17 January 2017 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 17 January 2017 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, P Cowell, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), D Dodds, M Dyer, L Emery (Town Mayor), H Fickling, C Jones, P Lambert, A Midwinter, M Stiles and T Wyse.
G Hunt, Town Clerk
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
A minute’s silence was held in remembrance of former Councillor and Town Mayor, Michael Le Mesurier, who passed away on 9 January 2017.
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Holiday) and Deacock (Personal).
2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations
The Town Clerk reminded Members that a general dispensation was in place which allowed them to discuss and agree the Town Council’s budget and precept.
3. Public Participation and Public Questions
There were no applications to address the Council.
The minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 November 2016 were approved as a correct record, with one amendment. That Cabinet Minister be corrected to read Cabinet Member under item 7, third paragraph. The minutes were signed by the Mayor.
5. Budget and Precept for 2017-18
The draft 2017-18 Revenue Budget had been prepared through an iterative process by the Budget Working Group supported by the Town Clerk, and the Management Team, with all Councillors being kept informed throughout.
The detailed budget before the Council had identified two new projects, with seed funding of £5,000 to be provided for a new community led town-wide music festival; and £5,000 towards flood prevention measures identified for the Cuttle Brook, to help address concerns received from local residents.
The Town Council would also assist financially on three other Thame based services, where Government austerity has led to direct cuts being made by Oxfordshire County Council. £10,000 each being allocated to the Red Kite Children’s Centre and the Thame and District Day Centre. £5,000 was also allocated to help define a potential new around town bus service. There had also been further additional cost pressures around staffing costs.
The increase in the tax base provided an additional £11,250 of precept. Members requested that more detail be sought on how the tax base was compiled and reconciled against windfall and development sites known to the Town Council.
The budget presented showed a total precept required for 2017-18 of £644,530, an increase on last year of £48,321. This equated to a 1.99% underlying increase, excluding the £25,000 to cover the austerity impact. When included the full precept increase was 6.1% equating to an extra £8.36 per annum or around 16p per week for the average Band D household.
i) The Budget for 2017-18 be approved.
ii) £644,530 be raised for the precept for 2017-18 be approved.
iii) The text of the supporting public statement be approved.
6. P16/S3525/FUL – Thames Valley Police, Greyhound Lane
Members noted the formal response to the Planning Authority, the letter of concern sent to the Police and Crime Commissioner, concerns with regard to the clarity of adjacent land ownership and further updates provided to Councillors on 19 & 22 December 2016.
To date no responses had been received from the Planning Authority or the Police and Crime Commissioner. The Town Clerk would continue to keep Councillors appraised of any further developments.
7. War Memorial Additional Names
The War Memorial Panel had met on 13 December 2016 to consider the first batch of potential additional names. The agreed process required their recommendations to be considered at the next Full Council meeting in public session.
It was noted that given further Panel meetings were scheduled for February and March to consider further names (a possible total in excess of 30). That the relevant agenda item be submitted at a future meeting of Full Council to allow a complete list of potential names to be considered.
8. Annual Town Meeting Plan
Discussion took place around the theme and / or presentation topics for inclusion at the Annual Town Meeting to be held on Tuesday 28 March 2017. Organisations that could possibly be invited to present were the Red Kite Children’s Centre, Thame and District Day Centre, the Town Music Festival and Thames Valley Police giving the public the opportunity to raise concerns regarding current policing in the town.
Whilst all these organisations were considered very worthy of being afforded the opportunity to present at the Annual Town meeting, Members agreed that the Town Music Festival should be offered the chance to give a presentation and that representatives of the Red Kite Children’s Centre and Thame and District Day Centre be invited to answer any questions.
Representatives from Thames Valley Police had already accepted an invitation to speak at the next Full Council meeting on Tuesday 14 February 2017. It was agreed that members of the public would be allowed to ask questions at the meeting and that this opportunity would be well publicised.
i) Organisers of the Town Music Festival be invited to give a presentation at the Annual Town Meeting.
ii) Representatives of the Red Kite Children’s Centre and Thame and District Day Centre be invited to attend the Annual Town Meeting to answer any questions that might arise.
9. Southern Road Recreation Ground – Car Park Lighting
Following the receipt of a petition the Council resolved in June 2013 that the installation of lighting in the car park at Southern Road be added to the Council’s work schedule. A hoped for solution as part of a redevelopment project had been thwarted in November 2016. On 4 January 2017 a meeting was held between the Town Clerk and two Thame residents who were seeking a rapid solution to what had been a long defined problem.
Members agreed that a quick and simple solution, in the short term should be sought and that in seeking the solution, consideration be given to minimise any impact on the adjacent nature reserve and residential area.
In the meantime, s106 negotiations relating to Site F included provision for lighting and increased security measures at Southern Road Recreation Ground. Longer term investigations would continue, using information gleaned from the success or otherwise of the short term solution.
i) Delegated responsibility be given to the Asset Manager to spend up to £5,000 from the Capital Receipts Reserve on implementing and maintaining a quick and simple short term lighting solution at Southern Road Recreation Ground car park.
The meeting concluded at 7.08pm.
Chairman, 14 February 2017