Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

No. Item

Councillor John Newton


The Chairman paid tribute to Councillor Newton, and acknowledged his service to Breckland Council.  On behalf of the Council, the Chairman conveyed his sincere condolences to John’s family at this difficult time.


Members were then invited to say a few words in memory of John.


Councillors Crawford, Brame, Jermy, Bambridge and the Deputy Leader Sam Chapman-Allen paid individual tributes and relayed treasured memories of Councillor Newton.


A minute’s silence was then held.


Apologies (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies for absence. 


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Tristan Ashby, Theresa Hewett, Jenny Hollis, Kate Millbank, Mike Nairn, William Nunn, Rhodri Oliver and Mark Robinson.


Minutes (Agenda item 2) pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2018 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 3)

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.





Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4) pdf icon PDF 34 KB


The Engagement list was noted.


The Chairman read aloud a letter that he had received from a member of the public about how much she had enjoyed her visit to the Thetford Waterside development.  Although not a Breckland resident, the letter contained many positive attributes about the area, and the decision makers and the innovators of the development had been congratulated.


The author of the letter felt that the positive ambience of the town could only be a benefit to the populace as a whole and she had been thrilled to see so many good things happening in Thetford especially as it had such a rich history.


The Chairman congratulated Members’ for their vision but conveyed particular congratulations to the staff who had made the development happen.


Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)

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



In the absence of the Leader, the Deputy Leader made the following announcements:


·        Local Government Chronicle Awards – Breckland Council had been shortlisted for an award under the ‘Innovation’ category for Breckland Training Services.  The presentation to the panel of judges would take place in London on Friday, 25 January 2019 and the results would be announced in March 2019.  The Deputy Leader believed that it showed the moral courage of Members which the Chairman had alluded to earlier - that occasionally Breckland Council was bold and was innovative in its ways; the Riverside complex had reflected that, but more importantly, it had been a real accolade for the Council moving forward. 


·        Key Tenant in Thetford – an industrial unit in Brunel Way, Thetford, currently leased by Warburtons Ltd, was recently purchased by Breckland Council using monies from the Council’s Growth and Investment fund.  The Deputy Leader felt that these innovative ways of working enabled the Council to deliver frontline services whilst keeping the Council Tax down.  Warburtons was one of the key tenants in Thetford and showed resilience within the market place for commercial units within Thetford and the A11 tech corridor and proved that the Team, once again, who delivered Riverside, were continuing to look for the right investment assets within the District.


·        Norwich Western Link Route Options Consultation (formerly the Northern Distributor Road (NDR)) - Members had received an email in relation to the four shortlisted road options designed to improve travel between the A47 and the western end of Broadland Northway and tackle transport problems in this area.  Breckland Council had yet to respond but the Deputy Leader was aware that many Ward Members and parishes in Breckland that would be affected had already responded.  This matter would be discussed at the next Cabinet meeting in February and Members were encouraged to attend.  Breckland Council would then write to Norfolk County Council with its comments for consideration.


·        Silver Social Award – Breckland Council had been shortlisted for the prestigious National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) "Hearts for the Arts Awards 2019", with the Council's Silver Social Project nominated for "Best Local Authority Arts Initiative".   This was a phenomenal accomplishment and the Deputy Leader thanked Councillor Claussen and Councillor Turner and the Community Team for all that they had achieved.


Councillor Wassell asked the Deputy Leader if he agreed that both Riverside and Breckland Training Services (BTS) were projects that, initially, were not widely supported.  He felt that credit should be paid to Councillor Smith for the inauguration of BTS as he had been one of the main proponents for the creation of that service.  As far as Riverside was concerned, Councillor Wassell reminded Members that this came to fruition when he was Leader of the Council, and again there had been some opposition; however, the letter that had been read by the Chairman, demonstrated the fact that this authority was an entrepreneurial Council that had a risk taking appetite which, in the end, had  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5/19


Questions on Notice under Standing Order No 6 (Agenda item 6)




Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7 (Agenda item 7)


Councillor Brindle directed his question to Councillor Bambridge, the Executive Member for Growth.  Councillor Brindle had seen a great deal of press publicity about residents who were living in private sub-standard living conditions in his Ward.  This had been a long standing issue.  His questions were:


·        Could the Cabinet Member assure him that Breckland Council’s Housing Team was sufficiently staffed to deal with these issues and that the focus on poor private sector housing provision was fit for purpose? and

·        What action was being taken by Breckland Council to deal with this specific issue, particularly in Glebe Close, Thetford?


Councillor Bambridge stated that he could not deal with individual addresses or tenants; however, regarding Glebe Close, a Team from the Council had been on site very recently and were looking into this very issue.  If the dwellings were found to be extremely sub-standard, the Council did have an opportunity to provide housing for the residents in question or could ask the landlord for various works to be carried out and, provide a timetable for those works.  Whilst the report from the visit had not yet been received, it was expected and he would be happy to contact Councillor Brindle once received.  As a side issue to that, Councillor Bambridge advised that he had received many emails from Councillor Newton on this very matter, and as a result, a Landlords’ Forum had been arranged to take place this evening, 24 January 2019 at Breckland Council which he would be attending.  Officers from many disciplines would also be in attendance to meet with landlords and discuss the new rules that they had to comply with.  These forums would be on-going allowing the Council to remain in touch with landlords. There would be similar gatherings for tenants to follow.  If any Member had any issues he urged them to contact the Housing Team.  Councillor Bambridge hastened to add that there were many excellent private landlords in the Breckland area but the few who were causing issues to their tenants would be investigated.


Councillor Martin mentioned the new owners of Banham Poultry and asked if they could be contacted to resurrect the Liaison Committee that he used to be a member of.  The Deputy Leader said that he would be more than happy for Councillor Martin to be re-engaged on this Committee and would raise this with Cassie Ruffell, the Council’s Regeneration Manager.<1>


Councillor Clarke drew Members’ attention to an article in a national magazine and asked if the content was correct.  The Deputy Leader, due to not being a subscriber to this particular magazine, asked the Councillor to let him read the article outside of the meeting, he would then respond accordingly.


Councillor Jermy raised a concern about Norfolk County Council’s decision to close its Children’s’ Centres, many of them being in the Breckland area. He felt that Breckland Council had put a great deal of effort into social mobility and the evidence had shown that the demand was greater  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7/19


Cabinet Minutes (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 27 November 2018.


Councillor Keith Gilbert thanked the Cabinet Members for holding the previous meeting in Watton and for attending the tour of the town.


1)    Local Council Tax Discount for Care Leavers (Minute No. 129/18)


RESOLVED that the Policy at Appendix 1 of the Cabinet report dated 27/11/18 be adopted from 1 April 2019.


2)    Adoption


          RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 27 November 2018 be adopted.


Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 13 December 2018.


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 13 December 2018 be adopted.



Planning Committee (Agenda item 10)


26 November 2018 pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26 November 2018.


RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 26 November 2018 be adopted.


17 December 2018 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 17 December 2018.


RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 17 December 2018 be adopted.



Governance & Audit Committee (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on 14 December 2018.



RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance & Audit Committee meeting held on 14 December 2018 be adopted.



Safeguarding Policy (for information) (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Executive Member for Place, Councillor Paul Claussen.


The Safeguarding Policy was approved at the Cabinet meeting on 27 November 2018 where it was asked that the Policy be presented to Council for information.


Additional documents:


The Safeguarding Policy had been approved by the Cabinet at its meeting on 27 November 2018. 


In response to a question, it was confirmed that the Safeguarding Policy was already available on the Council’s intranet.  The Policy would also be included on the internet in due course.


Councillor Darby welcomed the Policy as it protected vulnerable people and by having a dedicated Officer to oversee it was, in his opinion, reassuring.


The Safeguarding Policy was otherwise noted.


Croxton, Brettenham & Kilverstone Joint Neighbourhood Plan - Making (adoption) of the Croxton, Brettenham & Kilverstone Joint Neighbourhood Plan (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 101 KB

Report of Councillor Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Growth.


Due to its size, the Neighbourhood Plan at Appendix A is attached as a separate document (see supplement).

Additional documents:


Councillor Gordon Bambridge, the Executive Member for Growth, introduced the report and had great pleasure in proposing the Croxton, Brettenham & Kilverstone Joint Neighbourhood Plan to the Council.  He welcomed the two Parish Councillors in attendance both of whom had played an integral part in the making of this Plan.  He also conveyed his congratulations to the three parishes for all their hard work; this was the first multiple parish Plan to be received by the Council and he acknowledged the number of years of very hard work that had now come to fruition.  The Deputy Leader, as a Ward Member for these areas, had been deeply involved and although difficult, all had worked in harmony together.  He thanked the Officers and the Team and also felt that both Parish Councils should be applauded for their efforts.




1)     the Croxton, Brettenham & Kilverstone Joint  Neighbourhood Plan, as written at the time of the referendum, be “made” as part of the statutory Development Plan for Breckland Council, as required by paragraph (4)(a) of section 38A of the Town and Country Planning Act be confirmed;

2)     the decision, as required by paragraph (9) of section 38A of the Town and Country Planning Act, be published;

3)     Croxton, Brettenham & Kilverstone Joint Parish Councils and any other prescribed persons be advised about this, to meet the requirements of paragraph (10) of section 38A of the Town and Country Planning Act; and

4)     the Breckland District policies map be amended to meet the requirements of paragraph 9 Town and Country (Local Planning) (England) Regulations 2012.


Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda item 14)

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


·        Norfolk Countywide Community Safety Partnership Scrutiny Sub Panel – substitute required.




Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen be appointed as the substitute on the Norfolk Countywide Community Safety Partnership Scrutiny Sub-Panel.


Amendments to the Constitution (Agenda item 15)




Market Towns Programme (for information) (Agenda item 16)

Verbal report by Rob Walker, the Executive Director of Place.


Rob Walker, the Executive Director for Place, provided Members with a detailed and informative presentation.  The presentation covered the Breckland Market Town Initiative (MTI), and what it was endeavouring to achieve and what it had achieved already.  Information was also provided in respect of the Council’s Community Reserve that was established in June 2018 following Cabinet approval for projects that provided a social return on investment or to address specific local issues.  The Executive Director was accompanied by Stephen James, the Communities and Environmental Services Manager and Ryan Baxter, the creator of the BreckWorld App - a demonstration of the App formed part of the presentation.


Members were delighted to hear that in 18 months since Members agreed to the formation of the MTI, under the banner of ‘One District, Five Towns’, the funding had supported the development of:


·        ShopAppy – an initiative that supported businesses across the district to help market towns to gain footfall and customers. was a fantastic solution for busy people who wanted to shop local but did not have the time.  It also provided opportunity for business owners/retailers to promote items and offers to the residents of Breckland.  In terms of interest, since it started, there had been just under 400,000 visits to the Breckland pages for this particular app of those, just under 150,000 were classed as unique views -  individual people looking at what was happening in Breckland.

·        Twelve Elves of Christmas – this encouraged family fun and participation asking everyone who took part to look out and find over 100 elves hidden within independent shops in the five market towns.  A reward was offered to residents who found 12 of the elves; some of which had been included on the ShopAppy site.  This was a real success over Christmas that attracted 2,500 people visiting the shops.

·        BreckWorld – another App, taking Breckland into the 21st century using new and emerging technologies, to put some of the things that everyone already had in the District out there to residents and tourists alike.  This Virtual Reality App showcased things to do and places to go in the Breckland District using a 360º video camera. This would give someone an immersive experience of a particular place.  The benefits of the App were explained.

·        Swaffham Buttercross – MTI had funded Swaffham Town Council to improve the Buttercross, a key central point within the town.

·        The Glutton – a machine/large vacuum cleaner that went to all five towns cleaning the detritus and eradicated the old brush and pan methods.

·        Butten Island in Thetford – due to it being near the Riverside complex, improvements were being made; the first stage being clearing the space which was still on-going to hopefully lead onto a much larger project alongside the river, making it a pleasant place for people to visit.

·        Thetford Murals – supporting the Town Council in funding a second mural making a visible difference to the historic part of the town

·        Dereham Town Centre  ...  view the full minutes text for item 16/19


Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent (Agenda item 17)

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.