Agenda item

Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)

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

 

Minutes:

The Leader provided Members with updates on the following matters:

 

·        Street Lighting – procurement of the contract had completed successfully. Breckland had approximately 340 lighting columns that needed to be replaced within the first year of the contract. The remainder would be replaced over a 4 year period.  All would be replaced with LED low consumption lighting which had a 30 year guarantee on the actual columns and an expected 8 year life on the head of the LED. This should generate a cost saving going forward both in terms of electricity and indeed maintenance.

 

·        Waste Services – the joint procurement was going well with Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and North Norfolk District Councils. Due diligence was currently being undertaken by legal advisors and it was hoped that this would go out to the open market in November 2018.

 

·        Market Town Initiative –under this initiative, the following matters were highlighted:

 

Ø  grants were still available not only for the market towns but also for the parishes/villages of Breckland;

Ø  a Market Town Co-ordinator post was now in place to ensure that these initiatives were being delivered;

Ø  ShopAppy now had over 100 businesses signed up to it and there had been approximately 15,000 individual hits on the site;

Ø  start-up business initiative, this was a new initiative in Dereham to start up a virtual reality app.  Members were reminded of a young gentleman who came into the Council with a proposed tourism initiative driven by new technology.  The Council had backed this initiative and had contacted a couple of tourism bodies to ascertain what they thought about changing the way that tourism was promoted. Stephen Fry had provided the narration for the app.  It was hoped that the app would be launched at a Full Council meeting in the near future. The app would then be launched on the Apple platform which would enable anyone who came into our market towns to download the app on their iPhones and walk round whilst having a narrated tour of the area;

Ø  £20,000 had been awarded to Swaffham Town Council towards the regeneration of the Buttercross and surrounding area.  The Council was also working with Thetford Town Council in relation to the Dad’s Army Museum and murals for the World War One event.  The Leader pointed out that the poppies currently on display that he had recently seen in Thetford were, in his opinion, quite spectacular  There were on-going conversations with all the market towns and all had been encouraged to come forward for the pot of monies available to help them remain viable and take on projects for this year and future years;

Ø  the Breckland Lottery launched earlier in the year had now raised nearly £30,000 for good causes across the District, with a total income of £50,000 from ticket sales.

 

Questions were then invited.

 

Councillor Jermy was very pleased to hear about the street lighting contract and felt that this was a big step forward; however, he was concerned about several street lights that had been removed over a period of time in his Ward and had not been replaced.  He asked the Leader if there was any flexibility in the contract to install additional street lights or was this contract going to be on a ‘like for like’ replacement of the current stock. The Leader believed that the lights would be placed where they were needed to ensure that the light spread/illumination was appropriate for the place; there would be less street-ware but with better lighting. 

 

Councillor Taylor lived in a Conservation Area and a number of years ago contractors had removed some of the old fashioned lamps and replaced them with new modern European lamps.  However, one old lamp that remained was not working and he was hesitant to report it as he preferred not to have that particular lamp replaced as it was in character with the area. He wanted to know if it was Breckland Council who owned this lamp or Norfolk County Council. The Leader understood that if it was a genuine heritage lamp in Thetford the Town Council should be contacted to ensure that it was retained.  He advised Councillor Taylor to report it and then follow the matter up with the Town Council.