3 Mar 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 3rd March 2015 at the Social Centre, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands for Avebury Parish Council, ACC for Avebury Cricket Club, AFC for Avebury Football Club, ASA for Avebury Sports Field Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, AWHS Charity for Avebury World Heritage Site Charity, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MADT for Marlborough Area Development Trust, NT for the National Trust, SSE for Scottish and Southern Energy, TOG for The Orchard Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There was one member of the public present but no questions were asked.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), Keith Howell, Antoinette Kremer and Zandria Service (AK and ZS part way through item 6a. onwards).
    In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Mike Daniel, Paul Ryder-Morris and Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton.
  4. Declarations of interest: None declared.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 3rd February 2015: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes :
    1. Mr Paul Dixon: (Min ref.1). The Chairman reported he had spoken to TOG to confirm that APC members were interested in planting a Maple tree on the Sports Field to commemorate Mr Dixon. The Chairman said Mrs Jan Polack (TOG) had pointed out that the Maple would not be seen very well if it were sited on the west boundary, behind the Pavilion.
      [Mrs Kremer and Ms Sevice joined the meeting at this point].
      In view of the above, the Chairman asked members if they thought a fruit tree would be better as part of the orchard, and the majority agreed. The Chairman said he had previously spoken to Mrs Dixon and she would be equally happy for a fruit tree to be planted instead.
      The Chairman reported TOG would like to have another small orchard on the Sports Field, this time located next to the Avebury Club by the gate to the road. The Chairman said he had asked TOG for their developing proposal but matters were at an early stage and they did not have any more information to date. The Chairman said it was important TOG involved APC and ASA early on in the decision process. The Chairman then asked members for their views regarding another orchard. In discussion members agreed there may be other issues that TOG would need to consider, such as whether the orchard would conform with the recently published WHS Woodland Strategy, which specifically related to obscuring visibility of monuments or disturbing archaeological remains. Members noted a geophysical survey had not been done in that part of the field. Also, members thought the Avebury Club and ACC should be consulted too.
  7. Membership: the Chairman reported that WC had confirmed that APC could now proceed to co-opt a new Councillor to fill the casual vacancy that had arisen following Paul Dixon’s death. The Chairman said Mr David Brotheridge of Rawlins Park had been recommended as a possible member and that he had met him. Mr Brotheridge was enthusiastic about joining APC; he had previously worked in local government and was the volunteer moth recorder for Wiltshire. The Chairman said he had also taken a call that day from Mr Bruce Hinder of Rawlins Park who had also expressed interest in joining APC. He had been a member of APC in the past and was currently running AFC.
    The Chairman reported that he had also received an email that day from Mr Paul Ryder-Morris who had offered his resignation due his absences from APC meetings due to professional commitments. Mr Ryder-Morris had offered to continue to remain a member until a new Councillor was found. The Chairman asked members if they wished to accept Mr Ryder-Morris’ resignation or speak to him to encourage him to remain a member. In discussion, members felt the latter was appropriate; Mr Ryder-Morris represented West Kennett, which was particularly important because the WHS Transport Strategy was just about to be released, and he could also represent the interests of younger families. Overall, members said they valued his contributions more than they regretted his non-attendances and that it would be useful for him to remain a Councillor, subject to a review of his membership in a year’s time. Action: the Chairman to speak to Mr Ryder-Morris to see if he would be willing to stay on, with a review in a year’s time.
    With regards to the casual vacancy, members noted that Mr Hinder had previously served on APC. Members thought a new person should be given the option to become a Councillor. Agreed unanimously that Mr Brotheridge be invited to become a co-opted member of APC and that Mr Hinder’s interest be recorded and recalled in the event of a vacancy in future. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Ms Service. Action: the Chairman to speak with Mr Brotheridge and Mr Hinder to inform them of APC’s decisions. Clerk to invite Mr Brotheridge to the next Council meeting.
  8. Planning applications and results:
    1. Full planning to re-site and replace oil tank, erect screening and gates to rear garden at Rose Cottage, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 15/01740/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered. The Clerk read out a letter received with the plans in which Mr Farthing gave his reasons for the application. Members agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mr Howell.
    2. Full planning for installation of two LPG fuel tanks including base and pipework in the garden of 110 High Street to supply 110, 111, 112 and 113 High Street at 110 High Street, Avebury, Marlborough, SN8 1RF. Ref: 15/00757/FUL. Plans were tabled and considered, members noted a similar planning application had been received in the past and had been supported by APC. Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  9. Application for licence for Street Trading Consent: the Chairman reported that under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, an application for Street Trading Consent had been recently received (previously circulated to members). The application was for a mobile stall serving light refreshments (not burgers) for dog walkers, at the end of the lay-by off the A4, half a mile west of Beckhampton. The Chairman tabled a plan of the lay-by and a picture of the van. In discussion, members noted that no advertisements would be placed on the road, the trading times would be Monday to Sunday 07.00 – 22.00 and that the proprietor would need to take the vehicle away each night to fill up its water tank. Mr Howell said there might be an issue with rubbish and access to the lay-by. Mrs Lewis reported that dog walkers were not usually walking on the footpath across the gallops before midday and used another path nearby and so had an alternative footpath to use. The Chairman reported Mr Roger Charlton had no particular views in principle but had two requests, the first was not to attract large trucks and the second was for members of the public to avoid damaging the boundary fence. The Chairman said Solstice might also be an issue in terms of policing the area. It was unanimously agreed to respond to the consultation and to request any licence should be for no longer than 12 months and that the situation then be reviewed before any other licence was issued. It was also agreed that the licence should contain the following conditions:
    1. The van only to be sited at the western end of the lay-by and that the public should not lean on fences to the south of the lay-by
    2. Trucks and other large vehicles not to be encouraged, due to potential damage to fences when turning round
    3. Litter to be properly disposed of and removed from the site
    4. To avoid trading over the Solstice period for a week each side of Solstice
    5. Clutter and advertising be avoided
    6. Proprietor’s vehicle is removed each night

    Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mr Howell.
    The Chairman reported NT had no particular issues and Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) had not yet commented with the views of the WHS. Action: Chairman to put together a response to WC using above minute and document to be circulated to members prior to Clerk submitting APC’s formal response via email by the 11th March 2015 deadline.

  10. Flood Group: Mrs Lewis reported on:
    1. Mud and water in Beckhampton Lane: Rachel Foster (Deputy County Archaeologist) had emailed a map of a medieval settlement at Beckhampton (see Appendix 1) and this was tabled for members to view. Mrs Lewis said she had replied to Rachel to ask if gripps could be used on the byway.
    2. Gel sacs and salt: no one had yet contacted her to request a supply.

    During further discussion, members noted that most of the mud and debris on roads within the Parish was directly caused by farm vehicles and therefore APC should write to all the farmers to remind them about their obligations. In addition to contributing to flooding issues and to damage to tarmac surfaces, mud was a treacherous hazard for drivers and motorcyclists. Action: Mrs Lewis to write to Mr Martin Cook (WC Highways Engineer) to ascertain the legal rules and then put together a draft letter to be circulated to members.

  11. Transport Issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. Progress on sign-off of WHS Transport Plan: final sign off by WC imminent.
    2. Public meeting about the WHS Transport Strategy at 6:30pm on 19th March: Laura Gosling of Wiltshire Highways and Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) would be presenting the WHS Transport Strategy to the public. The Chairman tabled an A4 flyer for the meeting (see Appendix 2). Members were happy with the flyer aside from two minor changes: (i) change title: ‘New Transport Strategy for Avebury Parish’ to ‘New Transport Strategy for WHS’. (ii) address each part of the Parish and substitute the words WHS in the introductory sentence ‘A new Transport Strategy…for the WHS’, with a list of all the settlements. Mrs Kremer pointed out it was important for everyone to feel they were invited. Action: Chairman to update flyer and print 230 copies for immediate distribution by members to all households in the Parish.
    3. Funding electronic speed warning signs: Dr Bedford noted that Wiltshire Council was withdrawing their Speed Indicator Device (SID) service but had enquired whether parishes might want to provide this service themselves. He reported that SIDs would cost £420.00 per annum if 10 Parishes shared the resource. It was not clear how long WC would continue to provide the signs. In discussion members ascertained the signs only worked well during the first week of use, they did not work consistently and someone would have to be responsible for putting them up and taking them down. Members were not in support of the devices and felt it would be more effective to put their energies into getting the 30mph signs moved along the Swindon Road. No decision taken.
    4. Parking in Trusloe: nothing further to report, deferred to next meeting.
    5. Stables’ crossing and signage at Beckhampton racehorse crossing: no further update.
    6. Replacement of tarmac at the end of Green Street: no new tarmac as the mud had yet to be removed.
    7. Footpath 22: clarification on which budget was going to be used for the repairs had yet to be actioned by Dr Bedford (Transport Group). Deferred to next meeting. Mrs Service said that she often cycled along the footpath and felt that raising it by a foot in some places (as per last meeting’s suggestion) could result in people feeling it was quite high and that it could be dangerous.
  12. World Heritage Site issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. Consultation on draft WHS Management Plan: APC’s response had been submitted and WHS would next respond to APC with their formal reply, as per procedure.
    2. Funding of ‘Between the Monuments’ dig in the Avenue in 2015: he had attended a meeting with the NT and Dr Joshua Pollard two weeks previously and Dr Pollard would be confirming a start date for the dig very soon.
    3. Methods of funding projects in the WHS Management Plan: he had put together a group of seven local people, himself included, to work on setting up two financial vehicles to raise funds for projects identified in the new WHS Management Plan. There were about 80 different projects of which 30 might receive funding from these bodies. The Chairman said that the group had recently set up the first body, the Avebury World Heritage Site Charity, to start the ball rolling.
    4. Report on WHS meeting of farmers and landowners: Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) and he had held a meeting with local farmers and landowners to consult on the draft WHS Management Plan. This was work in progess.
  13. Local issues, including:
    1. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelters: the Clerk reported she had spoken to Mr Peter Swatton that evening and he was due to finish repairs to the concrete bus shelter by the end of the next week. The concrete floor and roof were the main jobs left to finish. The Clerk said the orange barriers were still in place around the bus shelter as there was a trench dug out around the shelter where the painting had been done and this was to prevent any accidents. The Clerk said Mr Swatton had noticed a concrete pad next to the bus shelter on the right-hand site and he had wondered what purpose this served. Members did not know other than there should be a bench sited at that point.
      Mrs Lewis reported she had that day emailed Mr Phil Carter (Community Coordinator, Local Highways) to report that the light was not working in the WC owned bus shelter on the A361. Mrs Lewis also reported that a local resident had been involved in an accident on the roundabout on the 10th February 2015 and that he had been hit by a car whilst cycling. The resident had been cycling on the roundabout from Trusloe towards Devizes. The Chairman tabled p. 040, Scheme Overview: 3.4_A4 (Beckhampton) of the AWHS Transport Strategy (see Appendix 3 in the 4th November 2014 minutes). Members noted part of the solution within the plan, to improve road safety, was to widen the island and make one line of traffic on approach to the roundabout as opposed to two. Action: Dr Bedford to log a record of the accident as evidence for Transport Group.
    2. Avebury Rocks 2015: no further update from the organisers.
    3. Progress on High Speed Broadband: nothing further to report.
    4. Street lighting: the Clerk said she had received a report from a BT Engineer that a light was not working in Church Walk; the Chairman had subsequently confirmed all the lights were working fine so no report was logged with WC. The Clerk said a resident had reported to that a street lamp (number 8) had not been working at Trusloe Cottages for about a month. The Clerk had logged the issue with Phil Carter (Community Coordinator, Local Highways) but the Chairman said the issue was still outstanding. Action: Clerk to chase WC.
    5. Request to remove Ivy on trees by Play Area, Trusloe: the Chairman said he has received a request from a member of the public to remove the ivy from the trees situated outside the Play Area (in front of, or to the east of the Play Area) as it was strangling the trees. Members considered the request and felt it was reasonable. The Chairman said as this was part of the Highway the Clerk would need to contact WC. Action: as per Clerk’s advice, she would check with WC Planning to confirm it would be fine to remove ivy on said trees. Clerk to then contact Phil Carter to ask him to action the request and Clerk to carbon copy members into the email.
  14. Guidelines on grants and donations to charitable organisations: (draft dated 2 March 2015 previously emailed to members and see Appendix 3). The Chairman read out a draft of guidelines relating to grants and donations that APC might make. In discussion, members decided to set a maximum of 2% of the precept for grants and donations for Type 1 and Type 2 applications. At point 5. Members agreed the maximum grant or donation for a Type 1 or 2 applications should be set at a maximum of £50.00. Members also agreed not to actively seek out charities. Further to these amendments, it was unanimously agreed to adopt APC’s new guidelines on grants and donations to charitable organisations. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mrs Kremer. Action: Chairman to update guidelines and circulate to members.
  15. Communications: the Clerk reported the December and February 2015 ‘Headlines’ had been submitted to UKN and published on all notice boards.
  16. Correspondence: covered elsewhere on the agenda.
  17. Finance and admin:
    1. APC’s policy on walks and sporting events: (updated policy dated 2 March 2015 and previously emailed to members. The Chairman said he would also recommend updating point 2. ‘Avoid June’ to the following: ‘2. Avoid June and the first 10 days of July’. Further to this amendment, it was unanimously agreed to adopt the policy. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Ms Service. The Clerk reported the original respondent did not know which runs in particular created a problem early in the morning, but the fact this was not known, was not an issue. Action: Clerk to update policy document and circulate to members.
    2. Councillor Training: Mrs Lewis said she was making slow progress due to Village Meetings coinciding with training dates.
    3. Transparency Code: the Chairman stated that new legislation meant APC was required to start complying as soon as possible with the new Transparency Code for parish councils with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000. A link to the full code had been published on APC’s web site.
    4. Invoice from ACC for mowing Sports Field: the Clerk tabled an invoice received from ACC for £850.00 for the current calendar year’s grass cutting contract. The Chairman said ACC had asked for payment in advance but he had declined the request as APC only paid bills once goods and services had been received. ACC had said they needed money for associated costs such as sharpening the mower’s blades. The Chairman had replied to say that if ACC had a cash flow problem the charity could apply to APC for an advance for that particular purpose. The Chairman had received an email from ACC stating that the cost of sharpening mower blades was £450.00. Members felt this was high but agreed to consider an advance of £100 to £200 out of the contract sum.
    5. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheque be paid. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime 22nd January – 21st February 2015 and expenses. £174.53 Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Ms Service. Cheques signed by the Chairman and Dr Bedford.
  18. Date of next meeting:30pm on Tuesday 7th April 2015. The Chairman gave his apologies.
  19. Annual Village Meeting: Members decided to hold the annual village meeting at 7.00pm on Tuesday 21st April 2015. Clerk to book the Social Centre and submit advert to UKN.
  20. Any other business:
    1. The RidgeWalk 20-21st June 2015: the Clerk reported she had come across a flyer from a charity called Sense that was advertising an Oxfordshire and Wiltshire walk along the Ridgeway (see Appendix 4). Members noted the date would coincide with Solstice if the walk came as far South as Sanctuary. Action: Clerk to email the charity to request they provide details of the start and finish locations and to ask them if they have talked to the Police. Clerk to carbon copy into the email all members, Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) and Mrs Hilary Makins (NT Ranger).
    2. Progress on electricity sub-station in Avebury: the Chairman reported he had received confirmation from Mrs Jan Tomlin (NT Manager) that SSE would be putting in a new transformer on the 17th and 18th March 2015.
  21. The meeting closed at 21:16


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

  1. Map of Beckhampton showing the area of archaeological interest in green hatching.
  2. Flyer for Transport Strategy meeting on 19th March 2015.
  3. Guidelines on grants and donations to charitable organisations (dated 2 March 2015)
  4. The RidgeWalk flyer.