Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

111.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 109 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2012.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 25 October 2012 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

112.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Bowes, Mr Claussen, Mr Duffield, Mr Green, Mr Kiddle-Morris, Mr Skull, Mr Smith and Mr Williams.

 

The Chairman and Members sent their best wishes for a speedy recovery to Mr Kiddle-Morris who was not well.

 

113.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3) pdf icon PDF 376 KB

Engagements List – Chairman

25th October, 2012 – 5th December, 2012

 

Date

Event

Host

25th October 2012

Annual Celebration – YMCA Norfolk

General the Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL

26th October 2012

The Brecks:

The Past – visit to Grimes Graves

The Present – visit to Cranwich Camp

The Future – visit to Lynford Water & Arboretum

Chairman of Norfolk County Council

Councillor Ian Monson

27th October 2012

City College Norwich Graduation Ceremony

Corriene Peasgood, Principal City College Norwich

28th October 2012

Civic Service

Chairman and Lady, South Holland District Council

Councillor Michael Seymour and Mrs. Pauline Seymour

7th November 2012

At Home

Mayor of Wisbech & Consort

Councillor Viv MacRae and Mr. Gary MacRae

11th November 2012

Wreath laying Ceremony – Remembrance Sunday

Royal British Legion Dereham & District

21st November 2012

Thanksgiving Service

RAF Mildenhall and RAF Lakenheath Chapel Communities, Lt. Col. Henry E. Close IIII

5th December 2012

Light Dragoons Welcome Home Parade

Norfolk County Council Chairman and Breckland Council Chairman

 

Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

25th October, 2012 – 5th December, 2012

 

Date

Event

Host

30th October 2012

Bernard Matthews Youth Awards 2012

Bernard Matthews Farms

31st October 2012

British Empire Medal Presentation

Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk

Richard Jewson

 

Minutes:

The Chairman’s engagements were noted.

 

On behalf of the Member Trainer the Chairman publicised a forthcoming course to be held on Monday 10 December for ‘Effective Communication’.  Members could register their interest with the Member Trainer after the meeting.  A small number of Members had not yet signed up for their PDP interviews and were asked to sign up for those at the end of the meeting, or if they did not wish to have an interview, to confirm that fact with the Member Trainer.

 

In the evening on Thursday 20 December there would be a quiz held at Swanton Morley Village Hall.  All proceeds from the event would go to the Chairman’s charity, Water Aid.  Mrs Turner had already registered one team and there would also be an Officer’s team from the Council.  If any other Members wished to take part they were asked to contact the Chairman or the Standards Officer after the meeting.

 

Following the Welcome Home Parade for the Light Dragoons there were some ‘Welcome Home’ magazines for sale at the back of the room for a suggested donation of £1.50 or above.  The Chairman thanked all members of staff who had assisted in making the Welcome Home Parade such a success.  He then read out a letter from the Prime Minister, David Cameron, supporting the Welcome Home Parade.  (Copy attached)

 

114.

Declaration of Interests (Agenda Item 4)

Members are no longer required to declare personal of prejudicial interests but are to declare any new Disclosable Pecuniary Interests that are not currently included in the Register of Interests. Members are reminded that under the Code of Conduct they are not to participate and must leave the room, for the whole of an agenda item to which they have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest. 

 

In the interests of transparency, Members may also wish to declare any other interests they have in relation to an agenda item, that support the Nolan principles detailed within the Code of Conduct.

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

 

115.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 63 KB

To receive a presentation on the draft scheme.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Commissioning gave Members a presentation (copy attached).  He was accompanied by the Head of Shared Service (ARP).

 

The presentation provided an update on the forthcoming changes and explained the next steps in the process.  No formal decision would be needed until the next meeting in January.

 

Council Tax Benefit would cease with effect from 13 April 2013 and a Local Council Tax Support Scheme would take its place.  That change would be accompanied by a 10% reduction in funding, although the final figures of the grant from Government would not be known until 19 December 2012.

 

The changes would have to be implemented on 1 April 2013 and the Council was required to have adopted the new scheme by 31 January 2013, hence the tight timescale.

 

Part of the required process had been to consult with other preceptors and with those directly affected, along with those on benefits that would not be directly affected by the changes and a demographic panel representative of Breckland residents.

 

The draft scheme maintained the same principles as the current scheme in that it sought to:

 

·        protect pensioners and vulnerable groups;

·        protect those in work; and

·        be affordable for Breckland.

 

To meet the 10% funding gap the main change was a proposed cap to the level of funding paid. 

 

There were also some technical changes proposed with regard to second homes and vacant properties.  The Council Tax discount on second homes would cease for all except military personnel and the discount on empty properties would remain at 100% for three months (reduced from six months currently) with a further three months with a 50% reduction.  After that period full Council Tax would be due.

 

The consultation results showed strong support for all the proposals.  The only discrepancy was between the Panel responses and those from people on benefits regarding the proposed cap.  That was not surprising as the cap would directly affect those responding.

 

A recent announcement from the Government was that there would be a Transitional Grant for 2013/14.  £100 million would be available to Authorities that met the required criteria.  An application for the grant could only be made once a scheme had been adopted, after 31 January 2013.

 

The next steps in the process would be to prepare a final report which would go to Cabinet in early January and then to Council in late January.

 

Mrs Canham thought it was a good report but was very concerned that the people most affected would be those that could least afford a reduction to their payments.  She asked what the Council could do to protect them.

 

The Assistant Director for Commissioning advised that the Council already had a policy to protect the most vulnerable and they would continue to do so under the draft scheme, albeit with a smaller pot of money.

 

The Head of Shared Service (ARP) confirmed that they would work with those struggling to pay their Council Tax, etc.

 

The Leader of the Labour Group had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 115.

116.

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 124 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 20 November 2012.

Minutes:

(a)       Land at Castell Road, Dereham (Minute No 125/12)

 

The Chairman said that the debate about Council owned land concerned him. Although he sympathised with the need to maximise the Council’s assets he thought that sometimes the amenity value of a piece of land outweighed its financial value.  He would be concerned if all pieces of land were treated in the same way and hoped that all implications would be taken into consideration when considering other pieces of land. 

 

The Leader of the Council noted his comments.

 

(b)       Corporate Asset Management Strategy (Minute No 129/12)

 

RESOLVED that the new Corporate Asset Management Strategy 2012-2020 be adopted.

 

(c)        Financial Performance Quarter 2 2012-13 (Minute No 130/12)

 

RESOLVED that the sum of £22,010 for the District By-Elections be funded from the General Fund in 2012-13.

 

(d)       Breckland Collective Energy Switching Scheme (Minute No 132/12)

 

The Leader of the Labour Group was pleased to note that Breckland was embracing the Socialist principle of collective bargaining, but Mr Kybird remarked that market economics and purchasing power were not Socialist.

 

The Leader of the Council advised that this proposal was being taken forward for the whole of Norfolk.

 

(e)       Review of Policy for Charging for the Provision of Wheeled Bins to New Properties (Minute No 133/12)

 

Mr Gilbert asked what powers the Council had if people refused to pay for their bins.  The Deputy Chief Executive asked the Interim Environmental Services Manager to respond and he advised that if people refused to pay the charge they would have to make their own arrangements for refuse disposal.  If those arrangements did not meet the required standards the Council could take action under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act.

 

(f)         Delivery of Affordable Housing on Council Owned Land at Snetterton North End (Minute No 134/12)

 

Mr Askew thought that the decision was good news for local people.  Such schemes would enable people to live locally and would help to retain the vibrancy of parishes.

 

Mr Kybird noted a grammatical error in the paragraph commencing Wellington Construction.  The first full stop should be removed and brackets added to read:  “… sum of £90,000 (the District Valuer had valued the whole of the site for £155,000) which was below…”

 

Mr Martin asked Members to bear in mind some pockets of land available for development in Attleborough.

 

Mr Borrett noted that the Council was able to offer land at below market value to allow development because it was managing its assets so well.

 

(g)       The Anchor Hotel, Thetford (Minute No 135/12

 

Mr Lamb said that he had spoken in favour of retaining the Anchor Hotel at every stage.  He queried the demolition costs and noted that if that money had been spent years ago to repair and retain the building it might have been a vibrant tourist spot.  He thought that the Council’s policy with regard to old buildings was inconsistent and he quoted various examples.  He thought that in the near future the Anchor Site would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 116.

117.

Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 18 October 2012.

Minutes:

a)         Review of the National Planning Policy Framework (Minute No 96/12)

 

Mr Gilbert reiterated his pleasure that Breckland would be able to produce a more local plan which he hoped would encourage better quality housing.

 

b)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 18 October 2012 be adopted.

118.

Planning Committee (Agenda Item 8)

118/12a

Confirmed minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 29 October 2012 pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 29 October 2012 be adopted.

118/12b

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26 November 2012 pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

a)         Schedule of Planning Applications (Minute No 128/12(f))

 

Mr Martin hoped that negotiations between the applicant and the Highways Authority would be successful and allow the scheme to come to fruition.

 

b)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26 November 2012 be adopted.

119.

General Purposes Committee (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 22 November 2012.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the General Purposes Committee noted that the recommendations in the Minutes were brief because they concerned reports that were Below the Line.

 

a)         Economic Development Service – New Way of Working (Minute No 69/12)

 

RESOLVED that Option 1 of the report be approved.

 

b)         Community Development Service Review (Minute No 70/12)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)               the revised structure at Appendix B be approved; and

(2)               formal consultation with staff should proceed.

 

c)         Legal Services Review (Minute No 71/12)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)               the proposed structure for Legal Services as detailed in the report be approved; and

(2)               the Assistant Director of Democratic Services proceed with conducting a 30 day staff consultation on the proposed changes detailed within the report.

 

d)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 22 November 2012 be adopted.

120.

Appeals Committee (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 28 November 2012.

Minutes:

The Chairman of the Appeals Committee noted that this appeal had not been Below the Line.

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Appeals Committee meeting held on 28 November 2012 be adopted.

121.

Licensing Committee (Agenda Item 11) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 24 October 2012.

Minutes:

a)         Revised Statement of Principles – Gambling Act 2005 (Minute No 19/12)

 

RESOLVED that in order for Breckland Council to act as the licensing authority to discharge its statutory duties under the Gambling Act 2005 the revised Statement of Principles be approved.

 

b)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 24 October 2012 be adopted.

122.

Audit Committee (Agenda Item 12) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

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

Minutes:

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

123.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 13)

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

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Mr M Nairn replace Mr S Green on the Member Development Panel.

The Chairman wished all Members a very Merry Christmas