Agenda item

Leader's Announcements (Agenda Item 6)

Michael Wassell.

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council updated Members on the following key issues that the Cabinet and Senior Officers were working towards:

 

·        Open for Business – The Council had organised an event in Snetterton to discuss how to assist local businesses to be successful.  The event had been attended by representatives from around 37 Breckland businesses, the Chairman of the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, the Chief Executive of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the County Council.  Excellent feedback had been received and a proposition was being prepared by Cabinet to present to Council.

·        Snetterton Biomass Plant was a project that the Council had worked with partners to drive forward.  It was due to start generating electricity in 2017 and would provide jobs both during the construction phase and once it was operational.

·        The A11 improvements were due to open soon and would present a great opportunity for the District.  It had to be borne in mind that the improvements would make it easier for people to leave the district as well as access it.  Breckland was already a net exporter of people – meaning more people lived in the District but worked outside of it.  That was something that needed to be addressed.

·        Meetings had now been held in Thetford and Attleborough at which the Council’s approach to helping places develop in the right way had been discussed.  The meetings had been well attended and the process would continue with the next meeting scheduled for January.

·        The Council had launched its Pride in Breckland Awards 2015.  There were nine categories of award and the closing date for nominations was 18 January with a presentation event to be held in March.  Members were encouraged to pass on the invitation to nominate people, groups and businesses for recognition.

·        The Participatory Budgeting (PB) event was also taking place with each market town having £10,000 to award in grants.  The money came from 2nd Homes Council Tax.  Grants would be awarded for projects focussing on the Pride Board priorities of getting people active.

 

The Chairman then invited Members to ask questions relating to the content of the report.

 

Councillor Williams asked if the PB grants would affect the other larger grants the Council made and he was advised that they would not.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group welcomed the A11 dualling and asked what action the Council could take to capitalise on the benefits that would bring. 

 

The Leader of the Council said that the Council was working with South Norfolk and all other partners to maximise the potential and it had been one of the reasons for the Snetterton event.

 

The Chairman of the Council noted that the Thetford Business Forum was working with the Mildenhall Business Forum for the same reason.

 

Councillor Borrett said that he would welcome similar investment in the A47 to connect Dereham to the rest of the dual carriageway system.

 

Councillor Williams noted that the lack of funding for such improvements led to increased congestion and accident rates.


The Chairman asked what route the Snetterton Biomass plant would take to connect to the National Grid and what its output would be.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development responded that the plant would link to the National Grid in Diss.  The output figure was not known and the Leader agreed to distribute that information separately.

 

There were no further questions.