Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Town Hall, Queen's Square, Attleborough

Contact: Committee Services  01362 656870

Items
No. Item

40.

Minutes (Agenda Item 1) pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To confirm the Minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2007.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 25 July 2007 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.  

41.

Apologies (Agenda Item 2)

To receive apologies for absence.

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor C Bowes, Mr M.J. Griffin, Mr D.G. Mortimer and Mrs P.Quadling.

42.

All Members Matter Programme for Breckland District Council (Agenda Item 6) pdf icon PDF 169 KB

Report of the Operations Manager – Cabinet.

Minutes:

The Scrutiny Officer presented the report and explained that the last Comprehensive Performance Assessment in 2004 asked Breckland Council to review the Training, Development and Support provided to its Elected Members.  The Local Government Information Unit had undertaken a review of Member Support and produced a report identifying possible area for improvement.  The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that Officers had analysed the report from the Local Government Information Unit and produced a draft action plan to deliver the improvements for Members’ consideration. 

 

Members thought the report was very thorough and suggested that there should be a priorities list for Members regarding training.  A Member suggested that for new Members it was very important that they receive training on anything they might need to know (e.g. the Code of Conduct) and in respect of longer standing members it was felt training was good to refresh their skills. 

 

The Scrutiny Officer highlighted parts 1.3 of the report, which detailed the phases used to compile the report and 4.2 and 4.3 detailing the possible areas for improvement for member support at Breckland Council. 

 

During discussion of the report, each section of the Action Plan (Appendix 2 of the report) was discussed and Members made the following comments:-

  • Introduce automatic ‘triggers’ to ensure that ward councillors are given advance notice and are consulted on issues that affect their wards.  What ‘triggers’ would be put in place to ensure that ward councillors were given advance notice and were consulted on issues that affect their wards?  Members confirmed that on several occasions correspondence had been sent to members of the public from Breckland Council Officers regarding enforcement or planning issues which was then discussed at parish council meetings however, the ward Member had received no knowledge of this communication.  Members agreed that this lack of communication had caused embarrassment on a number of the occasions. – The Scrutiny Officer confirmed that currently a survey was being undertaken of all Elected Members to ascertain how they wish the Ward Information to be provided to them.  Once this information was collated, it would determine the most appropriate way to provide the information electronically.  He confirmed that Committee Services was only providing the IT and Service Managers would be responsible for using it to let Members have details of anything within their Ward. 

Members sought clarification on the way in which electronic ward information would be displayed.  In response, the Committee Officer advised Members that based on research and feedback from Members to date they would probably be developing an electronic notice board for all Ward issues in the form of a website page for each ward on the Extranet for Members to view.  

Members requested that due to the relevance of information for each individual Member that all information must be posted on these pages for each service area especially issues and correspondence between Officers, Parish Councils and Members of the public regarding Environmental Health and Planning. 

43.

Work Programme (Agenda Item 7) pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Members are invited to consider any additional items or topics for inclusion on the future work programme.

Minutes:

Members gave consideration to the proposed work programme.  The Scrutiny Officer asked whether Members had any items they would like to add to the work programme for future meetings.  The Chairman mentioned looking at the Wayland Horse Fair.  In response, the Scrutiny Officer advised Members that a report on this was being taken to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission in either September or November. 

 

The Scrutiny Officer suggested that he would produce a report for the next meeting of items the Panel may wish to look at.  The Chairman asked that the Scrutiny Officer look at the possibility of the Panel investigating structures under threat from, for example, the increase in traffic or vandalism.  He stressed that there were structures that were not necessarily covered by protection or preservation orders however, were important to a landscapes’ character and if protected would help to prevent the aesthetics of an area diminishing or deteriorating.  Examples were given of the type of structures believed to be under threat:

 

  • Old disused Barns
  • Old disused houses
  • Church walls
  • Trees
  • Buttercross Swaffham.

 

In addition, it was suggested that on a quarterly basis the Panel would like to receive a report of all the items they had recommended to the Overview and Scrutiny Commission to track their progress.

44.

Next Meeting (Agenda Item 8)

To note the arrangements for the next meeting to be held on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 at 10.00am at King’s House, Thetford.

 

Minutes:

It was agreed that the next meeting of the Policy Development and Review Panel 2 be held on Wednesday, 17 October 2007 at 10.00am at King’s House, Thetford.