Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Breckland Conference Centre, Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham, NR19 1EE

Contact: Democratic Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2022.


Subject to the following amendment, the minutes of the meeting held on 27 January 2022 were agreed as a correct record.


1. Draft Budget Setting, Medium Term Financial Plan and Capital Strategy 2022-23 (Minute No. 7/22


Paragraphs 25 and 26 should read the following:


Councillor Jermy proposed that the Overview and Scrutiny Commission request that the Cabinet explore opportunities to recruit a Food Waste Reduction Officer to be included in the budget. This proposal was seconded by Councillor Wickerson.

Councillor Wilkinson felt that this was not a necessary expense at this time as he felt that the majority of residents were already working towards reducing food wastage.


2. Breckland 2035 sustainability Programme Update (Minute No 9/22)


Councillor Wickerson said he had asked for more information on the Worksmart improvements on the statement that 24.5 tonnes of carbon reduction had been achieved at Elizabeth House and asked how it reflected as a percentage overall but had not yet received a response. It was agreed that the Democratic Services Officer would chase.


Apologies and Substitutes

To receive apologies for absence and to note substitute Members in attendance.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Dale, Kybird and Nairn. Councillors Askew and Wilkinson were in attendance as substitutes.


Chairman's Announcements (if any)




Urgent Business

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.


The Chairman felt that Breckland Council could help with certain matters in respect of the situation in Ukraine and wanted to provide Members with the opportunity at this meeting to discuss the position with a view to having a report brought back from Cabinet Members to update the Overview and Scrutiny Commission on any appropriate steps that Breckland Council might take or have already taken.


Councillor Birt said that many residents wanted to help and had been aware of some local logistical issues, particularly with documentation for cross border travel. He suggested that if people wanted to help with a time critical response that they should check that the organisation had the logistical experience to do so. He guided Members and residents to the Disasters Emergency Committee website at as they had the necessary experience.


Councillor Turner stated that Members of her Ward and some others had already been helping and suggested people should focus on what items or help had been requested by any organisations to ensure that immediate needs were met. She reminded Members that Breckland Council had already given a sum of money to Norfolk County Council to assist with the situation.


Councillor Jermy pointed out that he and Members of his Ward had also been helping with some transportation that already had the necessary logistics in place. He pointed out that Breckland Council could help with communicating information to the public on recognised local organisations and how they could assist.


Councillor Eagle had never seen such an outpouring of help from local residents and said that some had offered to accommodate any refugees should the need arise. He asked if Breckland Council could collate any information on surplus accommodation offered by residents to help with housing.


The Chairman said that Breckland Council was an organisation in a good position to coordinate any housing assistance and wanted to know if this was being done and how it was being co-ordinated. He also wanted more information on whether Breckland Council had any Russian investments and what steps were being taken in divesting those assets or any contracts.


He also wanted information on what steps had or were being taken to identify any residents of Ukrainian nationality within the district, and that Breckland Council was in a position to help them should they need any assistance. He asked if there was a Countywide or District wide assistance scheme that this Council could either create of participate in and what steps needed to be taken.


Councillor Eagle felt that everyone had a responsibility to be careful and to make it clear that there was no animosity towards Russians or Belarussians living in this Country as this would not be tolerated at Breckland Council.


The Chairman asked for this information to be collated and sent to the Cabinet to request an email response in the first instance to be circulated to Members of the Commission with a report back at the next Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting to be  ...  view the full minutes text for item 19/22


Declaration of Interests

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.





Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting

To note the names of any non-members or public speakers wishing to address the meeting.


Councillor Bambridge and Councillor Morton were in attendance.


Local Procurement Processes

To receive a presentation on Local Procurement Processes from Anton Bull, Procurement and Contracts Manager.


The Procurement and Contracts Manager, Anton Bull gave a presentation on Procurement using local suppliers, even though it was difficult to define what ‘local’ actually meant.


He explained that Breckland Council was part of a joint procurement consortium which hosted a procurement team that included South Holland, South Norfolk, Broadland, Breckland and Great Yarmouth Councils. He further explained that by using local suppliers wherever possible, it was good for the local economy and provided local employment opportunities.


The Procurement and Contracts Manager stated that the tender invited local suppliers to quote or check suppliers that had registered on the Council’s e-tendering system (In-Tend). There was currently no set figure for local spend as it had yet to be defined what local meant and there was no set target. The procurement team was currently in a good place and were investigating ways of improvement by including different meaningful measures. In particular, by working with the Finance Team to look at spend analysis and changing the single quotation limit to make it a simpler process. He felt that it would be more helpful if a forward plan of requirements for contracting opportunities was published on the Breckland Council website to enable suppliers to plan ahead and be in a position to prepare a competitive quote.


Councillor Wickerson asked for a breakdown on the structure of the price limits and quotes. The Contracts and Procurement Manager explained that below £5,000 was one quote, £5,000 to £24,999 was at least three quotes, £25,000 to £74,999 was at least five quotations and £75,000 up to the public contract’s regulations threshold was via an open tender which would be advertised on the National Portal Contracts Finder. If it was above the public contracts regulations threshold there was a legal requirement to submit it through the Find a Tender service.


Councillor Birt asked about the Public Services Social Value Act, he said there were three aspects to this, one of which was environmental wellbeing and asked how this fitted in with the Procurement Regulations. He was aware that on the Public Contracts Regulations it seemed to be predominantly based around value for money and asked how this would work locally.


The Procurement and Contracts Manager explained that environmental wellbeing was a consideration that was being investigated; however, it was dependent on the tender or what was being purchased. For example, if transportation was included in the tender, the Team would look at the number of journeys to be made or types of vehicles being used and check on whether the vehicles were hybrid or purely electric and if this was an option, whether this could be introduced. Dependent on the level of the tender it would be the Service Manager or the Cabinet who would lead on this and make the decisions with the experience and guidance from the Procurement Team. Supplier innovation was also key, and the tenders were structured to obtain the information required but also to allow suppliers the opportunity to put alternative methodologies  ...  view the full minutes text for item 22/22


Task and Finish Groups

To receive a verbal update from the Task & Finish Group Chairman in respect of the following meeting:


·         Serco Contract Task and Finish Group



Councillor Turner confirmed that the Serco Contract Task and Finish Group had held one meeting so far, and the Minutes were available on the on Mod.Gov App. The Minutes provided an overview of what the Task & Finish Group hoped to achieve and the meeting in May would include a half day visit to the Watton Depot which was currently being arranged.


Outside Body Feedback (Standing Item)

To receive an update from representatives on Outside Bodies.



Councillor Wilkinson confirmed that the Queen Elizabeth Hospital at King’s Lynn was now out of special measures which had been achieved through hard work from everyone involved.


Councillor Bambridge, as representative on the Police Crime and Commissioner’s Panel explained that the purpose of the Panel was to observe the Police and Crime Commissioner and did not have any direct influence on the Police Force itself. Meetings could be both public and private depending on the content being discussed. He said he would be happy to take any questions to the Panel on behalf of the Commission. It was confirmed that the Police Crime and Commissioner element of the Council Tax, which was £9.99 for the upcoming year, would be used for the employment of an additional 22 officers in Norfolk which would mostly be involved in cyber crime and violence to women.


Councillor Jermy asked what the priorities were for the preventative services and asked for more information on the way it was commissioned.


Councillor Bambridge suggested that it might be useful if the Police and Crime Commissioner, along with his Chief Executive Officer be invited to a future Overview and Scrutiny Commission meeting to speak to Members and explain the role and his priorities. He then asked Members to email him with information on any priorities needed within their Wards.


The Chairman agreed that an invite should be sent and a visit to a future meeting be organised.


Scrutiny Call-ins (Standing Item)

To note whether any decisions have been called-in for scrutiny.




Councillor Call for Action (Standing Item)

To consider any references.




Work Programme pdf icon PDF 314 KB

(a)          A copy of the Commission’s work programme is attached.  The Commission is asked to agree any additions, deletions or amendments to the programme as appropriate.


(b)        Member Issues:  In accordance with the Commission’s protocol for member leadership, which states that members of the Commission will take the lead in selecting topics for overview and scrutiny and in the questioning of witnesses, members are invited to put forward items for selection for future review.


A copy of the Key Decision Plan is attached for Members’ information.

Additional documents:


As agreed under Minute No. 24/22 above a visit from the Police and Crime Commissioner and his Chief Executive Officer would be organised and added to the Work Programme.



Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 21 April at 10.00am in the Conference Centre, Anglia Room, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham.



The arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 21 April 2022 at 10am in the Anglia Room were noted.