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 89 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2013.


Two spelling mistakes to the new Chief Executive’s name in the resolution on page 6 were pointed out.  Subject to those being amended the Minutes of the meeting held on 3 October 2013 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 Childerhouse, Lamb, Pettitt, Steward and Williams.


Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3)

Engagements List – Chairman


3rd October 2013 – 13 November 2013





5th October, 2013

Project 30: Grand Opening

East Harling Sports and Social Club

10th October 2013


The County Towns Initiative

17th October 2013


Lieutenant Colonel Tim Cole

Royal British Legion

21st October, 2013

Norfolk Sea Supper to mark Trafalgar Day

Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Elizabeth Watson


Engagements List – Vice Chairman





27th October, 2013

Justice Service

The High Sheriff of Norfolk, The Countess of Leicester

29th October, 2013

Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2013

Bernard Matthews

29th October, 2013

YMCA AGM and Annual Celebration

YMCA Norfolk

3rd November, 2013

Service of Thanksgiving to celebrate the completion of the re-roofing of the church

Revd. Louise Alder and members of the Shipdham All Saints’ Church PCC

6th November, 2013

Annual East Wretham Remembrance Ceremony to commemorate and pay tribute to the Czechoslovak and Polish personnel buried at the Commonwealth War Graves plot

Royal Air Forces Association Thetford & District Branch

8th November, 2013

Special Gala Dinner

Adrian Ball, Executive Principal, The Thetford Academy

10th November, 2013

Annual Service of Remembrance

Mayor of Thetford, Councillor Stuart Wright



The Vice-Chairman commented on the YMCA AGM and Annual Celebration which he had attended.  It had been a most impressive event with a number of presentations.  He would put a copy of the YMCA’s Annual Report in the Members’ Room.


Cabinet Minutes (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 29 October 2013.


(a)       Environmental Services Organisational and Services Review (Minute No 83/13)




1)     the implementation of the restructure of Environmental Services within both Breckland District Council and South Holland District Council as detailed in the report be approved; including


a)     the provision of the senior management capacity for Environmental Services via the appointment of a Corporate/Strategic Manager; jointly shared between the two Authorities.  Officers are requested to investigate further and report back on the most appropriate organisational structure/service arrangements to be managed by this position taking into account the potential synergies, weaknesses noted within paragraphs 1.19-1.20 of the report;


b)     the further sharing of posts namely the proposed Senior Environmental Services Officer and Senior Waste & Recycling Services Officer;


2)     the Environmental Services Statement of Purposes at paragraph 1.7 of the report be agreed; and


3)     the headline improvements as at paragraphs 1.33-1.35 of the report be agreed.


(b)       Town/Parish Council Localised Council Tax Grant (Minute No 84/13)


With reference to the final sentence in the fourth paragraph on page 14 the Leader of the Labour Group invited the Chairman to Thetford to see the efficiencies they had made.


(c)        Calendar of Meetings 2014/15 (Minute No 86/13)


RESOLVED that the Schedule of Council and Committee meetings for 2014-15 be approved, subject to any changes made by the Constitution Review.


(d)       Adoption


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 29 October 2013 be adopted.


Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 17 October 2013.


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 17 October 2013 be adopted.


Planning Committee (Agenda Item 7)

Confirmed minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on


Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 30 September 2013. pdf icon PDF 123 KB


(a)       Proposed Changes to Delegated Arrangements in light of the introduction of the Planning Guarantee (Minute No 100/13)


RESOLVED that the Council’s Delegated Arrangements be amended as set out in the Minute.


(b)       Adoption


RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 30 September 2013 be adopted.


Unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 28 October 2013 pdf icon PDF 119 KB


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 28 October 2013 be adopted.


General Purposes Committee (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 16 October 2013.


(a)       Living Wage (Minute No 54/13)


The Leader of the Labour Group said that he was very pleased that the principle of applying the Living Wage was making progress.  However, as the recommendation had originally been presented to Council on 4 July 2013 he asked for the award to be backdated to then.


The Chief Executive agreed to look into the matter and the increase would be paid from 4 July if costs were not prohibitive. 


Councillor Smith advised that he had been tasked with looking into the remuneration package for all staff.  That review would include the Living Wage.  Papers were being prepared.


Councillor Goreham suggested that Members should vote on an amended proposal but after further discussion it was confirmed that he and the Leader of the Labour Group were happy for the Chief Executive to deal with the matter.




(1)               the Living Wage should be considered as part of the general review of remuneration being carried out by HR; and

(2)               the five staff currently being paid below the Living Wage should each receive a one-off payment to bring their salary for the current financial year up to £14,374.


(b)       Adoption


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 16 October 2013 be adopted.


Licensing Committee (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 9 October 2013.


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 9 October 2013 be adopted.


Anglia Revenues & Benefits Partnership - Celebrating Success (Agenda Item 11)

To receive a short presentation.


The Chairman told Members that it was important to understand the journey of the Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership (ARP) which had been formed at a time when the Council was officially the third worst in the Country for dealing with Benefits; taking up to three months to determine claims.


At that time he had been an Executive Member and the Leader (Councillor Jordan) had tasked him with improving things.  In 2003 the Council had started a partnership with Forest Heath District Council; who were marginally better at handling Benefits claims.  They had worked together to provide an acceptable service for customers.  In the process they had come to make year-on-year savings of over £2million and achieved Beacon Status.  The Chairman was very proud of what had been done. 


One of the original Officers involved in the ARP had recently been re-employed.  He was the right person to take the ARP on to the next stage of its journey.  The Chairman introduced Paul Corney, Head of ARP to Members.


Mr Corney said he was extremely happy to be rejoining the ARP which had been the first partnership in the country for Revenues and Benefits.  It was still a National leader, helping to deliver excellence for customers as well as savings.  Officers had been invited to the meeting to celebrate an example of excellence and he introduced Lucy Burt, Fraud & Visits Team Manager.


Ms Burt said the celebration was for winning the Institute of Revenues Valuation and Rating (IRRV) Excellence in Fraud award – which was a team award.  She introduced three other members of the team who were also present: Katie Mills, Shirley Brimelow and Neil Oxbury, and then gave Members a short presentation.


The award process, which was open to all Local Authorities in England and Wales, involved a submission, shortlisting, inspection and then an awards dinner.  


The ARP’s submission had highlighted the additional challenges they faced, being four teams working as one to achieve targets for four different Councils across three County boundaries. 


The fraud world was constantly changing and the Partnership had evolved to keep abreast of those changes.


The four authorities covered a large area and the fraud team worked with lots of different departments and agencies including the Police and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) requiring the development of many diverse working relationships.


Team members had significant qualifications and experience and those skills were shared.  The investigations and interviews were divided amongst the team members and the system worked very well.


They constantly reviewed their working practice and were very pro-active in their approach, showing the public that fraud would not be tolerated.  They had adopted new technology and reviewed their visiting function.  Investigations were targeted to ensure they were productive, had value and provided good publicity.  Everything was ‘risk scored’ and support mechanisms were in place.  Even in cases where it was decided that prosecution was not in the public interest, the customer was advised that the ARP were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 98.


Member / Officer Pledge (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Presented by Leanne Neave, Member Trainer.


The Member Trainer gave a brief update on the Member/Officer Pledge which had been drawn up by the Corporate Management Team (CMT) and the Member Development Panel.


The aim of the Pledge was to empower Councillors as community leaders.  Sessions had been held with all staff in July to inform them of the importance of making Members aware of any issues that were happening in their Wards.  Staff had been encouraged to notify Members of problems and good news stories.  Some things might still slip through the net and there would be things that Members heard about before Officers.  In those cases, Members were asked to make Officers aware of the issues.


A copy of the Pledge was attached to the Agenda and if Members had any questions they should be directed to either CMT or the Training Team.


Councillor Kybird noted that the Pledge should refer to Town and Parish Councils.


The Chief Executive reiterated that the whole purpose of the Pledge was to ensure that Members were not taken by surprise by something happening in their Ward.  Sometimes it was difficult for back-bench Members to keep in touch with the Council and this was a way to try to keep them included and informed and to keep a two-way dialogue open.