Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

91.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 8 October 2015.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 8 October were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

92.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Duffield, Gilbert, Gould, Matthews, Nairn, Pettitt, Sherwood, Stasiak, Webb and Wilkin.

 

93.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3) pdf icon PDF 48 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman referred to the many functions that he had attended with great pleasure including investitures of three Breckland residents; Mrs Carmichael, Mrs Dodsworth and Mr Sheldrake and the 100th birthday celebrations of Mr Jack Carver, former Far East Prisoner of War.

 

94.

Leader's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Wassell, Leader of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council reported on the following:

 

·        the latest Town & Parish Council Forum – he was concerned at the lack of agenda items being put forward by Parishes and the comparatively small number of attendees.  He appealed to all Members to encourage their parishes to put forward topics and to attend future Forums;

·        his meeting with the Leaders of Forest Heath and South Norfolk District Councils to discuss how to maximise the potential of the A11 corridor; and

·        the Eastern Daily Press Stars of Norfolk & Waveney Awards, which recognised everyday heroes.  The Outstanding Bravery of the Year Award had been won by Michael Bowley from Thetford who had also won the Overall Stars of Norfolk and Waveney award for his actions when fire broke out at the Woodlands Care Home.


He concluded by wishing all present a very Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year and he thanked both Members and Officers for all their hard work in 2015 and looked forward to working with them in 2016.

 

There were no questions from Members.

 

95.

Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 5)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate in 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 that they have, in relation to an agenda item that supports the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

 

96.

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda Item 6)

96/14a

Confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 November 2015 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 November 2015 be adopted.

 

96/14b

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 1 December 2015 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 1 December 2015 be adopted.

 

97.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 19 November 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 19 November 2015 be adopted.

 

98.

Planning Committee (Agenda Item 8)

98/14a

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19 October 2015 pdf icon PDF 8 MB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 19 October be adopted.

 

98/14b

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 16 November 2015 pdf icon PDF 757 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 16 November 2015 be adopted.

 

99.

Appeals Committee (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 28 October 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 28 October 2015 be adopted.

 

100.

Licensing Committee (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 30 November 2015.

 

The Draft Statement of Licensing Policy 2015 and the Draft Statement of Principles (Gambling Act 2005) are attached for information.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)      Licensing Act 2003 Policy Review (Minute No 21/15)

 

RESOLVED that the revised Statement of Licensing Policy, required for the Council as licensing authority to discharge its statutory duties under the Licensing Act 2003, be approved.

 

(b)      Revised Statement of Principles (Gambling Act 2005) (Minute No 22/15)

 

RESOLVED that the revised Statement of Principles, required in order for the Council to act as the licensing authority and discharge its statutory duties under the Gambling Act 2005, be approved.

(c)      Adoption

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 30 November 2015 be adopted.

 

101.

Devolution (Agenda Item 11)

Report of the Leader of the Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council presented the report.  The work that had been undertaken over the last few months had included a meeting with Lord Hestletine and efforts to bring Cambridgeshire into the deal to improve the offer.

 

He emphasised that the recommendation was just to continue to support formal engagement.  No decisions would be made without coming back to Council.  It would be a long process and it was necessary to tread carefully.

 

He proposed an amendment to add an additional recommendation that:

 

·        the amount of time spent by the Chief Executive on Devolution should be limited to no more than 40% of the time spent at Breckland with minimal involvement from the Section 151 Officer.

 

The Deputy Leader of the Council seconded that proposal.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group did not agree with the amendment.  He did not want to constrain the level of involvement of Senior Officers and thought they should be allowed to use their own judgement.

 

Councillor Wilkinson referred to additional papers from the Chief Executive.  However, those were not in the public domain and some Members had not seen them.  The meeting was suspended whilst copies were made available.  Members were then given time to read the papers and the meeting was re-opened.

 

Councillor Taylor asked why the time of Senior Managers was being restricted and asked if there was a lack of trust in the Chief Executive’s judgement.

 

The Leader of the Council explained that there was a danger that Devolution could take up a huge amount of time and some Members had expressed concern and wanted to understand the time allocated to it.  There was no lack of trust; he just did not want Devolution to impinge on other things that needed to be done.

 

Councillor Nunn said that Devolution needed to be put into context.  The creation of the Norther Power House had taken 21 years and there was a real fear that officers would be subsumed by Devolution at a difficult financial time.  Other projects needed to be kept running to serve the community.  Devolution would carry on for many years and might be a waste of the Chief Executive’s time.  He supported the amendment.

 

Councillor Oliver also supported the recommendations but asked for his concern about the amendments to the Cities and Local Government Bill to be recorded as the Council’s position was being eroded by those.

 

Councillor Cowen referred to the scale of the combined, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire proposal – which covered about 5,000 square miles.  The Northern Power House only covered about 500 square miles.  It was a lot of pressure and the Council needed to look after its residents.  The cost benefits were yet to be determined.

 

Councillor Borrett thought that 40% of the Chief Executive’s time was a very sensible proposal.  If the project developed it could come back to Council for change if necessary.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group referred to the additional papers which he had not seen before.  They  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.

102.

Breckland Bridge Joint Venture Monitoring Board (Agenda Item 12)

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Monitoring Board meeting held on 3 November 2015.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council gave an update on Breckland Bridge which had started formally on 23 April 2015.   The Monitoring Board had been reviewing progress and the Minutes of its most recent meeting were attached to the Agenda.

 

The Council and Land Group were working well together and he was pleased with the rapid progress that was being made.

 

There were three projects in the Business Plan:

 

1.     Riverside, Thetford: this scheme was up and running and the construction was progressing on time and on budget.  A number of communications events had been held.  Efforts were being made to ensure that the new structure matched the adjacent building, such as using bricks which looked old.  A national restaurant chain had recently agreed terms to occupy the largest ground floor unit.

2.     Burghwood Drive, Mileham:  This 11 home scheme had recently received reserved matters planning consent.  It included four affordable homes.  The project was fully funded and would commence in January 2016.  It would be the first time the Council had directly built housing for a significant number of years and was therefore a real achievement.

3.     Chapel Road, Attleborough:  This 12 home scheme would include three affordable houses.  The project was running about three months behind schedule due to the land where the school was due to move being tied up in probate.  The earliest the school could now move out was in summer 2017.  However, the planning application would be progressed in summer 2016.

 

Breckland Bridge had recently undertaken its annual review of all the assets that were made available in the procurement to help inform the longer term property strategy for the Council.  Stemming from that some land sites were being prepared for inclusion in the Local Plan for development.

 

As it had not been necessary to undertake external borrowing the Partnership was currently performing financially better than expected in the Business Plan.

 

The Business Plan for the next five years would come to Council, via the Overview & Scrutiny Commission, in March 2016 for approval.

 

Overall the plan was being delivered and the Directors appointed by the Council were working hard to ensure that the Partnership kept on track and delivered its objectives.  An Independent Director was being recruited and was expected to be appointed shortly. 

 

Councillor Martin had a suggestion about the Chapel Road development and he was advised to speak to Councillors Jolly or Turner (as Directors of Breckland Bridge) outside the meeting.

 

Councillor Duigan noted that the Riverside project had been an amber risk and he was advised that it was now back on track.

 

Councillor Jermy asked that the Communications Protocol should consider using the Brandon and Thetford Times as it was received by about a third of Thetford residents.  A lot of Thetford residents did not see the Council’s press releases and he did not want them to miss the good news.

 

The Leader of the Council said that was a good point and he would take the suggestion on board.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Nominations for Committee and Other Seats (Agenda Item 13)

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

 

Planning Committee

Cllr W. Smith to be replaced by Cllr M. Robinson

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Councillor Robinson should replace Councillor Smith on the Planning Committee.