Agenda and minutes

Venue: Anglia Room, The Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Walpole Loke, Dereham

Contact: Democratic Services  01362 656870

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 139 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2017.


The minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2017 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Apologies and Substitutes

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


Apologies had been received from Councillors Crawford, T Monument, Nairn, Newton and Oliver. Councillor Wilkinson attended as a substitute member for Councillor Nairn.


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.




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.



Councillor Richmond declared an interest for Item 6.


Non-Members wishing to address the Meeting

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


Councillors Bambridge, S Chapman-Allen, Cowen, Darby and Turner.


Internal Drainage Board

Internal Drainage Board representatives Graham Brown, Chief Planning Officer and Matthew Philpot, Operations Manager for WMA (Eastern) will be in attendance to provide an update on how the money provided by the Council is spent.



The Chief Planning Officer, Mr Graham Brown and the Operations Manager WMA (Eastern), Mr Matthew Philpot, gave Members a presentation on the work of the Internal Drainage Board (IDB).


Following the presentation the Chairman invited questions.


Councillor Matthews asked for confirmation as to how Breckland Council would receive additional money as mentioned in the presentation.


Mr Brown advised that by adopting bylaws funding would be allocated to Breckland Council. As an authority having bylaws gave the ability to control watercourses and transfer water away from the district.


Councillor Darby commented that he felt the Environment Agency could do more, if the rivers were cleared properly a lot of issues occurring with new build developments would not occur.  Mr Philpot advised that built up areas were classed as high risk; rural areas therefore had been tailed off as less funding was available.  The IDB had pressured the Environment Agency for action which had resulted in the IDB receiving precept money so they were able to continue the work.



Draft Budget Setting, Medium Term Plan and Capital Strategy pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Report of the Executive Director Commercialisation.

Additional documents:


The Executive Director of Commercialisation gave Members a presentation.


Councillor Brame queried why the Thetford Enterprise Park funding would be coming out of the Capital Reserves.  The Executive Director advised that a sum was available in the Capital Reserves to fund this.


Councillor Cowen gave an overview from the Executive Members perspective.


Councillor Dimoglou queried the New Homes Bonus Growth fund and the reserve fund and was advised by the Executive Director that this was discussed and agreed at a meeting of the Cabinet in October.


Councillor Kybird asked for confirmation of the amount in the Pension fund.  He was informed the figure was for the entire fund and the deficit was associated with employee costs.


Councillor Darby queried where the market town initiative sat within the budget and was advised there was a specific reserve for that project.


Councillor Jermy queried if the anticipated 597 new homes a year would be realistic and was informed it was a prudent figure although it was anticipated this could be higher.



Apprenticeship Programme pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Report of the Executive Director Strategy & Governance.


The Executive Member for Strategy, Governance and Transformation, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen presented the report.


Councillor Kybird queried if Breckland Council could promote the scheme by placing apprentices with our Service Providers and if there would be Apprenticeship opportunities for Members.  The Executive Member advised that Breckland could encourage but each service provider organisations required their own scheme. In addition, Members could not be employees of the Authority, and reminded Members that should they require training the member training budget was available.


Councillor Wilkinson asked if there would be pension costs attached to Apprentice and was advised anyone employed by the Council was enrolled onto the pension scheme.


Councillor Jermy queried if it could be possible to lobby Central Government for the funding that had been available historically to businesses with Apprentices.  The Executive Member would ask the Leader to raise this matter at the Leaders meeting in February 2018 to consider funding for Norfolk.


Housing Updates

To receive a verbal update on the following topics, from the Housing Manager:


·         Disabled Facilities Grant

·         Housing Strategy

·         Housing Allocations Policy


The Strategic Housing Manager provided an update on the Housing Strategy.


The Housing Manager also gave a verbal update on the Disabled Facilities Grant. Members were informed that since September 2015 the waiting list had decreased from over 200 to just 5. With the help of Better care funding Breckland Council were the best performing local authority in terms of waiting list numbers.  


Councillor Wilkinson queried if there was a current outreach programme to assist the homeless and was advised that there were two Link Workers who were outreach specialists and worked towards preventing homelessness.


Councillor Jermy raised concerns regarding Flagship Housing and asked if their failings had an impact on Breckland’s Housing team.  The Housing Manager confirmed that Breckland monitors the work of Flagship.   


The Chairman proposed to form a working group to investigate Members concerns regarding Flagship. It was agreed that Councillors Jermy and Matthews and the Housing Manager would be involved.  Furthermore Members of the Commission would be contacted to suggest additional interested parties who should be included in the working group.


Citizens' Advice Bureau Update

To receive an update on the information received from the CAB following their presentation to the last meeting.


The Chairman confirmed Members had received an update from the Citizens Advice Bureau following their attendance at the previous meeting which had been positive.


Councillor Turner was grateful for the information on individual wards and advised that as a result of the update Shipdham Parish Council now donated to the Citizens Advice Bureau.



Task and Finish Groups

Councillor Dimoglou will provide a report to the next meeting on his progress with setting up a Public Works Task & Finish Group.


Councillor Dimoglou apologised for the delay in formalising the Task and Finish Group for Public Works Board. The Membership would include Councillors Kybird, Clarke and Turner. The terms of reference would be reported at the next meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.


Outside Body Feedback (Standing Item) pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To receive an update from representatives on Outside Bodies.


·         Swaffham Air Quality



Swaffham Air Quality

Councillor Wilkinson provided an update for Members following his attendance at the Swaffham Air Quality Action Plan Steering Group.


In response to a question from the Chairman, Councillor Wilkinson confirmed that any planning application that had an impact on Swaffham in terms of transport and road links would be considered.


Councillor Kybird suggested including an information leaflet on Nitrogen Oxide with the Questionnaire that would help to inform residents when completing the questionnaire.


The Environmental Protection Team Leader confirmed the questionnaire would be launched on 12th January 2018 and the website provided further information.  Any comments on the draft questionnaire should be forwarded to the Environmental Protection Team Leader by Monday 18th December 2017.


Norfolk Health

Councillor Wilkinson advised members that a draft document had been issued by the Health System for Norfolk and Waveney concerning the potential for Wellbeing hubs that would aim to support Mental Health working.  The hubs would be community led and would operate in conjunction with GP’s.


Breckland Youth Advisory Board

Councillor Wilkinson advised that this would be led differently going forward in that a young commissioner would shadow Councillor Wilkinson for a period of 6 months.


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 81 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:


The Chairman reminded Members that the Questioning Skills training had been scheduled for the 25 January and encouraged all Members to attend.


Next Meeting

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on 25 January 2018 at 2pm in the Anglia Room, Conference Suite, Elizabeth House, Dereham NR19 1EE.



The arrangements for the next meeting on 25 January 2018 at 2pm in the Anglia Room, were noted.