HiARA 2020 AGM Annual Report

I must begin this report by asking you to join in with thanks and gratitude to all the NHS workers,

Key workers, volunteers and others who have all worked tremendously hard to keep us safe and well during this pandemic.    Our thoughts also should be with those who have lost loved ones and friends as a result and others who have passed away, may they rest in peace.

In the past our AGM’s have always been held in April.  However due to a clash of my holiday arrangements, I asked the committee if it was possible to reschedule until May.  Following discussion and consulting the club’s constitution it was agreed to arrange the meeting for May 22nd.

Unfortunately, we did not know at the time, what the future had instore for us all in the shape of Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic!

At the beginning of March 2020, Covid 19 came along and changed life as we have known it and our meetings, on government advice had to be cancelled and as yet, we do not know when they will restart.  I would like to say, we have had a lot of advice and support from the Chair and committee of KentARA during this time and we thank them for that.  Between us we have all tried to keep in touch with many of the members as possible whilst being isolated and keeping them informed.    Our new website, is up and running and all the club’s information can be found there as well as the newsletter.   Thank you to Jenny who kindly volunteered to set it up.   A copy of our main meeting report can also be found on the Higham Parish Council website, by this everyone is kept informed about the club’s meetings and activities.

I am pleased to report that attendance at both main and activity meetings has been very good.   Our speakers have been of interest and we have learned from their various topics.

Our social events and days out have also been most enjoyable.

We had arranged to hand over a cheque to our nominated charity (A.D.S.S) at the AGM but this also has had to be postponed and will take place at a later date. Please keep saving your pennies to donate.   Your used stamps are donated to the RNIB via Chalk Church.  Save your plastic bottle tops too.

I would like to say a special thank you to all the committee who have supported me, read all my rambling emails over the year and worked so very hard in all the arrangements.  They have all been brilliant.   A special mention and thank you to Ian, our Vice Chair, who has kindly stepped in for me when I have not been able to attend.   The position of Secretary, currently remains vacant but we will have nominations and elections when the time comes.  Meanwhile, the current committee are remaining in their roles.

My thanks go to the teams of helpers, who organise the raffle, who run the book stall, set up the hall, do the refreshments, sell cards and crafts for our fund raising, write up reports etc, etc.  Too many to mention by name but all an essential part of a successful club.   Let’s give them all round of “virtual” applause in appreciation.

Liz Jeffery, HiARA Chair

MAJOR LOCAL INITIATIVE – Coronavirus communication

MAJOR LOCAL INITIATIVE – Coronavirus communication

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Gravesham Community Support

This website and database has been set up by Adam Holloway MP and Gravesham Borough Council leader John Burden working with Gravesham Council, Parish Councils, voluntary organisations, the police and the emergency services.

This is a database that will assist Gravesham residents during the weeks and months ahead.

By entering your contact details we will be able to link you up with people in your local area, so that you can help and be helped.

It will also be a highly-effective means of you receiving information and advice from the Council and the Emergency Services.

May we beg you to spend two minutes signing up, and ask you to share this and email the link to your friends and family in Gravesham.

The coming weeks are going to be very rough for many people.

Let’s create our own outbreak of Super Neighbourliness in the Borough.

Higham Parish Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – A message from your Borough Councillors, Leslie Pearton and Harold Craske

Coronavirus (COVID-19) – A further message from your Borough Councillors, Leslie Pearton and Harold Craske

Lockdown is easing and many people are getting back to a ‘normal’ way of life. Schools, which never closed, are taking in more children; our village shops have continued trading, as has many of our businesses and the surgery whilst observing social distancing procedures; many more people are returning to work; and, our places of worship are now gradually opening for short periods of time whilst providing collective worship through that wonderful platform, and previously unheard of, ZOOM.
For some, however, the virus is still as dominant in their lives as it was earlier in the year and many are suffering because of its consequences. The tireless task to assist those in need has been continued throughout by our ‘Helping Hands’ volunteers. All our village key workers and volunteers have continued regardless whilst also trying to juggle their own personal lives and families.
Our heartfelt thanks go out to all to all the volunteers, the shopkeepers and staff, our Parish church and the Congregational church, the garages, the surgery and to both our village schools to keep Higham village going through the lockdown thus far. Some innovative ideas have kept the community together – the rainbows, the pebbles, the essentials kits, the VE Day kits, the sunflower kits, the Joyce sweetshop kits and much, much more. Volunteer aid has kept going whether via the churches, the schools, the shops or individual members of the Parish community. We must not forget that some village businesses have suffered, but spirits have remained high and everyone has pulled together wherever possible.
There are too many ‘Heroes’ to name individually and in fear of missing anyone out – you know who you are and you are applauded.
On behalf of the whole village and your Parish Council – THANK YOU!



**MARCH UPDATE** Higham Playground Project


Higham Parish Council are delighted that the Higham Playground Project Team have raised £49,071.72.

The team are:

  • Councillor Amanda Mendzil
  • Sylvia Rolfe
  • Jeegna Patel
  • Emma Aldous
  • We would like to thank everyone who volunteered, contributed to and attended the Toy Sale.

We did have more fundraising events planned for 2020, but due to Covid 19 these will be postponed.

The break down of funds are below:

  • Higham Parish Council         £10,000.00
  • Awards for All                          £10,000.00
  • Bryan Sweetland – KCC          £2,500.00
  • Toy sale                                      £226.76
  • Waitrose green tokens            £230.00
  • Fireworks night donations     £1014.96
  • Quilting group                           £100.00
  • Gravesham Borough Council £25,000

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped, supported and donated.

Playground Projects will be supplying the equipment and we are hoping to finalise the order in the next week or so.

Thank you for your continued support.

Councillor Mendzil
Vice-Chair, Higham Parish Council

If you think you can help fundraise for this worthy project or you may just wish to make a donation towards the playground equipment, why not contact the Higham Parish Council Clerk on:


Councillor Mendzil

Vice-Chair, Higham Parish Council

Kent County Council Draft 5 Year Plan published

Do you want to help shape the future of life in Kent? Do you want your views to be heard by the County Council? If yes, then we would recommend reading Kent County Council’s (KCC) ‘Draft 5 Year Plan’

Over the past 5 months KCC have been listening to:

  • Kent residents
  • young people
  • businesses
  • voluntary and community sector organisations
  • our staff
  • our partners across public services.

They have heard about what is important to quality of life in Kent and what people’s priorities are. Based on what they have heard, they developed the draft 5 year plan. The plan shapes what KCC will do and what they will prioritise spending money on over the next 5 years.

This document is available online for you to read and respond to (it can also be downloaded if you are unable to respond online). We recommend reading the plan before you complete and submit your response. Hurry though as the consultation closes on the 17th February 2020.

Please follow this link to the Kent County Council ‘Draft 5 Year Plan’ page:

Draft 5 Year Plan - Kent County Council

The Parish Council

HGV Movements across Kent – A Working Group report from KCC

Kent County Council’s Transport Committee this week looked at ways to seek powers from Government to take damaging HGVs off our narrow rural roads and village streets.

This report summarises the work undertaken by the group to date and the proposal to implement a trial lorry control area in the County to eliminate or substantially reduce, in so far as practicable, inappropriate HGV movements. As part of this workstream, officers have been engaged with the Department for Transport with the aim to secure powers such that Kent County Council could undertake enforcement directly within the trial area, rather than be reliant on the police, who currently, are the only authority with relevant powers.

It’s worth a read as it’s findings may shape the movement of HGVs across Kent including here in Gravesham and Higham where the Parish Council often discuss HGV traffic through our village and what can be done to reduce and restrict these movements.

HGV Member Working Group Report - 23rd January 2020

Parish Council