Agenda item

Leader's Announcements (Agenda Item 5)

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



The Leader had three topics to discuss, one of which was Devolution which he would leave until Agenda Item 15.  The other two subjects were the EU Referendum and the flash flooding experienced on that day particularly in Dereham, Shipdham, Saham Toney and Watton.  The Council had managed the response to the flooding at the same time as running the referendum and the count.  The Council offices and two Polling Stations had been flooded.  Presiding Officers had struggled to get their ballot boxes to the count venue and some had been helped by the police.  The response to the flooding had been well co-ordinated with the emergency services and the count had been able to take place and be completed on time.  The Council offices had been open on the Friday and there had been minimal disruption to waste collection services.  All properties affected by flooding had been visited on the Friday.  The Leader thanked all the staff who had continued working, some of whom had been flooded themselves.


With regard to the referendum, he noted that the Customer Contact Centre had received a number of calls from residents asking what effect the result would have locally.   Residents were being given the following information:


The referendum last week saw UK voters decide that the country should leave the European Union.  Putting that decision into practice will be led at a national level by the government and is likely to take some time.  In the meantime, the UK continues to be a member of the EU and local and national policies remain in place.  Breckland, therefore, has no immediate plans to change its policies or access to its services as a result of the referendum.  The council will be working closely with other government bodies to ensure the transition to the UK being outside of the EU – and the implications of this – is carefully managed, and will consider any necessary changes to its policies at the appropriate time.


He concluded by stressing that the Council was united against hate and racism and those people that had used the referendum as a tool to be devisive.


Those comments were strongly supported by Members of all parties and they were urged to report any incidents of hate crime and to encourage their residents to do the same.


Councillor Gilbert asked Members to collate evidence of flooding problems to present to Anglian Water and the Environment Agency.


Councillor Jermy asked the Leader what Breckland could do to create more cohesive communities and the Leader responded that it was up to all Councillors to show leadership and to encourage people to report any problems.

Councillor Wilkinson asked the Leader to put his thanks to staff in writing and he agreed to pass his comments to the Chief Executive to use at the next All Staff Briefing.

Finally Councillor Turner urged Councillors to encourage their villages to adopt an Emergency Plan as the Shipdham plan had proved very worthwhile in the recent flooding.