Leader's Announcements (Agenda Item 5)
To receive a verbal update from the Deputy Leader Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, in the absence of the Leader.
In the absence of the Leader, the Deputy Leader gave Members an update on the following:
· The Riverside Scheme – first stage on course for completion in the autumn;
· Breckland Bridge – nearing completion of 11 houses in Mileham, including four affordable homes;
· The Council was working in partnership with Flagship Housing on a new scheme for 33 dwellings in Narborough – 31 of which would be available for affordable rent;
· Local Plan workshops had been held around the District to receive comments on the draft documents which would go out to public consultation on 19 September;
· Devolution: the proposals for the Combined Authority had been submitted to the Secretary of State for consideration;
· Community: on 28 August over 300 runners had taken part in the Dereham 10k run. 5k and 1k fun runs had also taken place to encourage residents young and old to participate;
· Grants: Higher numbers and better quality applications were being received since the Norfolk Community Foundation began administering the Council’s grant process.
· Garden Waste: the service had expanded and improved with the introduction of the improved on-line payment system. 1400 new subscriptions had been received and 38% of transactions were on-line with another 38% by card payment.
· Business Rates: Two consultations for Members had taken place and the deadline for Member feedback was Monday 19 September.
· Review of Parliamentary Constituency Boundaries: initial proposals had been published and Members were urged to read them and note the changes which would result in a few Breckland Wards moving from the South West Norfolk Constituency to the Mid Norfolk Constituency.
The following questions were asked:
Councillor Jermy asked the Leader to call on Norfolk County Council to vote against the Devolution proposals, but the Deputy Leader said it was up to them how they voted. They should represent the view of residents.
Councillor Clarke asked if Breckland residents would have to provide a precept if they were not allowed to vote for the Mayor and it was confirmed that they would not.
Councillor Oliver asked if Breckland would receive a share of the transport budget which would be redistributed under the new agreement. When he was advised that it would not, he asked if the Council would make representation about that.
The Deputy Leader confirmed that representation had been made, but pointed out that the Council had made the decision not to be involved in the discussions.
On Narborough Housing:
Councillor Wilkinson expressed his appreciation for the work done by James Heaton, the Council’s Housing Enabling Officer, on the Narborough scheme and the Deputy Leader endorsed those comments.
Councillor R Richmond was pleased the Council was helping to provide affordable dwellings. He asked for details of site value needed to enable affordable housing delivery.
The Deputy Leader did not have that information, therefore a written answer would be provided.
On Garden Waste/Recycling:
Councillor Taylor asked if the Council had a scheme to help people recycle large items as it would help to reduce fly-tipping.
Councillor Joel asked what the Council was doing to avoid fly-tipping following the closure of some recycling centres.
Councillor T Monument asked if the Council had considered food waste collections.
The Executive Member for Place advised that the Council constantly reviewed its service to ensure it was fit for purpose. It currently offered to remove three large items for £30 and additional items for £5 each. She urged Members to encourage people to report fly tipping as soon as possible and the Council would prosecute those responsible when it was in the public interest to do so. Regarding food waste she advised that it was a costly scheme which could encourage people to waste more. The Council was looking at ways to reduce waste instead.