Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, November 2015
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 23rd  November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.    

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

                                               Kent County Council: Cllr. B. Sweetland.

                                               Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske.

                                               Councillors: P. Allinson, A. Carroll, J. Grey, A. Howard, E. Jeffery, P. Oakeshott , L. Pearton (also Borough) and S. Sparks.

In attendance:                          Cllr. Michael Wenban  (Mayor of  Gravesham)

                                               PCSO Sharon Balman and Dil Patel.                                                 

                                               9 Parishioners

Apologies for absence:             Received from Cllrs. S. Hearn, and A. Mendzil

                                               Kent Community Warden Steve Gray and Clive Stanley.


The Chairman welcomed the Mayor of Gravesham to the Christmas Meeting of the Parish Council.


The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The Clerk reported that the latest playground inspection report had revealed nothing new.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 12th October 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. 1185. Parishioners Matters. Hollytree Drive. Rob Bright at GBC had now decided to refer the archive email to Paul Brand at KCC as he felt that this was now a safety matter.

b.    P. 1186. Parish Plan. A Neighbourhood Planning Workshop was to be held at Meopham.    

c.    Web site report. Recent additions to the website had included seasonal greetings message and festive decoration to the home page, information about the new Parish Councillor, amended representative information and events and news page items.


Parishioners’ Matters.

Mr Murray, of Telegraph Hill, asked Councillors to consider making Telegraph Hill one way. He highlighted the large numbers of vehicles now using the road and the problems caused by HGV’s. Cllr. Craske advised that Mr Murray should firstly canvass the views of the other residents of Telegraph Hill and if favourable get a petition which could then be presented at one of the JTB Meetings where it would need to be placed formally on the agenda. Discussion took place regarding the merits of this suggestion and it was decided to return to the topic at the January Meeting of the Parish Council when it would form an agenda item.

Barry Sutherland, of St. John’s Road, advised Members that there were 4 spare CCTV slots on the Pavilion system if the Parish Council should wish to keep the play equipment under surveillance. He highlighted the speed of traffic using the Lower Rochester Road and again asked if it might be possible for the 30 mph signs to be moved eastward  to the other side of the brow of the hill and a slow sign to be installed at the bend in Chequers Street. Cllr. Sparks reported that she had spoken to Steve Gray about this matter and emailed Cllr. Sweetland. She also had a call centre number. Cllr. Sweetland advised Members that decisions on any traffic related schemes were always based on the latest traffic safety records.    


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

The Clerk reported that the Parish Council was still awaiting a response from Jo Raff and her Committee after they had discussed the content of the sub-lease. 


Royal Celebration 2016.

The Clerk reported that the application for the CAN Grant through GBC had been unsuccessful. Another sub committee meeting would be held next week.


To request copy material for the 2016 Annual Newsletter.

The Clerk reminded Members to produce copy material for the 2016 newsletter in time for it to be brought to the next Meeting in January.


Councillors’ Matters.


Cllr. Sweetland thanked Members of the Parish Council for signing his recent letter which had been sent to the Secretary of State regarding the Lower Thames Crossing. It was understood that there would be a consultation period after Christmas and it would be essential to encourage Parishioners to write in and make their views known. He reminded the Parish Council to respond to the current consultation on Street Lighting before the deadline of 29/11. It was proposed to renew all street lighting with LED which would make great savings on electricity costs.



Cllr. Craske reported that there would be two hours free parking in GBC car parks on a Saturday throughout the year. Elections for the post of Kent Police Commissioner would be held in May 2016. CAN grants had been given to the Memorial Hall and Higham Youth Club.

Cllr. Craske was currently trying to attract grant aid for Higham to purchase its own speedwatch equipment. 



Cllr. Pearton reported that a road sign was laying on the bank opposite the old Bramble Stores in Lower Rochester Road.  Cllr. Jordan Meade was going to get a working party to look at the restoration of the old pond in Church Street.

Cllr. Jeffery reported that vegetation was obscuring the directional sign at the junction of Villa Road and School Lane. During the recent rain a huge puddle had formed by the bus stop on the A226.

Cllr. Carroll reported that the overgrown shrubbery at Taylors Lane had now been cut back. A street light was not lit outside 17, Highwoods Close.




a.    Planning.

      Plans were available for the following planning applications which had been received and reviewed by the Planning Committee:-


Appln. no. 20151026   Homerest, Gore Green Road

Application for minor material amendment to planning permission reference number 20150170 for the demolition of existing dwelling and garage, reduction of ground levels by 500 mm and erection of a detached three bedroom bungalow with rooms in the roofspace and a detached single garage at the side; to allow the removal of the barn hips and insertion of two dormers at the rear.

Appln. no 20151035   Giles Farm, Church Street.

Demolition of existing livestock buildings and erection of replacement livestock building.

Appln. no. 20151052   2, Cherry Garden Cottages, Lower Rochester Road.

Construction of a first floor balcony over existing ground floor flat roof extension, and erection of a dormer window in the rear roof slope.

Appln. no 20151068   Warwick House, Hermitage Road

Erection of two storey side extension , ancillary single storey outbuilding and replacement  of front porch.

Appln. no. 20151082   Little Court, Watling Street

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of replacement 5 no. bedroom detached dwelling with associated parking.


n.     Kent Community Warden.

        In the absence of Steve Gray the Clerk reported that 6 counts of fly tipping had been reported and collected. Steve Ridley had attended the Community Surgery in October to demonstrate new speedwatch equipment.         Forthcoming surgeries would be held on 26/11 and 17/12. The vegetation to the bus shelter opposite the Railway Tavern had now been cut back.


o.     Kent Police.

        PCSO Sharon Balman reported that several sheds had recently been broken into and tools taken. The advice was to remove all tools, equipment and valuables from vehicles. 

        Reduced staffing levels, shift changes and no further recruitment of PCSOs had resulted in the area now being served by two teams of 7 officers and there would be less visible policing in the village.



The Clerk asked for approval for the items shown below, this being proposed by Cllr.Howard,  seconded by Cllr Carroll and agreed by all Members.


Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (Chairman’s allowance)                                                             190.00

Higham with Merston PCC (church Christmas leaflet – S137/139)                                 110.00   

Mr M. Papadopulos (HPC Christmas cards)                                                                   39.94

Clerks salary (October)                                                                                              1003.65

HMRC (PAYE/NI October)                                                                                        178.04

KCC (LGPS October)                                                                                                  317.25

Mr P. Leakey (dog bags)                                                                                                21.99

Mrs P. Oakeshott (6 pews)                                                                                            250.00

Mrs P. Oakeshott (flowers)                                                                                             30.00

SSE (electricity toilets)                                                                                                     18.78

EDF Energy (Pavilion)                                                                                                     54.85

BT Payment Services Ltd (broadband)                                                                            164.55

Domain Name Shop (renewal)                                                                                        213.60

Clerk (repay new Christmas lighting)                                                                               104.60



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. Cllrs. Carroll and Grey agreed to respond to the KCC Consultation on Street Lighting. 


To note the date of the next Parish Council Meeting.

This was given as being Monday, 11th January 2016 at 7.30 p.m.


Any Other Business.

None was brought to the notice of the Meeting.

The Mayor thanked Members of the Parish Council for inviting him to the Meeting and said how good it was to see a parish council in action and members of the public coming along to contribute.


There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 8.50 p.m. and invited those present to her home for some seasonal refreshment.




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