Modern.gov

Unpublished

    Agenda and minutes

    Council
    Thursday, 18th December, 2008 10.30 am

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

    Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

    Items
    No. Item

    126.

    Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 74 KB

    To confirm the minutes of the Special Council meeting held on 20 November 2008.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

     

    The Member Services Manager drew attention to two inaccuracies under Minute Number 124/08 (Declarations of Interest):

     

    • Mr Cowen’s interest in the LDF was not because he had land under consideration but rather by virtue of his profession as a practising architect in Breckland;

     

    • Mr Askew had left the meeting for the duration of the LDF Core Strategy and Policies debate.

     

    Subject to the above amendments, the Minutes of the meeting held on 20 November 2008 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

     

    127.

    Apologies (Agenda item 2)

    To receive apologies for absence.

    Minutes:

    Apologies for absence were received from Mrs J Ball, Mrs M Chapman-Allen, Mr S Chapman-Allen, Mr R Childerhouse, Mr M Fanthorpe, Mrs T Hewett, Mr M Kiddle-Morris, Mr T Lamb, Mrs K Millbank, Mrs P Quadling, Mr M Spencer, Mrs  P Spencer, Mr A Stasiak and Mr D Williams.

     

    128.

    Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 3)

    Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests they may have in any of the following items on the agenda.

     

    The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.

    Minutes:

    After clarification that there was no need to declare interest in any LDF matters as this subject was not on the agenda, the only declaration of interest was from Lady K Fisher in respect of the Moving Thetford Forward Board Minutes (Agenda items 7.1 and 7.2.); and also with respect to the Kilverstone Lane residential development in the Development Control Committee Minutes of 3 November (Agenda item 189/08).

     

    129.

    Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)

    (including the engagements of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman)

    Minutes:

    Chairman’s Engagements

     

    Date

    Event

    Host

    9th November

    Remembrance Sunday Parade, Dereham

     

    24th November

    Opening of the Breckland Housing Offices

     

    25th November

    Farewell to Colonel Angus Watson, Light Dragoons

     

    28th November

    Topping out the Thetford Pine Close Housing Project

     

    5th December

    Annual Yuletide Reception, Galaxy Ballroom

    Commander, 100th Air Refuelling Wing, Colonel Eden J Murrie, RAF Mildenhall

     

    Vice-Chairman’s Engagements

     

    Date

    Event

    Host

    14th November

    60th Anniversary Celebration of the United States Air Force

    Colonel Jay B.Silveria, Commander, 40th Fighter Wing

    23rd November

    Centenary Service

    Norfolk Scouts

    7th December

    Civic Carol Service

    Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Councillor Robert Cockle

    11th December

    Reception

    Mayor & Mayoress of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor and Mrs. David Johnson

     

    Whilst formally bidding farewell to Colonel Angus Watson from the Light Dragoons, the Chairman had thanked him for being such a good Ambassador for Breckland and mentioned the particularly good relations he had shared with the former Chairman.   On behalf of the Council, the Chairman then wished the Light Dragoons well for their deployment to Helmand in March next year and welcomed Colonel Gus Fair, as Colonel Watson’s successor.

     

    The Chairman then took the opportunity to remind Members of the following: 

     

    • The Pride in Breckland awards, nominations for which were currently open;

     

    • That the Member Development Panel was to meet immediately following the Council meeting; and

     

    • The Carol Service which he and his wife were hosting that evening in Watton.

     

    Finally, on behalf of the Council, he extended very best wishes to Mr Kiddle-Morris for a full and speedy recovery.

     

    130.

    Cabinet Minutes - 25 November 2008 (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 November 2008.

     

    The following documents are attached:

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    (a)       Local Government Review – Update (Minute No. 150/08 (b))

     

    The Opposition Leader drew attention to the text at page 36, saying that he shared the Leader’s view about the need for public consultation on the Local Government Review (LGR).   However, he felt that any proposed referendum would need country-wide participation across all Councils in order to be worthwhile.  He also raised concerns about the £100,000 put aside for court costs and the potential £47,000 allocated for a referendum.  He believed that any decision on a referendum should not be taken until after the end of the six week consultation period i.e. once the whole position on LGR was clearer.

     

    The Chief Executive made three points in reply:

     

    o       That there was no plan to go ahead with a referendum on the LGR at this stage: the Council had been keen to ensure that a potential budget was in place should it wish to purse this option at some point. 

     

    o       That the figure of £100,000 for costs, quoted in the press as the outcome of the judicial review, was inaccurate: the real figure was considerably less.

     

    o       That the disbursement of costs which the judge had awarded was to be split between the Councils involved in the case and was, in fact, currently the subject of an appeal.  It was therefore possible that the Council might not have to pay any legal costs at all.  Additionally, the Leader announced that the same judge was currently hearing the case for East Devon.  Dependent upon the outcome, East Devon might join the appeal - thus potentially spreading any costs even further across the board.   

     

    Finally, with regard to money currently locked up in Iceland, he reminded Members that this money was considered “at risk”, rather than actually “lost” at this stage.  

     

    (b)       Release of Funds – Management of Landfill Site at Rutherford Way,   

    Thetford (Minute No. 151/08)

     

    The Executive Member for Planning and the Environment announced that since the report had been issued, a grant of just over £29,000 had been awarded.   She thanked the Environmental Health Team for their work on this and congratulated them on their success.

     

    (c)        Norfolk Climate Change Strategy (Minute No. 153/08)

     

                RESOLVED that the Norfolk Climate Change Strategy be adopted.

     

    (d)       Draft Calendar of Meetings (Minute No. 155/08)

     

                RESOLVED that the Schedule of Council and Committee meetings for 2009 to 2010 be adopted, subject to an additional Council meeting being allocated to 30th July 2009, in order to avoid a long gap over the August recess period.

     

    (e)      Adoption

     

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 November 2008 be adopted.

     

    131.

    Development Control Committee - 3 November 2008 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

    Confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 3 November 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 3 November 2008 be adopted.

     

    132.

    Development Control Committee - 24 November 2008 (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 24 November 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 24 November 2008 be adopted.

     

    133.

    Appeals Committee - 3 December 2008 (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Appeals Committee held on 3 December 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 3 December 2008 be adopted.

     

    134.

    Standards Committee - 2 December 2008 (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 2 December 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee  meeting held on 2 December 2008 be adopted.

     

    135.

    Audit Committee - 14 November 2008 (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 519 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee meeting held on 14 November 2008.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

     

    (a)       Risk Management – Revised Policy and Update (Minute No. 46/08)

     

    RESOLVED that the revised Risk Management Strategy be adopted, subject to a suitable cross-reference being inserted in Appendix B of the Strategy, relating to the Roles and Responsibilities for Health and Safety to clarify the position in relation to capital building contracts (i.e. on-site arrangements).

     

    (b)       Adoption

     

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 14 November 2008 be adopted.

     

    136.

    Audit Committee - 20 November 2008 (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 20 November 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 20 November 2008 be adopted.

     

    137.

    Moving Thetford Forward Board - 27 November 2008 (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 159 KB

    Unconfirmed minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 27 November 2008.

    Minutes:

    RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 27November 2008 be adopted.

     

    138.

    The Constitution - Changes to Standing Orders (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 36 KB

    In accordance with Standing Order No 54 (Variation and revocation of Standing Orders) - to confirm the resolution to adopt changes to Standing Orders 43, 61, 62 and 63  made at the Council meeting on 6 November 2008 together with the resulting changes to Standing Order Nos 21 and 32.   Amendments attached.

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Member Services Manager outlined the need for the three proposed changes to the Constitution to be formally approved by the Council.

     

    RESOLVED that the changes to Standing Orders 43, 61, 62 and 63 proposed at the Council meeting on 6 November 2008, together with the resulting changes to Standing Order Nos 21 and 32, be adopted.  

     

    139.

    Scheme of Members' Allowances (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 171 KB

    To agree a scheme of allowances for the year commencing 1 January 2009.

     

    In agreeing a scheme, the Council is required to have regard to a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel.  The Panel’s report is attached.

    Minutes:

    The Member Services Manager outlined the scheme of allowances for the year commencing 1 January 2009, as recommended in the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel.

     

    He explained that the Panel had followed government guidance, taking into account earlier reports; the existing scheme; developments and topical issues; comparative information from other authorities and job descriptions etc, - all within its remit as set out in paragraph 1.4 of the report itself which was attached.

     

    It was felt that the basic allowance needed to be rounded-up to get it back to a level where it could be easily converted as a unit, especially when calculating Special Responsibility Allowances (SRAs).

     

    Except in one case, the relationship between SRAs and the basic allowance would remain as at present.

     

    The overriding feature would be an increase of 2.2%, which the Panel considered to be a reasonable level of increase and certainly not the “cash hike” as referred to by the press.  (In fact, this would be a lower rate of increase than for the last two years.)    All other allowances would only be  payable for defined and independently assessed special responsibilities, and would be limited to one per member.

     

    The Member Services Manager then thanked the Chairmen of the Audit, Licensing and Standards Committees (who had participated in the interview process), explaining the reasons for the interviews and the resulting recommendations in each case. 

     

    He also confirmed that the Panel made no recommendation that any member should have access to the Local Government Pension scheme, on the basis that allowances should not be considered a wage or a salary and that the extra expense should not be imposed on local tax payers.

     

    The following amendments were suggested to the scheme as recommended:

     

    • Under the specialist childcare allowance, the wording should be changed to “normally subject to...”, in order to enable an element of flexibility whenever personal circumstances warranted this. 

     

    • Freezing the rates for the Chairmen of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission and the Development Control Committee in order to establish a differential between these special responsibilities and those of the Executive Members.

     

    • On Appendix B (Members’ Travelling & Subsistence Allowances: Approved Duties) the following amendments were proposed.

     

    o             “Executives’ meetings” should become:

     

    “Executives’ meetings with Officers”.

     

    o             “Attendance of Executive Support Members at any official meetings called by officers” should become:

     

    “Attendance of Members at any official meetings called by officers or an Executive Member with officers”.

     

    o             The addition of mileage incurred by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman whilst on civic duties.

     

    The Leader hoped that when the Panel met in 2009 to consider the next set of allowances, consideration should be given to reinstating the link with the RPI.

     

    RESOLVED that, subject to the amendments proposed above, the scheme of allowances for the year commencing 1 January 2009 be adopted as recommended.