Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

2517.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2017.

Minutes:

Minute reference 7/17 - Councillor Newton felt that whilst the minutes were not verbatim, his question had not been reflected correctly in the minutes.  The Chairman asked what specifically had been omitted from the minutes.  Councillor Newton said the question itself had been omitted.  No amendment to the minute was requested.

 

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 January 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

2617.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Askew, Crawford, Duffield, Hewett, Joel, Jolly, Martin and Turner.

2717.

Declaration of Interests

The duties to register, disclose and not to participate for the entire consideration of the matter, in respect of any matter in which a Member has a disclosable pecuniary interest are set out in Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011.  Members are also required to withdraw from the meeting room as stated in the Standing Orders of this Council.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Stasiak declared an interest in Agenda Item 9 (b), the unconfirmed minutes of the Planning Committee, meeting held 6 February 2017, Minute reference 18/17 (h).

2817.

Chairman's Announcements pdf icon PDF 47 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman introduced the new Executive Director Commercialisation, Christine Marshall to Members.

 

Members were informed that the Wayland Show Ball would be taking place on 22 April at Lynford Hall, and the money raised would also be going towards the SSAFA Charity.

 

The Chairman said that Item 13 – Petition – Cottage Hospital, Thetford, would be heard between items 5 and 6.

2917.

Leader's Announcements

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Nunn, Leader of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Leader informed Members that he would be cycling across the Jordan Dessert at the end of April, and he would do this as a Charity event in aid of the Chairman’s charity, SSAFA.

 

The Leader went on to give an update on the following:

 

·        Unitary Status – there was no further update at the moment.  He felt that there could be more debate in the future around hostile bids but it depended on a decision made by the Secretary of State.

·        Local Plan – was currently being finalised with Local Plan Working Group meetings scheduled for the 15 and 17 March.  This would be considered by Overview & Scrutiny Commission on 6 April and going onto Cabinet then Council in May.

·        LGA Peer Review – a presentation would be given to Members in due course

·        Unsightly Sites – a report from Overview and Scrutiny would be presented to the Cabinet in support of the concept of creating a list of priorities and actions in respect of unsightly sites across the District.  The Leader had responded to the challenge by Councillor Jermy to write to the owners of the Cottage Hospital, Thetford who have said they would be coming forward with proposals to seek planning permission to progress the site.

 

3017.

Questions on Notice under Standing Order No 6

Minutes:

The following question was received under Standing Order No. 6 from Councillor Gilbert, addressed to the Chief Executive.

 

1)     What was the total amount collected from the residents of Watton under the special expense for street lighting in the financial year 2016 to 2017? 

2)     How much of this was spent on “A” Power, “B” maintenance, “C” replacements? 

3)     What is the total proposed amount to be charged to the residents of Watton under the special expense for street lighting in the financial year 2017 to 2018? 

4)     How much of this is being budgeted for “A” power, “B” maintenance, “C” replacements?  

 

RESPONSE:

1)     £18,914.90 (equivalent to £7.97 per year for a Band D property)

2)     £14,186.43 (equivalent to £5.77 per year for a Band D property) at a £4.95 council tax rise option

3)     See over page for the breakdown of the budget for each year & where it is forecast to be spent.

4)     The special expenses shown are based on estimated amounts, as, due to timing of setting budgets, we set the budget for 17-18 before the 16-17 year has finished.  You will therefore see in each year an adjustment for 2 years previous where there is either a credit (if the town has been overcharged) or a cost (if the town has been under charged).

 

Watton Special Expenses Charge

2016-17

2017-18

Energy Costs

9,584.03

9,493.27

Amey Works

1,853.29

1,850.00

NCC Management & Admin Costs

1,755.54

1,756.06

Sub Total - NCC Charges

13,192.86

13,099.33

Repairs Allowance

1,222.12

1,628.24

Breckland Recharge

2,774.91

2,868.90

Breckland Funding

(2,746.63)

(1,950.40)

Total Budget

14,443.26

15,646.07

Adjustment for 14-15 Actuals

4,471.63

0.00

Adjustment for 15-16 Actuals

0.00

(1,459.63)

Actual Charge to Watton Residents

18,914.89

14,186.44

Band D Equivalent Change Per Year

 £              7.97

 £              5.77

 

 

3117.

Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7

Minutes:

Councillor Gilbert thanked the Executive Member for Finance for his answer on the street lighting, but said the response did not show the split between maintenance or replacement of lights.  The Executive Member Finance explained that the spreadsheet showed £1850 for both years which was an estimate, which could not be divided in to further detail.  However money could be saved if the Town were to take control of their own street lighting.

 

Councillor Jermy asked the Executive Member for Growth for an update on the take-up of the units at Thetford Riverside.  The Executive Member Growth confirmed that TLC Inns had confirmed their tenancy on two units adjacent to the cinema.  There were conversations with a third operator for one unit, and discussions were being held nationally with regard to the remaining two units.

 

Councillor Clarke asked the Executive Member for Finance if council tax support scheme had been reduced for the 17/18 budget, and why £720k would be going into the growth fund when perhaps this should be within the area where the development had taken place.  The Executive Member for Finance confirmed the council tax support scheme would be reduced over the coming 4 years as it was being phased out.  With regard to the growth fund there would be a significant amount being invested into this which would be to the benefit of all residents.

 

Councillor Gilbert referred back to his street lighting query and said that six street lights had been removed from Lovell Gardens and he had received conflicting responses as to whether they would be replaced within budget.  The Leader of the Council responded that if a street light had deemed to be unsafe then it would be removed.  A report would be presented at a future Cabinet meeting which would outline all columns assessed and consider what options would be available for the Council going forward.

3217.

Cabinet pdf icon PDF 80 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 February 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that:

 

a)     Breckland Bridge Ltd Business Plan

 

1.     To approve the updated Breckland Bridge Ltd Business Plan for 2017-2022 as set out in appendices A to D of the Cabinet report.

2.     To agree the Bridge recommendation to initiate a project to create a Thetford Town Asset Plan and in doing so:

a)     Provide up to £130,000 (spread over three years).

b)     Delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer subject to receiving satisfactory information on the project plan, delivery plan and expected outputs.

3.     To defer the Bridge recommendation to deliver a programme of minor development schemes in a 50/50 arrangement by:

a)   Providing £82,500 as an initial equity share in the required subsidiary for the first three sites and £10,000 for legal and tax advice.

b)   Agreeing the first three sites as Rougholme Close (Gressenhall), Glebe Road (Thetford) and Tottington Road (Thompson).

c)   Subject to Legal advice confirming such an arrangement can be undertaken and if so delegate the release of the funds to the S.151 Officer subject to satisfactory receipt of the necessary tax advice and satisfactory returns from the first three sites.

 

b)     Arts council Funding – The Silver Social Project

That agreement is given to receive and spend grant funding of £185,773 from Arts Council England for delivery of the Silver Social project in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the funder.

 

c)     Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy

This item was discussed under Agenda Item 14.

 

d)     Quarter 3 Financial Performance Report

That the full year end underspend is contributed to the Organisational Development Reserve to fund timing delays in the Moving Forward Programme 2017-18.

 

ADOPTION the unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 7 February 2017 be adopted.

3317.

Planning Committee

3317/14a

9 January 2017 pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 9 January 2017.

Minutes:

It was highlighted that the minutes referred to the challenge made by Parsons and Whittley and the response made was emailed to Members for information.  This had not yet been actioned.

 

RESOLVED that the confirmed minutes of the Planning Committee held on 9 January 2017 be adopted.

3317/14b

6 February 2017 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 6 February 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the meeting held on 6 February 2017 be adopted.

3417.

Committee of the Licensing Authority pdf icon PDF 56 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Committee of the Licensing Authority meeting held on 11 January 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Committee of the Licensing Authority meeting held on 11 January 2017 be adopted.

3517.

Licensing Committee pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 11 January 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Licensing Committee meeting held on 11 January 2017 be adopted.

3617.

Member Development Panel pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To note the unconfirmed Minutes of the Member Development Panel meeting held on 12 January 2017.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Member Development Panel meeting held on 12 January be noted.

3717.

Petition - Cottage Hospital, Thetford

To receive a petition that has been submitted by Mr Mike Brindle, calling upon Breckland Council to exercise its powers as a ‘local authority and bring the former Thetford Cottage Hospital building back into use in some form to stop the building looking an eyesore and providing a hazard for local people’  

 

Minutes:

Mr Brindle presented to Members a petition that asked the Council to consider the Cottage Hospital Thetford, and bring back to life a building that had been empty for the past 10 years. He said there had been great support within Thetford for the iconic site and asked the Council to break the deadlock.

 

Councillor Jermy said he had walked the pavements to collect signatures for the petition and it had been lovely to hear the stories that people told of their memories of the old hospital.  He felt that 1800 signatures was an achievement, and also thanked the Leader of Breckland Council for the work that had been done.  He added that there were aspirations for the use of the building but felt the main point would be positive whatever the outcome of the planning process.  He thanked the Council’s approach for the district wide consideration of derelict sites and hoped the exercise would bring positive usage for disused buildings across the district.

 

Councillor Bishop fully endorsed what the Leader had said, but felt Mr Brindle should have contacted the Council in the first instance before the petition was raised.

 

Councillor Brame congratulated the Leader on the proactive response.  He felt this issue had moved really quickly and that Members were looking at a strategic approach into what the council could legally do with disused buildings.

 

Councillor Hollis fully agreed with the renovations of the hospital and endorsed the swift action of the Council.  She was concerned with the accuracy of the petition in that there was no way of clarifying how the signatures had been acquired.

 

Councillor Robinson also thanked the Leader for his consistency and for listening to the issues of Thetford.

 

The Leader said he had fond memories of the Cottage Hospital in Thetford.  He thanked Mr Brindle for the petition and said if nothing else it showed the strength of feeling on the topic, and that it can bring communities together.

 

It was RESOLVED that the Leader would continue to be in dialogue with the owners of the building to ensure the site was put into productive use.

3817.

Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan & Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 90 KB

Report of Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member Finance presented the report outlining that the Council was in a strong financial position thanks to the historical foresight of Members.  The entrepreneurial approach had enabled the Council to protect services to residents, as well as achieve projects.  The report included a recommendation to allocate £100,000 for specialist advice to move projects forward.  A consultation had been carried out, and there had not been any response with regards to a proposed council tax increase.

 

The Executive Member for Finance proposed that recommendations referred to at paragraph 2.2 of the report be approved.

 

Councillor Jermy understood the need to increase council tax but was concerned that any increase did not take into account means.  Vulnerable residents received a 91.5% discount and therefore any increase would be disproportionate.  He had calculated that providing 100% discount would cost the council an extra £15,000 per annum and if such protection was introduced he would support the budget.  However, he could not do this if vulnerable residents were not supported by in this way.

 

Councillor Jermy asked the Council for an amendment to the recommendations and consider undertaking a 12-week consultation with a view to implementing a 100% increase.  Councillor Clarke seconded this proposal.

 

The Leader of the Council had raised the issue in the past, however consultation with colleagues, Police and Norfolk County Council would need to take place to seek full support of the 100% discount.  He was in support to undertake the consultation, but would not agree on spending the money now.

 

Councillor Dimoglou added that if Breckland Council allowed the 100% council tax relief people would be less inclined to move forward and felt the £7.00 per month was achievable for most.

 

Councillor Jermy said however that even the small amount was an incredible amount when you had nothing.  The 100% discount could make all the difference to those people.

 

The amendment to the proposed recommendations was not agreed. 

 

Councillor Clarke proposed an amendment by asking the Council to create a fixed term position for a Market Town Co-ordinator.  He felt the market towns were struggling and this role would help the towns to generate income.

 

The Chairman asked Councillor Clark to provide a specific and clear amendment that provided sufficient detail.  Councillor Wassell added that it would have been helpful if this had been suggested at an earlier stage so that it could be considered thoroughly.

 

Councillor Jermy added that the proposal was crucial for the market towns, and suggested that the additional finance could be drawn from the New Homes Bonus, as this was how it worked at South Norfolk council.

 

Councillor Monument agreed with the suggestion but would like to have seen a detailed report and to hear from South Norfolk about the role.

 

Councillor Chapman-Allen said it was a corporate priority to support the market towns and it would be a cabinet item in the future to discuss how to work with the towns to support them moving forward.

 

Councillor Clarke had heard the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3817.

3917.

Council Tax Setting 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Report of Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member Finance asked Members to approve recommendations two and four of the report.

 

In accordance with the Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 a recorded vote was taken on the recommendations below. The vote was as follows:

 

For

 

 

Councillors:

Against

 

 

Councillor:

Abstain

 

 

Councillors:

Apologies /
Not Present

 

Councillors:

Ashby

Clarke

Hollis

Askew

Bambridge

Jermy

 

Crawford

Bishop

Newton

 

Duffield

Brame

 

 

Hewett

Borrett

 

 

Joel

Bowes

 

 

Jolly

Carter

 

 

Martin

M Chapman-Allen

 

 

Sherwood

S Chapman-Allen

 

 

Smith

Claussen

 

 

Taylor

Cowen

 

 

Turner

Darby

 

 

 

Dimoglou

 

 

 

Duigan

 

 

 

Gilbert

 

 

 

Gould

 

 

 

Matthews

 

 

 

Millbank

 

 

 

Mrs Monument

 

 

 

Mr Monument

 

 

 

Nairn

 

 

 

Nunn

 

 

 

Oliver

 

 

 

R Richmond

 

 

 

W Richmond

 

 

 

Robinson

 

 

 

Rogers

 

 

 

Sharpe

 

 

 

Stasiak

 

 

 

Wassell

 

 

 

Webb

 

 

 

Wilkin

 

 

 

Wilkinson

 

 

 

 

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1.     Full Council approves the special expenses for 2017-18 (at paragraph 1.3.2) based on a £4.95 council tax rise.

2.     Full Council approves the formal council tax resolutions for 2017-18 (at paragraph 1.4.6 to 1.4.10) based on a £4.95 council tax rise.

4017.

Corporate Plan Refresh 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation presented the report but suggested that an amendment to the wording of the recommendation such that the contents of the report were agreed and the Annual Corporate Plan Refresh 2017-18 be adopted.

 

Councillor Jermy said the achievement of the Council was making a difference to the residents lives.

 

The Chairman added that delivering the Early Help Hub and the Riverside Project had been an excellent achievement.

 

Councillor Cowen concurred with the comments and added that the document underscored the commitment to see growth and significant changes in all market towns.

 

RESOLVED that the contents of the report are agreed and the Annual Corporate Plan Refresh 2017-18 is adopted.

 

4117.

Norwich City Council Section 113 agreement pdf icon PDF 70 KB

Report of Cllr Pablo Dimoglou, Executive Member for Finance.

Minutes:

The Executive Member Finance introduced the report and Paul Corney, Head of the Anglia Revenues Partnership to Members.

 

Paul Corney informed Members that it was proposed the Strategic Management team would manage the Norwich City Council Team, acting as their Head of Service.  Some costs would be shared between the partners of the Anglia Revenues Partnership and there would be future potential partner for the Enforcement Agency leading to additional efficiencies.

 

Councillor Cowen thanked Mr Corney and his team for the outstanding work carried out.

 

Councillor Brame also added that it would continue to provide additional job security for those within Thetford.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     The report be noted;

2)     That Breckland Council instruct the ARP Operational Improvement Board to negotiate and enter into a Section 113 agreement with Norwich City Council so that Officers services can be placed at all authorities disposal (shared);

3)     That approval is given for the ARP management team to start working with Norwich City Council immediately to carry out any necessary work prior to the 1 April 2017 that will assist with the commencement of the agreement.

4217.

HR Policy Handbook pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Report of Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation and Maxine O’Mahony, Executive Director for Strategy & Governance & Monitoring Officer.

 

The report will follow, subject to comments from the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting being held on 16 February 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation presented the report informing Members that following their request Overview and Scrutiny Commission had reviewed the HR Policy handbook.

 

This would be a key publication for staff to use which derived from 11 key policies and would be a user friendly document for staff.  A key amendment was with regard to the maternity support of up to 5-days which would be on a discretionary basis.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     the HR Policy Handbook be approved to implement across Breckland District Council with the following delegations and consideration:

 

a)     That should any amendment to policy be required as a result of legislative or constitutional change, of which we as an organisation have no jurisdiction, that this be delegated to the Head of Paid Service in order to ensure a prompt response to such changes and mitigate risk of application of said policy in line with employment law.

·        An information paper will be submitted to Full Council where legislative changes have occurred.

 

b)     That permission is granted to implement Maternity Support Leave at Breckland District Council, again to provide additional support to new fathers/partners at the time of birth or adoption of their child.  This is not a statutory/constitutional obligation but, if approved, will form part of the Councils’ procedure.

Maternity support leave of up to 5 days with pay shall be granted, at or around the time of birth, to employees who are the child’s father or partner of an expectant mother, or to any employee nominated as carer to assist in the care of the child and to provide support to the mother.

 

 

4317.

Pay Policy Statement 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Report of Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation and Maxine O’Mahony, Executive Director for Strategy & Governance & Monitoring Officer.

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was RESOLVED that the Pay Policy Statement be approved.

4417.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats

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

Minutes:

None.

4517.

Amendments to the Constitution

Minutes:

None.

4617.

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent -

NOTE: No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the items(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

None.

4717.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider passing the following resolution:

 

“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and the public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 and 4 of the Schedule 12A to the Act”.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1, 2 and 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

 

 

4817.

Legal Services Review

Report of Cllr Mark Robinson, Executive Member for Governance and Anna Graves, Head of Paid Service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Manager Governance introduced the report which related to the staffing structure of the Legal Services Team which had been reviewed as part of the organisational design strand of the Transformation Programme.

 

The report sought approval to proceed with the implementation of the proposal to restructure the service.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     The Head of Paid Service and/or the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Executive Member for Governance, be authorised to implement the proposals subject to no major change.

2)     The Head of Paid Service and/or the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Executive Member for Governance, be authorised to make minor amendments and to undertake any incidental and consequential actions necessary to implement the proposals.

 

4917.

Public Protection Service Review

Report of Cllr Alison Webb, Executive Member for People & Information and Anna Graves, Head of Paid Service.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for People and Information presented the report.

 

Councillor Jermy asked if formal consultation had taken place and the Executive Manager for Public Protection confirmed this had been dealt with.

 

Councillor Bambridge said it was an excellent report and was pleased to see how the department had been very innovative.

 

It was RESOLVED that recommendation 1 be approved as follows:

 

That the Head of Paid Service and/or the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Executive Member for People and Information be authorised to implement the proposals subject to no major change.

 

5017.

New Breckland Pay Scheme: Performance Related Increments (PRI) Scheme

Report of Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation and Maxine O’Mahony, Executive Director for Strategy & Governance & Monitoring Officer.

 

The report will follow, subject to comments from the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting being held on 16 February 2017.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Strategy, Governance & Transformation presented the report to Members, informing that it had already been to Overview and Scrutiny who had recommended that a review was carried out after the first year of implementation (May 2018).

 

It was asked if the Unions had been consulted and it was confirmed that they had and were content with the report.

 

It was RESOLVED that:

1)     That Council adopts the Performance Related Increments Scheme and associated Policy (Appendix A) to take effect from 01 April 2017 (to be phased in as per proposal at Appendix B)

 

2)     That Council agrees to the minimum ‘Assimilation Benefit’ as per proposal at Appendix B

 

3)     That the Performance Related Increments scheme covers all staff (including Chief Officers), excluding staff currently covered by the ARP Pay Scheme

 

4)     That delegated authority is given to the Chief Executive to agree the annual ‘Basic Performance Increase’ in-line with agreed budgets

 

5)     That delegated authority is given to EMT to introduce additional staff benefit schemes, to include a Holiday Purchase scheme and appropriate salary sacrifice schemes

 

5117.

Capita Briefing

Verbal report by Stephen Ottewell, Director of Capita Planning & Building Control.

Minutes:

Members were provided with an update by the Director of Capita Planning & Building Control.