29 April 2014 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 29 April 2014 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall
Cllr D Bretherton, D Butler, N Champken-Woods, A Dite, N Dixon,
M Dyer, H Fickling, V Humphries, P Lambert (Town Mayor), D Laver,
J Matelot Green (Deputy Mayor), M Stiles and M Welply.
H Stewart, Town Clerk
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
L Spokes, Community Project Support Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dodds (SODC), Gunn (Holiday), Laver (Family) and M Stiles (Unwell).
2 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.
3 Civic Announcements
The civic attendances were noted and the Mayor announced that his Charity Dinner had successfully raised over £3000.
4 Public Participation
A short video evidencing the need and support for a new skate park facility in Thame was shown.
Three members of the Skate Park Working Group addressed the Committee in support of the renovation project detailing how the current facilities had far exceeded the recommended lifespan. The proposed plans for a new park were fully supported by the local community. A progress report was provided on the funding applications being made and a précis of the fundraising activities that were being organised.
5 Sealing of Documents
i) The Elms Park licence with Oxfordshire County Council should be duly signed and sealed.
6 Report from County Councillor N Carter
Cllr Carter spoke about the consultation on the Vale of Aylesbury Local Plan and explained that the main concern for the Town Council would be the impact of potential growth in
Haddenham alongside growth already planned in Thame. An update was given on the proposed cycle path to Haddenham, explaining that funding and delivery for the project could be picked up in the context on any proposals for growth in Haddenham.
Thame Business Forum had been involved in discussions about the delivery of high-speed broadband with the County representative. A postcode map detailing the current broadband coverage was now available on the County Council’s website which would inform residents and businesses when superfast broadband would be available in their area.
Following on from the extensive flooding over the last year, the OCC Flood Risk Management Strategy was currently being drafted and the consultation period would run from June – September 2014.
Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) had been able to offer 90% of primary school applicants a place at their first-preference school despite a large increase in the number of applications. OCC was expecting this increase in applications to continue but regardless of this the allocation of the annual Schools Capital Grant for Oxfordshire was to be cut by over 75%.
In September all of the 35 secondary schools in the county would have a full-time nurse based on-site. The contract with Oxford Foundation Trust would also cover provision of nurses in primary schools, each covering a cluster of 10-12 schools.
The County Council had set up a Care Association to represent service providers across all client groups. The Association will work with commissioners and provide a single point of contact for providers.
7 Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors
Cllr Midwinter reported that she had attended a SHMA briefing meeting and there would be a scheduled follow-up meeting to gather and collate information and decide upon locations for new housing. Congratulations were given to the Charity Rally for raising £1800.
Cllr Bretherton informed Members that the district was required to provide 750 houses per year for the next 30 years. A strategy would now be decided upon by the District Council Including a the proposal of a new settlement.
Cllr Welply highlighted that the City Council would not be able to accommodate their allocation of housing and so this would be distributed amongst neighbouring districts. Members were also informed of the departure of SODC Strategic Director, Matt Prosser. He was not to be replaced instead his workload would be spread across the other departments and any cost savings put towards contract work.
8 Notices of Motion
There were no notices of motion.
There were no questions asked.
The minutes of the Full Council meeting held on 25 February 2014 were presented for approval and signing as a true record of that meeting.
i) The minutes as presented be signed by the Mayor.
11 Policy & Resources Committee
The minutes of the meeting held on 22 April 2014 were noted.
12 Planning & Environment Committee
The minutes of the meetings held on 25 February 2014, 18 March 2014 and 8 April 2014 were noted.
13 Skate Park Redevelopment
Following the presentation from the Skate Park Working Group at the beginning of the meeting the debate arising from the report presented focused on the proposal for a grant of £65,000 and the underwriting of the whole project if the required funds could not be secured elsewhere. No budget had been allocated to date so funds would need to be released from capital reserves. Members questioned the amount of money currently in the reserves, which amounted to over £2million, and were concerned about spending 12.5% of this on one project.
There was overwhelming support to provide a grant of £65,000 to act as seed funding for other grant applications but any decision about underwriting the whole project would have to be considered at a meeting in August if other applications to SODC and Sport England proved unsuccessful.
i) Up to £65,000 be offered from Capital Reserves to seed fund other grant applications.
ii) A special meeting of the Council be convened in August, to consider any additional funding requirements.
14 Banking Arrangements
An assessment of the services being offered by a) Lloyds Bank and b) HSBC was provided. Moving banks would incur charges but the charges were not considered significant in comparison to the risk of remaining with the Cooperative. Members showed concern about remaining with the troubled bank and were inclined to move to Lloyds as soon as possible.
i) All bank accounts currently held with the Cooperative be moved to Lloyds Bank immediately.
15 Kebab Van
i) The Trading Agreement for the Kebab Van in the Upper High Street car park be agreed subject to an amendment of the trading hours in paragraph 7 from 12.00 to 00.00.
16 P14/S0880/FUL – Thame Police Station, Greyhound Lane, Mayor Application
The planning application as presented was not considered favourable for a host of reasons not least because there was a question as to whether the developers had legally marketed the property for the required period before submitting an application.
Summarising the objections the proposal was deemed; contrary to employment policy, there were no permitted development rights, the lack of parking provision which would have a negative effect on traffic and there was no provision for emergency vehicles. It was also highlighted that the proposed interior of each dwelling would be insufficient for independent living and the building itself would have an adverse effect on the conservation area.
RECOMMEND REFUSAL for the following reasons:
- Traffic generation, parking and safety
- Scale and bulk
The meeting concluded at 9.06pm.
Chairman, 13 May 2014