Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, October 2015
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 12th October 2015 at 7.30 p.m.


Present:                                  Cllr. Peter Allinson (Vice Chairman in the chair)                   

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

In attendance:                        Kent Community Warden Steve Gray.

                                               4 Parishioners

Apologies for absence:          Received from Kent County Councillor Cllr. Bryan Sweetland,

                                               Borough Councillor Harold Craske, Cllrs Papadopulos, Grey and Mendzil.

                                               PCSO Sharon Balman


Prior to the commencement of the Meeting the Chairman congratulated Liz Jeffery who had just been co-opted on to the Parish Council.


The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The inspection report for the playground equipment had revealed that the head to the springer horse was still loose.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 14th September 2015, were confirmed and signed, following the insertion of the jubilee gardens at Taylors Lane being very overgrown. The Clerk confirmed that although the Kent Community Warden’s report had been given verbally at this Meeting, in his absence, it had unfortunately been omitted from these Minutes and so would be recorded in the Minutes of tonight’s Meeting.


Matters arising from the Minutes.

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

a.  P. 1182. Portable salt bin. No requests from Members to have a portable salt bin had been received following the last Meeting. Although it was noted that the Rollastor portable grit bin was currently on offer at £125 it was agreed that current stock levels of sand/salt should be sufficient for the winter and no action would be taken. It was agreed that Cllr. Allinson and Keith Bradley would top up the levels in the salt bins in their roads from the central village store at Merston Court.

Cllr. Sparks reported that she was still awaiting a response from the plumber (P. 1179 of the Minutes refers). She also  agreed to speak to the owner of Nil Desperandum regarding the possible re-siting of the dog bin to the front verge (P. 1182 of the Minutes refers)

Cllr. Jeffery reported that two Members of HiARA had offered to help restore two of the pews (P.  1183)

Cllr. Oakeshott reported that the Postmaster was not keen to have designated parking for mobility scooters in his lay by (P. 1181 refers).She planned to attending the forthcoming Meeting of the Chalk Hard of Hearing Club on 17/10.

Cllr. Howard agreed to undertake a survey as to where additional dog bins might be needed in the village and Cllr. Hearn offered to speak to the school regarding the children preparing posters encouraging the use of these. Cllr. Hearn highlighted the lack of speed signs to the Crutches Lane area generally (P. 1181 of the Minutes refers)  


Parishioners’ Matters.

Keith Bradley, of Carton Road, had forwarded to the Parish Council a copy of an archive email from the late Cllr. James regarding a site meeting that had been held in summer 2014 to discuss the possible installation of double yellow lines to the top of Hollytree Drive. As no progress appeared to have been made the Clerk was asked to chase the matter. Cllr. Allinson indicated that he was willing to attend any future site meetings.


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

The Clerk confirmed that a large bill of £2400 for solicitors costs had just been paid.


To arrange for the undertaking of a Parish Plan.

Members discussed if a Parish Plan should be undertaken. Some felt that it would involve too much work but others favoured producing a simpler document and involving other village groups such as the PTA, HiARA, Youth Club, Scouts and History Group. It was suggested that the matter should be discussed at next year’s Annual Parish Assembly and a decision deferred until then. The Clerk reported that Meopham Parish Council was keen for all Parish Councils to join together to each claim their share of the government grant available for this purpose.


To discuss Royal Celebration events to take place in 2016.

The Clerk reported that the firework display, ice cream van, and Memorial Hall had all been booked for 11/06/16. Cllr. Allinson had prepared a flyer which could be adapted to suit once final decisions had been taken regarding events.The Clerk agreed to try and apply for a CAN grant from the Borough Council to help with the funding of the event. Cllr. Hearn would enquire regarding insurance cover for bad weather. Cllr. Sparks would obtain a quotation for the Jazz Band who had recently performed at St. Marys. A suggestion was made regarding installing a LED display board on the side of the hairdressers to advise Parishioners of the event. It was agreed that another meeting would be held once the Chairman had returned from holiday.


Councillors’ Matters.


As Cllr. Sweetland did not attend the Meeting no report was given.



Cllr. Pearton confirmed that he had taken part in the Mayor’s Boundary Walk the previous weekend.



Cllr. Pearton drew Members’ attention to the poor state of the pavements to Norah Lane. 






a.    Planning.

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


Appln. no. 2015084   25, Norah Lane.

Erection of part single storey and part two storey side and rear extensions, construction of dormer extension and dormer window in the front,  dormer window in the rear roof slope with conversion of the loft space into four bedrooms, two en-suite bathrooms and a family bathroom /w.c.

Appln. no. 20150910   12, Martins Close.

Retention of two outbuildings at the rear.

Appln. no. 20150919   23, Norah Lane

Erection of a single storey side extension to form enlarged garage, first floor side extension with construction of dormer extensions in the front and rear roof slopes to provide bedroom and en-suite bathroom at first floor level/roof space and erection of a front porch.

Appln. no. 20150967   14A, Walmers Avenue

Alterations to existing property including the addition of a Velux roof light over the existing roofwell, the construction  of dormers with pitched roofs and the conversion of the existing attached garage into a  utility room.


m.   Higham Neighbourhood Forum (formerly PACT).

       Peter Leakey reported that the next Meeting would be held on 8/12  in Higham Library at 7.30 p.m.


n.    Kent Community Warden.

       It was reported that a total of 15 counts of fly tipping had been notified and 5 litter picks had been requested. Steve Gray expressed concern that no Parish Councillors had attended the recent Community Surgeries. An incidence of nuisance bonfires had been reported but no local by-laws were in force. The GBC Park Life Mini in August was poorly attended due to bad weather. The last Neighbourhood Forum Meeting in September had only been attended by himself and Peter Leakey. Vegetation overgrowth to the bus shelter in Chequers Street had been requested to be cleared and would be monitored.



The Clerk asked for approval for the items shown on the following list, this being proposed by Cllr. Oakeshott, seconded by Cllr. Carroll and agreed by all Members. 


Clerk (garden gift tokens)                                                                                     100.00

Clerk’s salary (September)                                                                                  1003.65

KCC (LGPS September)                                                                                       317.25

HMRC (PAYE/NI September)                                                                             178.04

SLCC (annual membership)                                                                                 149.00

PKF Littlejohn LLP (audit charges 2015)                                                              360.00

Southern Water (public conveniences)                                                                     52.59

Mrs E. Jeffery (VSO expenses)                                                                              30.00

Southern Water (allotments)                                                                                 137.10

Martin Tolhurst Partnership (legal costs)                                                             2400.00

Clive Stanley (webmaster services 1/7/15 to 30/9/15)                                            104.00

Expenses for use of room as an office (1/7/15 to 30/9/15)                                     227.50



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.  Jo Raff had built her own web site for the Youth Club.


To note the dates of the next Parish Council Meetings

These were given as being Monday, 23rd November 2015 at 7.30 p.m (Christmas Meeting with the Mayor of Gravesham).  The Budget and Finance Meeting would be held on Monday, 9th November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.


Any Other Business.

There being no other business, the Meeting closed at  9.50 p.m..                                



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