Agenda and minutes

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

Items
No. Item

59.

Election of Chairman

a)     To elect the Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

b)     The newly elected Chairman to sign the required Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Minutes:

a)     After being duly moved and seconded, it was

 

RESOLVED that Mr P S Francis be elected as Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

b)     Mr Francis signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

Mr P S Francis in the Chair.

 

60.

Appointment of Vice-Chairman

a)     To appoint the Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

b)     The newly appointed Vice-Chairman to sign the required Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

Minutes:

a)     After being duly moved and seconded, it was

 

RESOLVED that Mr J Labouchere be appointed as Vice-Chairman of the Council for the ensuing year.

 

b)     Mr Labouchere signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office.

 

61.

Vote of Thanks to Outgoing Chairman

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council extended a vote of thanks to the outgoing Chairman in recognition of his hard work and commitment over the past 28 years.  His remarks were endorsed by Members. The outgoing Chairman thanked Members for their kind words.

 

62.

Chairman's Announcements

(including the engagements of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman)

Minutes:

A list of engagements attended by the outgoing Chairman was tabled, for the period 27 April to 16 May 2007, which included:

 

Date

Event

Host

27 April

“Chain Gang”   Dinner

Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Councillor Patrick Hacon

29 April

Anzac Memorial Service

The Britain Australia Society Norfolk Branch

7 May

Official Open of Banham@Play

Banham Parish Council Play Area Committee

9 May

Mayor-Making

Mayor-Elect of Thetford, Councillor Robert Kybird

11 May

Launch of the 22nd Bury St. Edmunds Festival and Beating Retreat with the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas

The Worshipful the Mayor of St. Edmunsbury, Councillor Frank Warby

14 May

Service of Celebration – 60th Anniversary of Age Concern Norfolk

Age Concern

16 May

End of Civic Year Reception

The Lord Mayor of Norwich and her Consort, Councillor Felicity Hartley and Christopher Seelhoff and The Sheriff of Norwich and the Sheriff’s Lady, John and Barbara Drake

 

63.

Minutes

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held 26 April 2007.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 26 April 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

 

64.

Apologies

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs J Ball, Mr A Byrne, Mr P Hewett, Mrs T Hewett, Mr C Jordan, Mrs L Monument and Mr D Williams.

 

65.

Declaration of Interest

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests they may have in any of the following items on the agenda.

 

The Members’ Code of Conduct requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is personal or prejudicial.

Minutes:

The following declarations were made:

 

Mr P Cowen – personal interest by virtue of his architectural profession in relation to planning matters contained within:

 

  • Cabinet Minute No. 07/07 – Project Create items a) and c).

 

Messrs W Smith and P Claussen declared personal interests in Cabinet Minute No. 40/07 as non-executive directors of the ARP.

 

Mr A Stasiak – prejudicial interest in Council Minute No. 51/07(a) (Development Control Committee Minute No. 60/07 (item 9)), by virtue of it being his own application.

 

66.

Annual Appointment of the Leader, Deputy Leader (both under SO20), Executive Support Members, Committees and Panels (inc. Chairman and Vice-Chairman) 2007-2008

Report of the Democratic Services Manager.

 

 

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager outlined the division of seats as required by the political balance regulations.

 

66/07a

Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Having being duly moved and seconded, Members

 

RESOLVED that Mr W Nunn be re-appointed as Leader of the Council for the ensuing year.

66/07b

Deputy Leader of the Council

Minutes:

Having being duly moved and seconded, Members

 

RESOLVED that Mr W H C Smith be re-appointed as Deputy Leader of the Council for the ensuing year.

66/07c

Executive Members

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following Members be appointed as Executive Members for the ensuing year, for the areas indicated:

 

Ann Steward              - Housing and Planning

Adrian Stasiak          - Strategic Alliance

William Smith            - Cabinet (including People First)

Kay Fisher                 - Environment

Steven Askew           - Community/Leisure/Culture

Paul Claussen           - Commercial and Economic

 

66/07d

Executive Support Members

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the following Executive Support Members be appointed:

 

Housing and Planning                - Bill Borrett

Strategic Alliance                        - Robert Kybird

Cabinet (inc People First)          - Phillip Duigan

Environment                                 - Robert Childerhouse

Community/Leisure/Culture       - Theresa Hewett

Commercial & Economic           - David Myers

66/07e

Re-Appointment of Committees

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the Committees and Policy Development and Review Panels be appointed as detailed in Appendix A to these Minutes, with Chairman and Vice-Chairman as indicated.

66/07f

Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny Commission

Minutes:

It was proposed and seconded that Mr Robin Goreham be elected as Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.  However, the Leader of the Council proposed that an amendment be made to Section D of Part 3 of the Constitution to the effect that: the Overview and Scrutiny Commission will be chaired by a Member appointed by Full Council” (as opposed to by a Member of the Main Minority Party).  A further proposal was moved and seconded that Mr P Cowen be elected as the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.

 

The Chairman advised that Members should firstly vote on whether Section D of Part 3 of the Constitution should be amended following which, it was

 

         RESOLVED that Section D of Part 3 of the Constitution be amended to the effect that: the Overview and Scrutiny Commission will be chaired by a Member appointed by Full Council” (as opposed to by a Member of the Main Minority Party).

 

Note: Mr M Fanthorpe, Mr P Balaam, Mr R Goreham, Mr T Lamb and Mr K Gilbert abstained from voting on this matter.

 

The Democratic Services Manager advised that, as a constitutional change this would take effect at the next Full Council meeting; therefore a Member of the main minority group would Chair the Overview and Scrutiny Commission until that time.

66/07g

Breckland Representatives on the Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership Joint Committee

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the current Members be re-appointed.

 

67.

Members' Attendances for 2006/07

A list of attendances for 2006/07 is attached for Members’ information.

Minutes:

This item was noted.

 

68.

Appointment of Outside Bodies 2007/08

Report of the Interim Operations Manager (People First & Cabinet).

Minutes:

The Democratic Services Manager advised that following a review by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission, and subsequent agreement by Council, due consideration must be given to appointing suitably qualified, experienced and knowledgeable Members.

 

Members were informed that an additional organisation, WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd), had requested that a representative from Breckland Council be appointed which they felt should be the relevant Portfolio Member who was Lady Kay Fisher.  Further to this, the Leader wished to appoint himself, Mr P Claussen, Mr S Chapman-Allen and Mrs A Steward to represent a further group, Moving Thetford Forward.

 

A Member raised concern that he had not seen any mention of the Governors of Thetford Grammar School, to which he had been appointed to some years ago and still attended.  The Democratic Services Manager agreed to look into this.

 

         RESOLVED that the Representatives on Outside Bodies for 2007/08 be appointed as detailed in Appendix B to these Minutes.

 

69.

Primary Care Trust (PCT) - Review of Intermediate Care

Presentation by Mr Mark Taylor, Director of Provider Services.

Minutes:

Mrs Sheila Childerhouse, the Chairman of PCT, explained that this review was a formal consultation process and part of the process was to have a series of public meetings at locations close to community hospitals that might be affected by the proposed changes to the service. The review of intermediate care provision would end on 5 June 2007 and no formal decisions could be made on any site until the Board meeting scheduled for July 2007.  She assured member that the PCT had no intention of closing the majority of beds in Norfolk.  This review was about long term, good value for money and it was very important to ensure that the PCT offered people more choice.

 

Mrs Childerhouse introduced Mr Mark Taylor, Director of Provider Services, who in turn provided Members with a presentation about the PCT and why the review was being undertaken (copy attached for information).

 

At the end of the presentation questions were invited.

 

A Member asked about the County’s medical services in general and queried how the £290m overspend in East Anglia had suddenly been reduced to £150m.  He further asked about staffing issues and whether the Breckland area would be getting any additional doctors to compensate for all the new build in the area.

 

In response, Mr Taylor stated that the main hospitals were facing a very challenging time and that he could not predict whether a number of staff, in the medical profession, would be facing redundancy in the forthcoming year.  As far as the PCT was concerned, staff would be re-deployed but there was still a risk of some redundancies.  It was explained that the number of doctors for population growth was insensitive to short term fluctuations, it was quite a slow incremental process; however, future growth should trigger further funding.  Mr Taylor explained that the NHS was still heavily in debt but all organisations had worked very hard to reduce this figure.  The Norfolk PCT was now living within its means; however it still had a debt of £47m to clear.

 

Another Member asked about doctor/patient ratios.  In response, Mr Taylor advised that he could acquire detailed information of general practice provision and would forward this information to him.

 

A Member questioned the dedicated community care for the mentally ill and where they could access that care under Section 17 of the Mental Health Act. Mr Taylor advised that the PCT’s remit covered physical disabilities and not mental but he would endeavour to find the answer to this question.

 

A Member asked the PCT to justify taking beds from the Swaffham Community Hospital when, according to the presentation, in the West of the County in Breckland and beyond it was not considered that there were enough intermediate care beds.  It was explained that although Swaffham Community Hospital would no longer house beds it would continue to provide a range of outpatient and community services.  There were other intermediate care beds in the County and the PCT would ensure that people  ...  view the full minutes text for item 69.

70.

Committee Minutes

70/07a

Cabinet: 24 April 2007

Unconfirmed Minutes of the meeting held 24 April 2007.

 

Members are reminded that the recommendations at Minute No. 48/07(recommendations from the Overview and Scrutiny Commission) were accepted by Council on 26 April 2007.

Minutes:

Members were reminded that the recommendations at Minute No. 48/07 had been accepted by Council on 26 April 2007.

 

(1)    Minute No.37/07

 

         The Leader of the Opposition was concerned that the question he had asked at the beginning of this meeting, regarding the “lowest Council Tax” publicity campaign and its cost, had not been noted.  He felt that there should have been a sentence to reflect the          debate, to which the Leader agreed.

 

(2)    Adoption

 

         RESOLVED that the Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 24 April 2007 be adopted.

70/07b

Cabinet: 14 May 2007

Any recommendations from the meeting on 14 May 2007.

Minutes:

The following recommendations from the meeting of Cabinet on 14 May were considered:

 

(i)      Anglia Revenues and Benefits Partnership Ltd Loan Funding

 

         RESOLVED to

 

(1)         support the current service level by providing loan funding for working capital to the total value of £64,000 to be drawn down as required by ARPT Ltd at the current rate achieved by investing in the Council’s normal “call” account; subject to Forest Heath District Council agreeing to the same terms on the remaining £36,000 of loan funding to be provided by them, subject to their Committee procedures; and

 

(2)         the Treasury Management policy be amended to include loans to companies in which the authority holds an interest.

 

(ii)     Project Create

 

(a)    Planning and Building Control

 

         A Member raised concern with regard to the Planning and Building Control Services as he felt that planning should be the last function to be included in such a business enterprise.  He asked for further details.  The Leader indicated that Members all had the opportunity to attend the meeting where the aforementioned points had been fully debated.  He emphasised that all the Council was considering was to modernise the Council’s current planning systems. Planning and Building Control were two of the Council’s most important functions therefore both should be the first function to be considered not the last.  The Leader explained that Officers had visited a company in Salford where it was shown how the Council’s current planning systems could be modernised.  Planning and Building Control could be set up on a similar platform as the Anglia Revenues Partnership to keep Council Tax down.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1)    the payment of £38,000 plus expenses for the Full Business Case be approved;

 

(2)    a wholly-owned Breckland Company and, if necessary, a separate trading company, be set up to deliver planning and building control services and other products and services as appropriate;

 

(3)    capital funding of up to £100,000 be released and a loan of up to £200,000 be made to the Company on the understanding that it is released in accordance with the Proforma B;

(4)    the wholly-owned Company, subject to job evaluation, appoint a new Manager.

 

(b)    HR and Payroll

 

RESOLVED

 

(1)    not to proceed to Full Business Case; and

 

(2)    shared services in HR and Payroll continued to be explored whilst continuing to build a platform for HR and Payroll and the dialogue with Capita be kept open to explore what partnership arrangements may be available through the framework contract.

 

(c)     Future Trading Architecture

 

         RESOLVED that a Holding Company not be set up and that associated costs are funded from existing Project Create budget allocations.

 

Note: Mr Lamb asked that it be recorded that he had voted against the recommendations under Project Create.

71.

Adoption of New Code of Conduct for Members

The revised form of the Members’ Code of Conduct is prescribed by regulations which came into force on 3 May.  A copy is attached to this Agenda.  The provisions are mandatory and must be adopted formally by each Council by 1 October of this year.  It is theoretically possible to add extra provisions which are compatible with the mandatory sections, but most authorities are expected (and encouraged by the Standards Board for England) to adopt the attached version with no additions.

 

The new Code is an updated version of the existing Code, but incorporates a number of important revisions, including prohibiting bullying, a new definition of friends and family connections and allowing Members with a prejudicial interest to speak (but not to stay and vote) at a meeting, such as a Development Control Committee meeting, where a normal member of the public would be able to speak.

 

Training sessions for Members on the new Code of Conduct have been arranged as follows:

 

Thursday 17 May (Council day) at 12.30: a short introductory session especially for new Members.

 

Thursday 14 June at 6pm to 9pm.

 

Wednesday 20 June at 10am to 1pm.

 

The second two sessions are also open to town and parish councillors.

 

IT IS RECOMMENDED that the new Code of Conduct for Members in the form attached be adopted with immediate effect.

Minutes:

The Monitoring Officer introduced the report.  It was recommended that the new Code of Conduct for Members in the form attached to the report be adopted with immediate effect.

 

A Member queried the difference between personal and prejudicial interests, particularly if a Member happened to be a Member of the Development Control Committee and a Member of a Town or Parish Council; he asked for clarification.

 

The Monitoring Officer explained that, if a Member had publicly expressed a strong view whether he or she was for or against an application then that Member would be able to speak but would not legally be able to vote at the Development Control Committee.  In response, the Member felt that all Town and Parish Councils should be reminded of this fact.

 

The Monitoring Officer informed Members that all this information would be explained in greater detail at the training sessions arranged as follows:

 

Thursday 14 June at 6pm to 9pm; and

 

Wednesday 20 June at 10am to 1pm.

 

Both sessions would be held in the Anglia Room, the Conference Suite, Dereham.

 

RESOLVED that the new Code of Conduct for Members in the form attached to the report be adopted with immediate effect.

 

72.

Strategic Alliance (Standard Item)

To receive an update.

Minutes:

There was nothing further to report.

 

73.

Nominations for Committee and other Seats

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

Minutes:

None.