Agenda and minutes

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

Items
No. Item

69/17

Minutes pdf icon PDF 99 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 30 May 2017.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 30 May 2017 were confirmed and signed by the Chairman.

70/17

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillors S Chapman-Allen and Webb.

71/17

Urgent Business

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.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minute from the item of Urgent Business can be found at reference 82/17.

72/17

Declaration of Interests

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Cowen declared an interest in Agenda Item 7 as he worked as an Architect within the Breckland district.

 

73/17

Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting

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

Minutes:

Councillors Crawford, Hollis, Newton, Martin, Matthews and Wilkinson were in attendance.

74/17

Chairman's Announcements (If Any)

Minutes:

None.

75/17

Breckland Local Plan and the Strategic Housing Market Assessment Document pdf icon PDF 126 KB

Report of Executive Member Growth, Gordon Bambridge.

 

Due to the size of these documents, the appendices to the attached reports can be viewed at Item 9 of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission Agenda, via this link:

 

http://democracy.breckland.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=143&MId=4083&Ver=4

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Senior Planning Policy Officer informed Members that the Central Norfolk Strategic Housing Market Assessment formed the key element of the housing evidence which was required to support the Local Plan.  The key element of the report was the housing target to be delivered across the district equated to 612 dwellings per annum for the Local Plan during the period of 2011 – 2036.

 

The Executive Member for Growth added that there had been a good debate of both the Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA), and the Breckland Local Plan at the Overview and Scrutiny meeting held on 6 July.

 

He went on to ask Members for an additional recommendation, which would be for Cabinet only; to approve the seventh revision Local Development Scheme (Appendix C) and publish on the Council’s website and make available as per the provisions of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act (2004), as amended.

 

Councillor Cowen asked if the SHMA reflected the fact that Breckland looked to the Cambridge area, especially as Thetford would continue to grow and work continued with the A11 Technology Corridor.  The Director of Planning and Building Control said the SHMA considered the best fit for the majority of the district which had an indelible link with Norwich based on current patterns of movement in the housing market and travel to work patterns. 

 

Councillor Martin noted there had been a number of applications for Attleborough which in turn had made the Attleborough Link Road viable.  He asked if the plan would continue to support growth in Attleborough.  The Director of Planning and Building Control responded by informing Members that the update to the SHMA had identified that the number had increased by 400, due to people living in smaller houses, and it would be a combination of development and housing that would continue to see the performance against the need.

 

Councillor Cowen raised a number of points:

·        Housing Policy 3 - why had growth been restricted when considering the difference of the 5-year land supply given Breckland were under-achieving.

·        Housing policy 4 and 5 - over the next 12 months there would be no growth in the villages and wanted confirmation that there would be a flexible view on this.

·        Housing Policy 13 referred to agricultural workers of which there were a number of industries that relied upon a large number of contractors within the agricultural industry, and was keen to ensure a flexible approach to this.

·        It was noted that the Biomass Power Station had not been highlighted within the map.

 

The Director of Planning and Building Control clarified that the document was the pre-submission of the Local plan and were asking for comments on the soundness of the plan.  The Plan would set out the way in which the Planning Authority would facilitate large scale development in Attleborough and Thetford.  Housing Policy 3 would provide flexibility up to a point, but it would not be open ended as it could not be easily managed.

With regard to agricultural workers  ...  view the full minutes text for item 75/17

76/17

Grant Funding pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Place said the report asked Members to consider the funding arrangements going forward to ensure the sustainability of the grant giving programme in the long term and said the £500 grant given makes a huge difference to people.

 

The Executive Director for Place was proud of the grant funding over the years, of which over £200,000 had been given out over a significant period of time and wanted to continue to do this.  He said that £150,000 would be available for the next 2 years, and asked for any remaining balance from the reserve be deallocated.  He was conscious that if this approach was taken then there would be less finance available that had been used to, hence the introduction of a Breckland Lottery scheme.  He added that similar local authorities had reported a return of £60,000 in availability. 

This would involve new procedures in terms of the Gambling Act and there would be a requirement of registering named Officers as individual Licence holders.

 

Councillor Robinson added that 39 Authorities were currently operating this scheme, and felt it was a good initiative allowing residents to see the causes that their money would be supporting.

 

The Chairman asked that the deallocated reserve be linked to the Council’s developing investment strategy and should be added to Recommendation 1. 

 

Options

A combination of Options 4.and 5. is recommended.

 

1)     It is recommended that £300,000 is maintained in the match funding reserve to support local voluntary and community groups in 2017/18 and 2018/19 with up to £150,000 funding per annum.  The current match funding procedures will remain in place for this sum.

 

2)     It is recommended that the remaining balance in the match funding reserve is deallocated and made available for spend elsewhere linked to the Council’s developing Investment Strategy.

 

3)     It is further recommended that a Breckland Lottery is established to supplement the grant giving arrangements described above.

 

4)     Continuing to operate the match funding (as it stands) for the remainder of 2017/18 and through 2018/19 [with £150,000 available per annum] will enable the transition to the new arrangements to be managed effectively, i.e. the lottery scheme to be introduced and the return from any investment to be realised (and subsequently used for grant funding). 

 

5)     The combination of both options would ensure that we can continue to invite applications from communities across the district (using the investment yield) for funding and support specific, pre-identified “good causes” through the Breckland Lottery. 

 

6)     This combined approach would ensure the longevity of grant funding, provide a more strategic approach to any allocations and be more affordable.

 

Reasons

A combination of Options 4.and 5. is recommended.

 

It is recommended that £300,000 is maintained in the match funding reserve to support local voluntary and community groups in 2017/18 and 2018/19 with up to £150,000 funding per annum.  The current match funding procedures will remain in place for this sum.

 

It is recommended that the remaining balance in the match funding reserve  ...  view the full minutes text for item 76/17

77/17

Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) - Thetford pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Communities and Environmental Services Manager outlined the report on behalf of the Executive Member.  An online consultation had been created, as well as paper copies made available within public buildings across the town.  In total, 450 responses had been received. 

 

He went onto explain that the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) would replace the Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) as this gave more flexibility of powers for the police, and did not just relate to alcohol.  The Council had a statutory duty to work in partnership with other agencies to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. 

 

Councillor Cowen asked for the definition of a public place as he felt implementing the PSPO could have an impact on the Riverside area within Thetford.  It was confirmed that the order would not have an impact on the licensed areas.

 

Councillor Bambridge said he had seen that the PSPO covered a large area within Thetford including residential areas, and asked if this would have an impact on residents who wanted to hold garden parties.  The Communities and Environmental Services Manager said that the area had been developed in partnership with the Police who would consider if Anti-Social behaviour was taking place, and therefore would have the powers should they wish to use it.

 

Councillor Crawford supported the PSPO and added that a thorough consultation had been carried out and felt it was much needed within Thetford.

 

Councillor Robinson asked for assurance that the communication strategy was clear across all stakeholders.

 

Councillor Newton appreciated the time and effort that had been put into the report of the PSPO.  However, he reiterated the importance of the continued support of the public required to call 101 to report the street drinking occurrences for the order to succeed.  He asked for assurance that if the proposal was agreed appropriate signage would be placed in the designated area and civil action be taken against resistant drinkers.

 

The Chairman said that the document provided a framework for the remaining market towns to follow.  He added that there were people within local communities who had influence such as communities and ward members to work together to tackle the issues.

 

The Executive Director for Place confirmed that the signage was statutory and would be in place.  He also added that Breckland were the first authority within Norfolk to have an Operational Partnership Board who worked together to tackle anti-social behaviours across the district.

 

Options

1)       Do nothing. This will mean that the existing Designated Public Place Order (DPPO) will remain in place until 20 October 2017. At this point it will automatically become a Public Spaces Protection Order (to address alcohol in public) without the need for any additional action on the part of the Council.

 

2)       Option 2. Proceed with the implementation of the PSPO for the restricted area (Appendix B) prohibiting the following activities:

 

a)    Consumption of alcohol in a public place

b)    Urination and defecation in a public place

c)    Use of a bicycle, skateboard or scooter in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 77/17

78/17

Unsightly and derelict sites and land pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Place informed Members that the report had been well received at the recent Overview and Scrutiny meeting and the Council should celebrate and do more of this work.

 

The Communities and Environmental Services Manager informed Members that after a consultation exercise, 38 sites across the district had been highlighted as significantly or adversely impacting upon the character and appearance of the immediate and wider environment, or the general well-being of communities.  As this was a new initiative, a scoring mechanism had been applied consistently across the list.

 

Overview and Scrutiny Commission supported the recommendations to Cabinet, and asked that the following recommendations be added:

1)     The ability to add the facility to report unsightly sites on the website, under the ‘report it’ button.

2)     That Cabinet asks Officers to explore what action can be taken on untidy sites where planning permission has been granted but the development has not yet been completed. 

 

The Chairman noted the additional recommendations.

 

Councillor Matthews asked what powers the authority had if buildings were in private possession.  The Executive Director of Place confirmed there was a raft of powers the Council could use.

 

Options

1)     Do nothing - This option would result in no, or limited and uncoordinated, action being taken on the sites so far identified, and perhaps others, with these sites therefore potentially remaining in a state that continues to significantly and adversely impact on the communities within which they are set.

 

2)     Endorse the recommendations – This option would enable officers to focus their efforts in securing, through a variety of negotiated and punitive measures, significant improvements to sites that currently adversely affect the communities within which they are set.

 

3)     In endorsing the recommendation set out at 2.2 members are advised that each site is different and that the actions required have differing consequences, both financially and in terms of the timescales within which results are likely to be achieved. Nevertheless, this is an on-going initiative aimed at addressing the adverse impacts arising from the continued presence of unsightly and derelict sites and land within the District.

 

Reasons

To promote a co-ordinated approach to positive intervention on those sites which have a major detrimental effect upon the character, appearance and well-being of the communities within which they are set.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     the content of the report and the actions taken to date be noted;

 

2)     Members consider the sites (Appendix A); agree to a prioritised list and agree future actions where appropriate

 

3)     the proposed Performance Framework be agreed;

 

4)     the facility to report unsightly sites on the website, under the ‘report it’ button be added.

 

5)     Officers explore what action can be taken on untidy sites where planning permission has been granted but the development has not yet been completed. 

 

79/17

Locally Administered Business Rates Relief Scheme pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director for Commercialisation presented the highlights of the report to Members.

 

Options

The Government have made it clear that funding for this discretionary relief is to be used to help those facing the steepest increases as a result of the revaluation.

 

In accordance with legislation relief cannot be granted to precepting authorities.

 

The suggested discretionary relief guidelines from 1 April 2017, detailed in Appendix 1 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.

 

As limited funding is available the Council has modelled the cost of allowing relief broadly in line with The Governments approach with two options:-

 

1)       The Rateable Value of the property is less than £200,000 and the increase is capped at 12.5%

 

2)       The Rateable Value of the property is less than £200,000 and the increase is capped at 11% with relief being restricted to local businesses.

           

The recipients of this discretionary award will be businesses facing the steepest increases in their business rates bills as a result of the 2017 Business rates Revaluation. 

 

The cost of allowing relief can only be modelled on a yearly basis and therefore Cabinet is also requested to delegate the power to set the % increase and rateable value cap each year to the Section 151 Officer.

 

Reasons

 

The introduction of these guidelines has sought to provide more information and clarity concerning the organisations that will benefit and the criteria used to determine relief. They also ensure that only those businesses with a rateable value under £200,000 impacted by the revaluation, receive relief.

 

By restricting relief to local businesses the Council can afford to provide relief to those who have had increases of more than 11%.  Also it will leave a contingency of approximately £28K in the fund whilst allowing us to help more businesses.

 

As the amount of funding reduces each year the Section 151 Officer can adjust the amount of relief according to the funding available.

 

It was RESOLVED that Cabinet RECOMMEND to FULL COUNCIL:

1)      that the guidelines to award relief to local businesses with a rateable value under £200,000 and an increase resulting from the 2017 revaluation above 11% be approved.

 

2)       the Section 151 Officer in conjunction with the Leader is given delegated power to finalise the scheme and to determine the Rateable value cap and percentage each year.

 

80/17

Market Town Initiative - Grant Re-allocation pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Report of Executive Member Place, Paul Claussen.

 

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Place presented the report explaining that this could be one of the most important pieces of work the Council undertakes.

 

The Executive Director for Place added that in January 2017, Cabinet resolved to spend the final retained funding of Resource4Growth to support the market towns through a Market Town initiative, following consultation with the Town Councils on proposals to increase the footfall and attractiveness of the towns.

 

The report proposed the further development of the Market Town initiative by taking a strategic lead and work with the democratic representatives across the district’s five market towns; together with key stakeholders that can help support change and development.

 

Councillor Cowen felt that it was a combined initiative between the Breckland District Council and the Town Council and added that the inward investment service area should also be integrated into the project.

 

Councillor Robinson was encouraged by the report by working in partnership with the Towns and the Local Enterprise Partnership and looking strategically in what communities needed as a whole.

 

Councillor Bambridge added that as a Ward Member he wanted input to represent the local villages surrounding the Towns.  The Executive Director for Place confirmed that the project would also incorporate the hinterland surrounding the Towns.

 

The Chairman was pleased to see this project and added that it was also being considered at a County Council level.

 

Options

1)     That Cabinet support the further development of the Breckland Market Town Initiative Programme;

 

2)     That Cabinet recommend to Council that the Pride in Breckland programme is concluded and that the residual funding held in reserve for this programme is reallocated to the Market Town Initiative.

 

Reasons

Our high streets and town centres are facing serious challenges from out-of-town shopping centres and the growth of online and mobile retailing.  Our market towns and high streets need to be vibrant places with a strong economy and offer something that neither shopping centres nor the internet can match.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     the further development of the Breckland Market Town Initiative Programme be supported; and,

 

2)     RECOMMEND TO FULL COUNCIL that the Pride in Breckland programme is concluded and that the residual funding held in reserve for this programme is reallocated to the Market Town Initiative.

 

81/17

Next Meeting

To note that the date of the next meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday 5 September at 9.30am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham.

Minutes:

The arrangments for the next meeting on 5 September at 9.30am in the Norfolk Room, Elizabeth House, Dereham were noted.

 

82/17

Exclusion from Press and Public

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

82/171

Breckland Training Services - Next Steps and Options

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance presented the report to Members who were asked to consider the next steps and options in relation to the future of Breckland training Services.

 

It was RESOLVED to RECOMMEND the report to FULL COUNCIL.