3 September 2019 Ordinary Meeting : Minutes

Avebury Parish Council

Minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on Tuesday 3 September 2019 at the Social Centre, Avebury SN8 1RF.

In these minutes APC stands 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, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, MAB for Marlborough Area Boards, NT for the National Trust, PC for Parish Council, RoSPA for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, RoW for Rights of Way, SSE for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, TG for Transport Group, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council, WHS for World Heritage Site and WHS PU for World Heritage Site Partnership Unit.

Present: Mr Stephen Stacey (Chairman), Mrs Maggie Lewis (Vice-Chair), Mr Ben Butler, Mrs Donna Byatt: up to and including item 9b, Mr Terence O’Connor and Ms Zandria Service.

In attendance: Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).

Time Started:  19:32

  1. Public question time: there were 6 members of the public present for all or part of the meeting including Catherine Hosie (Estate Manager, NT). There were no questions asked.
  2. Apologies: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford, Mrs Lynzey Paradise and Wiltshire Councillor Jane Davies.
  3. Declarations of interest: Mr Stacey declared an interest in respect of item 7.b. as the applicant for work to trees.
  4. Minutes of meeting held on 2 July 2019: there were two requests for amendments to the draft minutes. Item 1. to change Ms Stützenberger’s title to ‘Operations Manager’. Item 8.i. (ii) to change ‘the NT’s insurance policy’ to ‘Wiltshire Council’s planning restrictions’. Proposed by Mrs Byatt, seconded by Mr Butler and carried unanimously. It was unanimously agreed that the corrected minutes be accepted as an accurate record of the meeting. Proposed by Mrs Lewis and seconded by Mr O’Connor.
  5. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Min ref. 11.b West Kennett telephone box: the Clerk reported that she was in the process of writing to BT to request that the ‘phone box is not removed and refurbished instead.
  6. Membership and co-option: it was resolved to co-opt Mr Mike Daniel to the Parish Council. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously. 
  7. Planning applications:
    1. Work to trees in a Conservation Area at The Rectory, High Street, Avebury SN8 1RF. Ref: 19/08402/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered and it was resolved to support the application. Proposed by Mr O’Connor, seconded by Ms Service and carried unanimously.
    2. Work to trees in a Conservation Area at Greystones, Green Street, Avebury SN8 1RE. Ref: 19/08401/TCA. Plans were tabled and considered and it was resolved to support to application. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Byatt and agreed. [Mr Stacey abstained from voting].
  8. National Trust update on refurbishment work at the Circles Café: the Chairman explained that he would provide a brief update on the refurbishment work to date. He stated that he had understood from the NT that the scaffolding was due to be taken down the following week and that there might be a delay to the project due to issues with the roof. This could also impact the soft opening planned for mid-October. Catherine Hosie confirmed that all points had been covered and there was no other information to add to the update. Thanks were expressed to Catherine Hosie for attending the council meeting that night as the NT’s representative. Members said how glad they were that she was present.
  9. Project updates:
    1. Transport Group
      1. To receive a report from Cllr Stacey on the Meeting of Parish Chairs (9 July): the Chairman explained that the meeting had been to discuss road safety issues on the A4 for the past year. Diane Ware, Principle Technical Officer, Wiltshire Highways had attended, was keen to engage with the wider community, and then left for an A4 site visit. The group’s focus was on the A4 and then the connecting roads and they hoped to meet again in October.
      2. To receive a report on the Transport Group meeting (2 September) including:
        • A4 project at Beckhampton and West Kennett: (plans of the carriageway improvements were tabled and see appendix 1). The Chairman reported that the westbound carriageway at Beckhampton was still shown as having two lanes and should have one lane; otherwise the plans produced by Atkins were as expected. The plan was to get to stage 3 of the project so that when funding became available the project would be ready to implement. Mrs Lewis asked if there was any plan to use the Beckhampton roundabout to help reduce sightlines by either allowing the grass to grow or by having a planting scheme. The Chairman said that he would talk to Martin Cook (Area Highway Engineer) about options. There was a further question and the Chairman said that he understood that double white lines would be extended along the A361 to improve safety. The Chairman reported that the plans for West Kennett were as expected, though it had been suggested that it should be made clear that the Avenue would still be accessible for emergency and farm vehicles. Members supported the Transport Group’s recommendations for changes to the plans and agreed that the Chairman attend the CATG meeting on 19 September to ensure the design work had been finalized by Steve Hind as proposed.
        • Improved pedestrian safety on A4361 at Avebury Trusloe and speed surveys on A4361 and A4: the Chairman stated that the PC had agreed at its meeting on 2 July to contribute to a speed assessment on the A4361 to be supported financially by two other PCs. He reported that he had been advised that Atkins on behalf of WC had carried out some preliminary work in August. Steve Hind had told him that he would make a formal proposal at the next CATG meeting to undertake the work.
        • To agree action in response to a proposal for a footpath from Avebury on A4361 to North of Dorwyn Manor: the Chairman invited Mr Mike Daniel to speak. Mr Daniel explained that he was looking for support and advice for a permissive footpath. He said that visitors and residents had a right to walk in safety. There were many unreported near misses and accidents involving walkers and many people choosing to drive and park in Avebury due to the absence of a footpath. Mr Daniel reported that, to date, he had received 219 signatures in support of a footpath from residents and visitors alike, and feedback on 54 feedback forms from B&B guests stating that they would have walked into Avebury if there had been a safe route to do so. He added that he also had the support of Mrs Laura Corbett, who was one of the owners of the land that the footpath would cross. In discussion it was agreed that further research needed to be carried out on the exact location and materials to be used for the footpath and that a permissive footpath through the field situated west of the A4361 was likely to be the best option. However Ms Service pointed out the safety issue for pedestrians trying to cross the A4361 to access the footpath. It was resolved to set up a working group with at least one representative from all the relevant stakeholders including landowners (NT and Mrs Corbett) and probably, WC and BT in order to carry out further research and make a plan. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously. Mrs Byatt offered to represent the PC on the working group along with Mr Mike Daniel. Thanks were expressed to Mr Daniel for bringing his proposal to the Transport Group and Parish Council.
      3. Resurfacing of footpath 21 and footpath 22: the Chairman reported that Martin Cook was following up with Atkins to find out the reason for the lack of progress on the project.
      4. Project to improve road signage in Avebury: the Chairman reported that the project had been completed on time with thanks to Ian Turner at WC Highways, the NT, the WHS PU and, in particular, Helen Weedon at the WHS PU, who had very much facilitated the project. He said that the project was a good example of a multi-stakeholder partnership that had worked well together. Mrs Lewis reported that the sign pointing into the main NT car park when travelling west out of Avebury was partly obscured by plants. Ms Hosie agreed to investigate the matter.
    2. It was resolved to approve the proposal to host a joint public meeting with the NT on 10 September to address residents’ car parking concerns. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mrs Byatt and carried unanimously. [The Chairman, the Clerk, who will be taking a record of the meeting, and Catherine Hosie would be attending].
    3. Play Area refurbishment: in the absence of Mrs Paradise there was no progress report. However, the Chairman expressed thanks to the Clerk for emailing a link to the play area at Mildenhall and for recommending that members visit the area as the setting was very similar to Avebury and there was a great range of equipment. It was agreed that, as had been suggested by Mrs Lewis, members would make an early opportunity to visit the play area at Mildenhall.
    4. Superfast fibre broadband project and 4/5G: Mr O’Connor reported that the results of the survey in the spring had been unanimous and that the majority of parishioners had poor upload and download speeds including domestic and business users. He said that most people were lucky to get 3G on their mobile telephones. There were pockets of the Parish that currently benefited from fibre but this was limited to a small area of Avebury Trusloe. Ms Hosie reported that the NT had the same issues with poor connectivity as many others in the local area. In discussion members recommended that the PC link with the NT to form a working group and Ms Hosie agreed to find out the NT’s arrangements as IT and telecoms was handled centrally. It was resolved to set up a working group including relevant stakeholders to carry out further research and talk to BT about a plan for delivering a fit for purpose internet and mobile telephone service for all in the Parish. Proposed by Ms Service, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
  10. Parish Emergency Plan: a final copy of the plan in the new template was received by the PC and thanks expressed to Mrs Lewis and Mrs Farthing (Civil Emergency Volunteer) for their work on the document. Mrs Lewis confirmed that Mrs Farthing was the main point of contact and at members’ request she agreed to put together an escalation tree so that the process for implementing the plan in an emergency was clear.
  11. Solstice De-brief: (a paper by Cllr Stacey with constructive suggestions for action was previously circulated to members and see appendix 2). The Clerk read out the ideas for a way forward for 2020 as follows: ‘Arrangements for 2020 should start from those made for 2019 and previous years and in addition:
    • Overnight parking for camper vans should be permitted at the south car park and/or at East Farm
    • Gates on the Ridgeway should be positioned to prevent vehicles passing beyond the car park on Overton Hill or accessing AVE5
    • Green Street should be subject to the same access restrictions as the High Street
    • Parking enforcement should continue

    In the absence of formal management of the event, ‘behaviour issues’ can be addressed only by the visible presence of staff from the National Trust, the police, and St John’s Ambulance’.

    In discussion, members felt that the PC should meet with authorities to put a plan in place for Solstice 2020 in advance of the ASOP meetings. Members also agreed that they should have a plan / template for all major events happening in Avebury and for a master document to be finalized by February / March 2020. Ms Service confirmed that she would be attending

  12. Local issues:

    1. Bench at West Kennett: the Chairman reported that following a collision with a car, the bench at West Kennett had been destroyed and the post box had also been taken out but swiftly re-instated by Royal Mail. The Clerk reported that the incident had been logged with the Police by the owner of the car and that she was waiting to hear from the car owner’s insurance company. She advised members that a safety audit / risk assessment should be done before replacing the bench in the same location and that a resident from West Kennett wanted the bench to be replaced as it was very much in use by walkers and people waiting for the bus.

    2. Replacement planters for the High Street: the Chairman reported that the Henge Shop had offered to replace a planter that was falling apart but had subsequently repaired it instead. The Clerk reported that Grist Environmental had agreed to replace the planter destroyed by one of their vehicles but had done so with one of a different style. Grist Environmental will supply a planter of the right type from Erlestoke House Farm Shop. Clerk to check progress on the new planter owed to the PC.

    3. Repairs to Play Area fencing: the Clerk had yet to receive a quotation and would chase the contractor.

    4. Request for a plastic and glass recycling bin for the High Street: the Clerk reported that the Community Shop had asked for an additional recycling bin in the NT car park. In discussion members requested that Mrs Lewis speak with the Manager to find exactly what was needed as the shop had its own plastic recycling bins for use by the shop and its customers.

    5. Repairs to road mirror in Beckhampton: not yet actioned. Mrs Lewis agreed to purchase the new mirror within the financial limits previously agreed and to ensure written permission from the landowner for installing a new mirror was received.

  13. Parish Steward Priority Sheet: the Chairman reported that the Parish Steward had not been available in August and was only available for half a day over 10 months of the year. Members were asked if they had any job requests for the Parish Steward for his next visit on the 18 September and it was agreed that the focus should be on strimming footpaths with the exception of Kyter’s Walk. Ms Hosie advised members that stimming could be particularly harmful to hedgehogs and that the Parish Steward be requested to use a mechanical means of cutting back vegetation where possible. It was noted that the NT had a hedgehog hotel in the Manor to try to help the declining hedgehog population.

  14. Communications: it was noted that PC Headlines had been submitted to the August Edition of UKN. 

  15. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:

    1. Melissa Camilleri was the new PCSO covering the Marlborough Villages. Members agreed to accept the PCSO’s offer to attend a Parish Council meeting and requested that the Clerk invite the PCSO to the next meeting.
    2. Operation Apollo had been set up by the Police to tackle Heritage Crime at Stonehenge and Avebury.
    3. Information had been received on web content accessibility guidelines. It was noted that full compliancy to the new latest WCAG 2.1 guidelines was required by 22 September 2020. The Chairman reported that Kate Fry had provided a report on what the PC needed to do and he would circulate it to members. Mrs Lewis requested that the ACSReC tab and information be removed from the PC’s website as it was no longer relevant. Mrs Lewis also agreed to ask ASSC about removing the Sports Field page as booking of the Sports Field should ideally be done via ASSC’s website.
    4. Launch of the Calne Great West Way Tourism Website www.visitcalne.co.uk and promotional Video Calne – A to B in Calne Town Hall. The Chairman reported that he had met Mr Dillamore (Chair, Visit Calne) to better understand their marketing strategy.
    5. Wiltshire Community Led Housing Partnership Event was taking place at 10:00 – 12:30 on Tuesday 10 September at Community First, Hopton Park, Devizes. The Chairman offered to attend the meeting.
    6. The next Flood Group meeting would be on Wednesday 11 September at Warminster Civic Centre, Sambourne Road, Warminster and Highways England would be providing an update on the A303 Scheme. Mrs Lewis offered to attend the meeting.
    7. Invitation to Community First’s AGM on 9 October.
    8. Invitation to Wiltshire Local Plan Review: Wednesday 18 September 18:00 -20:00: Marlborough Town Hall, High Street, Marlborough.
  16. Consultations: including the Licensing Act 2003 and WC’s draft statement of licensing policy 2019-2024: deferred to next meeting agenda.

  17. Finance and admin including:

    1. Review of Transport Group Terms of Reference: due to the absence of Dr Bedford, this item was deferred to next meeting agenda.
    2. Play Area inspection by RoSPA had been booked for September.
    3. Training: it was noted that Mrs Lewis would like to attend the Chairing Skills Training provided by WALC. Clerk to book Mrs Lewis on the next available course.
    4. It was resolved to update the cheque signatories for the HSBC bank account and add Ms Service as a fourth cheque signatory. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr Stacey and carried unanimously.
    5. Cheques for ratification: it was resolved to ratify the following cheque payment raised on the 31 July 2019. Proposed by Mr Butler, seconded by Mrs Lewis and carried unanimously.
      1. Miss E. Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 June – 21 July 2019 inclusive                                                                                     £205.79
    6. Cheques for payment: it was resolved that the following cheque be paid. Proposed by Mrs Lewis, seconded by Mr O’Connor and carried unanimously.
      1. Miss E. Moore: Clerk’s overtime and expenses 22 July – 21 August 2019 inclusive including 10 hours owed from April 2019 timesheet plus adjustments for under claimed hours                                         £400.83
  18. Date of next meeting: 7:30pm on Tuesday 1 October 2019
  19. Any other business:
    1. The Chairman reported that the PC had been offered a grant of £1,000.00 from SSE to purchase a defibrillator. It was noted that at the PC’s June meeting it had been agreed that a third defibrillator was a good idea but best provided by another body / organization. The Chairman said that he would ask ASSC and the NT whether they would consider a defibrillator for the Sports Field or elsewhere. Mrs Lewis to check SSE’s terms and conditions for using the grant and whether it would be possible to transfer the grant to another organization or for the PC to make the initial purchase of a rental defibrillator from SW Ambulance Service and then let another organization take over the rental agreement.
  20. The meeting closed at: 21:59

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

  1. Plans of the carriageway improvements at Beckhampton West Kennett
  2. ‘A way forward for Solstice 2020’ – a paper by Cllr Stacey