Agenda item

Inclusive Growth Reserve Commitments

Report of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen.

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the report asking Members to commit to funding of £2,025,000 from the Inclusive Growth Reserve on a three-year programme of community projects and initiatives.  He went on to highlight the opportunity to work with Norfolk Constabulary to help fund the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology provision within Breckland to act as a deterrent to make Norfolk as safe as possible, and a tool for the Norfolk Police to use.

 

He went onto add how he would like to help tackle vulnerability within Breckland and that would be the focus of his tenure.  He felt there were real challenges which the Council had the opportunity to help influence through a list of projects and programmes listed within the report.  The Council had seen great success already through a variety of initiatives such as the Silver Social, and the Capital investment would allow Officers and Members to begin conversations with key stakeholders.

 

Councillor Atterwill asked what the driver had been for both Swaffham and Thetford to already receive investment.  The Executive Director of Place said that Swaffham had been as a result of match-funding the High-Street Heritage Action Zone project, and Thetford was as part of providing identity and a Unique Selling Point for Thetford that communities could use.  Market towns within Breckland were encouraged that if they had suggestions they could be put forward as part of the Market Town Initiative.

 

Councillor Jermy stressed the importance of ensuring that any investments were for projects that were sustainable opportunities for investment and would focus on delivery.  The Chairman agreed and added that whilst some projects were to support initial set up it was hoped that the stakeholders would see the benefits and continue to support in the future.

 

Whilst Councillor Birt fully recognised the value of ANPR he felt there should be a clear reason why the Council were supporting the police budget as the perception could be seen that Breckland monies was financing a police project; especially when Breckland residents pay into the police budget through their Council Tax.  In addition, he added that whilst he supported the projects listed, he felt the perception of where ‘Dragon’s Den’ was listed asked if the Council were taking a share of local businesses. 

The Chairman answered that with regard to the ‘Dragon’s Den’ initiative it would not be repeated as it had not been as successful as it was hoped. With regards to the financial support to ANPR the financing of the project would come from the New Homes Bonus, not Council Tax and was an opportunity to work with the Police to ensure residents of Breckland remained as safe as possible.

 

Councillor Atterwill was in support and added that with the County Lines creeping into the District anything that could be done to aid the Police should be supported.

 

The Executive Member for Health and Housing, asked that the document be updated to reflect that the Dog Waste bins were emptied by Serco.

 

Reasons for Recommendations

The proposals included within the report would see over £2 million invested in Breckland over the next three years.  The money would be spent on supporting the vibrancy of the market towns and their heritage; funding local good causes and recognising the important work that they do; keeping Breckland a safe place to live and work; marketing the opportunities that are present within areas for residents; visitors and businesses alike; supporting the most vulnerable and helping residents to take care of themselves and protect themselves from harm.

 

Options

1)     To do nothing.

2)     To agree to fund some of the activity listed within the report.

3)     To note the spend to date on funds from the Inclusive Growth Reserve, and moving forward to allocate:

a)     £60,000 to Norfolk Constabulary to fund Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology;

b)     £100,000 to match-fund the High Street Heritage Action Zone project (Swaffham);

c)     £75,000 to develop a place brand for the Greater Thetford area;

 

To recommend to COUNCIL that:

d)     £1.04 million is allocated to an aspirational three-year programme of projects and initiatives that will help tackle vulnerability in Breckland, and,

e)     £250,000 per annum is allocated to the Market Town Initiative.

 

RESOLVED that Cabinet :

1)     note the spend to date on funds from the Inclusive Growth Reserve;

 

2)     £60,000 from the Inclusive Growth Reserve to Norfolk Constabulary to fund Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology within Breckland be awarded;

 

3)     £100,000 from the Inclusive Growth Reserve to match-fund the High Street Heritage Action Zone Project (Swaffham) be allocated;

 

4)     75,000 from the Inclusive Growth Reserve to develop a place brand for the Greater Thetford area be allocated;

 

RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL that:

5)     £1.04million from the Inclusive Growth Reserve be allocated to an aspirational three-year programme of projects and initiatives that will help tackle vulnerability in Breckland.

 

6)     £250,000 per annum from the Inclusive Growth Reserve be allocated to the Market Town Initiative up to and including the financial year 2022/23.

 

Supporting documents: