Agenda and minutes

Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 124 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2012.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 




Urgent Business (Agenda item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.




Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 4)

Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in the Register of Interests. Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 


In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.




Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.


Mesdames C Bowes, B Canham, E Jolly and J North and Messrs G Bambridge, P Duigan, T Jermy, A Joel, K Martin, M Nairn, W Richmond and F Sharpe.


Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan and wider Local Plan Review (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.


Members’ views were sought on the implications of a revised timetable for the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan and consequential effects on the Government’s requirements for the transition to a Local Plan.


The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development put the report into context.  In the light of the demise of the Regional Spatial Strategy, all local authorities would now be able to set their own housing targets through this new single District-wide Local Plan, and whilst this work moved forward, if the preferred recommendation was approved, there would not be a vacuum in the planning process as the development plans in place, within the existing Local Development Framework that determined current planning applications, would still be used and would still hold weight.  All the reasons for re-examining the approach and timetable had been set out in the report and had been based on the assumption that necessary evidence was produced/delivered in accordance with the current timetables.  Members were made aware that the 3 years that it could take to produce a single Local Plan would signal the end of the Attleborough and Snetterton Heath Area Action Plan as a separate entity.  The benefits to the Council for the production of a single District-wide document would also allow for the detailed consideration of overall growth rates for the district and provide an opportunity for further consultation with rural Parishes as to their aspirations for future planning i.e. a refresh of settlement boundaries.


The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development was pleased to announce that if the Council did go ahead with a single District-wide Local Plan, Breckland would be one of the first in the country to do so.


Mr Martin had attended a recent Attleborough Town Council meeting where the main concern had been on the procedures/timescales.  The current procedure had already taken 4 years.  This next procedure was going to take a further 3 years but in the meantime, the Council continued to approve sporadic developments in the town.


The Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development explained that the Regional Spatial Strategy had been removed and therefore the distribution would not be the same.  The number of houses in Attleborough could be decreased or increased taking into account the adhoc developments and depending on the outputs from the forthcoming Transport Evidence Study.  The transport evidence is likely to be influential in how the Council determines applications in Attleborough.  If infrastructure capacity in Attleborough is fundamentally constrained then the Council will have to look at alternative options including allocating some development into the villages as part of the Local Plan process.


The Joint Deputy Planning Manager said that the Attleborough Area Action Plan had been the most complex document within the LDF process and needed robust evidence which had taken time to produce.  Further traffic surveys had since been completed and all the work that had gone into Attleborough would be moved across to this new Local Plan.  In actual fact, the Plan would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Local Council Tax Support (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report of William Smith, Executive Member for Internal Services.

Additional documents:


The Executive Member for Internal Services gave a quick introduction to the report that sought agreement to recommend to Council a new Local Council Tax Support Scheme.  Breckland, along with all billing authorities had been required to consult on a new scheme; however, the scheme being proposed was slightly different to what had been consulted on.  The improvements that had been made were highlighted (see third paragraph of section 5.6 of the report). The Secretary of State had offered a transitional grant, if accepted, it could mean in the region of £17,800 for Breckland Council.  This would be a one-off arrangement and no-one knew if this would be offered again the following year.  If this was the case and no offer came forward this scheme might have to be revisited.


Members’ attention was drawn to the highly detailed document attached to the report at Appendix A.


The Assistant Director of Commissioning highlighted the key elements of the report and emphasised the fact that Breckland Council needed to have a support scheme in place by 31 January 2013; if not, the Government would impose a scheme itself.  To have a draft scheme that would pay for itself would have led to a reduced level of support across all working age claims by approximately 25%.  It would have been possible for the Council to meet the shortfall in funding from the Council’s budget; however, this would have created a pressure on the other major precepting authorities’ budgets and would also be inconsistent with the approach agreed across Norfolk.


The Proforma B highlighted the combined cost of the new scheme and technical changes, the Government Grant and the Transitional Grant – the estimated cost to Breckland would be in the region of an additional £42,627.  Members were informed; however, that Norfolk County Council had agreed to provide a one off grant for 2013-14 which ultimately meant that there would be no additional cost to this Council for this particular year.


The recommendations were highlighted.  The Executive Member for Internal Services stated that the scheme Breckland Council was proposing was broadly as other authorities in Norfolk the only difference being was the Class C properties (100% discount for the first three months then 0% discount for the next three).


The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development was pleased to hear that this scheme worked out to be cost neutral in the first year.  Members were assured that this was subject to the conditional offers based on this report.



Council Tax Support


1)           Do nothing.  If the Council did not adopt a LCTS scheme based on agreed local criteria then the Government’s “default scheme” would be implemented.


2)           To agree and recommend to Council that the draft Local Council Tax Support scheme – which formed the basis of consultation – be finalised and adopted in Breckland.


3)           To apply for a Transitional Grant and amend the draft Local Council Tax Support scheme to reflect the grant scheme criteria.


Technical Changes


1)           Do nothing.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.


Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 134 KB

Report of the meeting of the Joint Committee held on 13 December 2012.


Subject to the following recommendations the Minutes of the Anglia Revenues & Benefits Partnership meeting held on 13 December 2012 were adopted.


Partnership Budget 2013-14 (Minute No. 65/12)


The Executive Member for Internal Services stated that the Partnership budget figures had been approved by the Council’s S151 Officer.  The Chairman said that the figures did not mean a great deal to him, all he wanted to know was whether they had gone up or down.  The Assistant Director of Finance (also the S151 Officer) advised that the budget was broadly in line with last years figures taking into account the changes to transition processes and expansion of the computer systems.  All the Finance Directors had worked very closely on this budget.  The Assistant Director of Commissioning reminded Members of the saving that had been made with the joining of another authority.


RECOMMEND to Council that the amount of £1,912,716 from the Anglia Revenues Partnership budget be included in Breckland Council’s budget for 2013-14.


Microsoft Licensing (Minute No. 66/12)




1)           a new methodology for future licensing refreshes be approved;


2)           the amounts needed for the licence to refresh be funded via contributions from the Partner Authorities; and


3)           the option to purchase by annual subscription over three years be approved.


Business Rates Resourcing (Minute No. 67/12)


The Executive Member for Internal Services said that this new scheme should enable the Partnership to bring in more revenue.




1)           the changes to the current legislation be noted; and


2)           the proposed changes to the Business Rates Service be approved.


Home Working/Home Enabled Report (Minute No. 68/12)


The Executive Member for Internal Services said that he had been happy with the progress of the Home Working Scheme.


Subject to approval by the General Purposes Committee, it was RESOLVED that:


1)           changes to the Home Working Scheme be approved; and


2)           the new Homeworking Policy be approved.


At the end of the Minutes, at Appendix D, Members’ attention was drawn to the number of successes that had been made by the Benefit Fraud Service.


Member Development Panel (for information) (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To note the Minutes of the meeting held on 22 November 2012.


The Minutes of the Member Development Panel meeting held on 22 November 2012 were noted.


Next Meeting (Agenda item 11)

To note that the next Cabinet meeting will be held on 12 February 2012.


The arrangements for the next meeting on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 at 9.30am were noted.