be linked.
    4. A resident from Green Street reported that when she visited Knoll Down she noticed that everyone was picking up after their dogs. Members concluded that the new signage must be working.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), David Brotheridge, Mike Daniel, Antoinette Kremer and Zandria Service.

    In attendance: Ms Sarah Simmonds, WHS Officer (items 1-13e) and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Paul Ryder-Morris and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton. 
  4. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 8th September 2015: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge and seconded by Ms Service.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes: none or already covered on the agenda.
  7. Membership: the Chairman reported there were three applicants for the one vacancy of Parish Councillor: Mrs Lyndzey Paradise, Ms Natascha Kenyon and Mr Pete Swatton. The Chairman asked Ms Kenyon and Mr Swatton to leave the room so that members could consider membership. Ms Kenyon and Mr Swatton left the meeting temporarily. In discussion members felt they were spoilt for choice and that all three people were strong candidates for different reasons. It was agreed to defer a decision until the next meeting when more members would be present.
  8. Planning applications and results: the Chairman reported
    1. Rear extension to self-contained bedroom at Isobel Cottage, Beckhampton. 15/08784/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. Decision: it was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Ms Service.
    2. Cut back canopy and hedge-lay both Ash and Hawthorn to improve hedgerow at North East Sector, Avebury Henge: 15/09549/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. The Chairman said he would recommend supporting the application as the rooting system of the trees would increasingly damage archaeology in future. Decision: it was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mr Brotheridge.
  9. Presentation of WHS Management Plan by Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer): the Chairman invited Sarah
    Simmonds to introduce the Management Plan. Copies of the Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites WHS Management Plan
    Summary 2015 were distributed to members and the public. The Clerk also received the full copy for APC records (appendix 1)
    Ms Simmonds explained a plan had existed since 1998 and that this was the third edition. It was a document that had had to
    be produced for UNESCO and had recently been approved by DCMS. She reminded everyone that the purpose of the plan
    was to protect and preserve the sites whilst balancing the needs of the local community.

    Ms Simmonds said the plan would help preserve the fabric of the monuments, buried archaeology, the setting, the visual link
    between monuments and the setting beyond the WHS’s boundaries. She added the Plan prioritised protection for the site and
    178 actions had been identified. Work on these was shared and divided between all WHS partners. Ms Simmonds read out the
    eight priorities contained in the 2015-2021 Management Plan [see p. 10 of the Management Plan Summary, appendix 2].
    She added that a pdf of the full plan was available on the WC web site.
    The Chairman expressed thanks to Sarah Simmonds for her presentation and then asked members for their observations.

    • Mr Daniel asked how the archaeological digs and results were published. Ms Simmonds said information was normally published on the web site and agreed they could improve the content. She reported that repairs to West Kennett Long Barrow were scheduled to take place that November.
    • Ms Service said she had noticed an article in Wiltshire Magazine that reported on a recent change in fracking permissions and expressed concern for the area. She added Sites of Special Scientific Interest would not be immune from fracking.

    The Chairman asked the public for their observations.

    • Mr Harrison made the observation that a trunk road ran through the WHS landscape but that a bypass was not likely in the near future.
    • Mr Rimes recommended that a 20mph speed limit should be set for the centre of Avebury. It was noted this would be possible due to Avebury being a WHS.
    • Ms Kenyon responded to Ms Service’ concerns about fracking and said she was aware fracking sites had been identified in Melksham only.

    The Chairman summarized that it was in the interests of the Parish to support the Management Plan as it would help conserve Avebury.
    Members agreed with this view and it was unanimously agreed to endorse the WHS Management Plan.
    Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Mr Daniel.

  10. Transport Group: the Chairman reported:
    1. Beckhampton, West Kennett and A4 Project:
      A letter had been received from Councillor Whitehead dated 9 September as Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at WC. He had outlined funding procedures for the Beckhampton, West Kennett and A4 Project that would involve narrowing the A4 in order to slow traffic. The Chairman read out the first, relevant half of the letter and said the next step was for the CATG to agree the design stage of the project. He added that Councillor Whitehead had offered to facilitate the process via James Shepherd (Chairman of CATG). The Chairman confirmed the timescales and said WC Highways bid for funding would be in June 2016 so that money might hopefully be released in January 2017.
    2. Extension of 30mph limit on Swindon Road: the recent engineer’s report had not mentioned Wiltshire Council’s own Avebury WHS Transport Strategy and that Dr Bedford and the Chairman would sort out the error. Mr Daniel added that there many more incidents taking place on the Swindon Road that were not reported and emphasized the need for action as soon as possible.
    3. Parking in Trusloe: a letter from James Cawley (WC) would be sent to the private land owners of land at the Trusloe Nursery Site by the next week. The Chairman said WC also owned verges that were not in the visibility splays and this could be added to the amount of land that might become available.
    4. Signage audit: four new signs intended to mark the boundary of the WHS were due to be replaced this financial year. The Chairman tabled the new design with the UNESCO logo.
    5. Repairs to Green Street: the road had been put on WC’s list for renewal in 2017-2018.
    6. Parking at 4 Trusloe Cottages: covered earlier in the meeting. The resident agreed to contact APC regarding feedback from the Police on the parking issue.
  11. Review of decision making process at Planning Committee Meetings: deferred to next meeting when more members would be present.
  12. Future use of URC Chapel at Green Street:
    1. Report on URC meeting with Synod on 10 September at St. James’: the Chairman said he understood that about 50 people had strongly expressed the view that the Chapel should not be sold. As a result Reverend Ruth Whitehead (Moderator South Western Synod) would be thinking again and had agreed to set up a working party. In the meantime, the Parish Council had been requested not to register the Chapel under the Community Right to Bid Scheme.
    2. Members agreed to defer registering the URC Chapel under the Community Right to Bid Scheme. The Chairman asked if members of the public had any questions. There was none other than Mr Swatton reported that a metal post had appeared beside the Beckhampton roundabout. It was noted that no one knew what this was for or why it had appeared.
  13. Avebury Sportsfield including:
    1. Next steps: The Chairman noted that APC was discussing the management of the Sportsfield for the first time since the resignation of ASA’s members. It would be necessary to re-establish APC’s Sub-Committee to manage it and that it would be realistic to expect that this would take two or three APC meetings. APC had already decided that there was a need to encourage a wide spectrum of activities and interests and had placed an advert in UKN. The Chairman noted that APC was not allowed to assign or part with possession of the lease and that management of the Sportsfield must be part of an APC committee or sub-committee.
    2. Responses to UKN advert: the Chairman reported on the interest received to date including the previously received letter from AYFC and ACC who were keen to be part of the Committee, and public interest in croquet, bowls, car boot sales, community orchard, children’s play equipment, Avebury Day, Avebury Rocks and other activities such as map selling.
    3. Potential categories of uses: in discussion the following preliminary categories were considered:
      1. Sports
      2. Recreation
      3. Community benefit activities
      4. Charity events benefiting parishioners
      5. Fund raising to meet running costs
      6. Other similar uses

      Mrs Kremer said the activities would bring the wider community and villages into Avebury.

    4. A title for the Committee: the Chairman raised the question of changing the name of ASA to reflect the use of the Sportsfield for recreation as well as sport. Overall it was felt a name like ‘Avebury Recreation and Sportsfield Committee’ or ‘Avebury Sports and Recreation Committee’ should be considered.
    5. Constitution, membership and Chairmanship: following discussion it was agreed the Committee would have nine voting members. Five members would be Parish Councillors and they would be Dr Bedford, Mrs Lewis, Mr Brotheridge, Mr Daniel and Mrs Kremer. Four other members would be invited to join to represent local interests. It was noted that while there would not be more than nine voting members, others could be co-opted as non-voting members over time, or other arrangements could be made, such as creating an advisory group. It was also agreed that Mr Daniel would be Acting Chairman for the Committee. Proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.The Chairman invited members of the public to ask questions. In further discussion the following points were made:
      1. It might be useful to think about getting the public to sign a form and registration fee for those that wished to use the Sportsfield.
      2. ACC would be sensitive to changes that would impact the Club.
      3. ACC fixtures deadline was in October.
      4. Car boot sales raise £3-4K per annum.
      5. Key user groups included the Orchard Group, Avebury Day.
    6. ASA cheque signatories: it was agreed the following members would be cheque signatories to ASA’s two bank accounts: Dr Bedford, Mrs Lewis and Mr Daniel.
    7. Bookings: it was agreed the whole Committee would be involved for the first few months.
    8. Connecting the Pavilion to mains water supply: Mr Brotheridge reported this was work in progress, deferred to next meeting.
    9. Roof repair: the Chairman said Jenny Haines hoped repairs would be done that Thursday.
    10. Fire check: 4 November 2015.
    11. Date of first meeting: to be called by Mr Daniel and it was noted Mr Daniel would arrange for collection of keys from ASA.
  14. Renewal of lease for Sportsfield: the Chairman reported the NT had agreed to wait whilst APC reviewed the management of the Sportsfield.
  15. Local Issues including: the Chairman reported
    1. Replacement field gate in north boundary of Sportsfield: the Clerk had received a call from a member of the public to report the gate had fallen on their child on Sunday 13 September. The NT had offered to put in a new gate or sliding boards and would be in contact with the Chairman the next day to report on options. The Chairman invited Mr Fry to speak. Mr Fry said the gate was used for access with a garden tractor mower and therefore access was required.
    2. Puddles and potholes in Green Street: the Clerk reported an on-site meeting had taken place on 11 September at short notice to assess the road repairs and WC had said they might be able to carry out interim repairs to the road using a Velocity Patcher machine. It was noted APC was waiting for confirmation from WC as to when repairs were likely to take place and that highest priority were the potholes at the end of Green Street at the Farthings’ dairy and half way down Green Street by the NT’s collapsed wall. The Clerk said a meeting of the Transport Group Committee was needed.
    3. Flood prevention and riparian ownership: deferred to next meeting.
  16. Communications: advert for new Councillor submitted to October issue of UKN.
  17. Correspondence: (received by email unless otherwise stated). The Clerk reported:
    1. Letter from Councillor Simon Jacobs (Chair of WC Operational Flood Working Group – North): ‘ditch project’ letter template and booklet on rights and responsibilities of riparian ownership.
    2. Various local events posters received and published on APC web site.
  18. Finance and admin:
    1. Cheque signatories: members resolved to add Dr Bedford, Mrs Lewis and Mr Daniel as cheque signatories to the bank accounts held by ASA. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously.
    2. Inspection of Trusloe Play Area: the Clerk reported the inspection had taken place the previous week and the report would be received shortly.
    3. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheque be paid. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
      1. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 August – 21 September 2015 £299.35
  19. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 3rd November 2015 at the Social Centre.
  20.  Any other business: none
  21. The meeting closed at 21:21

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

  1. Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites WHS Management Plan 2015
    (Please see Wiltshire Council’s web site for the full plan).
  2. Extract: p.10 Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites WHS Management Plan Summary 2015