Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 466 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2014.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 20 March 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies and Substitutes (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Byrne, Gilbert and Irving.  Councillor Carter’s apologies were received after the meeting.



Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

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


Councillors Armes, Canham, Kiddle-Morris, Turner and Wassell were in attendance.



Executive Member Portfolio Update (Agenda Item 6)

Councillor Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development, has been invited to attend the meeting to update Members on key ongoing issues and policies within his portfolio and to answer any questions.


Key areas for Members’ attention include:


  • Thetford SUE and what that means going forward
  • Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • Community Interest Company (CIC)
  • Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV)
  • Investment for growth



Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development was in attendance to update the Commission on his Portfolio.  He gave a brief overview of the areas covered by the Portfolio and then focussed on the items listed on the Agenda as key areas for attention.


The Asset side of the Portfolio covered commercial property, marketing and leases and the Local Asset Backed Vehicle (LABV) as well as Land Management, which dealt with sales, transfers and rentals of Council owned land and car parks, footways and roads maintenance.  Strategic Planning covered the Local Plan, Neighbourhood Plans and Strategic Housing (which had previously been known as Housing Enabling) and Economic Development which included Business Support, Grants 4 Growth, Enterprise Norfolk, Thetford Growth Point and the A11 Corridor.



The procurement process was very prescriptive.  The initial stages had already been completed and successful bidders had been invited to submit outline solutions by 15 May 2014.  At that stage the bids would be sifted and evaluated and those that met expectations would then be invited to submit detailed solutions.  If all the criteria were met the Council would then be in a position to select a partner with a view to the LABV being incorporated into a Company within five years.


In response to a question from Councillor Joel the Executive Member advised that despite having to alter parts of the process it was still on track and the partner should be selected by September.


Councillor Armes asked how many bidders were in the pipeline and whether the Riverside development would be brought forward promptly.  It was explained that commercial confidentiality was paramount and that kind of detail could not be divulged.  However, the Executive Member confirmed that there were several bidders and that Thetford Riverside was still the Flagship project to be brought forward, hopefully within the first year.


The Vice-Chairman noted that some of the Moving Thetford Forward money was available, but had to be spent before March 2015.  The Executive Member explained that there would be detailed planning and some ‘de-risking’ works to be done before then, which would cost between £1.5 and £2million.


Councillor Armes mentioned that the shops on Riverside Walk had been sold and were being gutted.  It would enhance what they were doing if the Riverside project was developed.


The Executive Member agreed entirely and said that preliminary talks had been held about investing in the frontage to create a café culture, but unfortunately the site had been sold.  He hoped that the new owners would do something worthwhile with the properties.


Councillor Rogers asked the same question he had asked the Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services at the January meeting, which was how much money was being invested in the Watton area compared to other market towns? 


The Executive Member asked the Asset & Property Manager to find out the answer and respond direct to Councillor Rogers.


Commercial Property Portfolio

The properties were mainly factory, storage and workshops.  Despite the current financial climate  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Health Scrutiny (Agenda Item 7)

To receive an update on the Norfolk Health Scrutiny Committee.


Councillor Kybird advised that he had not attended the last Health Scrutiny meeting as it had clashed with the full Council meeting.  He had not yet received the Minutes from that meeting.  The same would occur for the next meeting, but then there were no further clashes for the rest of the year.



Scrutiny Call-ins (Agenda Item 8)

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


The Vice-Chairman asked for an update on progress on the item he had Called In concerning Mackenzie Road. 


Councillor Armes was able to advise that she was being kept updated and the process was still on-going.

The Chairman asked that the matter should come back to the Commission when resolution had been achieved.



Work Programme (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 72 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.


A copy of the Key Decision Plan is attached for Members’ information.

Additional documents:


The Chairman proposed that on the morning of the next meeting on 19 June Members should meet at 11am for a training session on Scrutiny.  Lunch would be provided before the meeting commenced at 2pm.  It was intended that the training session would be more interactive than in the past and more information would be sent to Members in due course.


Members were encouraged to submit additional items for inclusion on the Work Programme.


The last two Executive Portfolio Updates had been very informative and it was intended to continue with their extended format in future.


The new Chief Executive, Anna Graves, had been invited to the next meeting to advise the Commission of her view of the challenges going forward. 


Councillor Richmond suggested that the Police & Crime Commissioner could be invited to speak to Members.

Councillor Kybird thought that would tie-in with Licensing and its role in controlling anti-social behaviour.  He suggested that the Licensing Chairman should also be invited to speak to Members.


The Vice-Chairman thought that a crime/social themed session would be good.  The differences across the district in the SNAP meetings had been mentioned previously and he would be interested in understanding how the public could help to set priorities.


The Leader of the Council advised that the PCC was not involved in the operational side of policing and it might be more meaningful to invite the Inspector responsible for Breckland to a meeting.


The Chairman asked the Scrutiny Officer to coordinate those items for future agendas.



Next Meeting (Agenda item 11)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 19 June 2014.


The arrangements for the next meeting on 14 June 2014 were noted.