16 July 2019 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 16 July 2019 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

Present: Cllrs D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods (Chairman), P Cowell (Deputy Mayor), A Dite, M Dyer, K Gregory, A Midwinter (Town Mayor),
J Tipping and T Wyse

G Hunt, Town Clerk
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence received from Cllrs Deacock (Business) and Jones (Personal).

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 meetings held on 2 April 2019 and 14 May 2019 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

5. Budget Summary

Members received the budget summary up to 31 May 2019. A question was raised regarding expenditure on item line 207 – Elms Park. The Town Clerk reported the expenditure to date related to recharges for the use of maintenance vehicles and staff time to Elms Park.

Cllr Gregory entered the meeting during this item.

6. Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

The report was noted.

Further verbal updates were given as follows:

Chinnor RFC: –
Cllr Bretherton reported there had not been a meeting, the next one will be in September. The Town Clerk added that he had received email correspondence from the Rugby Club related to s106 sports funding and the difference of opinion between Persimmon and SODC as to whether the 100th occupation trigger had been reached. Also a request for s106 funding for a bore hole, which will need to be considered at a future meeting, however, environmental considerations needed to be discussed first.

Music in the Park:-
Cllr Dite reported this year’s event went very well, approximately three and half thousand people attended. Set up and set down went smoothly, planned recalibration of the speakers resulted in better sound quality. Noise levels stayed within prescribed limits throughout the event. The acoustic stage was moved and this also worked well. There were people ‘signing’ on the main stage for the first time this year and which was well received. There were 20 stalls in the market place, including four charities and a mixture of food outlets and bars. The plastic policy on the field will need to be reviewed. Financially, the event cost £23k and made a surplus of £6k, MiTP now has a wet weather contingency fund of £20k.

Thame Good Neighbour Scheme (TGNS):-
Cllr Midwinter reported the TGNS continued to provide a valuable service to those in the community who required help. The Information Centre Officer and Community Project Officer who administer TGNS do a fantastic good job and were thanked for their hard work.

Thame Sinaia Friendship Association:-
Cllr Bretherton reported four representatives from Sinaia will visit during the Thame Arts and Literature Festival in October. There is an opportunity for four people from Thame to visit the Sinaia Forever Festival over the weekend 13-15 September 2019. Please let Cllr Bretherton know if you would like to attend.

Towersey Festival:-
Cllr Tipping reported he was due to catch up with the Festival organiser shortly and will forward any relevant information.

Thame Town Cricket Club:-
Cllr Champken-Woods added to his report that Thame Day Centre, who meet at the Cricket Pavilion, had an Environmental Inspection today and received a five star rating which was excellent news.

Thame Sports Club
Cllr Champken-Woods added to the report that as a member of the Club he had received notice that preparatory work will begin at the end of August.

7. Thame Football Partnership / Artificial Pitch

Members noted that the submission of the planning application by Surfacing Standards Ltd, as agent for Thame Football Partnership is imminent. The application will be made in Thame Football Partnership’s name rather than the Town Council as it covered agreed additional projects to the original A3G pitch proposal.

8. Splash Pad Project

Members noted that SMS Environmental Ltd were now establishing their own methods of linking with the foul sewer for drainage, which will have cost implications. The Town Clerk reported once costs had been established they would be measured against the £2 per visitor target cost. The project will not now be implemented this year.

9. Christmas Lighting Scheme

It was noted that following holiday commitments of working group members and then the reallocation of the tendering of the Christmas Lighting Scheme project to the Community Services Manager, that the Council will now consider appropriate next steps at the Full Council meeting on 6 August 2019.

The Community Services Manager reported the working group had met yesterday and chosen a scheme. References were being sought.

10. Charities Fair

A small team of Councillors have successfully organised the Charities Fair in 2017 and 2018. Two members of the team have declared they are unable to help with the event this year. The Chairman called for volunteers.

Cllr Midwinter reported she had already started work on this year’s event and contacted a number of charities. It was suggested that charities involved in the event could nominate volunteers to help with the organisation. A plea for help from the community could also be included in the Town Council newsletter.

Cllr Gregory volunteered to help on the day of the event.

11. Nursery Storage at Southern Road Recreation Ground

The Town Clerk stated that a report would normally be provided but details were still vague. Approval was sought for the Town Clerk and Community Services Manager to progress an appropriate licence with the new operator of First Steps Nursery, who meet at the Thame Girl Guides headquarters building, to allow the installation of a storage shed at an appropriate location.

The Town Clerk reported the Town Council had been made aware of the request and that given the storage shed was needed for September the Town Council may have to act fast. It required a carefully worded agreement, reviewed by the Town Council’s solicitors. Given the timescale there may not be the opportunity to bring it to Council for a decision.


i) The Town Clerk and Community Services Manager progress an appropriate licence with the new operator of First Steps Nursery to allow the installation of a storage shed at an appropriate location at Thame Girl Guides HQ.

12. Thame Scouts Headquarters Lease

The Town Clerk reported that as the previous item, details at this stage were still vague. Following serial issues of anti-social behaviour impacting on the operators of the Thame Scout Headquarters building, the Scouts had put forward a number of suggestions. It was noted the final solution may not require a change to the lease.


i) The Town Clerk and Community Services Manager progress appropriate lease alterations to allow works aimed at reducing the impact of the anti-social behaviour at Thame Scout Headquarters.

13. Music in the Park

An update on this year’s event was given in item 6.

The Community Services Manager reported she was working with Music in the Park (MiTP) regarding the impact of the 2020 May Day / VE Day Bank Holiday date change related to operational procedures, which included changes to the premises licence. The Town Council will work with community groups, including MiTP, to formulate plans to celebrate VE Day as happened with events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Cllr Dite reported MiTP are meeting next Monday and may have to make a decision on the date for 2020 in order to start booking bands for the event. It was difficult as they had to be mindful of the impact a date change will have on the local schools and they did not want to clash with VE Day celebrations.

14. Thame Town Music Festival

Further to the update given in item 6, all agreed this year’s Town Music Festival had been a great success. St Joseph’s Church has offered the church as a possible venue for next year’s event which the organisers have announced will take place on Saturday 11 July 2020.

15. Themed Markets

Members noted that the popularity of the World Village Market in April this year has resulted in it returning for a second Summer Street Market visit on 26, 27 and 28 July. The French Market is due to visit on 4 and 5 October 2019.

It is proposed that a French Market and World Village Market are held and located around the Town Hall in 2020. The suggested dates for holding the markets are, the World Village Market over three days in April and July and a two day French Market during October, ensuring the dates do not clash with any other town event.


i) It was noted that the World Village Market is returning for additional dates on 26, 27 and 28 July 2019.

ii) Three Themed Markets are held in 2020.

16. Farmers Market

It was noted that in spite of significant media / publicity efforts, the farmers market continues to struggle with diminishing footfall, fewer stalls and continued lack of effective integration with the Charter Market. The Community Services Manager is working with Farmers Market representatives to consider options to ensure the Farmers Market survival beyond their 20th anniversary which was celebrated at the Farmers Market today.

17. Skate Park Jam

Members noted that similar to the events held in 2016 and 2017, a Summer Jam will take place at the Skate Park on Sunday 25 August 2019. The Town Clerk reported the Community Services Manager has worked hard with the Town Council’s new insurance company to ensure they are happy with the event. Thanks were expressed to the Community Services Manager.

18. Thame Fairs

Members noted the arrangements for the Town Fairs in September and October 2019. The Community Services Manager added confirmation of approval for the road closure had been received. The operational meeting with the Showmen’s Guild, Police, Fire Service, Oxford Security Services and the Town Council will take place in August.

The Community Services Manager called for volunteers to carry out sound monitoring on Friday and Saturday evening of the September Fair.

19. Allotments in Thame

The Town Clerk reported the ongoing difficulties related to allotment provision on the Bellway Site on Wenman Road. One way to remove the current impasse may be for the Town Clerk and Community Services Manager to open negotiations with the relevant third parties in an attempt to expedite the provision of allotment plots on the new development sites within Thame with the exception of the Oxford Road site (Bloor Homes) where the management company is responsible for operating the allotment.


i) The Town Clerk and the Community Services Manager be authorised to open negotiations with relevant third parties in an attempt to expedite the provision of allotment plots on the new development sites within Thame.

20. Maintenance Report

The report was noted. The external building condition survey on the Museum, due to be completed on 5 July 2019 did not take place. A new date for the survey will be arranged shortly.

A comment was raised as to the number of references to anti-social behaviour in the report. The Town Clerk responded saying anti-social behaviour was no worse than usual. The Police were patrolling known areas, the Public Space Protection Order and the lighting in Southern Road Recreation Car Park has all helped.

The Town Clerk reported Janine’s last day of work as Asset Manager was this Friday. A vote of thanks was given to Janine for all she had done for the Town Council over the years and Members wished her good luck in her new role as Clerk to Chipping Norton Town Council.

The meeting concluded at 7.23pm

Signed ………………………………
Chairman, 29 October 2019