13 April 2010 – Minutes

Minutes of the Annual Town Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 13 April 2010 at
7.30 pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall

Present 60 Residents and Councillors


1 Apologies

There were apologies for absence from Cllrs D W Dodds and D A Laver.


2 Minutes

The Minutes of the Meeting held on Tuesday 21 April 2009 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

Arising out of the Minutes, resident Mary Stiles gave an update on the Thame Youth Theatre. They had taken on new staff members, including a drama director, and their membership had tripled in the past year.

3 Town Mayor’s Report for 2009-2010

Nearing the end of her Mayoral year, Cllr Matelot Green said how proud she had been to represent the town. The many highlights of the year included the official opening of Meadowcroft Care Home by the Duke of Kent, and at a later date, one of the Home’s residents, Arthur Staggs, had become an Honorary Citizen. A very important achievement for the Council had been securing the return of football to Thame. Apart from providing a permanent home, Meadow View Park would encourage more visitors to the town and benefit local traders.

The Mayor’s fundraising events had so far raised £3,000 and Cllr Matelot Green was very confident that this figure would rise.

4 TAL Stories

Steve Bannister, Marketing Director for Thame’s first Arts & Literature Festival (25-27 June) reported on their delight at the enthusiasm shown for the festival, attracting first class authors to speak. There would be 30 events and 40 visiting speakers, as well as art exhibitions, a rock musical, literary walk, pub quiz and creative writing workshops. Their major sponsor was CPM, with further support from the Town Council and other organisations. It was anticipated that there would be 2,000 visitors to the town during that weekend.


5 My Home Our Community

Michelle Diffey, Coordinator of Safari (Self Advocacy for Adults Requiring Independence), explained that she supports three very active, sociable young ladies on behalf of United Response. One of her main aims was to boost their self-worth and confidence. Despite a large network of adults with learning disabilities in Thame, their nearest clubs were in Aylesbury and Oxford, so Michelle decided to form a club right here in Thame, where there is a workshop (also known as the Wombles).

Michelle’s future aspirations included creating a shop for members of the group to sell their products, perhaps with a small café, enabling them to learn new skills. Group members chipped in, saying how much they enjoyed the Safari workshops, as well as their newly-acquired community allotment.


6 Thame Greening Campaign

Soha’s Resident Involvement Officer, Jackie Silver, explained Soha’s role as a social housing landlord, with 320 properties in Thame. They would be sponsoring the Greening Campaign in Thame, which would be launched at the greening-themed Annual Carnival on 12 June, to include eco-friendly floats.

Residents could participate in greening, via various challenges for saving energy in their homes. The National Housing Federation was very impressed with Soha’s connection with the greening initiative in Thame and would be watching progress closely.


7 Street Pastors

Adrian Black, Coordinator for the introduction of Street Pastors in Thame, confirmed that six volunteers had done their initial training. There had been a delay with the start-up in Thame because the Street Pastors movement nationally had exploded and they were running to keep up. He gave the example of Heathfield, Sussex (a town of similar size to Thame), where Street Pastors were known as ‘trustworthy friends of the community’.

Asked why no mention of the church had been made, Adrian said they were not there to “bash people with the Bible”, they were there to serve. In June this year, residents should see the Street Pastors’ blue jacket uniforms in the town centre.


8 Open Forum – Questions from Electors

Resident Ian Townsend asked about the proposed handover of the Jubilee Pool. The Clerk explained that SODC had made a good offer, and that by taking this step, almost £2 million could be released for other projects in the town. Thame Council was small, SODC had the necessary expertise, and Thame would still have the swimming pool!

A question about the Cattle Market was answered by Cllrs Bretherton and Welply, who explained that the cattle market move came down to economics, The market couldn’t afford to move, the lease on the cattle market had several years to run and the District Council received £66,000 a year on rent.

The meeting concluded at 8.45pm

Chairman, Annual Town Meeting 2011