Higham Parish Council
Minutes of the May 2013 Annual Parish Council Meeing
and Ordinary Parish Council Meeting
[Draft Minutes - to be confirmed at next Meeting]
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Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting followed by a Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 13th May 2013 at 7.30 p.m.
Present: Cllr. Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (Chairman)
County Councillor: Cllr. B. Sweetland
Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske
Councillors: A. Carroll, J. Grey, A. Howard, P. Oakeshott, L.Pearton (also Borough) B.Sutherland and S. Wright
In attendance: 2 Parishioners.
Apologies for absence: Received from Cllr James, PCSO Claire Croucher and Kent Community Warden Steve Gray.
Cllrs. G. Ashby and A. Mendzil did not attend the Meeting.
1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN.
The Clerk called for nominations for the position of Chairman by secret ballot. Cllr. Papadopulos was re-elected as Chairman by a majority vote.
2. THE CHAIRMAN SIGNED HER DECLARATION OF ACCEPTANCE OF OFFICE FORM.
3. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN.
The Chairman asked for nominations for the position of Vice Chairman by secret ballot.
Cllr. Oakeshott was re-elected as Vice Chairman by a majority vote.
4. ELECTION OF COMMITTEES.
It was proposed by Cllr.Howard, seconded by Cllr. Carroll and agreed by all Members that the following should be elected to Committees (lead member in capitals where applicable)
The Clerk reminded Members that both the Chairman and Vice Chairman would be ex-officio Members of the Planning, Budget and Finance and Emergency Planning Committees.
a. Allotment Committee.
Cllrs HOWARD, Papadopulos and Wright (3 MEMBERS)
b. Recreation Committee.
Cllrs. Ashby, Pearton, and WRIGHT (3 MEMBERS)
c. Planning Committee.
Cllrs. Ashby, Carroll, Grey, Howard, James, Mendzil, Pearton, Sutherland and Wright.
d. Parish Environment and Conservation Committee.
Cllrs. Grey, Howard, Mendzil, Oakeshott, Pearton, Sutherland, and Wright
e. The Budget and Finance Committee.
Cllrs.Ashby, Carroll, Grey, Howard, James, Mendzil, Pearton, Sutherland, and Wright
f. Parish Newsletter Committee.
Cllrs. Oakeshott and Papadopulos (2 MEMBERS)
g. Parish Lighting Committee
Cllrs. Ashby, Mendzil, and Pearton (3 MEMBERS)
h. Social and Entertainment Committee.
Cllrs. Carroll, Grey, Mendzil, Pearton, Sutherland, (5 MEMBERS).
i. Emergency Planning Committee.
Cllrs. Ashby, Carroll, Grey, Howard, James, Mendzil, Pearton, Sutherland and Wright.
j. Severe Weather Committee
Cllrs Ashby, Howard and Sutherland.(3 MEMBERS)
k. Grants and Fundraising Committee
Cllrs. Mendzil, Oakeshott and Wright (3 MEMBERS)
l. Formal Complaints Committee.
To choose from Cllrs. Grey, Howard and Pearton (1 PARISH COUNCIL MEMBER)
5. APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES.
These were agreed as follows:-
a. K.A.P.C. - Cllrs Grey and Howard.
b. Memorial Hall Management Committee - Cllr. Oakeshott
c. Local Transport Advisory Committee (Village Transport Representatives) - Cllrs. Howard and Wright.
d. Merston Court Day Centre - Cllr. Papadopulos.
e. G.R.O.W.C. - Cllrs. Howard and Wright.
f. Multi-Purpose Sports Facility - Cllr. Papadopulos
g. Higham Youth Club - Cllrs. Papadopulos and Carroll.
h. C.P.R.E. - Cllr. Papadopulos
i. Governing Body of Higham Primary School - Cllr. James. (Cllr. Pearton also serving on Governing Body.)
j. Police Advisory Committee - Cllrs. Grey and Howard.
k. Chalk Liaison Group - Cllrs. Oakeshott and Pearton
l. Rural Housing - Cllrs. Oakeshott and Grey.
m. Village Roads, Pavements and Lighting – Cllrs Ashby, Carroll and Grey
n. Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition – ALL.
6. The Chairman thanked Liz Jeffery for continuing to act as the Parish Council Press Officer in addition to her role as the Village Press Correspondent.
7. The Clerk proposed a vote of thanks to both the Chairman and Cllr. Anne Carroll for their help in providing and serving refreshments at Meetings.
The Meeting closed at 7.45 p.m.
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PARISH COUNCIL MEETING.
It was proposed by Cllr.Pearton, seconded by Cllr. Grey, and agreed unanimously by all Members present that Standing Orders, including amendments for the Annual Parish Assembly, Financial Regulations, and Delegated Powers for the Planning Committee, should be adopted.
The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.
There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.
The Clerk reported that the last inspection report of the Recreation Ground had revealed no problems.
The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 8th April 2013, were confirmed and signed.
Matters arising from the Minutes.
Including an update of actions from the last Minutes, the Clerk reported that:-
a. P. 1086 Matters Arising. The repairs to the London bound slip road of the by-pass were now complete.
b. P. 1087. Parish. The Brambles. It was understood that a further attempt to clear the encroachment of vegetation across the road would be made the following week.
c. P. 1087. Parish. Post to School Lane. Cllr. Grey reported that Tony Atherton had arranged for this to be replaced.
d. P. 1088. Gads Hill. Confirmation had now been received that Crutches Lane would be resurfaced once the school had broken up for the Summer. Following the resurfacing all the yellow lines associated with the scheme would be installed. PCSO’s would rigorously enforce these once the school returned in the Autumn term. The Clerk was asked to contact Mr Craggs with a view to booking a tour of the new school buildings for the Members of the Parish Council.
Cllr. Craske confirmed that he had checked the section 106 agreement for the temporary planning permission for the car park in the rose garden (P. 1089 refers) and could confirm that this area needed to be returned to its original state.
None were brought to the notice of the Meeting.
To receive an update on the renewal of the Recreation Ground Lease.
The Clerk reported that the College was insisting on seeing documentary evidence on a yearly basis that Mrs Green was not making a huge profit, as part of the conditions for the new lease. Mrs Green had offered to share her HMRC on-line accounts but was not willing to go to the expense of having her accounts audited. Existing insurance arrangements would continue but the College would wish to see evidence from both parties that this was current. If the building should fall vacant it could be sublet by the Parish Council but at the full commercial rent and the Recreation Ground and Sports Area would be let to the Parish Council at a rent not less than £1500 per annum. The lease would be for a 12 year period with a rent review every 3 years. The date to go to court was still fixed for 19th August.
2013 Community Events
The Clerk reported that site meetings had been held for the In The Mood Tonight evening on 15/6 and a traffic management plan agreed with the police. Numerous forms had been completed, queries answered and then forms re-submitted. Mr Shove was to provide his field for car parking. Banners for the event would be arriving at the end of the week and tickets to show attendance on the evening had been ordered.
The tickets for the Friday Night at the Proms event would be available within Higham Library within the next couple of days. Cllr. Sutherland agreed to put up the Proms banners within the village.
The Clerk reminded Members of matters arising from this year’s Annual Parish Assembly. Parishioners had wanted an update on the progress of the renewal of the Recreation Ground lease. An appeal had been made for more volunteers to operate the Speedwatch equipment and Parishioners had expressed concern following the presentation on the Future Kent Libraries Project that no rental costs had yet been calculated for the hire of the Library. It was agreed that the amount of sandwiches provided for the evening needed to be cut back the following year. Cllr. Pearton suggested local associations could be invited to produce a display about their work in future years following the success of the display about Higham Youth Club this year.
To finalise arrangements for the 2013 Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition.
The Chairman reported that Morton Grey had again agreed to judge the competition but she was still awaiting a date when this would happen.
To arrange dates for Parish Council Meetings in 2014.
The Clerk had circulated details of dates for Meetings in 2014 prior to the Meeting and the following were agreed:-
Mondays:- 13th January, 24th February, 7th April, 12th May (Annual Parish Council Meeting with Parish Council Meeting), 7th July, 8th September, 13th October, 10th November (Budget and Finance only) , and 24th November (Christmas Meeting with the Mayor of Gravesham).
The Annual Parish Assembly would take place on Thursday, 10th April 2014.
The remaining dates for Meetings in 2013 are as follows:-
Mondays:- 9th September, 14th October, 11th November (Budget and Finance only) and 25th November (Christmas Meeting with the Mayor of Gravesham).
Future Kent Libraries Project.
The Clerk reported that the Chairman had attended a recent feasibility meeting within Higham Library with Kate Reeves and Richard Beckett from Environmental Health at the Borough Council. Discussion had centred on the creation of a partition to form an area to serve the hot drinks and cakes and the removal of the carpet and provision of a cleansable floor surface. Once a quotation for these works had been received consideration would then be given to suitable furniture so that a fully costed proposal could be drawn up and discussed at a future date. The Chairman expressed concern that Kate Reeves was still waiting to hear the cost to her of running this venture.
Cllr. Sweetland reported that an announcement regarding the launch of a Public Consultation into the Lower Thames Crossing route options would shortly be made and the Government wanted to announce the preferred route in the Autumn. It would be consulting on Option A which would be at the existing site at Dartford, Option B which was the Swanscombe peninsula and Option C which would be the route east of Gravesend. It was hoped that a series of meetings would be arranged and Adam Holloway would try and get the Parish Councils of Shorne and Higham to meet to discuss the matter.
Cllr. Craske reported that at the end of the Annual Council Meeting at the Woodville Halls the following evening Cllr. Oakeshott would receive the Freedom of the Borough of Gravesham. The planning application for the Heritage Quarter had been passed by a majority of one vote. He would be holding a Community Surgery at Higham Library on the same dates as Steve Gray. He announced details of the Gravesham Community Grant Scheme whereby every Borough Councillor would have the sum of £1500 to make small grants to associations who applied.
Cllr. Grey reported complaints regarding skip lorries which travelled through the village at weekends.
Plans were available for the following planning applications which had been received and reviewed by the Planning Committee:-
Appln. no. 20130284 Dingley Dell, Gravesend Road.
Conversion of dwelling into a guest house/bed and breakfast accommodation including conversion of swimming pool building into four letting rooms, a total of nine rooms.
Appln. no. 20130310 1, Cherry Garden Cottages, Lower Rochester Road.
Demolition of existing side and rear extensions and erection of two storey side extension with room in roof space and single storey rear extension to form hallway, kitchen and living room at ground floor level with bedroom and bathroom/wc at first floor level and bedroom and ensuite shower room/wc in roof space; balcony over single storey rear extension; conversion of existing garage into storage space and construction of basement garage at rear.
Appln. no. 20130258 Long Reach, Elm Close.
Construction of dormer extension in side roof slope of detached garage and installation of external staircase at the side together with re-positioning of garage.
Appln. no. 20130321 Orchard View, Gravesend Road.
Demolition of existing first floor and conservatory; construction of new first floor extension to provide four bedrooms, bathroom/wc and ensuite shower room/wc; erection of single storey side extension to form living room, enlarged utility room and mud room.
Appln. no. 20130333 5, Providence Cottages, Crutches Lane.
Demolition of existing extension and erection of single storey rear extension to form a kitchen and wc.
m. Higham Neighbourhood Froum (formerly PACT).
Peter Leakey reported that a Road Safety Poster competition was to be held involving the
pupils of Higham Primary School. Winning posters would be made into metal signs and
placed on suitable posts in the vicinity. He asked the Parish Council if it would be
willing to provide the prizes however Cllr. Craske felt that he might be able to fund this
competition from his new Gravesham Community Grant Scheme allocation and agreed
to supply Mr Leakey with the relevant forms to complete.
n. Kent Community Warden.
In the absence of Steve Gray the Clerk reported that 5 counts of flytipping had been
reported to the Borough Council. A total of 4 residents had attended the last Community
Surgery with topics for discussion being speeding and bonfires. Two abandoned vehicle
to the grass verge on the Gravesend Road had been reported and the owner of a vehicle
not displaying a valid tax disc had been spoken to.
The Clerk asked for approval for the items shown below this being proposed by Cllr.
Oakeshott, seconded by Cllr.Pearton and agreed by all Members:-
BT Payment Services Ltd. (broadband) 130.80
Christopher Hook (1000 tickets for Proms event) 75.00
Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (APA costs under Section 150(2) of L.G.Act 1972) 60.55
Gravesham Borough Council (printing) 15.12
KALC (2013 subscription) 1178.30
AON (renewal premium) 1483.84
C.P.R.E. (2013 subscription) 29.00
Victory Design Ltd. (In The Mood Tonight banners) 239.50
Phoenix Fireworks Ltd. (fireworks display deposit) 500.00
Higham Marquees Ltd. (marquee/floor hire deposit) 200.00
Beverley Prankard (Peninsula Big Band deposit) 200.00
Clerk’s salary (April 2013 –net) 899.95
HMRC (PAYE/NI(employer/employee) April 2013) 170.99
Kent County Council (LGPS payment employer/employee – April 2013) 288.50
Members unanimously approved the monthly payment of the Clerk’s salary from 1/4/13 due to the introduction of RTI by HMRC.
To note the revised date of the annual audit.
Members noted the revised date of the 2013 Audit as being 8/7/13. An Extraordinary Meeting would be held in mid June just to approve the accounts and annual return.
The correspondence folder had been available for perusal by all Members from 7.00 p.m. on that evening, but the Clerk drew Members attention to the following item:-
1. Notification had been received from GBC that the public toilets to the Memorial Hall car park would be permanently closed next year.
2. Members agreed the new position for the Dickens’ sign on the A226.
To note the date of the next Parish Council Meeting.
This was given as being Monday, 8th July at 7.30 p.m.
Any Other Business.
None was brought to the notice of the Meeting.
To resolve that pursuant to Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from the following item because it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during this item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.
There being no other business, the Meeting closed at 9.45 p.m.
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