Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting, September 2016

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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at The Pavilion, Recreation Ground, School Lane, on Monday, 5th September 2016 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,  A.Howard,             

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

                                               and S. Sparks.

In attendance:                        Kent Community Warden – Steve Gray,                                                

                                              7 Parishioners.

Apologies for absence:         None received


The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The inspection report for the Recreation Ground  had recommended replacing the bolts supporting the horizontal beam on the wooden play equipment and the Clerk reported that she had asked the Borough Council to carry out this work on our behalf.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Monday, 4th July 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. 1212. Payment for the damage to the springer animal had been received and passed to Barry Sutherland. Two new springer animals had been installed in mid-July.

b.  P. 1212. Matters Arising – Visit of new PCC. The PCC continued to decline an invitation to meet with Members but was keen to meet with Jo Raff as he had recently awarded her a grant. KALC had suggested a Meeting with all the six Gravesham Rural Parishes. Cllr. Craske felt that this would be a good subject for the Rural Forum and agreed to explore this with the other Gravesham Parishes.

c.   P. 1213 Matters Arising. Visit of  SJC. Savills had now confirmed that the College would be willing to fund a sinking bollard across The Landway to deter inconsiderate parking but there was concern amongst Members as to how emergency vehicles might access the Recreation Ground. Cllr. Sparks agreed to liaise with Jo Raff to finalise the wording for signage requirements to the car park area.

d.  P. 1213.  Matters Arising.  Telegraph Hill. A response had been sent to Mr Murray. It was agreed that all Members would meet with the Village Roads, Pavements and Lighting sub committee to look at the large amount of information that had been given to them at the recent Site Meeting held within the village with Lisa Gillham.

e.   P. 1213. Gardens for Pleasure Competition. Presentations to prizewinners would now take place at the next Meeting of the Parish Council in October in the Memorial Hall.

f.   P. 1213. Storage of kitchen appliances to car park toilet. The kitchen appliances were still being stored inside the toilet. It was agreed that this matter would continue to be monitored but that the appliances must be moved before the building was needed for the next village event on the Recreation Ground.

g.   P. 1214 Coaching to Recreation Ground. The Playball Football coach had now made alternative arrangements and moved his sessions to Wainscott.  Jo Raff reported that a personal trainer working out from the Sikh Temple was also using the Recreation Ground on a regular basis. Steve Gray agreed to look into the matter.

h. Web site report. Clive Stanley reported that the website continued to be updated with the usual Parish Council Minutes and Agendas. The photos and information for the 2016 Gardens for Pleasure Competition would shortly go live. KCC would shortly be changing the style of its free website and would ask the Parish Council if it still wished to be linked to it.


Parishioners’ Matters.

None were brought to the notice of the Meeting.     


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

The Clerk reported that no further progress had been made on the matter at this time.


Parish Plan update

Cllr. Sparks reported that several Members of the Steering Group were present at the Meeting. The Group had met several times to discuss how Parishioners could best be encouraged to get involved. By way of the two posting boxes, at both the Annual Parish Assembly and Royal Event and a visit to the Primary School, there had already been a gathering of ideas and Cllr. Sparks produced an analysis sheet of these which would be used in the plan. There were two headings of “what is loved about Higham” and “if only we could”. There would be an official launch of the consultation – possibly on Valentines Day under the heading “Love Higham”. A display of Higham photos might be passed around the village organisations. It was possible to buy data from Rural Kent to provide evidence of the structure of the Community which would need to be included in the Parish Plan. The litter picking sessions were a spin off from comments already received and were being well attended. Another idea to be explored might be to recognise the boundaries of the village with a “Beating the Bounds” style event.


Lower Thames Crossing update

Cllr. Sparks reported that although a decision was still awaited the LTC Association had been busy over the Summer months. Residents in Dartford had been told that Option C would solve all of their problems and had not been given the proper facts. A Facebook campaign had been set up to promote route A14 and a leaflet drop might follow. All members of the group would be asked for a donation towards the cost of this and Cllr. Sparks reminded Members  that the remainder of the funds collected at the Public Meeting were still available.


To discuss the increase in vandalism to the Recreation Ground. 

Since the last Meeting it had been necessary to report three incidents captured clearly on CCTV to the Kent Police. Emails and CCTV footage sent by Jo Raff had been circulated to all Members. Members agreed to look into adapting the GBC CCTV policy to suit their needs at a future date. Members expressed concern that it appeared that the outside lighting to the Recreation Ground appeared to require adjustment to further enhance the CCTV images. Jo Raff revealed that she had received an offer to make the springer animals from metal and members felt that this option should be explored.  Cllr. Howard reported that he believed that an engineering company at Nuralite used to be able to cut out profiles using high pressure water jets. 


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

Following the recent resignation of Simon Hearn the vacancy had been advertised by the Borough Council and, as no By Election had been called for, the Parish Council was currently advertising the vacancy to be filled by co-option.  It was noted that the current cost of a By Election now stood at £6100.


Councillors’ Matters.


Cllr. Sweetland alerted Members to the KCC Local Transport Plan consultation document and urged each Member to submit a response. Cllr. Sparks reminded Members that a model response from Bob Lane had already been circulated by email. The planning application for RS Skips was being heard at KCC the following week. Cllr. Grey expressed an interest in representing the Parish Council at this meeting. The next Joint Transportation Board Meeting would be held the following week and he urged Councillors to attend.



Cllr. Craske reported that there had been a lot of interest in the Councillor Shadowing scheme from youngsters between the ages of 15 and 17 years, who had sat at surgeries and attended meetings. It was anticipated that the first meeting of the North Kent Marshes Drainage Authority would take place in early October following Government approval. The absorbtion of Towncentric into the Civic Centre was currently being considered. Cllr. Craske urged the Parish Council to submit an application for a Gravesham Neighbourhood Forum grant to purchase its own Speedwatch equipment for the village.



Cllr. Grey reported that residents of Lower Higham had again suffered from a loss of telephone service for the past two weeks. Parking under the trees to Steadman Close continued to be a problem and Enforcement Officer visits to the CPZ were not as frequent as he would have liked.

Cllr. Pearton was hopeful that Cllr. Jordan Meade might be able to commence the clear up of the old village pond in Church Street before the end of the year.     






a.    Planning.

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

Appln. no. 20160651   Cemetery And Crematorium Land, Rochester Road, Gravesend

ADJOINS PARISH Application for a non material amendment to planning application reference 20130923 to allow amendments to the crematorium chimney and the increase in height of two chimney flues.

Appln. no. 20160664   Cemetery And Crematorium Land, Rochester Road, Gravesend

ADJOINS PARISH Application for the approval of condition 11 attached to planning permission reference no. 20130923 relating to revised details of chimney cowl/flue.

Appln. no. 20160562   3, Steadman Close

Erection of a two storey rear extension incorporating two dormer windows.

Appln. no. 20160426   28, Dombey Close

Erection of part two storey, part single storey rear extension to form a kitchen, dining area and relocated third bedroom.

Appln. no. 20160460   Theos, Chalk Road

Erection of a single storey front extension.

Appln. no. 20160572   Home Farm Cottage, School Lane

Application for Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of a double garage.

Appln. no. 20160605   Green Court, Dillywood Lane

Demolition of existing sun room and erection of a single storey rear and side extension.

Appln. no. 20160537   Mill House, Hermitage Road

Construction of dormer windows in the rear and front roof slopes, installation of roof light and three high level vent tiles within each of the front and rear roof slopes and a roof light within the side roof slope.

Appln. no. 20160538   Mill House, Hermitage Road

Application for Listed Building Consent for the construction of dormer windows in the rear and front roof slopes, installation of roof light and three high level vent tiles within each of the front and rear roof slopes and a roof light within the side roof slope.

Appln. no. 20160672   Warwick House, Hermitage Road

Application for Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of; a single storey rear extension; a detached garage;  and rear outbuilding.

Appln. no. 20160272   Gads Hill House School, Gravesend Road

Retention of existing temporary single storey portacabin to provide a classroom.

Appln. no. 20160647   1, Nickleby Cottages, Church Street

Replacement of glazed roof over conservatory with tiled roof incorporating two glazed roof lights.

Appln. no. 20160571   Communication Station Gravesend Road/Junction of Pear Tree Lane, Shorne

ADJOINS PARISH The replacement of 1 no. redundant 15.0m monopole with 1 no. new 17.5m monopole with 2 no. antenna and the replacement of 2 no. H3G equipment cabinets with 2 no. new equipment cabinets and ancillary development thereto on highways maintained grass verge.

Appln. no. 20160694   Home Farm Cottage, School Lane

Erection of ancillary single storey detached outbuilding for art/hobbies use.

Appln. no. 20151192   Unit 4, Apex Business Park, Queens Farm Road, Shorne

ADJOINS PARISH Improvement and enhancement of existing waste transfer site by erection of a replacement building to provide covered working area and ancillary site improvements together with retrospective provision for trammel, picking station and wall.

Appln. no. 20160272   Gads Hill House School, Gravesend Road

REVISED DESCRIPTION Retention of existing temporary single storey portacabin to provide a classroom for a temporary period of three years, or until the senior school element of the approved building programme is complete.

Appln. no. 20160766   Home Farm Cottage, School Lane

Application for Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of a double garage.

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

REVISED DESCRIPTION Conversion of existing garage/farm building to a one bedroom annexe and partial demolition, alteration and part conversion of the former dairy building into a garage.

Appln. no. 20160676   2, High View

Erection of single storey side and rear extensions incorporating a dormer extension in the rear roof slope with conversion of the roof space into habitable rooms.

Appln. no. 20160814   Hilary Cottage, Hermitage Road

Erection of two storey side extension.

Appln. no. 20160820   3, Steadman Close

Erection of a two storey rear extension.  


d.    Multi-Purpose Games Area.

Jo Raff reported that she would like to improve the appearance of the kickboarding to the sports courts, possibly employing a mural artist to utilise the grant she had received from the PCC and to work with the disengaged youths. It was agreed that she would contact Clive Gilbert to check that no planning application was required and that the Clerk would check with the College that it had no objection.


e.   Recreation Ground.

Jo Raff reported that she had had plans drawn up utilising the small play area outside the Pavilion for some replacement play equipment. Cllr. Sparks reported that the lack of play equipment had come up as an issue on the Parish Plan consultation and there had also been comments on Facebook. There were grants available but evidence of need had to be shown to access these. Cllr. Sparks also reported that Alan and Sheila Hogarth had  offered the potential for extra lighting to the Recreation Ground from their property and agreed to speak further with them regarding this matter.


g.    GROWC

Cllr. Howard reported that he hoped to attend the next Meeting on 28/9


j.    Higham Youth Club

Jo Raff reported that the Youth Club would re-open this week.  The new double front doors to the Pavilion were now on order and she was hoping to see the plans for the accessible toilets soon. The only interest for the tennis sessions arranged for the school holidays had been from children five years and under.


m.   Higham Neighbourhood Forum (formerly PACT).

Peter Leakey reported that the next Meeting would be held on 20/9 in Higham Library at 7.30 p.m.


n.    Kent Community Warden

Steve Gray reported that 9 counts of fly tipping had been reported to the Borough Council and 4 litter picks. Community Surgeries had been held in July and August with each surgery being attended by Parishioners. The next surgery would be on 29/9. Vehicles continued to be parked opposite Vicarage Row cottages for several months without moving. Residents had been advised to check registration numbers against the DVLA website and advise them if they were not taxed.



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


BT Payment Services Ltd. (broadband)                                                                 159.29

Clerk’s salary (June)                                                                                             1042.72

Clerk’s salary (July)                                                                                             1042.72

Clerk’s salary (August)                                                                                        1042.72

KCC (LGPS June)                                                                                                  331.04

KCC (LGPS July)                                                                                                  331.04

KCC (LGPS August)                                                                                             331.04

HMRC (PAYE/NI June)                                                                                        194.35

HMRC (PAYE/NI July)                                                                                         194.35

HMRC (PAYE/NI August)                                                                                    194.35

EDF Energy (Pavilion electricity)                                                                          138.32

SSE (electricity for toilets)                                                                                       17.94

Peter Leakey (dog bags)                                                                                           20.99

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 items:-

1.   Cllr. Sparks agreed to complete the Waste Disposal Strategy Consultation on behalf of the Parish Council.

2.   The Clerk reminded Members to each complete the KCC Local Transport Plan Consultation before the 30th October deadline.

3.   Cllr. Sparks agreed to forward a photo of one of the restored pews to Simon Hearn for him to discuss with Eileen James.


To note the dates of the next Parish Council Meetings

These were given as being Monday, 10th October 2016 at 7.30 p.m. The Budget and Finance Meeting would be held on Monday, 21st November 2016 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 9.40p.m.


It was resolved that pursuant to Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 that the public be excluded from the following item because it is likely in view of the nature of the business to be transacted that if members of the public are present during this item, there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act.



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