Agenda and minutes

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

No. Item


Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2007.


(1)     Minute No: 20/07 Local Strategic Partnership Inclusion Strategy – Progress Report


Bottom of the second paragraph correction to read: “local groups and agencies involved in working for the excluded”.


Subject to the above amendment, the minutes of the meeting held on 13 April 2007 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 Mrs. S.M. Matthews and Mr. M.J. Griffin.



Non-Members Wishing to Address the Meeting (Agenda Item 5)

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


Mrs D. Irving and Mrs P. Quadling were in attendance.



Towards a Strategy for Social Inclusion in Breckland (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Report of the Operations Manager – Cabinet. 



Additional documents:


The Chairman welcomed Mr Kevin Ambrose from Ambrose Associates Consultancy Limited who had been invited to the meeting to report on progress and answer any questions the panel had with regard to the development of the strategy for social inclusion in Breckland. 


Members gave consideration to the consultant’s report, which would form the basis of the proposed LSP (Local Strategic Partnership) Social Inclusion Strategy. 


Mr Ambrose highlighted that as a key stakeholder in the LSP, Breckland Council was asked to consider his report on developing a Social Inclusion Strategy and action plan.  The LSP would consider and agree the main priorities (such as the overall vision, the strategic objectives and the main priorities for action) for tackling social exclusion. 


Members were informed that the report gave an overview of social exclusion in the district detailing what it meant to be deprived and isolated in a generally prosperous rural area.  The report also puts forward proposals for a strategic approach, aimed at enabling all organisations in the area to build on existing initiatives; address gaps in provision and overcome barriers to effective action. 


Mr Ambrose informed Members that since the last meeting he had built a picture of social exclusion in Breckland by engaging with the community involving holding workshops in Dereham, Swaffham and Thetford along with 1:1 meetings with key organisations.  In addition, a review of published research, local policies and plans was conducted and surveys of voluntary organisations were carried out.  The findings enabled him to identity who was affected by social exclusion and through this exclusion what role the LSP should play. 


Members received a progress report presentation of Mr Ambrose’s findings for their consideration.  Following discussion of the presentation and report, Members made the following comments:-


  • A Member raised concern regarding the lack of information in the consultant’s report in detailing the need to provide more transport in areas of rural deprivation.  Mr Ambrose explained that this was detailed in his report however, he accepted that it was perhaps not made very clear.  The LSP Officer explained that on page 8 of the report under ‘Transport and Access’ it detailed the problems with the lack of available transport in rural areas being a key factor in affecting young people’s access to employment and training as well as social and recreational activities.  In addition, Members were informed that on page 10 of the report under the heading ‘Transport and Access to Services’  it detailed the problems caused by the lack of public transport for older people that do not have access to a car – or are no longer able to run a car.  The LSP Officer advised Members that perhaps the information regarding the lack of public transport in areas of rural deprivation did need to be more explicit. 


  • A Member advised Mr Ambrose that the objectives in the report were very good however, regarding Thetford; he was concerned that there was a lack of good communication.  It was suggested that if the objectives from the Report  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Review of the Breckland Council Website (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Report of the Interim Deputy Chief Executive.

Additional documents:


Members gave consideration to the report from the Scrutiny Officer on the ‘Review of the Breckland Council Website’.  The report detailed the evidence gathering sessions undertaken by the Panel as part of the Review and presented appropriate recommendations. 


The Scrutiny Officer introduced his report and advised Members that following their meetings on 15 January 2007 when they had undertaken a practical examination and given an appraisal of the website and on 13 April 2007 when they considered documentary evidence relating to the website’s performance and effectiveness and how it compared with other local authorities, their comments had been collated and researched. 


Following the Member’s recommendations detailed under Sections 5.1 to 5.9 inclusive of the accompanying report to the ‘Review of the Breckland Council Website’, the Website Officer and Corporate and e-communications Officer tabled their findings to Members as follows:


  • 5.1 The layout of the home page be reconsidered to ensure that it was not overburdened with information whilst at the same time it is user friendly and clear for users.  The Corporate and e-communications Officer advised Members that they were currently in the process of changing the navigation tree to comply with the LGNL (Local Government Navigation List) making it easier for users to navigate the site. A report regarding the web site “First Impressions” quoted the website as follows: “Nice home page. Easy to see what each section is about and geared directly to the general public. Good.”


  • 5.2 The website should adopt a “four click” approach to ensure that information can be found quickly and easily.  The Website Officer informed Members that regarding the planning links, they had implemented a “2 click” approach from the Council’s homepage to the planning search page.  In addition, he confirmed that web trend software had been installed on the website which enabled the monitoring of public ‘hits’ to the website.  Members were advised that this software would enable the web officers to receive information on how frequently their pages were being visited and if they were not being visited very often they would receive help to improve the pages functionality. 


  • 5.3 Information on the planning process should be bolstered on the website enabling the public to access pending planning applications and associated maps and forms.  The Website Officer explained that the planning process had been bolstered on the website by adding to the link already provided on the left hand navigation list.  He advised that to make the search more user friendly when using the search function the user would be taken directly to the main planning search page.


  • 5.4 A link is established with the Eastern Daily Press Events Page and actionbe taken to ensure that news items on the website are removed promptlyonce they are no longer current.  The Corporate and e-communications Officer advised Members that a link to the EDP Events page had been established for a trial period of 3 months, this would be reviewed regarding the number of “hits” the pages receive.  It was confirmed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Work Programme (Agenda Item 8) pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Members are asked to consider any additional items or topics for inclusion on the future Work Programme. 


The Scrutiny Officer updated Members on the work programme and meeting schedule.  He informed Members that the Police/Community Support Funding Report scheduled on the programme for the September Panel meeting might be brought forward to the July meeting. 


The Chairman advised all Members that if they had any items they would like the Panel to investigate and discuss they should contact The Scrutiny Officer. 



Date of the Next Meeting (Agenda Item 9)

To agree dates for future meetings.


The arrangements of the next meeting on Wednesday, 25 July 2007 at 10.00 am in the Anglia Room, Committee Suite Elizabeth House, Dereham were noted.