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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


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Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 23rd April 2013 at the Community Centre

Mark Joy in the Chair.

20 Parishioners were present with 4 guests and visitors.

1.   Apologies – Mark Tickner and Kevin Parris.

2.   Minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting, held on 24th April 2012.  It was proposed by Richard Thorne, seconded by Les Hitchcock, that these were a true record of the meeting.  All agreed and the Chairman duly signed them.

3.   Chairman’s Report

The loss of the Fire Station still affects the Village. Among the positive things throughout the year was the success of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and he thanked the work of the Committee led by Trudi Smith.  We received QE11 Fields in Trust Status which reinforces the Village Green status for both recreation grounds meaning that they can only be used for recreation purposes.  The Bishops Palace saga has dragged on this year with the Parish Council acting as go between for Valley of Vision, the Police and Medway Council who own the site.

There was a very positive outcome from the Public Inquiry in to the RS320.  It was finally reinstated on the definitive map.  He thanked the Campaigners, office staff and Councillors who had put a lot of hard work into this. Work has continued on the White Pit  in spite of the bad weather. There have been a number of issues with Halling View and he apologised for any errors made in this regard. The former Chairman reported that the Fire Station had closed but under a section 106 agreement with Redrow Homes, there is £100,000 available for the Parish Council to buy the property if this is feasible.

4.   Precept for 2013/2014

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 £36,150, an increase of £1,750 over the previous year.  It was decided to include the sum of £3,000 which in the previous financial year had been used for the Diamond Jubilee.  This will be ring-fenced to go towards the refurbishment of play equipment if the Recreation Grounds.  Cllr Ray Maisey has already allocated £2,000 from his ward fund for this project and it is hoped that further funding will be forthcoming from other sources.

5.  Report by Mark Tickner – Chairman of Governors at Halling School.

The Clerk read out Mark’s report in his absence. (copy attached)

6.  Report on the Jubilee Hall by the Chairman, Chris Beaney

See attached

7. Report on the Community Centre by the Chairman, Kevin Parris

See attached

8. Youth Club – report by Les Hitchcock

See attached

9. Community Policing

Sgt Henshaw reported on recent crimes in Cuxton and Halling which were low level and below average in number.  PCSO Alan Hunter said that levels of anti social behaviour at the Bishops Palace had gone down. The Community Pay Back scheme had cleared the car park at the Community Centre and foliage along Kent Road.  The Skate Day funded by Street Cops Trust, Halling Association and Halling Youth Club was a great success.  He thanked the Parish Clerks for arranging this.

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

10. Medway Councillor Ray Maisey

See attached

11. Halling Association. No report was available from Medway Council but Trevor Reynolds said that the Association had given £450 for tree work at the Community Centre.

12. Parishioners’ questions.

Maggie Coleman  asked if the QE11 fields in Trust offered more protection than the Village Greens registration. Clerk replied that it reinforced it.

Jim Sutherland asked if the Section 106 money for the purchase of the Fire Station was ringfenced for that purpose. The Chairman said that if the Fire Station is not purchased, then the money cannot be used for anything else in the Village.

John Coleman asked what will happen when the shooting starts on the Marsh in September?  Mark Joy said that HPC will work with the Wildfowlers who must meet their obligations under Health and Safety legislation.  A sign is need on the marsh to clarify the situation.

Anne Hayward said that motorcycles have been using the Mound again.  As the land is owned by Medway Council, Councillor Ray Maisey will deal with this.

Mark Bateman raised the question of the phone box outside the Five Bells being out of use.  Also Quad bikes on Chapel Lane.  PCSO Alan Hunter said he would inform PCSO Kittering who is working with Valley of Vision on this.

Trevor Dady said that it is good that the Station Sign has been repaired by Network Rail but Medway Council still need to work on the circle in Vicarage Close.

Jackie Tickner asked about the cost to residents of HPC purchasing the Fire Station and will parishioners get to know what is in the Business Plan.  The Chairman said that it will be put on HPC’s Agenda so that decisions are made in public.  Jackie Tickner asked if there is any deadline for the business plan.  Mark Joy said that this in the hands of Medway Council and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.  Jackie then asked why the vacancies on the Parish Council had not been filled as there have been two for some time now.  The Chairman said that the notices are published by HPC and Medway Council.  Jackie asked why the delay and are the two new Parish Councillors in post now? Mar Joy said that they have been interviewed and will be co-opted on at the next meeting on 9th May2013.  She then said that if the Parish Council was as busy as it says it is, then why had these vacancies been carried for so long.

Jackie Tickner then said that as co-owner/manager of Bo-Peeps pre school, she understands that as a business, it cannot receive donations from the Parish Council but why can’t it be put on the agenda for the Annual Parish meeting for a report on the work it does as a major contributor to Village life.

Mark Joy said that he realises where Jackie is coming from but at the moments HPC could not allow this.  Trevor Reynolds said that if HPC can allow it then it should.

Trevor asked if the British Transport Police covered Halling Rail Station – Sgt Henshaw said they do.

The Chairman then moved a vote of thanks to all who gave reports and to the WI for the refreshments.

Before the meeting began Councillor Palmer explained about the situation with the absence of The Clerk and the advice taken from KALC.  The meeting commenced with Cllr. Palmer acting as stand-in Clerk accordingly.

The meeting closed at 2104.

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