Higham Parish Council

Special Announcements, News and Events

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2015 Parish Newsletter and Assembly

The printed edition has been delivered to all houses in the parish area and spare copies will be placed in Higham Library.  The online edition is available here

Please do come to the ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY on Thursday 16th April 2015 at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall, School Lane. 

Poster for St Johns Flower Festival

Local Volunteers Sought by KCC

photograph of Countrside Wardens

Do you love to be outdoors and want to help your community?

If your answer is yes then volunteering as a Countryside Access Warden may be ideal for you. Wardens carry out simple tasks on Public Rights of Way such as clearing overgrown vegetation and improving waymarking so people can use footpaths, bridleways and byways easily.

Kent County Council are looking for volunteers to become Countryside Access Wardens in Higham and surrounding areas. You need to be over 18, fit enough to carry out light physical duties and able to spare at least a couple of hours every month at times convenient to you.

Knowledge of Public Rights of Way is not necessary as free training and equipment will be provided. However, a basic knowledge of map reading and regular access to a computer would be useful.

For more information and to apply to become a Countryside Access Warden for your local area please click here.

Thames Airport Further Study Decision

The government's Airport Commission has announced it is not taking forward any further work on the various Thames Estuary Airport proposals.  This is welcomed by Higham Parish Council.  Read more details...

image of Higham Neighbourhood ForumHigham Neighbourhood Forum  (previously Higham PACT Panel)

The Neighbourhood Forum for Higham is a range of local people plus representatives from Parish Council, the Kent Police and the Community Warden.  We meet quarterly to discuss any concerns about the quality of life or community safety issues within the village. SPEEDWATCH is one of our activities.  Regular reports and liaison with the Parish Council, Police, Community Warden and other key partners allow free and frank examination of things that may be of concern.  At our past meetings we have had officials from Gravesham Borough Council and Kent Highways who advised us and assisted in discovering solutions to local issues

If you have a concern about your local neighbourhood or have ideas that would improve your quality of life in Higham then do either come to a Forum meeting or a Parish Council meeting to speak your mind.  For more information, please visit our new Forum website at http://www.spanglefish.com/highamneighbourhoodforum  

Meetings are planned for Tuesday 2nd December 2014, Tuesday 3rd March 2015, Tuesday 2nd June 2015, Tuesday 1st September 2015 and Tuesday 1st December 2015 normally at 7.30pm in Higham Library, Villa Road, Higham.  All are welcome to come.
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Higham Parish Council & Neighbourhood Forum are pleased to tell you a limited supply of free dog waste bags are available at Higham Library. Initially only 1 roll at a time per dog owner. Please help us make our village a cleaner place to live. [October 2014]

Community Warden and Councillor Open Surgery Dates

Higham Community Warden Steve Gray along with Gravesham Borough Cllrs. Harold Craske and / or Les Pearton will be available for anyone to pop in and discuss any local issues that worry them.  The 2015 dates are normally the last Thursday monthly, bar December when it is usually the third Thursday from 2.30 to 4pm in Higham Library.  Light refreshments served.

Higham Youth Club

Higham Youth Club meets on a Wednesday evening from 7.30pm until 9.30pm. Young people from the age of 10 years to 18 years are welcome to join us. We have a number of activities each week and lots of equipment including a pool table, table football, table tennis, basketball, swingball, Nintendo Wii (two consoles plus guitar hero complete band set, snowboarding, wii fit, dance mat and many other games), Playstation 2 (including Singstar), Karaoke, Scalextrics, Keyboard, Circus equipment, Board games..... We also hire the outside sports courts for those who wish to play football... Often we run cookery evenings, circus skills, hair and beauty, arts and crafts plus many others..

You can keep up with what's going on by looking at our website... www.higham-youth-club.btck.co.uk

If anyone in the village would like to give up a couple of hours per week of their time and help us as a volunteer please contact Jo for more information on 07817 746097. All adult helpers are checked through the Disclosure and Barring System (formerly Criminal Records Bureau), and we do ask for 2 referees.. You will understand that this is purely to safeguard our young members. Working with the young people at these clubs is a very enjoyable experience and also gives you the opportunity to take part in exciting activities too!! Some photos taken during a recent residential trip:

photograph of Higham Youth Club on a residential trip

A message from Jo Raff, Youth Club Leader

I am the current leader of Higham Youth Club (since 2007). As many people in the Village know the club has grown considerably in that time and we have been in need of providing additional sessions to cater for all the young people who wish to attend. We have been seeking premises for many years to enable us to run further activities.

Originally the Pavilion on the Recreation Ground was built for Higham Boys Club which closed. The Pavilion was then occupied by the kindergarten which sadly closed last Summer. The Parish Council have been working very hard negotiating a lease renewal of the Recreation Ground, Sports Courts and Pavilion building. The landowners said all three parts had to be included in the lease, and due to problems with the negotiations for almost three years there was real risk of the Village losing the Recreation Ground,Sports Courts and Pavilion. At the end of December, on behalf of the youth club, I was asked if we would be interested in taking on the Pavilion building. The building is currently in a very poor state of repair and needs urgent works to make it safe. We had to consider this very carefully. Clearly it would help us as it would give us a great opportunity to be able to offer so much more to young people in the Village, but it would also mean taking on a huge project which would cost a considerable amount of money and time.

We decided to go ahead and submitted a business plan which was approved by the Parish Council. The Parish Council have always supported the youth of the village wherever possible.

Outline approval has now been given to us taking on a sublease although documentation still has to be signed.

We have many exciting plans for the future, and wish to turn the Pavilion into a "hub" providing activities, clubs and events for the young people and other community users in the Village. We just could not see the loss of the Recreation Ground or Sports Courts as these are used by so many different groups, including our youth club. It is already so sad that the Village no longer has nursery provision, and we didn't want to see the demise of the youth club due to lack of facilities.

We will be applying for grants, holding fundraising events, and working very hard to raise the money needed to fund the building works needed. We have to be able to provide a safe place for people to meet and that is our initial priority (although hope to make further improvements in due course).

We have arranged two fundraising events at The Memorial Hall. A Quiz night on 25th April and an 80s themed disco/karaoke evening on 4th July. We hope Villagers will support both events. Details are shown in the flyers below.

80s Disco poster

We will be needing architects, builders, plumbers, electricians, and many other tradesman for the works at the Pavilion.

This venture is completely non-profit making. All monies raised will go back in to provide further activities to benefit the Village. Eventually we wish to see the Pavilion used seven days a week, all day and evenings, providing a whole range of activities and clubs. Further details are in our business plans.

We hope Villagers will support us. We have started to receive donations from kind Villagers. If you feel you could help us out, or have made a pledge to help already please could you message me, or email me at highamyouthclub@hotmail.co.uk.

Thank you so much.

Joanne Raff
Leader – Higham Youth Club
Mobile – 07817 746097 (voicemail between 7am and 5pm whilst I am at work)

[March 2015]

Highcliffe Medical Practice

Our local GP surgery has a web site ( www.highcliffemedicalpractice.nhs.uk/ ) to provide patients with useful information about the services available.  In addition they are also looking to recruit younger local resident to join our patient participation group.  Please contact:

Kevin Creasey
Practice Manager
Highcliffe Medical Practice
Higham Surgery
Hermitage Road
Rochester, Kent

Tel: 01474 823841
Fax: 01474 824155

Public Health Winter Warmth Programme

Family Mosaic Home Improvement Agencies (HIA) are working in partnership with Kent County Council on their Public Health Winter Warmth Programme. The aim of the programme is to reduce the risk to the escalation of health conditions due to cold weather and cold homes in particular. The project is running from November 1st 2014 to March 31st 2015. The project is funded by KCC and other providers.

The criteria for clients who may be eligible for any of the following is that they own or rent their property, are over 65, live in a cold home and have one of the following diagnosed health conditions:

Mental Health
Multiple long term conditions.

Following any referrals received by the Home Improvement Agencies, they will contact the client, go through and check their eligibility and make an appointment to visit them to carry out an assessment.
Funding may be possible for Cavity wall insulation, external or internal solid wall insulation, loft insulation and heating improvements, this will depend on what Eco offers are currently available that the Eco provider can access. To receive heating improvements they must have a qualifying boiler:

A) In the case of a boiler to be repaired,a boiler which KCC and the Eco provider is satisfied:
   i) Is not functioning efficiently or has broken down; and
   ii) Has a seasonal energy efficiency value of not less than 86% when assessed against the Standard Assessment Procedure.
B) In the case of a boiler to be replaced, a boiler which KCC and the Eco provider is satisfied:
   i) Is not functioning efficiently; or
   ii) A boiler which has broken down cannot be economically repaired.

Any offer of a new boiler and or heating solution will be at the discretion of the Local Authority who will be holding a small amount of funding for this work and will be offering this to clients on a conditional basis of an interest free loan and with client consent that a local land charge be lodged against the clients property.
Please note the deadline for receipt of referrals for cavity wall insulation, external or internal solid wall insulation, loft insulation and heating improvements is 31 January 2015.
Depending on each individual’s situation, we can also provide other items to prevent the clients from feeling cold, safety items such as smoke alarms (unless you have these in stock its not been confirmed we can buy them in) , carbon monoxide sensors and gas fire and boiler checks and we will also refer to other agencies, for example, if we feel a client is eligible for a benefit or requires the services of an occupational therapist.

For referrals please telephone the HIA on Freephone 0800 028 3172. 

For information about Home Improvements services in West Kent (covering Gravesham & Higham) email midwestkenthia@familymosaic.co.uk or Tel: 0845 605 7017.

Kent Police Local Contact Point Dates

Need to speak to a neighbourhood police officer? Visit one of the Police Contact Points, available in nearly 200 locations across Kent, including Higham. Police vans stop at a prominent location for one hour per visit; come along to talk to a neighbourhood officer about any policing concerns you may have, to get safety advice or to collect a free crime prevention item.

To confirm the times and locations of the Police Contact Points near you, visit www.kent.police.uk/policecontactpoints. Our local venue is on Wednesdays outside Higham Library, Villa Road (car park), Higham ME3 7BS on 25th February, 11th and 25th March 2015.

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Some useful information from our local PCSO Sharon Balman (telephone 07969 584 197 or email: sharon.balman@kent.pnn.police.uk):

Unwanted Mail

By registering with the Mail Preference Service you can reduce the amount of personally addressed junk mail received.
You can register by writing to:

The Mailing Preference Service
DMA House
70 Margaret Street

or calling 0845 703 4599 or logging on to: www.mpsonline.org.uk

Unwanted Telephone calls

You can reduce phone calls from companies offering to sell goods or services by registering your telephone number with the Telephone Preference Service.

Write to:

The Telephone Preference Service
DMA House
70 Margaret Street

or call 0845 070 0707 or logging into www.tpsonline.org.uk

Silent Callguard Service

If you receive a phone call and when you pick up the receiver there is no body speaking, you may be receiving calls generated by automatic dialling equipment that dial more numbers than there are operators to take the calls.

You can reduce these calls by registering with the Silent Callguard Service on 0870 444 3969.

Kent Police Launch 101 as the New Non-Emergency Number

As from Monday 14th November 2011 there is a change to the Phone Number that you should use to contact your local Kent Police for non emergency calls.

101 is the new national non-emergency number to contact Police in your area. Residents in the Kent policing area should call 101 to contact their local officer, make an enquiry and to report non-urgent crimes. The current non emergency number (01622 690690) is being phased out.

Examples when to use 101 are:

Each call will never cost more than 15p. Callers will be put through to Force Control Room in Kent and not a national call centre.

As always, dial 999 in an emergency when life is in danger or a crime is in progress.

HiARA - Higham Active Retirement Association

For the time being, the Parish Council is providing website space to host the HiARA website.  There is lots of information and details of HiARA's activity programme plus dates for outings.  Visit the web site.

See the April 2015 issue of HiARA News... click here to view in new window with any PDF viewer. 

HiARA logo graphic

image of Thames Estuary Partnership logo
Thames Estuary Partnership

The Thames Estuary Partnership (TEP) is a forum for local authorities, national agencies, industry, voluntary bodies and local communities to work together for the good of the Thames Estuary. The Partnership is a charity which co-ordinates projects and holds events and workshops to provide information and to gather feedback. 

The threat of climate change and increased flood risk is an ever present feature of the Estuary, yet many local people are not aware that plans are already being developed to help those responsible to adapt to these threats.  More detailed information can be found on the TEP website, www.thamesweb.com

Viewable Thames Estuary & North Kent flood risk map - click here.   format, needs image of Adobe Reader logo.

Environment Agency flooding risk & advice - click here.

Parish Allotments

Allotments are small plots of land set aside for local people to rent and grow plants, vegetables, fruit, etc. Allotment size can vary or be divided up to provide variety of produce for your own requirements.  Click here to go to the informative BBC allotment web page.

Last season the Parish Allotments showed an increase in the number of plots rented for cultivation. This was most encouraging and the Parish Council decided to undertake a survey of the condition of all the plots. The survey was completed in November 2004 and showed that there were a number of overgrown plots. The Parish Council has cleared the top vegetation from some of these plots which are now available for cultivation.

Water stand-pipes are within reach of all the allotments, so if you are interested in finding out more, please contact the Higham Parish Clerk on 01474 822642 or email enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk.

Broadband Update: Making Kent Quicker Project

The Making Kent Quicker Project is working to bring better broadband (eventually!) to Higham parish.  Based on current British Telecom project projections, our area in the ME3 postcode should receive the following after rollout: - 99% of premises should get fibre and/or superfast broadband - 1% of premises should get basic broadband.  Check this postcode finder for more details. 

Given the project size, it is not possible to plan every area at the same time, so some areas will be planned and enabled before others. Higham area is planned for Phase 5 and work should start between Jan-2015 and Jun-2015. Please note that due to the complexities inherent in upgrading rural broadband provision, these details are subject to change and that this information will be updated as the rollout progresses.


Contact us by email: enquiries@higham-kent-pc.gov.uk

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Last Revised: 31 March 2015

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