Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

78.

Minutes - 13 May 2010 (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 186 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2010.

Minutes:

a)         Annual Appointment of the Leader, Deputy Leader, Committees, Groups and Other Representatives and Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen 2010-2011 (Minute No. 56/10)

 

The Chairman pointed out that with regard to the Staff Appointments Panel (as listed on page 19 of the Appendix to those Minutes), “Mrs T Hewett” should read “Mr A. Stasiak”.

 

b)         Former Anchor Hotel and Adjacent Car Park and Bus Station, Thetford (Minute No.  73/10)

 

The Chairman pointed out an anomaly in the quoted text at paragraph 3, whereby the passage in brackets should read: “…(i.e. Breckland Council would be obligated to buy back at the same figure that it sold the property for).”

 

c)         Minutes

 

Subject to these amendments, the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2010 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 

 

79.

Minutes - 8 June 2010 (Agenda Item 2) pdf icon PDF 91 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council held on 8 June 2010.

Minutes:

a)         Attendance and Apologies

 

It was noted that Mr A. Joel and Mr A. Byrne had been present for this meeting and that Mr N. Wilkin and Mr C. Jordan had sent their apologies.

 

b)         Minutes

 

Subject to these amendments, the Minutes of the Extraordinary  meeting of the Council held on 8 June 2010 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman. 

 

80.

Apologies (Agenda Item 3)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr P. Balaam, Mr G. Bambridge, Mr S. Chapman-Allen, Mr P. Claussen, Mr P. Cowen, Mr R. Duffield,  Mr M. Fanthorpe, Mr M. Griffin,  Mrs D. Irving, Mr R. Kemp, Mrs K. Millbank, Mr W. Nunn, Mrs P. Quadling, Mr B. Rose, Mr I. Sherwood, Mr W. Smith, Mr M. Spencer and Mr D Williams JP.

 

Mrs J. Jenkins, Chairman of the Standards Committee, also sent her apologies for this meeting.

81.

Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 4)

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests pertinent to items on this Agenda.

 

The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.

Minutes:

Mr W. Borrett             Declared a personal interest in the Moving Thetford Forward Board Minutes No. 23/10 (Academy/Thetford Forum), as a Cabinet Member for Norfolk County Council. 

82.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 5)

(Including the engagements of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman.)

Minutes:

The Chairman highlighted the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace as being particularly memorable among her first set of formal engagements.

 

Engagements List – Chairman

13th May, 2010 – 23rd June, 2010

 

Date

Event

Host

14th May, 2010

Civic Reception

Mayor of Watton Town Council and Consort, Councillor Margaret Holmes and Mr. David Beeken

16th May, 2010

Civic Service

The Worshipful the Mayor of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk

20th May, 2010

Civic Dinner for the outgoing Mayor of St. Edmunsbury, Councillor Mrs. Patricia Warby

Councillor Ian Houlder

27th May, 2010

Long Service Certificate for Magistrates Presentation and reception

Advisory Committee on the Justices of the Peace for the County of Norfolk

4th June, 2010

Visit by His Excellency Mr. Antonia Santana Carlos, Portuguese Ambassador to the Court of St. James

Breckland Council

4th June, 2010

Summer Reception

Colonel Jay Silveria, Commander 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath

6th June, 2010

Service in celebration of voluntary service in Norfolk

Lord-Lieutenant

9th June, 2010

Annual General Meeting

Norfolk Older Person’s Forum

10th June, 2010

Active Norfolk Youth Games 2010

Active Norfolk and Competition Team

17th June, 2010

Showcase of Postgraduate Research Employers’ Reception

Vice-Chancellor of the UEA, Professor Edward Acton

18th June, 2010

Homecoming Parade of the Royal Anglian Regiment followed by civic lunch

The Lord Mayor of Norwich (Councillor Tom Dylan), The Sheriff (Derek James) and the Chairman of Norfolk County Council (Councillor Tony Tomkinson)

20th June, 2010

Annual Civic Service of Celebration

Lord Mayor Designate Councillor Tom Dylan and Sheriff Designate Derek James

21st June, 2010

Flag Raising Ceremony and Cheque Presentation

Breckland Council

22nd June, 2010

Buckingham Palace Garden Party

 

 

Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

13th May, 2010 – 23rd June, 2010

 

Date

Event

Host

20th May, 2010

Civic Dinner for the outgoing Mayor of St. Edmunsbury, Councillor Mrs. Patricia Warby

Councillor Ian Houlder

13th June, 2010

Annual Civic Service

Mayor of Dereham, Councillor Robert Hambidge

21st June, 2010

Annual Meeting of the West Norfolk, King’s Lynn & Wisbech Branch of the NSPCC

West Norfolk, King’s Lynn & Wisbech Branch of the NSPCC

 

At the Chairman’s invitation, and in acknowledgement that it was the Chief Executive’s last appearance at a Council meeting before his departure at the end of the week, the Deputy Leader then took the opportunity to give a short farewell speech.

 

He said that Mr Holden would be much missed by both Officers and Members.   It had been a difficult period for the authority during the three years that Mr Holden was here.  However, much had been achieved and he would be a hard act to follow.    The Deputy Leader expressed his thanks, on behalf of the Council and also the residents of Breckland, and wished Mr Holden good luck for the future.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group concurred, adding that he had found Mr Holden to be unfailingly courteous, helpful  ...  view the full minutes text for item 82.

83.

Appointment of Registration Officer and Returning Officer (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive explained that in order to comply with the Representation of the People Act (Sections 8, 28 and 35), the Council needed to formally appoint a Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer.  These appointments usually come under the remit of the Chief Executive, but as he was shortly due to leave Members needed to ensure the statutory obligation was fulfilled.  

 

RESOLVED that Mark Stokes be appointed as Returning Officer and Electoral Registration Officer with effect from 25 June 2010.

 

84.

Staff Appointments Panel: 21 June 2010 (Agenda Item 6 (i))

To receive a verbal report from the Chief Executive.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive gave a verbal update to Members, reminding them that at Extraordinary Meeting of Council on 8 June, they had agreed that the two vacant Director posts under the proposed new management structure would, in the first instance, be open to internal recruitment.  

 

He confirmed that interviews had subsequently taken place and, as the Staff Appointments Panel had authority to appoint at that level, he was pleased to announce that Maxine O’Mahony had now been appointed as the Director of Corporate Resources and Robert Walker as Director of Community Services.

 

He then said that in the interregnum between the departure of the current Chief Executive and the appointment of his successor (which would be undertaken via an external recruitment process), the Staff Appointments Panel had recommended that the current Deputy Chief Executive be invited to take on this role on an interim basis.

 

RESOLVED to appoint Mark Stokes as Interim Chief Executive with effect from Monday, 28 June 2010, until the appointment of a new Chief Executive to the Council.

 

Mr Stokes then spoke briefly, saying that he was proud and honoured to take on the role of Chief Executive on an interim basis.   He thanked Members for their support and commitment, as well as personally thanking the current Chief Executive for his help and guidance over the past few years.

 

He said that the forthcoming Spending Review would undoubtedly have an impact here, as on all Local Authorities, but he added that he and the new management team were committed to ensuring that Breckland Council remained at the forefront of innovation, providing high performance services and the best possible value for money for Breckland residents. 

 

85.

Cabinet Minutes - 11 May 2010 (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 11 May 2010.

Minutes:

a)                 Capital Out-Turn 2009-2010 (Minute No. 47/10)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(i)                 the Capital programme for 2010/11 and associated financing be amended to reflect the items under paragraphs 4.1 and 4.2 of the report; and

 

(ii)               funding as detailed in Appendix B of the report to finance the Capitl programme for 2009/10 be approved.

 

b)                 Extension of the Material Recycling Facility (MRF) Contract with Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (Minute No. 48/10)

 

RESOLVED that

 

(i)                 the existing Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation (ESPO) contract with Norfolk Environmental Waste Services (NEWS) be varied in order to enable a three year extension to the current contract under the current terms and conditions from April 2011, and that a review by partner councils take place to conclude by October 2012 to decide the long term arrangements for MRF provision; and

 

(ii)               the existing ESPO contract be varied by changing the current additional extension arrangements in order to enable, if appropriate, an extension beyond the proposed three year extension by a further 14 years.  Such an extension would be subject to both the outcome of the contract review, and to the negotiation of satisfactory terms during the three year extension period, or otherwise to terminate the contract in March 2014.

 

c)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 11 May 2010 be adopted.

 

 

86.

Cabinet Minutes - 8 June 2010 (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 8 June 2010.

Minutes:

a)                             Dereham Memorial Hall (Minute No. 60/10)

 

The Leader of the Labour Group commended Cabinet for their support of this flagship project, which he believed offered huge potential, not only for Dereham and Breckland, but also mid-Norfolk and further afield.  It would be a splendid arts/leisure complex.   He understood that the contractor had been announced and that work was shortly to get underway.  He thanked the Council for their support in helping to bring this project forward. 

 

An Independent Member concurred, adding that whilst Breckland Council had a good reputation for supporting village projects, he hoped that support given to the Dereham Memorial Hall boded well for similar projects in other Breckland towns. 

 

The Chairman agreed, adding that the Memorial Hall would be of enormous value and the project was now moving forward fast. 

 

b)         Request for the Release of a Restrictive Covenant at Sandy Lane, Dereham (Minute No. 62/10)

 

            The Leader of the Labour Group commented on the Resolution to release the Restrictive Covenant at nil consideration.  This would enable the redevelopment of the site to accommodate two new flats for affordable housing.   He felt that there was a fine balance between the acknowledged need for social housing, against understandable sensitivities about filling spaces in and around already established estates.  He therefore sought assurance from the Deputy Leader that there would be correct scrutiny by the Council before any further Restrictive Covenants were waived. 

 

            In response the Deputy Leader pointed out that:

 

i)                    every application was considered on its merits;

ii)                  the new Government was clamping down on ‘garden grabbing’;

iii)                there was a huge housing need, albeit the proposed distribution throughout the District needed to be dealt with in a sensitive way;

iv)                the Ward Rep was in favour of the Sandy Lane proposal; and

v)                  the Cabinet needed to be mindful of obtaining the best value for money.   In this respect, there would be other small areas of land where it may well prove sensible to proceed along the same route.  

 

The Chairman added that Ward Representatives were always consulted about such pockets of land and had the opportunity to liaise closely with the Planning Department.    She agreed that there was a fine balance to be considered in such cases.

 

c)                              Brecks Countryside Project – Memorandum Agreement (Minute No. 63/10

 

A Member said that he had hoped that this matter could have been brought before Council for a Resolution at this meeting.   This had been postponed from the Cabinet meeting on 8 June, but would definitely be considered at their next meeting in July, and hence taken to Council in August if additional funds outside of budget are required.

 

The project, which had been running for over 18 years, had already contributed much towards the Brecks environment and also helped sustain economic tourism in the District.   There was much further potential too.

 

However, urgent and renewed support from Breckland Council would be vital for its future - not just financially, but also via active partnership contributions  ...  view the full minutes text for item 86.

87.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - 27 May 2010 (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 27 May 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 8 June 2010 be adopted.

88.

Development Control Committee - 10 May 2010 (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 105 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 10 May 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Development Control meeting held on 10 May 2010 be adopted.

 

 

89.

Development Control Committee - 2 June 2010 (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 2 June 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Development Control meeting held on 2 June 2010 be adopted.

 

 

90.

General Purposes Committee - 12 May 2010 (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on 12 May 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 12 May 2010 be adopted.

 

 

91.

Appeals Committee - 28 April 2010 (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Appeals Committee held on 28 April 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 28 April 2010 be adopted.

 

 

92.

Appeals Committee - 26 May 2010 (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals meeting held on 26 May 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 26 May 2010 be adopted.

 

 

93.

Standards Committee - 27 April 2010 (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 27 April 2010.

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman, Mr F.Sharpe presented these Minutes.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 27 April 2010 be adopted.

 

94.

Standards Committee - 1 June 2010 (Agenda Item 16) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 1 June 2010.

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman, Mr F.Sharpe presented these Minutes.

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 1 June 2010 be adopted.

 

95.

Moving Thetford Forward Board - 29 April 2010 (Agenda Item 17) pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting of the Moving Thetford Forward Board held on 29 April 2010.

Minutes:

a)         Academy/Thetford Forum (Minute No. 23/10)

 

A Member pointed out that there was a great deal of contention in Thetford, not about the presence of an Academy or Forum itself, but concerning the proposed location.    He argued that there was an overwhelming local view against this site, and wondered if it would be possible for the Council to consider the compulsory purchase of an alternative piece of land.  He felt that there were huge sensitivities involved, with the majority of people inside the town feeling that those from the outside were prevailing.  He also added that previous talk about the ‘rebirth of Thetford Town Centre’ should be revisited, and that this project should not be considered in isolation.  The proposed land sale was conditional upon the Forum project going ahead on that site.

 

In response another Member took issue with the statement that the vast majority of Thetford residents opposed this site.  The project was subject to a six week formal consultation period which was currently underway.   He added that, so far, there had been no representations from the youth of the town and this project would be a much needed facility benefitting future generations in Thetford. 

 

The Chairman reminded Members that the debate was still underway and there was time for further input.  

 

The Chief Executive concurred, but added that with respect to the transfer of land, the decision had already been taken at the Council meeting held on 13 May 2010.   Members would also be aware that this was an opportunity for significant inward investment in to the town.

 

Another Member brought up the concerns of many local residents about the proposed relocation of the bus station.  This had been considered back in 2004, in consultation with Norfolk County Council and with the benefit of some EU funding, since the current one had been considered inadequate to cope with the larger modern coaches.

 

b)         Financial Report (Minute No. 25/10) – Harling Path Improvements

 

A Member registered concern that the Council had declined to take any responsibility for this part of the tow path along a very attractive part of the riverbank.   It was another contentious matter in Thetford and he felt that the Council were shirking a responsibility which they had inherited many years ago.

 

The Chief Executive intervened to explain that there had since been a further meeting of the Moving Thetford Board, at which this matter had been discussed.   The recommendation taken to that meeting (i.e. to progress this further, along with Norfolk County Council), had been passed at the personal request of the Leader of the Council.  However, he added that this might come under further scrutiny pending the impact of the autumn Spending Review on this type of project. 

 

The Member concerned therefore withdrew his criticism of the Council on this matter.

 

c)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 29 April 2010 be adopted.

 

96.

Youth Council Minutes - 17 May 2010 (For Information) (Agenda Item 18) pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To note the Youth Council Minutes for the meeting held on 17 May 2010.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Breckland Youth Council meeting held on 17 May 2010 were noted.

97.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 19) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from political groups and to fill the Committee substitute vacancies listed below:

 

            Development Control Committee – one Labour/Independent vacancy

           

            General Purposes Committee – one Conservative vacancy

 

            Licensing Committee - one Labour/Independent vacancy

 

            Appeals Committee - one Labour/Independent vacancy

 

            Audit Committee - one Labour/Independent vacancy

 

            Local Joint Consultative Committee - one Labour/Independent vacancy

 

(A full list of Committee memberships is attached to Agenda Item 1).

Minutes:

Mr K. Gilbert (Independent) explained as the nature of his work meant that he was unable to be flexible at very short notice, it would be impractical for him to be considered as a Substitute Member of any Committee.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group said that as there were only three Labour and three Independent Members available to potentially act as substitutes it would be impractical for them to try to cover all the slots listed.  Therefore, in the interests of common sense, and to ensure that important work was not affected, he signalled that he would be happy for these slots to be covered by Conservative colleagues wherever practical.

 

The Chairman thanked him for his helpful approach and Conservative Members agreed to look again at the issue of substitute Committee Membership.