14 July 2015 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 14 July 2015 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

Present: Cllrs D Butler, N Champken-Woods (Chairman), M Deacock, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), C Jones, P Lambert, A Midwinter and M Stiles (Deputy Chairman)
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Cowell (Business) and Dixon (Council Business).


2 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.


3 Public Participation

There were no applications to address the Committee.


4 Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 April 2015 and 19 May 2015 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


5 Budget Summary

Members received the budget summary up to 31 May 2015. It was noted that the Town Clerk had authorised emergency expenditure of £1,800 to rebuild a stone pier at Elms Park which was a safety hazard.


6 Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

a) Cuttle Brook Management Committee – Report noted. Cllr Stiles highlighted the fact that Spring Path, including the steps was very slippery and requested that the Council investigate whether a warning sign could be placed at the top of the slope.

b) Thame Carnival Committee – Report noted. It was agreed that a letter of thanks be sent to the Carnival Committee in recognition of their efforts.

c) Thame Football Partnership – Report noted.

d) Twinning Association – Cllr Butler reported that the next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 15 July 2015.

e) Cricket Club – Report noted.

f) Chinnor RFC – nothing to report.

g) Music in the Park (TBC) – to be discussed under agenda item 7.

h) Red Kite Childrens Centre – Cllr Stiles reported that the Advisory Group had met yesterday. The Centre had received a very good OFSTED inspection report, almost outstanding. Two young parents would work at the Centre on a voluntary basis from September which would not only help the Centre but also provide work place experience. The administration of the health visiting service for the Centre would transfer from Buckinghamshire to Oxfordshire in September, however, the transfer of data between the two Counties would take a little time. The County Council was reviewing the provision of Childrens Centres across the County with a view to cost cutting. A meeting would be held in October and it was important that a representative from the Town Council attend. The Centre was very grateful for the grant received from the Town Council which would help to fund the Play Day on 25 July 2015 at the Recreation Ground.

i) Sinaia Friendship Association – Cllr Champken-Woods reported that a craft show had been held in Sinaia but unfortunately no one could attend from Thame. It was hoped that a group from Thame would visit Sinaia at the end of September for the annual Festival.

j) Thame Museum Trust – Report noted. Attention was drawn to the fact that although the Financial Reserves were good a portion of the money was grant funding specifically ear marked for the Thame Remembers Project.

k) Thame Remembers – Report noted.

l) Towersey Festival – Cllr Lambert reported that a meeting had taken place and the Towersey Festival Committee were looking forward to integrating Thame into the Festival. There would be small groups of musicians and dancers performing in the town to promote the Festival.


7 Music in the Park

It was agreed that Cllr Stiles be appointed as the Council representative to sit on the Music in the Park Committee.


8 Thame Good Neighbour Scheme

It was agreed that Cllr Midwinter be appointed as the Council representative to sit on the Thame Good Neighbour Scheme Management Committee.


9 Town Fairs

The Safety Management Plan set out the roles and responsibilities of the various aspects of the Fair and provided details of the action to be taken should an incident or accident occur.

It was noted that a new ride ‘Sky Flyer’ had been provisionally authorised to replace the Waltzer. The height of the ride was 150ft and it would fit into the required footprint. It was proposed to allow the new ride in for one year and to assess the impact of a larger ride in the High Street area of the Town following the event.


i) The Safety Management Plan for the Town Fairs be approved.


10 Thame War Memorial

The existing ground lights at the War Memorial had not worked for 18 months. Upon investigation it was established that the lights could not be repaired. It was proposed to fit two adjustable LED ground lights, with dawn till dusk sensors, into the existing lighting positions. Members agreed that the work be undertaken and should be completed before the clocks changed from British Summer Time at the end of October.


i) That £1,200 be released from the Capital Rolling Fund to enable essential works to be undertaken to the War Memorial lights.


11 St Mary’s Churchyard

The Town Clerk reported that a number of complaints had been received regarding the effectiveness of the new grass cutting contract following the first couple of cuts which had been completed during wet weather. The situation had improved and a meeting had taken place with the PCC in order to progress areas of concern.


12 Priest End Allotments to Burial Space

Members noted that there was a good possibility of gaining the planning permission needed to extend the churchyard. However, there were a number of actions required before it was achieved. Once planning permission was granted another set of actions would be undertaken to progress the extension.


13 Play Areas

Remedial works had been identified following the annual RoSPA inspections at Queen Elizabeth Circle, Southern Road Recreation Ground and Churchill Crescent play areas. The cost of the repairs and essential maintenance work were not covered under existing budgets.

The glass footpath at Southern Road Recreation Ground had suffered patch pot holes since opening in 2008. Members agreed that is was important that the work to the footpaths should be covered by a guarantee and if possible this should cover a 10 year period.


i) That £3,599.60 be released from the General Reserves Fund to enable essential repairs to be undertaken to the play areas as detailed in the report.

ii) That £5,520.00 be released from the Capital Rolling Fund for the tarmacing of the footpaths within Southern Road Recreation Ground Play Area.


14 Town Awards

After discussion it was agreed that the categories for the Awards remain the same for 2016 and that a letter would be sent to each of the sports clubs in the Town to invite them to nominate at least one of their Members for consideration in the Sporting Achievement category.

It was agreed that the Terms of Reference for the Town Awards panel be amended to include the Town Mayor.


i) The Award categories remain unchanged.

ii) The Terms of Reference for the Town Awards Panel be approved.

iii) The Town Awards are presented at a specific event before the end of the Mayoral year, to be agreed with the Mayor.


15 Elms Park Improvement Consultation

It was proposed that an Open Spaces Working Group was created with an initial brief to concentrate on the Elms Park consultation which needed to be executed in accordance with the timescales defined in the draft s106 agreement. The Group would invite interested parties such as the Friends of Elms Park, local residents and John Hampden School to take part in the consultation.


i) The Open Spaces Working Group be formed with the initial brief to carry out the Elms Park consultation.

ii) Cllrs Champken-Woods, Emery, Jones and Stiles form the Open Spaces Working Group.


16 Skate Park

The plans for the redevelopment of the Skate Park were progressing well. Two meetings with Wheelscape had taken place and work was due to commence on site on 27 July 2015 with an estimated build time of 14 weeks. Officers continued to pursue s106 funding and a decision was expected in the next 2-3 weeks.


17 Town Crier

Members were asked to consider the options for the appointment of a Town Crier. Over a seven year period the Council had hired a Town Crier for three events, however, community partners such as the Market Traders had independently hired a Town Crier when required.

After discussion is was agreed that the most appropriate option would be to hire a Town Crier through the Professional Town Criers, who were affiliated to the Loyal Company of Town Criers, for events as required.


i) Option 1 be agreed – to Hire a Town Crier, through the professional Town Criers, affiliated to the Loyal Company of Town Criers as required.


18 Maintenance Report

The Maintenance Report was noted. It was requested that a small sign be placed in the Memorial Gardens to explain the significance of the dates 1940-2015 set out in flowers to commemorate the Battle of Britain.


The meeting concluded at 7.23pm

Signed …………………..
Chairman, 6 October 2015