20 February 2024 – Minutes (draft)


Minutes of a Meeting of the Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee held on 20 February 2024 at 7:12pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.


Cllrs M Baines, P Cowell (Chairman), M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Chairman), A Gilbert (Deputy Mayor), and C Jones


M Sturdy, Town Clerk
L Fuller, Committee Services & Processes Officer


1) Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bretherton (council business), Champken-Woods (personal), Dawson (personal), and Dite (personal).

Cllr Wyse was summonsed to this meeting however between the agenda being published and the meeting, he resigned as a Councillor. This gives rise to a vacancy on this committee, which will be filled at the Full Council meeting on 5 March 2024.


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 Committee Meeting held on 31 October 2023 were received.


  1. The minutes of the meeting held on 31 October 2023 are confirmed as a correct record, and signed by the Chairman.


5) Budget Summary

Members received the Budget Summary up to 31 December 2023. There were no questions.


6) Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

The reports were noted.

Chinnor Rugby Club:-

It was noted that the club is performing well and sitting at the top of the division with promotion to the Championship looking very likely. There is a home game this weekend.


7) Community Youth Centre Working Group

The Town Clerk reported that the order had been placed for the Business Case and Funding Strategy. The working group considered the three quotations received, which were all very strong, and decided on a local company. Work continues to progress with regular updates being provided to the working group and the committee.

The Youth Café continues to run well with up 40 young people at each session. The Youth Zone, for the older students, is not being well attended and may need to close, however the Monkey Puzzle Café’s support had been fantastic. During half-term, Thame Youth Projects organised an enjoyable afternoon bowling activity. The Youth Worker’s focus has been in the school, working with students and staff. Post-Covid-19 there has been a noticeable increase, locally and nationally, in the number of students not engaging with society and lacking social skills.


8) Open Spaces Sub-Committee / Open Spaces Working Group

The minutes of the Open Spaces Sub-Committee meetings on 11 January 2024 and 6 February 2024 were noted.

The minutes of the Open Spaces Working Group meeting on 18 January 2024 were noted.

The order for the Elms Park Play Area refurbishment has been placed. Installation is expected to start after Music in the Park and be completed by the end of June. The project will deliver an impressive play park within the budget available.


9) Cuttle Brook Nature Reserve

It was noted that any expenditure for remedial works will be taken from Cuttle Brook earmarked reserves.

The Cuttle Brook has experienced flooding in recent months, with one property being flooded. Officers have been working with the District Council, the Environment Agency, and other relevant stakeholders to identify how to reduce future flooding. Officers are in the process of obtaining quotations. Whilst there are some funds available in earmarked reserves, these may not be sufficient, and a request may be made to this committee for additional funding.

Would the work involve creating a scrape? Would this not attract more water? A scrape is being created as part of the Rycote Meadow project, however the situation is much broader and complex.


10) Christmas in Thame

The report was noted.

It was noted that the Christmas Lights Switch On will be held on Friday 29 November 2024. Councillors were asked to support Officers in the delivery of the event, on the day and in advance.

Feedback on last year’s event was welcome and noted. There had been some feedback that the event should return to pre-covid levels. The committee supported the idea of re-introducing the lantern parade which was part of the event pre-covid. Again, this will need the support of Councillors.


11) Thame Town Council’s 50th Year

The report was noted. As no budget is allocated for this, the focus is celebrating and promoting events and projects taking place throughout the 50th year. The committee felt it would be a good idea to have a launch in May, perhaps engaging with shops, conducting interviews with councillors, and promotion in the newsletter.


12) Taste of Thame 2024

The report was noted. Councillors were asked to support Officers in the delivery of the event, both on the day (25 May 2024) and in advance.


13) D Day 80th Anniversary

The report was noted. The committee were asked which (if any) of the options presented in the report to support, noting that no budget is available.

The committee overall felt that the 80th anniversary did not warrant Town Council resource or expenditure, although the committee would support the churches and other community organisations, such as Thame Royal British Legion and Thame Remembers, if they wished to commemorate the anniversary.

It was noted that the event to unveil the additional names on the war memorial will likely take place in June and that this would provide an opportunity to link with the 80th anniversary.

After further discussion, it was suggested that the Town Council purchase a ‘lamp of peace’ as part of the D-Day commemorations.


  1. That the Town Council supports and facilitates the community to commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day.
  2. The Town Council purchases a ‘lamp of peace’ with the £55 cost to be taken from General Reserves.


14) Thame Carnival Float Ideas

The report was noted. Due to staff leave, Councillors support on the day and as part of the preparations will be key to the success of the Town Council’s float as part of Thame Carnival.

It was agreed that the Town Clerk will circulate calendar invites to establish Councillor availability.

Various suggestions for float ideas were proposed. It was agreed to keep it simple and link to the Town Council’s 50th birthday year.


  1. The Town Council’s carnival float entry be ‘gold’ themed to celebrate its 50th
  2. Councillors to confirm their availability for Thame Carnival and the day before via email.


15) Sycamore Rise Allotments (Persimmon Site)

It was noted the Deed of Variation relating to Sycamore Rise Allotments (Permission Site) has been signed by South Oxfordshire District Council and Persimmon Homes.

The Town Clerk was disappointed to report that at a recent site meeting with South Oxfordshire District Council and Persimmon Homes, the allotment site was not ready to be signed off as the Town Council had anticipated. The site sign off should happen in the next few weeks.


16) Hampden Gardens Allotments (Bellway Site)

It was noted that the Deed of Variation relating to Hampden Gardens Allotments (Bellway Site) has been signed by South Oxfordshire District Council and Bellway Homes.

It was noted that Officers are working with SODC and Bellway Homes to arrange the practical completion sign off and legal transfer of the land to the Town Council.


17) Event Dates 2024

The dates for the events taking place in Thame in 2024 were noted.


18) Rural Market Town Group Report

The report on Tourism Provision (January 2024) provided by the RMTG was noted.


19) Maintenance Report

The report was noted. The Maintenance Team are doing a great job.



The meeting concluded at 8:02pm



Signed ………………………………                Date …………………….