Agenda and minutes

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

Items
No. Item

82/14

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2014.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 9 September 2014 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

83/14

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Turner.

84/14

Urgent Business (Agenda Item 3)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

None.

85/14

Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 

 

In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

During discussion of Agenda Item 10, Councillor Bambridge declared an interest as a beneficiary of Rate Relief for a small business he ran.  He abstained from voting on that matter.

86/14

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:

Councillors Armes, Canham, Chapman-Allen, Claussen, Cowen, Duigan, Jermy, Martin, Matthews, Nairn, North, Robinson and Wilkin were in attendance.

87/14

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 6)

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Bambridge to his first Cabinet meeting as Executive Member for Democratic Services & Public Protection.

 

Members were asked to note that the start time of the next meeting on 25 November 2014 had been moved to 11.00am.

88/14

Breckland Community Funding Applications (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Report by the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Planning, Building Control and Housing presented the report on behalf of the Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Community & Environmental Services who was engaged on other Council business..

 

She was delighted at the number and variety of grants that had been approved to a broad spread of organisations across the whole district. 

 

The Assistant Director of Community explained that the request for a Pride grant of £20,000 was to address fly tipping issues in Thetford.  Breckland Council was the accountable body for the Pride Board and they supported the recommendation to approve the grant.

 

Councillor Nairn asked if the problem was predominantly on Flagship Housing estates and was advised that the available statistics were for Thetford as a whole and were not broken down into estate areas.

 

Councillor Robinson did not support the recommendation because the proposal did not address the root cause of the problem.  He was aware that Flagship Housing had advised people to tip their rubbish on Breckland owned land.  There was a state of the art recycling centre in Thetford and the issue should be addressed through tenants agreements and if necessary fines.

 

The Executive Member for Communications, Organisational Performance & Development felt that local people needed to deal with the problem.  There was already a system for reporting fly tipping and he urged Thetford Town Councillors to work with the Council.

 

Councillor Armes (Thetford Ward Representative) thought that having a person to monitor the problem would help to educate people and change attitudes.  Residents groups had been very active in trying to deal with the problem and they wanted a warden to help to resolve it.

 

The Executive Member for Planning, Building Control and Housing could not understand why 85% of the District’s fly tipped rubbish was collected in Thetford.  She did not think that employing someone for one year would solve the problem.

 

Councillor Cowen, Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission, was concerned at the suggestion that Flagship Housing Association was not fulfilling their obligations as landlords and he thought that it might be an issue for the Commission to consider.  Rural wards also had serious problems with fly-tipping but the existing system of reporting such incidents was used and worked well.  It was up to Councillors to act as a conduit and to educate their residents.  He was surprised that Thetford Town Council was not involved.  It was noted that Thetford Town Council had offered in-kind support.

 

The Executive Member for Democratic Services & Public Protection agreed that the current reporting system worked well in his Ward and rubbish was usually cleared up within 48 hours.

 

Councillor Canham (Thetford Ward Representative) had worked with residents groups for 20 years and fly tipping had always been a problem.  It had been raised with the local STAG group and also with Environmental Health and it was at their suggestion that the grant application had been put together.  All the Thetford estates had a problem and it was hoped that if  ...  view the full minutes text for item 88/14

89/14

Local Council Tax Parish Support Grant (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Report by the Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance presented the report which she pointed out was connected to the next Agenda Item. 

 

The Chairman noted that the range of grants made across the District was significant; from as little as £7.59 to over £84,000 depending upon the reduction to the tax base.

 

Options

 

  • To pay grants to town and parish councils totalling £305.000 in 2015-16 to be allocated in the same proportion as the grants paid in 2014-15.
  • Not to pay the grants to town and parish councils
  • To vary the amount of grants paid to town and parish councils

 

Reasons

 

To inform the budget setting process for Breckland and provide timely information to the town and parish councils as part of their precept setting timetables.

 

RESOLVEDto RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL to commit £305,000 support grant to town and parish councils in 2015/2016 on the same proportional basis as 2014/2015.

90/14

Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Report by the Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance presented the report which proposed no changes to the Scheme.  The maximum entitlement would remain at 91.5% and Pensioners and War Pensioners would be among the recipients.

 

Options

 

  • To make no changes to the scheme that is currently in operation
  • To determine changes to the scheme so that officers can implement stakeholder consultation.

 

Reasons

 

To comply with regulations requiring authorities to review their Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme each year.

 

RESOLVED to make no changes to the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2015/2016.

91/14

National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR) Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Report by the Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance presented the report and explained that the Guidelines permitted rate relief for certain businesses and organisations.  They were only guidelines and not rigid rules and each case could be judged on its own merits.

 

The Executive Member for Democratic Services & Public Protection declared an interest as owner of a business that had benefitted from what he described as a good scheme.  He refrained from voting on the matter.

 

Options

 

·         That the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines are approved

·         That the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines are not approved - In the current financial climate and the Council’s current budgetary pressures consideration has to be given to whether any expenditure is necessary.  However, in the case of discretionary rate relief any blanket guidelines not to pay relief at all would be ultra vires as it would be considered a ‘fettering of discretion’.

 

Reasons

 

·         The current guidelines have been in place for four years; in 2010 the Discretionary rate Relief task & Finish Group recommended to Overview and Scrutiny Commission that the principle of the discretionary relief guidelines be reviewed every three years.  The suggested guidelines detailed in Appendix A sets out the criteria to be taken into consideration in deciding whether relief should be given, the procedure for applications and an appeals process  where there has been a refusal to grant relief

 

·         Awards of relief are reviewed annually and the guidelines will help determine which organisations should receive relief for the period commencing 1 April 2015.

 

·         The main recipients of rate relief are charitable organisations who support vulnerable people in the community and small rural businesses.  The guidelines seek to ensure that the basis of awards is directly related to the value the organisation provides to the Council tax payers of the district and Council priorities.  The key change to current guidelines is that relief will no longer be granted where an organisation can afford to pay the rates itself.  The types of awards given for the period ending 31 March 2014 are detailed in Appendix B.

 

·         Without the relief granted charitable organisations may have to reduce the services they provide and small rural businesses (often the only one of their type in the area) would potentially close.

 

RESOLVED that the NNDR Discretionary Rate Relief Guidelines be approved.

92/14

Reference from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 11)

To consider references, if any, from the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 9 October 2014.

Minutes:

None.

93/14

Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the meeting of the Joint Committee held on 11 September 2014.

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that a report on the Enforcement Agency item at Minute No 32/14 would be presented to the next Cabinet meeting.  The recommendation from the ARP Joint Committee would be moved at that time.

 

With regard to Minute No 27/14 the Executive Member for Communications, Organisational Performance & Development thought it was excellent news that the Partnership was expanding.  The ARP helped the Council to be efficient and to save money whilst at the same time offering a good service to local residents and vulnerable people.  At one time it had taken almost 100 days to process claims for benefits but now they were dealt with very quickly.  He was proud of that and the fact that other Councils recognised how well the Partnership worked and wanted to be a part of it.

 

The Chairman advised that the full report to the ARP Joint Committee would be presented to Council.

 

Options

 

See report.

 

Reasons

 

See report

 

RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL that:

 

(1)               Waveney District Council and Suffolk Coastal District Council become full members of the Anglia Revenues Partnership; and

(2)               The Operational Improvement Board be given delegated authority to negotiate a new Anglia Revenues Partnership agreement to include Waveney District and Suffolk Coastal District Councils as full members of the Anglia Revenues Partnership.

94/14

Member Development Panel (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To note the Minutes of the meeting held on 11 September 2014.

Minutes:

Noted.

95/14

Attleborough Link Road Delivery (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Report by the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman reminded Members that a large amount of information for this item was Below the Line.  If they wished to discuss those details it would be necessary to exclude the Press & Public.

 

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report which offered three options and set out the costs.  Route three was being recommended for approval as the least expensive.  The wording of that recommendation had been amended for clarity.  He then asked the Deputy Planning Manager to explain the details.

 

The Deputy Planning Manager advised that routes one and two affected a significant number of residents and businesses.  The preferred route was also the best transport solution.  Approval would prove the Council’s positive commitment and reduce uncertainty.  It would be the first step in a long process which would include the need to apply for planning permission.

 

Councillor Cowen noted that whichever route was chosen there was a railway line to be crossed.  He hoped that the Council would ensure that that it had the latest control mechanisms as some crossing had been problematic in the past.

 

Councillor Stasiak (Attleborough Ward Representative) hoped that Cabinet would approve option three.  There had been uncertainty for too long and livelihoods had been threatened.  However, he stressed the need for the road to be started before any major development commenced.

 

Councillor Duigan asked if there was any indication on the time it would take for the development to have an effect on the Council’s Housing Land Supply deficit. He was concerned that the Council was currently subject to ‘hostile’ planning applications. In response the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development advised that lots of planning applications would be needed as the development would come forward in phases.

 

The amendments to the recommendation were read out to Members.  It was also pointed out that Option 3 referred to the red route on the map on page 60 of the Agenda.

 

Options

 

·         Members to consider the contents of this report and appendices and agree to delegate responsibility to officers to seek to acquire the land required to deliver link road option 3 by negotiated agreement with the landowner. Members resolve not to pursue acquisition of alternative link road options 1 and 2 (and variations thereof). Members also agree to release funding to acquire land should the negotiation be successful. Should an agreement with the landowner of option 3 not be forthcoming within 6 months, a report will be brought back to Cabinet to agree next steps.

 

·         Members to consider the contents of this report and do not agree to allow officers to seek to acquire the land required to deliver link road option 3 by negotiated agreement with the landowner. Members do not agree to release funding to purchase the land. Members do not agree to the principle of Council involvement to acquire the land.

 

Reasons

 

·         The reason for the recommendation is to enable the identification of a preferred route and to provide certainty of the mechanisms to enable delivery. Consequent  ...  view the full minutes text for item 95/14

96/14

Local Plan Issues & Options Document (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 41 KB

Report by the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

 

Due to their size, the Issues and Options document and the Interim Sustainability Appraisal document are only available electronically.

 

Cabinet Members will be provided with an updated copy of the Issues and Options document.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development presented the report.  The recommendation had been modified by the information in the Agenda Supplement due to concerns raised by a member of the public in Attleborough and a requirement to improve consistency with the Attleborough Link Road report.

 

He asked Members to approve the publication of the document for public consultation and stressed that it was not a Policy.  It covered a range of issues and options and was not site specific, but it did included a call for local landowners to submit sites for inclusion.

 

If approved the consultation would commence on 17 November 2014 and run for eight weeks, two weeks longer than required to allow for Christmas.

 

All town and parish councils would be sent a hard copy of the document by 1 November and would be invited to a briefing in Dereham on 17 November.

 

The Planning Policy Team Leader then gave further information on the document which he reiterated was not a Site Specific or Policy document.  It was a high level consultation giving an opportunity to the widest possible number of stakeholders to consider and provide comments.  It would give members of the public the opportunity to ensure that all relevant issues were explored and addressed.

 

An updated evidence base had been used including emerging evidence from the Local Plan Working Group.  There had been significant Member input.  It built on the previous work done in Attleborough including the Link Road options.  The Agenda Supplement contained revised information to update that.

 

The document offered flexible options and requested feed back.  Going forward the consultation would follow the guidelines set out in the Statement of Community Involvement.

 

Councillor Claussen raised concerns that the Gypsy & Traveller information was very one sided and ignored guidance on consulting with the settled community.  The latest Government document clearly said that both sides must be consulted.

 

The Chairman said that it was up to residents and members to modify the document through their comments and the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development confirmed that changes would be incorporated in the Preferred Options Document.  The document asked questions and if the feedback indicated that they were the wrong questions they would be changed but those changes would be evidence based.  The document was much more Breckland friendly than the last one and gave the Council a chance to create a thriving and more sustainable rural community.

 

Councillor Cowen agreed that the document asked more open questions.  He thought that the table on page 136 (of the document not the agenda) was very informative.  He thought it was important to get the message across to people that the District was not unsustainable.  All communities had to travel by car due to inadequate public transport but that did not make a village unsustainable, so no areas should be excluded from additional development.

 

Referring to the Housing Land Supply he said that a lot of small amounts of housing were needed to address the shortfall and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 96/14

97/14

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 16)

To note the date of the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 25 November 2014 in the Anglia Room (time to be confirmed).

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 25 November 2014 at 11.00am in the Anglia Room were noted.

98/14

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda Item 17)

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

PART B – ITEM FROM WHICH THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC ARE EXCLUDED

 

Minutes:

The resolution was not moved.

99/14

Attleborough Link Road Delivery (Agenda Item 18)

Report by the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

This matter was discussed in open session under Minute No 95/14.  Members did not consider it necessary to discuss the confidential details attached to this Agenda item.