09 February 2016 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 9 February 2016 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

Present: Cllrs M Deacock, N Dixon (Town Mayor), M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor),
C Jones, P Lambert and M Stiles (Deputy Chairman)
G Hunt, Town Clerk
J Howells, Asset Maintenance Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Personal), Champken-Woods (Holiday), Cowell (Business) and Midwinter (Unwell).


2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

Cllrs Jones and Stiles declared an interest in item 9 as members of the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve Management Committee.


3 Public Participation and Public Questions

There were no applications to address the Committee.
There were no questions put to the Committee.


4 Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 October 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


5 Budget Summary

Members received the budget summary up to 31 December 2015. A full set of the accounts were available for Members to view at the meeting.


6 Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

a) Cuttle Brook Management Committee – Cllr Jones reported that the volunteers continued to carry out regular litter picks and maintenance work on the Reserve. The notes of the last Management Committee were noted.

b) Thame Carnival Committee – Notes from the last Carnival Committee meeting were noted. Cllr Emery added that the Carnival Committee had asked for councillor volunteers to help both before the event and on the day of the Carnival.

c) Thame Football Partnership – Report noted.

d) Twinning Association – Report noted – Cllr Emery added that planning was underway for the 15th Anniversary celebrations. The Mayor of Montesson would visit Thame as part of the celebrations and the Twinning Association Committee would welcome ideas for celebratory events that might take place.

e) Thame Good Neighbour Scheme – Report noted.

f) Cricket Club – This would be covered under item 13 on the agenda.

g) Chinnor RFC – Report noted.

h) Music in the Park – Report noted.

i) Red Kite Children’s Centre – This would be covered under item 7 on the agenda.

j) Sinaia Friendship Association – Nothing to report.

k) Thame Museum Trust – An update would be provided at the Policy & Resources Committee meeting on 16 February 2016.

l) Thame Remembers – Report noted.

m) Towersey Festival – Cllr Lambert reported there had not been any meetings. Nothing to report.


7 Oxfordshire County Council – Future of Children’s Centres

Should Oxfordshire County Council agree the budget for 2016-17, at their meeting next Tuesday 16 February 2016, the Red Kite Centre together with the Day Centre in Thame would be in grave danger of closure as a result of the proposed cuts in funding.

Both groups were very important to the community of Thame and the Management Committees of each organisation together with Sharing Life Trust and the Thame Alliance Group were working together to formulate a plan to try and keep the Red Kite Centre and Day Centre open.

Cllr Stiles intended to speak against the proposed cuts at the County Council meeting next Tuesday and would also be taking part in the march against the proposed cuts to services in Oxford this weekend.


8 Christmas Lighting Scheme Operating Hours

Members discussed the options put forward in the report to change the operating hours of the Christmas lighting scheme. With regard to option a) the proposed 24 hour operation of all the lights it was felt that lights situated close to residential properties may give cause for concern.

At present only the Christmas Tree and the Upper High Street trees are lit 24 hours per day. The lighting contractor looked after 40 similar schemes and of those only half a dozen towns had opted for 24 hour lighting.


i) To recommend to Full Council option b in the report – that the lights on the Town Hall and Market house operate 24 hours and all other lights to be timer controlled to operate from 15:00 hours to 23:50 hours.

ii) That the additional cost of £132 associated with the proposals be met from General Reserves.


9 Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve

The litter bins proposed for the Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve had been chosen to suit the environment in which they would be sited. It was thought a ‘high street’ litter bin would be out of character in the Reserve and the price reflected the choice of bin.

Discussion took place on whether the cost of providing litter bins could be offset by sponsorship. It was suggested that particular companies could be targeted to sponsor litter bins i.e. litter bins in the town could be sponsored by retailers who sold take away food / drinks. Dog bins could be sponsored by local pet stores, kennels or catteries. This suggestion would be passed to the Open Spaces Working Group who had been tasked with reviewing litter issues in general following the completion of The Elms Park Consultation.


i) That the purchase of three litter bins for Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve be approved.

ii) To recommend to Full Council that £1,400 be released from the Rolling Capital Fund to purchase the litter bins.


10 St Mary’s Flower Festival

The Town Council had been invited to participate in the Flower Festival to be held at St Mary’s church over the weekend of 20 – 22 May 2016. The theme would be linked with Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.


i) That the Town Council participates in the 2016 Flower Festival be approved.

ii) That Cllr Dixon be nominated to organise the display with Officer support as required.

iii) To recommend to Full Council that the additional cost of £125 be met from General Reserves.


11 Capital Items

Items of equipment used by the Town Council for community events had become damaged through regular use over several years or required updating to ensure that the Council continued to provide the best possible support for Town events.


i) That the purchase of the equipment, as identified in the report be approved.

ii) To recommend to Full Council that the cost of the equipment up to £3,826 be met from the Rolling Capital Fund.


12 Skate Park Signage

The current Skate Park signage required updating following the redevelopment of the Park. The proposed signage met the requirements of the British Standards Agency and had been recommended by the Skate Park Working Group. Two signs would be placed in the Park one at the main entrance by the Toucan Crossing, which would be word based and one within the Park, which would be picture based.


i) To recommend to Full Council that the proposed Skate Park signage and associated costs of up to £500 from the Rolling Capital Fund be approved.


13 Cricket Club Clubhouse Redevelopment

The progress report on the redevelopment of the Cricket Club clubhouse was noted.


14 Open Spaces Working Group / Elms Park Consultation

The update report was noted.


15 Priest End Allotments to Burial Space

The report on the plans to convert Priest End allotments to burial space was noted.


16 Skate Park

The report on the Skate Park redevelopment was noted.


17 Christmas Event Feedback 2015

The report on feedback from the Christmas event for 2015 was noted.

Members felt the flexible approach with multiple performance areas had worked well. It had been a good event with large crowds and good participation. Councillors had enjoyed the activities they had been involved in and expressed their thanks to Council staff on a very good event.


18 Continental Market

It was noted that the French Continental Market scheduled for May would not go ahead. The operator was committed to the event in October. Ideas for a replacement event in May were sought and should be forwarded to the Town Clerk.


19 Maintenance Report

The Maintenance report was noted.

Members congratulated Council staff on the amount of good work that had been undertaken in the last four months. Discussion took place on the possibility of updating the Christmas lighting in the Upper Chamber with a view to changing to LED lights that were both effective, less costly to run and required less maintenance.


The meeting concluded at 7.12pm

Signed ………………………….
Chairman, 12 April 2016