Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2014.


The Chairman noted that the date in the final sentence of Minute Number 81/14 (Contract Procedure Rules) should be amended to 9 December 2014.


Subject to that amendment the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 November 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Bowes, Byrne, Canham, Chapman-Allen, Clarke, Goreham, Irving, Millbank, Nunn and Sherwood.



Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3) pdf icon PDF 42 KB


The Chairman noted that he had had a busy six weeks.  The swimming gala for young adults with disabilities had shown that being disabled didn’t stop you enjoying yourself and working well with others.


He invited all Members to join him for mulled wine and mince pies after the meeting and to participate in a raffle to raise funds for his chosen charity, East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.




Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

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.


No declarations were made.



Change to Standing Order No. 5 - Order of Business (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

To change Standing Order No. 5 of the Council's Constitution to allow for the addition of Leader's Announcements as part of Order of Business


Following the successful trial of Leader’s Announcements and Questions at the last meeting the Monitoring Officer had been requested to present a report to amend Standing Order No 5 to include that item at future Council meetings.  Members had supported the recommendation at the previous meeting.


RESOLVED that delegated authority be given to the Monitoring Officer to update the Constitution of Breckland Council to include the following:


a)            Leader's Announcements to be added to 'Standing Order No. 5 - Order of Business' to allow for the addition of Leader's Announcements as part of the Order of Business


b)            The Leader's announcement will be in the form of a verbal report to Council.


c)            All Members may ask questions of the Leader on the content of the Leader's announcements.


d)            Questions and answers on the Leader's announcement will be limited to a period of 30 minutes in total.


e)            The Leader may invite Members of the Council's Executive to respond to questions on the Leader's behalf.


f)              The Leader has the right to respond to questions raised after the meeting. This will be in writing and to all Members of the Council.



Leader's Announcements (Agenda Item 6)

Michael Wassell.


The Leader of the Council updated Members on the following key issues that the Cabinet and Senior Officers were working towards:


·        Open for Business – The Council had organised an event in Snetterton to discuss how to assist local businesses to be successful.  The event had been attended by representatives from around 37 Breckland businesses, the Chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Chief Executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the County Council.  Excellent feedback had been received and a proposition was being prepared by Cabinet to present to Council.

·        Snetterton Biomass Plant was a project that the Council had worked with partners to drive forward.  It was due to start generating electricity in 2017 and would provide jobs both during the construction phase and once it was operational.

·        The A11 improvements were due to open soon and would present a great opportunity for the District.  It had to be borne in mind that the improvements would make it easier for people to leave the district as well as access it.  Breckland was already a net exporter of people – meaning more people lived in the District but worked outside of it.  That was something that needed to be addressed.

·        Meetings had now been held in Thetford and Attleborough at which the Council’s approach to helping places develop in the right way had been discussed.  The meetings had been well attended and the process would continue with the next meeting scheduled for January.

·        The Council had launched its Pride in Breckland Awards 2015.  There were nine categories of award and the closing date for nominations was 18 January with a presentation event to be held in March.  Members were encouraged to pass on the invitation to nominate people, groups and businesses for recognition.

·        The Participatory Budgeting (PB) event was also taking place with each market town having £10,000 to award in grants.  The money came from 2nd Homes Council Tax.  Grants would be awarded for projects focussing on the Pride Board priorities of getting people active.


The Chairman then invited Members to ask questions relating to the content of the report.


Councillor Williams asked if the PB grants would affect the other larger grants the Council made and he was advised that they would not.


The Leader of the Labour Group welcomed the A11 dualling and asked what action the Council could take to capitalise on the benefits that would bring. 


The Leader of the Council said that the Council was working with South Norfolk and all other partners to maximise the potential and it had been one of the reasons for the Snetterton event.


The Chairman of the Council noted that the Thetford Business Forum was working with the Mildenhall Business Forum for the same reason.


Councillor Borrett said that he would welcome similar investment in the A47 to connect Dereham to the rest of the dual carriageway system.


Councillor Williams noted that the lack of funding for such improvements led to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 89.


Cabinet Minutes (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 November.


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 November 2014 be adopted.



Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 9 October 2014.


The Chairman of the Commission reminded Members that the Minutes had been delayed due to Officer sickness.  The meeting had focussed on ICT issues and that matter would be returning to the Commission on 12 February 2015 when a Norfolk County Council Member had been invited to attend.


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 9 October 2014 be adopted.



Planning Committee (Agenda Item 9)


Confirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 27 October 2014. pdf icon PDF 95 KB


RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 27 October 2014 be adopted.



Unconfirmed Minutes of the Meeting held on 24 November 2014

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 24 November 2014 be adopted.



General Purposes Committee (Agenda Item 10)

Unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 November 2014.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 November 2014 be adopted.



Appeals Committee (Agenda Item 11)

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 26 November 2014.

Additional documents:


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 26 November 2014 be adopted.



Memorandum of Agreement between Breckland Council and South Holland District Council (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Report of the Executive Director Place.

Additional documents:


The Legal Services Co-ordinator presented the report which proposed a number of amendments to the Agreement which should have been reviewed by its second anniversary.  He recommended that Members approve the amendments to ensure that the document was robust and protected Breckland Council’s position.


Councillor Smith was pleased that the section about Intellectual Property Rights had been strengthened.


Councillor Jermy asked about the delay in reviewing the Agreement.  The Legal Services Co-ordinator was unaware of the reason for the delay but said there were no legal implications and the two parties to the Agreement had not raised any concerns.  In future he would ensure that the Agreement was reviewed bi-annually.




(1)               the Memorandum of Agreement as amended (at Appendix 1 to the report) be approved; and

(2)               the shared management costs/savings (at Appendix 2 to the report) be noted.



Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 13)

To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from political groups.


Following the resignation of Councillor Armes from the Labour Group the following changes are proposed to maintain political balance:


Planning Committee

Councillor Canham to replace Councillor Sylvia Armes


Licensing Committee

Councillor Canham to replace Councillor Sylvia Armes


Overview & Scrutiny

Councillor Canham to be a Substitute Member




(1)       Councillor Canham replaced Councillor Armes on the Planning Committee;


(2)       Councillor Canham replaced Councillor Armes on the Licensing Committee; and


(3)       Councillor Canham be a Substitute Member of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.


With regard to appointments to Outside Bodies, Hamond’s Educational Trust had requested a reduction to two Council appointees in future. Councillor Sharpe would be removed and Councillors Darby and Matthews would continue as the Council’s representatives.



Report and Recommendations from the Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) Project Board (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Members are asked to note that the appendices to this report are confidential and if they wish to discuss those details the following resolution will need to be moved:


“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.




Additional documents:


The Chairman advised Members that if they wished to discuss the details contained in the Appendix to the report it would be necessary to pass a motion to exclude the press and public.


The Leader of the Council said that the LABV was a Member-led project which exemplified the Council’s long tradition of having a commercial outlook.  He was confident that the Council would approve the next step in the process, which was not the final step but a progression.  The matter would come back to Council before any final decision was taken.  He emphasised that the LABV project was not focussed primarily on the bottom line but was aimed at assisting in the regeneration and the growth and prosperity of the district.  It would provide homes and business premises to ensure that Breckland truly was ‘a better place with a brighter future’.


The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development then spoke.  He thanked the in-house project team for their hard work and diligence.  They had identified that more could be done to enhance the Council’s asset base.  The LABV option had been investigated; objectives had been set and then the market appetite had been tested.  Part of the proposal was that the Riverside project had to be delivered first.  Full Council approval would be required before the contract could be signed.  The Executive Director Place was then asked to give a presentation (copy attached), following which Members were invited to ask questions.


Councillor Lamb asked how the LABV differed from PFI and what the Council’s contribution would be apart from land.  A considerable sum of money had been set aside for the Riverside Project and he asked where that had gone and whether the bidder would be providing money.


The Executive Director Place advised that the fundamental difference between LABV and PFI was that PFI often depended upon a private sector partner investing capital which was subsequently repaid over time via revenue from the facility which was then leased to the Council.  A LABV gave the opportunity for joint investment to directly deliver projects such as housing and, when the development was sold the money from the sale repaid the Council and the partner or was invested in an asset subsequently owned by the Council.  The successful bidder had been involved in some well respected PFI schemes which were operating successfully. 


Councillor Williams noted that with the proposed 90% - 10% split the Council would carry 90% of the loss if the development failed or the partner withdrew.  He asked how that risk was covered.  The alternative was 100% of the risk.


The Executive Director Place explained that the Council held a 90% interest in a proposal which was not loss-making and it would therefore receive 90% of the profit returned across all three schemes. 


Councillor Childerhouse asked if there had been a robust assessment of viability for the two residential schemes which both offered 40% affordable housing, as he was aware that most schemes were not getting anywhere  ...  view the full minutes text for item 97.