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Avebury Parish Council

Draft minutes of an ordinary meeting of Avebury Parish Council held on 1 July 2014 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 Sportsfield Association, BBLP for Balfour Beatty Living Places, CATG for Community Area Transport Group, EA for Environment Agency, EH for English Heritage, MAB for Marlborough Area Board, MADT for Marlborough Area Development Trust, MDNIA for Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area, NT for the National Trust, PCC for Parochial Church Council, UKN for Upper Kennet News, WC for Wiltshire Council and WHS for World Heritage Site.

Time Start: 19:30

  1. Public question time: There were no members of the public present.
  2. Present: Councillors Andrew Williamson (Chairman), Mike Daniel, Paul Dixon, Maggie Lewis and Zandria Service.
     
    In attendance: Wiltshire Councillor Mrs Jemima Milton (items 1-14) and Miss Liz Moore (Clerk).
  3. Apologies for absence: Councillors Dr Mike Bedford (Vice-Chairman), Keith Howell, Antoinette Kremer and Paul Ryder-Morris. Members were concerned to hear from Ms Service that Mrs Kremer had recently fallen over and broken her arm, and expressed their best wishes for her rapid recovery.
  4. Declarations of interest: Ms Zandria Service declared she had not been able to register her interests on the WC web site due to a problem with her computer.
    Action: Clerk to contact WC to request a paper copy of the Register of Interests to be posted to Ms Service for return to WC.
    Further declarations of interest were made later under items 6c and 14k.
  5. Minutes of meeting held on 3 June 2014: Unanimously agreed as an accurate record. Proposed by Mr Daniel and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  6. Matters arising from the minutes:
    1. Health risks of wi-fi: (Minute ref. 1). The Clerk and Mrs Lewis reported no further information had been received from Mr Mieras. No further action.
    2. Grass cutting by WC Highways on paths and verges: (Min ref. 1). Members noted grass cutting had commenced the day after the last APC meeting and all areas previously of concern had been cut.
    3. Transport Issues and traffic calming: (Minute ref. 10). Mrs Milton reported there had been two further accidents on the A4 approaching the Beckhampton roundabout in the last month. Mrs Milton declared an interest, as her partner was related to a member of Beckhampton Stables' staff, and said that improvements to the horse crossing across the A4 were required due to the danger the road posed to staff exercising race horses at the Stables. Members acknowledged the need for action. The Chairman added that this issue had been included in the draft Avebury Transport Plan and was in the current draft of the WHS Transport Strategy and Design Guide which was due for publication shortly.
    4. Benches at Beckhampton and West Kennett: (Min ref. 6a). Dr Bedford had previously emailed to report that the Beckhampton bench near the bus shelter was in good repair. Mr Ryder-Morris had yet to report on West Kennett bench.
    5. 1 Tonne Salt Bag Scheme 2014/2015 and storage: (Min ref. 6b). Ms Service reported Mrs Kremer was concerned about the use of salt on the environment and that she, Ms Service, had not yet contacted neighbours to find a possible place to store the salt. Members noted WC had advised only a minimal amount of salt was required for the road surface, for example a teaspoon size, and had offered to provide the salt in 25kg bags. Further to discussion, members decided that, on balance, safety was important and therefore agreed to participate in the scheme for Gilbert Hill, Bray Street and Beckhampton. Action: Clerk to email WC to confirm participation.
    6. Dropped kerb at Trusloe: (Min ref. 12h). The Chairman reported he had spoken to AHA about mobility access and removing one set of railings across the footpath to the bus shelter. AHA would be investigating this as an alternative solution to a dropped kerb.
    7. Football Club's request for shed on Sports-field: (Min ref. 17a). The Clerk reported Mr Dominic Fry of ACC was helping Mr Bruce Hinder find a solution to the Football Club's storage requirements.
  7. Planning applications and results:
    1. Change two casement windows at 2 Chapel Cottages, Avebury Trusloe to new timber windows at rear of property, first floor level. Ref: 14/05583/LBC. Plans were tabled and considered. Members unanimously agreed to support the application. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Daniel.
    2. Results: First Floor Extension at 6 Beckhampton Road. Ref: 14/04877/FUL. Approved with conditions.
  8. Solstice review: initial feedback:
    Ms Service reported overall Solstice had been quiet and other members agreed, although Mr Daniel reported he had heard drumming from his home on the Swindon Road. Mrs Lewis said it had been very successful for the Community Shop and they had run out of their stock of mead. Ms Service stressed that the police presence made a huge difference in deterring informal camping. She also asked if APC might write to the Police to thank them, and the Chairman confirmed APC wrote every year to thank the NT as well as the Police.
    The Chairman reported about 230 vehicles had parked on the Ridgeway and that NT staff had done a very effective job in moving on the great majority by the following Thursday, and had been supported by a useful police presence in moving a small minority. Mr Daniel reported parking on the verges of the Avenue on the morning of Saturday 21st June had created congestion. Mr Dixon reported a robbery had taken place in the High Street on Friday 20th June in which a woman had been surrounded and had her bag stolen. The Chairman reported that a Police drugs dog had been on patrol on Thursday 19th June and that he had learned that, contrary to his previous understanding, one of the Police dogs had retired (and not died). Mrs Lewis said the drugs dog had a very positive effect in reducing drug use. Members noted that due to an oversight, the Police had not contacted ASA to request use of the Sports-field.
    Action: Members unanimously agreed that APC write to thank the Police and the NT for their investment of time and money in managing Solstice. The Chairman confirmed that he would write letters after he had attended a Solstice debriefing scheduled for the next day. Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mrs Lewis.
  9. Flood Group:
    1. Report by Mrs Lewis on site visit by Thames Water on 11 June 2014.<
      Mrs Lewis said that she completed a walk round with Mr Ian Binding (Thames Water Field Operations Specialist) on 11 June to inspect the manhole covers and identify works needed to seal them. The majority of manholes had since been sealed apart from the manhole located at the culvert at the end of the High Street as this was not of standard size. Thames Water would need to order a special cover for this which could take time. Mrs Lynzey Paradise (Flood Group member) would be keeping Mrs Lewis updated.
    2. Report by Mrs Lewis on site visit by WC on 12 June 2014.
      Mrs Lewis said that she completed a walk round with Mr Danny Everett (WC Drainage Engineer) and it had become apparent that the work required at the exit of the culvert into the water meadows depended on dredging of the ditches being done by the landowners, Butler Bros. Mrs Lewis reported that Butler Bros were applying to the EA to obtain consent to dredge the main riverbed, but that dredging of the ditches could go ahead anyway. Action: Mrs Lewis to contact the landowners to initiate dredging of the ditches.
      Mrs Lewis also reported that the culvert under Trusloe Manor drive had been cleaned. Mrs Lewis added that Mr Huw Thomas (Local and Regional Government Liaison Thames Water) was not aware of any pending drain works to be carried out at Beckhampton (as previously reported by Mr Howell).
    3. Avebury Community Flood and Drainage Group: Draft Terms of Reference:
      (previously circulated to members). The Chairman suggested a couple of minor changes. Action: Mrs Lewis to update the document; final approval deferred to next meeting.
    4. Members to appoint a Flood Warden: Mrs Lewis said this was probably not necessary with the Flood Group set up. No further action.
  10. Transport Issues: the Chairman reported:
    1. WHS Transport Plan and Design Guide: this was being finalized by the consultants and should be ready by the end of July. The great majority of proposals recommended in the Avebury Parish Traffic Plan had been included in the current draft of the WHS Plan.
    2. Parking in Trusloe: The Chairman said he had spoken to a WC surveyor that day and had arranged a meeting with her about parking in Trusloe.
  11. Avebury Day: Mr Daniel reported on work in progress. He said that awareness of the event continued to increase and he had attended the Family Fun Day at the Kennet Valley Hall on 21 June to distribute leaflets. The Chairman asked how funding was progressing as 5,000.00 in total needed to be raised. Mrs Lewis and Mr Daniel reported they had sold all the raffle tickets on Sunday 8 June at 'Open Farm Sunday', North Farm, West Overton. The Chairman asked if Avebury Day was dependant on receiving a grant from MAB. Mr Daniel confirmed that this was the case and that he had applied for 250.00 - 500.00 funding through Mr Andrew Jack. The next meeting of the MAB would be on the 22nd July.
  12. Local issues, including:
    1. Grass cutting: the Clerk reported:
      1. She had emailed Mr Dominic Fry (ACC) to request a copy of their insurance policy and had been assured it would be sent, but nothing had been received to date. Action: Clerk to contact Mr Fry to chase requested copy of ACC's insurance policy
      2. She had emailed two contacts at BBLP to ask them to account for the grass cutting they had done in the past three months and had also left voice messages, but no response had been received. Members decided she should take no further action and that APC should wait for BBLP to make contact.
    2. Litter bins in Avebury: the Chairman confirmed the Jubilee bin had been requested for the High Street.
    3. High Street road surface: the Chairman reported that resurfacing of parts of the High Street had taken place on the rescheduled dates of the 6, 7 June 2014.
    4. NT Car Parking Fees: the Chairman reported that further to his meeting with the NT, Mrs Jan Tomlin (General Manager) would not be able to decrease the new 7.00 parking charge in the NT main car park, and that the NT had a countrywide policy to increase parking fees at all its sites. Mr Daniel said this did not take into account comparison of other local NT or EH car parks where parking was deemed to be better value. The Chairman had been assured that the fee would not be increased for several years.
    5. Repairs to Beckhampton bus shelter: the Chairman reported that both he and Dr Bedford were still in the process of looking up some recommended suppliers.
    6. Footpath between the Waggon & Horses and Silbury Hill: the Chairman reported there was no further report from Mr Howell but the footpath was in the current draft of the WHS Transport Plan.
  13. Communications: the Chairman reported that the June 'Headlines' had not been included in UKN due to him being away. The Chairman would submit a combined June and July 'Headlines' for the August edition of UKN.
  14. Correspondence: the Clerk reported:
    1. Thank you letter received from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust for APC's support for the Sarsen Trail and Neolithic Marathon.
    2. Letter received from The Wiltshire Bobby Van Trust requesting continued support and 2014 Bobby Van News - the Trust was now based at Devizes Police Station.
    3. Letter received from Splash Wiltshire requesting support / funding. Action: Clerk to respond to let them know their request would be considered at November meeting.
    4. Monthly email from Rebecca Busby (WC Highways). (Previously emailed to members). Wiltshire Council update on weed spraying and rural verge cutting. Balfour Beatty had commenced this year's annual weed spraying and verge cutting programmes. The annual weed spraying in urban areas commenced on the 19th May, the programme typically took four weeks to complete but might experience some delays due to rain. The areas being treated had been highlighted by the area coordinators as persistent areas that required regular annual treatment. This work was being carried out by Balfour Beatty's subcontractor William Warden. Rural weed spraying would continue as in previous years where ad hoc spraying would be carried out to areas identified by the community team or coordinators with input from the Parish Councils. This would be ongoing through the summer months. Rural verge flail cutting had commenced and would be completed over the next 6 weeks, as per previous years the C and U/C roads would be cut first followed by the B and A Class roads. This work was being carried out by Balfour Beatty's subcontractor Simon Jacksons.
    5. Email from Councillor Terry Chivers (Independent Melksham without North). The Wiltshire Councillor had emailed to express his vote of no confidence in BBLP's Wiltshire Highways Contract and the senior WC Councillors involved.
    6. Email invitation from Rural Services Network to take part in Rural Sounding Board: Mrs Lewis had previously confirmed she would be participating in the surveys.
    7. WALC June Newsletter: (previously circulated to members). The Clerk read out the section containing advice on Health and Safety responsibilities of Local Councils when it came to self-employed contractors undertaking work for the Council. (See appendix 1).
    8. Email from Opinion Research Services ref. Wiltshire Council Gypsy & Traveller Needs Assessment 2014. Mr Daniel said he had responded to the survey as an individual.
    9. New Devizes Mobile Library Timetable: the Clerk confirmed she had published the timetable on some notice boards (the Community Shop and Rawlins Park had yet to be updated).
    10. Email: Marlborough Downs NIA Summer Farm Walk Thursday evening 3 July and Butterfly Walk Sunday 20 July.
    11. Affordable rural housing survey: (previously emailed to members). An email had been received from Hastoe Housing Association requesting APC participate in a national survey that would form a key part of the evidence base for the Rural Housing Policy Review Group. They hoped to gain an insight into the factors that encouraged and discouraged Parish Councils from supporting the delivery of affordable housing in their village. The Chairman declared an interest as a past Managing Director of Hastoe, as a friend and/or work colleague of several people involved in the Review Group including Lord Best, its Chairman. The Chairman stated there were three sections to the survey. In brief, the first asked about APC's involvement in securing an affordable housing scheme over the last ten years, the second included reasons for wanting affordable housing in the community and the third was for those who had not/did not want affordable housing in their village. Action: the Chairman said he would fill in the form and circulate to members prior to submission.
    12. Email: BBC Wiltshire Core Festival 6th July 2014.
  15. Finance and admin:
    1. Councillor training. The Clerk reported she had received and circulated to members an email from Katie Fielding (County Secretary, WALC) listing available on-site training dates. Mrs Lewis agreed to liaise with adjoining Parishes to see if there were other councillors that would be interested in the training too. The Clerk confirmed the cost of the training would be met by the Parish Council and could be split across the other Parish Councils if they also participated.
    2. Clerk's annual appraisal. The Clerk requested an appraisal for August. Members discussed the previous arrangements and agreed that the Chairman and Mrs Lewis conduct it. Action: the Clerk would contact WALC / NALC to find out if they provided any appraisal forms / templates. [After the ordinary meeting, a date was booked for Friday 29August 2014 at 11:30 and it was mutually agreed the meeting would take place at 'Ashdown'].
    3. The Clerk reported contributions for weed killing on Sports-field had been received from both ACC and ASA and the money had now been banked.
    4. Cheques for payment: It was unanimously agreed that the following cheques be paid.
      1. Jamie Guy: Full Year Internal Audit Review 2013/14     75.00
      2. Liz Moore: additional hours work in June + expenses    76.48
      Proposed by Ms Service and seconded by Mr Dixon. Cheques signed by the Chairman and Mr Dixon.
  16. Date of next meeting: 7.30pm on Tuesday 2nd September 2014.
  17. Any other business:
    1. Mr Dixon reported that the branch of an apple tree on the Sports-field had been snapped off.
    2. Mr Daniel urged everyone to remember to return acceptance forms for the Community Lunch.
    3. The Chairman asked Mr Daniel about the plans for the location of the banners for Avebury Day. Mr Daniel said there was currently only one banner in place by the Avebury Club; the other banner was in the boot of his car and he planned to position this banner on the railings outside his house.
  18. The meeting closed at 20:48
Appendices (included in the book of Parish Council papers):
  1. Excerpt from WALC June Newsletter: 'Health & Safety Responsibilities of Local Councils