Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Media

Items
No. Item

9.

Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 148 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2022.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 22 February 2022 were agreed as a correct record.

10.

Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Ashby and Hambidge.  Councillor Duigan was in attendance as the only substitute.

11.

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:

The Vice-Chairman, Councillor Ed Colman, although not strictly related to the items on the agenda, declared that his employer had changed since he last completed his declaration of interest form and was now employed by International Investment Services Ltd.

 

He would either complete a new DPI form or make the relevant changes to his existing form.

12.

Urgent Business (Agenda item 4)

To note whether the Chairman proposes to accept any item as urgent business, pursuant to Section 100(B)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Minutes:

None.

13.

Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting (Agenda item 5)

To note the names of any non-Members who wish to address the meeting.

 

Minutes:

Councillors Bambridge, the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health & Licensing and Councillors Birt and Morton were in attendance.

14.

Member Training (Standing Item) (Agenda item 6)

Minutes:

Sarah Barsby, the Assistant Director for People & Governance was in attendance and provided Members with an update on Member Development.

 

A budget of £7,000 had been set for Member Development for this financial year, the same as the previous year.

 

At the last meeting there had been a discussion about how the Members page could be improved.  Since that meeting, a survey link had been sent to all Members and any feedback would be reported back to this Committee accordingly.

 

In terms of Member training, there was no scheduled training in the short term; however, mental awareness and safeguarding training sessions were being arranged to take place in the near future.

 

In response to a question about whether there had been any feedback received in respect of the survey, Members were informed that there had not been any feedback thus far and the response rate had not as yet been confirmed.  A reminder email would be sent to all Members.

 

Councillor Wilkinson asked if all the budget from last year had been spent and if not, had any remaining budget been rolled over into this financial year.

 

It was noted that budgets were not carried over year on year but there had been a small underspend and the amount would be confirmed and Members would be informed accordingly.

 

Councillor Birt mentioned the ‘Hutsix ‘cyber security training that all Members had been asked to complete and asked if this training was still on-going and whether there had been any feedback from Members.  He also asked if there was any feedback mechanism in place in respect of the results.

 

Jason Cole, Executive Director, reported that the initial deadline for completion had been extended by 2 weeks. On completion, ‘Hutsix’ would provide a report on the results that would subsequently be reviewed. Simulated phishing exercises were carried out and if mistakes were made, additional training and support would be provided.

 

 

 

15.

Aids and Adaptations Team Staffing (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Report of Councillor Alison Webb, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Communities.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the absence of Councillor Webb, the Executive Member for Housing, Health & Communities who had sent her apologies due to other commitments, the Housing Manager, Gill Duffy presented the report.

 

In April 2021 Breckland Council took on the responsibility for delivering Aids and Adaptations through Disabled Facilities Grants in the Breckland Area. This had previously been done on Breckland Council’s behalf by Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Council.

 

The grants and associated staffing costs were funded by the Better Care Fund, which came from Central Government to district councils via tier one authorities, i.e. County Councils.

 

The aim of the service was to enable people to either remain in their homes if they had a disability and need adaptions and / or building work to make the home suitable for them or to return home from hospital after a life changing illness or event.

 

The team structure had been developed and agreed as part of the whole Housing Service Review in January 2021, with 3 FTE permanent posts being appointed. This was during the height of the pandemic where it had been more difficult than usual to assess the service needs and therefore 2.5 additional temporary posts had been appointed as well as a contracted private Occupational Therapist to gain a better understanding of demand. This approach had enabled the Team to progress the backlog of cases awaiting assessment or works and provided the time to consider what staffing structure would be required going forward to deal with normal service demand.

 

The number of applications that the new Team had assessed, completed or started to work on from April to December 2021 was highlighted.

 

At the end of December 2021 there were 96 people waiting for an assessment, an improvement in comparison to the 188 people who had been waiting in December 2020. The Housing Manager was pleased to report that at the end of March 2022 the figure had reduced to 76.

 

A tender process had recently been undertaken, with the aim to contract between 6 and 8 building companies, of varying sizes, to take on the specified works. These contracts should be in place by 1 April, providing more flexibility and speed, which would further improve the service.

 

The Housing Manager was keen to retain the excellent staff and the proposal to make the 2.5 FTE temporary posts permanent was highlighted.  It was noted that the cost to Breckland Council would be zero as such costs would be met by the Better Care Fund.

 

In terms of benchmarking and the average waiting times, the Vice-Chairman asked if this authorities work had been benchmarked against Kings Lynn & West Norfolk and North Norfolk who had a similar demographic and similar challenges as Breckland Council.  He also asked about the processes in place for someone with relevant needs being discharged from hospital or someone that could have other health problems that could be excluded from the Disabled Facilities grant and asked if the terms of the grant this was set by Government  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

16.

Next Meeting (Agenda item 8)

To note that the next meeting will be held on Wednesday 29th June at 10am in the Anglia Room, Breckland Conference Centre, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on Wednesday, 29 June 2022 at 10am in the Anglia Room were noted.

 

Due to other commitments, it has since been agreed that this meeting should be moved.  The date of the next meeting has now been confirmed as Wednesday, 13 July at 10am in the Anglia Room.

17.

Exclusion of Press & Public (Agenda item 9)

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 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

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

 

Minutes:

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 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.

 

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

18.

Environmental Health & Licensing Service Review (Agenda item 10)

Report of Gordon Bambridge, Executive Member for Waste & Environment.

 

Minutes:

Councillor Bambridge, the Portfolio Holder for Environmental Health & Licensing introduced the report and thanked the Officers for all their hard work on this matter.

 

Craig Fowler, the Environmental Health & Licensing Manager then provided Members with a detailed overview of the report and explained that the last review was undertaken in 2012 and since then several changes had taken place, hence this service review.

 

Following a number of questions, and a suggestion by the Legal Services Manager to add additional wording to the recommendation, that was duly proposed and seconded, it was:

 

RESOLVED that the recommendation as detailed in the report, to include the additional wording be approved.