2 Jun 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 2nd June 2015 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes ACC stands for Avebury Cricket Club, AFC for Avebury Football Club, APC for Avebury Parish Council, 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: 19:31

  1. Public question time: There was one member of the public present for part of the meeting. There were no questions asked.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman and present from part way through item 8 onwards), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), David Brotheridge and Antoinette Kremer.
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Mike Daniel, Keith Howell, Paul Ryder-Morris, Zandria Service and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton.
  4. Declarations of interest: None declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 5th May 2015: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Brotheridge and seconded by Dr Bedford.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Faulty street light (lamp 8) outside Trusloe Cottages: (Min ref. 6.a). The Clerk reported the lamp was now working after the second attempt to fix it by WC.
    2. Dog fouling: (Min ref. 9.e). Mr Brotheridge reported prohibiting signs were already in situ near to the footpath at Knoll Down, Beckhampton. He said he would check to see if there was improvement in cleanliness as a result of the signs and report back at the next meeting.
    3. Request for Royal Mail post box outside Rawlins Park: (Min ref. 9.f). The Clerk said she was waiting for a response from Royal Mail. The Chairman added that the replacement post box opposite the Waggon & Horses in Beckhampton had now been installed.
    4. Bus shelter cleaning on A4361 at Rawlins Park: (Min ref. 9.i). Mr Brotheridge reported the bus shelter had not yet been cleaned by WC. Further action deferred to next meeting.
  7. Planning applications and results:
    1. Applications: erection of shed at Dorwyn, Swindon Road, Avebury SN8 1RH. Ref: 15/02910/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. Decision: it was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed Mrs Kremer, seconded by Dr Bedford and carried unanimously.
    2. Applications: fell T1 sycamore at West Kennet House, West Kennett, SN8 1QF. Ref: 15/04947/TCA. Plans previously circulated by email to members. Members thought the request to fell the sycamore was reasonable. Decision: it was unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mr Williamson, seconded by Mrs Kremer and carried unanimously.
    3. Application for change of use of stables at land at Gunsite Road to reception area
      for existing clay pigeon shoot
      on adjacent land 15/04373/FUL. N.B. The application was in the adjoining Parish of East
      Kennett but could be considered by APC as APC had received representations from local Avebury residents. Application details
      and representations had previously been circulated to members by email.

      Members referred to a map of the Parish of Avebury, and a photograph of the view looking east through West Kennett was
      viewed on a laptop. In discussion members observed that there was local concern about noise and noted the fact that there were
      already several clay pigeon shoots in the area. Members noted Gunsite Road was a single track road and became congested on
      shooting days; it would also be potentially dangerous should vehicles not be able to move off the A4 / pull out from Gunsite Road.
      The Chairman said that the WHS Management Plan included the concept of the setting around the WHS, and that too many shooters
      within the setting could affect the tranquillity of the WHS, and impact on walkers, riders and cyclists. Members were also
      concerned planning permission might be the first step in a process of expansion of the business.

      The Chairman read out an email from a member of the public:

      ‘There has been a progressive up scaling of the shoot in terms of vehicle movements. We cannot object to the shoot
      itself because under permitted development rights they are entitled to run 28 days shooting without any permission so we can’t
      really object to the noise unless it is classified as a nuisance. We can certainly put in objections to the change of use of
      the agricultural buildings. We can say it is not appropriate for these buildings to become a shooting club house in such a
      special, remote AONB and we can detail the access problems/issues for walkers etc. Since a number of complaints were put in to
      the enforcement officer recently we see that the shooting club have stopped offering weekly shooting on a Saturday.

      They are not allowed to use existing agricultural buildings as a shooting club house without seeking planning permission and
      our view is that the change of use will inevitably lead to an increase in the numbers of people shooting who will benefit from
      improved facilities and this would expand the shooting business. We feel this is Stage 1 of a two stage strategy for Gunsite
      Sporting clays to then seeking full permission for a shooting ground on the site’.

      Decision: Members resolved to object to the application on the grounds of there being no need for further
      provision for clay pigeon shoots locally, traffic congestion in Gunsite Road, dangers of collisions on the A4 and the creation
      of extra noise, and visual intrusion of parked cars, in an area designated in both the WHS and AONB Management Plans for
      tranquillity and safety for walkers, riders, cyclists and motorists. See appendix 1: APC’s reasons for objecting to
      planning application ref. 15/04373/FUL.
      Proposed by Mrs Kremer, seconded by Mr Brotheridge and carried unanimously.

  8. Transport issues including:
    1. Review of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 11th May 2015: draft minutes from the meeting received (previously circulated to members and see appendix 2) and approved minutes of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 17 April 2015 tabled (see appendix 3).

      The Chairman and Dr Bedford reported that they had had a successful meeting with Councillor Philip Whitehead (Wiltshire Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport) on 6 May and that he had been impressed by both the Avebury Parish Traffic Plan and the WHS Transport Strategy. Cllr Whitehead had displayed a detailed knowledge of traffic issues in the Parish and had offered his support to resolve them. His team would also help with costings for projects that APC might propose.

      Mike Bedford said that items had been selected by the Transport Group to move forward with and these were (i) the application for extension of 30mph limit on A4361 north of Avebury and (ii) the development of proposals in greater detail for each hamlet with the initial two main focus areas being West Kennett and Beckhampton.

      – Mrs Kremer left the room briefly.

      The Chairman said the next Transport Group meeting would need to focus on priority projects at Beckhampton and West Kennett and that Mr Brotheridge asked why APC needed to engage with WC in this way to move forward. The Chairman said the AWHS Management Plan was an overarching strategy document that had been commissioned and adopted by WC Highways; it was up to APC to select projects and press for works. Mr Brotheridge reported he had not looked into the possibility of additional tree plantings on A4361 Swindon Road as on further inspection it was not practical to plant near to the telephone exchange. Action: project request on hold.

      – Mrs Kate Fry joined the meeting. (The Chairman welcomed her and told members that she had joined the meeting to provide a presentation of the proposed new web site for APC).

      Members considered the Signage Audit.

      The Chairman reported £2,000 had been set aside by APC for the WHS Transport Strategy and said this could be used for the signage audit to fund two types of signs:

      • Regulatory / advisory signs
      • Unique WHS signs

      The Chairman also reported that Mr Tim Lewis was working on a project to note the absence of signs / finger posts for walkers and proposed APC involve Mr Lewis in the Transport Group. Members agreed this was a good idea. Action: Dr Bedford to put footpaths / signage on Transport Group agenda.
      Members considered the community planting scheme for Beckhampton roundabout / verges and were in favour of moving forward with the scheme.
      Action: Dr Bedford to put item on Transport Group agenda.

      The Chairman altered the order of business and proposed moving directly on to item 10. Development of Parish Council Web Site. The resolution was carried unanimously and item 10 was then discussed. See item 10.
      – Mrs Lewis joined the meeting.

    2. The Chairman reported that he had submitted an application to CATG for an extension of the 30mph limit on A4361 north of Avebury to Rutlands Farm.
    3. Trusloe parking: deferred to next Transport Group meeting.
    4. Replacement of tarmac at end of Green Street: deferred to next ordinary meeting.
    5. Budget for footpath 22: Dr Bedford reported the funding for footpath 22 would be coming from a WC footpaths’ budget.
  9. Local issues, including:
    1. WHS Management Plan: the Chairman tabled a copy of the final bound WHS Management Plan and reported it had been successfully launched two weeks earlier in Avebury, Trowbridge and Stonehenge. The Chairman said North Wessex Downs AONB had also just published its Management Plan and tabled a copy of the document.
    2. Avenue Dig 2015: no further update.
    3. Solstice: 21 June 2015.
    4. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis said she felt it was important for Avebury to have a defibrillator and that it should be easily accessible to the public. The Chairman stated he believed the NT already had a defibrillator. Action: Mrs Lewis to contact Tim Chamberlain (NT Facilities Manager) to verify the existence and location of a defibrillator for Avebury.
    5. Sportsfield gate: the Chairman reported that a site visit had taken place on 25 May to discuss improving the access to and from the sports field in Avebury. There was concern that access into and out of the sports field could be difficult and dangerous. Representatives of ASA, Avebury and District Club, ACC, Avebury Youth Football Club and APC had been present, but the NT had not been able to attend to give their views.

      The Chairman reported that four proposals had been put forward but none had been agreed. He also said several attendees had expressed comments after the meeting concerning the proceedings of the meeting. In discussion members noted the history of the sportsfield and felt it would be valuable to find further ways to make it available to more young people.

      – Mrs Fry left the meeting.

      Members expressed concern regarding APC’s lack of representation on ASA following Mr Dixon’s death and agreed that APC was much lacking in his monthly attendance at its meetings. Mr Brotheridge and Mrs Kremer offered to represent APC. The Clerk pointed out that at the Council’s AGM Mr Brotheridge had already offered to represent APC but he had said he would not be able to attend all ASA meetings.

      Action: it was unanimously agreed to revisit how APC could best support sports and recreation in the Parish at next Council meeting.
      The Chairman stated he would be meeting with the NT shortly to ascertain their views on improving access to the sports field. The next meeting regarding the sports field gate would be taken forward in due course. In brief the four proposals were as follows:

      1. ASA wished to widen the entrance by installing a pedestrian gate with a removable post immediately west of the existing gate to extend the width of the entrance westwards, and cut back a small amount of hedging to improve visibility splays
      2. Mr Daniel (member APC) suggested creating a new opening in the eastern hedge with the Club and allowing vehicles to use the Club’s forecourt to get access to the A4361
      3. Avebury and District Club proposed an alternative access for vehicles that would allow them to cross the Glebe field and access the A4361 through the NT’s car park entrance
      4. ACC did not wish the entrance to be enlarged too much for security reasons
    6. High nitrate levels in tap water at the Pavilion: Mr Brotheridge reported nitrate filters might not be effective and he had been advised to contact Thames Water to obtain a free quotation and obtain the environmental health report. Mrs Lewis said Thames Water had responded to say that as the water supply was not on mains supply it was not the responsibility of Thames Water. Members noted a reverse osmosis filter sold for domestic use would cost about £200.

      The Chairman reported that he had contacted Vicky Brown at WC. She had advised that there were two types of filter systems, including a nitrate removal ionic exchange system, but that the ideal solution was to connect to the mains supply. She had advised the issue must be remedied in the near future.The Chairman said he had asked Mrs Jenny Haines (Chairlady ASA) to obtain the specification against which Whatley & Co of Pewsey had quoted. The Chairman clarified that Vicky Brown had advised that a specification should, at minimum, be for a ‘point of use nitrate removal system for low volume usage’. Dr Bedford added that other alternative options might be to either install a water dispenser or a charcoal filter.

      Action: members agreed that the Chairman raise the issue of nitrates with the National Trust at a meeting on 11 June and that he report on progress to Vicky Brown. It was also agreed that it would be important that APC saw Whatley & Co’s specification and that if APC were to obtain quotations for a filter it should, at minimum, specify a ‘point of use nitrate removal system for low volume usage’.

    7. Renewal of lease for Sports Field: the Chairman reported that the National Trust had requested a meeting to discuss the renewal of the lease of the sports field. He gave an overview of the history of lease renewals including rent increases in past years and said the meeting would be on 11 June. Action: Clerk to add item to next meeting’s agenda.
    8. Rights of way network: already covered earlier on the agenda under signage audit.
    9. Community Wi-Fi: Mrs Lewis reported that the owners of the Circle Nursery were not in favour of offering their hub for community wi-fi due to concern regarding data security risks.
  10. Development of Parish Council web site: the Chairman reported that he and the Clerk had met Mrs Fry on the 7 May to look at her proposals for improvements to APC’s web site, and had subsequently invited her to provide a demonstration to APC members.

    Mrs Fry gave a presentation of the proposed new web site for APC.

    Features included: self-changing photo on home page, search box, unlimited heading tabs, calendar / events (new feature), ability to type meeting minutes directly onto web-site (self-publish), proprietary product called WordPress.

    In discussion, members asked about security and whether additional features such as a visitor counter could be added and a local links tab. Mrs Fry said the site would be secured and the features requested were all possible. Members welcomed the changes to the web-site and congratulated Kate on her proposed improvements.

    Action: Mrs Fry to email the Clerk with pricing and screenshots and Clerk to email all members for consideration at next full Council meeting.

The Chairman altered the order of business and proposed moving directly on to item 9. e. Sports Field Gate. The resolution was carried unanimously. See item 9.

  1. Communications: the Chairman reported he had been unable to submit joint April and May Headlines to the June 2015 copy of UKN due to time constraints.
  2. Correspondence: received by email unless otherwise indicated. The Clerk reported:
    1. Wiltshire Council was running a mobile library service consultation and had emailed a list of stops being retained, which included stops in Trusloe, the High Street and Rawlins Park.
    2. Wiltshire Council had invited APC to take part in the 1 tonne bag scheme and PEAS 2015/2016. Members agreed APC had enough supplies and there was no need to take part in the scheme.
    3. WALC: newsletter for May 2015 received.
    4. Splash Wiltshire and Youth Action Wiltshire: members had received an invitation to High Sheriff of Wiltshire’s Reception at South Canonry, Salisbury on 18 September.
  3. Finance and admin: the Chairman reported
    1. Approval of Annual Return 2014/2015: the annual return was tabled including sections 1-2 (see Appendix 4). Members unanimously approved the Annual Return and resolved that the form be signed and returned. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
    2. Adoption of TOR of Transport Group. Members unanimously agreed that APC adopt the document (see Appendix 5). Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    3. Councillor Training: Mrs Lewis said the training on the 6 May had been a success. Three parish councils had taken part including APC and the costs had been split equally.
    4. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid:
      1. WALC: evening training for Councillors on May 6 2015 £360.00
      2. Liz Moore: additional hours in May 2015 + expenses £423.75

      Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mrs Kremer. Cheques signed by Dr Bedford and Mr Williamson.

  4. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 7th July 2015.
  5. Any other business: none
  6. The meeting closed at 22:07

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

  1. APC’s reasons for objecting to planning application for clay pigeon shoot ref. 15/04373/FUL dated 4 June 2015.
  2. Draft minutes of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 11 May 2015
  3. Approved minutes of APC’s Transport Group meeting on 17 April 2015
  4. Sections 1-2 Annual Return 2014-2015
  5. Terms of Reference for Transport Group dated 6 May 2015.