Annual Town Meeting Round Up
The Annual Town Meeting hosted by our current Mayor, Cllr Paul Cowell and our Town Clerk Mandy Sturdy was a great success! The ever-changing weather this week did not stop the residents of Thame joining us to discuss the strategy of Thame and to raise their questions on our town. This was a meeting for residents of Thame and not a council meeting.
In May we have our local elections, which is very exciting for Thame, as all 16 council spaces are open for voting! Therefore, Cllr Paul Cowell started the evening with a summary of his 2nd year as Mayor including remembering the life of Queen Elizabeth, celebrating getting back to a non-Covid normal and celebrating his charities; Thame Youth Projects and Thame Senior Friendship Centre.
The Mayor then lead a brief presentation on the Strategy of Thame; you will be glad to hear that the council have been working hard to understand the needs and wants of Thame and how we can implement these over the next 5 to 10 years and don’t worry, there isn’t a monorail coming to town!
Having a strategy is needed, not only for us staff here at the Town Council, but for you as the residents, students and working teams of Thame. We understand that by having a strategy, we can see what projects have worked well in the past, such as our skate park, but also where we need to apply pressure and use more resources to improve the day to day of Thame.
If like me, you may be reading this and thinking, ‘well this is all well and good, but how are you going to actually roll this out?!’ well thankfully that was covered too!
Thame Town Council need to come to you! We need to consult and engage, listen, and communicate! As our new communications officer, if you have something you need to be shouted about I want to hear it and help find a way to convey the message! I want to work with the businesses, schools and the people of Thame of all ages! My job role is new and I have only been with the Thame Town Council since February, but I was born and raised here and know how lovely Thame is! Please feel free to email me on email@example.com…. anyways enough about me, let’s get back to the annual meeting.
Our final section on the evening was the open forum, this is where our residents were able to put their queries and opinions to Mayor Cllr Paul Cowell and our Town Clerk, Mandy Sturdy. As the event was on Tuesday and the questions were not submitted in advance, some of the queries need to be investigated and discussed with wider teams, so the complete resolution may still be in progress, however, here are the main topics raised by the residents:
The service provided by Thames Water was up for discussion by a few residents! Luckily, we had Nigel Champken-Woods who is both a Thame Town Councillor and a County Councillor at the meeting, who expressed the issues have been raised but it’s a situation in which as we do not have a direct link to Thames Water, we need to continue to raise and log the issues and apply some pressure to the company Cllr Nigel Champken-Woods also asked for the contact details of the residents who raised their concerns, so that more frequent contact could be made. Unfortunately this is an ongoing issue but awareness is key and we will continue to strive to see results!
One resident was quite concerned about some of the public pathways in Cuttle Brook, dog walkers and the bridge! We assured the resident that we do have the Open Spaces Working Group who are looking into how to improve Cuttle Brook, which work alongside the wider council groups such as the Highways team and South Oxfordshire District Council. If you are someone that frequently uses Cuttle Brook, may we use this as an opportunity to ask you to consider others, may that be to use bins for your litter, or to consider keeping your dogs on a lead.
The Cattle Market
The Cattle Market was another big discussion point! Many questions were raised about when the Farmers Auction Mart move will happen and what will the space be turned into! We had Pieter-Paul Barker from South Oxfordshire District Council in the audience who informed us that there is no rush for the market to move; they need to move in a manner which is safe and supported by all. Once the area is clear there will be discussions with the residents of Thame to work out what will take its place, but at this time no confirmed dates have been arranged for that.
Thame Neighbourhood Plan
There have been some delays to the Neighbourhood Plan due to Covid and more recently as we are heading towards a potential change over of council and Mayor, we have decided to postpone consultations until the tail end of May. This is something which has taken a lot of work and we believe will bring us great success, but we need to make sure it is right and everyone is on board.
The lack of disability access was also raised, we understand Thame has beautiful old buildings, however these do not provide access to everyone! There is also a concern for drop curbs and road markings to alert others. If you would like to pass on any feedback or suggest a way that we as a council can help with this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The evening was interesting and I look forward to the next one when our Mayor can explore all these points in their yearly round up!
It would be great if more residents attended next year’s as well! As previously stated, this is a meeting for the residents of Thame, it is not a council meeting, and we want to hear from you!
For any further queries, you can email email@example.com