30 July 2019 – Minutes
THAME TOWN COUNCIL
Minutes of a Meeting of the Policy & Resources Committee held on 30 July 2019 at 6.30pm in the Upper Chamber, Thame Town Hall.
Cllrs B Austin, D Bretherton, N Champken-Woods, P Cowell (Deputy Mayor), M Dyer (Chairman), L Emery (Deputy Chairman), H Fickling, S Francis, J Tipping
G Hunt, Town Clerk
L Fuller, Committee Services Officer
1 Apologies for Absence
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Dodds (Holiday), Cllr Jones (Holiday) and Cllr Midwinter (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.
The Minutes of the meetings held on 9 April 2019 and 14 May 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
5 Financial Update
Members received the budget summary up to 30 June 2019. Members noted the Balance Sheet and various purchases authorised by the Town Clerk under Financial Regulation 4.5.
Members also noted the following:
a) That the Town Council’s 2018-19 End of Year accounts for external audit submission had been acknowledged by Moore Stephens
b) The Office Administration Manager had switched gas suppliers from E.ON to Bulb as agreed at the Climate Emergency Presentation follow-up meeting and created a new Environmental Reserve
c) The revised capital / interest repayment schedules have been supplied to Chinnor RFC following their decision to continue their monthly repayment amount at the same level, for their three community loans, rather than taking the opportunity to reduce repayments.
d) As at 30 June 2019, there were no financial overspends against budget line items to report (greater than the agreed de-minimis of £100 / 5%).
6 Investment Update
The Investment Summary was noted. The portfolio continued to do well despite withdrawals and wider economic challenges including the fall in the value of the pound.
7 Reports from Representatives on External Organisations
The reports were noted.
Cllr Champken-Woods reported that the Community Hub remained a pilot.
With regards to Thame Youth Projects Group, Cllr Tipping reported that the Quiz Night date had been changed to 4 October 2019. Cllr Fickling added that a Youth Worker had been appointed and was due to start in September.
8 Health & Safety Visit Outcomes
The outcomes of the Health and Safety Visit by Ellis Whittam on 26 June 2019 were noted. The visit in February 2019 had identified 57 medium risks, which Officers have since reduced to 17. The consultant also introduced the new software to monitor progress and the new registry system for uploading important documents and certificates. Officers continue to ensure conformance with the new software and will deal with the outstanding 17 items as soon as practically possible. The consultant was pleased with the progress made.
9 Council Safety Policies
The proposed changes to the First Aid at Work, Health & Safety, Fire Safety and Fire Safety Management Policies were mostly cosmetic. Members considered the changes and adopted the four revised policies.
i) The revised First Aid at Work, Health & Safety, Fire Safety and Fire Safety Management policies be adopted.
10 Tree Management Policy
The report was noted. The outgoing Asset Manager had made changes to the Tree Management Policy to reflect current guidance.
A question was raised as to where would be an appropriate place to include the planting of more trees? The Town Clerk advised that the policy covers replacement planting, but that a more specific policy on Tree Planting schemes could be created by a Member(s). One of the outcomes of the Climate Emergency Presentation follow-up meeting had been to look at options for planting more trees.
The Town Clerk reported that a tree had fallen that afternoon on Spring Path. The Town Council’s Maintenance Team had been called in to make the tree safe.
i) The amended Tree Management policy be adopted.
11 Flag Flying Policy
Members noted the report. The Flag Flying Policy had been updated to include the request from a community group in Thame to fly the Oxfordshire County Flag on St Frideswide Day on 19 October. The policy had also been updated to reflect updated guidance from NACO concerning the ‘Marking the Death of a Senior National Figure’.
i) The amended Flag Flying policy be adopted.
12 Free Use / De-Minimis Delegated Authority
Members noted that the Town Clerk through De Minimis delegated authority, has granted the following:
a) Free use of Town Hall power for Fire Station Treadmill Challenge on 26/4/19
b) Free use of Upper Chamber for Art Crawl 10-17/5/19
c) Free use of Town Hall for Big Bike Ride on 12/5/19
d) Free use of Upper Chamber for PCSO Di Jackson leaving event on 24/5/19
e) Free use of SRRG for a summer solstice yoga session on 21/6/19
f) Free use of Town Hall in relation to Thame Town Music Festival – July 2019
g) Free use of Upper Chamber for Electric Blanket Testing on 7/10/19
h) Charity rate for Urban Orienteering event on 1/9/19
i) Repeat permission for guides / scouts to overnight camp at SRRG
j) Free use of Town Hall for Twin Town Association
k) Ongoing free use of Town Hall for Various Green Living Plan meetings / events
l) Free use of Town Hall for Taste of Thame event on 30/5/20
It was also noted that the Town Clerk, through De Minimis delegated authority, has allowed Sharman Beer Court to define the Town Hall as a holding point in the event of a critical incident impacting on their premises.
13 Staffing Update
Members noted the staffing updates.
The Town Clerk reported that Officers were continuing to investigate Long Service Awards via gift cards but were receiving conflicting advice with regards to tax and pensions implications.
14 For Information
Members noted the items for information.
Cllr Champken-Woods reported that he had spoken to one of the Environmental Health Officers from SODC at Thame Market that day regarding an update on the installation of an Air Quality Monitor for Thame High Street. It is hoped that the monitor will be installed by the end of this year.
The meeting concluded at 7:07pm.
Chairman, 12 November 2019