21 October 2014 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 21 October 2014 at 7.45pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Cllr D Bretherton, D Butler, A Dite, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer, L Emery,

H Fickling, V Humphries, P Lambert, D Laver, J Matelot Green (Town Mayor),

M Welply and T Wyse


H Stewart, Town Clerk

A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Champken-Woods (Holiday), Dodds (Holiday), Stiles (Unwell) and District Cllr Midwinter.

2 Declarations of Interest

Cllr Bretherton declared an interest in item 15 as the Chairman of the Thame-Sinaia Friendship Association and did not vote.

3 Civic Announcements

The Town Mayor had attended a variety of engagements and drew Members attention in particular to the Civic Service held the previous weekend and thanked Councillors for their attendance and participation.

4 Public Participation

There were no applications to address the Council.

5 Report from County Councillor N Carter

Cllr Carter tabled his report and highlighted The Care Act – the biggest piece of legislative reform to affect Social Services for nearly 60 years. The Act would come into force in May 2015.  The vision was a reformed care system characterised by integrated, person-centred care and support and a fairer approach to funding.

Child Sexual Exploitation – A briefing had provided an overview of Operation Bullfinch and the changes that had been made to ensure children in Oxfordshire were safer from exploitation than ever before.

The initiative to provide free school lunches for 4-7yr olds from September had been implemented.  Despite the extreme reluctance of the County Council to be involved national policy had taken precedence.  The cost of implementation was £2m with £1m funding received from Government leaving the County Council to find the remaining £1m.  Up until now the provision of free school meals in areas of social disadvantage had provided a useful measure of social need and thereby a catalyst for other services to be provided.  The introduction of free school meals to every child meant that measure had been removed.

6 Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors

Cllr Welply reported that District Cllr John Cotton had been elected the Leader of the District Council.  The number of cabinet members had been increased to 10.  Cllr Dodds had been appointed Cabinet Member responsible for Waste and Thame.  The Memorial Service for Cllr Ducker would take place on 6 November 2014 at Dorchester Abbey.

7 Notices of Motion

There were no notices of motion.

8 Questions

There were no questions.

9 Minutes

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 30 September 2014 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

10 Policy & Resources Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 October 2014 were noted.

Item 10 – IT Equipment


i)             Approval be given to purchase seven computers, the upgrade of another PC plus the purchase of 11 Microsoft Office Licences 2013 at a cost of £7580 from the Capital Rolling Fund.

Item 14 – Financial Regulations

After discussion it was agreed to approve the amendments with the exception of Para 5.1 to seek references which would be deleted and Para 11.1 b) referencing an approved list of suppliers which would be taken back to the next meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee for discussion.


i)             The Financial Regulations be approved.

11 Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2014 were noted.

12 Planning & Environment Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2014 were noted.

Item 7 – Planning & Environment Committee Terms of Reference


i)             The Terms of Reference as amended be approved.

The minutes of the meeting held on 12 August, 2 September and 14 October 2014 were noted.


13 External Audit

The information submitted within the Annual Return was in accordance with proper practices and that no matters gave cause for concern that the relevant legislation and regulatory requirements had not been met.


i)             The External Auditor Certificate and opinion 2013-14 be approved.

14 Town and Parish Forum

It was agreed that Cllrs Fickling and Matelot Green would attend the Town and Parish Forum on 12 November 2014.

15 Thame Sinaia Friendship Association

A request had been received from the Thame-Sinaia Friendship Association inviting a nominated councillor representative to attend the quarterly meetings of the Association.


i)             Cllr Bretherton be nominated as representative for the Thame-Sinaia Friendship Association.

16 Thame Players


i)             The All Monies Charge between the Town Council and Thame Players Theatre Company be signed and sealed.

17 Residential Childrens Home

R3.0086/14 – Residential Care Provision at Glebe Land, Thame

Construction of Residential Childrens Home – New Assessment Centre building and associated external recreation areas, car parking and new vehicular entrance off the highway.  Change of use from Farmland to Residential care provision at Glebe Lane, Thame.

The planning application was re-considered in conjunction with the additional information that had been received.  However, Members considered the information to be insufficient, particularly in respect of the site selection process, to demonstrate that a Departure from the Development Plan was justified.

In this regard, the information contained in the further evidence, whilst highlighting that a number of sites across the County were considered, did not identify those sites, nor the scoring of those sites against related criteria.  Members were therefore unable to judge whether the site represented the best available option and, in the absence of such evidence, could not conclude that (notwithstanding the benefits of the scheme that on the whole had been recognised) a Departure from the Development Plan was therefore fully justified.

It was agreed to maintain an objection to the application and urge the County Council to recognise the importance of the Thame Neighbourhood Plan in the planning process and to provide the additional evidence requested.

The meeting concluded at 9.14pm

Signed …………………………….

Chairman, 13 January 2015