5 February 2013 – Minutes


Minutes of the Meeting of Thame Town Council held on 5 February 2013 at 7.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall


Cllr D W Bretherton, D G Butler, N G Champken-Woods (Town Mayor), A Dite, N M Dixon, D W Dodds, M L Dyer, L Emery,A Gunn,V F Humphries, P Lambert (Deputy Mayor), D A Laver, J Matelot Green,M Stiles and M Welply.


Mrs H Stewart, Town Clerk

Mrs A Oughton, Committee Services Officer

1 Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllr H M Fickling.

2 Declarations of Interest

Cllrs Bretherton, Dodds, Laver and Matelot Green declared an interest in item 19 as trustees of the Museum.

3 Civic Announcements

There had been no official visits since the last report.  Unfortunately planned visits to Meadowcroft and Thame District Hospital on Christmas Day had been cancelled due to illness.

4 Public Participation

Val Jonas from the Cattle Market Action Group (CMAG) addressed the Council regarding item 17, The Cattle Market Viability Report.  CMAG was pleased the Council had arranged for a Viability Report to be produced and felt the final document was good and explored all the options available for the site.  The ‘High Street’ was a hot topic at present with high profile media attention.  It should be considered not just as a place to shop but an area where people could engage with one another.

CMAG looked forward to working with the Council to take forward the findings of the Report.  It was important to keep an open mind and although the Report had put forward recommended shopping provision this should be reviewed over time.  The continued increase in footfall in the town was important to keep it vibrant and thriving.

5 Football Partnership

Mr Peter Fleming and Mr David Dack presented an overview to the Council which included the objectives, structure, events, financial statement and the long term ambitions of Thame Football Partnership.

There are 605 playing members and 411 social members and an estimated footfall of 2,000 people through Meadow View per week.  The facilities had been used to host charity events and by local companies.  The current focus was to improve services, increase club events, re-focus effort on what was done well and resolve the main pitch warranty issues.  Long term ambitions included a full size all weather pitch, development of the lower end of the site, development of the facility and encourage other sports clubs.

6 Report from Oxfordshire County Councillor

Cllr Carter gave an overview of the County Council’s finances in his report submitted to Members.  The County was the first to announce it would increase council tax in March 2013 with a below inflation 1.99% rise.  For a Band D property this would equate to a small increase of 44p.

There was currently two vacancies for the post of Governor at Barley Hill School, Cllr Carter invited Members to submit nominations to him.

7 Reports from South Oxfordshire District Councillors

Cllr Midwinter reported on the taxi policy – a consultation was due to commence in March and run for six weeks asking ‘Should the tariff be set by the Council’?  The intention would be to set a maximum tariff that public hire and taxis from a rank would charge.  This policy would not apply to private hire.

Cllr Dodds reported a 2.5% reduction in council tax in March 2013, services provided by District Council would not be affected.

Cllr Welply followed on from Cllr Midwinter’s report regarding the taxi policy adding only 5 district councils did not have a fixed tariff policy and if adopted it would enable taxis to operate more efficiently.

Cllr Bretherton reported the Boundary Review had been submitted.  The next step would be to consult on the number of councillors that represent parishes and town councils and whether wards would be retained.  The consultation would be managed by the District Council not the Boundary Commission.

8 Notices of Motion

There were no notices of motion.

9 Questions

There were no questions.

10 Petition

A petition containing 107 names had been received to request lighting be installed in the car park at Southern Road.  It was agreed this request would be passed to the Culture, Leisure and Recreation Committee.

11 Minutes

The minutes of the Council meeting held on 15 January 2013 and 29 January 2013 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Mayor.

The minutes of the Policy & Resources Committee meeting held on 22 January 2013 were noted.

The minutes of the Culture, Leisure & Recreation Committee meeting held on 29 January 2013 were noted.

Item 9 – Millennium Circle


i)             That should outside funding be unsuccessful then up to £3580 would be met from the Capital Rolling Fund to install a circular planter on the Millennium Circle

Item 10 – Elms Park Boundary to 77 Park Street


i)             That the replacement of the boundary fence with 77 Park Street at a cost of £697 is funded from the General Reserve.

The minutes of the Planning & Environment Committee meeting held on 15 January 2013 were noted.

15 Internal Audit

Good corporate governance required an annual review of the Internal Audit Programme to ensure it was appropriate to the needs of the Council.


i)             That the Annual Audit Schedule for 2013-14 be agreed.

15b Effectiveness of Internal Control

In accordance with the law and proper standards, and that public money was safeguarded and properly accounted for, and used economically, efficiently and effectively.  The Members were asked to review the documents contained in the report which outlined the measures taken to mitigate financial risk.


i)             That the actions taken to mitigate loss be approved.

ii)            That the effectiveness of internal controls be approved

16 Member/Officer Protocol

The protocol brought clarity to the roles and responsibilities of Members and Officers and ensured the smooth running of the Council.


i)             That the Member/Officer Protocol subject to an amendment to 3.1 c) to read Implement policy proposals, be approved.

17 Cattle Market Viability Report

The Members welcomed the Report which underpinned the suggestion that there was a viable alternative when developing the site other than that of a supermarket.  Moving forward interested groups would be invited to form a Working Group.


i)             That the Report be noted.

18 Skate Park

A Working Group had been established to look at the refurbishment of the skate park.  However, it was not thought the work would take place for another 18 months.  In view of this urgent repairs to the ramps were needed which would extend the life of the skate park whilst the tendering process took place.


i)             That the £995 for emergency repairs to the skate ramps be noted.

19 Museum Items

A brass plate ref: Samuel Lacey 1887 and two framed photographs of the Town Hall clock had been on loan with the Museum.  Councillors were asked to consider renewing the loan agreement or to donate the items to the Museum.


I)             That  the Brass Plate Ref: Samuel Lacey 1887 and two framed photographs of the Town Hall clock be donated to the Thame Museum.

20 Issuing the Summons to Meetings

Members were asked to formally agree to receive the Summons to Meetings and related reports electronically.


i)             That the Summons to Meetings and associated reports be sent to the Members electronically.

21 Lease of the Scout Headquarters

The Lease between Thame Town Council and the Trustees of The First Thame Scout Group was signed and sealed.

The meeting concluded at 8.40pm.


Signed: ……………………………..

Chairman, 9 April 2013