12 April 2016 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 12 April 2016 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.
Present: Cllrs D Butler, N Dixon (Town Mayor), M Dyer, C Jones, P Lambert, A Midwinter and M Stiles (Deputy Chairman)
G Hunt, Town Clerk
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence received from Cllrs Champken-Woods (Holiday), Cowell (Business), Deacock (Business) and Emery (Business).
2 Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
Cllr Lambert declared an interest in Item 11 as a member of the Carnival Committee.
3 Public Participation and Public Questions
Mr Manoj Parmar spoke in support of the proposed Street Cricket event on Friday 10 June 2016 (Item 12). Mr Parmar had been a cricket coach for the past 18 years and had provided coaching, free of charge, to school children. He loved the game and last summer provided coaching at Towersey for 400 children under the age of 16 and teams had visited from Switzerland and the United States.
Mr Parmar had the idea to provide a free to participants Street Cricket event in the centre of Town. The estimated cost of the event was £5,000 which included road closures, security, equipment, entertainment and a gift for every child who participated. Mr Parmar was seeking help with funding (either via grants or sponsorship) and advice as to which organisations to approach to apply for funding. He hoped the event would bring the whole town together in a celebration of cricket and Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.
Cllrs Butler and Dixon entered the meeting during this item.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 February 2016 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Budget Summary
Members received the budget summary up to 29 February 2016. Cllr Jones raised a question regarding commuted interest received to date on income item lines 214 and 215. The Town Clerk explained that it was the interest gained from the investment of the money set aside to maintain the public open spaces in Pickenfield and Youens Drive.
6 Reports from Representatives on External Organisations
a) Cuttle Brook Management Committee – Cllr Jones reported that the volunteers continued to work hard on the Reserve. The notes of the last Management Committee were noted.
b) Thame Carnival Committee – Report noted.
c) Thame Football Partnership – Officers report noted. Cllr Dyer apologised that a written report had not been prepared in advance of the meeting. The Football Partnership continued to work hard on improving their finances. Changes to the structure of the club to bring together Thame United and Thame Boys were being considered.
d) Twinning Association – Cllr Butler reported that plans for the 15th Anniversary weekend 13-15 May were progressing well. It was hoped the Mayor of Montesson would be able to attend. It was subsequently noted that some visitors are cycling from Montesson and others are walking from London to Thame. The report was noted.
e) Thame Good Neighbour Scheme – Cllr Midwinter reported that this would be covered under Item 17 on the agenda and expressed her thanks to Council Officers who continued to work hard to support the scheme.
f) Cricket Club – Report noted.
g) Chinnor RFC – Officers Report noted.
h) Music in the Park – Report noted. Cllr Stiles reported that plans were going well. Tickets were now on sale and posters and flyers had been distributed. The community stall at the Tuesday market was booked for the next two Tuesdays to sell tickets and there would be two sessions outside the Town Hall on 23 and 30 April.
The Committee were now meeting weekly leading up to the event and had secured a good level of sponsorship. Mr Hankey, head teacher at John Hampden Primary School, would perform the official opening and would be playing with his band during the event.
An appeal was made for storage space for files / equipment which was currently housed in temporary accommodation.
i) Red Kite Children’s Centre – This would be covered under Item 7 on the agenda.
j) Sinaia Friendship Association – No report received.
k) Thame Museum Trust – Officers report noted. Cllr Dyer reported that a meeting had taken place at the Museum with the District Planning Officer and Conservation Officer to discuss the proposed extension. The plan was now to move forward with the formal planning application.
l) Thame Remembers – Officers report noted. Cllr Dyer reported that a reception had taken place at the Museum to celebrate BBC Oxford reporter, Victoria Cook’s television award. Victoria Cook covered the Thame Remembers Battlefields Tour for BBC Oxford. The Poppy Factory visit was well received.
m) Towersey Festival – Officers report noted.
7 Oxfordshire County Council – Future of Children’s Centres
Cllr Stiles reported that things were changing on a daily basis with regard to the future of the Children’s Centres in Oxfordshire. A working group had been formed and a two pronged approach is being progressed.
The worst case scenario would be that all funding from the County Council would be withdrawn. Although the latest information was that funding would be in place until the end of the current financial year. A ‘Save Oxfordshire Children’s Centres’ had been set up to lobby for all Children’s Centres to be kept open and the £2m funding set aside for Children’s Centres, as agreed at the County Council meeting in February, should not be used to fund the provision of Children’s Services in general.
The working group was made up of Cllr Stiles, members of Sharing Life Trust and the Thame Alliance Group and was looking at ways to maintain a local provision. It was hoped that the current premises could continue to be used with a peppercorn rent paid to the County Council. Grants were being sought from local organisations and the plan was to keep a service running and open to everyone.
8 Memorial Gardens Flagpole
Cllr Wyse reported that since the installation of the flag pole outside the Town Hall he had been approached by residents and asked whether a flag pole could be installed in the Memorial Gardens. The Royal British Legion had been consulted and had no objection as long as the location did not detract from the War Memorial.
The Union Flag would fly at all times other than during the launch of the Poppy appeal until Remembrance Day, when the Royal British Legion Remembrance Flag would be flown. Cllr Wyse felt this would draw attention to the War Memorial and the sacrifices that had been made.
i) That the installation of a Flag Pole in the Memorial Gardens be approved in principle, subject to the exact position agreement with other parties.
ii) To recommend to Full Council that up to £1,485 be released from the Capital Rolling Fund for works as detailed in the report.
9 Litter and Dog Fouling
It had been agreed at the Council meeting on 19 January 2016 that the Open Spaces Working Group would take forward ideas raised in relation to litter concerns. The Town Clerk had spoken with the Working Group and suggested that the brief be extended to include dog fouling.
i) That the Open Spaces Working Group extend its litter brief to include dog fouling.
10 Litter Campaign / Carnival
It was agreed that the Carnival Parade on 11 June this year would provide a good platform for the Town Council to promote ‘Keeping Thame Tidy’. Town Councillors and staff would take part in the parade either walking by or riding in the trailer towed by the Town Council tractor.
i) That the Town Council participate in the Carnival Parade on Saturday 11 June 2016 to promote ‘Keeping Thame Tidy’.
11 Thame Carnival Operational Support
A request had been received from the organisers of the Carnival for the Town Council to provide operational support as had been undertaken in previous years. Despite the Carnival organising group having a small number of volunteers the support received from the Town Council had been vital in the smooth operation of the event in the past.
i) To recommend to Full Council that operational support, as detailed in the report, be given to the Carnival.
ii) To recommend to Full Council that associated salary expenditure of up to £350 be released from Revenue Funds.
12 Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations
A variety of celebrations were planned by groups in the community to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday. The events and the approximate costs were detailed in the report. There was an opportunity for the Town Council to apply to the District Council for a grant to financially help support the planned events provided the criteria to claim the grant was met. It was intended that the grant would be split on a pro-rata basis to cover part of the operational costs of each event.
i) That the £4,352 Queen’s Birthday Celebration grant offered by South Oxfordshire District Council be claimed and all the conditions required to claim the grant be met.
ii) That the Community Services Manager be given delegated responsibility to distribute the relevant percentage of the grant towards the operational costs of each event that takes place.
13 Cricket Club Clubhouse Redevelopment
The update emails circulated to all Councillors on 15 February, 18 February, 9 March and 22 March were noted. The planning application for the Cricket Club Clubhouse Redevelopment had been submitted to South Oxfordshire District Council.
14 Open Spaces Working Group / Elms Park Consultation
The report was noted. The Town Clerk added that the next meeting with TEP would take place on 20 April 2016 when final designs for the park would be considered. Once the final design had been costed to ensure it was deliverable plans would go out for a second round of public consultation.
Cllr Butler left the meeting at the end of this item.
15 Priest End Allotments to Burial Space
The report was noted. The Town Clerk drew particular attention to paragraphs 7, 8 & 9 and reported that no response had been received from the National Allotment Society with regard to whether further permissions would be needed from the Secretary of State.
A meeting had been set for 28 April 2016 to establish the tasks required to convert the land to burial space, should planning permission be secured.
16 Skate Park
The report was noted. The Skate Fest competition would take place on Sunday 17 April 2016 from midday until 4pm. All Councillors had been invited to attend.
17 Thame Good Neighbour Scheme
The report was noted. Members noted the majority of requests received were for transport to appointments and suggested that future advertising for the Scheme may draw particular attention to other services that could be provided by the volunteers.
18 Maintenance Report
The report was noted.
It was noted that the lighting to the War Memorial was not working. The Town Clerk would check what the current situation was and provide an update to Councillors.
The Town entrance planter and signage along the Chinnor Road had been temporarily removed by contractors working on the Children’s Assessment Centre. The Asset Manager was aware of the situation and had made contact with the contractors. The situation would be monitored to ensure the planter and signage are reinstated on completion of the work.
The meeting concluded at 7.30pm
Chairman, 26 July 2016