Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham

Items
No. Item

28/13

Minutes (Agenda item 1)

To confirm the Minutes of the meetings held on:

28/131

11 February 2014 pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 11 February 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

28/132

19 February 2014 (additional meeting) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the additional meeting held on 19 February 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

29/13

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Philip Cowen.

30/13

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)

To note the names of any non-members who wish to address the meeting.

Minutes:

Marion Chapman-Allen, Shirley Matthews, Trevor Carter, Phillip Duigan, Terry Jermy, Mike Nairn, Mark Robinson and Frank Sharp.

31/13

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 6)

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development wished for it to be noted that the 1st April was the 96th anniversary of the Royal Air Force.

32/13

Economic Development (ED) Service Transformation Phase 1 (Agenda item 7)

To receive a verbal report from the Economic Development Manager.

Minutes:

Mark Stanton, the Economic Development Manager, reminded Members of the recommendations that had been approved at the Council meeting on 23 January 2014, to set up a Breckland Council wholly owned Community Interest Company (CIC).  All recommendations, except for one, had been implemented.  The remaining one would be implemented on 3 May when the new Chief Executive was in place.

 

One of the recommendations stated that the Audit Committee and the Cabinet should receive quarterly reports from the (CIC) Board on its financial performance, and a report would be produced for the Audit Committee in June.

 

Members were informed that the CIC Team was vigorously pursuing its marketing strategy and was also looking at other opportunities for its products and services.  The ethos of the CIC was one of working with businesses and supporting them rather than being a commercial competitor.

33/13

Norfolk Growth Prospectus/New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP) Submission to Government (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

 

Members are asked to note that the Strategic Economic Plan (Consultation Draft) will not be included on the agenda due to its size and will be published separately.

 

Members are asked to bring their copies that they have already received to the Cabinet meeting (there will be a limited number of paper copies available on the day).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Economic Development Manager presented the report.

 

The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) had been tasked with producing a Strategic Economic Plan for submission to Government to gain access to a share of a £2bn Local Growth Fund.

 

The New Anglia LEP draft Economic Plan submitted in August 2013 lacked any identified key growth in the Breckland area; however, further representations had since been made and as a result the A11 corridor had been recognised as a key growth location within the document and other key sectors had been revised.

 

The document would not stand still and would evolve to reflect the priorities of the District within the wider context of the New Anglia LEP.

 

Options

 

  1. Authority be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development to indicate the District Council’s support for the submission version of the New Anglia Strategic Economic Plan.

 

  1. Do nothing.  Breckland Council would therefore not be supporting the Strategic Economic Plan, and would be unlikely to have access to Norfolk and Suffolk’s share of the £2.2bn Local Growth Fund (LGF) or the £81m notional allocation of EU strategic investment funds.

 

Reasons

 

The document was evolving to reflect the priorities of the District within the wider context of the new Anglia Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEP).  A fully supported Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) would enable the New Anglia LEP to engage with the Government in a positive way to achieve the maximum funding for the New Anglia LEP.

 

RESOLVED that authority be delegated to the Chief Executive in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development to indicate the District Council’s support for the submission version of the New Anglia Strategic Economic Plan.

34/13

Breckland Community Funding Applications - February to March 2014 (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of Lynda Turner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman presented the report and highlighted the Match Funding application for Dereham Windmill.

 

The applicants had worked extremely hard on this application re-submission to build a community hub for this particular part of Dereham.  The site was in the middle of a new housing development and the proposed community centre would be attached to the Windmill.

 

Members were informed that the Windmill itself had attracted over thousand visitors during the winter months and therefore such a facility would be a bonus for the area.

 

The Executive Member for Corporate Services and Quality Assurance was pleased to support the application as he felt it was a worthwhile project. 

 

The Chairman felt that congratulations were in order for the members of the Trustees and Friends of Dereham Windmill, two of whom were in attendance.  He also felt that Breckland Council had an excellent grant process and he mentioned the letter attached to the report that had been signed by the Dereham Ward Members in support of the application.

 

Members were then provided with information on the ten remaining applications that had been received and granted since the last Cabinet meeting.

 

Options

 

  1. To approve the Match Funding for Dereham Windmill
  2. To decline the Match Funding application
  3. To approve a different amount

 

Reasons

 

The Grant Panel had recommended approval for Dereham Windmill re-submission based on the following reasons:

 

  • It met Breckland’s corporate objectives
  • There was a clear community need for facilities such as these in the area
  • It would enable the Dereham Windmill to become self sufficient

 

RESOLVED that the Capital Match Funding application of £20,000 towards a building extension to Dereham Windmill for a café/community facility be approved, subject to:

 

  1. confirmation of all other funding being in place;

 

  1. a maximum sum of £20,000 or 17% of the cost of the project whichever is the lower; and

 

  1. any other conditions arising from Member comment on Sharepoint.

35/13

Communities Reserve (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Report of Lynda Turner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Vice-Chairman presented the report and informed Members that at the Council meeting in July 2013 it had been resolved that £585,000 be put into a new Communities Reserve to allow the Council to fund community based projects.  Further to this, following a bid to the Health & Wellbeing Board, the Council had received a grant of £41,600 to deliver a Master Gardener Programme within the Breckland district.  The report requested the Cabinet’s formal acceptance of this grant and to release the funds to deliver the said project.

 

The recommendations to Full Council were also highlighted.

 

The Chairman felt that these were great examples of Breckland Council facilitating various initiatives within the District.

 

Options

 

Option 1 - Receive a Health and Wellbeing Board grant of £41,600 and delegate authority to the Portfolio Holder for Community and Environmental Services and Assistant Director of Commissioning to spend this grant in line with the Terms and Condition for which the grant was awarded.

 

Option 2 - Release up to £41,600 per year for two years to match fund the £41,600 Health and Wellbeing Grant to provide a further two years of activity as outlined in the main body of the report

 

Option 3 - Release up to £40,000 per year for three years as match funding for a Sport England funding bid for the Fit and Fun programme as outlined in the main body of the report

 

Option 4 - To ring fence the remaining £376,800 for Health and Wellbeing projects which support two Council objectives – to have Pride in Breckland and Developing Stronger Communities – and to delegate authority to Cabinet to release these funds on a project by project basis.

 

Option 5 – Do nothing

 

Reasons

 

The allocation of the Community Reserve to deliver key projects and programmes of activity helped achieve two key corporate priorities: To have Pride in Breckland and To Develop Stronger Communities as well as supporting the Council’s Health and Wellbeing agenda.

 

RESOLVED that the Health & Wellbeing Board grant of £41,600 be received and authority be delegated to the Portfolio Holder for Community and Environmental Services and the Assistant Director of Commissioning to spend this grant in line with the terms and conditions for which the grant was awarded.

 

RECOMMEND to Full Council that:

 

  1. £41,600 be released per year for two years to match fund the £41,600 Health & Wellbeing grant and provide a further two years of activity as outlined in the report;

 

  1. £40,000 be released per year for three years as match funding for a Sport England funding bid for the Fit and Fun Programme as outlined in the report; and

 

  1. the remaining £376,800 for Health and Wellbeing projects which supports two Council objectives – to have Pride in Breckland and Developing Stronger Communities, be ring-fenced and authority be delegated to Cabinet to release these funds on receipt of full business cases.

36/13

Release of additional Funds for the Transfer of Equipped Play Area at School Lane, Dereham (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Report of Mark Kiddle-Morris, Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report and reminded Members of the Cabinet decision in 2012 to transfer 9 play areas to Dereham Town Council along with a commuted sum of £121,700 for on-going maintenance. 

 

The Town Council had not been aware of the monetary constraint on this particular site (see report) and had asked for a further £20,000 which would cover 20 years worth of rental payments to the Diocese, the landowner.

 

It was noted that the additional monies would be released from the revenue reserves (see Proforma B attached to the report).

 

The Opposition Leader asked if this settlement compared with Thetford Town Council.  Members were informed that it did on a pro-rata basis.

 

The land in question was currently leased and the Executive Support Member for Assets & Strategic Development asked if the lease would be transferred to the Town Council.  In response, Members were informed that the lease would be transferred to Dereham Town Council who would then be responsible for the rental payments to the Diocese.

 

The Executive Member for Corporate Services and Quality Assurance felt that it was only right and proper that the Town Councils were responsible for the play areas.

 

The Opposition Leader asked if there would be a clause written into the agreement to retain a play area in this area.  The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development said that he would have to check and report back.

 

Option 1

 

Authorise the release of an additional £20,000 to Dereham Town Council which would cover approximately the rental payments due under the lease for the next 20 years and continue with the leasehold assignment.

 

Option 2

 

Do not release the additional £20,000 to Dereham Town Council and cease the leasehold transfer and retain the leasehold ‘as is’.  This would mean the Council would retain this play area and continue the leasehold and its liabilities.

 

Option 3

 

Do not release the additional £20,000 to Dereham Town Council and cease the leasehold transfer and terminate the leasehold interest.  This would avoid any further financial liability, but would also mean that the landlord could cease to provide a play area at this site with no tenant in place to manage it.

 

Reasons

 

Whilst recognising that there were constraints on the Council’s finances, if the Council was to retain the leasehold it would continue to be responsible for the yearly rental payment which over the 20 year period would equate to that sum currently being requested by the Town Council.  If authorisation was given to transfer the leasehold (subject to the Diocese’s consent) the liability on the Council would cease to be with the Council retaining responsibility for none of the play areas.

 

To do nothing would result in the Council continuing to be responsible for one play area which might not be cost effective in maintenance terms and would result in the Council incurring the ongoing annual payment for the lease, and the land would still show as a liability on the Councils  ...  view the full minutes text for item 36/13

37/13

Community Asset Register and Community Right to Bid (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 271 KB

Report of Lynda Turner, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director of Commissioning presented the report. 

 

The Community Right to Bid (Assets of Community Value) was one of a raft of new initiatives that had been introduced through the Localism Act 2011 that came into force in late 2012.  Breckland Council introduced a Community Right to Bid process and Community Asset Register in June 2013 following a Cabinet resolution.  Due to the sparse amount of information and guidance received and with the legalisation considered to be unclear it was felt appropriate to take stock of what had been learnt thus far.  Mark Stinson, the Council’s Legal Co-ordinator had identified a number of areas where the process and procedures employed by the Council could be improved.    Additionally, processes applied by other authorities in the country were also looked at.  In the light of detailed legal advice and following thorough investigations, new templates had been produced (attached at Appendix A of the report) which, if approved, would make the process much clearer.

 

The first recommendation was highlighted and the reasons behind it were explained. Members were informed that some decisions on listings had been contentious and had caused tension in the community; furthermore, it had been found that in some cases there had been a potential for a conflict of interest with the whole planning process particularly as it was currently administered by the Deputy Planning Manager.  To avoid any future conflict of interest the report recommended that the Community Right to Bid and the Community Asset Register be administered by the Communities Team and that the listing of the decisions be taken by the Portfolio Holder for Community & Environmental Services, in consultation with the Assistant Director of Commissioning and the relevant Ward Member.  It was suggested that the latter should be made plural to cover cases that had more than one Ward Member.

 

The Assistant Director of Commissioning highlighted the second recommendation and suggested some additional wording, , to read: “That the Monitoring Officer be given delegated authority to undertake reviews of listing decisions and for determination of reviews against any payment, or not, of compensation as prescribed in legislation (Localism Act 2011 and Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012).

 

An additional recommendation to reflect lessons learnt from other authorities was also proposed.

 

Referring to the level of compensation that had been capped at £20k per annum, Members were informed that if the compensation exceeded that amount, the Secretary of State would then have to be involved.  The Monitoring Officer would be responsible for compensation matters.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development agreed that there had been a conflict of interest and these recommendations would actually dot the/ i’s and cross the/ t’s.

 

The Executive Member for Corporate Services & Quality Assurance agreed that some decisions could cause ill feelings which he felt was a downside of a well intentioned piece of legalisation.

 

Referring to the compensation element, a question was asked as to how the Council would know for definite if the owner had experienced a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37/13

38/13

Reference from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda item 13)

To consider references, if any, from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 20 March 2014.

Minutes:

None.

39/13

Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership (Agenda item 14) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the meeting of the Joint Committee held on 13 March 2014.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Corporate Services & Quality Assurance advised that there would be virtually a whole new Team in future due to the loss of many Members from the Anglia Revenues Partnership Joint Committee.  The Members who had recently left were named.

 

Further to the above, the Executive Member was pleased to announce that Fenland District Council had recently joined the ARP so there would be three new Members although they had decided that they would not be attending the Joint Committee at present.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Anglia Revenues & Benefits Partnership Joint Committee meeting held on 13 March 2014 be adopted.

40/13

Next Meeting (Agenda item 15)

To note that the date of the next meeting of Cabinet will be held on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 9.30am in the Anglia Room.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 at 9.30am in the Anglia Room were noted.