Agenda item

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)


The Chairman welcomed pupils and staff from Northgate School who were in attendance to observe the meeting.  After the meeting the pupils would be taken on a tour of the Council building followed by an opportunity to find out more about the role of the Council by way of a short briefing session taking place in the Norfolk Room with the Chairman and the Executive Director of Place.


The Chairman also welcomed representatives from her chosen charities, the Daisy Programme and Leeway both of which would be providing Members with a 5 minute presentation.


The Chairman encouraged Members to remain after the meeting to listen to a short presentation on the new Digital Inclusion programme led by Andy Prior, the Digital and Customer Access Manager.  Zoe Webster and Lorraine Craven from the Customer Contact Team would be available after the meeting for Members to ask questions and find out more about this new service.


Presentations from Lee Taylor, the founder of the Daisy Programme and Emma Nurse, the Central Services Manager from Leeway, then provided Members with their presentations.


The Daisy Programme had been established for 4 years and had been self-funded for the first 15 months.  With over 140,000 residents in Breckland, one in four women and one in six men suffered from domestic abuse.  The Daisy Programme worked with clients to provide a safe environment to grow and thrive.  Such services were provided from the hub in Watton, connecting individuals to social activities through therapeutic interventions.  The Programme’s particular focus was on the long term recovery with support networks in Thetford, Dereham and Watton.  The Daisy Programme’s services included social activities, peer support and volunteering opportunities.  Gratitude and sincere thanks were then conveyed to the Chairman for choosing the Daisy Programme as one of her chosen charities for the forthcoming year.


Emma Nurse from Leeway then provided Members with her presentation.  She echoed Lee’s comments and thanked the Chairman for choosing to support the Leeway charity.  Leeway had been established in 1974 and was a specialist domestic abuse charity working with adults, children and young people from Norfolk and Suffolk and worked very well in partnership with the Daisy Programme and Pandora in Kings Lynn.   It had a range of support services, the main one being the telephone and support line which was the main gateway to services and referrals into different agencies.   Leeway also had a high risk advocacy service which was based in Police stations across Norfolk and Suffolk dealing with people who had been assessed as high risk of homicide reducing the risk of self-harm or suicide and support them in the community.  There were now 7 refuges across Norfolk, one of which was based in Breckland, and Leeway could support up to 52 women and children at any one time.  It also had a male victim service and community based services for the adults and children of Norfolk but also those from other areas of the country who required a place of safety. All these services could not continue without the help and support provided.


The Chairman thanked them both representatives for attending.  She pointed out that at the next Full Council meeting Officers would be invited to highlight what Breckland was doing for the community and indeed looking after its own staff within the Council.


After mentioning a friend that had suffered abuse and the lack of assistance that had been provided, Councillor Duffield then proposed that Breckland Council should write a letter to the Crown Prosecution Service urging them to do more on prosecuting the abusers.  The proposal was seconded by the Vice-Chairman of the Council.<1>


Following a vote, the proposal to write to the Crown Prosecution Service was agreed.


The many engagements that the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman had attended since the last Full Council meeting were noted.


Members were then informed of some very sad news, Jan Godfrey, the founder of Wayland Partnership had recently passed away.  The Chairman, the Leader and Councillor Gilbert, a Ward Representative for Watton, all paid tribute to Jan Godfrey and conveyed their condolences to Jan’s family.


The Chairman mentioned the Pride in Breckland Awards that had not taken place for the past four years and felt that this should be re-instated to recognise the hard work and commitment that some people did for their community.  She asked the Leader and his Cabinet to work with Officers to establish if it was feasible and if there were enough resources to make this happen.  The Leader said that he would be happy to take this suggestion forward.<2>


A minute’s silence was then held in memory of Jan Godfrey.


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