Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Norfolk Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham NR19 1EE

Contact: Committee Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

30.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2011.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 30 March 2011 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

31.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Mrs A Steward and Mr T Jermy.

32.

Declaration of Interest (Agenda Item 3)

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 a personal or prejudicial interest.

Minutes:

No declarations were made.

33.

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.

34.

Local Joint Consultative Committee : 6 July 2011 (Agenda Item 5) pdf icon PDF 57 KB

To adopt the unconfirmed minutes of the Local Joint Consultative Committee held on 6 July 2011.

Minutes:

It was noted that the recommendations in the Minutes would be dealt with under items 8, 9 and 10 of the Agenda.

 

RESOLVED to adopt the unconfirmed Minutes of the Local Joint Consultative Committee meeting held on 6 July 2011.

35.

Polling Place, Polling District and Polling Station Review (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 72 KB

Report of the Assistant Director, Democratic Services.

Minutes:

The Electoral Services Manager presented the report and advised Members that the Council was required to carry out the review by 31 December 2011 to comply with legislation.  

 

The Chairman remembered that the 2007 review had taken a lot of officer time and a Member suggested that the previous review should be used as a blueprint for the current review.

 

RESOLVED to appoint Members to a cross-party sub-committee to carry out the review of polling places, polling districts and access arrangements in accordance with Section 18C (1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983.

 

Mr Bambridge, Mr English, Mrs Matthews and Mrs Quadling volunteered to sit on the Sub-Committee.  Mr Jermy was proposed in his absence.  If he chose not to accept an alternative Member would be appointed from the Labour Group.

36.

Hackney Carriage Fare Review (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 3 MB

Report of Assistant Director of Commissioning.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Licensing Officer presented the report.  The Acting Principal Licensing Officer was also in attendance.

 

Members were asked to consider an increase to the maximum fare levels charged by hackney carriages in the district.  The increase had been requested by licensed hackney carriage proprietors to address increases in fuel and other costs.

 

A consultation exercise had been carried out and the responses, other comparative information and the proposed increases were available in the appendices to the report.

 

A Member asked if there had been any decrease in the number of applications for taxi licences and it was noted that there had been a slowing down in applications for new vehicle licences, which could be due to drivers keeping their vehicles for longer.  The applications for new driver’s licences were also static or decreasing.

 

It was noted that there had been no increases to the fares since 2006.  However, Breckland had the third highest fares in Norfolk.

 

Members discussed the comparative rates and a suggestion was made to change the profile for calculating fares, increasing the initial ‘pick up’ charge and reducing the ‘running mile’ charge as per the St Edmundsbury model.  However, due to the way that meters were calibrated and the knock on effect that such a change would have to the average journey cost, the suggestion was not supported.  However, it was requested that any future review should investigate the profiles used by other authorities.

 

Mr Williams was against any increase in fares in light of the current economy. 

 

A Member noted that other costs had increased including maintenance costs and it was important for taxis to be well maintained.  He thought it likely that other authorities would be increasing their fares within the next 18 months which would bring them in line with Breckland. 

 

The fare increases would be well publicised as the maximum that could be charged and market forces would determine their sustainability.  It was already known that a large number of drivers were regularly agreeing trip prices without the use of meters.

 

If Members were inclined to support the increase, the Licensing Officer asked them to agree a mechanism for future reviews and the Consultant Solicitor suggested an addition to the recommendation, which was agreed.

 

RESOLVED that:

 

(1)   the fare increases noted in Appendix E to the report be approved;

(2)   the mechanism in the report be used for future reviews; and

(3)   no proposal for a further review would be considered within 18 months, except in exceptional circumstances.

 

Mr Williams abstained from voting.

37.

Breckland Maternity Leave Policy & Procedure (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 601 KB

Report on behalf of the Director of Commissioning.

 

Members are asked to note the comments made by the Local Joint Consultative Committee at its meeting on 6 July 2011.

Minutes:

The Human Resources Manager presented the report and Members agreed to consider all three Policies together as the recommendations were very similar.

 

She explained the background to the review which had been prompted by a change in legislation which meant that Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave and benefits could be shared with a spouse or partner.

 

The Chairman sought to clarify if Breckland were making the changes in advance of any legal requirement to do so and the Human Resources Manager confirmed that the amendments to the Policies reflected the changes required by legislation from April 2011.

 

One other change to the Maternity Leave Policy & Procedures was to formalise the Keeping in Touch (KIT) days.  These were not required by legislation but were good practice. A formal record was now kept of attendance for KIT days.

 

Full consultation had been carried out on all three Policies with staff, Unison and the LJCC.

 

RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL to adopt the updates to the Breckland Council Maternity Leave Policy & Procedures.

38.

Breckland Paternity Leave and Pay - Policy (Agenda Item 9) pdf icon PDF 296 KB

Report on behalf of the Director of Commissioning.

 

Members are asked to note the comments made by the Local Joint Consultative Committee at its meeting on 6 July 2011.

Minutes:

See Minute No 37/11 above.

 

RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL to adopt the updates to the Breckland Council Paternity Leave and Pay Policy.

39.

Breckland Adoption Leave Policy & Procedure (Agenda Item 10) pdf icon PDF 332 KB

Report on behalf of the Director of Commissioning.

 

Members are asked to note the comments made by the Local Joint Consultative Committee at its meeting on 6 July 2011.

Minutes:

See Minute No 37/11 above.

 

RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL to adopt the updates to the Breckland Council Adoption Leave Policy & Procedures.

40.

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 11)

To note that the next meeting of the General Purposes Committee will be held on 21 September 2011 at 10.00 a.m in the Norfolk Room.

Minutes:

The arrangements for the next meeting on 21 September at 10.00 a.m in the Norfolk Room were noted.