7 Jul 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 7th July 2015 at the Pavilion, Avebury Sportsfield, Beckhampton Road, Avebury SN8 1RD.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, AFC for Avebury Football Club, AHA stands for Aster Housing Association, ASA for Avebury Sports Field Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WALC for Wiltshire Association of Local Councils, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:42

  1. Keith Howell: Members expressed great sadness at the death of Keith Howell on 30th June at the age of 77 years and remembered his many valuable contributions to the work of the Council. Members kept a silence before the meeting to remember him.
  2. Public question time: There were no members of the public present.
  3. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), David Brotheridge, Mike Daniel, Antoinette Kremer and Zandria Service.
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  4. Apologies for absence: Councillor Paul Ryder-Morris and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton.
  5. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  6. Minutes of meeting held on 2nd June 2015: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  7. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Dog fouling: (Min ref. 6 b). No further report from Mr Brotheridge on whether there had been an improvement in cleanliness at Knoll Down, Beckhampton. Deferred to next meeting.
    2. Request for Royal Mail post box outside Rawlins Park: (Min ref. 6 c). The Clerk tabled a letter she had received from the Royal Mail and stated that according to Royal Mail rules, Rawlins Caravan Park did not warrant the installation of a post-box as it was within some 584 meters of the post box at Avebury Post Office. The Clerk confirmed that Royal Mail was only obliged to provide sufficient posting facilities within an 850 meter radius (as the crow flies). Members felt Royal Mail should also consider the number of households that would benefit from a post box and noted there had been a post box on site many years ago when there were fewer houses. The Clerk said these reasons had been stated in the request letter sent to the Royal Mail. Action: Mr Brotheridge to research further and consult with local residents. Deferred to next meeting.
    3. Bus shelter cleaning on A4361 at Rawlins Park: (Min ref. 6 d). Mr Brotheridge reported that no cleaning had been carried out to date. Action: Clerk to re-contact WC.
    4. Defibrillator for Avebury: (Min ref. 9 d). Mrs Lewis reported the NT had a defibrillator but it was located in their offices and not readily accessible to the public. Action: Mrs Lewis to contact the NT to find out if the defibrillator could be moved to a visible and accessible location.
  8. Planning applications and results:
    1. Felling group of multistemmed sycamores at the Red Lion, Avebury: Ref: 15/05719/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered. Decision: it was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mr Daniel.
    2. New garage and secure store with room over at Trusloe Farmhouse, Frog Lane, Avebury Trusloe. Ref: 15/05342/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered including written objections from two local residents. In discussion members felt a site visit was warranted. The Clerk confirmed WC had granted an extension to the response time to enable APC enough time to fully consider the application.
      Decision: it was unanimously agreed that an on-site Planning Committee meeting be held on Friday 10th July at 6:30pm. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mrs Lewis. [NB. a meeting of the Planning Committee may be held at short notice provided public notice is given]. The Clerk agreed to publish the agenda that night on the APC web site.
    3. Results:
      1. New garden wall at Bridge House, High Street. Ref: 15/03709/FUL. Approved by WC with conditions.
        The Chairman reported he had received an email from Linda Jenkins querying APC’s recent decision to support a shorter and lower garden wall. Action: APC to refer Linda Jenkins to minutes of APC’s meeting on 1 April 2014 and its Planning Sub-committee meeting on 28 April 2014 and to clarify that APC’s original objections, including the wall appearing too imposing, had now been met by the applicant. While APC had supported the application it was Wiltshire Council that gave the final consent.
      2. Removal of existing rear conservatory and erection of single storey and first floor rear extension at Galteemore Farm, Beckhampton. Ref. 15/02648/FUL. Approved by WC with conditions.
      3. Erection of shed at Dorywn, Swindon Road. Ref. 15/02910/FUL. Approved by WC with conditions.
      4. Felling T1 Sycamore at West Kennett House. Ref: 15/04947/TCA. No objection from WC.
    4. Amended Plans: notification had been received from WC of further amended plans for planning application for change of use of stables at land at Gunsite Road Ref: 15/04373/FUL. Members agreed no further action necessary as APC had already submitted its representation.
  9. Renewal of lease for Sportsfield and re-siting Sportsfield Gate: (see Appendix 1 for Chairman’s notes that were tabled at the meeting entitled ‘Review of Sportsfield lease’ and dated 12 June 2015).
    The Chairman gave an overview of the terms of various leases to date. A lease had been created in 1947 for 25 years at a nominal rent of one shilling. Three leases had subsequently been created in succession for terms of seven years. The current lease had been created in 1990 for a term of 10 years at a rent of £100 per annum and had been ‘holding over’ since 2000. Members noted that APC had been invoiced by the NT for £60 per annum including VAT since 1990.
    The Chairman said he had had a good meeting with Catherine Hosie, the new NT Surveyor, and that he had noted that:

    1. APC had been a good tenant
    2. The grounds had been used for their intended purposes.

    The Chairman reported there were grants available from Sport England but amounts of grant related to the length of lease that the applicant held. For example, a 15 year lease would be needed for a grant of £100-£150k. As it might also take about five years to bid for funding, a longer lease would be necessary.
    In discussion, members noted that about 10 years ago plans had been put forward by the public for a new pavilion but this had been objected to by the NT which at that time was in favour of a timber rather than a brick building. The Chairman added that with regard to other local buildings, the WHS Management Plan recommended that the Social Club be relocated to a better position away from the Henge. Members also noted the Club had recently changed its name to Avebury Sports and Recreation Club to enable it to access Sport England funding.
    Members discussed possible uses for the Sports-field including installing a tennis court. Key points noted by members were as follows:

    • the lease only provides for use as a ‘recreational and sports ground’
    • no planning permissions were likely for any other uses
    • archaeological sensitivity
    • WHS setting sensitivity
    • lease cannot be assigned or underlet
    • the current use is only viable if the Sports-field is run on a not for profit basis and with a great deal of fundraising.

    The Chairman said the question has also arisen as to whether APC could purchase the freehold at some point in the future.
    Initial Summary: overall members felt it would be sensible to ask for a longer lease in the region of 25-40 years, to negotiate a nominal rent of £50 per annum and to include the option of adding a phrase such as ‘other similar activities’ to the list of uses for the sportsfield. Further discussion deferred to an extra meeting to be held in August.

  10. Avebury Sportsfield Association:
    1. Review of meeting 22 June with ASA Committee members. The Chairman read out a letter of resignation he had received from ASA and tabled it. (See appendix 2 Resignation letter from ASA Committee members effective from 30 September and previously circulated). The Chairman, Dr Bedford and Mrs Lewis reported they had met with ASA on 22 June and that ASA were resolute in their intention to resign but had offered to be available for consultation. The Chairman said he was very reluctant to accept their decision; he greatly appreciated all ASA had done and the sports-field and pavilion were an asset for the community. ASA members had confirmed they did not wish to carry on running car boot sales. The balance at the bank as at 22 June was £5,221.24 and the monies would be transferred over to APC bank account in due course.
      The Chairman tabled a list of ASA’s income and expenditure. (See appendix 3, ASA income and expenditure, dated 6 July 2015).
      Ms Service said APC would need to know the usage of the sports-field in order to forecast the potential income and asked if this information was available.
      The Chairman gave an overview of the current usage by ACC and AFC so that members could ascertain to some extent the usage levels.
      In discussion, members noted ASA had run a successful operation raising about £2,500 to £4,000 per annum and that people took part and came to fund raising events for enjoyment and friendship as well as raising money. Members agreed they should publicise the facility and they would like to know what people would like to see for the future. Members noted that ASA rules stated no marquees.
      The Chairman asked which members would be interested in becoming involved in sports and recreation work. Dr Bedford, Mr Daniel and Mrs Kremer all volunteered.
      Action: Clerk to organize a half page advert in UKN.
    2. Potable water supply for the Pavilion: the Chairman reported that further to email correspondence with Vicky Brown (Senior Environmental Health Officer WC) and previously circulated to members, APC had been advised to consider obtaining a quotation from Thames Water to connect the Pavilion to the mains supply which was about 75 metres from the Pavilion. The cost of laying pipe-work to the mains might be about £6 / metre and this equated to £450 + VAT. In addition, Thames Water would require a connection charge. Decision: it was unanimously agreed the best long term solution would be to connect to mains supply.
      The Chairman reported that aside from the nitrate issue another problem had arisen. ASA had reported that the UV filter had recently been vandalised and this meant the water was now unsafe and undrinkable. The Chairman said Vicky Brown was considering requiring notices be put up by taps stating ‘all water must be boiled’.
      – Members momentarily left the table to look at the damage done to the UV filter.
      The Chairman stated Jenny Haines had recommended replacing the UV filler as soon as possible. The cost of replacing the UV filter was about £400.
      Decision: it was unanimously agreed that the issue be rectified as soon as possible. Members resolved that APC commission the installation of a new UV filter at the pavilion at a cost not exceeding £500 + VAT. [APC has the power to provide a range of recreational facilities including powers to provide buildings, equipment, supplies and assistance of any kind under LGA (Miscellaneous Provisions) 1976, s.19].
      Members agreed the cupboard to the new UV filter should be locked to deter further vandalism.
      Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
      Action: APC to instruct ASA to arrange for a new UV filter to be fitted and the invoice to be sent directly to APC. The Chairman said he would contact ASA to arrange for the danger sign to be put up with immediate effect. The Chairman and Mr Brotheridge agreed to work together and Mr Brotheridge to organize tender documents and obtain a quotation from Thames Water for connecting to mains water supply.
    3. Members to consider how best to support sports and recreation in the Parish: already covered earlier on agenda and deferred to next meeting.
  11. Transport Issues including:
    1. Review of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 9th June: members formally received the draft minutes and proposals for priority projects at Beckhampton and West Kennett. (See appendix 4 and previously circulated to members). Ms Service referred to item 6 iii of the draft minutes and asked if the reference to Bray Street was correct. The Clerk reported it should have read Green Street and said she would correct the draft and thanked Ms Service for noticing the error. Action: the Chairman and Dr Bedford to package together the proposals and submit to Councillor Philip Whitehead at WC for costing information. Proposed by Mr Daniel, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
      In addition members to consider:

      1. Funding an overall signage audit throughout the WHS.
        Action: not covered, deferred to next meeting.
      2. Setting up a Community planting scheme for Beckhampton roundabout / verges.
        Action: not covered, deferred to next meeting.
    2. Progress on submission of application for extension of 30mph limit on A4361 north of Avebury: the Chairman stated that CATG was due to request Highways to consider the application and that their consultant (Atkins) might be commissioned to report on traffic speeds.
    3. Footpaths: the Chairman tabled a report on footpaths in Avebury Parish that had been written by Tim Lewis, dated 7 July 2015 and previously circulated to members. (See appendix 5). It was agreed the item be added to the agenda of the next Transport Group meeting. Action: APC to invite Tim Lewis to next Transport Group meeting.
    4. Parking in Trusloe: not covered, deferred to next meeting.
    5. Replacement of tarmac at end of Green Street: deferred to next meeting
  12. Local issues, including:
    1. Community Wi-Fi: Action: Mrs Lewis to write to Social Centre trustees to enquire about the possibility of installing broadband in the Social Centre. Mrs Lewis said the Social Centre AGM was on the 23 July.
    2. NT main car park sign: members of the Transport Group had reported at their last meeting on 9 June that the sign to the main NT car park was obstructed by bushes and this was resulting in people getting lost. The Clerk said she had contacted Becky Busby at WC to resolve the issue. Mr Brotheridge reported the bushes had been cut back but this had not helped and either the trees on either side of the sign would need to be cut back or the sign re-sited. Action: Clerk to contact Becky Busby to request a site meeting.
    3. Green bins: the Clerk had helped a member of the public who had been in contact to say they were having problems getting through to speak to WC on the designated WC waste management telephone number.
  13. Review of Solstice: In general, members felt Solstice had gone well. Mr Daniel said he had been disappointed with the policing this year and said there had been deterioration in service levels. He reported he had been woken at 2am in the morning by revellers, people had blocked his driveway with cars and his wife had suffered verbal abuse. Ms Service said she had not seen any police about in the area of Bray Street. The Chairman reported that people contacting him had felt that solstice had been basically peaceful and enjoyable, that there had been 24-25 police available at any one time and that there had only been three arrests. He said that he had been contacted by some residents in Trusloe who had observed that the police were later in arriving at the Trusloe junction than in previous years.
    In discussion members agreed that there had been a good police presence in the centre of Avebury, that a lot of people had witnessed the sunrise in the centre of the village but there seemed to be a lack of police in the outer areas of the Parish. Action: Chairman to write to thank the police service and the National Trust for their good work over solstice. He would also contact the police about the specific observations above, and to ask for assurances that public order would be maintained in future years.
  14. Communications: the Chairman reported the April, May and June 2015 combined Headlines had been submitted to UKN.
  15. Correspondence: (received by email unless otherwise indicated). The Clerk reported she had received:
    1. Wiltshire Council Highways: Will Lee (Parish Steward) was leaving on the 19 June to take up a position with Swindon Council. Chairman had passed on thanks on behalf of APC.
    2. Wiltshire Council review of passenger transport spending and service delivery: invitation to workshop that will provide an overview of public transport policy and research and the potential to help WC develop deliverable options for achieving savings. Workshop at Corn Exchange in Devizes 18:00 – 20:00 on 16 July. There were no APC members available to attend the workshop.
    3. Complaint from a member of the public on 18 June regarding the poor state of cleanliness of the public toilets in the High Street. The Clerk said she had forwarded the email to Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) for action but had received no response from the NT to date.
    4. NALC Lobby Day 30 June: the objective was to make MPs aware of the role of NALC / WALC and their work with Parish and Town Councils.
    5. A4 Tourist Route update had been received from John SkinnerÊ(Calne Culture and Tourism Steering Group).
    6. Various local events posters received and published on APC web site.
  16. Finance and admin:
    1. Members to resolve to accept quotation for development works to the Parish Council’s web site: the Clerk recommended that APC accept the one quotation from Kate Fry for £240 (quotation previously circulated) for development works to APC web site. [N.B. £100 had been budgeted for web development 2015/2016 however extra money could be used from reserve fund if all members were in agreement]. Reason: the Clerk said the order was for under £500 and as Kate Fry was already running the existing web site it was desirable to maintain continuity by using the existing supplier. Decision: in accordance with its powers under section 142 of LGA 1972, members unanimously agreed to accept Kate Fry’s quotation of £240 for development works to the APC web site. Proposed by Ms Kremer, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
    2. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Ms Service.
      1. WALC: annual membership 2015 – 2016 £36.00
      2. University of Southampton: MAB Grant for Avenue Dig 2015: onward payment £625.00
      3. Avebury Social Centre: rent 11 May, 2 June, 9 June £12.00
      4. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 May – 21 June 2015 £180.10

      Cheques were signed by Dr Bedford and Mrs Lewis.

  17. Date of next meeting: 8pm on Tuesday 4th August 2015 at the Social Centre.
    Main agenda items for next meeting: renewal of lease for Sports Field and ASA.
  18. Any other business:
    The Chairman reported Linda Jenkins had asked if ivy could be removed from some trees on AHA land and he had referred her to AHA.
  19. The meeting closed at 22:05

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

  1. Review of Sportsfield lease, dated 12 June 2015
  2. Resignation letter from ASA Committee members
  3. ASA income and expenditure, dated 6 July 2015
  4. Draft minutes of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 9 June 2015
  5. Report on footpaths in Avebury Parish by Tim Lewis, dated 7 July 2015