11 April 2017 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 11 April 2017 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, N Dixon (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer (Chairman), H Fickling, P Lambert (Deputy Chairman) and T Wyse
G Hunt, Town Clerk
M Robinson, Office Administration Manager
C Pinnells, Community Services Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Personal), Dodds (Personal), Emery (Council Business) and Jones (Business).

2. Declarations of Interest and Dispensations

There were no declarations of interest.

3. Public Participation and Public Questions

There were no applications to address the Committee.
There were no questions put to the Committee.

4. Minutes

The Minutes of the meeting held on 7 February 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5. Financial Update

Members received the budget summary up to 28 February 2017. The Balance Sheet was noted.

A question was raised with regard to expenditure not yet allocated with figures being reported up to the end of February. The Town Clerk reported that he had already had sight of the draft end of year accounts and was confident there would be an under spend. Any under spend would be transferred to General Reserves.

A further question was raised with regard to expenditure on line 102 – Town Hall. The Town Clerk explained this related to £45,000 defined as rent that the Town Council paid for the Town Hall and the calculation methodology that resulted in a budget estimate of 7.6% and the underlying percentage of 76%.

6. Investment Update

The summary of the Investment Performance had not yet been received.

7. Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

a) Barns Centre (Cllrs Butler and Dodds)
b) Citizens Advice (Cllr Austin)
c) Health Hub (Cllr Champken-Woods)
d) NALC (Cllr Dyer)
e) Thame Business Forum (Cllr Dyer)
f) Thame & District Housing Association (Cllr Butler)
g) 21st Century Thame (Cllr Emery and Fickling)
h) Welfare Trust (Cllr Champken-Woods)

All the reports were noted. Cllr Champken-Woods stated that the Welfare Trust had not met but that the next meeting was scheduled to take place in July.

Cllr Dyer offered congratulations to Thame United on their promotion.

8. Internal Audit

Members noted the Internal Audit Second Interim Update Report which had been submitted following the recent visit by the Internal Auditor. The Town Council continued to operate sound and effective financial controls and procedures and no issues had been identified that warranted formal comment or recommendation.

9. Disposal of Amenity Land at Pickenfield

The report was noted. The Town Clerk stated that at the last meeting Members had agreed that Mr Smith could obtain a valuation of the land and had subsequently appointed Andrew Eades.

In supplying the valuation from Andrew Eades to the Town Council, Mr Smith had requested that as there was no development potential to be gained from the purchase of the land or that the additional land would have any impact on the value of the property that consideration be given to a price of £45.62 per m2, a 100% increase in the value per square metre to that of land last sold in 2013. This equated to £2,230 for 48.89m2. Members reluctantly agreed this was a fair price for the land.


i) The amenity land at Pickenfield be sold for the sum of £2,230.00.

10. Thame Museum Building Improvement Project

Members noted the update provided in the report.

11. Fees and Charges

The hiring fees for the Meeting Room, the Upper Chamber and Southern Road Recreational Ground (SRRG) were last reviewed in April 2016 and reviewed annually to comply with good financial management.


i) The charge for hiring the Meeting Room remains at £12 per hour.

ii) The charge for hiring the Upper Chamber remains at £27 and £14 per hour.

iii) The charge of hiring SRRG football pitch remains at £32 and £35 per game (inclusive of VAT).

12. Upper Chamber Acoustics

It was noted that a survey of the acoustics in the Upper Chamber had taken place on 23 March 2017 and that the suggested recommendations would be considered in due course.

13. Free Use / De-Minimis Delegated Authority

It was noted that the Town Clerk, through delegated authority and Grants Free Use, had granted the following:

a) Red Kite Family Centre free use of meeting room on 6 March 2017.
b) Regular free use of meeting room for Oxfordshire Business Enterprises 1:1 advice.
c) Lighthouse – annual grass cutting at Show Ground in advance of event.
d) Photocopying for East Thame Residents Association AGM.
e) Free use of meeting room for off-site Citizens Advice meeting.
f) Free use of Upper Chamber for Priest End and Oxford Road RA on 3 May 2017.
g) Free use of Upper Chamber for OALC Larger Councils forum on 12 April 2017.
h) Free use of Upper Chamber for new Police Community event on 26 April 2017.
i) Free use of SRRG for Red Kite Family Centre play day on 22 July 2017.
j) Free use of SRRG for Emergency Services day on 13 August 2017.

14. Emergency Response Plan

Members noted that further to the Town Clerk’s email of 17 February 2017 circulated to all Councillors and Staff that the following Emergency Response Plan had been formulated:

In the event of some kind of local or national emergency being declared, the following applies to all Members and Officers of Thame Town Council:
(a) Make yourself available to help if you can;
(b) Use your own common sense to determine appropriate action within your personal limits;
(c) Listen for any communications;
(d) Accept instructions from Category 1 responders i.e. Emergency Services, NHS Bodies and the County Council.

15. Compliments and Complaints

The report was noted. Some discussion took place on the complaints received regarding the waste bins outside Prezzo and Jack & Alice. This problem had been ongoing for a number of months and previously reported to the District Council (Planning Enforcement) and the County Council (Highways Department).

Cllr Champken-Woods requested that all information be passed to him and he would follow it up with the District Council.

16. For Information

The CCTV quarterly report was noted. The Community Services Manager drew Members attention to the fact that the District Council had exercised its option to extend the CCTV contract for a further year to expire on 31 March 2018 as the strategic review by Thames Valley Police had not yet reached a conclusion.

There were still places available for Councillors to visit the CCTV control suite on 25 April 2017.

The meeting concluded at 7.05pm

Signed ……………………….
Chairman, 1 August 2017