Agenda item

Chairman's Announcements (Agenda item 4)

(including the engagements of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman)


The following announcements were made:


The Chairman welcomed the new Deputy Chief Executive, Mr Tim Leader, who had recently commenced his employment with Breckland Council.  Tim had a wealth of experience in local government, both as a Barrister and also in senior management positions at King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and, most recently, South Holland Council in Lincolnshire.  The Deputy Chief Executive said that he had massive ambitions for the Council and that he looked forward to meeting everyone over the next few weeks.


The Chairman urged Members to encourage people to vote in the Breckland Pride of Place poll,  in order to obtain some national recognition for the area.  It was a good campaign that highlighted some of the top spots in the region and also encouraged people to think of all the good things that Breckland had to offer.


Members were reminded of the ‘Welcome Home to the Troops’ parade which was taking place in Dereham at 10.40am on Monday 19 November.  All Members were encouraged to attend.


Members were encouraged to attend the Standards training session that would be held following the full Council meeting.


The Chairman reminded Members that the next Council meeting scheduled for 6 December would take place in the afternoon at 2.30pm.  After the meeting, Members and Officers connected with Council were invited to attend a Christmas reception which would be followed by an Auction of Promises (all proceeds raised would be in aid of the Quidenham Children’s Hospice).  The Chairman was pleased to announce that Councillor Stephen Askew had offered to run a half marathon and Members were encouraged to sponsor him as all the proceeds would be donated to the Hospice.  The Chairman thanked him for his kind gesture.  A Member challenged the Leader to participate in the run.  In response, the Leader felt that it was important for everyone to think of something to auction and, as a gesture of goodwill, he announced that he would auction himself for the day and that he was happy to be purchased.


The Chairman was pleased to announce the following achievements:


·               The latest un-audited Information Profile from the Audit Commission showed that, over the past three years, Breckland Council was one of the most improved performers in the country.  The Council was now ranked 14th out of 388 authorities in terms of improvements.  Breckland had improved 87% of its performance indicators.


·               Breckland Council’s future was in good hands, according to the Local Government Challenge held on 4 October.  Two teams of seven had represented Breckland Council in the annual National Local Government Challenge which had been designed to test and develop management skills and abilities.  Breckland finished 2nd and 18th out of some 50 teams.  The Council conveyed their congratulations to the participating teams.  A Member suggested that a photograph of the contestants be taken and included in the next edition of the Breckland Voice. Mark Stokes, the Operations Manager (Environment) provided Members with an overview of the teams’ activities.


·               The first Breckland Schools project delivered by the Theatre Royal in Norwich had started on 4th October.  There were three primary schools involved: Great Dunham, Narborough and Necton.  The Chairman was pleased that this project had been a direct result of the monies that Breckland Council had put into this venture.


·               Three Breckland Council Members, Diana Irving, Gordon Bambridge and Adrian Joel, had been back to school as part of Local Democracy Week to help get young people more involved with, and aware of, their local Council.  The Chairman felt that there was much more work to be done to encourage youngsters to take an interest in democracy; any help or ideas should be passed onto the Young People’s Champion, Councillor Diana Irving.


A list of engagements attended by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman was tabled, for the period 21 September to 24 October 2007, this included:





20th Sept

EDP Pride In Norfolk Awards Ceremony

Chairman of Norfolk County Council, Michael Carttiss, and Chairman of EDP Pride in Norfolk Awards Committee

23rd Sept

Opening of new pitch at Dereham Hockey Club

Dereham Hockey Club

28th Sept

Installation of The Rt. Hon. Lord MacGregor of Pulham Market OBE as High Steward of Norwich Cathedral

The Dean and Chapter of Norwich Cathedral

29th Sept

Official opening of Great Cressingham Village Green

Great Cressingham Parish Council

10th Oct

Official opening of new creative and media block at Northgate High School

Northgate High School, Dereham

24th Oct

Official Opening of Dereham Railway Station

The Trust Council of Mid Norfolk Railway








Vice Chairman





24th Oct

Ceremony for the 65th Anniversary of El Alamein

Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson