09 February 2021 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 9 February 2021 at 8:15pm in the by Zoom Conference Call.


Cllrs N Champken-Woods (Chairman), P Cowell (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer, K Gregory, C Jones (Deputy Chairman), A Midwinter (Town Mayor), J Tipping and T Wyse


Cllrs L Emery, H Fickling and S Francis


C Pinnells, Acting Town Clerk
A Oughton, Asset Manager
L Fuller, Committee Services Officer


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Deacock (personal) and Dite (personal). Cllr Bretherton was absent without apology.

All Members who were present were able to be seen and be heard.

2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest or dispensations.

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 20 October 2020 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5 Budget Summary

Members received the Budget Summary up to 31 December 2020.

6 Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

The reports were noted.

Cllr Francis provided a verbal report on the Twinning Association. They were continuing to meet virtually due to the ongoing lockdown and had held a very successful joint film night last month. The usual Montesson visit was unable to go ahead however a virtual visit was being planned to mark the retirement of Jean Francois Bel as well as a variety of activities including virtual tours of local historical buildings, a wine tasting evening, and a photography competition with the schools. Thanks were given to the Thame Twinning committee, in particular Linda Emery, for their hard work.

Cllr Francis left the meeting after this item.

7 Community Youth Centre Working Group

Cllr Cowell advised that the Community Youth Centre (CYC) Working Group had met a few weeks ago to review and finalise the Terms of Reference, which were presented this evening for approval by the committee.

Cllr Cowell also provided a verbal update on Thame Youth Projects (TYP). Throughout the pandemic, continued to work virtually by offering a variety of activities, such as games and escape rooms, for different age groups through social media and Vingle which had been successful. TYP were doing their best to keep young people engaged and maintain their presence, particularly as a result of the impact of the pandemic, including lack of socialization and time in school, which will present major social challenges for young people.

TYP were expecting that the Youth Café was unlikely to fully re-open before September. TYP were now looking to focus on an outreach programme and were seeking a venue to use 2-3 times a week. TYP had linked up with Abingdon-based DAMASCUS Youth Project to provide outreach training for indoor and outdoor settings.

Regarding premises for the Community Youth Centre, TYP had used lockdown as time to consider the options and reflect on the project’s needs. TYP felt that the decision to stop progressing a permanent building was positive. There were three options for facilities – rented, permanent or modular. Rented facilities were typically difficult to find in Thame, expensive and not on the pathways of where young people travel. Permanent facilities had similar issues and had long timeframes. TYP were now looking at modular buildings which were guaranteed for 30 years and were more accessible in terms of cost, however a suitable location needed to be found in Thame. Southern Road Recreation Ground (SRRG) had been the preferred site given that funding and S106 monies were available, as well as that it benefited from utilities and an opportunity to upgrade the changing rooms and review the site, however the public consultation had raised considerable objection from residents. Cllr Cowell presented a list of other location options that were being considered, along with their pros and cons, and sought direction from the committee on which location was preferred.

The committee felt that more time was needed to process the information as presented before coming to a decision but agreed the options did need to be considered. It was noted that although concerns were raised that anti-social behaviour would worsen if the CYC was located at SRRG, locating the centre elsewhere would not remove ASB problems at SRRG. TYP agreed that the site provided an opportunity to mitigate these problems and could be a positive opportunity. Cllr Cowell advised that discussions were being held with other community groups to obtain their views too, as it would be a community centre, not just for the youth.

It was agreed that Cllr Cowell would circulate the options for the committee to consider.


  1. The Community Youth Centre Working Group Terms of Reference be approved.

8  Christmas Feedback 2020 / Event Date for 2021

The Acting Town Clerk introduced the Market Town Co-Ordinator’s report on the variety of Christmas activities which took place throughout December instead of the Christmas Lights Switch-On. The overall response was positive. The Advent Calendar leaflet had been delivered to all houses in Thame. The feedback had suggested some ideas for the future, including more events on weekends that engaged with community groups and repeating the Window Wanderland, which was a successful fundraising event for the primary schools. Unfortunately, the Nutcracker which had been hired had a bad ending, with an investigation ongoing, and options were being considered as to whether to purchase an installation this year.

It was noted that, subject to Covid-19 guidance, the Christmas Lights Switch On event this year will be held on Friday 3 December 2021.

The committee unanimously expressed a vote of thanks to the Market Town Co-Ordinator for all her hard work on the Christmas activities under difficult circumstances.

9 Rycote Meadow Project

It was noted that a working group of members of Thame Green Living, tasked with the project to open up Rycote Meadow to the public, met for the first time on 13 January 2021. The working group will draw on experience of relevant stakeholders when required. The Asset Manager attended the initial meeting and will provide regular project updates to the Town Council.

10 Music in the Park

It was noted that due to Covid-19, the Music in the Park event scheduled for Sunday 2 May 2021 has been cancelled. The organisers hope for the event to return on Sunday 1 May 2022.

It was also noted that the operational and financial support for the 2021 event, as agreed on 20 October 2020, will be carried forward for the event in 2022.

11 Freedom Parade

It was noted that due to Covid-19, the Freedom Parade scheduled for Sunday 9 May 2021 has been postponed and will be rescheduled to take place in May / June 2022.

12 Thame Carnival

It was noted that due to Covid-19, Thame Carnival scheduled for Saturday 12 June 2021 has been postponed and will be rescheduled to take place in 2022.

It was noted that the operational and financial support for the 2021 event, as agreed on 20 October 2020, will be carried forward for the event in 2022.

13 Thame Town Guide

It was noted that due to Officer workloads, Covid-19 and a surplus of printed 2019/20 Thame Town Guides, it has been decided that a Town Guide will not be produced in 2021. Officers will work on preparing and updating the Town Guide for production in 2022.

14 Maintenance Report

The report was noted.


The meeting concluded at 8:46pm



Signed ………………………………

Chairman, 13 April 2021