Agenda and minutes

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

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda item 1) pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 7th January 2009.


Pursuant to Minute No. 9/09 (Organisation Review – Environmental Health) it had previously been agreed, at the request of the Chairman, that the ‘out of hours’ arrangements be reported back to the General Purposes Committee in six months time; this request however, had not been noted.


Subject to the above condition being added to the resolution, the Minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2009 were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.



Apologies (Agenda item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 


Apologies for absence were received from Messrs S Chapman-Allen, Mr D Williams and Mesdames S Miller, K Millbank and L Turner.


Economic Development Trainee (Agenda item 5) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of the Strategic Director (Services).

Additional documents:


The Strategic Manager (Services) presented the report which concerned a request for the recruitment of a trainee Economic Development Officer for an initial fixed 3 year term.


The creation of such a post would provide both the service and the individual with a sound opportunity to train in the field of economic development and fill a vital role in developing phase 2 of the Rural Enterprise Valley project.


The post would be externally funded through the LABGI Reserve and this included any future redundancy costs.


A Member, in fully supporting the request, applauded the Council for taking on apprentices, particularly when it would benefit the development of the A11 corridor.


RESOLVED that the recruitment of a trainee Economic Development Officer for an initial fixed term of three years with the option to review during that period be approved.


To appoint an externally funded post of a Young People's Housing Advisory Officer (Agenda item 6) pdf icon PDF 95 KB

Report of the Strategic Director for Services.

Additional documents:


The Principal Officer (Housing Advice and Homelessness) and the Strategic Housing Manager were in attendance for this item.


Members were informed that the Housing Advice Team had seen a significant increase in numbers of young people who were presenting themselves to Breckland Council as homeless or as being insecurely housed. Preventing homelessness amongst this age group could be quite challenging as young people were considered to be much less well equipped to live independently; unlike the Council’s adult customers.


The purpose of this proposed fixed term post was to make the timely interventions necessary to effectively prevent homelessness in this age group, mediating with young people and their families in their homes, and intervening in partnership with other agencies so that solutions to their housing problems could be found.


It was noted that new regulations from Government were expected soon.  These regulations would ensure that after 31 March 2010, the use of bed and breakfast accommodation by local authorities for persons of 16/17 years of age would be unlawful except in an emergency.


In parallel to this post being introduced, Breckland Council was currently progressing, in partnership with the Supporting People programme, the development of hostel accommodation specifically catering for the younger age group.  This would take the form of redesignation of an existing supported housing scheme in Thetford and the provision of ‘foyer’ type accommodation which not only provided temporary hostel accommodation but provided training and sought employment for young people between 16-25 years.  As part of a wider approach, Breckland Council also financially supported the YMCA to deliver a ‘night stop’ scheme to avoid putting young people into the Council’s emergency accommodation.


A Member had concerns with the two year time element of the post.  He felt it was rather optimistic of the Council to expect this one appointment to be the resolution to such an on-going growing problem in such a short space of time.  For example, if part of the post holder’s remit was to work in schools to educate children about the negative aspects of homelessness, surely a longer time element was required?   In response, the Principal Officer advised that the post holder would be working with a wide range of other organisations.  The education element would be a small part of the role and would be targeted to the most appropriate age groups in schools.  Intervention would also take place with Connexions and in more serious cases, Children’s Services.  At the same time, a new scheme was to be piloted in Breckland called ‘Families under Pressure Service’. These organisations, in partnership with Breckland Council, would be trying to prevent homelessness amongst those persons who were at greater risk and would try to address any issues in the family before the person reached the age of 16. 


The Strategic Housing Manager advised that in two years time there should be some tangible outcomes from the appointment otherwise the post would not have achieved what the Housing Team wanted. 


In response to a concern as to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13.


Election Fees: County, District and Parish Council (Agenda item 7) pdf icon PDF 98 KB

Norfolk Chief Executives have asked their respective authorities to adopt a scale of fees for elections to be held in the county during the year commencing 1st April, 2009.


The report considered by the Chief Executives and the schedule of the proposed fees is attached to the agenda.


Current figures (for the year commencing 1st April, 2008) will be available for comparison if required.


The Member Services Manager explained that the proposed scale of fees recommended for the County, District and Parish Council Elections for the year commencing 1 April 2009 had been agreed by the Chief Executives of Norfolk District Councils.


The revised fees would apply to the County election on 4th June 2009; European election fees were not covered by this legislation.


The previous year’s figures were provided verbally for comparison.


The Returning Officer’s fees had been set out at the top of page 22 of the report.


The Member Services Manager clarified a concern with regard to fees for a joint County and European election.


RESOLVED that the recommended Scale of Fees for County, District and Parish Council Elections for the year commencing 1 April 2009 be adopted.


Next Meeting (Agenda item 8)

To note that the next meeting will be held on Wednesday, 1st April 2009 at 10.00am in the Norfolk Room. 


The arrangements for the next meeting on 1 April 2009 were noted.