Higham Parish Council
 

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, July 2015
 
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 6th July 2015 at 7.30 p.m.   

 

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

                                               Kent County Councillor: Cllr. B. Sweetland

                                               Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske.

                                               Councillors: P. Allinson,  A. Carroll,  J.Grey,                             

                                               S. Hearn,  P. Oakeshott,  L. Pearton (also Borough),

                                               and S. Sparks.

In attendance:                        9 Parishioners

                                               PCSO Sharon Balman

                                               Kent Community Warden  Steve Gray.

                                               Liz Jeffery – Parish Council Press Officer                                                                                           

Apologies for absence:         Received from Cllrs. Howard and Mendzil. 

                                                                                                                                           

The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

 

Prior to the commencement of the Meeting the Chairman introduced Lisa Gilham, Kent Highways District Manager for Gravesham and she updated Members regarding recent resurfacing works undertaken in the area.

 

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The Clerk reported that the last playground inspection report for the Recreation Ground had revealed that the spring parrot had been torn from its base and was now unusable.

 

The Minutes of the Annual Parish Council Meeting, followed by a Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 11th May 2015, were confirmed and signed.

 

Matters arising from the Minutes.

Including an update of actions from the last Minutes, the Clerk reported that:-

a.   P. 1171. Matters Arising. The overgrown trees to the Recreation Ground had now been removed but the shrub area still required clearance. Stuart Wright had kindly agreed to remove the unsightly corrugated iron panels to the bottom of the metal fence.

b.   P. 1172. Borough. The Borough Council had confirmed that no trees with swings attached at Steadman Close had a TPO on them.

c.   P. 1173. Parish. Lighting  to Three Crutches Roundabout. The Lighting Engineer had.confirmed that bulk lamp changing had now been carried out at this location.

d.   P. 1174. Despite our offer to trial the Local Warden Support Officer Scheme it was oversubscribed and we were not chosen.

e.   P. 1174. Correspondence. Members were reminded of the list of items needed to place on the agenda for the first Highways Liaison Meeting.

f.    P. 1174   AOB. The missing Sam Weller sign had been discovered under a huge growth of brambles at the junction of the B2000 with the Lower Rochester Road.

g.   Web site report. Recent additions had included the updated list of Parish Councillors following the uncontested election, the composition of PC Committees and other Representatives. Details of some public events in the village as well as the usual Parish Council Minutes and Agendas.

 

Parishioners Matters.

Peter Leakey, of Chilton Drive, reported that he had been asked to hold a Speedwatch session on the Lower Rochester Road but as the speed limit on this road was in excess of the criteria for using the machine this would not be possible.

Barry Sutherland, of St. Johns Road,  reported a complaint from Daniel Annals that brambles were growing across the path at Higham Station and that the ticket machine was unable to accept certain coins as payment.  

 

To receive an update on the renewal of the Recreation Ground lease.

The Clerk reported that the Head Lease had now been signed and the back rent of £7641.10 paid to the College. The Parish Council had hoped to meet with representatives of Higham Youth Club to discuss the content of the sub-lease document but this had not been possible. Mr Franklin had now been asked to prepare the draft document which could be amended at a later date.

 

To further discuss the undertaking of a Parish Plan.

The Clerk reported that Kathy Bugden of Action for Communities in Rural Kent was willing to come and talk to Members of the Parish Council about how to start producing a Parish Plan. Following discussion it was decided to meet with her on 13/7.

 

To finalise arrangements for the 2015 Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition.

The Chairman reminded Members to produce a short list of three gardens for judging by Morton Grey as soon as possible. She appealed for more people to come forward and sign up for roads in the Parish.

 

Councillors’ Matters.

County.

Cllr. Sweetland reported that it was his intention to attend future meetings with the Chairmen of Parish Councils. He also requested that representatives from Parish Councils attend both Joint Transportation Board and Rural Forum Meetings in future to aid discussion of agenda items. Cllr. Sweetland reported an increase in unaccompanied asylum seekers within the County which was draining funds. 

 

Borough.

Cllr. Craske reported that the team dealing with the issuing of penalty notices within the town centre for dog fouling incidents had been so successful it was being considered that these should make occasional visits to Higham. New champions for both the Elderly and Youth within the Borough had been set up each with a budget of £10,000. 

 

Parish.

Cllr. Grey reported that hedgerows between the Knowle and the school were currently overgrown.

Cllr. Hearn reported problems of collection times for rubbish which had allowed the black bags to be attacked by foxes.

Cllr. Allinson reported a continuing problem with cars parking to the top of Hollytree Drive and obscuring sight lines.

Cllr. Oakeshott reported she had been asked regarding the provision of parking for disability buggies within the village centre. She and Cllr. Allinson agreed to look into the situation.

Cllr. Pearton agreed to approach the access group regarding the lack of a dropped kerb to High View.

      

BREAK FOR REFRESHMENTS

 

Reports.

 

a.    Planning.

      Plans were available for the following planning applications which had been received and

       reviewed by the Planning Committee:-

 

Appln. no. 20150448   10, Highwood Close.

Erection of first floor side extension over existing garage.

Appln. no. 20150492   8, Peggotty Close.

Erection of a single storey rear extension with demolition of existing outbuilding.

Appln. no. 20150560   11, Hollytree Drive.

Construction of pitched roof over existing rear extension to replace flat roof.       

 

j.      Higham Youth Club.

         Jo Raff reported that following the recent successful Race Night a total of £4,500 had now been raised which Cllr. Sweetland had offered to match fund. A CCTV system would be installed this week. Jo appealed for donations of excess plants and seeds to allow the Gardening Club to be launched. Cllrs. Craske and Pearton allocated the last £300 of grant money for this purpose. The next fund-raising event would be an “80’s disco and karaoke night” on 26/9.

 

m.    Higham Neighbourhood Forum.

         Peter Leakey reported that 4 residents had attended the Higham Neighbourhood Forum Meeting on 9th June.

 

n.     Kent Community Warden.

        Steve Gray reported that 17 counts of fly tipping had been reported to the Borough Council and 3 litter picks. Community surgeries had been held in April, May and June with each surgery being attended by Parishioners. More volunteers were still needed at Speed Watch sessions. New dog fouling posters were being displayed within the village.

    

Finance.

The quarterly financial statement for the period 1/4/15 to 30/6/15 was unable to be presented as statements had not been received from the bank. She asked for approval for the items shown below, this being proposed by Cllr.Carroll seconded by Cllr.Sparks and agreed by all Members.

     

Clerks salary (May)                                                                                                          1003.65

Clerks salary (June)                                                                                                          1003.65

KCC (LGPS May)                                                                                                              317.25

KCC (LGPS June)                                                                                                              317.25

HMRC (PAYE/NI May)                                                                                                    177.84

HMRC (PAYE/NI June)                                                                                                    177.84

Clerk (use of room as office 1/4/15 to 30/6/15)                                                                     227.50

Southern Water (allotments)                                                                                                  49.11                                                                                           

Clive Stanley (webmaster services 20/3/15 to 30/6/15)                                                          128.00             

Martin Tolhurst Partnership (back rent owed to St. John. College)                                       7641.10

EDF Energy (electricity for Pavilion)                                                                                     44.86

AON UK Limited (renewal premium)                                                                                1943.03

Annual rental of storage space                                                                                            100.00     

The Millbrook Garden Company (garden gift tokens)                                                            100.00                                       

 

The following proposal was recorded in the Minutes:-

“This Council in accordance with its powers under Sections 137 and 139 of the Local Government Act 1972, should incur an expenditure of £80 for garden gift tokens, which is in the opinion of the Council in the interests of the area or its inhabitants”

 

Correspondence.

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 items:-

  1. Members noted that the Clerk had objected to the proposal by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England to move Higham from Gravesham Rural to Gravesend North.
  2. Due to the reconstitution of the Governing Body of Higham Primary School there was at present no vacancy for Cllr. Hearn.
  3. The recent Flower Festival at St. John’s Church had raised £2500.
  4. A Housing Needs Survey was due to be completed by ACRK in September.
  5. Following a request for an additional water tap at the allotment gardens it was agreed that the tenants would meet with the plumber to obtain an estimate.

 

To note the date of the next Parish Council Meeting.

This was given as being Monday, 7th  September 2015 at 7.30 p.m.

 

Any Other Business.

Permission was given for the use of the Recreation Ground for the Gravesham Borough Council Activity Playscheme on 25/8 and a charity football match on 2/8.

 

There being no other business, the Meeting finally closed at 10.15 p.m.   

   

 

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