Higham Parish Council
Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly, April 2015
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Minutes of the Annual Parish Assembly held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Thursday, 16th April 2015 at 7.30 p.m.
Present: Cllr Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (Chairman)
Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske.
Councillors:- G. Ashby, A Carroll, J. Grey, A.Howard,
A.Mendzil, P. Oakeshott, L. Pearton (also Borough), and S. Wright.
In attendance: 27 Parishioners
Kent Community Warden Steve Gray.
Peter Allinson and Sue Sparks
PCSOs Balman and Hartley
Apologies for absence: Received from County Councillor Bryan Sweetland, Liz Jeffery,
Simon Hearn, Clive and Judi Stanley and Jo Raff.
The Meeting was opened by the Chairman who warmly welcomed all those present and thanked them for attending.
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, 10th April 2014, were confirmed and signed.
Matters arising from the Minutes.
The Clerk reported that:-
1. The Parish Council had requested a survey of verges throughout the village to be carried out as it was concerned regarding the number of vehicles which parked there.
2. The Parish Council remained concerned regarding the large number of skip lorries travelling through the village. If Parishioners wished to report a specific instance they should contact Cllr. John Grey.
3. A large number of Parishioners had already complained to Kent Highways about the dangerous crossing point in front of the Post Office as reported in the Annual Parish Newsletter.
4. Kent Highways would be offering assistance to restore the sight lines obscured by the hedge at Upshire House.
5. Kent Highways had noted the locations of the faded white lines to School Lane and these would be refreshed in their new work programme.
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 2015” 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. 12)
b. Planning (P. 10)
c. Recreation Ground (P. 13)
The draft simplified statement of accounts for 2014/2015 (P.6) was agreed by all those present, this being proposed by Cllr. Oakeshott and seconded by Cllr. Howard. Those present noted that the balance to be carried forward into the new financial year was £37,387.90 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. Sweetland had submitted a written report which had been provided for all Parishioners
Report from District Council Representatives.
Cllr. Harold Craske stressed the need for the village to prepare a Parish Plan which would give further protection to the Green Belt, the boundaries of which were shortly to be reviewed. He reminded those present that both he and Cllr. Pearton had a new grant allocation of funds to be awarded to local village groups. He appealed for residents to come forward to help with the Speedwatch initiative within the village. Borough Council elections would take place in May.
Report from the Governors of Higham Primary School (P.21)
Report of the Kent Association of Local Councils (P.9)
To receive reports from Village Bodies and Voluntary Organisations (to be found throughout the booklet).
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 and Barbara West and her team of Cooks, Hostesses and Drivers who kept the Age Concern Luncheon Club going.
To receive an update on the renewal of the Recreation Ground lease.
The Clerk reported that due to the unforeseen closure of the StartRite Kindergarten, operating from the Pavilion, the new lease for the Recreation Ground had not been able to be signed as anticipated last year. However Jo Raff had now come forward with a plan to use the building as a Community Hub for the village and new lease documents were being prepared.
To consider any other matters raised by Parishioners.
None were brought to the notice of the Meeting.
Steve Gray reminded Parishioners of his monthly surgery and afternoon tea which was held in conjunction with Cllr. Harold Craske on the last Thursday of each month in Higham Library.
PCSO Sharon Balman alerted Parishioners to recent instances of rogue traders operating within the village and advised using the “check a trade” website to ensure workmen were trustworthy.
Any Other Business.
Speedwatch presentation – Guy Rollinson.
Guy Rollinson, of Speed Watch Support, gave those present more information about the Speedwatch scheme which operated within the village and demonstrated some of the equipment. He revealed that 90% of drivers subsequently advised of their excessive speed by letter were never recorded again.
The Chairman welcomed Sandra Soder, Secretary of the Gravesend Historical Society, who gave a talk entitled “Royal Visits to Gravesham”.
To note the date of the next Annual Parish Assembly.
This was given as being Thursday, 7th April 2016 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 Kate Reeves, of Higham Oven Bake, 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 10.00 p.m.
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