Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Thetford Town Council, King Street, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2AP

No. Item


Welcome and Apologies

To note apologies for absence,


Apologies had been received from Councillors Jermy and James.


Members were welcomed to the meeting and were informed that a vacancy remained outstanding from Thetford Town Council.



Future of Healthcare in Greater Thetford

Kay Boyden, STP Estates Project Manager (Norfolk Community Health Care Trust)

Phil Shreeve, Public Health (Norfolk County Council)

Cal Deane (NHS Primary Care)


The Chairman welcomed Kay Boyden, Sustainability and Transformation Partnership Estates (STP) Project Manager (Norfolk Community Health Care Trust); Phil Shreeve, Public Health (Norfolk County Council (NCC)) and Cal Dean North Norfolk and South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) (NHS Primary Care Trust).


A presentation was given to Members on how the Sustainable Transformation Partnership was bringing together health partners across Norfolk and Waveney to investigate ways of working in partnership, to deliver better health outcomes for patients.


Members heard that the X-ray service at the Healthy Living Centre had resumed as well as minor surgery, midwifery services and diagnostics also available at the Centre.


Public Health was a Norfolk County Council function who were focussing on how the wider environmental issues (including housing, wage levels etc.) impacted on individuals health and how improvements could be made.  Specifically work was underway to move towards a single point of contact – just one number; more details would follow.


The Breckland Health Alliance consisted of integrated and multi-disciplinary teams who worked together to improve service delivery and the quality of care and experience of local health services across the District. 


Members raised concern there would not be the adequate access to health services due to the growth expected in Thetford.  Members were reassured there was a requirement to consider all establishments within the Thetford area to maximise the space and availability practices can offer.


Members heard how General Practices set their boundaries which included the new development areas.  There was a recognition there was a shortage of GPs however to deal with the population growth the CCG were working closely with the Breckland Alliance to look at how to manage the recruitment and retention of GPs.  There were no set statutory numbers of health practitioners by population in their practice area, however the Commissioners were doing their best to ensure current practices shared resources collaboratively to meet the future demand.  The CCG recognised the future challenges, but were working towards how they could utilise the community care teams and clinical pharmacists to support the service delivery.


Mr Whittaker asked if the GP Practices were under obligation to expand under the terms of their contract.  It was explained that whilst there may be a shortage of space, many GPs owned their own practices, and used their own finances for a new build or adding an extension to the existing estate.  Many practices were now asking the STP estates for capital support for redevelopment however the funding pot was limited.  As funding was limited, alternative solutions needed to be considered, such as looking at how maximise the use of the Thetford Healthy Living Centre.  Grove Surgery had submitted an application for an extension to their existing premises which was underway and had been future proofed.  School Lane had re-configured their premises at their own expense but had not submitted an application for an extension as yet.  Work was underway to look at the Healthy Living Centre to ensure it was being used to its  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40.




New Chairman Appointment


The Chairman outlined that as set out in the Terms of Reference, he was required to stand down after a twelve-month period.  He thanked officers and colleagues for the progress made over the last 12-months.


Cllr Brame proposed that Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen be nominated as Chairman of the Board for the ensuing year.  This was seconded by Cllr King.


AGREED that Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen be appointed as Chairman of the Greater Thetford Development Partnership Board for the ensuing year.


Communities Sub Group - recruitment of independent members


Members heard that an Independent Member of the Community Sub-Group had sadly passed away and passed on their condolences to the family.


Two applications had been received for the Independent Member vacancies within the Community Sub-Group, and interviews would be carried out early in the New Year.  All existing Independent Members of the Sub-Group would be required to step down but could be co-opted if required.


It was AGREED that the following Members would sit on the Interview Panel:

·        Chairman of the Greater Thetford Development Partnership Board,

·        1 x Representative from Brettenham & Kilverstone Parish Council

·        1 x Representative from Croxton Parish Council

·        1 x Representative from Thetford Town Council



Brief Report Updates


Expansion of parking at Thetford Station pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Update Paper


The Board heard that an initial informal discussion had taken place with Greater Anglia to establish if they would be supportive of enlarging the car parking at Thetford Station.  Officers had identified two potential pieces of allotment land with road access but a full survey would be required to establish if it would be practical.  Further discussions would be required on who would manage the car parking in the future. 

Greater Anglia would not purchase land for car parking.  The freehold for car parking land was normally held by Network Rail and leased to Greater Anglia who would build and manage (via NCP) the additional parking.


Officers were also asked to consider other avenues for the construction and management additional of the car parking at Thetford Station, rather than via Greater Anglia.


It was AGREED that the Board approved further work to establish whether expansion of the car parking at Thetford Railway Station was likely to be feasible to achieve; and officers to consider alternative avenues for the construction and management of additional car parking.


Ely Railway Junction improvements pdf icon PDF 211 KB

Update Paper


Technical work on developing a Strategic Outline Business Case which would assess how to address issues and identify preferred road and rail options which would be available late Spring 2019.


Cllr Wilby informed Members there was a lot of work to do in regard to the Ely Rail Junction; however the Ely by-pass had just opened which had relieved the pressure within the Town.


Thetford Kingsfleet (SUE) pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Update Paper


Work had commenced on the first phase of the Thetford Kingsfleet (SUE) housing development with the first 343 homes started on site.  Officers were continuing to work with Homes England to finalise grant funding which will assist with a major utilities upgrade in north Thetford, required to support further phases of this housing development.



Thetford Enterprise Park pdf icon PDF 71 KB

Update Paper


Access to the Thetford Enterprise Park via the new roundabout was on schedule to be completed towards the end of 2018.  This would contribute to securing first developments on the key employment site.  Subject to securing final approval, a £150,000 allocation of public monies would be made available to progress sufficient utilities to the Thetford Enterprise Park site to enable a first development to get underway.


The Chairman thanked Mr Wilby and Norfolk County Council for investing in Thetford.



Social Housing (Flagship)

Verbal Update.


Members heard that discussions were taking place between Breckland Council and Flagship to look at how improvements could be made within estates of Thetford to create a better environment. 


As soon as practicable, Residents Associations would be engaged within the discussions.


Network Improvement Strategy (roads) pdf icon PDF 78 KB

Update Paper


Norfolk County Council were carrying out a series of Market Town Studies – termed Network Improvement Strategies – to identify the most effective transport improvements to support future planned growth, address transport issues, enhancements to safety and access to public transport and support the local economy.  The following technical work had been commissioned to specifically look at:

·        Cycle & walking corridor identification and options

·        Network pinch point assessment

·        Key junction testing,

Work was in progress and would be circulated to key stakeholders before it was finalised, early next year.


Cllr King asked that the ‘rat runs’ caused by the A11 be taken into consideration.  RD would reiterate the Boards concerns.


Cllr Poulter asked if there had been an update on the A14/M11 junction.  He was informed that meetings had been undertaken with Highways England although more lobbying of the Government would be required.


Mr Whittaker asked what was meant by ‘key junctions’.  It was confirmed the key junctions related to those within the Town as those on the A11 are beyond the scope of the work being undertaken.


Market Town Initiative pdf icon PDF 4 MB

Update Paper.


Key projects were highlighted that formed part of the Market Town Initiative. 


Work was about to commence to enhance the environment surrounding Button Island to make it more inviting. 

Breckland Council had agreed to fund further events on the Green for an additional 12-month period. 

The ShopAppy digital platform was working well across both Attleborough and Swaffham, and some work was underway to bring retail outlets within Thetford up to that of a similar level as other Market Towns across the District. 

A new virtual reality 3-D experience App was being developed that would promote key attractions across the District.

Thetford Town Council and Breckland Council were working together to ensure that the investments made within the town were getting the best value for money.  In particular, discussions were on how to revitalise the Town Centre to become a place for the community to congregate and provide social engagement.




Vision Setting/Engagement Event


A vision setting meeting was due to be held in the Autumn of 2018, however after hearing that a similar event was going to be held by the Cambridge-Norwich Tech Corridor project, a decision was taken to pause the Thetford event in case a joint event was justified.


Discussions with CNTC would take place to clarify the best way forward.


ACTION – RC to arrange a joint meeting between CNTC and GTDP.


Any Other Business


Mr Whittaker raised a number of queries highlighted below.


He queried if the surface of the path to Phase 1a of the new development would be suitable for mobility aids as well as around the remainder of the Town.  RW and Cllr Brame were already looking into this.


Would the buses planned as part of the new development (as had been outlined in the Planning Policy of the Thetford Area Action Plan) be available at the outset or not until further housing phases had been constructed.  RW said there could often be a disparity between planning policy and what was implemented, but would investigate and respond to the question.


He had queried a number of times with Capita regarding the use of the underpass at Joe Blunts Lane and the travel plan for regular bus services to use the underpass but had not received a response.  RW asked for copies of the emails to seek a response.


He asked if there had been an update in ticket pricing from East Midlands Trains.  He was informed that Breckland had not received a response from their second correspondence and would chase a response.


A member of the public carried out a ‘report it’ function on the Norfolk County Council’s website.  Whilst a response had been received to say the query would be categorised, he did not receive a further response to say it would be classed as a minor request and therefore would take longer to respond.  Councillor Brame would feed the item back to Norfolk County.


It was asked if there had been spare monies following development of the TEP roundabout, if it would be better to use the business rates money for the roundabout allowing the Local Enterprise Partnership monies to be better spent.  He was advised that monies that had not been spent would be returned to the larger pot to enable the Council to bid for further projects.  It was a county-wide agenda, and therefore a shared funding pot.



Croxton Road Cycle link - Norfolk County Council


RD explained that under the Network Improvement Strategy a proposal had been made to continue the cycle-way from the Army Cadet Head Quarters on Croxton Road to the Academy.  He asked if Members would support the idea so preliminary work could be undertaken.


Members asked if it would link with the existing Cycle 13 route which led to Croxton.  It was felt it should be linked up, however part of Croxton Road narrowed and speeds of vehicles could be immense.


The Chairman asked if Members were in agreement.  Croxton Parish Council were supportive and Councillor Brame said on that behalf of the Academy they would be supportive as it was becoming increasingly dangerous around the Academy area.


Mr Whittaker said he was supportive of the idea and it was vital that if there was only enough budget to partially implement for it to be from Thetford Road to the School.  He raised concern at how it would be joined to the road (from a road safety view point).  RD said it would be the role of the Highways Engineers to design safe and effective improvements.


Members AGREED for Officers to proceed with investigating the proposal of a cycle way between the Army Cadet Head Quarters on Croxton Road to the Academy.


Summary of Agreed Actions and Report Highlights pdf icon PDF 99 KB


The summary of actions and report highlights had been captured on the attached document.


Date of Next Meeting


The dates for the next meeting would be agreed and circulated to Members.