Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

151.

Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2010.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2010 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

152.

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received by Mesdames T Hewett and D Irving and Messrs W Borrett, S Chapman-Allen, R Childerhouse, M Fanthorpe, K Gilbert, P Hewett, J Labouchere, B Rose, M Spencer, A Stasiak and D Williams.

 

153.

Declaration of Interest (Agenda item 3)

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:

The following declarations were made:

 

  • Lady K Fisher – personal and prejudicial interests in reference to the Stone Curlew report (Cabinet Minute No. 127/10), and Agenda item 14 (Moving Thetford Forward Board).

 

  • Mr P Cowen – personal interest in the Cabinet meeting held on 30 November 2010 (see Minute No. 118/10), and Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 6 December 2010 (see Minute No. 117/10).  He also declared a personal interest in Development Control Committee Minute No. 204/10(e).

 

  • Mr R Kybird – personal interest – see Overview & Scrutiny Commission Minute No. 117/10.

 

154.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)

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

Minutes:

At the commencement of the meeting, Members were made aware of the passing of Peter Pearce, former Deputy Town Clerk with Thetford Borough Council and District Administrator at Breckland Council, who had sadly passed away in May this year aged 78, after a sudden and brief illness.  After retiring from Breckland, Peter and his wife, Renee moved to Cornwall. Understandably, during that sad time, Renee had overlooked to let anyone at the Council know of her husband’s passing.

 

The Chairman had been privileged to attend the Elizabeth Cross Medal and Scroll Presentations, the first ever event of this kind held in Norfolk.  The Elizabeth Cross was presented to families of service and men and women killed in operations since 1948 (one family from the Breckland area had been presented with a medal and scroll). In total, ten medals had been awarded.

 

The Chairman felt sorry that she had missed the opportunity at the previous Council meeting, which the Vice-Chairman had chaired in her absence, to announce the passing of Mrs Peggy Duigan, former County Council Member, Mayor of Dereham and long standing Member of Breckland Council who had sadly passed away in October.  Members stood for a minutes silence and paid their respects.

 

The final announcement was in relation to the Council agenda itself.  It had been found that the page numbering in some of the agendas issued was incorrect.

 

            Engagements List – Chairman

            4th November, 2010 to 15th December, 2010

 

Date

Event

Host

14 Nov

Remembrance Sunday Parade and Wreath Laying Ceremony

Royal British Legion

26 Nov

Medal Presentations

RAF Marham

2 Dec

Reception

Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Mrs. Zipha Christopher

10 Dec

Holiday Reception

Colonel Chad T. Manske, Commander 100th Air Refuelling Wing, RAF Mildenhall and Colonel John T. Quintas, Commander 48th Fighter Wing

13 Dec

Elizabeth Cross Medal and Scroll Presentations – Elizabeth Cross is presented to families of service and men and women killed in operations since 1948 (one family from the Breckland area will be presented with a medal and scroll)

Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Councillor Tony Tomkinson

13 Dec

Civic Carol Service

His Worship the Mayor of Great Yarmouth, Councillor M. Jeal, and the High Sheriff of Norfolk, Charles Barratt

 

Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

4th November, 2010 – 15th December, 2010

 

Date

Event

Host

11 Nov

Drinks

Lieutenant Colonel A. G. C. Fair DCO* and The Light Dragoons

14 Nov

Annual Service of Remembrance

Mayor of Thetford, Councillor Pauline Quadling

24 Nov

Thanksgiving Service

RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath Chapel Communities

2 Dec

Reception

Mayor of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor Mrs. Zipha Christopher

10 Dec

Christmas Dinner

The County Towns Initiative

 

155.

Cabinet Minutes - 30 November 2010 (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 150 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 30 November 2010.

Minutes:

a)           New Executive Arrangements (Minute No. 120/10)

 

The Member Services Manager read the following statement from Section 25(4) of the Local Government Act 2000, on behalf of the Solicitor and Standards Consultant, the author of the report:  “In drawing up proposals for the new Executive arrangements a local authority must consider the extent to which the proposals were likely to assist in securing continuous improvement in the way in which the authority’s functions were exercised, having regard to a combination of economy, efficiency and effectiveness”.

 

A Member said that he had never been enraptured with the position of Leader and therefore welcomed this opportunity to propose the Mayor/Cabinet model. 

 

No-one seconded the Member’s proposal and he accordingly voted against the recommendation.

 

RESOLVED that the Strong Leader and Cabinet option for Executive Arrangements from May 2011 be adopted.

 

b)           Active Land Management – Tranche 2 (Minute No. 123/10)

 

Thetford – Land at Ramsey Close

 

A Member felt that the Cabinet had been ill-advised by the Executive Member for the Corporate Development & Performance Portfolio by making the point that the land at Ramsey Close in Thetford was not suitable for allotments; whereas, Thetford Town Council had agreed that it was the best piece of land for that purpose.  He reminded Members about the covenant on the land which restricted development and which had been designated to remain as open space.  He therefore queried the Cabinet’s resolution of selling the land on the open market and finding alternative open space for allotments if the land was sold.   It was pointed out that Thetford Town Council had secured funding from another source to assist with turning the land into allotments. He hoped that the Council would refer it back to Cabinet.

 

The Leader of the Opposition felt it was very important that the principles of active land management were embraced and applauded the Council for looking at every parcel of council-owned land.  Most land could be fully supported but occasionally there were some that caused concern.  He pointed out that he and a number of other Members had received emails from a certain Town Councillor who was not at all happy with being confronted with finding alternative open space in Thetford that was suitable for allotments, as there was none.

 

The Leader reassured Members that the funding from Thetford Healthy Towns would not be lost.    He pointed out that in these difficult financial times Breckland Council had to get best value, not just for an individual community, but for all the communities it served.  The Council had to do what was considered best for its assets, and in terms of value, this particular piece of land, compared to agricultural land, which could be used for such a purpose, had been valued at £240k. He reminded Members of the £500k that the Council had recently given for improvements to Swaine Close in Thetford.

 

A Member remembered this particular site during his tenure as Leader and reminded the Council that its former use was a  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.

156.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - 18 November 2010 (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 18 November 2010.

Minutes:

a)           Executive Member Portfolio Update – Strategic Housing (Minute No. 105/10)

 

The Opposition Leader made Members aware of the questions that he had raised at the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting particularly with regard to the response received relating to the Council’s statutory obligations to homelessness.  He wished the response to be used as a plea to those preparing the budget to try and keep the housing and homelessness pot as topped up as possible so that these vulnerable people could be protected.

 

The Leader agreed that this type of grant should be supported.

 

b)           Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 18 November 2010 be adopted.

 

157.

Special Meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission - 6 December 2010 (Agenda item 7)

Unconfirmed minutes of the Special Meeting of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission held on 6 December 2010.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Overview & Scrutiny Commission Chairman stated that the special meeting held to discuss the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP) had been very constructive and he endorsed the Minutes.

 

A Member made a general point about the effort to expand Thetford and pleaded with Officers to ensure that the infrastructure was in place before the people moved in.  In response, Members were reminded that the TAAP was a comprehensive document and the development would be phased.

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Special Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 6 December 2010 be adopted.

 

158.

Development Control Committee - 1 November 2010 (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 1 November 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 1 November 2010 be adopted.

 

159.

Development Control Committee - 22 November 2010 (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 22 November 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 22 November 2010 be adopted.

 

160.

Special Joint Meeting of the General Purposes Committee and Overview & Scrutiny Commission - 6 December 2010 (Agenda item 10)

Unconfirmed minutes of the Special Joint meeting of the General Purposes Committee and Overview & Scrutiny Commission held on 6 December 2010.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Special Joint meeting of the General Purposes Committee and the Overview & Scrutiny Commission held on 6 December 2010 be adopted.

 

161.

Appeals Committee - 20 October 2010 (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Appeals Committee held on 20 October 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 20 October 2010 be adopted.

 

162.

Special Meeting of the Audit Committee - 5 November 2010 (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Special Audit Committee meeting held on 5 November 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Special Audit Committee meeting held on 5 November 2010 be adopted.

 

163.

Special Meeting of the Audit Committee - 19 November 2010 (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 65 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Special Audit Committee meeting held on 19 November 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Special Audit Committee meeting held on 19 November 2010 be adopted.

 

164.

Moving Thetford Forward Board - 17 September 2010 (Agenda item 14) pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Confirmed minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 17 September 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 17 September 2010 be adopted.

 

165.

Breckland Area Museums Committee - 1 October 2010 (for information) (Agenda item 15) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Breckland Area Museums Committee meeting held on 1 October 2010.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Breckland Area Museums Committee meeting held on 1 October 2010 were noted.

 

166.

Youth Council Minutes (For Information) (Agenda item 16)

166/07a

Minutes of the Meeting held on 20 October 2010 pdf icon PDF 164 KB

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Youth Council meeting held on 20 October 2010 were noted.

166/07b

Minutes of the Campaign Meeting held on 8 November 2010 (for information) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Jordan Bailey and Alastair Wright (Youth Councillors) will be in attendance to seek Members’ support for the YESS Campaign.

Minutes:

Jordan Bailey, Alistair Wright and Stuart Greenwere in attendance to seek Members’ support for the YESS campaign.  The Youth Council was trying to raise its profile and a number of ideas had been put forward and an action plan had been agreed.  One of the ideas included taking photographs of local areas highlighting issues that could cause problems to both the young and the elderly.  An article would be included in Breckland Voice and a questionnaire would follow.  The Youth Council would also be holding a Question Time event as well as a Media Amnesty.  The latter would include asking the media to publish more articles that promoted the good that young people did in their area.

 

Members were impressed with what the Youth Council was trying to achieve and wished them well in their campaign.

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Campaign meeting held on 8 November 2010 be noted.

166/07c

Minutes of the Cabinet Meeting held on 15 November 2010 (for information) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED  that the Minutes of the Youth Council Cabinet meeting held on 15 November 2010 be noted.

167.

Proposal for Joint Management Arrangements (Agenda item 17) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the Joint Chief Executive to both Breckland and South Holland District Councils.

 

(Appendix M to the report will follow in due course).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

William Smith and Paul Claussen left the room at this point as they had another meeting to attend.

 

The Member Services Manager reminded the meeting that any person who was at risk under the shared management structure would not be permitted to remain in the meeting during discussion of this item.

 

Paragraph 8.3 of the Officer Code of Conduct in the Constitution stated: “that those officers would need to declare a personal and prejudicial interest in the item and withdraw from the meeting”.

 

The Officers that were at risk left the room whilst this item was being discussed.

 

The Chief Executive presented the proposal for joint management arrangements between South Holland District Council and Breckland Council.

 

Members had been constantly updated on this matter, therefore, a quick overview of the report was provided.

 

One key point related to the two papers that had been circulated following the agenda issue which included the comments of the Deputy Monitoring Officer from South Holland District Council and Appendix M, which highlighted the financial implications of the proposal prepared again by South Holland District Council.

 

Members were informed that South Holland District Council at its Full Council meeting held the day before on 15th December 2010 had approved the implementation of the shared management structure subject to two joint  committees being formed.  The membership of the Joint Appointments Committee and the Joint Appointment Appeals Committee would be eight, four Members from each Council and the quorum would be four (two members from each authority) and not three as stated in appendix F of the report.

 

The structure had been designed and based upon three core functions which both Councils had considered earlier in the process.  All issues and concerns had been taken into consideration.  Part of the staff consultation was on the implementation procedure.  This required agreement on a joint process to be used with all affected staff regardless of which of the two Councils they were presently employed by.  The process as documented within the consultation had been independently reviewed and amended by an independent recruitment consultancy Attenti.  Members were asked to note an amendment to this part of the report (page 6, last but one sentence), to read: “in order to ensure that this process does not place either council at risk”.

 

Job descriptions and examples of person specifications had been attached at Appendix J of the report.  If Members were mindful to approve the new structure the said documents would be finalised and competencies would be added as appropriate.

 

As part of the consultation process all staff had been invited to indicate their future wishes if their job application was unsuccessful in regard to voluntary redundancy or early retirement.  It was recommended that in these circumstances the Chief Executive be authorised to approve these subject to consultation with both Leaders.

 

Where jobs were offered to staff which represented suitable alternative employment but carried a lesser salary than their existing job, under pay protection this eventuality was already covered at  ...  view the full minutes text for item 167.

168.

Members' Scheme of Allowances (Agenda item 18) pdf icon PDF 105 KB

To introduce a scheme of allowances to take effect on 1st January 2011. 


Before agreeing a scheme, the Council must have regard to the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel.   A copy of their report is attached.

Minutes:

The Member Services Manager presented the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel.  The Panel had been appointed to consider and recommend a scheme of allowances that complied with the requirements of the Local Government Act 1989, the Local Government Act 2000 and associated regulations.

 

The Panel had met on two occasions and had taken account of considerable evidence and correspondence.  It was familiar with the culture of Breckland and had previously made it clear what was expected in terms of performance in recognition of the levels of allowance recommended.  In reaching its conclusions, the Panel had taken note of the key developments during the past year.

 

The Leader had been interviewed on 17th November 2010 and the Panel had been grateful for his attendance and for the information that he had provided.

 

It was noted that the Panel had remained of the same view as far as pensions were concerned and was recommending that Members not be given access to the Local Government Pension Scheme.

 

Given these financial uncertainties and the intention of Breckland to create a joint management structure with South Holland Council, the Panel had recommended a one year scheme for the period 1st January to 31 December 2011.

 

The current basic allowance would remain the same as would the Special Responsibility Allowance with the exception of the Deputy Leader’s role, the Task & Finish Group Chairmen and the Licensing Committee Chairman.  It had been agreed that an additional amount should be paid to the Deputy Leader, and rates for Task & Finish Group Chairmen should be increased from £58 to £115 per meeting chaired.  It had also been agreed that the Licensing Chairman should also get paid per meeting chaired instead of the annual allowance.  Members were informed that the Licensing Committee had only met on a limited number of occasions during the past two years whilst the Licensing Sub-Committee had still met regularly and the Chairmen of these meetings were being paid an additional allowance.

 

Allowances for co-opted Members and for child-care would remain the same and the travel and subsistence, as they were in-line with National Rates, would be unchanged.

 

Requests for allowances for Town and Parish Councils would be referred to the Panel on receipt and would be considered on an individual basis.

 

The Panel had been disappointed with the attendance levels from some Members at Committee meetings and therefore had requested that a letter be sent to the Department of Communities and Local Government to highlight this concern and the fact that the basic allowance could not be reduced in the event of poor attendance levels (if felt appropriate).

 

The recommendations had been set out at section 13 of the report and Members were asked to put their views forward and suggest any changes.

 

A Member queried the travel rate for training which, in her opinion, at 15.1p per mile, was disgraceful and felt that it needed further consideration as most of what Members did involved training.

 

The Chairman pointed out that these  ...  view the full minutes text for item 168.