2 April 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 2 April 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes AGM stands for Annual General Meeting, AONB stands for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, ASSF for Avebury Sacred Sites Forum, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BB & WM PC for Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council, BOAT for Byways Open To All Traffic, BT for British Telecommunications plc, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, CPRE for Campaign to Protect Rural England, EH for English Heritage, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, TG for Transport Group, TTRO for Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chair), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: Mrs Lewis took the Chair and welcomed everyone to the meeting. There were 9 members of the public present including Mr Stephen Leonard (Senior Rights of Way Warden, WC: up to and including item 6) and Hilary Makins (Head Ranger, NT: up to and including item 6). Mrs Lewis asked if anyone had any questions that were not already on the agenda and there were none.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mr Ben Butler, Mr Terence O’Connor and Mr Andrew Williamson. Apologies also noted for Martin and Christine Rendle.
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 5 March 2019: unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Paradise and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes: Mrs Lewis reported:
    1. Min ref. 5b Swing seat: risk assessment had been carried out, swing re-installed by Mr Butler and Mr Stacey on 31 March and to be checked again that week.
  6. Report by Wiltshire Council: Mrs Lewis invited Mr Stephen Leonard to introduce the proposal for the temporary closure of the Ridgeway from 1 May 2019 for six months. Mr Leonard explained that there were issues with excessive damage to the Ridgeway National Trail. Stakeholder discussions had been carried out in the past 18 months about carrying out repairs, which had last been done in 1995. The type of repair work that could be carried out was limited because of the sensitivity of the area due to the ecology, geology and buried archaeology. He reminded members that the main purpose of the proposal was to enable WC to gather information on the long-term use of the National Trail by 4×4 vehicles. He added that the Ridgeway was closed each year from 1 October to 30 April and that the additional closure from 1 May 2019 would enable WC to formulate five test areas with co-operation from the adjoining land owners. It was noted that there were three different soil types on the National Trail. Mr Leonard said that each test area would be repaired by filling the ruts with soil taken from adjoining fields, thus negating the issue of having heavy mechanical machinery on site. He explained that the aim of the project was to prove that the type of repair proposed by stakeholders was not sustainable for vehicle use. It was noted that whilst the byway closure was in place, barriers would be erected to stop vehicles only from accessing the area. (See appendix 1 for map detailing the location of the barriers, including the top of Green Street and beyond the junction of AVE5 to Manor Farm). Members of the PC and members of the public were invited to ask questions and the following points emerged:
    1. The proposal would not impact the top of the Ridgeway, this would remain exactly the same.
    2. Solstice that year might be busier than usual as it was over a weekend and when it was busy lots of vehicles did park along the National Trail. Concern was expressed that due to the closure vehicles might be displaced along byway 5 that ran diagonally across the fields. Mrs Paradise offered to find out if byway 5 could be included in the temporary closure.
    3. In the medium to long-term it was the desire of the WHS and Ridgeway National Trail to keep 4×4 vehicles off the Ridgeway.
    4. A member of the public said that heras fencing might be available for the nursery site in Avebury Trusloe if the PC wanted that option.                                                                                                      Members felt that there was no reason why the byway closure should not take place as proposed. Thanks were expressed to Mr Leonard for his assistance and advice.
  7. Planning applications: it was noted that representatives from Fowler Architecture and Planning, Mr Aaron Smith BA (Hons) DipTP MRTPI and his colleague Stella Turner had not arrived and it was agreed to continue with the planning item. [N.B. apologies had in fact been sent at short notice that afternoon].
    1. Amended plans for 19/09889/FUL – Land at South Street, Avebury. The plans were considered and the following points emerged from both members of the PC and members of the public:
      1. The proposal did not meet local housing needs as indicated in the Fowler Planning Statement para 4.4. Avebury’s Parish Housing Needs Survey (March 2017) identified a need for two one-bedroom homes and two two-bedroom homes. It did not identify a need for a four-bedroom house.
      2. The photos/photo-montages supplied by the applicant failed to show the effect of the new house on adjacent houses.
      3. The sarsen wall and hedging would be further obliterated thus destroying local history. Members of the public questioned why access was not being gained over the applicant’s land on the Nursery Site instead of South Street.
      4. The proximity of the east wall to the Play Area is still not acceptable.
      5. The consultants describe the land as a ‘vacant plot’ and this detracts from the rural nature of the site.
      6. The slab height should be lowered to reduce the height of the roof to lower than that of the houses opposite.
      7. There was concern about the time of day that the building work might be carried out, an early morning start would be unacceptable and members of the public would want to have restrictions applied as to when builders would be allowed on-site. In discussion it was agreed that the applicant had not responded in any significant way, or at all, to the PC’s original concerns and nor had the height of the building been decreased.  It was resolved to request the architects to withdraw the application and that the PC object to the current proposals as per the PC’s original six points of concern and include the additional observations as listed above. Proposed by Dr Bedford, seconded by Mrs Paradise and carried unanimously. (See appendix 2 for letter sent to WC Planning Department on 9 April 2019).
  8. To approve the Parish Emergency Plan: (previously circulated to members). It was resolved to approve the content for the updated Parish Emergency Plan. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously. Mrs Lewis to circulate Emergency Plan to those on the distribution list and Clerk to ensure a copy is sent to WC. Thanks were expressed to Mrs Lewis and Mrs Farthing for their work on the document.
  9. Project Updates:
    1. Transport Group progress report
      1. Community Issue 7088: improved pedestrian safety on A4361 at Avebury Trusloe: Dr Bedford reported that the PC’s request for a 40mph speed restriction on the Beckhampton Road between the 30mph restriction and the Beckhampton roundabout had been submitted to CATG. CATG had been asked to link the work to the plans for a 50 mph speed restriction at Berwick Bassett as both areas were within the WHS. He added that the request needed to get into the top five priority projects before Wiltshire Highways could undertake any work and that both he and Mr Stacey would push for this at the next CATG meeting.
      2. Community Issue 4245: A4 at Beckhampton and West Kennett: Dr Bedford reported that a meeting in mid-February between Steve Hinds and Atkins had not taken place as planned. It was unanimously agreed that Dr Bedford request Steve Hinds to go ahead with the detailed plans for West Kennett. A question was asked about how traffic was going to be managed if the Avenue was closed and Dr Bedford said that one solution might be to install a gate.
      3. Community Issues 7027: new double yellow lining on B4300 and repairs to B4003 West Kennett Avenue:  Dr Bedford said that Martin Cook had budget available for refreshing the yellow lines on the B4003 and that work to limit illicit parking on the Avenue was also going ahead. He added that both projects would be implemented later in the year.
      4. Repairs to FP21 and FP22: members noted that budget was now in place for the long overdue repair work.
      5. RoW and working collaboratively with northern parishes: Mrs Lewis reported that the PC had been contacted by Anne Henshaw (Chair, CPRE Wiltshire) about a proposal that would involve the PC working with farmers, volunteers and other local parishes to reduce damage to the BOATs and ensure that bridleways and footpaths were kept properly clear and maintained. She added that Mr Stephen Leonard was open to working with Parish Councils and local volunteers on the project. Members felt that the idea was worth exploring although the question about insurance was raised. It was noted that Mr Stacey had offered to be the PC’s representative and therefore it was agreed that Stephen Stacey be nominated as the PC’s representative and attend the next meeting of the northern parishes whose aim was to take the idea forward. Clerk to inform Mrs Henshaw.
    2. ASOP meeting report, permit scheme and arrangements for solstice: Mrs Lewis reported that she had attended the ASOP meeting on 13 March and learnt that due to budget restraints the Police couldn’t guarantee that a drugs dog would be available nor a Police presence at the turning into Avebury Trusloe / Longfields. She explained that there would be a TTRO along the High Street and that St John’s Ambulance staff would be in attendance as per the previous year. Members noted that the next ASOP meeting was taking place on 8 May and it was agreed that Mrs Lewis should keep asking for a drugs dog and press for a Police presence in Avebury Trusloe. Mrs Lewis invited Mrs Paradise to update the meeting on the parking permit scheme for solstice. Mrs Paradise reported that a revised permit scheme, that now included a space for car registration details, had been sent to Simon Rowe, Matt Perrot and Chris Clark at Wiltshire Council Highways. She explained that the PC would not be hand delivering permits this year and neither would the Community Shop be distributing them. Parishioners would need to collect their permits (restricted to two per household) from a drop-in session with dates and times of the drop-in sessions being published in due course. In discussion it was noted that Winterbourne Monkton was not included on the Avebury Parish parking permit and agreed that BB&WM PC should have a separate arrangement for distributing permits to their residents. Mrs Lewis offered to email Jill Petchey (Chair of BB & WM PC) to update her and provide a copy of the parking permit template for BB & WM PC’s use.
    3. ASSF meeting report: Mrs Lewis had attended and there was nothing of note to mention.
    4. Play area refurbishment: Mrs Paradise said that work was in progress on obtaining estimates and pricing from various Play Equipment companies.
  10. Local Issues:
    1. Repairs to road mirror in Beckhampton: currently being actioned by the Clerk / Mrs Lewis.
    2. State of BT ‘phone box in West Kennett and feedback from residents in West Kennett: a letter will be sent to West Kennett residents asking for their views and the opinions from other parishioners were equally welcome.
    3. New notice board for West Kennett: the Clerk reported that she had asked John Giles for a quotation for a new wooden notice board using the same dimensions as the existing and to reuse materials such as the pin board where possible.
    4. Result of Community litter pick including support package ordered from WC: Members noted that nine bin liners had been filled from picking up litter along the Avenue and lot of the material collected had been car parts, coffee cups, cans and cigarette packets. Four bin liners had been filled from picking up litter in other areas of the Parish and four bin liners had been collected from Beckhampton. A separate litter pick carried out by Dr Bedford along the A4 and Sanctuary had resulted in nine bin bags being collected. Mrs Lewis reported that a Community Litter Pick support package had been ordered from WC [consisting of 20 ‘pickers’, 10 hoops to secure the bin bag, 10 Hi Viz vests, 1 shovel and brush, 1 graffiti removal kit, a roll of bags and gloves]. Thanks were expressed to all volunteers who took part in the litter pick.
    5. Replacement planters for the High Street: Mrs Paradise was continuing to look into options for products and pricing.
    6. Repainting of BT ‘phone box in the High Street: the Clerk had sent an email to request BT to repaint the ‘phone box in the High Street and BT had asked for a photograph. Mrs Lewis to ensure photograph is taken and emailed to the Clerk.
    7. Street lamps at Beckhampton: Mrs Lewis reported that WC had agreed to install a light shield on the new lamp next to Isobel Cottage.
    8. Reinstating a footpath outside Isobel Cottage: Mrs Lewis said that work would be carried out by WC later in the year.
  11. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: Mrs Lewis reported:
    1. Report on work completed in March: re-painting of metal railings at Big Arch Bridge on footpath 22 was scheduled to be carried out later in the year. Gullies and culvert along the High Street had been checked and cleared. Sweeping of Church Walk had been completed although noted that the road sweeping machine had only done Church Walk as instructed and not the High Street although the machine had travelled along the High Street to access Church Walk. In addition to the above the Parish Steward had filled various potholes and attended to damaged / dirty signs.
    2. Job requests for 10 April: Ms Service requested that some very large pot holes about 6 inches deep and situated at the side of the road (from the byeway to Yatesbury) be filled. Clerk to log request on WC’s on-line system.
  12. Communications: Mrs Lewis reported that the PC’s headlines and notice of Annual Parish Meeting on 16 April had been submitted to the April Edition of UKN.
  13. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Email received from WC about the Training and Networking Day, 9:30 – 3:45pm, Thursday 9 May at The Guildhall in Salisbury. Mr Stacey was currently booked to attend.
    2. Race to the Stones was taking place on 13 / 14 July 2019, starting from Field Farm, Watlington and finishing at Rutland Farm, Avebury.
    3. WC Flood Group meeting was taking place on 17 April and Highways England would be attending the flood group meeting in June to give an update of the A303 tunnel scheme.
    4. NT Community Newsletter had been received (see appendix 3).
    5. A letter had been received from Seafarers UK asking the PC to fly the Red Ensign ashore on Merchant Navy Day, 3 September, to raise awareness of nation’s reliance on seafarers and shipping. It was agreed not to take part as Wiltshire was a land locked county.
  14. Finance and admin including:
    1. Membership: Mrs Lewis stated that following Paul Ryder-Morris’ resignation WC’s statutory Notice of Vacancy had been displayed on Parish notice boards. An election to fill the vacancy would be held if TEN electors from the Parish of Avebury wrote to the Returning Officer by 11 April 2019 asking for an election to be held. If an election was not requested by that date, then the PC must fill the vacancy by co-option as soon as practicable.
    2. Training: the Clerk said that councillor listening training would be rescheduled when more members were able to attend.
    3. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
      1. ASSC: 2nd part payment of donation towards new Pavilion   £250.00
      2. Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 February – 21 March 2019                                                                                        £302.14
  15. Date of next meeting: the AGM would take place at 7:15pm followed by an ordinary Council meeting at 7:30pm on Tuesday 7 May 2019
  16. Any other business: there was none.
  17. The meeting closed at: 21:30

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

  1. Map detailing location of barriers for byway closure affecting the Ridgeway from 1 May 2019
  2. Letter sent to WC Planning Department on 9 April 2019 – not seen by the meeting, added subsequently.
  3. NT Community Newsletter Spring 2019