15 August 2017 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 15 August 2017 at 7.35pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, M Deacock, D Dodds, M Dyer, H Fickling, C Jones, P Lambert, A Midwinter and T Wyse (Town Mayor).
G Hunt, Town Clerk
G Markland, Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Officer
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Unwell), Champken-Woods (Holiday), Cowell (Business), Dixon (Holiday), Emery (Holiday) and Stiles (Holiday).
2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
There were no declarations of interest.
3. Civic Announcements
After noting the list of events attended, Cllr Wyse stated that last week he had worked with the Town Clerk on matters related to the Show Ground. The police had had a difficult job trying to keep everyone happy and with limited resources did an excellent job.
Cllr Lambert called for an apology from the Chairman of the Thame Agricultural Association (TAA) to the people and businesses of Thame that were adversely affected by the events on the Show Ground. Cllr Midwinter, (who is also a director of the TAA), replied that the booking had been taken in good faith. The police were aware an event had been booked but no one could have foreseen how many people would attend.
Traffic problems on the bypass had been compounded on the Friday by the arrival of visitors to the event and vehicles leaving the sheep fair that had just finished. Cllr Midwinter had visited the event on three different occasions during the week and spoken to the organisers who had dealt with any reported issues promptly. The site had now been vacated and left in a good state other than it was rather muddy due to the bad weather during the week.
Cllr Bretherton, (also Deputy Chairman of the TAA), expressed his apologies for what had happened and would speak with the Chairman, who he was sure was also sorry. The booking had been taken in good faith, there had been a lot of hysteria on social media, much of which was unjustified. As with some other events the minority had spoilt it for the majority.
4. Public Participation and Public Questions
There were no applications to address the Council.
There were no questions to the Council.
5. Report from County Councillor N Carter
The County Councillors’ newsletter for August / September had been circulated. Cllr Carter expressed his concern about the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and was convinced the final route had been decided upon in Whitehall but not been released as yet due to its sensitive nature. The Expressway would have a significant impact on Thame and the surrounding area even if the route were to be further north / north west of the Town, just the volume of construction traffic would be considerable. Cllr Carter was hopeful that he would be able to provide further information in the near future.
Secondly with regard to the Aylesbury Vale Local Plan and the possible new settlement in the Haddenham area and the South Oxfordshire Local Plan that had identified Harrington as a possible site for a new settlement. Cllr Carter had previously thought the Harrington site may provide some relief from the pressure on Thame to provide more housing but having visited the site he had now changed his view and would oppose it. The site would put enormous pressure on infrastructure in the local area including Thame, particularly if the settlement at Haddenham were also to go ahead.
Thanks were extended to Cllr Matelot for her work in persuading Carousel to continue operating a No. 40 bus service to Towersey twice a day.
6. Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors
District Councillor Matelot had sent her apologies.
Two reports from the District for July and August had been circulated. Cllr Dodds stated there was nothing further to add and drew attention to two items. Firstly, £350,000 had been spent on upgrading the showers and changing facilities at Thame Leisure Centre and work to create a learner pool was underway. Secondly with regard to waste, a reminder that residents in South Oxfordshire could now use plastic bags to line food waste bins.
Cllr Dodds was asked whether he had made any decisions as to how his portion of the Community Grant fund (£5,000 per District Councillor) would be spent. Cllr Dodds replied that there was a process by which organisations could apply for funds and until a number of applications had been received no decisions would be taken.
Cllr Dodds was asked whether the District Council will take part in the production of the Joint Spatial Plan for Oxfordshire. Cllr Dodds noted the question and would report back in due course.
7. Notices of Motion
There were no Notices of Motion. The Town Clerk stated it was his intention to drop this as a standing agenda item unless a Notice of Motion was received 5 clear working days before the meeting, as per Standing Order 9.0. Members agreed.
8. Members Questions (under Standing Order 11)
There were no questions.
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 18 July 2017 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.
10. Policy & Resources Committee
The minutes of the meeting held on 1 August 2017 were noted.
11. Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee
The minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2017 were noted.
12. Planning & Environment Committee
The minutes of the meetings held on 27 June 2017, 18 July 2017 and 8 August 2017 were noted.
13. Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee
The minutes of the meetings held on 17 June 2017 and 8 August 2017 were noted.
14. Community Land Trust
A presentation from Catherine Harrington, Director of the National Community Land Trust Network had preceded the meeting. Cllr Austin stated that the presentation had been very informative and referred to his report and the proposed objectives of a working party to further investigate the idea of a Community Land Trust for Thame.
i) The objectives of a working party as set out in the report be approved.
15. Town Fairs
Negotiations with the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain, London & Home Counties Section (The Guild) had taken place and minor amendments to the Agreement, as outlined in the report were proposed.
A meeting of The Guild to discuss the Agreement had taken place this afternoon after which an email was sent by The Guild to all Town Councillors stating that The Guild could not enter into the Agreement unless there was no increase in the fee from 2016.
Members felt that the modest increase of less than £1,000 was justified in meeting the operational costs incurred by the Town Council and equated to in an increase per stall holder of approximately £4 per day of the fair.
i) The Town Council approves the Agreement for signing by the Town Mayor and the Town Clerk with no further negotiation.
16. Moreton Residents Association
Members formally acknowledged the Moreton Residents Association and their Constitution.
The meeting concluded at 8.20pm
Chairman, 14 November 2017