24 May 2016 – Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 24 May 2016 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall

Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, M Deacock, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer, H Fickling, A Midwinter and T Wyse
G Hunt, Town Clerk
J Howells, Asset Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Unwell), Emery (Holiday), Dodds (SODC), Jones (Business), Lambert (Business) and Stiles (Holiday). Cllr Cowell absent without apology.

2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

The Town Clerk declared there was a general dispensation in place for Councillors who were trustees of Thame Museum and for Councillor representatives of the Museum.

3. Public Participation and Public Questions

Mrs Champken-Woods, Mr Dite and Mr Jeffries, as members of the Open Spaces Working Group, took part in discussion on item 6 during the information gathering part of the meeting.

4. Minutes

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 10 May 2016 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

5. Midsomer Murders Plaques

Members agreed that the proposal to install Midsomer Murders Plaques around the town at filming locations, including the Town Hall and the Museum, was a good idea provided the plaques were sympathetic to the location.


i) The Town Council grants permission to the Great British High Street team to sympathetically install Midsomer Murders Plaques (subject to Planning Permission) on the Town Council’s property at the Town Hall and the Museum building (subject to Museum building tenant approval).

6. Open Spaces Working Group / Elms Park Improvements

Cllr Champken-Woods opened the discussion as chair of the Open Spaces Working Group. Improvements to Elms Park had been considered as far back as 2006. A fundraising group, Friends of Elms Park was established which later ‘morphed’ into the current Music in the Park (MiTP) Committee and money raised put towards improving the Park. With s106 funding, through the development at The Elms, The Environmental Partnership (TEP) had been engaged to manage the design and implementation of the improvement works.

Several meetings had taken place with TEP and the Open Spaces Working Group (OSWG) and TEP had also gone out to public consultation the results of which informed the Planning Application Submission Pack.

Mr Dite stated that this was a great opportunity for the Park to be redesigned and he had been happy with the process. However, he had concerns with regard to the tree planting along the Boulevard and the planting behind the Performance Area as he felt it would comprise sight lines to the stage and potential build problems for the MiTP event. The area had also been used as an overflow area this year. If the designs were accepted by the Council MiTP would make it work for the next event.

Discussion took place on the information contained within the proposed planning submission pack from which Members agreed that four comments should be forwarded to TEP.


i) The pack was okay for submission subject to the following:

* The footpaths through the three garden areas along the eastern boundary to be grass paths and not woodchip.

* The tree species along the boulevard to be reconsidered to minimise the impact of the sightlines of MiTP. High tree canopy height, late leafing in spring and deciduous.

* TEP to confirm if there is a necessity to separate the toddler play equipment from the older play equipment by the use of fencing within the equipped play area.

* The Council asked that for planning permission purposes, can it please be stated that there is potential for further change in play equipment e.g. traditional swings were requested to be added.

The meeting concluded at 7.42pm

Signed ………………………
Chairman, 21 June 2016