3 Feb 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 3rd February 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, ASA for Avebury Sports Field Association, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, DCLG for Department for Communities and Local Government, EA for Environment Agency, EH for English Heritage, LGA for Local Government Act, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MADT for Marlborough Area Development Trust, MDNIA for Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area, NT for the National Trust, OFWG for Operational Flood Working
Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:35

  1. Paul Dixon: Members expressed great sadness at the death of Paul Dixon on 17 December and remembered his many valuable contributions to the work of the Council, his commitment to others, and his sense of fun. 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), Mike Daniel, Keith Howell, 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: Mr Daniel declared an interest as the applicant for the planning application under item 9a.
  6. Minutes of meeting held on 2nd December 2014: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record.
    Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Mr Daniel.
  7. Matters arising from the minutes: Covered in the main agenda.
  8. Membership: Members agreed they would like to find a way to commemorate Paul Dixon and took decisions later in the meeting (see item 13c). The Chairman provided a card for members to sign and give to Mrs Dixon.
    The Chairman reported the Clerk had posted a notice of a casual vacancy on the Parish Council on all five notice boards on Friday 16 January 2015. The Chairman said if sufficient requests were received to hold an election, the date of the election
    would be notified to APC by WC. If there were no requests to hold an election, then APC would be contacted after the 5 February 2015 to confirm that APC could proceed to co-opt a new Councillor.
    In case of no requests, members considered APC’s priorities / profile for a co-optee and agreed it would be good to have Rawlins Park represented.
  9. Planning applications and results:
    1. Change the use from a dwelling to a Bed and Breakfast at Dorwyn, Swindon Road, Avebury SN8 1RH Ref:
      14/07561/FUL. Mr Daniel left the room for the above application. Plans were tabled and considered. In discussion members felt there was a need for more tourist accommodation in Avebury and the property offered lots of space and parking for guests. Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Ms Service. Mr Daniel rejoined the meeting.
    2. Results: There were several planning applications and notifications for work to trees in the Conservation Area in the month of December; however members had declined to comment. The Clerk read out the individual applications and results:
      Notifications of work to trees in a Conservation Area at:

      1. West Kennett Farm, Marlborough ref: 14/11348/TCA,
      2. South East Sector, Avebury Henge, Green Street, Avebury ref:14/11795/TCA,
      3. North East Sector, Avebury Henge ref: 14/10218/TCA,
      4. The Lodge, High Street, Avebury ref: 14/12022/TCA,
      5. Avebury Manor, South Drive, High Street ref: 14/11650/TCA,
      6. Vine Cottage, South Street, Avebury Trusloe ref: 14/11525/TCA.

      WC had raised no objections to the above tree works.

  10. Flood Group: Mrs Lewis reported:
    1. Beckhampton Bridge was freed of silt, the work having been competed on 2 December 2014.
    2. mud and water in Beckhampton Lane was still an issue and finding a solution to the problem was more complicated as the track had been confirmed as a byway. WC was responsible for Rights of Way. Sarah
      Simmonds (WHS Officer) had advised the track must be looked at by the County Archaeologist prior to any works taking place.
    3. storage/distribution of gel sacs and salt: Mrs Lewis had charge of the gel sacs and salt bags were now in situ in Mr Paradise’s shed.
    4. request by Mrs Geraldine Wimble (Bray Street) to check and clear under New Bridge, over the A4361.To be actioned by Mrs Lewis.
    5. jetting of culvert at end of High Street had been completed 9 January 2015 and the engineers had also cleared the pipe up the field.
    6. she had not attended the OFWG meeting 17 December 2014
    7. applications for the WC Repair and Renew Grant for those households flooded last winter had to be submitted by individual households and received by 28 February 2015.
  11. Stonehenge and Avebury WHS Management Plan: the Chairman reported the document had been published for consultation and response by the public and by APC (previously emailed to members). The final date for comments was 1 March
    2015. See: http://consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal/spatial_planning/whs/stonehenge_and_avebury_whs_management_plan_2015
    The Chairman said the Parish Council was not due to meet again until 3 March which would be after the closing date for comments, and offered the option of an additional extraordinary meeting before then. The Chairman tabled a copy of the WHS Management Plan and his draft suggestions for comments on the draft plan. (See appendix 1). The Chairman stated the plan contained much valuable
    material. It included a number of provisions to promote and protect the interests of the community but more emphasis could be given to this aspect, especially as this should help to improve a two-way communication process between the community and the WHS. In discussion, members very much agreed with the Chairman’s points and Ms Service thanked him for looking at the plan in detail and putting forward a thorough set of suggestions. It was unanimously agreed APC adopt the Chairman’s suggestions and the document be submitted to WHS Officers as APC’s response. Proposed by Mr Howell and seconded by Ms Service.
  12. Transport Issues:
    1. Sign-off of WHS Transport Plan and Design Guide: the Chairman reported final sign-off was now with WC.
    2. Public meeting about the WHS Transport Strategy: APC had invited Sarah Simmonds (WHS Officer) and Laura Gosling of Highways to present the WHS Transport Strategy to the public in the New Year. The Chairman reported that Laura Gosling and possibly another Highways representative would be able to attend and that the suggested dates were either 6.30pm on Thursday 19 March or 6.30pm on Thursday 26 March. Most members indicated the 19 March as the preferred date.
      In discussion, members decided not to provide a copy of the WHS Transport Strategy to each household in the Parish due to cost. Instead, it was agreed a flyer advertising the public meeting be distributed to each household
      and a copy of the plan would be put in the Community Shop. The flyer would also state that an electronic copy was available on the APC web site. Mr Daniel offered to print the flyers. Members decided it would be better to use
      APC’s village meeting in April to ask for residents’ feedback regarding housing needs and poor mobile reception and that a questionnaire be given out. Action: Mr Daniel and the Chairman to put together the flyer for distribution
      during the first week in March and members to distribute the flyers. Ms Service and the Chairman would work on the questionnaire.
    3. parking in Trusloe: nothing further to report, deferred to next meeting.
    4. revised notice: resurfacing of A361 at Beckhampton and temporary closure overnight on Friday 11 February 2015: THE FIRS NORTH EAST TO A4 BECKHAMPTON ROUNDABOUT. To enable WC to carry out kerbing, carriageway patching, road marking and adjustment of ironworks. The works would take place over four nights from Friday 11th February 2015 from 19:00 to 06:00.
    5. Stables’ crossing and signage at Beckhampton racehorse crossing: the Chairman said there was nothing further to report and they were waiting for information from Mr Martin Cook (WC Highways Engineer). Mrs Lewis said the
      Stables had now provided fluorescent quarter sheets for horses, and their riders were wearing fluorescent jackets.
    6. replacement 30mph signs at New Bridge: the Chairman reported WC had installed two, new 30mph signs near the entrance to the NT main car park. One of the 30 mph signs at the entrance to the Avenue was no longer in situ, its posts had rotted and it had partly blown over, overhanging the carriageway.
    7. replacement of tarmac at the end of Green Street: there was nothing to report. The Chairman confirmed that the tarmac to be replaced was at the far end of Green Street, near to the dairy buildings.
    8. CATG meeting 8 January 2015: the Chairman said he had attended the meeting. He tabled a useful flow chart created by Andrew Jack (WC) that showed the online issues process. (See appendix 2).
    9. Footpath 22: the Chairman tabled a recent letter that Avebury resident, Mr John Cronk, had received from Councillor John Thomson. (See appendix 3). The letter stated it was Mr Thomson’s intention to add Footpath 22 to the
      list of highway resurfacing schemes for the financial year 2016-2017. In discussion members felt it was a worthy project as lots of people used the footpath and, as it was susceptible to flooding and break up due to tree roots, there was indeed an argument for raising the path by about a foot in some places. Members also noted that APC had many other priorities and
      raised concern about which pot of money the funds for the project might come from. Action: the Chairman to send a copy of the letter to Dr Bedford so that the Transport Group might ascertain which budget the project related to.
  13. Local issues, including:
    1. Salt supplies: Mrs Lewis said she had let the Community Shop people know about the extra salt supplies and that it would be used on the pavement and road for the benefit of the shop’s customers.
    2. Developing Parish Council policy on walks and sporting events locally: APC’s general policy on charity and commercial runs and walks centred on Avebury was tabled [see appendix 2 of December 2014 minutes].
      The Clerk reported that one household had responded to the request in UKN for feedback (email previously circulated to members). In discussion, members felt it was reasonable for local residents to request an alternative meeting point,
      other than the Social Centre and specifically for early morning events. However, there were only about eight known walks that took place each year; several started from Rutlands Farm and it was not known how many started from the Social Centre.
      Mrs Lewis suggested that the main NT car park could be used as an alternative meeting point. It was subsequently agreed to update point 10 of the policy by adding the words highlighted in bold: ’10. Keep this policy under review, liaising with the National Trust and local residents as necessary’. Further to this amendment, it was unanimously agreed to adopt APC’s general policy on charity and commercial runs and walks centred on Avebury. Proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Mr Howell. Action: Clerk to update the policy document and circulate to members. Clerk to email
      the respondent to let him know APC’s policy had been updated and also to ask him which runs in particular created a problem.
    3. Re-instatement of hedge/fence between Glebe Field and Sports Field: the Chairman reported that further to a meeting on the 2 February, those present had agreed the following proposed works:
      1. The Orchard Group would postpone planting of the hedge until next autumn when the existing hedge would be coppiced after the bird nesting season by a number of volunteers
      2. A fence would be put up by the NT’s contractors whose labour costs would be met by ACC. Materials for the fence would be supplied by the Farthings.
      3. The whips would be temporarily heeled into a resident’s garden.
      4. In discussion, members felt it would be appropriate to plant a tree, perhaps with a plaque, in memory of Mr Paul Dixon, especially as he had been a member of ASA. The Chairman said he would find out more information from a person who had suggested that a Field Maple be planted in the boundary. Members agreed that this would be a good tribute to Paul and that they would personally, as opposed to APC, contribute to costs.
    4. Area Board: Avenue dig in Summer 2015: the Chairman reported the application for £625.00 he had submitted on behalf of APC to MAB (previously emailed to members) had been approved and that at the MAB meeting Mr Tony Isles of Tonic Construction had unexpectedly and generously pledged £500.00. This meant, including APC’s pledge of £200.00, the
      total target of £2,425 for the Avenue Dig had been achieved.
      The Chairman confirmed Southampton University as lead sponsor of the dig had been notified. Members ratified the decision by APC to submit an Area Board application for funding on behalf of the organisations running the Avenue Dig. [Decision not previously minuted]. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Ms Service.
      The Chairman would be meeting shortly with Jane Brunning, the original initiator of the funding scheme, and Southampton University and the National Trust to sort out details.
    5. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelters: Mrs Lewis announced the WC owned bus shelter had been successfully installed the previous Wednesday but a light was not working. Dr Bedford said he had recently witnessed a car sliding sideways past the bus shelter and members wondered how long the shelter would remain in one piece. Members also noted that it looked as
      if works were in progress on the concrete bus shelter. Action: Mrs Lewis to email WC regarding the light and the Clerk to contact Mr Peter Swatton for an update.
    6. Repairs to Trusloe notice-board: Mrs Kremer reported that she and a neighbour had that day inspected the repairs to the notice-board by John Giles of Elysium Woodworking Ltd. and were very pleased with the results.
    7. Avebury Rocks 2015: no further update from the organisers.
    8. Progress on High Speed Broadband: the Chairman reported that fibre optic cable had been installed from the Avenue to a manhole by the Red Lion and from the Social Club to the Trusloe turning. Members were not sure if the fibre cable had been connected yet to the nearest cabinet but noted that copper wires would run from the cabinet to residents’ homes. The Chairman said that commissioning / testing would take about six weeks once the fibre had been connected to the cabinet.
      [Mr Daniel left the room briefly].
    9. Waggon & Horses to Silbury Hill footpath: Mr Howell said that Mr Michael Crook (WC) had been off ill and there was nothing further to report. Mr Howell reported that he had spoken to landowner, Mr Robin Butler and contrary to
      WC, Mr Butler was quite happy for the footpath to be created, provided it did not encroach on his land. Action: Mr Howell will work with Dr Bedford to link the project into the Transport Plan.
    10. Sarsen Trail Sunday 3 May: reminder.
  14. Donations to charitable organisations: Not yet actioned, deferred to next meeting.
  15. Communications:
  16. Correspondence: (received by email unless otherwise indicated). The Clerk reported she had received:
    1. changes to Connect2 Wiltshire bus services in Kennet Valley and Calne Areas: new timetable published on APC web site.
    2. Wiltshire Open Spaces Study: request to update parish map. The Chairman reported the map sent by email was incorrect; it was not possible to update the document online and he was still waiting for the project leader to get
      back to him.
    3. work to trees application process advice from WC (letter tabled dated 4 December 2014 and previously emailed to members). Members noted there were two types of applications for works to trees. (See appendix 4).
    4. Defra funding petition from ACRE. See: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/73418 The government was no longer planning on withdrawing funding from ACRE (Action with Communities in Rural England). ACRE supports many aspects of rural life, particularly through local Community Councils.
    5. WALC December Newsletter: (i) Social media tools for Communities (useful document provided with list of web sites) and (ii) New Local Councils Award Scheme: APC could apply for the Foundation Award.
    6. invitation from Jane Scott (WC Leader) to attend public meeting ‘Setting the 2015 Budget for WC Services’
      3 February 2015 in Devizes.
    7. Public Consultation on cost of policing 2015 – 2016: (closed 4 February 2015). Possible increase of £3.06 per year or 6p per week, for the average home (Band D property).
    8. North Wessex Downs AONB Management Plan 2014 – 2019 had been published see:
      http://www.northwessexdowns.org.uk/About-Us/aonb-management-plan.html
    9. Splash Charity had merged with Community First and would now operate under their Youth Action Wiltshire umbrella.
    10. letter from Wiltshire Citizens Advice: request for donation
    11. letter from Victim Support: request for donation
    12. Oil Buying Club: introductory letter see http://www.oilbuyingclub.com
  17. Finance and admin:
    1. Members to resolve to add a new cheque signatory: Members asked Mrs Lewis, as Vice Chairman, if she would become a cheque signatory and Mrs Lewis duly accepted. The resolution contained in the HSBC mandate was
      tabled and formally approved by all (see appendix 5). Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
    2. Letter from The Pensions Regulator: Dr Bedford to action a letter received by The Pensions Regulator regarding the Clerk’s entitlement to automatic enrolment onto a pension scheme.
    3. VAT: the Clerk reported she was in the process of reclaiming £468.23 and she expected this to be credited to APC’s account before the end of the financial year.
    4. General authority to pay mileage expenses to the Clerk and members: decision deferred from December 2014 meeting. In discussion, members resolved to pay mileage expenses to the Clerk and members at the current HMRC figure [for cars] at 45 pence per mile up to 10,000 miles and with immediate effect. Proposed by Dr Bedford and seconded by Mrs
      Kremer.
    5. Councillor Training: Mrs Lewis said she was making good progress in organising a date and there was interest from other Parish Councils.
    6. WALC AGM 27 January 2014: the Clerk said she had been unable to attend.
    7. The Clerk reported DCLG had advised that the sum for the purpose of Section 137(4)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 for local councils in England for 2015-16 was £7.36.
    8. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid.
      1. ACC: grass cutting on the Sports Field at Avebury £231.06
        (11th April 2014 – 31st May 2014)
      2. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: December 2014 £160.30
      3. Elysium Woodworking: materials cost for repairs to Trusloe notice board £40.00

      Cheques signed by the Chairman and Dr Bedford

  18. Date of next meeting: 7.30pm on Tuesday 3rd March 2015.
  19. Any other business:
    1. Snooker table to be replaced by a new kitchen at Avebury and District Club: the Clerk reported a snooker table that had been used by many generations of local people was to be replaced.
    2. Tim Lewis would like to survey footpaths in the Parish: Mrs Lewis said her husband was a keen rambler and would like to survey the footpaths in the Parish. The Chairman gave Mrs Lewis a hard copy map detailing all the footpaths and rights of way in the Parish. Dr Bedford and Mr Howell in their capacity as Footpath Councillors to offer further assistance if needed.
  20. The meeting closed at 21:34

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

  1. Suggestions for APC discussion on draft WHS Management Plan
  2. CATG Flow Chart depicting On-line Issues Process
  3. Letter to Mr John Cronk from Mr John Thomson (WC) ref. Footpath 22
  4. Work to trees application process advice from WC
  5. Resolution contained in HSBC Mandate Form (section 5)