Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

34.

Minutes (Agenda item 1)

34/07a

23 February 2012 pdf icon PDF 92 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2012.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 23 February 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

34/07b

9 March 2012 pdf icon PDF 74 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting held on 9 March 2012.

 

Minutes:

The Minutes of the Extraordinary meeting held on 9 March 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

35.

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr B Borrett, Mr K Gilbert, Mr R Goreham and Mr B Skull.

36.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3)

Engagements List – Chairman

 

23rd February, 2012 to 11th April, 2012

 

 

Date

Event

Host

4th March, 2012

Justice Service

The High Sheriff of Norfolk, Mrs. G. Holloway

7th March, 2012

Norfolk’s Official Signing Ceremony of the Community Covenant

Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Councillor Mrs. Shelagh Hutson, and the Leader of Norfolk County Council, Mr. Derrick Murphy

11th March, 2012

Civic Service

Chairman of South Norfolk Council, Councillor Sue Thomson

16th March, 2012

St. Winnold’s Parade and Breakfast

The Mayor of Downham Market Town Council, Councillor Val Starling

16th March, 2012

Mayor’s Civic Reception

Mayor of Attleborough, Councillor Karen Pettitt

18th March, 2012

Civic Evensong Service

The Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress of the Borough of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk, Councillor and Mrs. Colin Sampson

22nd March, 2012

Civic Reception

Chairman and Lady of South Holland District Council, Councillor Michael Seymour and Mrs. Pauline Seymour

29th March, 2012

Civic Service of Thanksgiving

Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Councillor Mrs. Shelagh Hutson

30th March, 2012

Chairman’s “Magical” Civic Reception

Chairman of Forest Heath District Council, Councillor Roger and Mrs. Dawn Dicker

5th April, 2012

Change of Command Ceremony

Commander, Third Air Force

 

Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

 

23rd February, 2012 to 11th April, 2012

 

Date

Event

Host

30th March, 2012

Reception

Mayor and Mayoress of Watton, Councillor Michael Wassell and Mrs. Jan Wassell

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman asked Members to stand in silent reflection for a few moments in memory of two former Members of the Council; Mrs Southgate, a dedicated Member who had represented All Saints Ward who had died some weeks ago, and Mr Roy Rudling, a previous Chairman of the Council and former colleague of many in the room who had died suddenly the previous week.

 

Following the moment’s silence the Chairman recalled that he had been partnered with Roy when he first joined the Council and had learnt a lot from him.  Roy had thrived on debate.  He had been instrumental in the Council’s housing stock transfer and also extremely involved in the sale of the Attleborough Offices.  He had represented Watton, but he had championed the cause of even the smallest Parishes.

 

Mr Rudling’s funeral would be held on Monday 23 April 2012 at 11.00am in Watton Church.

 

Moving on to a happier topic, the Chairman encouraged Members to support a Charity Fashion Show to be held on Friday 11 May in Attleborough in aid of Macmillan Cancer.  Tickets were available from Councillor Martin.

 

Finally he reminded Members of the Charity tandem ride that he and the Leader of the Council would be undertaking.  Again he encouraged all Members to support the event which would visit all five market towns.  Donations could be made via https://www.justgiving.com/Nigel-Wilkin.

37.

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:

Lady Fisher declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 7 (Minute No. 26/12 of the Planning Minutes) regarding the site visit held on 12 March on land at Thetford and Croxton where her husband’s family owned land.

 

Mr P Claussen and Mr W Smith declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 5 (Minute No. 54/12 of the Cabinet Minutes) by virtue of them both being non-executive directors of the Anglia Revenues & Partnership Trading Board.

 

Mrs Jolly declared a personal and prejudicial interest in agenda item 7 (Minute No. 30/12(b)) by virtue of her being related to the applicant.

38.

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda item 5)

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 27 March 2012.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

1)           Attendance Report – Mrs P Quadling (Minute No. 43/12)

 

RESOLVED not to remove Mrs P Quadling from the General Purposes Committee for the remainder of the Council year.

 

2)           Breckland Council ICT Strategy 2012/2014 (Minute No. 45/12)

 

RESOLVED that the ICT Strategy for 2012/2014 be adopted.

 

3)           Capital Programme 2011/12 – Request to Carry Over Funding to 2012/13 (Minute No. 46/12)

 

The first sentence of the third and fourth paragraph was amended to read: “The Overview & Scrutiny Commission Vice-Chairman……”

 

4)           Reference from the Standards Committee (Minute No. 51/12)

 

The Leader of the Opposition was concerned that in the face of fundamental changes the Council had no clear path ahead.  He implored Members to continue to utilise the existing expertise of the Standards Committee.

 

The Leader of the Council responded saying that the Council would continue to have a Code of Conduct and would appoint an Independent Person who would work with the Monitoring Officer on complaints.  There would also be some sort of Standards Committee although it might be attached to an existing Committee such as Appeals or Audit.  That would be decided at the Council meeting in May.

 

The Leader felt that the existing system used a ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ and cost a lot of money dealing with many vexatious items with little outcome.

 

5)           Report Housing Register Contract Review (Minute No. 54/12)

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations as listed in the report be approved. 

 

6)           Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 27 March 2012 be adopted.

39.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 99 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission held on 15 March 2012.

Minutes:

1)         Housing Task & Finish Group (Minute No 36/12(a))

 

The Leader of the Opposition referred to a report in the local press and asked if it was official Council policy to reduce the social housing requirement in the Thetford Area Action Plan (TAAP).  He wished to register his concern if that was the case as it would change the intentions of the Growth Plan and could lead to Thetford becoming a two tier town.

 

The Leader of the Council acknowledged that the press had reported comments made by him at a Business Breakfast.  He had made those comments because of his concerns about the two tier possibility.

 

Lady Fisher left the room at this point due to her prejudicial interest.

 

The Leader of the Council explained that he had discussed lowering the Social Housing target and using the money from developers to refurbish the existing housing estates in Thetford instead.  There had been several planning applications recently where the Social Housing requirement had been reduced because Officers and the District Valuer had advised that they were likely to be approved on appeal if refused.  The Council wanted to get as much social housing as possible but there had to be a balance between achieving that and getting no development at all.

 

An Independent Member thought that large developers were using the viability argument to drive a coach and horses through the Council’s policy.

 

A Member pointed out that when the policies had been set there had been a different economic climate.  More houses were needed now, but less were being built because development wasn’t financially viable.  If the Council wanted houses to be built it had to have policies that were fit for purpose.

 

The Chairman of the Planning Committee clarified that the District Valuer was independent and assessed applications individually.  The Council was achieving about 25% affordable housing compared to only 12% in other areas, so it was doing fairly well.  She also mentioned that where lower affordable housing limits were being approved it was with the proviso that if house prices went up the developers would have to return to the Committee to renegotiate the requirements.

 

The Leader of the Opposition pointed out that the TAAP was the blueprint for the next 20 years and the standard needed to be set now for when the recession was over.

 

Lady Fisher returned to the room.

 

2)         Work Programme (Minute No 41/12)

 

The Leader of the Opposition suggested that the Council should ask the Overview & Scrutiny Commission to review the full Council format.  At South Holland, Members were allowed time at the start of the meeting to ask questions on matters not on the agenda.  He thought that might be something that could be considered for Breckland.

 

3)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 15 March 2012 be adopted.

40.

Planning Committee (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 81 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Planning Committee held on 12 March 2012.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 12 March 2012 be adopted.

41.

General Purposes Committee (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the General Purposes Committee held on 7 March 2012.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 7 March 2012 be adopted.

42.

Appeals Committee (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 104 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Appeals Committee held on 22 February 2012.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 22 February 2012 be adopted.

43.

Audit Committee (Agenda Item 10)

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 23 March 2012.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee meeting held on 23 March 2012 be adopted.

44.

Standards Committee (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 76 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of the Standards Committee held on 21 February 2012.

Minutes:

1)         Next Meeting (Minute No 20/12)

 

The Chairman of the Standards Committee drew attention to a change to the date of the next meeting which would now be held on 24 April 2012.   All Members were welcome to attend.

 

2)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Standards Committee meeting held on 21 February 2012 be adopted.

45.

Moving Thetford Forward Board (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To note the unconfirmed Minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 24 February 2012.

Minutes:

1)         Riverside Regeneration Project (Minute No 47/12)

 

A Thetford Member was concerned that if work started as planned there would be no bus station for 18 months.

 

The Leader of the Council said that Norfolk County Council was aware of that and provision was in place.

 

2)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Moving Thetford Forward Board meeting held on 24 February 2012 be adopted.

46.

Youth Council Minutes (For Information)(Agenda Item 13) pdf icon PDF 119 KB

To note the Youth Council minutes for the meeting held on 28 February 2012.

Minutes:

Three members of the Youth Council were in attendance to see how the workings of full Council.  They were introduced and welcomed by the Chairman.

 

The Minutes of the Youth Council meeting held on 28 February 2012 were noted.

47.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 14)

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

Minutes:

None.