Agenda item

Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of the Council.



The following announcements were made.


The Cabinet meeting had been held in Swaffham and had attracted many residents and others from the wider community to attend.  It had been a great success.  One of the main points announced was the Council’s pledge to reaffirm to the Armed Forces Covenant Board and the wider support that the Council was now providing to those serving in the Armed Forces.


At the last Full Council meeting the Leader had been asked a question in relation to the Council’s Housing Team.  The Housing Peer Review had recently taken place and the final recommendations were awaited.  From that an Action Plan would be produced.  The Leader drew Members’ attention to the fact that the Officers of the Housing Team were immensely proud of the work they did, the commitment, the due diligence and the professionalism that they offered was second to none. He felt that the Council had some fantastic foundations which could be built upon moving forward and he asked Members to support the Council through this change process as it progressed. 


The Leader also mentioned the recent National Local Government Conference that he attended in Bournemouth accompanied by the Chief Executive.  The main topic of discussion with the Secretary of State was the spending review and the challenge that Councils faced with restrained budgets.  The Secretary of State praised the work of Councils and what they did for their local communities and he hoped that this good work would continue.  A Green Paper was expected in the near future in respect of Councils’ work on commercialisation and the Chief Executive had put Breckland’s name forward to help with some of the fact finding to ensure that the decisions that were made by Westminster had the whole breadth of knowledge from those who did this really well and those who had not yet fully explored the benefits of working with a commercial mind-set.


Two hundred cases had been referred to the Early Intervention Hub within Breckland and this was helping to reduce the demand on homelessness.  The Housing Peer Review would hopefully strengthen this even further.


The Leader was now a member of the Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board of which Councillor Borrett was the Chairman.  This had reinforced Breckland’s commitment to its Health & Wellbeing agenda and would address some of the issues for the vulnerable residents in the community.


Finally, he welcomed both new and re-elected Councillors who had attended his coffee mornings/one to one meetings that had been taking place throughout the District.  He felt that the 45 minutes that he had spent with each Councillor was very important as it allowed each Councillor to talk about what they wanted to achieve over the next 4 years – regardless of party political affiliation.  All Members and Officers had a job to do and all needed to work together and have a good relationship and respect for each other for the journey moving forward.


Councillor Gilbert mentioned the one to one meetings.  This had given him the opportunity to have a very good and meaningful discussion with the Leader and he thanked him for his support.