Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly, April 2010
[Draft - to be confirmed at the 2011 APA]

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Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Thursday, 15th April 2010 at 7.30 p.m.


Present:                           Cllr Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (Chairman)         

                                        Councillors:- J.A.Grey, A.L.Howard, M.L.James, Mrs A. Mendzil,

                                        Mrs P. Oakeshott (also Borough), L.M. Pearton,  B.Sutherland,

                                        S.Walton and S.Wright.                                    

In attendance:                   53 Parishioners

                                        Kent Community Warden Steve Gray.

                                        Adam Holloway, M.P.                                    

Apologies for absence:      Received from County Councillor Mike Snelling,

                                        Borough Councillor Bryan Sweetland,  Cllr. M. Scott and

                                        PC Steve Cole.


The Meeting was opened by the Chairman who warmly welcomed all those present and thanked them for attending.


Prior to the commencement of the Meeting the Chairman introduced Adam Holloway, M.P. who had attended the Meeting to reassure those present that the recent announcement of a possible Lower Thames Crossing east of Gravesend was a “vision” for the future and he could not foresee any further decisions on this for many years to come. The Chairman thanked him for his reassurance, and in view of the impending General Election, thanked him for the support he had given the Parish over the past four years.


The Chairman explained that the format for the evening would be the same as the previous year. Most reports normally given at the Assembly were now contained in the Parish Newsletter, which had been circulated throughout the village. The Chairman emphasised that the Parish Council still wished to hear the views and opinions of those Parishioners present, and she invited them to make comment accordingly.


The Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly, held on Thursday, 16th April 2009, were confirmed and signed.


Matters arising from the Minutes.

The Clerk reported that:-

1.   The second Youth Club evening for the aged 14+ youngsters was now up and running on a Monday and numbers were gradually increasing.

2.   Both the footway and carriageway to Brice Road had now been resurfaced.

3.   New street lighting to replace the mercury vapour lanterns in the centre of the village (KCC stock) have been replaced. The remainder (GBC stock) would be replaced under an EU directive by 2015.


To receive the Annual Report of the Parish Council.

The Chairman ensured that all persons present had a copy of the “Higham Parish Council Annual Newsletter and Reports 2010” booklet before proceeding further. She proposed that all reports would be taken as read, and invited comments from Parishioners at the end of each item.

a.   Allotments (P. 25 )

b.   Planning (P. 10 )

c.   Recreation Ground (P. 13 )


Sue Sparks highlighted problems with dogs running loose over the allotment plots in the lower Allotment Gardens. She asked if it might be possible for fencing to be installed around the plots to stop this happening.



The draft simplified statement of accounts for 2009/2010 (P.6) was agreed by all those present, this being proposed by Cllr. Oakeshott, and seconded by Cllr. James. Those present noted that the balance to be carried forward into the new financial year was £12,590.07 and that this figure included unused general and specific contingency funds, and funds for work carried out, and for which invoices were still awaited.


Report from County Council Representative.

Cllr. Snelling had submitted a written report which had been provided for all Parishioners (copy attached). Questions were dealt with under Parishioners’ Matters.


Report from District Council Representatives.

Cllr. Sweetland had submitted a written report which had been provided for all Parishioners (copy attached). Questions were dealt with under Parishioners Matters.


Cllr. Oakeshott reported  that the plans for the upgrading of the Higham Station car park had met with opposition from the Department of Transport, Network Rail and South Eastern who had felt unable to support the works as they would not add value to the existing franchise or customer development. She reassured Parishioners that the campaign would continue. The Freedom Pass for student bus travel was now going to be extended to those local students who had to travel from the village to the Medway Towns. Higham Library would be holding a history month in May and Glynis Selby had arranged a series of village events to take place during the month. Celebrations would be held in the village in 2012 to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens, 150 years of St. John’s Church, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and  the London Olympics. It was hoped that a firework display would follow the Proms Concert and to help cover the costs for this event a large raffle would be promoted by the Scouts.

Peter Allinson reported that the traffic lights at the top of Villa Road appeared to have gone out of synchronisation and did not always detect waiting traffic, especially at night.

Mr Chilmaid suggested that Cllr. Oakeshott should consider placing a petition for improved parking at Higham Station in the Post Office.   


Report from the Governors of Higham Primary School (P.27)

Report of the Kent Association of Local Councils (P.11)


To receive reports from Village Bodies and Voluntary Organisations (to be found throughout the booklet).


Peter Allinson advised those present that he would be arranging a Grand Village Raffle in Spring 2011, on behalf of the Scouts, and the proceeds would be used to fund a firework display in the village as part of the 2012 celebrations. He appealed for support from the local community and any donations of prizes.

The Chairman thanked Judi Stanley for all her help in compiling the copy material for the newsletter.

She also thanked Clive Stanley for his help in maintaining the Parish Council website.

She thanked Jo Raff, Youth Leader, and her team of volunteers, for the tremendous work that they had carried out with the youngsters in the village.


To consider any other matters raised by Parishioners.

Mr Chilmaid reported a growing problem with beer cans and bottles being left on the grass bank at the entrance to Steadman Close. It was agreed that Steve Gray would keep an eye on the situation and organize a litter pick to the area.

Mrs Coulson requested that more litter and dog bins should be placed in Lower Higham and agreed to liaise with Cllr. Oakeshott regarding the exact locations.



Any Other Business.

David Mead highlighted the forthcoming Volunteer Week which would commence on 5/6. A service would be held in St. George’s Church to celebrate the good work carried out by volunteers in the community as a whole.


The Chairman advised Parishioners that the successful “Friday Night at the Proms” event, featuring The Medway Towns Band, would be held in the Recreation Ground again this year on 2/7.  Tickets were available to purchase during the evening.




The Chairman welcomed Joe McLaren , Chairman of the Friends of St. Mary’s Church, who gave a talk about the work carried out by the group.


To note the date of the next Annual Parish Assembly.

This was given as being Thursday, 14th April 2011 at 7.30 p.m.


The Chairman thanked fellow Members of the Parish Council, the County Representative, and the Borough Representatives, for their support over the past year.

She thanked the Clerk for her continued hard work.

She thanked Lesley Topping for providing a delicious buffet.


Finally, in closing, she thanked all Parishioners for attending the Meeting and welcomed them back next year, and to future Meetings of the Parish Council


There being no other business, the Meeting closed at 9.17 p.m.


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