Agenda item

Cabinet: 9 October 2007 (Agenda item 5a)

Unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 October 2007.

Minutes:

i).                  Council’s Project Match Funding Reserve Review (Minute No. 113/07)

 

A Member was delighted that this project had been approved and he hoped that this would encourage Members, on behalf of their Wards, to become more involved.  Another Member agreed with this comment and he was pleased that the monies were now ring-fenced and that there was funding available for individuals.  He felt that Breckland Council should be congratulated.

 

ii)                   Planning and Building Control Request for Funding (Minute No. 114/07)

 

The Executive Member for Commercial Services was pleased that this request for funding had been resolved.  The next stage would be to look at new ways of working, such as mobile working, which would assist and improve the Council in many ways.  Members were informed that a new Business Transformation Director had been appointed and would be commencing his employment with the Council in December 2007.

 

iii)                 Medium Term Financial Strategy (Minute No. 116/07)

 

A Member conveyed his congratulations to the team responsible for maintaining an excellent record in financial management.  Another Member was pleased to see the mention of Climate Change in the recommendation; however, she did suggest that the wording be amended so that it made more sense.  Members were informed that the Council would be addressing the challenges of Climate Change and reducing its carbon footprint as part of the Council’s ‘Green’ agenda.

 

RESOLVED that the Medium Term Financial Strategy be approved with the inclusion of the reduction of Climate Change as a key objective.

 

iv)                 Capital Strategy (Minute No. 117/07)

 

The Executive Member for Cabinet stated that through gaining income from commercial properties the Council had capital of £20m and was able to re-invest in its services.  He was pleased to announce that following investments in the Housing section to improve services Breckland had just been awarded Homelessness Champion Status.

 

RESOLVED that the Capital Strategy be approved.

 

v)                  Land Management Framework (Minute No. 119/07)

 

RESOLVED that the Land Management Framework be amended to allow surplus land to be sold, without prospective purchaser(s) having to firstly obtain planning permission for change of use.

 

vi)                 Restrictive Covenant – Right to Buy Properties (Minute No. 120/07)

 

RESOLVED that

 

(a)               the scheme of delegation be varied and power be given to the appropriate Operations Manager in conjunction with the Lead Member to approve requests for the release of the restrictive covenant requiring that the purchaser did not ‘use of occupy the Property, or suffer or permit the same to be used for any purpose other than as a private dwelling house in the occupation of one family…’(if the Property was purchased under the ‘right to buy’ provisions) subject to officer and ward representative(s) consultation being carried out and providing the occupier/purchaser has obtained the necessary planning consent; and

 

(b)               the legal costs be recovered with the approval of such matters.

 

vii)               Restrictive Covenants – Garage Blocks, Garage Forecourts and off Street Parking Areas on Barnham Cross Estate and Croxton Road Estate, Thetford (Minute No. 121/07)

 

RESOLVED that the scheme of delegation be varied and power be given to the appropriate Operations Manager in conjunction with the Lead Member to approve the release of the restrictive covenant on the Peddars Way Association’s title (transfer dated 30 March 1993), in favour of Breckland District Council stating that “subject to Clause 7, in respect of any part of the Property described in Parts III, IV, V and VI of Schedule A (garages, garage forecourts, off street parking areas and amenity areas) not to develop or redevelop that part of the Property and not to permit the same to be used as other than garages, parking areas or amenity areas, respectively, serving residential dwellings”, at nil consideration but with the funds to be ring fenced for investment in regeneration schemes in Thetford.

 

viii)       Review of Health and Safety Policy (Minute No. 124/07)

 

The Executive Member for Environment drew Members attention to the document and advised that it was important that everyone read it and that Officer’s kept it up to date. 

 

ix)        References from Overview and Scrutiny Commission (Minute No. 125/07 (a)) – Post Office Network Change Programme)

 

A Member was pleased that the Overview and Scrutiny Commission was involving Ward representatives in this process and was surprised that Post Office Limited was working in what appeared to be an underhand manner. The Member felt that sub-post offices were very important to the communities and should not be taken away.  He encouraged every Ward Member to be involved in this review.

 

The Opposition Leader agreed with the aforementioned comments.  He informed Members that the stark reality was that the Post Office was expecting to lose four million customers over the next few years; therefore the public must be encouraged to use their local post offices or lose them.

 

The Executive Member for Environment encouraged Members to sign the on-line petition.

 

The main concern raised by Members was the effect on rural communities which already suffered from poor public transport provision by commercial operators, which would be compounded if the loss of a post office meant that the local retail outlet also closed as a consequence.

 

The Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission drew Members’ attention to the Commission’s recommendation to Cabinet on page 25 of the Agenda and urged Members to take this matter seriously as the combined effect could ultimately stifle economic growth in the rural districts and could affect the future viability of Breckland.

 

On a lighter note, a Member was pleased to announce that the Post Office in North Pickenham was due to re-open.

 

x)         Adoption

 

RESOLVED that the unconfirmed Minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 9 October 2007 be adopted.

 

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