Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7 (Agenda item 7)
- Meeting of Budget & Council Tax Setting 2018-19, Council, Thursday, 22nd February, 2018 10.00 am (Item 27/18)
Councillor Gilbert directed his question to the Deputy Leader. He mentioned a recent Town Council meeting where matters in relation to the management of the cemetery were discussed and which he felt could also have an effect on other market towns. He asked if such responsibilities could be transferred to Breckland Council. The Deputy Leader advised that he had no knowledge of this matter but would look into it.
Councillor Brindle highlighted a concern raised by a Mobility Group in Thetford. He asked the Deputy Leader, in the absence of the Portfolio Holder for Place, if anything could be done to the bollards installed on Breckland owned footpaths. The bollards had been installed to prevent the misuse of motorcycles but this had now had a detrimental effect on people who had to use mobility scooters as they could not get through. The Deputy Leader said that this was the first time that such a matter had been raised. Further details would be required, but he would ask the appropriate officer to look into it.
Councillor Clarke directed his question to the Deputy Leader. He was aware that Norfolk County Council was going to introduce charges at recycling centres for DIY waste which he felt could increase the amount of fly-tipping which again could have unintentional consequences on Breckland Council and he asked how this would be monitored and whether any precautions should be put in place. The Deputy Leader advised that any issues would be reported back to Norfolk County Council via the Norfolk Waste Partnership.
Councillor Jermy asked the Portfolio Holder for Growth about a housing issue in his Ward. He was contacted recently by a resident whose father had applied for sheltered housing and had experienced delays in getting a response. Councillor Jermy was aware of other similar experiences and asked the Portfolio Holder if he was aware of the issue and if he could provide reassurance that the service would improve. Councillor Bambridge was not aware of this situation but he had spoken to the Housing Team recently about its service standards. He asked Councillor Jermy to provide him with further details so he could investigate the concern.
Councillor Sherwood asked the Deputy Leader if he had seen the recent coverage in the Eastern Daily Press and heard the coverage on Radio Norfolk about ‘Norfolk Day’ being held on 27 July 2018. He asked whether Breckland Council would be backing this initiative to mark this occasion. The Deputy Leader knew that Councillor Sherwood was a champion of all things Norfolk and agreed that Breckland Council, being in the very heart of Norfolk, would have a very important role to play. He asked Councillor Sherwood if he would consider being the Member Champion for Norfolk Day and Councillor Sherwood accepted the role.
Councillor Taylor asked a question in relation to the forthcoming Council Tax increase and whether there was any opportunity for the Council to seek additional funding from Central Government. The Deputy Leader pointed out that all public services faced fiscal restraint and Central Government had its own budgetary lines to adhere to and deliver to. As a Member, Breckland Council did lobby the Local Government Association to ensure that authorities were still being supported through these difficult financial times. It was the responsibility of Local authorities to ensure it continued to deliver its front line services. Breckland Council had a very sound budget moving forward and it would be removing its reliance on its Business Rates Support Grant a year early and removing its reliance on the New Homes Bonus to enable that £1.7m to be spent on Breckland Communities.
To clarify, the Portfolio Holder for Finance made Members aware that the Town Councils had already established their precepts.