Issue - meetings

Joint Working with Flagship

Meeting: 04/11/2019 - Cabinet (Item 87)

87 Abbey Estate: Joint Working with Flagship Group pdf icon PDF 70 KB

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

Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the report and explained the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been developed to underpin the collaboration between Norfolk County Council, Breckland Council and Flagship Group and set out the basis on which the three parties would work together to create meaningful change and improvements to the Abbey Estate. 


The Chief Executive highlighted that the MOU was not a legally binding document and it should be seen as a statement of intent and shared commitment to deliver positive change to the Abbey Estate.


Councillor Birt felt that the MOU outlined what the Council should be doing across the District, and it was not a concrete document outlining the finances and resources required to deliver the project.   The Chief Executive added that it was a specific project that required specific attention due to the significant investment and trust between the three parties. 


Councillor Birt went on to say that MOU agreements were usually seen at a later stage within proceedings when finances and resources were to be considered.  The Chairman replied that the Board of Directors from the Flagship Group sought reassurance that the partners would work in a collaborative way.  Whilst it was business as usual the findings may require additional resources and finances as and when issues were raised throughout the programme.  The Chief Executive also added that it was an agile document and therefore would likely be amended as the project moved forward.


Councillor Birt felt it was unusual that Intellectual Property rights had been included within the MOU.  The Executive Manager for Governance reiterated that the document was not legally binding and simply set out the expectations from each party involved.  Whilst at this stage it was unclear as to what new innovations would be created, the provision established the principle that any intellectual property rights created would vest in the party whose employee had created them.


Councillor Jermy thanked Officers for the briefing that had been given to Thetford Members which had proved very useful.  He felt it was a huge opportunity for Breckland to be involved, and to use those that were democratically accountable and had local expertise to help guide the project.  He went on to say there could be a lot learnt from previous work that had been undertaken on the Abbey Estate and outlined five points he felt needed consideration:

Expectation management – residents had been promised a lot in the past and it was important to be clear on what the project would set out to achieve before sending out press releases.


Recognising good things – should focus on what is going well within the Abbey Estate such as community spirit, the green areas, community centre events etc.


Trust – Flagship has had a poor reputation within Thetford and it was important to empower organisations and make the distinction between regeneration and day-to-day activities.


Time – it will take time to deal with some of the issues and is reliant on key individuals to deliver projects.


Communication – communication  ...  view the full minutes text for item 87