17 March 2015 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 17 March 2015 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall

Present: Cllr D Butler, N Champken-Woods, A Dite, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), D Dodds,
M Dyer, L Emery, H Fickling, V Humphries, P Lambert, D Laver, J Matelot Green (Town Mayor), M Stiles and T Wyse.
Cassie Pinnells, Community Services Manager
Morag Robinson, Office Administration Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
J Collinge, Town Council Planning Consultant


1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Bretherton (SODC) and Helen Stewart (Town Clerk).


2 Declarations of Interest

Cllr Champken-Woods declared an interest in item 19 as a member of the Music in the Park Committee and did not vote.


3 Public Participation

There were no applications to address the Council.


4 Notices of Motion

There were no Notices of Motion.


5 Questions

Cllr Stiles asked if there was an update on the Election Count for the Town and local Parishes being held at the Town Hall? Cllr Matelot Green confirmed the Count would take place at the Town Hall on Saturday 9 May 2015 and that the Election Count for the District Council would take place on Friday 8 May 2015 at a venue to be confirmed. As more information was received it would be passed onto Councillors.


6 Minutes

The minutes of the Council meetings held on 13 January 2015, 20 January 2015 and 24 February 2015 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 26 February 2015 were amended and approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.


7 Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 February 2015 were noted.


Item 12 – Ham Wood


i) The Lease for Ham Wood be signed and sealed.


Item 13 – Skate Park


i) The Skate Park be closed immediately.

ii) Repair work be undertaken at a cost of £3,000 with the shortfall of £2,200 taken from Capital Reserves.

iii) The terms of the Draft Capital Grant Award Agreement from South Oxfordshire District Council be agreed.


Item 14 – Maintenance Vehicle


i) The purchase of the Kubota RTV 900 utility vehicle be approved with the shortfall of £1,615 taken from the Vehicle Replacement Ear Marked Reserves.


8 Personnel

The minutes of the Personnel Committee meetings held on 4 November 2014, 6 January 2015 and 13 January 2015 were noted.


9 Financial Management

The measures taken to mitigate financial risks and effectiveness of internal control were considered and agreed.


i) The measures taken to mitigate financial risks be approved.

ii) The effectiveness of internal control be approved.


10 Pensions

Members considered the Pension Administration Strategy which set out the role and responsibilities of the County Council as the administration body and the role and responsibilities of all Employers.


i) The Pension Administration Strategy be noted and the Town Clerk sign the Agreement on behalf of Thame Town Council.


11 Internal Audit Contract

The Internal Audit Contract was due to expire at the end of 2015. Discussion took place on the draft Programme of Work and Terms of Reference to ensure the proper financial controls would be tested and fit for purpose.


i) The five year Programme of Work be approved.
ii) The Terms of Reference for the five year contract be approved.
iii) The Annual Internal Audit Programme of Work for 2015-16 be approved.


12 Predetermination

The report provided clarification and guidance on predetermination and was noted.


13 Emergency Expenditure

Emergency expenditure relating to the recruitment of the Town Clerk, emergency repairs to the Skate Park and repairs to the flat roof of the Town Hall were noted and agreed.


i) Emergency expenditure totaling £10,526.50 be approved.


14 Investment Strategy

The Investment Strategy set out the Council’s intention with regard to any surplus funds and ensured the Council invested prudently to achieve the optimum return.


i) The Investment Strategy be approved.


Exclusion of the Public

RESOLVED: Pursuant to Section 1 (2) of the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 it is resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and press leave the meeting during consideration of:

Agenda Item: 15. Town Clerk – Handover Arrangements

15 Town Clerk – Handover Arrangements

After discussion the following was agreed:


i) The Town Council request that Helen Stewart continue employment until 8 May 2015 on her current terms and conditions. This would allow a hand over period for the incoming Town Clerk, Graham Hunt and enable the accounts for 2014-15 to be closed down. The incoming Town Clerk would take forward the financial responsibilities from 1 April 2015.

16 South Oxfordshire Local Plan and Refined Options

Mr Collinge stated that in the Summer of 2014 the District Council had issued a Scoping Paper for the delivery of housing up to 2031. At that time the Town Council resolved to make certain representations to the document and favoured the approach that the majority of the housing should be sited in the Science Vale area of the District or a single new settlement.

The Council was now asked to comment on an interim consultation which further refined the options and took into account the SHMA figures for the District which represented a need over and above that contained in the Core Strategy. Certain changes in the calculation made allowance to include windfall sites and elderly person’s accommodation.

The draft document in summary looked to focus a reasonable number of homes in the Science Vale area with the remainder of the distribution among the towns and larger villages in the District.

It was agreed that the Town Council would reinforce its previous approach that the majority of the housing should be located in the Science Vale area with the remaining 20% located in the larger and smaller villages and that Thame along with the other market towns in the district should not take any further housing than that already allocated. A comment with regard to careful consideration of the consequences of increased growth in Chinnor in relation to Secondary School education (at Lord Williams’s School) would be added.


i) The response to the Local Plan 2031 Refined Options Representations be submitted.


17 Science Vale Area Action Plan

Having agreed in the previous item to focus the majority of housing in the Science Vale area of the District the Town Council should support the policies contained within the Action Plan.


i) A response be prepared to reflect that made to the Local Plan 2031 Refined Options Representations and circulated for approval.


18 Community Infrastructure Levy – Draft Charging Schedule

Members discussed the Draft Charging Schedule. It was noted that Towns and Parishes with a Neighbourhood Plan would receive 25% of the CIL and Towns and Parishes without a Plan would only receive 15%. It was anticipated that the majority of the development sites identified in the Neighbourhood Plan would come forward before the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Cllr Butler entered the meeting during this item.


19 Music in the Park

A letter had been received from the Chairman of the Music in the Park Committee (MiTP) requesting support from the Council’s Maintenance Team to help with the 2015 event. An agreed task list had been compiled and would be reviewed post event to enable the MiTP Committee to become further self-sufficient as an independent event organiser in the future.


i) Event support for Music in the Park 2015 and associated expenditure up to £280 from existing budgets be approved.


20 Rugby Club

This item was deferred to the next meeting.


21 Town & Parish Forum

Cllrs Matelot Green and Fickling attended the Town & Parish Forum which was very informative with presentations on Civil Parking Enforcement, the Oxfordshire Council for Voluntary Associations (OCVA) with regard to grant funding and Community Right to Bid.


22 Social Media

The Social Media and Council Meetings Guidelines set out the arrangements by which the Council would meet the requirements of the Local Government Audit and Accountability Act 2014 that enabled the right for anyone to record, film and broadcast meetings of the Full Council and Committees. This would be in addition to the rights of the press and public to such meetings.


i) The Social Media and Council Meetings Guidelines be approved.

The meeting concluded at 7.48pm

Signed ……………………….
Chairman, 28 April 2015