Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 83 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2010.


The minutes of the meeting held on 27 May 2010 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies and Substitutes

To receive apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Mr Gilbert, Mr Goreham, Mr Chapman-Allen and Mrs Matthews.


Mr Balaam was in attendance as substitute for Mr Goreham.


Declaration of Interest

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that 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 a person or prejudicial interest.


No declarations were made.


Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting

To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.


Mr Stasiak and Mrs Turner were in attendance.


Executive Member Portfolio Update (Agenda Item 6)

Adrian Stasiak, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities and Benefits, has been invited to attend the meeting to update Members on key ongoing issues and policies within his portfolio and to answer any questions.



Mr Adrian Stasiak and Mrs Lynda Turner were in attendance in their capacity as Executive Member and Executive Support Member for Communities and Benefits.


Mr Stasiak said that it was a huge portfolio which covered such things as Arts, Pride in Breckland, Sports, PFI/Strategic Sport, Community Development, Youth Engagement and Community Safety as well as the Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership.  The Support Services Manager (ARP) was present to answer any questions.


Mr Stasiak commended the excellent staff within his Portfolio saying that they gave him terrific support.  They were preparing for the inevitable cuts, and as many of their services were discretionary, there were several things that were at risk.


He started his update by asking Members to support the One Stop Bus which would be visiting 16 key rural service centres on a monthly basis to offer better access to Council services.


During 2010 the Portfolio had been involved in the following:



·   Successful Film Festival run in 2010 with national press interest

·   Theatre Festival planned for summer 2010 with Roger Lloyd-Pack as Patron

·   Successful Arts Council bid for art project (rural landscapes) in south of Breckland

·   Full holiday arts programme planned for Summer 2010 (details in Voice)

·   95% satisfaction with Arts activities

·   58% increase in participation from 2007/08 to 2009/10

·   572 people participating in arts activities 2009/10

·   28 workshops in 2007/08 compared with 44 workshops delivered in 2009/10



·   300 volunteers engaged in Pride in Breckland project

·   Richard Wills – winner of Employee of the Year at Pride in People Awards

·   6 people recruited on 6 month contracts through Future Jobs Fund to form Pride Team

·   Breckland Blitz – successful 9 week environmental engagement programme

·   Pride in Breckland Corporate Away Days – participation by Tesco and Sainsbury’s

·   £1500 raised for Help for Heroes from sale of We Are Proud of You magazine

·   World Record attempt to create the worlds longest chain of plastic bottles

·   Pride in Breckland Awards being planned for March 2011 at RAF Marham



·   96% satisfaction with Sports activities

·   1956 people participating in sports holiday activities in 2009/10

·   Breckland Cricket Festival: 64 Sessions delivered at 8 primary schools with 1500 young people

·   25 local residents given subsidies for coaching certificates in return for services offered to Breckland Council on sports holiday activity programme.

·   Sports Unlimited – 3 x 8 week externally funded projects currently running in Thetford and Dereham (Boxing/Dance/Hip-Hop)

·   Sport-Specific Holiday Programme Summer program of 25 sport-specific activities planned across the 5 market Towns for Summer 2010.

·   Active Norfolk Rural Bid/The Norfolk Village Games, Breckland – The Norfolk Village Games (Breckland) is being launched as part of the Wayland Celebration of Community and Culture on July 24th at Watton Sports and Social Club.

·   Gifted and Talented Grant Award Scheme – 12 local young aspiring athletes funded to the total of £3750 since April.


PFI/Strategic Sport

·   Third year of full service operation.

·   Satisfaction Survey – highly commendable

·   Attendance at both leisure centres has increased

·   Partnership with Parkwood working very well


Community  ...  view the full minutes text for item 62.


Overview and Scrutiny Annual Report (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To consider the Annual Report of the Commission.


The Chairman introduced the report and explained that he had tried to be general in his introduction as the detail had been provided by the Scrutiny Officer.  He said it had been an exceptionally good year for scrutiny and they had achieved a considerable amount of work.  He thanked everyone who had taken part.


The Scrutiny Officer then gave a brief overview of the report.  He had given an explanation on what scrutiny was, recognising that the document was intended as much as an outward facing one as of intrinsic internal merit, and referred to the wide range of Member involvement in overview and scrutiny in the last year as evidenced in the Task & Finish Groups.


A Member said that she had enjoyed doing the Task & Finish Group work and she thought that more people should be encouraged to participate.  The Chairman agreed and said that every non-Executive Member had a part to play and should get involved.


He thanked the Scrutiny Officer for his report which was adopted.


Councillor Call for Action (Agenda Item 8)

To receive a presentation by the Scrutiny Officer.


The Scrutiny Officer gave a presentation on this item, which had been introduced as a Statutory duty the previous year, but had not been used at all by Members. 


Any long running, unresolved issues could be referred by any Member and would be heard at the next meeting of the Commission.  Whilst there were potential minor drawbacks relating particularly to capacity, the Call for Action mechanism represented a positive new approach for all Members to take through an expanded overview and scrutiny route, resolving long-standing issues and helping empower Members through community engagement.


The Chairman asked for the presentation to be e-mailed to all Members with an explanatory note.<1>

The report was noted.


Breckland Council Petitions Scheme (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

Report of the Scrutiny Officer.

Additional documents:


The Scrutiny Officer presented the report which had been amended following its initial consideration by the Commission and now included a flowchart to show how petitions would be dealt with.


There was not much flexibility in the requirements of the scheme, but the Council was able to determine the thresholds for dealing with petitions and could also nominate which Senior Officers should attend the Commission when it considered petitions.  These four issues for local determination were laid out at item 3.6 (on page 22) of the report.  The Scrutiny Officer noted that the second and third bullet points should be transposed. 


He concluded by saying that this was a statutory duty that the Council had to do and the scheme should already be in place.  He therefore asked Members to recommend the current scheme to Cabinet on the understanding that any issues of concern could be addressed by review.


A Member was concerned that the threshold for petitions was set too high, as issues affecting individual villages would not be able to attract the required number of signatures to trigger debate.  However, it was pointed out that each petition would be considered individually by an Officer and the Chairman of the Commission to determine how it should be dealt with and there was a minimum threshold of 20 which would trigger a response.


The Scrutiny Officer also pointed out that local issues of concern could be raised through the Councillor Call for Action route.




(1)               endorsement of the petition scheme including the proposed thresholds and to further recommend approval to Council;

(2)               agreement of the associated scheme terms and conditions; and

(3)               insertion of appropriate wording into the Council’s constitution to officially recognise the petitions scheme.



Councillor Call for Action (Agenda Item 10)

To consider any references.




Scrutiny Call-ins (Agenda Item 11)

To note whether any decisions have been called-in for scrutiny.




Task and Finish Groups (Agenda Item 12)

To consider reports from Task & Finish Group Chairmen in respect of the following meetings:


Draft Report and Minute Extract of the ARP Joint Scrutiny Task & Finish Group (Agenda Item 12a) pdf icon PDF 236 KB

Additional documents:


This item was discussed during the Executive Member Portfolio Update.  See Minute No 62/10 above.


Civil Parking Enforcement Report and Draft Resolution from the Parking Task & Finish Group (Agenda Item 12b) pdf icon PDF 547 KB

Additional documents:


In the absence of the Chairman of the Task & Finish Group, Mr Martin introduced this item and asked Members to support the three recommendations.


The Scrutiny Officer explained that the report had been discussed by the Task & Finish Group as they knew it was going to be presented to Cabinet.  They wished to endorse the recommendations through the Commission.


The Chairman noted that this was an officer report, rather than a Member initiative.  He asked Members for their comments in relation to the recommendations, in particular 2.3 which he said was generic.  He was concerned that there were no details about how the Council would determine on-street parking enforcement arrangements.


A Member asked if this would ultimately lead to wheel-clamping and vehicle removal.  The Scrutiny Officer advised that it was not known at this stage and that a partnership approach was being proposed with details to be worked out later.


The Chairman advised Members that as the police would no longer enforce on-street parking the County were saying that each District would have to decide how to tackle the problem.  The recommendations were proposing that the Council did not deal directly but employed a third party.


A Member said that he did not want to approve anything with hidden detail and the Chairman responded by saying that this could be a matter for future scrutiny.




(1)             it supports the County wide proposal for Civil Parking Enforcement;

(2)             replaces existing car parking orders in the district to comply with the Traffic Management Act 2004, to enable them to be enforceable; and

(3)       approves the procurement of on-street enforcement in the district by Norfolk County Council from a neighbouring district or other Service Provider.


Work Programme (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 49 KB

(a)               A copy of the Commission’s work programme is attached.  The Commission is asked to agree any additions, deletions or amendments to the programme as appropriate.


(b)        Member Issues:  In accordance with the Commission’s protocol for member leadership, which states that members of the Commission will take the lead in selecting topics for overview and scrutiny and in the questioning of witnesses, members are invited to put forward items for selection for future review.


The Chairman suggested that between September and October, the Commission should scrutinise proposals re spending and service provision.  A report would be presented to Council in October/November about the reduction in Rate Support Grant and its effects on the Council’s services.  Officers were currently looking for savings and residents would be invited to respond to a survey asking them which services they wanted to keep.<1>


It was also noted that the recommendations from the Contaminated Land Task & Finish Group would be presented to the Commission in October.


Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 2 September 2010 at 2.15pm in the Gallery Bar, Watton Sports Centre, Watton.



The arrangements for the next meeting on Thursday 2 September 2010 at the Gallery Bar, Watton Sports Centre, were noted.