Venue: The Anglia Room, Committee Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham
To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2007.
a) Audit Committee (Minute No. 122/07(e))
Cllr Goreham queried the wording on page 6, paragraph 4 of the Minutes. He felt that the Overview and Scrutiny Commission should have the right to examine all matters within its remit whether financial or not.
The Democratic Services Manager advised that the Overview and Scrutiny Commission would still have the ability for Members to call-in any matters, in accordance with its terms of reference.
The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2007 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 M Chapman-Allen, S Chapman-Allen, R Duffield, M Fanthorpe, J Gretton, P Hewett, A Joel, S Matthews, K Millbank, I Monson, I Sherwood and M Spencer.
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.
The following declarations of interest were noted:
· Cllr Cowen - personal interest as an architect in practice in relation to LDF and planning matters as recorded under:
Ø Minute No. 145/07 of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 December 2007
Ø Minute No. 120/07 of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 13 December 2007
Ø Minute No. 190/07 of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 26 November 2007
Ø Minute No. 204/07 of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 17 December 2007
Ø Minute No. 73/07 of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 December 2007
Ø Minute No. 03/08 of the Cabinet meeting held on 8 January 2008.
· Cllrs G Bambridge, S Askew, R Kybird, J Rogers, J Labouchere, W Nunn, P Francis and Lady K Fisher declared personal interests in any matters relating to the Local Development Framework.
· Cllr S Howard-Alpe declared a prejudicial interest in Minute No. 209/07(d) as it related to her previous address and would leave the room if this item was discussed.
Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)
(including the engagements of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman)
· The Chairman introduced Mr Paul Calkin who had been appointed as the Strategic Director of Transformation. Mr Calkin had previously been employed at Kirklees Council and had a reputation for public and private sector organisation transformation.
Mr Calkin thanked everyone for the warm welcome and said that he was learning fast as there was a lot to learn.
· All Members were invited to attend a training session concerning Development Control issues on 28 January 2008 at 2.15pm in the Norfolk Room. Members were asked to inform the Committee Officer if they would be attending.
· The Town and Parish Council Forum would be held on 31 January 2008 in Thetford. The Agenda would include an update on the LDF, the Local Government Reorganisation and Community Forums. There would also be an explanation of the Comprehensive Area Assessment (CAA).
· Two consultation LDF events were being held on 30 January at the Community and Enterprise Centre in Attleborough and 6 February at the Carnegie Rooms in Thetford. A Member asked if the Parish Councils were going to be informed of these events. In response, the Environmental Planning Manager advised that a letter, confirming all the above arrangements, would be sent out to all Members and Parishes. Information would also be on the Council’s website and included in the Members’ Bulletin.
· The Chairman was pleased to report the progress on the fundraising for Quidenham Hospice. A total of £4,200 had been raised to date and the sum was still rising; Cllr S Askew had yet to contribute the £1,100 from completing his half marathon.
· Members were asked to note that the next full Council meeting for the setting of the Council Tax would be held on 21 February 2008.
· On a sad note, the Chairman reported that he and a number of Councillors had attended the funeral of Christine Cotton. Christine had been an employee of Breckland Council for many years and would be sadly missed.
A list of engagements attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman was tabled, for the period 6 December 2007 to 16 January 2008, which included:
Confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 3 December 2007.
a) Breckland Core Strategy and Development Control Policies Development Plan Document (DPD) – Preferred Policy Options Consultation (Minute No. 147/07)
The Executive Member for Planning confirmed that the consultation period would run for a minimum period of six weeks. The results would be reported back to Members in due course and a final document would be submitted to the Government later in 2008.
All Parish and Town Councils, public and stakeholders would be issued with a copy of the aforementioned document as well as a CD Rom, and the consultation process would be from 28 January to March 2008. All parties who had an interest in the Local Development Framework would also be notified.
An on-line version would become interactive on 28 January for people to make comments and put their views forward electronically.
To accompany the launch of the Strategy document, meetings had been arranged and the local Press would be informed of all the consultation dates.
Cllr Lamb drew attention to paragraph seven on page 13 of the Minutes and on page 18 of the Cabinet Appendix which referred to infrastructure. The appendix that had accompanied the report contained a summary of comments and recommended changes to the Document. Cllr Lamb was aware that the District’s existing infrastructure was incapable of meeting its developments needs and he asked for assurance from the Council not to agree to the amount of proposed housing stock before the infrastructure could be secured. In relation to the aforementioned point, the Environmental Planning Manager stated that the life of the Development Plan had been extended from 2021 to 2026; therefore, it was important to identify what infrastructure was needed now before any major further development came forward.
was agreed that the response section under Core Policy 4 of the
appendix – timing of infrastructure in new developments, the
word “not” would be removed from the following sentence
as it was considered to be a double negative: “In practical
terms this would mean that it is unlikely development could
On page 24, Core Policy 3 – jobs figures, Cllr Lamb was concerned about the number of jobs in Thetford being limited to 5,000 when 6,000 new dwellings had been proposed. He felt that all the aforementioned matters were linked to infrastructure and that there had not been enough emphasis on the “grand plan” for the future.
The Executive Member for Planning reminded Members that these policies would be going forward through the LDF process and that all comments would be taken to each Parish for consultation.
Another concern raised was the lack of control that the Council now had on small extensions to private dwellings particularly with regard to design issues.
In relation to all the above matters, the Chief Executive advised that this Authority was unique in its development of the LDF and he would ensure that this Council would end up with a comprehensive solution.
The Chairman of Development Control Committee wished to point out that ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
Cabinet Minutes: 8 January 2008 (Agenda item 6)
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 8 January 2008.
a) Planning and Building Control Business Case (Minute No. 6/08)
The Executive Member for Transformation explained that the reason for setting up a company was not only to trade Building Control and Planning services but to provide a catalyst for change and real service improvement for customers which would benefit Breckland’s residents. He was pleased that Paul Calkin was in post to assist the Council with this process.
Cllr Lamb queried the recommendations and asked if it meant that the Council would have the last word as far as the planning function was concerned. In response, the Chief Executive drew Members’ attention to the third recommendation which would allow a further report to be presented to Council in two months detailing the proposal rather than having an array of options on the table for Members to consider.
1) the authority to agree the specifications be delegated to the Chief Executive;
2) the authority to deal with the administrative arrangements in respect of setting up the company, including the name, the appointment of a Secretary and the Board and other administrative arrangements be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader; and
3) a report be submitted to Council within two months to report progress on options and recommend a way forward having allowed the new Strategic Director of Transformation time to consider the options fully.
b) Procurement Strategy Update (Minute No. 7/08)
1) the two overarching Procurement Aims for the Council be the Procurement Sustainability Principles supported by the Green Purchasing Policy at Appendix B of the report and that these be included as an addendum to the existing Procurement Strategy;
2) the Sustainable Procurement Policy at Appendix C of the report as an addendum to the current Procurement Strategy be adopted; and
3) Cllr W H C Smith be appointed as the Sustainable Procurement Champion.
c) Houses in Multiple Occupation – Additional LicensingScheme (Minute No. 8/08)
The Executive Member for Planning reported that Breckland Council was the first Authority that had advocated an Additional Licensing Scheme to cover all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in the District. This scheme would help control issues associated with the growth in the number of HMOs in the area and would contribute to reducing anti-social behaviour and nuisances. In Breckland there were currently 526 houses in multiple occupation and this scheme would ensure that these houses were monitored and would benefit residents from improved health and safety and welfare provision.
d) Second Homes Council Tax Monies for Affordable Housing Schemein Yaxham (Minute No. 9/08)
The Executive Member for Planning reported that these five affordable homes would use new technology to build Eco Homes which would achieve the highest excellence level of energy efficiency. The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission felt that the Council ought to be applauding the use of the funds to drive this scheme forward.
e) The Use of Commuted Sums from S106 Agreements for AffordableHousing (Minute No. ... view the full minutes text for item 6.
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 13 December 2007.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 13 December 2007 be adopted.
Confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 26 November 2007.
RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 26 November 2007 be adopted,
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 17 December 2007.
RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 17 December 2007 be adopted.
Unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 December 2007.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 December 2007 be adopted.
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 5 December 2007.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 5 December 2007 be adopted.
Unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 11 December 2007.
a) The Democratic Services Manager advised that it had been proposed that the existing two substitute Parish Councillors, the substitute independent lay member, plus one of the existing Breckland Councillors be promoted to full membership of the Committee and that one additional independent lay member be appointed. Substitutes would not be required for the three elected Breckland Councillors.
The Breckland Council nominations for the remaining two seats on the Standards Committee were Mr D Myers (to replace Mr R Childerhouse) and Mr F Sharpe.
1) the size of the Standards Committee be increased to nine Members, effective from 21 February 2008;
2) the existing two substitute Parish Councillors and one substitute independent member and one substitute Breckland Councillor be promoted to full membership of the Committee;
3) an additional independent lay member be appointed, and a suitable candidate be nominated by the Standards Committee to Council;
4) Mr R Childerhouse to be replaced by Mr D Myers with immediate effect; and
5) Mr F Sharpe be appointed as a Member of the Standards Committee with effect from 21 February 2008.
RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 11 December 2007 be adopted.
Local Government Review (Standing Item) (Agenda item 13)
To receive an update (if any).
The Chief Executive provided Members with a quick résumé of where the Council was at with regard to the Local Government Review. Members were aware that the process had come to a halt whilst the terms of reference (ToR) were being considered by the Boundary Committee. It was anticipated that the ToR would be agreed by the end of the month.
To receive a presentation on the Local Area Agreement.
Rob Walker, the LGR Project Officer, provided the council with a presentation concerning the Local Area Agreement (LAA).
A local area agreement (LAA) was a three-year agreement between a local area and central government. The LAA described how local priorities would be met by delivering local solutions. It also contributed to national priorities as set out by the Government. This version was new and had “more teeth” than the previous one.
The LAA would run from June 2008 to June 2011.
The LAA had been negotiated between the Norfolk County Strategic Partnership (NCSP) and the regional Government Office (GO). The NCSP consisted of all the key players in Norfolk who delivered public services.
Norfolk County Council had a statutory duty to produce a Local Area Agreement for the county. Breckland Council had a statutory to engage with this process.
(A copy of the presentation is attached for Members’ information)
Cllr Williams asked how this would all fit in with the Local Strategic Partnership. In response, the Chief Executive explained that the LAA was about invigorating and empowering the LSP to deliver proper constructive community engagement; this was the reason that Councillors were being asked to take a lead in their communities.
Cllr Jordan felt that the LSP had always been a problem and had never really been constructive in the community.
The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission welcomed these additional powers but was concerned where it was going to lead. He felt that the Council must ensure that these other agencies came aboard. In response, the LGR Project Officer said that there was a statutory duty to co-operate.
The Chairman thanked the LGR Project Officer for his presentation.
Strategic Alliance (Standing Item) (Agenda item 14)
To receive an update (if any).
There was nothing further to report.
Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda item 15)
To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from political groups.
RESOLVED that further to the Standards Committee appointments above at Minute No. 12/08 the following appointments and changes be noted:
a) Audit Committee
Cliff Jordan to be appointed as Chairman of the Audit Committee
b) General Purposes Committee
Robert Childerhouse to be replaced by Shirley Howard-Alpe