Higham Parish Council

Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting, November 2018

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Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held at the Memorial Hall, School Lane, on Monday, 19th November 2018 at 7.30 p.m 

Present:                                  Cllr. P. Allinson (Chairman)  

                                               Kent County Councillor: Bryan Sweetland

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

                                               P. Oakeshott,  L.Pearton (also Borough) and S. Sparks.

In attendance:                         4 Parishioners

                                               Peter Leakey and Vikki Brooke (Parish Advisors)

                                               Paul Hassell (Kent Community Warden)

Apologies for absence:             Cllrs Craske, Howard, Jeffery and Papadopulos,                                                                                         

                                               Clive Stanley.


The Chairman accepted apologies for absence.

There were no alterations to the Register of Members Interests.

The Clerk reported that no reports regarding parish property and amenities had been received.


The Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting, held on Monday, 15th October 2018, were confirmed and signed


Matters arising from the Minutes.

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

a.   P. 1312. Matters Arising – Amenity Land. Despite various reminders being sent no response had been received. The Clerk would chase.

b.   P. 1312 Matters Arising – Garage Villa Road. The agreement had now been signed and keys obtained.

c.   P. 1313. Borough. Cllr. Jeffery had attended the “Battles Over” ceremony at Community Square.

d.   P. 1313. Parish. The damaged dog bin had been reported.

e.  P. 1314. Parish. Trees to Church Street. The Clerk and Cllr. Jeffery would visit the area with a map to identify trees which needed reporting.

f.   Website report. Clive Stanley had prepared a report updating Members regarding changes that had been made to the website. Festive decorations and a seasonal message had now been added to the home page for the Christmas period.

Members noted the Parish Seminar report prepared by Cllr. Howard.

Cllr. Sparks advised that at present the cost of a defibrillator and cabinet (P. 1312 of the minutes refers) was reduced to £1250. As a donation had already been received toward the cost of an additional machine and other expresssions of funding interest received, members gave approval for Cllr. Sparks to negotiate a special price for up to four defibrillators to be purchased over two financial years.

Cllr. Sparks also reported that the grass bank to the top of Chilton Drive (p. 1312 of the minutes refers) had been discovered to not belong to KCC but to the original developer of the site. It was hoped that Cllr. Sweetland might be able to progress the adoption of this land.

Cllr. Sparks reported that highway repairs  (p. 1313 of the minutes refers) had been reported to KCC and vegetation clearance to GBC.

Parishioners’ Matters.

As a member of the Memorial Hall Management Committee, Barry Sutherland expressed concern regarding the type of bookings that the Pavilion would be taking and advised that the Memorial Hall car park would not be available for Pavilion Patrons. The Chairman agreed to speak with the Hall Committee.

Members agreed to give support to Sylvia Rolfe in her campaign for accessible disability parking bays at the shops, library and school. She had also highlighted the lack of dropped kerbs and lift access at Higham Station and step free access to the trains.

Two residents of Canal Road had attended the meeting to learn if the planning application for the Nuralite Industrial Estate had been submitted. The Chairman confirmed that it was still awaited.     

To request copy material for the 2019 Annual Parish Newsletter.

The Clerk requested that copy material for the 2019 Annual Parish Newsletter be brought to the January Meeting.


Councillors’ Matters.


Cllr. Sweetland reminded Members that the Lower Thames Crossing consultation closed on 20/12/18. He confirmed that recent traffic monitoring around the village was being carried out by Highways England.



Cllr. Pearton confirmed that the new Thameslink timetable (from 9/12/18) had now been published. The Christmas lights in Gravesend had now been switched on.



Cllr. Carroll reported that the wooden bollards to Forge Lane had been removed and the holes filled in. Cllr. Sparks would investigate.

Cllr. Grey reported that a couple of posts were also missing opposite the Memorial Hall and people were now parking to the verge again.

Cllr. Sparks reported that another request had been received for a path at Alexander Cottages.

Cllr. Oakeshott reported that the Memorial Hall had been completely re-decorated and two new steel emergency doors were to be installed.  Shrubs around the car park had been cut back. The Hall now had a new Treasurer. The Lease was due for renewal in 2019 and the Clerk would obtain a copy from the Solicitor.

The Clerk reported that Anne Waugh had advised her that the footpath that runs off Canal Road going alongside the railway towards St. Marys Church had been cleared and new steps and a handrail installed.






a.    Planning.

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


Appln. no. 20181094   The Three Crutches, Old Watling Street

Erection of 3 no. detached dwellings with associated car parking and amenity space following reconfiguration of the Three Crutches PH car park and amenity space.

Appln. no. 20181112   Barleyfields, Watling Street

Erection of single storey rear extension and internal alterations.

Appln. no. 20181125   Land South of Two Gates Hill, Town Road

Use of the land for the storage of x20 seasonal agricultural workers caravans during the winter months (October – March in any one calendar year).


b.    Community Development Committee

       The Chairman reported that the Bonfire Night Firework Display had been a great success. Numbers attending had been boosted by some unexpected advertising of the event by Town Centric in Gravesend and a total of £1500 in donations had been collected on the gate. It was hoped that works would shortly start on installing new heating, extending the kitchen and creating a disabled toilet at the Pavilion building.


c.    Infrastructure Committee

       Cllr. Sparks reported that a meeting with Kent Highways would take place in early December to review the options for highway issues under consideration. Details of lorry movements through the village (including RS Skips) would be collated with the Nuralite site vehicle lists as evidence of the need for a weight restriction. GBC was in the process of installing new rubbish bins. Members approved repairs to the play equipment by the Barge Group totalling £416.26 and noted that our Insurance Policy required that the play equipment needed to be checked weekly. Approval was given for a full Tree Survey of the Recreation Ground by Cantia at a cost of £495 prior to obtaining two quotations from tree surgeons. It was noted that the wooden sleeper retaining wall  also showed signs of decay and the fencing required attention. A guide had been produced about how to complete the current LTC Consultation Document.


d.    Executive Management Committee

       The Clerk reported that following the audit of levels in salt bins they had now been re-filled by Kent Highways. Key holders for the new salt store were to be Cllrs. Holmes, Sparks and Howard. Members requested forty 25 kg bags of salt to be delivered by Kent Highways to the new store. Members agreed to hold an Emergency Planning Meeting on 3/12/18 at 7.00 p.m.


e.    Higham Speedwatch  

       Peter Leakey reported that a total of 9 Speedwatch sessions had been held. Details of a total of 71 vehicles which had exceeded the speed limit had been forwarded to the Police. The highest speed observed was 46 mph. An application had been submitted to add Canal Road to the list of Speedwatch sites within the village.


f.    Kent Community Warden

      Paul Hassell reported continuing problems with parking outside the Post Office. Cllr. Sparks confirmed that she would be meeting with County and Borough Councillors in advance of setting up a meeting with Kent Highways in December to review the options. 


g.   Kent Police

      PCSOs Jo Hartley and Faye Flood attended the meeting and introduced themselves to Members. Jo advised that she holds a monthly Community Surgery in Hayleys Tea Room which is advertised on Facebook, Twitter and by a poster in the window.



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


Clerks salary (October)                                                                                              1110.22

KCC (LGPS October)                                                                                                 419.43        

HMRC (PAYE/NI October)                                                                                        208.18

Gravesham Borough Council  (monthly rent for garage October)                                      49.31

Business Stream Ltd (water to toilets)                                                                             25.44

Sue Sparks (travel expenses)                                                                                           20.70

Peter Allinson (various)                                                                                                   37.49

Sue Sparks (Speedwatch laptop insurance renewal)                                                           86.00

Alan Howard (travel expenses)                                                                                        16.20

Higham Community Pavilion (proceeds from Summer Concert)                                        710.10

Singlewell Stationery and Print Ltd (banners and posters for Firework Display)                  250.80

Clerk (cash payment first aid cover for Firework Display)                                                  50.00

Peter Allinson (Chairmans allowance)                                                                               300.00

Higham with Merston PCC (Church Christmas leaflet)                                                     120.00

EDF Energy (Pavilion electricity)                                                                                      80.14

St. Johns College (quarter year rent for RG due 25/9/18)                                                  750.00        



The correspondence folder had been available for perusal by all Members during the Meeting on that evening, but the Clerk drew Members’ attention to the following items:-


1.  Members noted the content of another letter from Stephen Thomas who had been invited to attend the meeting to discuss his concerns direct with Parish Councillors but had declined.

2.  Members approved the siting of a salt bin for the use of residents in St. John’s Road following a written request.


To note the dates of the next Parish Council Meetings.

These were given as follows:-

Monday, 26th November – Presentation Meeting with the Mayor of Gravesham for the prizewinners of the Higham Gardens for Pleasure Competition 2018.

Monday, 7th January 2019 – Budget Workshop

Monday, 14th January – Parish Council Meeting.


Any Other Business.

None was brought to the notice of the Meeting.



There being no other business, the Meeting closed at 11.20 p.m.



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