3 Nov 2015 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 3rd November 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, AYFC for Avebury Youth Football Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, LGA for Local Government Act, NT for the National Trust, UKN for Upper Kennet News, URC for United Reform Church, WALC for Wiltshire Association of Local Councils, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There were four members of the public present for all or part of the meeting. No questions were asked.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chairman), David Brotheridge, Mike Daniel, Antoinette Kremer and Zandria Service.
    In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman) and Paul Ryder-Morris. 
  4. Declarations of interest: Mrs Kremer declared an interest and said she was working with the URC Chapel.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 6th October 2015: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mrs Kremer and seconded by Ms Service.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. URC Chapel: (Minute ref 12a). In discussion it was noted that deferring registration of the URC Chapel under the Community Right to Bid Scheme could not be put on hold forever. Decision: It was unanimously agreed that the Chairman write to Reverend Ruth Whitehead (Moderator South Western Synod).
  7. Membership: the Chairman stated that in view of the nature of the business that was about to be transacted it was advisable in the public interest that the public and press be temporarily excluded and they were instructed to leave the meeting.
    1. The Chairman reported he had received Paul Ryder-Morris’ resignation. Members were sorry to receive the news; the Chairman had however invited him to join the Transport Group as he was keen to be involved in campaigning for improvements.
    2. Members discussed who to co-opt to the Parish Council and it was agreed by all that Mrs Lynzey Paradise be invited to join. It was proposed by the Chairman and seconded by Mrs Lewis to co-opt Mrs Lyndzey Paradise to the Council. Carried unanimously.
    3. Members noted there was now a casual vacancy created by Mr Ryder-Morris’ resignation. WC would be dealing with the vacancy as it would be subject to an election if ten or more electors of the Parish requested one.
  8. Planning applications: No new planning applications had been received.
  9. Transport Group: the Chairman reported:
    1. Extension of 30mph limit on Swindon Road: he had consulted Mr Dave Thomas and Mr Andrew Jack at Wiltshire Council about the omission of reference to the WHS Transport Strategy in the engineer’s report; Dave Thomas had told him that Wiltshire’s current policy on speed limits was to follow government guidance. Decision: It was unanimously agreed that the Chairman write to Councillor Philip Whitehead.
      Mr Brotheridge asked the Chairman why he had not included all Transport Group members in the email update sent after the last meeting and the Chairman replied he had chosen to speak to them instead of emailing.
    2. A4 at Beckhampton and West Kennett: work to complete an application to CATG needed to be completed by early December.
    3. Parking in Trusloe: Mr James Cawley (WC) had sent a letter to the private land owner of land at the Trusloe Nursery Site asking the company to join a partnership scheme for its development.
    4. SID handover to Parish Councils: (previously circulated to members). Clerk to contact WC to find out the running costs of owning a Speed Indicator Device.
    5. Parking on road outside 4 Trusloe Cottages: no further information, deferred to next meeting.
  10. Avebury Sportsfield including:
    1. Report from Mr Daniel on informal working party meetings that had taken place since the last APC meeting and recommendations: the Chairman invited Mr Daniel to report on the group’s activities. Mr Daniel said he had received great support from those present at the meetings that had taken place on 14 October (ASA handover), 20 October and 2 November. He said the purpose of the meetings was to move forward the setting up of the new Committee so that decisions could be made at a full Parish Council meeting. It was noted that the first Committee meeting would be taking place that month and that key user groups would be invited to attend with the view to being co-opted to the Committee. Mr Daniel reported that Mr Alan Blake (Secretary, Avebury Club) was also interested in joining the Committee.
      The following items were discussed:

      1. Committee title: Mr Daniel proposed the title ‘Avebury Community and Recreation Association’. The Chairman opened the meeting to the public and asked if those present had any comments or questions. Two members of the public asked why there was no reference to ‘sport’ in the name particularly as the primary users of the Sportsfield were ACC and AYFC. In discussion it was felt although it was good to open up the Sportsfield to other uses, the word sport should really be in the title particularly to avoid any misunderstandings with the NT. Decision: It was agreed that the Committee title would be ‘Avebury Community Sports and Recreation Association’ (ACSRA).
      2. Draft terms of reference: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 1). The Chairman tabled draft terms of reference with his own updates highlighted in yellow (also see appendix 1) and provided copies to all. He then read the draft and invited questions from members and the public.
        • Mrs Milton questioned whether the group was a Committee of APC or a voluntary group as the latter would have access to some grants for which the Parish Council would not qualify. The Chairman agreed that there could be benefits but that the NT lease prohibited APC from assigning or parting with possession of the land. ACSRA would therefore have to be a Committee of APC.
        • Ms Service suggested adding reference to the frequency of the Committee meetings. Mr Daniel said the Committee would meet at least quarterly and that this should be included in the document.
        • Mr Fry requested that the word ‘develop’ at point 5. be changed to ‘use’ and it was agreed that the amendment be made.
        • Mr Hinder said he was concerned about who would have responsibility for marking the football pitch. Deferred to the first meeting of ACSRA.
        • Mr Fry asked for clarification on who would be responsible for maintenance of the grounds and boundaries. Deferred to the first meeting of ACSRA.
        • Ms Service said the document should also highlight and make reference to the continued usage for cricket and football and include this under point 5.
        • Members agreed the quorum be three members (of which two would be Parish Councillors). Clerk to check with WALC as to whether APC needed to specify the members.
        • Members agreed to include a further point under ‘duties’ that the Committee create and maintain a long term plan. Mr Fry advised a three to five year strategic plan should be encouraged.
        • Mr Hinder asked which members would have voting rights. The Clerk advised that the four non-councillors would be eligible to vote on the following matters only: management of land, management of festivals and tourism functions. She said the legal brief had been previously emailed to members. The Chairman said he had not read the information but would do so.
        • Members agreed that under point 7. the requirements should be changed to: an annual report.
        • Members agreed the Terms of Reference be reviewed in six months’ time.
      3. Roles and finance: members resolved
        • To appoint Mr Daniel as Chairman
        • To appoint Dr Bedford as an officer of the Council and Committee Treasurer.
        • To appoint Mrs Lewis as an officer of the Council and Committee Secretary and Clerk.
        • To appoint Mr Brotheridge to manage the bookings and car boot sales.
    2. Bank accounts: the decision as to whether to have one bank account for ACSRA was deferred to first meeting of the Committee.
    3. Security: Mr Daniel reported security was vulnerable and that bars for the Pavilion doors, new locks and possibly an alarm system should be investigated. Deferred to first meeting of the Committee.
    4. Fire check: Mr Daniel reported this had been rescheduled by the supplier (to the 10 November 2015).
    5. Connecting the pavilion to mains water supply: Mr Brotheridge reported an archaeological watching brief was required including methodology. It was agreed that in the meantime the Chairman and Mr Brotheridge would work on the specification and that selection of TAPS approved contractors be deferred to the next meeting as well.
    6. Pest control: deferred to first meeting of the Committee.
    7. Conditions of use: as above.
    8. Roof repair: no further progress, as above.[Members noted the Clerk’s advice that the newly appointed roles of Committee Treasurer and Committee Secretary and Clerk were without remuneration and with no authority to make decisions such as spending money].It was proposed by the Chairman, seconded by Ms Service and agreed unanimously to approve the above decisions contained in item 10 and the terms of reference as tabled and subject to the amendments listed under 10 a.
  11. Trusloe Play Area Inspection: the Chairman reported that due to a delay the supplier had only just emailed the report which had subsequently been circulated to members that day. Members agreed to receive the report and it was noted that overall the Play Area was low risk. Action: Clerk to check report and recommend any minor works to be carried out. Deferred to next meeting for decision.
  12. Preliminary discussion on budget and Precept for 2016-2017: (Draft first budget 2016/17 and note on likely reserves next March were tabled by the Chairman. See appendices 2 and 3 respectively).
    The Chairman explained that the reserves were significantly above national guidance levels due mainly to delays in the Transport Group’s projects but it was more than likely APC would need to earmark further funds for Transport Group projects in 2016/17. He had therefore provisionally moved £8,000 from the reserves into next year’s budget.
    The Chairman invited Mrs Milton to speak. Mrs Milton reported WC were thinking about increasing Council Tax by virtually 2%.
    The Chairman asked members to think about any additional projects they might wish to include in the budget. Action: Chairman to circulate a revised budget for consideration at the next meeting.
  13. Defibrillator for Avebury: Mrs Lewis reported that the British Heart Foundation was offering free Community defibrillators on the proviso that the applicant underwent some training. Mrs Milton said the Ambulance Service was a good source of information and that they kept a record of all defibrillator installations so that in an emergency they could direct a member of the public to the nearest one. In discussion members agreed that although the NT already had a defibrillator it was locked away in one of its offices and as every second counted when someone was having a heart attack, a second defibrillator should be made available to the public in a visible location. Decision: Mrs Lewis to apply on-line for a free defibrillator for Avebury from the British Heart Foundation. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mrs Kremer and carried unanimously.
  14. Local Issues:
    1. Replacement field gate in north boundary of Sportsfield: the Chairman reported that the NT had ordered a new gate.
    2. Puddles, potholes and weeds in Green Street:
      1. Mrs Lewis reported that APC was still waiting for confirmation from WC regarding interim repairs to the road using a Velocity Patcher machine. The Clerk reported that Scheduled Monument Consent would be required for filling in the hole half way along Green Street and that Hilary Makins (NT Head Ranger) was in the process of liaising with Becky Busby (WC Highways) on how to repair the verge.
      2. The Clerk said a member of the public has reported the area looked untidy with weeds outside the old Antique Shop. Action: Clerk had already notified Hilary Makins and she had agreed to take a look at the same time as inspecting the pot hole in Green Street.
    3. WC grass cutting in West Kennett: a small area next to the bench in the layby had been cut by WC but no further grass cutting had been done to date.
    4. Phone kiosk in Trusloe in poor state: deferred to next meeting.
    5. Biting dogs: no further information. Mr Brotheridge requested that the issue of dog mess on Knoll Down be put on next meeting’s agenda.
    6. Fly Tipping: the Clerk said she had visited Bray St – Windmill Hill area on 12 November but could see no sign of a dumped mattress that had been reported by a member of the public at the last meeting. Ms Service said she had not seen anything either. Members noted the public could notify issues themselves via the online WC reporting tool. Chairman to include information in headlines for UKN and see: http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/parkingtransportandstreets/roadshighwaysstreetcare/mywiltshireregister.htm
    7. NT fencing in Hunters Walk (not Church Walk): a member of the public had noticed laurel bushes were causing the NT fencing in Hunters Walk to lean onto the path. Action: the Clerk had notified Hilary Makins (NT Head Ranger) and had been told the NT was aware the fence needed replacing and would action this as soon as funding became available.
    8. Flood prevention and riparian ownership: the Chairman said Mrs Lewis had previously requested that APC remind local people of their rights and responsibilities. Action: Chairman to include reminder in Headlines of December issue of UKN.
  15. Review of decision making process at Planning Committee Meetings: the Chairman said the advice from the Clerk to members was (i) they were public meetings (ii) communication of representations received from the public should relate to the facts of the planning application in question and members and/or the Clerk should omit anything that was deemed personal.
  16. Consideration of applications from charitable organisations for donations: the Clerk reported that no new requests had been received.
  17. Communications: the Chairman reported a second advert for Parish Councillor had been put into UKN in error by the Editor. He also reported that in October 2015 Avebury Community Shop had won the Village Retail Award at the Community First Annual Awards; Mrs Lewis had submitted the nomination and she said that Mrs Lomas and everyone involved with the shop was really pleased. The award had been put up on display in the shop.
  18. Correspondence: (received by email unless otherwise stated). The Chairman reported:
    1. Letter from Cllr Dick Tonge, Cabinet Member for Finance, Wiltshire Council, regarding devolution of assets and services.
    2. Letter of concern from a member of the public regarding the Casual Vacancy advertisement in October issue of UKN and selection process for applicants. The Clerk said she had responded to the query to confirm the Parish was not warded, that Councillors would be considering all applicants and the Nolan principles were covered in APC’s code of conduct. She also said the resident had expressed the importance of choosing someone from the community with integrity.
    3. Email of concern from a member of the public regarding APC members including the Chairman and Mr Swatton’s application for Parish Councillor. The Chairman said he was in the process of contacting the resident.
    4. Email request from a Rawlins Park resident for fencing along NT path in the area behind the Red Lion PH. The request was to separate sheep from walkers and eliminate the problem of the public walking through sheep droppings. The Clerk said she had forwarded the email to the NT and Hilary Makins had acknowledged receipt.
    5. WALC AGM 4 November: assets of Community value, neighbourhood planning, affordable housing and land trusts. Members noted that Mrs Lewis would be attending and would represent APC at the meeting.
    6. C.V. from a member of the public offering grounds maintenance services. Passed to ACSRA for consideration.
    7. Wiltshire Life Awards: Community Group of the Year
    8. Various local events posters received and published on APC web site.

    Mrs Kremer reported the Wassail dates had been arranged for Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January 2016 and Winter Solstice camping days were in the process of being allocated by the NT.

  19. Finance and admin:
    1. Half year internal audit: the Chairman reported a meeting was in the process of being arranged by the Clerk.
    2. Review of Asset Register: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 4). Members noted one item had been added to the register and that was a pair of full sized football goal posts with nets. They were apparently already owned by APC and had cost approximately £800. Decision: see 19c below
    3. Review of Risk Register: (previously circulated to members and see appendix 5). Members noted the register had been updated as per APC’s insurance schedule 2015-2016. Members reviewed current risks and agreed that no other changes were required.
      Decision: members unanimously agreed to adopt the updated Asset Register and Risk Register. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Ms Service.
    4. Cheques for payment and cheques for ratification: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mrs Kremer.
      1. Whatley & Co. (Pewsey) Ltd: UV unit for Pavilion £378.00
      2. Liz Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses: 22 September – 21 October 2015      £191.50

      Cheques were signed by the Chairman and Mrs Lewis.

  20. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 1st December 2015 at the Social Centre.
    Apologies received from Wiltshire Councillor, Mrs Jemima Milton and Mrs Kremer.
  21. Any other business: none
  22. The meeting closed at 21:31


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

  1. Draft Terms of Reference for ACSRA
  2. Draft Budget 2016-17
  3. Draft APC’s Reserves for next March
  4. Register of Assets dated 28 October 2015
  5. Register of Financial Risks dated 28 October 2015