22 July 2014 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 22 July 2014 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Cllr D Bretherton, D Butler, N Champken-Woods, A Dite,  D Dodds, M Dyer,

L Emery, H Fickling, V Humphries, P Lambert, D Laver, J Matelot Green (Town Mayor), M Stiles and M Welply.


H Stewart, Town Clerk

A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dixon (Holiday).

2 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

3 Civic Announcements

The Civic attendances were noted with the Mayor drawing particular attention to the visit to John Hampden Primary School and the letters written by the pupils describing what they liked and disliked about the town.

4 Public Participation

There were no applications to address the Council.

5 Thame Football Partnership

Mr Garnett, Chairman of the Thame Football Partnership (TFP) gave a presentation highlighting changes to governance, membership statistics, activities, progress since the last update and the present financial position of the Partnership.

The introduction of new members to the Board had facilitated better communication between the junior and senior sections and also between the sections and the Board as well as a wealth of knowledge covering the areas of commerce, finance and governance.  TFP had a large junior section whose teams were very successful in the leagues in which they played.

The senior section had been extended to include a ladies team and better links had been established between the Thame United A team and the senior and junior sections.  TFP was a local club for local people and this was reflected in the membership figures.

TFP had hosted a number of charity events and the function room had been used for various keep fit classes over the last year.  The room had also been hired for a number of christening parties and wakes.  TFP continued to work closely with the Skatepark project and to further its links with local businesses.

Financially TFP would report a £3k loss in the accounts for the year end, however, set against the predicted loss of £12k this was positive news.  Projected figures for the next financial year showed a £20k profit.

Looking to the future a good base had been established on which to grow.  At present there was no Reserve Fund but the intention was to put one in place by the end of next year.  More work needed to be done which included tapping into local volunteer skills within the membership, such as marketing, networking and to develop a strategy that was sustainable and allowed the Partnership to grow stronger.

6 Report from County Councillor N Carter

The report from Cllr Carter was noted.

7 Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors

Cllr Dodds reported that the incinerator located near junction 9 of the M40 was now operational.  Baskets would soon be added to waste collection vehicles to enable small electrical items and textiles to be collected directly from the kerbside.  Vehicles would be fitted with 360 degree cameras to help increase safety and security whilst the vehicle was in use.  Recycling figures in the district were holding up extremely well.

Cllr Welply reported that changes to the parish boundaries had been approved at a recent Cabinet meeting together with the adoption of the Street Trading Policy which would come into force from 1 October 2014.

8 Notices of Motion

There were no notices of motion.

9 Questions

There were no questions.

10 Minutes

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 24 June 2014 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

11 Policy & Resources Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2014 and 15 July 2014 were noted.

12 Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2014 were noted.

The minutes of the meeting held on 8 July 2014 were noted.

Item 8 – Christmas Lighting Scheme


i)             Full Council agrees to a five year contract with Blachere for the Christmas Lighting Scheme between 2014-2018 as detailed within the tender document but subject to tender clarification.


Item 10 – Good Neighbour Scheme


i)             The Council provides the support and resources to implement and maintain a Good Neighbour Scheme.

ii)            Full Council approve the Good Neighbour Scheme Start Up costs up to £6,850 be financed from the General Reserves and offer further financial support in the future if grant funding is unsuccessful.

13 Planning & Environment Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2014, 20 May 2014, 10 June 2014 and 1 July 2014 were noted.

14 Personnel Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2014 were noted.

15 Loan Policy

The policy provided a framework by which the Council would consider a request for a loan and set out the principles of the loan.  Amendments to the policy had been highlighted in red with an additional amendment made to section 2.9 to change ‘five’ to read ‘four’ year equal installment payment.


i)             The Loan Policy to include all amendments be approved.

16 Chinnor Rugby Football Club in Thame

A proposal to redevelop the Club’s facilities at a total cost of £750k had been put to Council earlier in the year.  Since the presentation the plans for the refurbishment had been revised to provide a new entrance, stairs, lift/kitchen expansion, two new changing rooms and increased function space at a total cost of £450k.

The club had worked hard and had in principle secured funding from SODC (£100k), the RFU (£100k) and had made an application to Sport England (£50k).  The Council was asked to consider providing a loan facility to enable the Club to draw down a maximum of £135k which represented 30% of the total value of the project.


i)             The terms and conditions as detailed in the Loan Offer be approved subject to receipt of a satisfactory valuation of the Club’s assets.

17 Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)

The changes made to the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) as outlined in the attached report were noted.  The LGPS required that an employer must have a policy statement on a number of Statutory Discretions.  These Statements were laid out in the Pensions Discretions Policy.


i)             The changes to the Local Government Pension Scheme be noted.

18 Skipton Visit

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

19 Civic Regalia

The Civic Regalia had been inspected for wear and tear by a fine jewellers and an inspection report provided with options and estimated costs.

After discussion the following options, as detailed in the attached report, were agreed.

Mayor Civic Regalia: Option 1 Cost:  £750.00
Mayoress Civic Regalia: Option 2 Cost £1284.00
Deputy Mayor Civic Regalia: Option 2 Cost   £201.00
Deputy Mayor Consort Civic Regalia: Option 1 Cost     £59.00
4 x Travel Bags (with pouch) Cost   £268.00


i)             Maintenance for the Civic Regalia is undertaken from the agreed option choices to be funded from General Reserves.

ii)            Text wording for the Mayoress Badge of Office is changed to Consort to the Mayor, Thame Town Council.

iii)          Travel bags be purchased and funded from General Reserves

20 Armorial Bearings

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

21 Ham Wood

This item was deferred to the next meeting.

22 South Oxfordshire District Council Local Plan Consultation

It was noted, as set out in the consultation document that the Oxfordshire Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) was one of the ‘driving’ forces behind the initial work on the Local Plan and the various options set out therein for the delivery of housing growth.  As a point of principle the Council did not consider that the findings of the SHMA should be ‘blindly’ accepted, rather that a number of assumptions underpinned the SHMA – particularly those related to the rate of employment growth were questionable.  That being so the Council believed that there first ought to be a rigorous analysis and review of the SHMA findings before the Local Plan was taken forward further.

The confirmation provided in the consultation document that an allowance would be included in the five year housing land supply for windfalls, housing for older people and the conversion of premises to residential under the permitted development scheme was welcomed.

In the light of such, the Council considered that under current adopted strategies Thame would have taken more than its fair and appropriate share of the housing burden by the end of 2031.  Given other sustainability factors (namely the need to secure a close locational correlation between new jobs and homes, and the need to maintain the population of, and services and facilities in, smaller villages) the Council considered that any option that delivered additional housing allocations to Thame should be dismissed.

Instead it was felt the most appropriate options would be:

Option C: All in Science Vale
Option D: Growth in a single new settlement
Option H: Locating development in particular settlements to find projects.

In addition, alternative strategies may include:

a combination of Option C and H; or
a combination of Option C and H together with the provision of allocations to smaller villages to help sustain local services and facilities.

The meeting concluded at 9.23pm

Signed ……………………….

Chairman, 2 September 2014