Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting, April 2016

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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 4th April 2016 at 7.30 p.m.

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

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

                                               E. Jeffery, A. Mendzil,  P. Oakeshott,  L. Pearton (also Borough)

                                               S. Sparks.

In attendance:                          8 Parishioners

                                               Kent Community Warden Steve Gray   

Apologies for absence:             Cllrs Craske, Sweetland, Hearn, and  PCSO Sharon Balman,  


The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The Clerk thanked Barry Sutherland for the replacement springer animal he had installed. As the CCTV system was now in operation it had been painted “UR on CCTV”


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 29th  February 2016, were confirmed and signed


Matters arising from the Minutes.

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

a.  P. 1197   Matters Arising. Parking to Rural Verges. Advice offered by the Borough Council at a recent Meeting of Parish Chairmen had been circulated to all Members.

b.  P.1199. Parish. Bus stop for 417. The current timetable indicated that there was still a bus stop to the top of Forge Lane. It was noted that the white lining required renewal.

c.  P.1199. Rubbish to Wainscott By Pass. Stuart Alford had confirmed that a litter pick had been scheduled for a couple of weeks time.

d.  Web site report.  Recent additions to the website had included LTC information, events , draft documents photos, posters and news. The Clerk reported that KALC had congratulated Clive on the clear and concise way he had displayed all this information for Parishioners.                  


Parishioners’ Matters.

None were brought to the notice of the Meeting.


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

The Clerk reported that as the Youth Club committee had still not met there was no progress with the creation of the sub lease. The Clerk reported that the annual meeting with Savills on the Recreation Ground would take place on 8th June and that Jo Raff had kindly agreed to provide access to the Pavilion.


To finalise arrangements for the 2016 Annual Parish Assembly.

The Clerk reported that Singlewell Stationery and Print Ltd had been awarded the contract to print the newsletter with a competitive quote of £1057. This year the booklets would be distributed by Elizabeth Hart for the cost of £200. Members unanimously endorsed these arrangements. Kate Reeves, of Higham Oven Bake, would again be providing the catering for the evening. The Chairman agreed to arrange for the drinks and glasses. The main speaker would be Robert Poole and Jo Raff would speak about the Pavilion Project and Cllr. Sparks about the Parish Plan.


To discuss judging arrangements for the 2016 Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition.

It was agreed to ask Martin Wates at Gravesham Borough Council if a member of the Horticultural Department would be able to carry out the judging this year.


Lower Thames Crossing Update.

Cllr. Sparks reported that the closing date for the consultation period had now passed but it was uncertain when the final decision would be made. The Steering Group had now taken on a co-ordination role and it was hoped that people could be encouraged to write again to the Secretary of State to try and influence his final decision. In particular one of the many Option A routes which had been dismissed might be promoted as a more viable alternative. Cllr. Allinson added that discussion had taken place as to whether to try and apply for a Judicial Review on the basis that the consultation had been flawed but it was felt that this would only serve to delay the decision. The Chairman thanked Cllr. Sparks for submitting the response from the Parish Council and it was agreed unanimously to place access to this from both the Parish Council website and Facebook page so that it was in the public domain. She also thanked Cllrs. Allinson and Sparks for all the hard work they had put into the No to Option C Campaign and for representing the Parish so ably.


Parish Plan Update.

Cllr. Sparks confirmed that she had placed an article regarding the Parish Plan in the Annual Newsletter and would give a short presentation at the Annual Parish Assembly next week.

She hoped to encourage Parishioners to get involved in developing the beginning of a plan. They would be asked what was important to them about village life and this information would feed into the live document.


Royal Celebration 2016.

Cllr. Allinson reported that he had already secured sponsorship of £500 towards the cost of the programmes. The Clerk reported that she had been approached by Beverley Prankard of the Peninsula Big Band to see if they could play at the event. It was agreed to hold a separate meeting of the committee dealing with the arrangements to discuss the planning of the event in greater detail.


To review and approve the risk assessment document.

Copies of the amended document had been circulated to Members prior to the Meeting. It was proposed by Cllr.Pearton, seconded by Cllr. Carroll and agreed by all Members that the updated document should be approved and signed.


Councillors’ Matters.


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



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

Cllr. Pearton confirmed that Greta Goatley would become the new Mayor to the Borough in May.



Cllr. Sparks asked if the village wanted to join in the current initiative of “Clean for the Queen” on the run up to the Royal Celebration event on 11/6/16, Steve Gray confirmed that he was organising a litter pick with the Higham Beavers to the Recreation Ground on 10/6/16.

It was agreed to ask Stuart Alford if the vegetation next to the Highway could be cut back and then volunteers could litter pick the verges. Cllr. Sparks hoped to liaise with Cllrs. Carroll and Grey (Village Roads Committee) to look at the problems with traffic on Telegraph Hill.

Cllr. Howard reported problems of flooding at the end of the London bound slip road to the Wainscott By Pass following the recent heavy rain.

Cllr. Allinson reported that the road next to the bus stop had also badly flooded and felt that the drainage pipes needed to be surveyed.

Cllr. Grey reported that another post to School Lane had been knocked out by a lorry. There were potholes to Villa Road, School Lane and Forge Lane.

Cllr. Oakeshott reported a pothole to the junction of Beech Grove and Taylors Lane.  






a.    Planning.

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


Appln. no. 20160116   28, Walmers Avenue

Erection of a two storey rear extension incorporating a lower basement level.

Appln. no. 20160063   The Moorings, Dillywood Lane

Erection of a single storey side extension to existing dwelling to provide habitable annex for family use.

Appln. no 20160177   4, Evergreen Close

Conversion of the existing garage into a habitable room.

Appln. no 20160187   The Coach House, Little Hermitage Farm, Gravesend Road

Conversion of existing garage/farm building to a one bedroom annex and conversion of former dairy building into a garage.

Appln. no 20160175   Hilary Cottage, Hermitage Road

Erection of part two storey and part single storey side extension incorporating dormer windows in the front and rear roof slopes, and erection of an attached garage.

Appln. no. 20160204   The Knowle, School Lane

Retention of detached shed cum barn in three bays replacing seven outbuildings.

Appln. no. 20160234   Warwick House, Hermitage Road

Erection of a part single and part two storey side and rear extension and replacement lean-to front porch.


j.      Higham Youth Club.

        In the absence of Jo Raff, Barry Sutherland reported that the completion of the electrics to the main hall had been delayed as the electrician had injured his back. The front of the building had been waterlogged and it had been discovered that there were no soakaways for the downpipes. A mini digger had been ordered to help these to be created. The ceilings would go up once all these works were completed. He reminded Councillors of the forthcoming Race Night on 23/4/16.   


m.   Higham Neighbourhood Forum

       Peter Leakey reported that at the recent meeting held on 8/3/16 the problem of drivers of vehicles ignoring the road signs at the Gardeners junction had again been discussed. It was agreed that the Chief Inspector of Police should be invited to the next meeting which would be held on 7/6/16.


n.    Kent Community Warden.

       Steve Gray reported that 8 counts of flytipping had been reported to the Borough Council and 4 litter picks had been requested. Only 1 resident had attended the March Community Surgery. The next would be held on 21/4/16.He had attended 3 sessions of Speedwatch and the Neighbourhood Forum Meeting on 8/3/16. He had received a report of several Renault cars being parked on the grass verge to Gravesend Road close to the traffic lights. The Abandoned Vehicles Officer was currently investigating the matter.  



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


Katie Reeves (food for APA under Sect. 150(2) LG Act 1972)                                        230.00

Rob Poole (talk for APA- Sect. 150(2) LG Act 1972)                                                        40.00                  

J.A.Stanley (preparation of 2016 newsletter)                                                                    301.00

Clive Stanley (webmaster services from 1/1/16 to 31/3/16)                                              232.00

Clerk’s salary (February net)                                                                                           1003.65      

Expenses for use of room as office (1/1/16 to 31/3/16)                                                     227.50

HMRC (PAYE/NI February)                                                                                             178.04  

KCC (LGPS February)                                                                                                      317.25    

KALC (2016 subscription)                                                                                              1196.14

Southern Water (water for allotments)                                                                                11.97

Southern Water (water to toilets)                                                                                         42.50

Sound and Vision Electronics (CCTV to RG)                                                                   825.00

Higham Age Concern (Sect. 137/139 grant)                                                                      250.00

Higham Youth Club (Sect. 137/139 grant)                                                                        300.00

Higham with Merston PCC (Sect. 137/139 grant for St. Johns Church)                           250.00

Mr P. Allinson (LTC expenses)                                                                                         130.73

Elizabeth Hart (leaflet distribution  Hoo and Cliffe Woods for LTC)                               265.00

Singlewell Stationery and Print Ltd. (LTC leaflets for Hoo and Cliffe Woods)               188.00

Clerk (Admin.Exps. 1/1/15 to 31/3/15)                                                                           1090.75

Clerk (Admion. Exps. 1/4/15 to 30/6/15)                                                                          645.00

Clerk (Admin. Exps. 1/7/15 to 30/9/15)                                                                            233.24

Clerk (Admin. Exps. 1/10/15 to 31/12/15)                                                                        412.63


The changes to both the Clerk’s and Youth Leader’s salaries, as agreed at the Budget and Finance Meeting, were endorsed unanimously by Members. It was agreed that allotment rents would remain at £25 for a full plot and £15 for a half  plot for the 2016/2017 season.



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. The date of the 2016 audit was noted.  

2. Members noted the response sent by the Clerk to a complaint from a Parishioner regarding the percentage increase in precept for the new financial year. 


To note the date of the next Parish Council Meetings.

This was given as being Monday, 9th  May  2016  at 7.30 p.m. for the Annual Parish Council Meeting followed by a Parish Council Meeting.

The Annual Parish Assembly would take place on 14th April at 7.30 p.m.


Any Other Business.

None was brought to the notice of the Meeting.


There being no other business, the Meeting closed at  9.35 p.m.



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