Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

87/19

Apologies (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Askew, Birt, Brindle, Gilbert, Hewett, Ian Martin, Nairn, Nunn, Oliver and Wilkin.

88/19

Minutes (Agenda item 2) pdf icon PDF 141 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019.

Minutes:

1)    Constitution – Determination of Planning Applications (Minute No. 81/19(a)

 

The name of Councillor Birt had been inadvertently omitted from page 16 of the agenda pack, it should read: “Councillor Birt asked if a recorded vote could be taken”.

 

2)    Minutes

 

Subject to the above amendment, the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 July 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

89/19

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:

Councillor Kybird declared a pecuniary interest in agenda item 18 due to him being actively engaged with the installation and infrastructure within the Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE).  Councillor Kybird left the room whilst this item was discussed.

90/19

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

Minutes:

The Chairman welcomed Councillor Paul Redgate, the Vice-Chairman from South Holland District Council to observe the meeting.

 

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman had been extremely busy since the last Full Council meeting including a personal home visit to a retired army veteran, and a number of Battle of Britain parades and events.  They had both been pleased that a number of the smaller communities had invited them to their events particularly as the purpose this year was to raise the profile of Breckland.

 

The Chairman conveyed her congratulations to Councillor Gilbert on his recent marriage. 

 

She mentioned the safeguarding cards that had been circulated to Members prior to the meeting.  These cards contained useful advice on who to contact if Members had or were aware of any safeguarding issues.

 

The Chairman made a plea to Members to check their emails and phone messages on a regular basis as she and the Vice-Chairman continued to have residents contact them due to them not being able to contact their local Ward Members.

 

She also mentioned the all Member Briefing that took place earlier in the week which in her opinion was one of the best presentations that she had ever attended.  She reminded those Members who were in attendance of the confidentiality surrounding this matter and asked them not to ask any questions about it during the public session.

 

In support of the Chairman’s charities, Leeway and The Daisy Programme, a reminder had been sent to all Members inviting them to the Older People’s Forum being held in the Anglia Room on Friday, 27 September 2019.  Domestic violence was one of the topics being discussed that the role and involvement of Breckland Council.

 

Members were also reminded of the Planning training taking place in the Anglia Room on Monday, 23 September 2019.

 

Finally, the Chairman congratulated Breckland Council on receiving the RSPCA PawPrint Gold Status Award.  The Council had maintained its reputation for providing exceptional care and provision when dealing with stray dogs.

91/19

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.

 

Market Town Plan

 

The Leader had been privileged to meet most Members during his ‘coffee calls’.  One of the main messages stemming from these informal get-together’s was whether there were any future plans in place for the towns and surrounding communities.  From that, the Leader had asked Officers to examine a series of delivery plans for all 5 of Breckland’s market towns along with the surrounding service areas.  The Towns’ Delivery Plans would hopefully set out the strategic alignment for current investment opportunities for growth, housing, settlement renewals, health and wellbeing, community safety and cohesion with the economic and social needs.  The Town Plans would be developed with a full range of public and private third sector interest as well as those Councillors within the local communities and would reflect the wider input from stakeholders groups against strong public support.  A report would be presented to the Full Council meeting on the 31st October 2019 for Members to consider the proposals.

 

Industrial Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk

 

The Leader was pleased to announce that Cabinet had agreed to endorse the Industrial Strategy for Norfolk and Suffolk.  This was a very important document that was being drawn up, in partnership with the Government and the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) looking at future funding to support growth, not just within the District but the wider Norfolk and Suffolk. This had led the LEP to set out a real ambition for transformation across the two counties and Breckland would be economically best placed to support that work in relation to the A47 and the A11 both running though the District. He had attended a recent LEP meeting where all the Leaders from Norfolk and Suffolk were working through the final iteration prior to it going to the LEP Board at the end of this month for final ratification.  He was grateful to all the Officers throughout the District who had worked on this document and who had provided some most compelling evidence based suggestions for iterations for the final draft.

 

Brexit

 

In relation to EU exit preparation, United Kingdom was still scheduled to leave the EU at the end of October 2019 and as such, the Leader would be issuing a statement to all Members of the Council via email on how Breckland was preparing for Brexit.  The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government had already written to all Councils stating the main duties placed upon them in terms of preparation.  A designated Senior Officer had been appointed to oversee this process and funding was available to help support such preparations.  The preparations thus far via the Norfolk Resilience Forum had been preparing for all eventualities across the County.

 

Budgets

 

The Secretary of State’s budget had recently been announced with a one year spending review for 2021.  Members had already been made aware at the previous Full Council meeting when the Leader and the Chief Executive attended the National Local Government Conference, how pained  ...  view the full minutes text for item 91/19

92/19

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

Minutes:

None received.

93/19

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

Minutes:

Councillor Clarke directed his two part question to Councillor Bambridge, the Executive Member for Planning.

 

Councillor Clarke had been contacted by a number of residents expressing their frustration and concerns in relation to the planning process.  He was aware of the delays in respect of the Local Plan and he felt that it would be in Breckland’s interest to publish all correspondence between Breckland and the Planning Inspector on the Planning Portal.     The second part of the question was whether the Executive Member would commit to an additional review of the planning process tabled urgently at the Overview & Scrutiny Commission. Councillor Bambridge advised that most letters between Breckland and the Planning Inspector had already been published on the website but he would take this up with Simon Wood, the Director of Planning & Building Control. In respect of the planning process, further improvements were being made in particular with the recent establishment of the Chairman’s Panel. The Leader expanded on Councillor Bambridge’s points and advised that Councillor Atterwill had requested twice to see the correspondence between the planning authority and the planning inspector and all remaining letters would be published very soon. In relation to the planning system, Members were reminded of the Planning Advisory Service (PAS) review, where a number of recommendations had been made.  The Leader asked any actions stemming from the review should, at a later date, go back to the O&SC for consideration.

 

Councillor Harvey mentioned the river system which was so important to those living in Thetford.  He had concerns about the water levels, the flow and the copious amounts of green algae in the river and he asked the Leader if there was anything that Breckland Council could assist with in terms of making the river systems better.  The Leader advised that Councillor Jermy had already raised these concerns with him and the Director of Place had been in contact with the Environment Agency.  The clerk of Thetford Town Council was also liaising with the Environment Agency to work out an action plan and if this plan affected anything that Breckland owned in terms of open space alongside it then the Council would be more than happy to interject as the river was an integral part of the town for tourism and leisure.

 

Councillor Atterwill mentioned the Corporate Plan.  He raised concerns that the 4 year Corporate Plan had been approved in April before the May Elections and asked the Leader, as new Members had been elected, if the Plan could be brought before the Council in the autumn for a review.  In response, the Leader advised that the Corporate Plan would firstly go to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission followed by Full Council for consideration in 2020.

 

Councillor Terry mentioned a fatal accident that had occurred in his Ward whilst the full facts of the incident were unknown it was likely that speed was a major factor.  A campaign had recently started to reduce all speed limits on the roads in Thetford to 30mph  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93/19

94/19

Motion Received under Standing Order No. 8 (Agenda item 8)

To consider the following motion:

 

“Full Council notes the devastating impact that climate change and global temperature increases will have on the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, including on the health, safety and wellbeing of Breckland residents;

 

The urgent need for action to be taken fast enough for there to be a chance of further climate change being limited to avoid the worst impacts of drought, floods and extreme heat;

 

The opportunity for individuals and organisations at all levels to take action on reducing carbon emissions, from both production and consumption;

 

The need to enable low carbon living across society through changes to laws, taxation, infrastructure, policies and plans;

 

Our responsibility to help secure an environmentally sustainable future for our residents and in relation to the global effects of climate change.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to;

1.     Declare a Climate Emergency;

2.     Engage and work in partnership with our partners in the public, private and community sectors, including central government to facilitate bold action to ensure Breckland is able to play its role in helping the UK to deliver against the commitments made nationally and internationally at the 2015 Paris Summit;

3.     Prepare an Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy in line with this pledge, and, with our partners across the community, to develop an action plan and ‘route map’ to a sustainable, low carbon future for our community;

4.     Launch engagement with the public to:

-        Improve “carbon literacy” of all citizens;

-        Encourage and support leadership on this issue in all sectors of society;

-        Obtain meaningful public input into the Breckland Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy and action planning;

-        Facilitate wide community engagement and behavioural change;

5.     To make best endeavours, using its powers and resources, including both financial and officer time, to enable Breckland District Council to be carbon neutral by 2030;

6.     To report back every 6 months, on progress being made”

 

Minutes:

Councillor Dowling presented her motion and provided a detailed overview as to why it had been presented.

 

The motion submitted was read aloud.

 

“Full Council notes the devastating impact that climate change and global temperature increases will have on the lives and livelihoods of people around the world, including on the health, safety and wellbeing of Breckland residents. 

 

The urgent need for action to be taken fast enough for there to be a chance of further climate change being limited to avoid the worst impacts of drought, floods and extreme heat;

 

The opportunity for individuals and organisations at all levels to take action on reducing carbon emissions, from both production and consumption.

 

The need to enable low carbon living across society through changes to laws, taxation, infrastructure, policies and plans.

 

Our responsibility to help secure an environmentally sustainable future for our residents and in relation to the global effects of climate change.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves to:

 

1.     Declare a Climate Emergency;

2.     Engage and work in partnership with our partners in the public, private and community sectors, including central government to facilitate bold action to ensure Breckland is able to play its role in helping the UK to deliver against the commitments made nationally and internationally at the 2015 Paris Summit;

3.     Prepare an Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy in line with this pledge, and, with our partners across the community, to develop an action plan and ‘route map’ to a sustainable, low carbon future for our community;

4.     Launch engagement with the public to:

-        Improve “carbon literacy” of all citizens;

-        Encourage and support leadership on this issue in all sectors of society;

-        Obtain meaningful public input into the Breckland Environmental Sustainability & Climate Change Strategy and action planning;

-        Facilitate wide community engagement and behavioural change;

5.     To make best endeavours, using its powers and resources, including both financial and officer time, to enable Breckland District Council to be carbon neutral by 2030;

6.     To report back every 6 months, on progress being made”.

 

The above motion was seconded by Councillor Morton.

 

The Leader thanked Councillor Dowling for her ‘sit up and think’ open address.  He explained that in January 2018, Her Majesty’s Government published ‘A Green Future’ 25 year plan to improve the environment.  On the 12th June 2019, the Prime Minister then heralded the end to the UK’s contribution to climate change by setting a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and at its recent conference in Bournemouth, the Local Government Association (LGA) agreed a motion that (1) called upon Her Majesty’s Government to explore supporting domestic implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through funded partnership roles within each local authority area; and (2) encouraged councils to continue their work on linking their local priorities with the overall ambition of SDGs and declared a “Climate Emergency”.  The LGA were committed to supporting councils in their work to tackle climate change by providing a strong unified voice for lobbying support  ...  view the full minutes text for item 94/19

95/19

Cabinet Minutes (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 September 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 September 2019 be agreed.

96/19

Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Agenda item 10) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 11 July 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting held on 11 July 2019 be agreed.

97/19

Planning Committee (Agenda item 11)

97/19a

24 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 24 June 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 24 June 2019 be adopted.

97/19b

22 July 2019 pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 22 July 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 22 July 2019 be adopted.

97/19c

2 September 2019 pdf icon PDF 117 KB

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2 September 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 2 September 2019 be agreed.

98/19

Governance & Audit Committee (Agenda item 12) pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on 25 July 2019.

Minutes:

a)    Treasury Management Outturn 2018-19 (Minute No. 46/19)

 

RESOLVED that the actual 2018/19 prudential indicators be approved.

 

b)    Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance & Audit Committee meeting held on 25 July 2019 be agreed.

99/19

Constitution - Planning Delegations (Agenda item 13) pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Report of Mark Stinson, Executive Manager for Governance.

Minutes:

Sarah Wolstenholme-Smy, the Council’s Legal Service Manager presented the report.

 

At its meeting on 18 July 2019, the Council approved a number of changes to the Terms of Reference of the Planning Committee and to officer delegations in respect of the determination of planning applications and the formation of a Chairman’s Panel, following recommendations from the Planning Advisory Service.

 

The report asked Members to consider further proposed amendments to the existing delegations.  Since the July meeting, and with the first meetings of the Panel having taken place, it had been noted that the revised delegations and Terms of Reference were not sufficiently clear about the role of the Chairman’s Panel in Ward Member call-in of planning applications.  It had also become clear that some other elements of the delegations required further clarity.

 

It was noted the Chairman’s Panel was not a decision making body but purely an advisory body.  The content of the appendices attached to the report were explained. 

 

The recommendations were highlighted.

 

Councillor Atterwill proposed that this agenda item be deferred and he set out very detailed reasons for his request.

 

The Chairman asked for a seconder to Councillor Atterwill’s proposal. 

 

Councillor Jermy seconded the proposal; however, following a vote the amendment to defer this agenda item was not carried.

 

The original recommendations were voted upon, and it was:

 

RESOLVEDthat:

 

1.     the officer delegations at paragraph 3 of Part 3 Section F3 of the Constitution be amended as shown in Appendix A of the report; and

 

2.     the Terms of Reference of the Planning Committee at Part 3 Section D of the Constitution be amended as shown in Appendix B of the report.

100/19

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda item 14)

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

 

Member Development Panel

 

The Deputy Leader, Councillor Paul Claussen to propose Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following appointments be approved:

 

Member Development Panel

 

Cllr Tina Kiddell (Chairman)

Cllr Peter Wilkinson

Cllr Lynda Turner

Cllr Hilary Bushell

Cllr Keith Gilbert

Cllr Terry Jermy

101/19

Amendments to the Constitution (Agenda item 15)

Minutes:

None.

102/19

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent (Agenda item 16)

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.

103/19

Exclusion of Press and Public (Agenda item 17)

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 item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

PART B – ITEM FROM WHICH THE PRESS AND THE PUBLIC ARE EXCLUDED 

 

Minutes:

After being proposed and seconded, it was

 

RESOLVED 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 item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A to the Act.

104/19

Power Utility Supply in Thetford - Acceptance of Housing Infrastructure Fund (Agenda item 18)

Report of the Executive Member for Finance and Growth.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Kybird left the room whilst this item was being discussed (see Minute No.    89/19 above).

 

Councillor Phil Cowen, the Executive Member for Finance & Growth provided Members with a detailed overview of the report.

 

He explained the need and the reasoning for accepting the Housing Infrastructure funding to support the delivery of expanded power utility provision in Thetford.

 

Christine Marshall, the Executive Director for Commercialisation & S151 Officer responded too many of the questions asked.

 

After a great deal of discussion, it was

 

RESOLVED that the recommendations as listed in the report be approved.