12 February 2019 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of a Meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 12 February 2019 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.
Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, D Butler, N Champken-Woods, D Dodds, M Dyer (Chairman), L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling and P Lambert (Deputy Chairman)
G Hunt, Town Clerk
Karen Slater, Office Administration Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer
1. Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Deacock (Business), Dixon (Personal) and Midwinter (Holiday).
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.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 October 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5. Financial Update
Members received the budget summary up to 31 December 2018. The Balance Sheet was noted.
Members also noted the following:
a) There were no further overspends to report since the last meeting of the Committee.
b) The £100,000 in a 12 month fixed term deposit at United Trust Bank was reinvested for a further 12 month term from 3 December 2018 at 1.7%
c) An additional £35k loan has been made to the Rugby Club, in line with previous resolutions.
d) Following financial review of existing supplier contracts, the following supplier changes have been made:
i. Town Hall / Depot / SRRG electric to SSE (from E.ON) from 1/4/19 (saving £600-£800pa)
ii. Photocopier to Ricoh (from Minolta) on 31/1/19, still via CCS (saving £700pa).
The Town Clerk reported that under Financial Regulation 4.5 he had approved urgent expenditure of up to £5,000 from the Neighbourhood Plan Consultancy budget for Counsel advice in relation to Kingsmead Business Park.
6. Investment Update
The summary of the investment performance was noted.
7. Internal Audit
Members received the Second Internal Audit Interim Update Report 2018-19. The Office Administration Manager reported that no formal issues had been identified. Members expressed their thanks to Officers for their continued hard work.
8. Investment Strategy
The Town Clerk stated that it was a requirement for the Council to approve its Investment Strategy on an annual basis. The Investment Strategy had been reviewed and updated in line with the Government’s ‘Statutory Guidance on Local Government Investments’ which, in particular includes more detail on the provision of loans.
i) The Investment Strategy be approved for the next twelve months.
9. Reports from Representatives on External Organisations
The reports were noted.
Cllr Champken-Woods reported that £10k funding from the Welfare Trust for Thame and District Day Centre had come with conditions which the Day Centre were previously unaware of.
Cllr Emery reported the Red Kite Family Centre’s first set of accounts had been published on the Charities Commission website.
10. Health & Safety Visit
The Office Administration Manager reported that the annual Health & Safety visit by Ellis Whittam due to take place on 13 February 2019 had been rescheduled by Ellis Whittham and would now take place on Friday 15 February 2019.
11. Graffiti Removal Policy
The Graffiti Removal Policy and the related Thame Skatepark Project Graffiti Policy were last reviewed in 2015. Following review no changes had been identified.
i) The unchanged Graffiti Removal Policy be re-adopted.
12. Parking Enforcement – 2 Hour On-Street Free Parking
Members noted that Oxfordshire County Council had re-confirmed that there is no legal route for the Town Council to take on enforcement of the 2 hour limited on-street free parking in Thame.
The Town Clerk reported a meeting had been arranged with a County Council Officer (now scheduled on Tuesday 26 February 2019) to discuss how use of the spaces can be better controlled. The Town Clerk noted the suggestions made by Councillors and would raise these with the Officer at the meeting.
13. Excess Charge Tickets – Online Payments
Members noted that as an additional customer service, online excess charge ticket payment was now available on a 24 hour basis via the Town Council website. The Office Administration Manager reported that since the launch of the service a number of on line payments had been received.
It was noted that the Foodbank operated by Sharing Life Trust had ceased to use the disused Council goal storeroom attached to the Scout building at Southern Road. The Foodbank had been in this location since 2012 but due to significant growth over the years had found it difficult to maintain their storage and operations from the storeroom and had relocated to larger premises within the town.
15. Free Use / De-Minimis Delegated Authority
It was noted that the Town Clerk, through De Minimis delegated authority, had granted the following:
a) Use of the Upper Chamber at charity rate for social media training on 7/2/19
b) Free use of Upper Chamber for a police training event on 25/3/19
c) Free use of the meeting room for MiTP ticket selling on 27/4/19 and 4/5/19
d) Free use of SRRG for Red Kite Family Centre Thame Play Day on 20/7/19.
16. For Information
The CCTV Q3 Operational Report was noted and that the next CCTV Management Meeting had been postponed until 6 June 2019. Further volunteer Councillors were still needed.
The Town Clerk reported that contract discussions continued with more detail still awaited on precise camera specifications, the appropriate deployment of PTZ versus 4/6 head cameras and the exact date of switch-over to digital. There was now agreement to include a Technical Review in the Contract, which would cover the missing detail.
The meeting concluded at 6.48pm.
Chairman, 9 April 2019