Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Democratic Services  Tel: 01362 656870

Items
No. Item

36/19

Apologies (Agenda item 1)

To receive apologies for absence. 

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Ashby, Askew, Brame, Carter, Paul and Theresa Hewett, Hollis, Thomas Monument, Robinson and Rogers.

37/19

Minutes (Agenda item 2) pdf icon PDF 168 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2019.

Minutes:

The Minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

38/19

Declaration of Interests (Agenda item 3)

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.

 

Minutes:

None.

39/19

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4) pdf icon PDF 33 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman had been unable to attend the Lincoln Lecture on 28 February 2019 due to other unexpected commitments and the Vice-Chairman had been unable to attend the Dedication Service WWII Memorial on 13 March 2019 due to being unwell.

 

The Chairman then conveyed his thanks to several Councillors who he knew were not standing for re-election in May.  This would be their final Full Council meeting and on behalf of the Council and residents of Breckland he thanked them for their time and effort throughout their council life and wished them well for the future.  He also wished those who were re-standing the very best of luck.

 

Councillor Jermy, the Leader of the Labour Group, thanked the Chairman for his support and echoed the Chairman’s comments.

 

Councillor Crawford, the Leader of UKIP, paid thanks to Councillor Hollis who was not standing for the District re-election.

 

Councillor Gilbert, an Independent Member, said that he would be putting his name forward for the next 4 year term.  He had made many friends across the Council chamber and conveyed his thanks to all Councillors involved.

40/19

Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)

To receive a verbal update from Councillor Nunn, Leader of the Council.

 

Minutes:

The Leader made the following announcements:

 

·        LGC Awards – Breckland Training Services (BTS) had been nominated for an award at the LGC Awards ceremony in London and although unsuccessful the judges had recognised the Team’s innovative work and expertise in the public sector.  Being a finalist at these national awards was a fantastic achievement and on behalf of the Council, the Leader conveyed his congratulations to the BTS Team.

·        TripStart this initiative being delivered by Dereham based KickStart and funded by Breckland Council, the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) had been launched in January 2019 and would hopefully support over 140 people during the first year.  This initiative provided eligible people with transport to and from work as well as skills training and one-to-one mentoring to support people in finding a job.  

·       BreckWorld – since its successful launch, aided by Stephen Fry, the BreckWorld App had attracted 50 downloads a day and the App was now in the top 200 of the Apple charts in terms of downloads.

·        Breckland Lottery – the Breckland Lottery was a great way to encourage and alert people to support good causes/organisations across the District.  Approximately 1200 tickets were being sold each week which amounted to £40,000 per year going towards these good causes.

·         Footway Lighting – the Leader was pleased to announce that many street lights across the District had now been repaired or replaced during the last six months.

·        Town & Parish Council Forum – this had been a very successful evening which had received good representation in respect of two particular areas –the Council’s balanced budget and planning - the relationship between Capita and the Parish Councils had greatly improved.

·        Attleborough Sustainable Urban Extension – the planning application had been submitted and would be discussed at the Planning Committee meeting taking place at the Town Hall, Attleborough on Friday, 15 March 2019.

·        Breckland Bridge – a scheme for 16 dwellings in Litcham had recently been given permission and an application for a further 21 dwellings in Colkirk would be included on the Planning Committee Agenda for the meeting in April.  Both projects would be delivered by Breckland Bridge. Additionally, good progress had been made in respect of land at Chapel Road in Attleborough where Norfolk County Council had now confirmed the necessary statutory approval to release the land from educational use. Breckland Bridge would be pursuing 10 dwellings on this site.

·        Riverside Development – the Leader was very proud of the Council for delivering this project and was pleased to announce that the final unit had just been let. 

·        Investment Strategy – work continued in refreshing the Council’s investment strategy to focus on activity and opportunities to achieve growth.

·        NNDR/Jobs Innovation – an Investment Prospectus was currently being developed to encourage more businesses to relocate to Breckland particularly to Snetterton Heath.  This initiative would be launched in the summer 2019.  A new approach, to secure investment assets prior to coming to the market,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 40/19

41/19

Questions on Notice under Standing Order No 6 (Agenda item 6)

Minutes:

None.

42/19

Questions without Notice under Standing Order No 7 (Agenda item 7)

Minutes:

Councillor Wassell had been asked by a number of Watton residents if Breckland Council intended to remove the free car parking facility immediately after the Election.  He asked the Executive Member for Finance and Delivery if this rumour was true and to confirm that there was no income stream in the current budget or in any forward plan that derived an income from car parking.  In response, Councillor Philip Cowen, the Executive Member for Finance and Delivery advised that car parking was not free in the sense that it cost Breckland Council and its residents in the region of £400k per annum for the maintenance of Breckland owned car parks.  In response to Councillor Wassell’s substantive question, he categorically assured Members that the Council’s Forward Plan, looking ahead, and its budget, looking ahead, did not contain any income generated from car parking charges whatsoever.  The budget had been balanced and it relied on other subsidies to provide a good value for money council services coming from commercial property and of course any grants that the Council received from Central Government, LEP and others. 

 

Councillor Brindle asked the Executive Member for Growth a question in relation to an ancient footpath in Thetford called Joe Blunt’s Lane.  This land was a public right of way and was heavily used by pedestrians.  Social Media at the moment was full of plans to turn it from a footpath into a bus route and he asked if Breckland Council would re-consider this in view of the public opposition.  The Leader reminded Members of the facility to raise questions with the appropriate Officer prior to the meeting as the chance of this question being answered straight away was highly unlikely.  Councillor Bambridge, the Executive Member for Growth said that he would need to know who the lane belonged to before any enquiries could be made.<1>

 

Councillor Dimoglou asked if the Leader would join him in congratulating a Dereham based firm Westcotec Ltd who had not only designed but had produced a solar powered park bench that had a facility to charge mobile phones.  These benches had already been installed in Norwich City Centre and was a simple example of how the Council should be encouraging innovative companies into Breckland.  He asked the Leader if he would consider writing a letter to the company concerned to congratulate them.  The Leader said that he would be more than happy to write a letter to Westcotec congratulating them on this innovative piece of work.<2>

 

Councillor Jermy mentioned a recent Overview & Scrutiny Commission meeting where Members had been made aware that homelessness had increased significantly in the District.  He asked the Executive Member for Growth to confirm what the Council was doing to reduce homelessness. Councillor Bambridge, the Executive Member for Growth assured Members that the Housing Team was working very hard and doing everything possible to prevent and reduce homelessness.  The incidents of people presenting themselves as homeless had in fact doubled this year compared  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42/19

43/19

Planning Committee (Agenda item 8) pdf icon PDF 116 KB

Confirmed minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 11 February 2019.

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the confirmed Minutes of the Planning Committee meeting held on 11 February 2019 be adopted.

44/19

Governance & Audit Committee (Agenda item 9| pdf icon PDF 113 KB

Unconfirmed minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on 15 February 2019.

Minutes:

a)    Treasury Management Policy & Strategy 2019-20 (Minute No. 13/19)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the Treasury Management Strategy 2019-20 to 2022-23 at Appendix A of the report be approved;

 

2)    the Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP) statement contained within Appendix A of the report which sets out the Council’s policy in MRP be approved;

 

3)    the Prudential & Local Indicators and limits contained within Appendix A of the report (Tables 1-11) be approved;

 

4)    the Investment Strategy 2019-20 (Appendix B of the report) and the detailed criteria included in Appendix B1 of the report be approved; and

 

5)    the Treasury Management Policy at Appendix B2 of the report be approved.

 

b)    Counter Fraud Corruption and Bribery Policy, Whistleblowing Policy and Money Laundering Policy (Minute No. 15/19)

 

RESOLVED that:

 

1)    the Counter Fraud & Corruption and Bribery Policy be approved;

 

2)    the Whistleblowing Policy be approved; and

 

3)    the Money Laundering Policy be approved.

 

c)     Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Governance & Audit Committee meeting held on 15 February 2019 be adopted.

45/19

Nominations for Committee and other Seats (Agenda item 10)

To receive nominations for any changes to Committee and other seats from political groups.

Minutes:

None.

46/19

Amendments to the Constitution (Agenda item 11)

Minutes:

None.

47/19

Any other items which the Chairman decides are urgent (Agenda item 12)

NOTE: No other business is permitted unless by reason of special circumstances, which shall be specified in the minutes, the Chairman is of the opinion that the items(s) should be considered as a matter of urgency.

Minutes:

None.