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The Community Centre, High Street, Lower Halling, Rochester, Kent ME2 1BS

Telephone & Fax (01634) 241551          Clerk: Mr W R Swan          Assistant: Trudi Smith

Halling Parish Council


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Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 19th April 2011 at the Community Centre

Daryl Palmer in the Chair.

16 Parishioners were present with 3 guests and visitors.

1. Apologies were received from Trevor Reynolds, Mark Joy, Mark Tickner and Kevin Parris.

2. Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting, held on 27th April 2010. It was proposed by Les Hitchcock, seconded by Richard Thorne, that these were a true record of the meeting.  All agreed and the Chairman duly signed them.

3. Chairman's Report .

The Chairman, Daryl Palmer thanked everyone for their attendance.  He thanked all of the Parish Councillors for their efforts over the last year and pointed out the following items of note:

Request for reopening of RS320 continues.

The Parish Council has just signed a 3 year lease on the White Pit which will be cleared and used on for supervised visits on a monthly basis once it is in a suitable state.

We have taken possession of Halling Marsh from Lafarge and are working with Valley of Vision and London Wildlife Trust to enhance the area for both wildlife and the public.

Work has continued on the recreation grounds to make the matting safe again.

The Chimney at the old Rugby site was finally demolished in September.

Halling View continues to flourish.

Fun Weekend 2010 has now become Fun week 2011 (FW11) with lots of fundraising events already taking place.

The Parish Council worked with Medway Council to improve the A228 roundabout at Whittings Farm.

Sarah Poole has been involved with the VoV to set up community trails round the village and leaflets should be available soon.

A total of £1,000 was passed to the Royal British Legion following the Poppy Collection in November 2010.

Halling had its first Christmas Tree and lights.

We are working with the Community Centre to provide a Royal Wedding indoor street party.

.has been improved

We have increased the office staff with Trudi Smith being taken on as assistant to Bill Swan.  This was timely in view of his unfortunate accident in September.

We have lost a few councillors over the last year but have co-opted Mark Joy and Shelley Tilbury in replacement.  There was insufficient nominations to trigger an election for the Parish Council which saved Halling a good deal of money.

We therefore continue to work together as a good team.

4.   Precept for 2011/2012

The Clerk explained that the Parish Council had decided to set a precept which would cover the Parish Council’s budget which had been set at £30,000, an increase of £6,000 over the previous year.  This equates to an average of £24.00 annually per household, an increase of £4.80 per property.  The Parish Council is committed to increased expenditure this year, particularly on the recreation grounds, the transfer of Halling Marsh and staffing increases.

5.  Valley of Vision

Rick Bayne gave a visual presentation on the plans for the Bishops Palace area.

6.  Halling School

In the absence of Mark Tickner, the Chair of the Governors, his report was read out by the Parish Clerk

Currently 266 pupils on roll which leaves space for only another 14.

Early Years Foundation Stage continues to be a strength of the school with results consistently above national and Medway figures. Thanks to fundraising efforts of the Friends of Halling, the swimming pool will be completely before the summer. The Safer Journeys team at Medway has completed surveys of the area around the school for crossings and other improvements but this  progressing a quickly as hoped.  The school continues to have good links with the local community including Bo-Peeps and the Clocktower in Snodland.  A number of visits have taken place, including  trips to the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum,  Leybourne Lakes, Royal Engineers Museum.  Visits to the school include the local Fire Brigade and paramedics. All Key stage 2 boys have been to Waterstones at Bluewater to choose books for their class library. The aim is to encourage the boys to visit book shops and become enthusiastic readers.  The school regularly takes part in school sports competitions eg korfball, multiskills, trigolf, badminton, football.

7. Jubilee Hall

The Chairman of the Committee, Chris Beaney, said that with the Royal Wedding only a week away, it is good to remember how the Jubilee Hall began with the Queen’s Jubilee in 1977.  Our emphasis has always been on providing an affordable hall mainly for the use of the people of Halling and the surrounding area.  The personnel of the Management Committee has changed little over the years and it gives us great pleasure to see the hall being used by many groups from within the Village.   Our Treasurer, Mary Acott, retired this year and we would like to thnk her for all the sterling work she has done for the Hall during her time of office.  Each year the Hall has produced a small working profit/surplus.  We welcome Caroline Moorhead to the role of Treasurer

I should also like to thank Roy Willoughby for his hard work in maintaining the hall and managing the constant flow of Hirers.  We are looking for a Secretary to the Management Committee – any interested persons, please see me afterwards.

8. Community Centre

In the absence of Kevin Parris, the Chairman of the Committee, Bill Swan read out his report:

No major building works carried out as yet but there is ongoing maintenance.  Regular bookings and clubs have maintained their usage.  It is fully booked for weekly hirings including,, Bo-Peeps, Beavers, bowls, badminton and keep fit, slimming world, youth club, Parish Council, Halara, zumba amongst others.   The pensioners Xmas party was again a great success but the numbers were reduced by the snowy weather that evening.

9. Youth Club

Les Hitchcock reported that the club is doing very well and has become a valuable asset to the Village. The numbers have increased to 90 in the 1st group and 50 in the 2nd group.  In view of this more help is required from residents.

10. Community Policing in the absence of any officers, there was no report.

A break was taken at this point for refreshments provided by the WI.

11. Medway Councillor Ray Maisey

Ray Maisey said that it had been a very busy year for the ward and has been a challenging year for Medway Council because of cuts in spending and the freezing of Council Tax. However it has been decided to keep free swimming over 60s and free buses for under 11s with a 9.00 am start for concessionary travel. The new bus station in Chatham is under construction and Medway Park (the rebuilt Black Lion centre) is now holding international events.

12. Mark Tickner – Halling Fire Station

In the absence of Mark, the Watch Manager, Daryl Palmer read out his report on the activities over the last year;  these comprised 153 shouts (an increase of 10% over the previous year), including 58 fires  ( 8 in woodland and grass areas, 8 domestic ( inc 1 houseboat), 2 commercial, 7 rubbish fires) , 19 AFAs, 38 standbys, 16 vehicles fires, 8 RTCs, 4 smoke alarms, 6 special services ( inc 1 person stuck in a lift). We performed our bi-annual pantomime last December with the return of Aladdin.  Once again this proved a big hit in the village.

13. Halling Association

Catherine Smith, the Rural Strategies Manager of Medway Council, gave her report as follows:

The Association has been active over the last year on a number of projects, concentrating on helping local groups carry out projects rather than lead itself  The include FW10, Halara, firemen’s panto, Christmas party for older residents, MVCP wildlife walks, MVCRP walking guides from rail stations, VoV.  Work planned for coming year includes various projects such as the White Pit and FW11.  The Funding partnership continues with contributions from Lafarge, Trenport, Cemex, Medway Council and Halling Parish Council.

14. Parishioners’ questions

These included the new Bus Station in Chatham and the local bus service.

15. Vote of Thanks

The Chairman, Daryl Palmer thanked everyone for coming and to those who gave reports. Thanks to the WI for the refreshments.

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