Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, September 2015
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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 14th September 2015 at 7.30 p.m.   


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

                                               Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske

                                               Councillors:-  P.Allinson,  A.Carroll, S.Hearn, A.Howard, A.Mendzil, P.Oakeshott, L.Pearton (also Borough).

In attendance:                         Stuart Wright

                                               Morton Grey

                                               Liz Jeffery – Parish Council Press Officer

                                               17 Parishioners.

Apologies for absence:             Received from Cllr. Bryan Sweetland, Cllrs Grey and Sparks,

                                               Kent Community Warden Steve Gray

                                               PCSO Sharon Balman


Prior to the commencement of the Meeting awards were presented to prize-winners of the Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition 2015, by Stuart Wright and Morton Grey, who had again carried out the final judging on behalf of the Parish Council.


FIRST PRIZE (Silver Rose Bowl Trophy, Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

June and Anthony Stevenson, 3, Hayes Close.


SECOND PRIZE (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Margaret and Terence Greenshields, “Courtlands”, Crutches Lane.


THIRD PRIZE (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Janet and Max Batchelor, 6, Hayes Close.


"HIGHLY COMMENDED" (Framed certificate)

George Simmonds, 4, Carton Road.

Jeanette and Derek Miskin, 15, Steadman Close.


"BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS"  - JOINT  FIRST PRIZE  (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Evelyn and John Leach, 32, Telegraph Hill.


John Thornton, 26, Chilton Drive.


“BEST HANGING BASKET AND CONTAINERS”  -  SECOND PRIZE (Garden Gift Token and framed certificate)

Heather Golding and Trevor King, The Banks, Chequers Street.



Elizabeth Harradine, 6, St. Johns Road.



Not awarded this year


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 horse’s head was loose. Barry Sutherland agreed to investigate.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 6th July 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. 1176   Matters Arising. It would appear that the iron panels had been put in place at the bottom of the iron fencing to deter rabbits from coming inside the garden. Stuart Wright would speak to the new owners of the property before removing them.

b.  P. 1177. Parish. The Borough Council was continuing to monitor the rubbish bag collection to Crutches Lane and had asked if any further problems could be reported to them direct.

c. P. 1179. Correspondence. The details of the plumber used by the Parish Council had now been given to the allotment tenants.


Cllr. Oakeshott reported that she and Cllr. Allinson had visited the centre of the village to look for potential parking bays for mobility scooters (P. 1177 of the minutes refers). The only solution that they could see was for them to park at the end of Hermitage Road in designated spaces.


Parishioners’ Matters.

Alan Taylor, of Martins Close, highlighted the need for a SLOW sign to be painted on the bend to the road outside the old Railway Tavern PH. Sight lines at the junction of Martins Close with the Lower Rochester Road were currently impaired with overgrown vegetation and the chestnut trees to the avenue in  Steadman Close needed their sucker shoots removed.

Mr Taylor also reported the need for more rubbish bins to be sited throughout the village commenting that he always took a carrier bag with him when he visited the centre of the village to collect the rubbish strewn in the hedgerows and on the pavements.

Mr Robinson drew Councillors attention to the lack of 30 mph signs throughout the village which made the speeds incorrect and therefore technically illegal.      


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

The Clerk reported that due to the fact that Jo Raff had broken her leg early in August there had been little progress to date.


To arrange for the undertaking of a Parish Plan.

A separate Meeting had taken place on 13/7 to discuss this further and a decision was awaited as to whether or not the Parish Council should proceed.


To discuss the planning application received for the Railway Tavern.

Cllr. Craske left the Meeting at this point and took no further part in the proceedings for this item on the agenda. It was generally felt that the replacement plans were much more in keeping with the village although the Parish Council comment should again include mention of the sharp bend and the amount of traffic on this busy road.


To fill the current vacancy on the Parish Council by co-option.

As no By Election had been called for, the Parish Council had advertised the vacancy to be filled by co-option throughout the summer. As no responses had been forthcoming it was agreed that Members should spread news of the vacancy by mouth and advice should be taken from the Parish Council Advisor on his return from holiday. 


Councillors’ Matters.


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



Cllr. Craske reported that from October there were to be two hours of free parking time every Saturday and this would increase nearer to Christmas. Cllr. Craske had pressed for the Warden responsible for Dog Fouling to make occasional visits to Higham. The Youth Council was to start shadowing Members of the main Council to see what their jobs entailed.



Cllr. Grey expressed concern that no further information had been forthcoming regarding the RS Skips application to KCC and in particular an acknowledgement of the work carried out by Higham Parish Council in arranging for the lorry survey.

Cllr. Oakeshott enquired who was responsible for the cleaning of the bus shelters in the village. The Clerk agreed to speak to the Kent Association for advice. Cllr. Oakeshott also asked if the Parish Council would sponsor a “hard of hearing Club” in the village. She agreed to find out more information of what this involved from the club at Chalk.

Cllr. Carroll asked if the co-operation of the owner could be sought at Nil Desperandum for the re-organisation of the shrubs to the front garden where there was a dog bin in the middle of them.

The Clerk reminded Members of the need to give consideration to the new supplies of salt/sand and those present were asked to contact her if they could have a portable salt bin in their gardens.    






a.    Planning.

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


Appln. no. 20150566 Tyrol Cottage, Crutches Lane.

Erection of a two storey rear and two single storey side extensions, construction of a dormer window in the side (northern) roof slope and conversion of the roof space into habitable rooms.

Appln. no. 20150104   34, Walmers Avenue.

**REVISED PLANS**  Erection of a single storey rear extension with balcony over, garage enlargement and provision of French doors with Juliet balcony on rear conservatory.

Appln. no. 20150314   Wendover, Lower Rochester Road..

** REVISED PLANS ** Conversion of detached garage to form a three bedroom dwelling with rear extension with roof lights, raising the ridge height by 600mm and a front gable to accommodate habitable rooms at first floor level and construction of new access and gates.

Appln. no 20150569   29, Norah Lane.

Erection of a single storey rear extension and construction of a dormer extension in the rear roof slope to provide habitable rooms in the roof space.

Appln. no. 20150415   1, Forge Lane.

Continued use as a residential dwelling and changes to frontage.

Appln. no. 20150641   Higham Hall Barn, 5, Oastlers Court Taylors Lane,

Application for Listed Building Consent for the installation of external passive infrared sensors (PIR) Lighting and Lanterns.

Appln. no. 20150769   14, Fairview Drive.

Erection of a single storey rear extension to form kitchen and shower room.


Appln. no. 20150647   Giles Farm, Church Street.

Prior approval of the details of siting, design and external appearance for the erection of a storage barn and erection of a replacement tractor and machinery store.

Appln. no. 20150745   Barn Cottage, Old Watling Street.

Erection of single storey rear and side extensions with construction of a raised decking area at the rear.

Appln. no. 20150443   Watling Lodge, Old Watling Street.

Erection of single storey side extension and internal alterations with changes to windows.

Appln. no. 20150703   3, Chalk Road.

Erection of a single storey rear extension to form conservatory.

Appln. no. 20150799   10, Fairview Drive.

Erection of a single storey side extension.

Appln. no. 20150795   Railway Tavern, Chequers Street.

Conversion of the public house into 1 no. four bedroom dwelling incorporating the demolition of existing front and rear extensions and erection of a two storey four bedroom detached dwelling with associated parking spaces, refuse stores and shed.

Appln. no. 20150737   9, Walmers Avenue.

Erection of an attached garage at the side and erection of a front porch. 


m.   Higham Neighbourhood Forum (formerly PACT).

       Peter Leakey reported that the next Meeting would be held on 22/9 in Higham Library at 7.30 p.m.



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. 


BT Payment Services Ltd. (broadband)                                                               145.86

Clerk (garden gift tokens)                                                                                    100.00

Clerk’s salary (July)                                                                                           1003.65

Clerk’s salary (August)                                                                                      1003.65

KCC (LGPS July)                                                                                                317.25

KCC (LGPS August)                                                                                           317.25

HMRC (PAYE/NI July)                                                                                      178.04

HMRC (PAYE/NI August)                                                                                 178.04

EDF Energy (Pavilion electricity)                                                                         39.83

SSE (electricity for toilets)                                                                                    20.40

SLCC (annual membership)                                                                                149.00



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.  Members noted that the croquet lawn at Gads Hill was being restored and was to become a croquet club.


To note the date of the next Parish Council Meetings

This was given as being Monday, 12th October 2015 at 7.30 p.m. The Budget and Finance Meeting would be held on Monday, 9th November 2015 at 7.30 p.m.


Any Other Business.

Cllr. Oakeshott reported that she had purchased 6 oak pews for £250 and thought that they could be varnished and secured in the ground in locations around the village. Cllr. Allinson offered that the Scouts could complete the work on two of these. It was proposed by Cllr. Pearton, seconded by the Chairman and agreed by all those present that the Parish Council should repay the £250 to Cllr. Oakeshott for the cost of the pews.


Members noted that in June 2016 there would be celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday. It was agreed to set up a Committee to provide some entertainment for that weekend and also to check if any celebrations were planned by the Borough Council.


There being no other business, the Meeting closed at 10.10 p.m..




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