Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870


No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 142 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2022.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2022 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 


An apology for absence had been received from Councillor Ashby.  Councillor Duigan was in attendance as his substitute.


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.



No declarations were made.


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.




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

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



The following non-Members were in attendance:


Councillor Bambridge as the Ward Member for Sparham, Councillor James as the Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services and Councillor Birt.


Member Training (Standing Item) (Agenda item 6)



To include a summary of past training sessions with numbers attending plus a list of up and coming training sessions.


This matter was discussed under Agenda item 9.


Community Governance Review - Sparham PC (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Report of Councillor Jane James, Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services.

Additional documents:


Councillor James, the Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services introduced the report.


Rory Ringer, the Democratic Services Manager explained that this report followed a request from Sparham Parish Council to carry out a Community Governance Review with a view to increase their membership of their parish council from 5 members to 7.  The Committee must be aware when undertaking such reviews that the community governance in the area reflected the identities and the interests of the community and was effective and convenient.  It was also important that the recommendations made through such a review should bring about improved community engagement, more cohesive communities, better local democracy, and result in more effective and convenient delivery of local services.


The review had been based on 3 main elements; firstly, to increase resilience, secondly, to aid succession planning and finally to provide additional support for parishioners.  The current electorate for the parish of Sparham was 246 and the increase in parish councillors to 7 would be in line with the majority of similar sized parishes in the district.


The recommendation was read aloud.


Councillor Bambridge did not have any questions but as the elected member for Sparham he wanted to support the parish in this move as the additional support was required.


The recommendation was proposed and seconded, and it was:


RESOLVED that the request from Sparham Parish Council to carry out a Community Governance review be approved, and delegated authority be given to the Deputy Chief Executive to conduct and implement the review.


Organisational Development (OD) and People Strategy (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 133 KB

Report of Councillor Jane James, Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services.

Additional documents:


Councillor James, the Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services introduced the report and was pleased to present the Organisational Development & People Strategy (OD&P).  


In terms of background, the Council currently had a workforce plan that ran from 2020 until 2023 that set out ways the Council supported and developed its staff through the Council’s strategic priorities. Given the new focus on a pro-active, longer-term and strategic view of people development, described as organisational development, an opportunity had been taken to review this Plan for it to be a jointly owned document between Organisational Development and Human Resources.  This new OD&P Strategy for 2022 to 2025 would help the Council to ensure that it had the right people with the right skills in the right role, performing the right tasks to support the Council’s strategic priorities.


Claire Burton, the Organisational Development & Performance Manager then provided more detail.


It was explained that the world of work had changed considerably over the last 2 years and the Council, as an organisation, needed to ensure that it was flexible, continued to evolve and was fit for purpose and to develop its culture to make Breckland Council a great place to work.  Five key themes had been identified (see section 2.1 of the report) and under each of these themes four areas had been set out to concentrate on supported by an Action Plan detailing these activities and timescales.  Members attention was drawn to ‘Our People Promise’ within the Strategy which outlined employees’ expectations about when, where and how their work had changed.  Breckland wanted to be an organisation that people aspired to work for, and the ‘People Promise’ described what it was like to be part of Breckland Council and this would be used as part of recruitment campaigns to attract candidates.


Apart from a few minor spelling mistakes, Councillor Monument felt that the Strategy read very well.


Councillor Birt felt that the recommendation should have included the words Organisational Development in full rather than being abbreviated.  He appreciated that organisational development was wider than continued professional development (CPD) but nevertheless he felt that CPD should be a key component and queried where the Council was in respect of this matter in terms of budget, what training was available and who would perform that training and what proportion of staff was using CPD or had used it in the last year for specific individual needs. 


The Chairman reminded Members that all employment of staff and staff training came under the Chief Executive.  Members could take an interest but could not pass judgement on it.


The Organisational Development & Performance Manager explained that there was an annual training budget of around £72k as well as a training plan that was set each year based on employee needs.  This particular year two training programmes had taken place, one for senior leadership team and one for the senior management team and all these learnings and themes stemming from these were now being progressed down to all  ...  view the full minutes text for item 37.


Member Induction 2023 (Agenda item 9) pdf icon PDF 417 KB

Report of Councillor Jane James, Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services.

Additional documents:


Councillor James, the Executive Member for Customer & Corporate Services was delighted to introduce this report to Members.


Sarah Barsby, the Assistant Director for People & Governance and Teresa Smith, the Democratic Services Team Leader then presented the report and provided Members with a presentation (attached).


The Assistant Director for People & Governance stated that the presentation drew out the key themes within the report.


As part of next year’s district election, Breckland Council would like the welcome that Members received to be more reflective of the organisation as it was currently; modern, agile, people and community focussed, committed to learning and improving (through training and support). Along with support from the Portfolio Holder, Councillor Jane James and the Chairman of the General Purposes Committee, Councillor Lynda Turner, there was a shared ambition for all Elected members, regardless of their experience, to feel supported and confident in carrying out their role for the benefit of their community, and the district as a whole.


The Democratic Services Team Leader then explained the proposed Member Induction Plan that would cover three key election milestones:


·        Pre-election – promotional prospective candidate

·        Formally elected – the day of the Election, pre-induction Breckland Council welcome pack

·        Post election, covering:

Member Induction, and

Member Training (the first three months)


It had been suggested that the prospective Councillor event this year, in order to attract as wide a pool of prospective candidates as possible, Officers were proposing to promote the well-established information sessions provided by Norfolk Association of Local Councils (NALC). This would avoid duplication of effort and enable the team to focus on launching an awareness campaign.


The PR campaign, the Council’s Awareness Campaign, would be featured on its social and digital channels, including the Breckland Council website, signposting to relevant and useful resources, such as those offered by NALC and the Local Government Association, for those considering becoming a councillor


The pre-induction Breckland Council welcome pack would be more aligned with the staff induction experience, and it was proposed that the pack would consist of a link to a welcome video from the Chief Executive, a notebook, pen, a Breckland Cares key ring a lanyard (in preparation for their ID card) and postcards with QR codes directing Members to various elements on the Breckland Council website to support them in their first days.  These could include links to the Code of Conduct and Declaration of Interest forms.


The Member Induction itself, as soon as practicably possible after the Election, Members, newly Elected Members and/or existing Members, would be invited to attend a ‘Welcome to Breckland’ session at Elizabeth House, at a date to be agreed. This session, based on feedback, would be shorter than in previous years and would concentrate on the ‘Place’ by having market stalls from different service areas to provide information on the services that Breckland provided, the Council itself on what it was and what it did in its place in the 3-tier Local Government system, how the Council worked, the #teambreckland,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 38.


Next Meeting (Agenda item 10)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on Thursday, 9 February 2023 at 10am in the Anglia Room, the Conference Suite, Dereham.


The Chairman pointed out that an additional meeting had been requested to be held on Thursday, 12 January 2023 at 10am in the Anglia Room.  She hoped that all Members could attend but to contact their substitutes if they could not.



Exclusion of Press & Public (Agenda item 11)

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 paragraphs 1 & 2 of Schedule 12A to the Act.”


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


This item was not required.


Restricted Minutes: 13 July 2022 (Agenda item 12)

For information.