Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

Baroness Thatcher

The Chairman made a short announcement referring to the death of former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher on Monday 8 April 2013.  She had been the first woman to be Prime Minister and her term of office had been the longest of any modern British Prime Minister.  He referred to comments made about her in Parliament, on Wednesday 11 April, by the current Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.

 

All Members joined in a minute’s silence.

27.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2013.

Minutes:

It was noted that Mr Monument had been present at the last meeting and Mrs Monument had not.

 

Under Minute No 18/13 the following item had been inadvertently omitted:

 

Budget Setting, Financial Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)   the Breckland Revenue Estimates and Parish Special Expenses for 2013-14 and outline position through to 2017-18 as set out in Appendix B3 of the report (13-14 Council Tax rise of £4.98) be approved and in so doing recommends that the provision of car parking charges not be introduced for the remainder of the term of this Council;

 

(2)   the Capital Estimates and associated funding for 2013-14 and outline position through to 2017-18 as set out in Appendix H of the report be approved;

 

(3)   the revised Capital Estimates and associated funding for 2012-13 as set out in Appendix H of the report be approved;

 

(4)   the fees and charges as shown at Appendix D & D2 of the report, for adoption 1 April 2013, be approved;

 

(5)   the Council Tax for a Band D property in 2013 be set at £69.03 as highlighted in Appendix B3 of the report;

 

(6)   the Financial Medium Term Plan at Appendix A of the report be approved; and

 

(7)   the Capital Strategy as at Appendix G of the report be approved.

 

Subject to those amendments, the Minutes of the meeting held on 28 February 2013 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

28.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mr Clark, Mr Darby, Mr Goreham, Mr Green, Mr Lamb, Mr Rose, Mr Skull and Mr Williams.

 

29.

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda Item 3)

Engagements List – Chairman

 

28th February, 2013 – 10th April, 2013

 

Date

Event

Host

Sunday

3rd March, 2013

The Justice Service

The High Sheriff of Norfolk, Mr. Henry Cator OBE DL

Thursday

7th March, 2013

Annual Civic Reception

The Chairman of Broadland District Council, Councillor Shelagh Gurney and Mr. Trevor Gurney

Friday

5th April, 2013

Civic Reception

Mayor of Watton, Councillor Paul Cooper

 

Engagements List – Vice-Chairman

 

28th February, 2013 – 10th April, 2013

 

Date

Event

Host

Friday

19th April, 2013

Civic Reception

Chairman & Lady of South Holland Council - Councillor Michael Seymour and Mrs. Pauline Seymour

 

 

Minutes:

The Chairman drew Members’ attention to Agenda Item 6 (North Elmham Council Tax 2013-14) and reminded them that if any Member was two months or more in arrears, they must not vote on that item or any decision which might affect its calculation.

 

He also reminded Members that there would be a briefing on the Community Infrastructure Levy immediately following the meeting which he urged them all to attend.

 

30.

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.

 

31.

Review of the Constitution (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Report of the Assistant Director for Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Assistant Director for Democratic Services presented the report which invited Members to establish a three Member Working Group to work with South Holland to review and align the two Constitutions whilst maintaining each Council’s distinct individuality.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)               a Constitution Review Working Group be established; and

(2)               Councillors Claire Bowes, Terry Jermy and Ellen Jolly be appointed as the three Breckland Council Members of the Working Group.

 

32.

North Elmham Council Tax 2013-14 (Agenda Item 5)

Report of the Assistant Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Finance & Democratic Services presented the report.  He explained that the localisation of Council Tax support had resulted in changes.  The Government had given the Council a transitional grant to deal with those changes and the Grant had been allocated to each Parish.

 

Due to fluctuations in calculations a revised Council Tax amount needed to be set for North Elmham and new bills issued to reflect the revised figure.  In addition to approving the amounts for North Elmham, revised resolutions for Breckland needed to be approved to reflect the change in parish precept amounts.  Those changes did not affect the levels of Council Tax which Breckland was charging to residents.

 

RESOLVED that the revised Council Tax resolutions for 2013-14 be approved:

 

(1)        It is to be noted that on 11 April 2013 the Council has calculated for dwellings in North Elmham as:

           

Parish

Tax Base

Precept 2013-14

Band D

North Elmham

428.44

£27,434.45

£64.03

 

(2)        That the following amounts be calculated by the Council for the year 2013-14 in accordance with Sections 31 to 36 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended (the Act): -

 

(a)

£66,910,352

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the expenditure items set out in Section 31A(2) of the Act;

 

 

 

(b)

£61,693,112

being the aggregate of the amounts which the Council estimates for the income items set out in Section 31A(3) of the Act;

 

 

 

(c)

£5,217,240

being the amount by which the aggregate at (2)(a) above exceeds the aggregate at (2)(b) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31A(4) of the Act, as its Council Tax requirement for the year;

 

 

 

(d)

£138.89

being the amount at (2)(c) above, divided by the council tax base of 37,565, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 31B(1) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year (including Parish precepts);

 

 

 

(e)

£2,624,129

being the aggregate amount of all special items (including Parish precepts) referred to in Section 34(1) of the Act;

 

 

 

(f)

£69.03

being the amount at (2)(d) above less the result given by dividing the amount at (2)(e) above by the tax base of 37,565, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(2) of the Act, as the basic amount of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its areas to which no special item relates;

 

 

 

(g)   The figures shown below, being the amounts given by adding to the amount at (2)(f) above the amounts of the special item or items relating to dwellings in those parts of the Council's area mentioned above divided in each case by the amount at (1) above, calculated by the Council, in accordance with Section 34(3) of the Act, as the basic amounts of its Council Tax for the year for dwellings in those parts of its area to which one or more special items relate;

 

Parish

Breckland + Parish Band D 13-14

North Elmham

£133.06

 

(h)   The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 26 March 2013.

Minutes:

(a)       Breckland Community Infrastructure Levy – Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule and Viability Assessment (Minute No 28/13)

 

Mrs Monument pointed out a textual amendment to the paragraph on page 42 of the Agenda starting ‘There would be CIL’.  The word ‘except’ needed to be inserted as the first word inside the brackets in that sentence.

 

(b)       Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 26 March 2013 be adopted.

 

34.

Planning Committee (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 11 March 2013.

Minutes:

(a)       Delegated Arrangements and the Planning Guarantee (Minute No 30/13

 

Mr Jordan did not agree with the recommendation.  He asked why the current system had to change when it worked well.

 

The Planning Manager explained that changes to legislation expected in 2014 would require planning fees to be repaid if a decision was not reached within 26 weeks.  Under the current delegation arrangements all major planning applications were required to be determined by Committee.  The term ‘major’ was defined by the Government and referred to applications for housing schemes above a certain number of dwellings and applications over a certain floorspace of site area.  Over the previous two years a number of major applications had gone before the Committee and been approved with little or no debate because they had not been contentious and had received no objections.

 

The report suggested that those applications should not need to come to the Committee.  However, any major application which received objections or raised concerns should continue to be determined by the Committee.

 

The Planning Manager noted that major applications attracted the largest fees (equating to one third of all fees received from planning applications) and if they were delayed there was an increasing risk that the Council might be required to pay back those fees in future.

 

Mr Jordan explained that Councillors were elected to represent their Wards and Parish Councils and residents sought their support to call in applications, for proper planning reasons.  That system worked and he didn’t understand why a change was needed.

 

The Planning Manager advised that the aim was to provide a clear audit trail for call-ins. It wasn’t proposed to change the delegation in that regard and all applications that had been called in over the last two years would still be referred to Committee in future.

 

Mr Jordan said that the system already provided a record as people generally e-mailed their requests for call-in.

 

The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services noted that when she had been Chairman of the Planning Committee seven out of ten requests for call-in had not been given any reason for it.  Having a form would prompt people to provide that reason at the start of the process.

 

Mr Bambridge referred Members to the comments he had made at the meeting when the issue was discussed (page 26 of the report).  He was concerned that too many applications were dealt with under delegated powers.  He did not have any problem with filling in a form to request an application to be called in, but had asked that any change was kept under review.

 

Mr Duffield understood the concerns expressed and thought that the problem might be that there were not enough Planning Officers to get applications through in time.

 

The Executive Member for Planning & Environmental Services pointed out that the Planning Service was provided by Capita under contract and that the Council had no control over the number of staff they employed.

 

Mrs North noted that at the meeting she  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.

35.

General Purposes Committee (Agenda Item 9)

35/12a

Confirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee Meeting held on 27 February 2013 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 27 February 2013 be adopted.

 

35/12b

Unconfirmed minutes of the Special General Purposes Committee meeting held on 20 March 2013 pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 20 March 2013 be adopted.

 

36.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda Item 10)

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

Minutes:

Mr Keith Martin was nominated as a Chairman of the Licensing Sub-Committee.  (Previous sub-Committee Chairmen, Mrs Spencer and Mr Rogers having stood down from that post.)

 

37.

Motions Received (Agenda Item 11)

To consider the following Motion received under Standing Order No 6:

 

“Council notes that a growing number of local authorities are now paying more or are committed to pay the Living Wage. The Living Wage is a level of pay which is based on the principle of decency that work should pay at least enough to provide for the essentials of life. Council notes that the Living Wage has been independently set nationally at £7.45.


Council supports the introduction of the Living Wage in principle, for all its employees and will undertake a review as to the financial implications of such a decision and report to Full Council within 6 months. Subject to this, Council will work towards accreditation as a Living Wage employer and will seek to ensure its contractors and suppliers of goods and services do likewise.”

Minutes:

The Chairman read out the Motion that had been received and it was proposed by Mr Jermy and seconded by Mrs Canham.

 

Members were asked to note that Under Standing Order No 6, if the subject matter of any motion of which notice has been duly given came within the province of any Sub-Committee, Committee or Committees, it should, upon being moved and seconded, stand referred without discussion to such Sub-Committee, Committee or Committees, or to such other Sub-Committee, Committee or Committees as the Council might determine, for consideration and report.

 

Provided that the Chairman might, if he considered it convenient and conducive to the dispatch of business, allow the motion to be dealt with at the meeting at which it was brought forward.

 

The Chairman therefore referred the matter to the Local Joint Consultative Committee, the General Purposes Committee and Cabinet, if there were any financial implications to the Council.  Council would be kept fully informed of every part of the process.