24 April 2018 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 24 April 2018 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall

Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, P Cowell, M Deacock, N Dixon, D Dodds, M Dyer, L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, C Jones, P Lambert, A Midwinter, M Stiles and T Wyse (Town Mayor).
G Hunt, Town Clerk
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Champken-Woods (Holiday). Apologies were also received from County Councillor Carter and District Councillor Matelot Green. Belated apologies were received from Cllr Butler (Unwell).

2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest.

3. Civic Announcements

Cllr Wyse had attended a number of civic events over the last couple of months. He drew particular attention to the very successful Mayor’s Charity Golf Day which raised £4,400 for the Mayor’s chosen charities.

4. Public Participation and Public Questions

There were no applications to address the Council.
There were no public questions put to the Council.

5. Thame Town Music Festival

Mr Johnnie Littler thanked for Town Council for the opportunity to provide an overview of the 2017 Thame Town Music Festival (TTMF) and an update on plans for this year’s event.

In 1982 Johnnie bought an album, not particularly inspiring to him musically but visually the inside of the gatefold sleeve showed a town centre filled with people watching a concert and the whole community coming together to share and enjoy the event. A mere 35 years later Johnnie achieved his version of that night. On 7 July 2017, 8,000 visitors watched 58 acts in eight venues all over Thame. A free multi-genre festival that brought the people of Thame out of their homes and into the community and brought people from outside the community into Thame.

TTFM 2017 was a success, three high street businesses had their best trading day, there were no security incidents, no official complaints, it started and finished on time and afterwards the High Street was left clean and tidy.

Three additional elements were being added to the TTMF for 2018, a classical concert and a songwriter’s competition on the Friday evening (13 July) and a music convention on Saturday 14 July.

Ann MacKay, who was trained by Schwarzkopf and has sung all over the world will perform at the classical concert at St Mary’s Church. Ann will be accompanied by Jack Gibbons, a world class pianist who has played at Carnegie Hall and will fly in from the US especially for the festival.

The songwriter’s competition final will be held at the Barns Centre. Songwriters have been invited to submit original songs and a panel of industry experts will select the ten best to come and perform their song and talk about it in front of a live audience. The winner will play on the main stage on the Saturday and receive significant financial and career support from the sponsor.

The music convention will be held at the Barns Centre on Saturday, hosted by Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 presenter and performer. Other panel members will include Marty Ware (Human League and Heaven 17, John Leckie (Radiohead, Stone Roses) and George Shilling (Steve Winwood, Teenage Fanclub). There will also be artist managers, agents and promoters from the music business all there to help career musicians move their musical ambitions forward.

As last year, Saturday is the main festival day with eight venues, a main stage in front of the Town Hall, stall holders and bars. The headliner this year will be Dr Feelgood. 250 applications have been received from artists to perform on the day of which 60 will be given the opportunity.

TTFM 2018 will throw a huge party, if it manages to inspire even just one person to follow their musical dreams, understand the value of community and be proud of Thame then, as organisers, we will have done our job.

After answering a number of questions the Town Mayor thanked Johnnie Littler for an inspiring presentation.

6. Report from County Councillor N Carter

Cllr Carter had sent his apologies and submitted a report which was noted.

7. Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors

District Cllr Champken-Woods had circulated the District report for April.

Cllr Dodds reported that the District Council had elected a new Leader, Councillor Jane Murphy. The new cabinet was now: Cllr Felix Bloomfield – Deputy Leader & Planning, Cllr Anna Babcock – Legal & Democratic, Cllr Kevin Bulmer – Corporate Services, Cllr David Dodds – Finance, Cllr Paul Harrison – Development and Regeneration, Cllr Lynn Lloyd – Community Services, Cllr Caroline Newton – Housing & Environment and Cllr Bill Service – Partnership & Insight.

8. Members Questions (under Standing Order 11)

No questions were raised.

9. Minutes

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 27 February 2018 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

10. Policy & Resources Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 17 April 2018 were noted.

11. Community, Leisure & Recreation Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 10 April 2018 were noted.

12. Planning & Environment Committee

The minutes of the meetings held on 13 March 2018 and 10 April 2018 were noted.

13. Neighbourhood Plan Continuity Committee

The minutes of the meeting held on 13 March 2018 were noted. Cllr Austin reported that a letter had been sent to the Head of Housing at SODC to request funding for a Housing Needs Analysis.

14. Annual Town Meeting

The minutes of the Annual Town Meeting held on 27 March 2018 were noted.

15. Town Mayor Designate

Town Mayor, Cllr Wyse called for nominations for the position of Town Mayor Designate. It was proposed that Cllr Midwinter be considered for the position of Town Mayor Designate. There being no further nominations it was:


i) Cllr Midwinter be elected Town Mayor Designate for the ensuing year.

16. Deputy Town Mayor Designate

Town Mayor, Cllr Wyse called for nominations for the position of Deputy Town Mayor Designate. It was proposed that Cllrs Emery and Wyse be considered for the position of Town Mayor Designate. On being put to the vote it was:


i) Cllr Emery be elected Town Mayor Designate for the ensuing year.

17. Town Fairs

Following positive negotiations with representatives of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain the September and October Fair Agreement was drawn up with a few minor word changes from that proposed for 2017-20 and including the fee for 2018 of £28,500.

The three year Agreement for 2018-20 was presented to the Showmen’s Guild Committee and was approved and signed by their Chairman.


i) The September and October Fairs Agreement 2018-20 be signed.

18. CCTV Agreement

An update on progress towards the sealing of the five year CCTV Agreement was presented. Officers were of the opinion that the equipment would be fit for purpose and a big improvement on the current system. The Town Clerk stated that CCTV provided reassurance to the community, it acted as a deterrent, was used for detection, enabled offenders to be tracked and aided in the search for missing persons.

Discussion took place during which Members raised concerns regarding the shelf life of the new cameras, the specification and the need for a three year technical refresh. A question was raised as to whether the District Council had been constrained by an unrealistic budget for the purchase of CCTV equipment.

It was agreed that the Town Clerk would go back to the District Council with a precise set of questions and bring back the item to a future meeting.

19. Town Boundary Signs

The Town Clerk reported that the Working Group had been working hard on the project to renew the Boundary signs. Members of the Working Group had met with Oxfordshire County Council and undertaken a site visit to the proposed locations.

Not all the new locations would allow planters to be located beneath the entry sign, as stopping to water them would create an unacceptable risk. As a result the Working Group proposed that the new Boundary Signs are installed and consideration of the future of the planters and feather flag infrastructure takes place separately at a later date.


i) The planters are separated from the Town Boundary Signs project.

20. Southern Road Recreation Ground – Car Park Lighting

The lighting solution for the car park at Southern Road Recreation Ground was installed on 12 March 2018 but was frustratingly delayed as the control panel did not arrive until 19 April 2018 when the installation was completed and the lights switched on. The lights automatically switch on at dusk and are set to switch off at 10.30pm.

The s106 papers for the funding of the lighting solution had been received and the necessary form completed and returned.

Thame Scouts had reported that the lighting pole nearest to their building was being used to climb onto the roof. Anti-climb paint had subsequently been applied to the pole.

21. P17/S4441/O – Land North of Rycote Lane, nr Thame

The erection of up to 180,000 square feet (up to 16,722 square metres) of B2/B8 with ancillary B1(a) and B1(c) together with parking, drainage, landscaping (structural and incidental) and highway works.

It was noted that since the discussion of this planning application at the Council meeting on 16 January 2018, three amendments had been received, with additional information relating to noise, archaeology and highways. After reviewing the amendments Officers’ opinion was that it would not alter the Town Council’s original response.

22. Carnival

Following on from last year’s successful winning entry by the Town Council in the carnival parade, the Community Services Manager called for volunteers to join in the fun and participate in the Town Council’s float on Saturday 9 June 2018. The theme for this year’s event was the Countryside.

It was noted that the following Councillors volunteered to be involved; Cllrs Austin, Cowell, Deacock, Emery, Fickling, Jones, Midwinter and Wyse. A number of apologies were also noted.

23. Grants

Members noted that the Grants Award Process for 2018 had commenced on Monday 26 March 2018 and the closing date for receipt of completed applications was 1 May 2018.

24. Summer Closure

Members agreed that the Town Hall would close for one afternoon during the summer, to enable a summer staff event to take place, at officers’ own expense.


i) The Town Hall be closed for one afternoon during the summer to enable a summer staff event to take place.

The meeting concluded at 7.39pm


Signed ……………………….
Chairman, 8 May 2018