Venue: Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2013.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 March 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to the following amendments:
a) Breckland Community Infrastructure Levy – Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and Viability Assessment (Minute No. 28/13)
3rd paragraph on page 4 of the agenda to add the word ‘except’ at the beginning of the wording in brackets to read “(except’ for the purposes of inspecting………)”.
b) 5th paragraph on page 7 of the agenda the word ‘lied’ at the very end of the sentence to be amended to ‘laid’.
Apologies (Agenda item 2)
To receive apologies for absence.
An apology for absence was received from Mr P Cowen.
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, E Jolly and Messrs G Bambridge, P Duigan, T Jermy, M Nairn, W Richmond and M Robinson.
Report of Michael Wassell, Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services.
The Vice-Chairman presented the report which detailed the final end of year Capital outturn figures for 2012-2013. Members were reminded of similar reports received for each of the preceding quarters.
Referring to the under-spend of £1.753m highlighted in the table at the bottom of page 11, Members were informed that this under-spend was due to capital projects that had been delayed (further detail could be found at Appendix A of the report). On page 12 of the agenda, a carryover of £1.618m to 2013-14 was requested. The difference between the under-spend and the requested carryover figures showed a saving of £134,843 against the 2012-13 Capital Programme.
The Capital Financing requirement at the top of page 13 of the agenda was also highlighted. The figures in this table represented the amount of resources that were available before the Council had to borrow. The figure of £11.45m for the year 2012-13 would mean that the Council had £11.45m to invest in the District before it would have to resort to borrowing. This was a credit to all the Members and Officers involved.
The Capital Financing requirement figure would decline over time until 2014-15 the Council would then have a net borrowing requirement of £79k. Much of this change was due to the investment in the Riverside project. A full review of the expected spend and receipts would be undertaken to ensure that Breckland’s Capital Programme remained affordable and provided value for money.
The recommendation was highlighted.
In response to a question in relation to the under-spend, Members were informed that the reason for the under-spend was due to projects not coming forward in the proposed timeframe.
The Chairman felt that these projects should be reviewed again by the Portfolio Holders. He also felt that this review should be linked into the Efficiency Programme which he asked to be brought forward prior to the summer recess.
The Executive Member for Internal Services agreed with the aforementioned suggestion as it could mean that further significant savings could be made.
In response to a concern in relation to the recommendation, the Chief Executive advised that each of the projects listed would come forward with a business case and all would have to be agreed by Cabinet.
To recommend to Full Council that the final capital budget, outturn position and funding for 2012/13 and the capital budget and funding for the revised 2013/14 Capital Programme as detailed in Appendix A and B of the report are approved.
To make changes to Appendix A and B of the report before recommending to Full Council that the final capital budget, outturn position and funding for 2012/13 and the capital budget and funding for the revised 2013/14 Capital Programme as detailed in Appendix A and B of the report are approved.
The recommendation would ensure the Capital Programme for 2013/14 was amended along with the necessary funding
RECOMMEND to Council that the final capital budget, outturn position and funding for 2012-13 and the capital ... view the full minutes text for item 35/13
Report of Ian Sherwood, Executive Member for Performance & Business Development.
The Executive Member for Performance and Business Development presented the report which sought Members’ approval of the Breckland Digital Communications Strategy and the implementation of associated actions.
The Digital Communications Strategy comprised of two parts, the first being the Strategy itself and the second the Action Plan (attached at Appendix A of the report). Members were asked to note the final action which was to continue research and development as technology and social media opportunities arose. The Government was constantly issuing new instructions to all Councils that it wanted the migration of people to digital as a key target.
The recommendations were highlighted.
The Executive Member for Internal Services referred to recommendation (d), the cessation of the Council’s magazine. He felt that ‘Voice’ had helped the Council in many ways over the years particularly in relation to customer satisfaction. He also felt that the time to cease the paper copy would be when an electronic version was available; he did not agree that it should be stopped now as it was a magazine that was appreciated by everyone who did not have access to IT.
The Executive Member also referred to other elements such as the cost of the Digital Newsroom; however, he was happy to support them all but not the cessation of Voice.
The Vice-Chairman wondered whether the timing of this report was appropriate as it seemed to be a desire from Government that Councils should not compete against newspapers. He did not want the Council to contravene a piece of legalisation and therefore felt that Breckland Council should wait until the consultation/White Paper had been completed.
The Executive Member for Localism, Community & Environmental Services reminded Members of the results from the ‘Could We Should We’ exercise one of which was to stop Voice. Referring to recommendation (b) of the report she felt that it would be rather prudent to approvethe creation of a ‘digital newsroom’ and suggested that the word ‘approve’ be changed to ‘investigate’. She further suggested that a survey should be undertaken to establish Breckland residents preferred communication channels.
The proposal to change the word ‘approve’ to ‘investigate’ in relation to recommendation (b) was seconded.
The Executive Support Member for Finance & Democratic Services agreed with the aforementioned suggestion. All the public wanted was reassurance that there was someone to contact if there was a problem. She raised concerns about the Council’s Twitter account not having a corporate image unlike the Voice magazine which, in her opinion, did have a corporate image and was delivered to every household in Breckland.
The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development was unsure whether the Council had any evidence of target audience but pointed out that the real interface with the public was through the Ward Representatives. He mentioned the Parish magazines that were delivered free to residents most of which had a space available for Ward Reps to add a few lines too.
The Executive Support Member for Performance & Business Development urged the Cabinet to support the ... view the full minutes text for item 36/13
Report of the meeting of the Joint Committee held on 14 March 2013.
a) Strategic Review (Minute No. 17/13)
The Executive Member for Internal Services provided Members with a detailed overview of the strategic review.
RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership meeting held on 14 March 2013 be noted.
To note the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 April 2013.
The Minutes of the Member Development Panel meeting held on 3 April 2013 were noted.
Next Meeting (Agenda item 11)
To note that the date of the next meeting of Cabinet will be held on 18 June 2013 at 9.30am in the Norfolk Room.
The arrangements for the next meeting were noted.