Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7 (Agenda item 7)
Councillor Jermy directed his question to Councillor Claussen the Portfolio Holder for Place (Health Lead). He apologised for not attending the recent Cabinet meeting but he had read the reports particularly the one in relation to the artificial pitch proposals (Cabinet agenda item 8). He had since been contacted by numerous members of Thetford Town Hockey Club who were concerned that they would not have anywhere to operate in Thetford as the location they currently used was the only suitable pitch in the area and, if these changes went ahead, they would not be able to continue playing there. The Cabinet report that had been agreed would involve the redevelopment of the existing Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and replacing the existing sand dressed astroturf pitch with an all-weather 3G Artificial Grass Pitch (AGP) located at the Breckland Leisure Centre in Thetford. Councillor Jermy asked if the Portfolio Holder would commit to meeting with the Hockey Club members to discuss their concerns as reassurance would be appreciated. The Portfolio Holder was happy to meet with them, but pointed out that this project was currently at the feasibility study stage only. The funding would be coming from the Football Association who would have a great interest into how their money was going to be spent. He was aware of the Hockey Club’s concerns but felt that the feasibility study should continue to assess any potential positive or negative outcomes of the project.
Councillor Brindle asked Councillor Claussen a question in relation to fly-posting. He was receiving more and more complaints about this matter particularly in relation to rival gymnasia/fitness activity groups in Thetford who seemed to be putting up notices wherever they could without relevant permission. He asked what the Council’s policy was on this matter. The Deputy Leader, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, responded to this question and explained that this issue had already been raised by Councillor Hollis at a previous meeting and had been noted in the Minutes. However, any such matters should be reported to the Place Team who would then report it to Serco to action and, if appropriate, the agent/landlord would be contacted.
Councillor Taylor asked Councillor Adrian Stasiak, the Portfolio Holder for Assets about the recent social ‘On the Green’ events that had been held in Thetford. These events had proven to be very popular, so much so, that he had been asked if they could be moved around the town to other locations. However, he had been made aware that the monies for such events was limited. As it had been well received, he wondered if it could be repeated in future years in partnership with businesses within the town. The Leader stated that the proposal was to put £20,000 towards it for next year but it would have to be re-tendered.
Councillor Martin asked a question about Barnham Broom Golf & Country Club, the Council’s investment asset. On the basis that this would normally be discussed as a private & confidential item, the Leader could not answer the question but would be happy to advise the Member after the meeting.
Councillor Hollis asked the Leader how he felt about the main Tesco’s store in Thetford selling off some of its car park for units, a Costa and a burger bar. The Leader had recently had sight of this proposal in the local press and was not surprised as most businesses needed to get the best return from its assets. This was however, subject to planning. Councillor Claussen, the Portfolio Holder for Place, felt that Tesco’s timing was concerning and was, in his opinion, too early as Central Government was encouraging town centre regeneration. The number of initiatives that this Council was putting forward to try and make the town centres more vibrant was the complete opposite to the Tesco proposal.