Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

69/19

Apologies (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ashby, Bowes, Colman, Cowen, Hewett, James, Kiddell, Nunn and Terry.

 

70/19

Minutes (Agenda item 2) pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 16 May 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

71/19

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.

 

Minutes:

None.

 

72/19

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4) pdf icon PDF 40 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed pupils and staff from Northgate School who were in attendance to observe the meeting.  After the meeting the pupils would be taken on a tour of the Council building followed by an opportunity to find out more about the role of the Council by way of a short briefing session taking place in the Norfolk Room with the Chairman and the Executive Director of Place.

 

The Chairman also welcomed representatives from her chosen charities, the Daisy Programme and Leeway both of which would be providing Members with a 5 minute presentation.

 

The Chairman encouraged Members to remain after the meeting to listen to a short presentation on the new Digital Inclusion programme led by Andy Prior, the Digital and Customer Access Manager.  Zoe Webster and Lorraine Craven from the Customer Contact Team would be available after the meeting for Members to ask questions and find out more about this new service.

 

Presentations from Lee Taylor, the founder of the Daisy Programme and Emma Nurse, the Central Services Manager from Leeway, then provided Members with their presentations.

 

The Daisy Programme had been established for 4 years and had been self-funded for the first 15 months.  With over 140,000 residents in Breckland, one in four women and one in six men suffered from domestic abuse.  The Daisy Programme worked with clients to provide a safe environment to grow and thrive.  Such services were provided from the hub in Watton, connecting individuals to social activities through therapeutic interventions.  The Programme’s particular focus was on the long term recovery with support networks in Thetford, Dereham and Watton.  The Daisy Programme’s services included social activities, peer support and volunteering opportunities.  Gratitude and sincere thanks were then conveyed to the Chairman for choosing the Daisy Programme as one of her chosen charities for the forthcoming year.

 

Emma Nurse from Leeway then provided Members with her presentation.  She echoed Lee’s comments and thanked the Chairman for choosing to support the Leeway charity.  Leeway had been established in 1974 and was a specialist domestic abuse charity working with adults, children and young people from Norfolk and Suffolk and worked very well in partnership with the Daisy Programme and Pandora in Kings Lynn.   It had a range of support services, the main one being the telephone and support line which was the main gateway to services and referrals into different agencies.   Leeway also had a high risk advocacy service which was based in Police stations across Norfolk and Suffolk dealing with people who had been assessed as high risk of homicide reducing the risk of self-harm or suicide and support them in the community.  There were now 7 refuges across Norfolk, one of which was based in Breckland, and Leeway could support up to 52 women and children at any one time.  It also had a male victim service and community based services for the adults and children of Norfolk but also those from other areas of the country who required a place of safety. All  ...  view the full minutes text for item 72/19

73/19

Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The following announcements were made.

 

The Cabinet meeting had been held in Swaffham and had attracted many residents and others from the wider community to attend.  It had been a great success.  One of the main points announced was the Council’s pledge to reaffirm to the Armed Forces Covenant Board and the wider support that the Council was now providing to those serving in the Armed Forces.

 

At the last Full Council meeting the Leader had been asked a question in relation to the Council’s Housing Team.  The Housing Peer Review had recently taken place and the final recommendations were awaited.  From that an Action Plan would be produced.  The Leader drew Members’ attention to the fact that the Officers of the Housing Team were immensely proud of the work they did, the commitment, the due diligence and the professionalism that they offered was second to none. He felt that the Council had some fantastic foundations which could be built upon moving forward and he asked Members to support the Council through this change process as it progressed. 

 

The Leader also mentioned the recent National Local Government Conference that he attended in Bournemouth accompanied by the Chief Executive.  The main topic of discussion with the Secretary of State was the spending review and the challenge that Councils faced with restrained budgets.  The Secretary of State praised the work of Councils and what they did for their local communities and he hoped that this good work would continue.  A Green Paper was expected in the near future in respect of Councils’ work on commercialisation and the Chief Executive had put Breckland’s name forward to help with some of the fact finding to ensure that the decisions that were made by Westminster had the whole breadth of knowledge from those who did this really well and those who had not yet fully explored the benefits of working with a commercial mind-set.

 

Two hundred cases had been referred to the Early Intervention Hub within Breckland and this was helping to reduce the demand on homelessness.  The Housing Peer Review would hopefully strengthen this even further.

 

The Leader was now a member of the Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board of which Councillor Borrett was the Chairman.  This had reinforced Breckland’s commitment to its Health & Wellbeing agenda and would address some of the issues for the vulnerable residents in the community.

 

Finally, he welcomed both new and re-elected Councillors who had attended his coffee mornings/one to one meetings that had been taking place throughout the District.  He felt that the 45 minutes that he had spent with each Councillor was very important as it allowed each Councillor to talk about what they wanted to achieve over the next 4 years – regardless of party political affiliation.  All Members and Officers had a job to do and all needed to work together and have a good relationship and respect for each other for the journey moving forward.

 

Councillor Gilbert mentioned the one to one meetings.  This  ...  view the full minutes text for item 73/19

74/19

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

None received.

Minutes:

None received.

 

75/19

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

Minutes:

Following a Freedom of Information request, Councillor Jermy had been surprised at the amount of money that had been spent on launching ShopAppy.  He asked if the Council had seen any benefits and whether it had been value for money. Councillor Robinson, the Executive Member for Community, Leisure & Culture pointed out that the High Street was struggling and needed support.  Since the launch of ShopAppy, 91 businesses had subscribed with another 27 expressing an interest, and with over 400,000 views, it had given these businesses a new audience.  However, like everything else that the Council did, this would be reviewed at the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting in September.  Councillor Brame pointed out that ShopAppy had been working extremely well with the smaller businesses in Thetford and had set up a competition day in the summer to bring people into the High Street.

 

Councillor Dowling asked the Leader what measures Breckland Council was taking in reducing its impact on climate change.  The Leader explained that the National Local Government Association adopted the UN Climate Change Emergency Bill.  The Chief Executive and the Executive Team were already reviewing this Bill to establish what Breckland Council could do in its communities.  A report would be coming forward in the near future in draft form to Cabinet, then onto Overview & Scrutiny Commission for consideration followed by Full Council for adoption.  He felt it was important to state, however, that any such policy needed to be deliverable.

 

Councillor Clarke asked when the Business Case for live streaming of the Council’s public meetings would come forward.  Members were informed that this came under the remit of the Deputy Leader, Councillor Paul Claussen and the Executive Member for Contracts & Assets, Councillor Paul Hewett’s portfolios.  The cost to live stream meetings formed part of the committee/conference suite review which was still on-going.  A report would go forward to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission to establish whether these works were value for money and was right for the Council.

 

Councillor Atterwill had asked the Planning Team many times about the five-year land supply figure without success and had been told that this was due to lack of resources in the Planning department.  He asked if there was a plan in place to increase the establishment.  Councillor Bambridge, the Executive Member for Planning stated that the five year land supply figure was being sought and he would be happy to discuss further with Councillor Atterwill after the meeting.

 

76/19

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda item 8)

76/19a

21 May 2019 pdf icon PDF 79 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 May 2019.

 

Minutes:

a)     Financial Outturn (Minute No. 37/19)

 

Councillor Jermy had seen the Cabinet report and had noticed that in one of the appendices a carry forward for street lighting had been mentioned.  He had asked the previous Leader and Ward Member for updates on replacement street lights in Thetford and wanted to know the reason for £200k being carried forward.  The Leader said that he would look into this and follow the matter up with the relevant Service Manager.

 

            RESOLVED that:

 

1)               Capital budgets (& associated funding sources) of £3,324,705 be carried forward into 2019-2020 to support projects in progress;

 

2)               the final capital out-turn and funding for 2018-19 as detailed in Appendix B of the Cabinet report be approved; and

 

            3)        the revised capital budget and associated funding for the 2019-20                         capital programme detailed in Appendix C of the Cabinet report be                         approved.

 

b)     Adoption

 

            RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 21 May             2019 be adopted.

76/19b

25 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 67 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 June 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 25 June 2019 be adopted.

77/19

Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 83 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 30 May 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the now confirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 30 May 2019 be adopted.

 

78/19

Planning Committee (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 28 May 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 28 May 2019 be adopted.

 

79/19

Governance & Audit Committee (Agenda item 11) pdf icon PDF 97 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on 5 June 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance & Audit Committee meeting held on 5 June 2019 be adopted.

 

80/19

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 59 KB

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

 

Appointments to Committees (please see Appendix attached):

 

1.     Joint Appointments & Disciplinary Committee

 

Labour Group Member to be appointed as a substitute (no member of this Joint Committee shall be appointed to the Joint Appointments & Disciplinary Appeals Committee)

 

2.     Joint Appointments & Disciplinary Appeals Committee

 

      Labour Group Member to be appointed (no member of the Joint Appointments       & Disciplinary Committee shall be appointed to this Joint Committee)

 

3.     Governance & Audit Committee

 

Labour Group Member to be appointed as a substitute

 

4.     Planning Committee

 

Cllr Taila Taylor and Cllr David Wickerson to be appointed as the two Independent Group substitutes

 

5.     Overview & Scrutiny Commission

 

Cllr Bowes (as an Executive Support Member) to be removed as substitute

1 x Vacancy (Substitute)

 

Appointments to Outside Bodies

 

1.     Outside Body Organisations -  to be removed:

 

                           i.          Thetford Grammar School Charity - no longer in existence (Current Membership: Cllr Roy Brame (to be removed);

                          ii.          Attleborough Neighbourhood Plan Committee – no longer in existence and no Member appointed

 

2.     Outside Body Appointments - Members required:

 

                           i.          Health & Wellbeing Board:

·      Councillor Alison Webb to be removed and re-appointed as        substitute

·      Councillor Paul Claussen to be removed as substitute

·      Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen to be appointed as the Council’s        representative

 

ii.     Norfolk Health Scrutiny Committee – Members required

§  Cllr Peter Wilkinson to be removed due to his appointment on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Trust

§  Cllr Susan Dowling to be removed as substitute as the appointee has to be a member of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission.  

§  2 vacancies including a substitute (must be Members of the O&SC)

 

iii.    Norfolk Joint Museums and Archaeology Committee: Member required

·        1 x Vacancy (substitute)

 

iv.       Norfolk County Playing Fields Association: Member required

·        1 x Vacancy

 

v.     Restorative Approaches Strategic Board: Member required

·        Cllr Wilkinson to be removed

·        1 x Vacancy

 

vi.    Youth Advisory Board – Membership to be increased to two:

·         1 x Vacancy

 

Minutes:

RESOLVEDthat the following appointments be approved:

 

1)     Committee Appointments

 

a)   Joint Appointments & Disciplinary Committee:

     Cllr Mike Brindle

 

b)   Joint Appointments & Disciplinary Appeals Committee:

     Cllr Susan Dowling

 

c)    Governance & Audit Committee:

     Cllr Terry Jermy (substitute)

 

d)   Planning Committee:

     Cllr Taila Taylor and Cllr David Wickerson (substitutes)

 

e)   Overview & Scrutiny Commission

      Cllr Helen Crane (substitute)

Councillor Wilkin mentioned the training that would be provided to the new Members of the Planning Committee which was taking place on 3 September 2019.

2)     Outside Body Appointments

 

a)     Health & Wellbeing Board:

Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen

Cllr Alison Webb (substitute)

 

b)     Norfolk Health Scrutiny Committee:

Cllr Robert Kybird

Cllr Helen Crane (substitute)

 

c)     Norfolk Joint Museums & Archaeology Committee:

Cllr Helen Crane (substitute)

 

d)     Norfolk County Playing Fields Association:

Cllr Sarah Suggitt

 

e)     Restorative Approaches Strategic Board:

Cllr Lynda Turner

 

f)       Youth Advisory Board:

Cllr Vera Dale

81/19

Amendments to the Constitution (Agenda item 13)

81/19a

Constitution - Determination of Planning Applications pdf icon PDF 121 KB

Report of Report of Councillor Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Governance and Councillor Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Planning.

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader, Councillor Paul Claussen presented the report. 

 

The report related to a decision made by the Planning Committee at its meeting on 8 April 2019 to amend the existing scheme of delegations to Officers, and to establish a Chairman’s Panel. 

 

Members were informed that the Council had been subject to a Peer Review of the Planning Committee in spring 2018 where it had recommended that the Council should regularly review delegations to Officers to determine planning applications, and the ability of Councillors to request call-ins to the Committee.  These changes would make the planning system more efficient by having fewer applications to consider at the Planning Committee.

 

Councillor Atterwill felt that since the May Elections, the membership of the Planning Committee had changed and he did not believe it was appropriate at this stage to consider this proposal.  He believed that the need for a Chairman’s Panel was sound and supported the proposal in principle but he had concerns about the current wording of the recommendations.  He asked if training would be available to any Members who perhaps had limited planning knowledge to help prepare them for the proposed call-in form which was going to be introduced.  Having considered the proposals and researched the adopted Constitution covering a Chairman’s Panel at South Holland District Council he believed that, in order to provide political balance and oversight, to ensure efficient decision making, the following amendment should be made to the Officer’s report.  He then drew Members’ attention to Appendix A of the report, Section F and proposed that the 3rd paragraph of Section F should be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following wording:

 

“The Chairman’s Panel comprise of 3 Planning Committee Members following as closely as possible to the political balance of the Planning Committee and shall include the Chairman of the Planning Committee, or in their absence, the Vice-Chairman of the Planning Committee.  Relevant Ward Members or a substitute may attend meetings of the Chairman’s Panel when the Panel is to consider an item that related specifically to that Members Ward”.

 

Councillor Atterwill pointed out that this closely reflected what was in the South Holland District Council’s Constitution and he had been advised by a Breckland Executive Director that it seemed to work very well. 

 

Additionally, paragraph 4 of the same Appendix (Appendix A), he felt that this paragraph should be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following wording:

 

“The Panel shall be convened on an adhoc basis as required.  Membership should be on a rolling basis to be determined by the Planning Committee Members at each of its meetings”. 

 

Councillor Atterwill said that he had discussed these changes with the Chairman of the Planning Committee and felt that there should be a standing item on the agenda at the monthly meetings where it could be decided who would be on the Panel for the following month.  This should be the Chairman or the Vice-Chairman, and to maintain Political Balance, one Conservative  ...  view the full minutes text for item 81/19a

82/19

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda item 14)

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 and 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”

 

Part B – Item from which the press and the public are excluded

 

Minutes:

Members were asked to vote on the exclusion of press and public after it was read aloud by the Chairman.

 

Councillor Birt challenged the exclusion as he felt that requirements of paragraphs 1 and 2 of Schedule 12A were not met.

 

The Executive Manager for Governance asked Councillor Birt why he considered that the matter was not compliant with Schedule12A.  Councillor Birt explained that Schedule 12A paragraph 1 related to information relating to any individual but that the report starting on page 67 of the agenda pack did not relate to any individual it only related to job roles.  Additionally, on page 72 of the agenda pack, it included paragraph 2 which related to information which was likely to reveal the identity of an individual but the only identity that had been revealed was the Chief Accountant who was the author of the report.  He also felt that the remaining reports were all of a similar vain. 

 

The Executive Manager for Governance explained that the terms and conditions of service of staff and the potential impact on them of restructure were set out in these reports.  Those individuals, even where not named in the reports, were easily identifiable.  The question to consider was whether it was fair and reasonable to put that information into the public domain.  At this point the public interest test was applied and given that the Council had data protection responsibilities around those individuals, data protection was not just about naming the individuals it was about information that when put together could make a person identifiable.  That was the reason for the recommendation to exclude the press and the public.

 

RESOLVED that under Section 100(A) 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 and 2 of Schedule 21A to the Act.

 

83/19

Appointment of an Information Governance Officer (Agenda item 15)

Report of Councillor Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Governance presented the report.

 

This was a temporary post and was shared 50/50 between Breckland and South Holland District Councils and the reason for it being brought to Full Council was that General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) had become a far bigger piece of work than first thought and therefore a permanent post was sought.

 

He mentioned some of the fines for those that had been in breach of the GDPR.  He also mentioned the fact that the Information Governance Officer had achieved a very positive audit report in December 2018 and he urged Members to support the recommendation.

 

Councillor Borrett endorsed the comments made by the Deputy Leader.

 

Following a vote, it was

 

RESOLVED that the role of the Information Governance Officer (shared) be made a permanent post.

 

84/19

Public Protection Management Team Review (Agenda item 16)

Report of Councillor Alison Webb, Executive Member for Housing, Health & Environment.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Member for Housing & Health & Environment presented the report.

 

The report proposed an amended structure and ways of working for the Public Protection Shared Management Team. 

 

The proposal would need authorisation from both Breckland and South Holland District Councils.  All staff had been completely involved as well as the Trade Union, all of whom were in support of the restructure. 

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.               the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing, Health & Environment be authorised to implement the proposals subject to no major change; and

 

2.               the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing, Health & Environment be authorised to make minor amendments and all consequential/subsidiary actions required, including staffing matters.

 

85/19

Digital and Innovation Service Review (Agenda item 17)

Report of Councillor Paul Claussen, Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Governance and Councillor Ian Sherwood, Executive Member for Customer Engagement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Deputy Leader & Executive Member for Governance presented the report. 

 

The proposal would need authorisation from both Breckland and South Holland District Councils.  All staff had been completely involved as well as the Trade Union, all of whom were in support of the restructure. 

 

The service review had the potential of one redundancy but overall the changes were cost neutral.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1.     the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Deputy Leader/Executive Member for Governance and the Executive Member for Customer Engagement, be authorised to implement the proposals subject to no major change; and

 

2.     the Executive Director for Strategy and Governance, in consultation with the Deputy Leader/Executive Member for Governance and the Executive Member for Customer Engagement, be authorised to make minor amendments and all consequential/subsidiary actions required, including staffing matters such as redundancies.

 

86/19

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent (Agenda item 18)

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.

 

Digital Inclusion Presentation

Following the close of the meeting a digital inclusion presentation was given by the Executive Manager for Information introduced Andy Prior the Digital and Customer Access Manager.