Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting, November 2017

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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 27th November 2017 at 7.30 p.m.     

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

                                               Kent County Councillor: Cllr. B. Sweetland.

                                               Borough Councillor: Cllr. H. Craske  (in his capacity as Mayor)

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

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

                                               and S. Sparks.

In attendance:                        Cllr. Harold Craske (Mayor of Gravesham) and the Mayoress

                                               Mrs Veronica Craske.

                                               Kent Community Warden Steve Gray                                                                                               

                                               5 Parishioners

Apologies for absence:          Received from Cllr. Mendzil


The Chairman warmly welcomed the Mayor of Gravesham, Cllr. Harold Craske and his wife Veronica, the Mayoress, 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 Annual Inspection report for the Recreation Ground had been passed to the CDC as had an email from Gravesham Borough Council expressing concern regarding the wooden play equipment which needed to be taken apart to check and replace the metal fixings.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 9th October 2017, were confirmed and signed


Matters arising from the Minutes.

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

a.   P. 1270   Matters Arising. Works vehicle to verge in School Lane. The van had now been removed from the verge and was parked outside Dickens Court. There had been no response from the Company concerned as yet regarding the reinstatement of the grass verge.

b.   P. 1270   Matters Arising. Canal Road site visit. Although the Clerk had listed the reasons why the Parish Council felt that the site to Canal Road was inappropriate for development a further email had been received from Sharon Donald today with a revised site layout. It was agreed that this item would be discussed at the January Meeting.

c.   P. 1270   Parishioners Matters. A response to our email had been received from RS Skips who reported that liaison meetings would start following the completion of  building works.

d.   P.1271. Parish. Cllr. Mendzil had now confirmed that the new book club in Higham Library was now running on the first Thursday of the month from 18.45 to 20.45.

e.   P. 1271 Parish. Although the initial Whose Hoo bid had been unsuccessful it was anticipated that it would be resubmitted.

f. Web site report. Recent additions to the website had included photos of the Gardens for Pleasure Competition Winners, the Beating of the Bounds Walk reception in the Village Club, details of the Gardeners Arms PH community asset reopening, revised LTC route excluding the A226 junction, Village Plan survey results, Love Higham update, posters advertising local meetings and details of village events. Seasonal greetings had also been added to the home page for the Christmas and New Year period.

Cllr Craske reported that the recent Boundary Commission review had now been completed and Higham had been reinstated within Gravesham which had also gained Hartley and Hodsoll Street.

Cllr. Grey briefly reported on the recent Rest Centre Training day he had attended at Culverstone and reported that Steve Scully would be happy to attend any Parish Council Meeting to update all Members first hand.


Parishioners’ Matters.

None were brought to the notice of the Meeting.


To request copy material for the 2018 Annual Newsletter.

The Clerk reminded Members to produce copy material for the 2018 newsletter in time for it to be brought to the next Meeting in January.


Councillors’ Matters.


Cllr. Sweetland gave a short report on the latest news from KCC including advising on budget cuts which would mean further reductions in services in 2018. He had been invited to the recent LTC briefing at the Civic Centre when new junction maps had been shared by Highways England.



Cllr. Pearton reported that he and Cllr. Sweetland had recently been invited to Gads Hill School to meet the pupils in an assembly and had been made to feel very welcome.



Cllr. Grey requested a new dog bin and a rubbish bin. Cllr. Sparks confirmed she was waiting for a map of current locations from GBC.

Cllr. Allinson asked if mention could be made in the Newsletter that dog waste could be deposited in any rubbish bin as long as it was in a dog bag. He was currently seeking funding to take the Scouts to Ypres in 2018 and the Chairman suggested that he contact Strood Rotary Club through her husband.

Cllr. Sparks reported that at present the Youth Club Committee consisted of Pam Holmes, Kay Pinder and herself and she appealed for members of the community to come forward to join and also Chair the committee.




a.    Planning.

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


Appln. no. 20171015   37, Forge Lane

Erection of a detached triple garage with storage over.

Appln. no. 20171149   8, Lake Drive

Erection of a single storey rear extension.

Appln. no. 20171077   39, Forge Lane

Application for a Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of a single storey rear extension.

Appln. no. 20171049   4, Copperfield Crescent

Erection of a single storey rear extension.

Appln. no. 20171069   3, Whitehouse Farm Oast,  School Lane

Application for a Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of a detached shed/storage building at the side.

Appln. no. 20170913   Kinglake, Gravesend Road

Application for a minor material amendment to planning permission ref. no. 20160941 for the erection of a single storey rear extension, construction of a dormer window in the rear roof slope with alterations to the roof to form habitable rooms and a raised decking area, screening and wood burning chimney flue in the rear garden; to allow the retention of the external flue.

Appln. no 20171019   31, Ash Crescent

Construction of 1no. dormer extension in the front roof slope and 1no. dormer extension to the rear roof slope.  Conversion of the loft and formation of enlarged vehicle crossover at front.

Appln. no. 20170880   17, Hollytree Drive

Replacement of existing conservatory roof at the rear with flat warm roof incorporating two roof lanterns.

Appln. no. 20170870   24, St. Johns Road

REVISED PLANS ***  Re-organisation of ground floor to enable loft conversion; erection of side and rear extension (to integrate garage for motorcycle, and kitchen and utility provision) and chalet style one-and a half storey rear extension; loft conversion including front and rear facing dormers and installation of Velux windows over staircase and to bathrooms.

Appln. no. 20171049   4, Copperfield Crescent

REVISED DESCRIPTION / REVISED PLANS ***   Erection of a single storey rear extension, single storey front extension, rebuilding of the existing pool house and associated alterations to the rear garden landscaping.

Appln. no. 20170958   Stables Cottage, Hermitage Road

Retrospective application for decking to the rear of the dwelling.

Appln. no. 20171104   Rutherfords Stables, Hermitage Road

Conversion of livery stable and tack rooms into one 4no. bedroom dwelling and one 2no. bedroom self-contained flat with two garages and change of use of land from paddock to residential, including demolition/removal of 3no. detached livery structures.

Appln. no. 20171006   31, The Braes

Conversion of the integral garage to a habitable room, erection of a single storey front extension and alterations to the elevations and fenestration.

Appln. no. 20171162   55 And Land Adjacent To, Forge Lane

Demolition of existing garages and erection of detached two storey three bedroom dwelling with rooms in the roof space with provision of parking spaces in front garden. 

Appln. no. 20171170   44, Ash Crescent

Construction of dormer extensions in the front and rear roof slopes and conversion of the roof space into habitable rooms.

Appln. no. 20171109   21, Bull Lane

Construction of a dormer extension in the rear roof slope and conversion of roof space into a habitable room.

Appln. no. 20171169   Oast House Cottage, Hermitage Road

Erection of two storey infill extension at the rear, first floor side extension incorporating a dormer window in the proposed front roof slope and canopy along the front elevation with the construction of a new front porch, demolition of the existing garage and erection of a detached garage/store building at the side and enlargement of the car parking area.

Appln. no. 20171192   9, Bull Lane

Application for a Lawful Development Certificate in respect of the proposed erection of a single storey rear extension.    

Appln. no. 20171203   Tumblefields, Gore Green Road

Demolition of existing conservatory and erection of a single storey ground floor rear extension.


b.    Community Development Committee

       Cllr. Allinson had circulated a printed report to all Members before the start of the Meeting.


Cllr. Allinson reported that thank you letters had now been sent to the Village Club and Ukulele Band for making the Mayor’s Boundary Walk Event so successful. The key safe for the Pavilion had now been fitted and the Pavilion Management Committee would be meeting with GBC officers at the Civic Centre in early December to further discuss the Business Rate relief for the building. GBC would replace the worn bolts on the Recreation Ground swings and would fit new safety matting once this had been sourced by the Committee. It was however unable to dismantle the wooden play equipment and so volunteers would be sought to help with this. The damaged spring animal had now been roped off pending a decision as to the viability of repair or replacement of the play equipment. The Community Asset application for the Recreation Ground was proceeding at the current time. Cllr. Sparks reported that details of the owners of the land needed to be submitted to the Borough Council.


c.    Infrastructure Committee

       The Clerk had circulated an email report from Cllr. Sparks to all Members before the start of  the Meeting.


The proposed IFC Committee Terms of Reference document was approved by the Parish Council. It would be reviewed in May 2018. Cllr. Sparks reported that two skip loads of rubbish had been cleared from the overgrown allotments and new tenants would be offered these. Payment would be made from the Community Collection to the two allotment holders who had reported stolen allotment tools. The defibrillator equipment had been registered and monitoring paperwork for the KCC grant completed. The first awareness session had taken place and future sessions were being planned for 2018. The Parish Council agreed that the IFC should investigate the feasibility of placing further equipment in other parts of the village and report back by March 2018. The wording for Malcolms bench had been finalised and the order (total cost £434) now placed following the completion of the KCC paperwork. The Parish Council expressed a wish to meet again with Highways England in the New Year for a further update regarding the Lower Thames Crossing. HE had confirmed it was committed to provide a positive legacy for the LTC and so Members were asked to think of suggestions ahead of this meeting.  It was agreed that a meeting would also take place in January 2018 to discuss the final draft of the Village Plan. A site meeting had taken place with the new KCC Highways District Manager Mike Payton and Tom Williams the Project Manager and an action plan drawn up for each of the village  locations. A new issue regarding a request from residents for a new bus shelter was also discussed. It had been agreed to work with KCC to take some of these actions forward and to develop plans and obtain costs for others so that the Parish Council could be kept closely informed regarding the funding implications. Residents would be given feedback and liaison would take place with the Kent Speedwatch team in the village. Options would be explored to re-instate the Walking Bus Project at the village school and the prevention of parking on grass verges within the village. Cllr. Grey proposed that site allocations for Housing and Green Belt Protection should continue to be dealt with by the full Parish Council and it was agreed to discuss this further at the next Parish Council Meeting.


d.    Executive Management Committee

       There was nothing to report.


e.    Higham Neighbourhood Forum

       Peter Leakey reported that due to recent poor attendances no further meetings had been scheduled at the present time. He updated Members regarding recent Speedwatch sessions.


f.     Kent Community Warden.

       On the last Meeting before his retirement on 20/12 Steve Gray reported that 2 litter picks had been requested and 4 fly tips reported. His last Community Surgery would take place on 14/12. He had reported to the Police a tractor unit and Rumanian trailer which appeared to have been dumped to the slip road. He would again be assisting in theGravesham Community Safety shop in St. Georges Centre from 4/12 to 8/12. It was anticipated that his replacement would be Paul Hassell. On behalf of the Parish Council, the Chairman thanked Steve for all his service to the village over the past 11 years and presented him with a token of appreciation and a signed card.



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


Clerks salary (October)                                                                                                    1085.54

HMRC (PAYE/NI October)                                                                                              208.20

KCC (LGPS October)                                                                                                        411.23

Mrs J.M.Papadopulos (Chairman’s allowance)                                                                    250.00

Higham with Merston PCC (church Christmas leaflet – S137/139)                                        115.00   

EDF Energy (Pavilion)                                                                                                         67.88

BT Payment Services Ltd (broadband)                                                                                164.97

SSE (electricity for toilets)                                                                                                    23.45

Phaseline (installation of defibrillator)                                                                                   480.00

Pam Holmes (Boundary Walk event)                                                                                    20.00

Sue Sparks (Boundary Walk event)                                                                                       79.89

Pinden Ltd. (skip hire on behalf of Pavilion)                                                                          228.00

Kent County Council (Malcolms bench)                                                                                395.00

Sue Sparks (Village Plan survey prize)                                                                                   50.00

Sue Sparks (Bid Writing workshop)                                                                                        95.00

Sue Sparks (post box for Pavilion)                                                                                         18.31

KALC (Effective Communication workshop – 1 delegate)                                                      72.00

KALC (GDPR Workshop – 2 delegates)                                                                               72.00

St. Johns College quarter year rent for RG due 25/9/17)                                                        750.00

Sue Sparks Speedwatch items)                                                                                            760.43

Peter Allinson (key box )                                                                                                       23.49



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.  Members noted that the Enforcement Officer had now written to the roadside business operating from the St. John’s Road area.

2.  Members were urged to respond to the KCC Budget Consultation by 3/12.

3.  Permission was given for Cllr. Howard to attend the KALC Crime Prevention and Safety Conference on behalf of the Parish Council.


To note the dates of the next Parish Council Meetings.

These were given as being Monday, 15th January 2018 at 7.30 p.m. and the Budget and Finance Meeting was arranged for Monday, 8th January 2018 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 both he and the Mayoress to the Meeting. He had already fulfilled 145 various engagements and would be extremely busy over the Christmas period. He had particularly enjoyed the “Beating of the Bounds” weekend where he had been able to visit Higham en-route and had thoroughly enjoyed the reception held at the Village Club.


There being no other business the Chairman closed the Meeting at 8.55 p.m. and invited those present to her home for some seasonal refreshment. 



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