Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

98.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2010.

Minutes:

It was noted that apologies for the last meeting had been received from Mr P. Hewett.

 

Subject to this, the Minutes for the meeting held on 24 June 2010 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

99.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C. Bowes, Mrs M. Chapman-Allen, Mr S. Chapman-Allen, Mr R. Duffield, Mrs E. Gould, Mr M. Griffin, Mr P. Hewett, Mrs T. Hewett, Mr A. Joel, Mr C. Jordan, Mrs K. Millbank, Mr D. Myers, Mrs P. Quadling and Mrs A. Steward.

 

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

 

100.

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:

Lady K. Fisher           Personal & Prejudicial interest in Agenda Item 15 (Moving Thetford Forward Board, Minute No. 30/10 – Presentation Slot.)

 

Mr I. Monson              Personal interest in Agenda Item 6 (Brecks Countryside Project – Memorandum Agreement, Minute No. 78/10), as Chairman of the Brecks Project.

 

Mr J. Rogers              Personal interest in Agenda Item 9(g) (Development Control Minutes, Schedule of Planning Applications) as a School Governor of Wayland High School.

                       

Mr R. Kybird               Personal interest in Agenda Item 15 (Moving Thetford Forward Board Minute No. 30/10(a) – Master Plan for Thetford).

101.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 4)

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

Minutes:

                       Engagements List – Chairman

                   24th June, 2010 to 11th August, 2010

 

Date

Event

Host

24th June, 2010

At Home

The High Sheriff of Norfolk and Mrs. Charles Barratt

25th June, 2010

Civic Reception

Mayor of Thetford - Councillor Mrs. Pauline Quadling

27th June, 2010

Annual Civic Service

Mayor of North Walsham – Councillor Mrs. Anne Rose

30th June, 2010

Tea in the President’s Pavilion at the Royal Norfolk Show

President of the Royal Norfolk Show, Sir Jeremy Bagge BT, DL

23rd July, 2010

Riversdale 50’s, 60’s & 70’s Garden Party

Riversdale Management Committee

25th July, 2010

Great Yarmouth Annual Civic Service

His Worship the Mayor and Madam Mayoress, Councillor Michael and Mrs. Paula Jeal

31st July, 2010

Chairman’s Reception – Breckland

 

 

 

                        Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

                        24th June, 2010 to 11th August, 2010

 

 

Date

Event

Host

3rd July, 2010

Summer Reception

Chairman of North Norfolk District Council, Councillor Mrs. Gloria Lisher

18th July, 2010

Civic Service and Reception

Mayor of Watton, Councillor Roy Ivory

31st July, 2010

Chairman’s Reception - Breckland

Councillor Mrs. L. Monument

 

 

102.

Appointment of Chief Executive (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Report of the Director of Corporate Resources.  

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Leader reminded Members of the background to this report.   Although the shared services negotiations with South Norfolk District Council had fallen through, Breckland had continued to look for alternative partners to work with.  This was perceived as the best way forward in terms of saving money and achieving the strongest senior management team.  

 

Bearing in mind the seriousness and likely depth of cuts arising form the government’s Autumn Spending Review, Breckland was keen to remain at the forefront of looking to mitigate costs and reduce internal overhead costs, whilst also maintaining its level of service to the public.

 

Negotiations with South Holland District Council had been extremely positive and decisions had been taken at Breckland’s Cabinet meeting (20 July) and the Staff Appointments Panel (26 July), to recommend to Council the appointment of Terry Huggins as Joint Chief Executive for both authorities.  

 

Whilst later confirming that he was not speaking directly against the proposal, a Member took the opportunity to comment that it seemed somewhat strange that the Council, which had been so opposed to the Unitary option on grounds of governing at a very much more local level, should now be so strongly in favour of sharing services.   After the breakdown of talks with South Norfolk, the latest proposal almost seemed an act of desperation, and he was somewhat intrigued and puzzled at this turn of events.

 

The Leader explained that, with regard to the Unitary proposal, this had been opposed as it would have resulted in an unwieldy and distant centre of local government, which would have had difficulty representing the varied communities across Norfolk.   Whereas the proposed shared services arrangements would ensure that full democratic responsibility was tied much closer to local communities. 

 

He also added that there was no sense of desperation in the proposal to have a shared Chief Executive with South Holland.  On the contrary, due to the uncertainties which inevitably surrounded such negotiations, Breckland had been involved with discussions about this matter with potential partners even during its talks with South Norfolk.   This was a practical and sensible approach in order to ensure that Breckland achieved the best possible partnership arrangements.

 

Another Member endorsed the point that in the current economic climate, shared service arrangements were arguably the best way of protecting services for Breckland residents, whilst keeping local democratic accountability, and he commended the Leader and Cabinet for their positive work in this area.

 

A Member asked if the proposed Joint Chief Executive appointment, would be the beginning of a slippery slope in terms of sharing investments and savings, as well as joint governance arrangements. 

 

In response, the Leader confirmed that, if adopted after further consultation and scrutiny, then the proposed Memorandum of Understanding would cover work towards further shared service workings and efficiencies (along the same principle as Breckland’s arrangements with the Anglia Revenue Partnership). 

 

He emphasised, however, that the proposals before Council did not involve making financial investments as such, but rather investing in services  ...  view the full minutes text for item 102.

103.

Cabinet Minutes - 20 July 2010 (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 149 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 20 July 2010.

Minutes:

a)                 Urgent Business – Opportunities with South Holland District Council (Minute No. 69/10)

 

The Resolution was taken and included under Minute No. 102/10 above.

 

b)                 Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Strategy (Minute No. 71/10)

 

The wording at the end of the fifth paragraph needed to be changed from “..until the outcome of the Government settlement was announced, ” to “..until the outcome of the court case in Iceland was settled.”.  

 

RESOLVED that the Medium Term Financial Strategy and the Capital Strategy be adopted.

 

c)                  New Executive Arrangements (Minute No. 72/10)

 

It was noted that under Reasons the three bullet points should be reduced to just two, as follows:

 

·        Elected Mayor and Cabinet.

·        Leader and Cabinet.

 

RESOLVED that the suggested timetable be adopted and the consultation documents, as amended, be adopted.

 

d)                 Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) (Minute No. 75/10)

 

The Leader of the Labour Group said that he was not at all surprised to learn that Norfolk County Council was not keen to take on responsibility for civil parking enforcement, which should remain with the police authorities. 

 

However, he wanted to reiterate his comments made at Cabinet that it would be important for each town to review its own car parking needs.   The worse possible scenario would be for a third party to end up imposing parking charges on Breckland residents for its own profit. 

 

The Leader confirmed that Breckland Council’s current policy remained not to charge for off-street parking.  He reminded Members that there was a Task & Finish Group currently undertaking a review of these arrangements in each of the District’s market towns.  

 

Members were reminded that it was generally acknowledged that on-street parking enforcement did not pay for itself. 

 

 

e)                 Brecks Countryside Project – Memorandum Agreement (Minute No. 78/10)

 

RESOLVED to agree to enter into the new Memorandum of Agreement, subject to:

 

1)       the funding for the year 2010/11 being deferred until such time the impact of the budget was known;

 

2)       notice to withdraw to be reviewed following confirmation of the budget; and

 

3)       the funding from all other partners being confirmed.

 

f)                    Reference from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Minute No. 79/10)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)       the petition scheme (shown at Appendix 1 of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission’s report) be endorsed, including the proposed thresholds;

 

2)       the associated scheme terms and conditions (shown at Appendix 2 of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission’s report) be agreed; and

 

3)       appropriate wording be inserted into the Council’s Constitution to officially recognise the petitions scheme.

 

g)                 Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 20 July 2010 be adopted.

 

104.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission - 15 July 2010 (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 15 July 2010.

Minutes:

a)                 Executive Member Portfolio Update (Minute No. 62/10)

It was noted that the dollar sign in the third paragraph should be replaced with a sterling one. 

b)                 Breckland Council’s Petitions Scheme (Minute No. 65/10)

In response to a question from the Leader of the Labour Group asking if the lack of a formal definition of what actually constituted a petition had been resolved, the Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission said that the Scrutiny Officer was investigating this further.     He added that Cabinet had now agreed the recommendations as proposed, and that this scheme would now proceed.

The Chairman asked if the requested definition could be made clear to all Members in due course please.

c)                  Adoption

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 15 July 2010 be adopted.

 

105.

Development Control Committee - 21 June 2010 (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 21 June 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Development Control Committee meeting held on 21 June 2010 be adopted.

 

106.

Development Control Committee - 12 July 2010 (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 85 KB

Confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Development Control Committee held on 12 July 2010.

Minutes:

a)                 Schedule of Planning Applications :

(g) Watton – Wayland High School: Construction of a shared footway/cycleway facility for Norfolk County Council : Reference 3PL/2010/0474/F (Minute No. 120/10)

 

The reference to Churchill Road in the second paragraph should read “Churchill Close”.   

 

Also, “arrears” in the penultimate paragraphs should read “areas”. 

 

b)                 Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Development Control meeting held on 12 July 2010 be adopted. 

 

107.

General Purposes Committee - 21 July 2010 (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on 21 July 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee held on 21 July 2010 be adopted. 

 

108.

Appeals Committee - 14 July 2010 (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Appeals Committee held on 14 July 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee held on 14 July 2010 be adopted. 

 

109.

Audit Committee - 11 June 2010 (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Confirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 11 June 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 11 June 2010 be adopted. 

 

110.

Audit Committee - 25 June 2010 (Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 25 June 2010.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee held on 25 June 2010 be adopted. 

 

111.

Standards Committee - 13 July 2010 (Agenda Item 14) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 13 July 2010.

Minutes:

a)                 Terms of Reference of Standards Committee Members (Minute No. 50/10)

 

RESOLVED that the terms of office of the members of the Standards Committee be agreed as follows:

 

(1)               District Members continue to be appointed annually.

 

(2)               The existing three Parish Members be considered for re-appointment in May 2011, if they are re-elected and willing to stand.   This would preserve the experience they have built up in dealing with Standards matters and complaints. 

 

Following the elections, discussions should take place to consider a staggered change-over of members. 

 

In order to cover the period immediately after the election, the term of office of the three existing Parish Members be confirmed (if re-elected) until the end of November 2011.

 

(3)         It is important that the Council does not lose all of the experienced Independent Members at the same time, as the Committee and Sub-Committees all have to be Chaired by an Independent Member.  It was therefore suggested that:

 

a)     the term of office of Joan Jenkins be extended to May 2011;

 

b)     the terms of office of George Ridgway and Michael Eveling be confirmed until May 2012; and

 

c)      further discussions should take place to consider ways to facilitate a staggered change-over of Independent Members in future.

 

b)                 Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards meeting held on 13 July 2010 be adopted.

 

112.

Moving Thetford Forward Board - 17 June 2010 (Agenda Item 15) pdf icon PDF 137 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting  held on 17 June 2010.

Minutes:

1)                 Programme Project Proposals (Capital Budget):

Harling Footpath (Minute No. 32/10 (b))

 

A Member expressed his delight that the Council had decided to go ahead with this project.

 

The Leader added that bids had been in abeyance pending the Secretary of State’s confirmation (which had arrived that morning) that the £1.7 million would be available.  

 

2)                 Minutes 

 

The unconfirmed Minutes of the Moving Thetford Board meeting held on 17 June 2010 were noted. 

 

113.

Breckland Area Museums Meeting - 4 June 2010 (For Information) (Agenda Item 16) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Breckland Area Museums meeting held on 4 June 2010.

Minutes:

The unconfirmed Minutes of the Breckland Area Museums Committee meeting held on 4 June 2010 were noted. 

 

114.

Youth Council Minutes - 17 June 2010 (For Information) (Agenda Item 17) pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To note the confirmed Minutes of the Youth Council meeting held on 17 June 2010.

Minutes:

Subject to amending the MP’s name to George Freeman at paragraph 5, the Minutes of the Breckland Youth Council meeting held on 17 June 2010 were noted. 

 

115.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 18)

To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from political groups.

 

To note that the Conservative substitute for the General Purposes Committee will be Mr D. Myers and that the Conservative Group will not be taking up the offer from the Labour and Independent Groups to fill other substitute vacancies.

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

1)                 That the Conservative substitute vacancy for the General Purposes Committee be taken by Mr D. Myers.

 

2)                 That the Conservative Group would not take up the offer from the Labour and Independent Groups to fill other substantive vacancies. 

 

3)                 That the vacancy on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust be taken by Councillor Ian Monson. 

 

116.

Masterplan Funding for Attleborough (Agenda Item 19) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Interim Chief Executive.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Principal Housing Officer presented this report and explained that the Council had just been awarded a grant of £50,000 to help tackle rural issues which might arise as a result of growth and expansion.   The grant (from the Homes and Communities Agency) was specifically for use with the Masterplan Project covering the Attleborough region, which was due to have a major increase in housing over the coming years.   

 

The report requested that the Council be allowed to accept this funding, and also recommended that it use the consultants who had been approved by the Homes and Communities agency to undertake the project, not least as they would have suitable experience and expertise to help maximise the benefits.

 

She confirmed that the grant would be ring-fenced to help the Attleborough area only, and that the proposed consultant, if accepted, would work closely with all key stakeholders in the town, as well as with Breckland Council and the local community. 

 

However, she explained that there were conditions with the grant:

 

·        it had to be taken up within six months;

·        the money had to be spent before it was claimed back; and

·        there would be three payment trances.

 

Members felt that this was a good scheme.  It would certainly be helpful for some focussed preparatory work to be done in various areas.  This could then hopefully feed positively into the wider decision process in advance of any final decisions being taken. 

 

The Deputy Leader said that he was delighted that these funds had been secured during such difficult times, and said that both Attleborough and Breckland should benefit from this scheme.  However, the key to maximising this benefit would be communication with as many local residents as possible.   This should help Breckland deliver an overall result which truly represented the thoughts and aspirations of the local community it represented.

 

The Chairman of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission added his congratulations, saying that the Commission would play its part in the process to ensure that full value for money was achieved, both throughout the consultation and also in terms of its outcome.

 

He cautioned, however, that it would be essential to ensure that care was taken with the initial brief which the consultants were given: the Council needed to ensure that the consultants would work to its own brief, and not a standard one set out by the Homes and Communities Agency.  

 

RESOLVED to

 

1)                 Accept the funding from the Homes and Communities Agency for the Masterplan Project.

 

2)                 Approve the consultant (Scott Wilson) from the Homes and Communities Agency Panel to undertake the work.