17 April 2018 – Minutes


Minutes of a Meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 17 April 2018 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.

Present: Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, D Dodds, M Dyer (Chairman), L Emery (Deputy Mayor), H Fickling, C Jones, P Lambert and T Wyse (Town Mayor)
G Hunt, Town Clerk
M Robinson, Office Administration Manager
A Oughton, Committee Services Officer


1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Butler (Personal), Champken-Woods (Holiday) and belatedly from Cllr Dixon (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 13 February 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

5. Financial Update

Members received the budget summary up to 28 February 2018. A question was raised regarding the impact of recharges shown against some of the cost centres. The Town Clerk explained that at the time of budget setting an estimate was made for staffing costs, overheads, running the depot, etc., which were then recharged across all services. The actual recharge is invariably different. It was not an exact science but a common practice in local government in order to establish the actual cost of each service.

The balance sheet as at 28 February 2018 was noted.

6. Investment Update

The investment performance summary had not been received in time for the meeting. As soon as it was available the Town Clerk would circulate it to Councillors and arrange for it to be published on the website.

7. Internal Audit

The third visit by the Internal Auditor took place on 14 April 2018 and his report, the Internal Audit Second Interim Update Report was attached as Appendix 1 to the report. No issues had been identified which warranted formal comment or recommendation.

Members received the Internal Audit report and congratulated the Office Administration Manager and Officers for another good audit.

8. Reports from Representatives on External Organisations

The reports were noted.

The information contained in the report for the Red Kite Family Centre was impressive. It reinforced the good work carried out by staff and volunteers at the Centre and the Council’s decision to provide financial support.

9. Fees and Charges

It was good management to review the fees and charges for the hire of the Meeting Room, the Upper Chamber and Southern Road Recreation Ground annually. The current charges were comparable with other venues in the town and it was proposed the Schedule of Charges remained unchanged for 2018-19.


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

10. Capital Equipment / Rolling Capital Fund

The report outlined a number of proposed items that would need to be purchased from the Rolling Capital Fund during financial year 2018-19. The sum of all the proposed items would leave a remaining available balance in the Rolling Capital Fund of around £5,500. Approval was sought to proceed on the simple items and seek further information on the others.

Some discussion took place on the proposed mobile speed indicator / recording signs. The Town Clerk had established 4-5 suppliers and some further work was required to establish the right equipment for Thame. The signs were purely to encourage motorists to slow down but could also gather data. The Town Council had received requests for mobile speed indicators to be located in Cromwell Avenue, Moreton, Southern Road and Ludsden Grove. There would be a process to determine how long the mobile signs would remain in place and where the signs would be deployed.

The purchase of a new server and chairs for the Upper Chamber were also briefly discussed. It was agreed that further investigations / quotations would be sought as appropriate and recommendations brought back to Committee or circulated via email for Councillors to consider.


i) The outline 2018-19 spend plan for the Rolling Capital Fund be approved, with, where relevant, further investigations / quotations brought back to Committee, or agreed by email outside of the meeting.

11. General Data Protection Regulations

The new Data Protection Act 2018 will become law on 25 May 2018. Officers have been working hard to assimilate the information being given and joined various webinars and training courses to keep up to date. In the first instance Officers have been following the ICO document ‘Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – 12 steps to take now’. It had been particularly challenging as to date there was still no final agreement on many aspects of the proposed regulations. The various sector specific guidance would now be followed, supported by the recent ‘journey’ reassurance from the ICO.

GDPR training for Councillors would be arranged if needed. In the meantime the Town Clerk drew attention to the six Data Protection Principles listed under item 7 of the report which the Council must follow. 12 Memorial Bench at Southern Road Recreation Ground

Cllr Bretherton was delighted to report that the memorial bench had been delivered to the depot last Friday. The installation date would be confirmed once the contractor had returned from holiday. The aim was for the installation to take place the week before the Carnival with the official unveiling on 4 June 2018.

13. Thame Museum Inspection Report

Members noted the Inspection Report and that the actions in the report would be implemented by the responsible organisations.

14. Thame Arts & Literature Festival

Members noted the 120 hours of free use of the meeting room / Upper Chamber at the Town Hall by the Thame Arts & Literature Festival TAL, as defined by e-mail to all Councillors on 27 February 2018, ahead of the usual grants process.
15 Free Use / De-Minimis Delegated Authority

It was noted that the Town Clerk, through De Minimis delegated authority, had granted the following:

a) Charity rate for Urban Orienteering event on 9/9/18
b) Free use of Southern Road Recreation Ground for the Play Day on 28/7/18
c) Free use of Southern Road Recreation Ground for Youth Café event on 25/7/18
d) Free use of Upper Chamber by Thame and District Day Centre for training
e) Free use of Upper Chamber on 1/5/18 for Fire Service to conduct “Safer Places” training
f) Free use of up to 15 hours of Upper Chamber / Meeting Room for public talks by the local Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends Champion, to help towards making Thame a Dementia Friendly Community

16. Staffing Update

The following staff updates were noted.

a) Glen Johansen commenced employment as the Saturday Car Park Attendant on 19 February 2018.

b) Andrea Oughton has started work as Clerk to Great Haseley parish council, in addition to her role at Thame Town Council.

c) Morag Robinson has formally declared her retirement date to be 30 November 2018. Any staff restructure considerations / replacement recruitment needed will be executed in due course, probably with a significant overlap / handover period.

17. Compliments & Complaints

After a brief discussion on various items recorded, the Compliments & Complaints report was noted.

18. For Information

The CCTV Q4 report was noted. Attention was draw to the high level of reported incidents in Henley for quarter four. On further investigation the figure reported (594) was identified as the total for the whole year, the correct figure for quarter four was 119.

The meeting concluded at 7.08pm


Signed ……………………….
Chairman, 17 July 2018