4 June 2019 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 4 June 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes AGAR stands for Annual Governance and Accountability Return, AONB for Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, APC for Avebury Parish Council, ASOP for Avebury Solstice Operational Planning, ASSC for Avebury Sports and Social Club, AWHS for Avebury World Heritage Site, BB & WM PC for Berwick Bassett and Winterbourne Monkton Parish Council, BT for British Telecommunications plc, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoW for Rights of Way, SSEN for Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks, SWASFT for South West Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, TG for Transport Group, TTRO for Temporary Traffic Regulation Order, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mrs Donna Byatt, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Ms Zandria Service (from item 2).

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time started: 19:30

  1. Public question time: there were four members of the public present for all or part of the meeting including Callam Powers (Fowler Architecture and Planning: up and including item 6.a). The Chairman welcomed members of the public. A member of the public reported that she was concerned about large fissures in Church Walk alongside the cottage occupied by the late Dr Isobel Smith. The Chairman said that the PC would take note of her concern and refer the issue to the Parish Steward.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford and Mr Terence O’Connor. The Chairman warmly welcomed Mrs Donna Byatt to her first meeting as a member of the Parish Council.
  3. Declarations of interest: none declared.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 7 May 2019: the draft minutes were considered for inaccuracies and it was resolved to change the reference to ‘Mrs Williamson’ to ‘Mr Williamson’ at item 7. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. Subject to the one change, the minutes were unanimously agreed an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mrs Paradise.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Min ref. 17.d. the Chairman reported that the Community Shop Notice Board had been fitted with magnetic catches and wooden door knobs and thanked the Clerk and Nigel for effecting these overdue improvements.
    2. Min ref. 6.d. members noted that there was no further update from WC on the planning application for South Street ref. 18/09889/FUL and concluded that Nick Clark (Planning Officer) was still waiting for documents from the applicants in respect of impact on the WHS.
  6. Planning applications:
    1. Full Planning Application for removal of existing dog boarding kennels; and, the conversion & extension of existing shop/grooming parlour and kennels/kitchen to form 1 no. residential dwelling, with associated parking, turning, landscaping and private amenity space at Sarsen Kennels, West Kennett, Marlborough SN8 1QF. Ref: 19/03781/FUL. The Chairman welcomed Callam Powers (Fowler Architecture and Planning) and the applicant to the meeting. The plans were tabled and considered. It was noted that there had been no comments received from members of the public since the last PC meeting when the plans had been previously considered. The existing dog kennels were going to be demolished and the applicant intended to split the property into approximately two equal parts at a later date. The Chairman asked what was happening with the large sign facing the A4 and the applicant confirmed that the sign would be taken down and had originally been erected by his tenants. Members were content with the proposal contained in the planning application and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
    2. Application for work to trees in a conservation area. Proposal: Yew tree – overall reduction by 25% and shape crown accordingly at The Forge, High Street, Avebury, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1RF. Ref: 19/04916/TCA. The plans were considered and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously.
    3. 18/09889/FUL – South Street, Avebury – New dwelling with garage and access. It was noted that there was no further information following Nick Clark’s email received on the 30 April 2019 and see item 5.b.
  7. Co-option and membership: the Chairman stated that the PC had yet to hear formally from WC about whether a request for an Election had been received. Item deferred to next meeting agenda. The Chairman proposed to alter the order of the business and move directly to item 9. Local Issues so that Mr Butler could provide further information about Avebury Rocks and answer any questions. It was unanimously agreed to proceed to item 9.
  8. Project Updates:
    1. Transport Group: the Chairman reported:
      1. The signage project was due to be implemented before the end of July.
      2. Resurfacing of footpath 22 was likely to be done during the summer. Dissatisfaction was expressed at footpath 21 being left out of the work as it was only a small stretch of path linking Avebury Trusloe to footpath 22 and the rest of the Village. Mr Butler said the PC’s view was also reflected by residents in Avebury Trusloe especially as footpath 21 was considered to be in a worse state than footpath 22 and used more frequently. He said that it made economic sense to repair both footpaths at the same time as all the specialist equipment needed to do the work on footpath 22 would already be on-site. It was agreed that in the margins of the CATG meeting due 20 June the Chairman would speak again to Wiltshire Highways’ representative to request inclusion of footpath 21 in the resurfacing work. Members were reminded that the B4003 was scheduled to be retextured during July. Mr Butler reported that there was an exposed electric or telephone cable near Big Arch Bridge and that the issue be referred to the Parish Steward for investigation.
      3. A4 project at Beckhampton and West Kennett: a Transport Group meeting was arranged for 12 noon on 14 June 2019 to discuss project progress with Steve Hind (WC Highways), Stephanie Burgess (Atkins Global) and Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager).
    2. Combined Parishes RoW meeting: the meeting had been chaired by Anne Henshaw (South Nolands) and attended by representatives from Hilmarton, Clyffe Pypard, the Ramblers Association, and Stephen Leonard (previously WC’s Senior Rights of Way Warden but now retitled as WC’s Community Access Manager). Stephen Leonard referred to the experience of the Cotswolds AONB and suggested that our own AONB (North Wessex Downs AONB) might also have funds available for RoW repair and, if so, they might be able to access them to allow volunteers to repair RoWs. Anne Henshaw said that she would get in touch with the NWAONB to find whether accessible funds exist and how to apply for them. The Chairman agreed to report back again after the next RoW meeting, which was due to be held after the summer.
    3. Permit scheme and arrangements for Solstice: Mrs Paradise reported that residents requiring parking permits or access to the High Street over Solstice would need to attend a drop in session to pick up a permit/s. The first session was taking place at Elements of Avebury on Thursday 6 June, 5:30pm to 7pm and the second session on Wednesday 12 June, 7pm to 8:30pm, at the same place. Mrs Paradise explained that she would be recording on an electronic record sheet the name of the resident, their car registration details and contact telephone number. It was noted that permits were restricted to two per household and residents requiring extra permits for visitors would need to provide the PC with the visitors’ car registration number. Ms Service agreed to attend the next ASOP meeting at 2:30pm on Wednesday 5 June at Avebury Manor, Brewhouse.
    4. Play area refurbishment: work in progress, no further update.
  9. Local Issues:
    1. Avebury Rocks 15 June 2019: Mr Butler reported on the arrangements for Avebury Rocks, primary among these being the question of health and safety and management of the event. The following points emerged:
      1. Messrs Butler was providing the site only. Prospect Hospice would be managing the event and it was their 8th year managing Avebury Rocks.
      2. Set up would be on the Thursday / Friday before the event. The outdoor event was for one day only and taking place from 12 noon on Saturday 15 June until 12pm on Sunday 16 June 2019. Vehicles and campers must leave the field by 11am on Sunday 16 June.
      3. 170 tickets had been sold on-line as at Friday 31 May 2019 but it was envisaged that the majority of people would purchase their tickets nearer to the event with ticket sales being weather dependent.
      4. The main stage was going to be in the open yard as well as a second acoustic stage located elsewhere. Food and drink would be available in the grain store. The event organizers had a licence to sell alcohol. Parking and camping would be in the field opposite the grain store with toilets and clean water stations located in the sheep yard.
      5. Byways to be kept clear.
      6. There would be a police presence.                                             Ms Service wished to know whether camp fires or outdoor cooking were part of the arrangements as she was concerned about any fire risk to thatch houses in the vicinity. Mr Butler reported that camp fires were prohibited and agreed to circulate electronically the comprehensive set of documents that had been provided by Prospect Hospice, which included the Risk Assessment, Health and Safety Document and Management Plan. The organizers would be sending ticket holders a separate pack of instructions. The Chairman thanked Mr Butler for his report.
    2. Representation to Sarah Simmonds (WHS Partnership Manager) on Wiltshire Council’s Core Planning Strategy: the Chairman explained that he had read the 300 plus pages of WC’s Core Planning Strategy and to the best of his belief there was no need for the PC to comment. However he was meeting Sarah Simmonds on 11 June and would ask for advice. He would circulate to members for their comment any draft submission it seemed appropriate to make.
    3. Options for BT ‘phone box in West Kennett and feedback from residents in West Kennett and the wider community: the Chairman reported that he had written and hand delivered a letter to residents asking for their views. He had received two replies by email and read out the feedback. (See appendix 1 for copy of letter sent to residents and the two separate email responses). Interest had been expressed in using the ‘phone kiosk as a library or sharing space for provisions or for housing a defibrillator or defibrillator in combination with the phone (but not instead of the phone). Mrs Lewis reported that she had been advised by SWASFT that it was not possible to have a defibrillator and a telephone in the same kiosk. In discussion members liked the idea of having an honesty box and exploring other options, felt that the need for a defibrillator was questionable, and noted the need for an emergency ‘phone in an area on an A-road with several roads and driveways leading off it, which was more or less bereft of a reliable mobile ‘phone signal. It was agreed that in the meantime the PC should request BT to repaint the ‘phone kiosk, and invite West Kennett residents to the next PC meeting on 2 July so that further ideas and views might be shared and a decision taken. Mrs Lewis to supply the Clerk with a photograph of the BT ‘phone box at West Kennett and Clerk to write to BT.
    4. New Notice Board for West Kennett: the Clerk reported that she had received two quotations for the supply and fitting of a new Notice Board to replace the existing. The first quote ex VAT was for £295.00 (Notice Board constructed from Iroko Hardwood with an Osmo Oil finish) and the second quote ex VAT was for £315.00 (Notice Board constructed from Oak). The Clerk stated that £300.00 was earmarked in the budget for the new Notice Board. Members considered the quotations and it was resolved to accept the cheaper quotation and instruct John Giles of Elysium Woodworking Ltd. to make a replacement Notice Board for £295.00. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously.
    5. Replacement planters for the High Street: in progress.
    6. Repainting of BT ‘phone box in the High Street: photograph still needed, which Mrs Lewis undertook to take that very day if the meeting ended before light faded.
    7. To consider whether a third defibrillator is needed and whether to finalize the grant application to SSEN: in discussion it was agreed that a third defibrillator for an area such as the Sports Field was a good idea but best provided for by another body / organization and therefore the PC would not proceed with a grant application to SSEN that year. Mrs Lewis reported that the annual defibrillator training had been arranged for 7pm on 27 June 2019 at the Social Centre in Avebury. All residents were welcome to attend.
    8. To consider publishing a policy on Tour Bus Parking: in discussion the following points emerged: (i) a policy would be guidance only and could not be enforced (ii) the NT did not encourage coaches to park in the small High Street car park and (iii) coach parking in the main car park was expensive. It was agreed that no further action be taken. The Chairman reported next on item 8. Project updates.
  10. Parish Steward Priority Sheet:
    1. Job requests for June: the Clerk reported that the Parish Steward had been seconded to grass cutting in May but at the request of the PC he had carried out an extra grass cutting job, to cut back the vegetation along the pedestrian footpath that ran from the bus shelters at Rawlins Park into Avebury. The Chairman explained that the work had been requested by a resident at Rawlins Park who was having difficulty pushing a wheel chair past the encroaching vegetation on the footpath. Members were grateful to the Parish Steward for his pro-active response. The Clerk said that any requests for highway related work should be sent to her within the next week, in preparation for the Parish Steward’s scheduled visit on the 18 June 2019.
  11. Communications: the Chairman reported that the PC’s Headlines had been submitted to the June Edition of UKN and WC’s notice of casual vacancy published on Parish noticeboards.
  12. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. WALC’s newsletter had been received and an invitation to take part in VE Day 75 on 6 June 2019.
    2. Police crime report had been received and see appendix 2.
  13. Finance and admin including:
    1. Draft policy statement on reducing signage and clutter in the WHS: in progress by the Chairman. Item deferred to next meeting agenda.
    2. It was resolved to certify on the AGAR that the Parish Council is exempt from a limited assurance review under Section 9 of the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015. Proposed by Mrs Byatt, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously. (See appendix 3).
    3. Internal Audit Report: the Clerk tabled the internal audit report and reported that the internal audit had been carried out on the 13 May 2019 and a clean audit report given. Members received and noted the internal audit report for the full year 2018/2019 accounts. (See appendix 4).
    4. It was resolved to approve section 1 Annual Governance Statement. Proposed by Mrs Paradise, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously. (See appendix 5).
    5. It was resolved to approve section 2 Accounting Statements. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously. (See appendix 6).
    6. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheques be paid. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously.
      1. Jamie Guy: Internal Audit for the full year 2018/2019 accounts  £75.00
      2. Community First: annual membership renewal 2019/2020         £40.00
      3. Miss E Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 April – 21 May 2019                                                                                            £468.86
  14. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 2 July 2019
  15. Any other business:
    1. Mrs Byatt asked members if they were aware that there was a project being developed by an adjoining Parish Council for a footpath / pavement along the A4361 Swindon road. Members said that they were aware of the potential for such a footpath and that interest in it had been expressed by the NT and BB & WM PC.
  16. The meeting closed at: 21:00.

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

  1. Letter to West Kennett residents and two email responses
  2. Police Crime Report
  3. Certificate of Exemption
  4. Internal Auditor’s report
  5. Section 1 Annual Governance Statement
  6. Section 2 Accounting Statements.