Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)
To receive a verbal update from Councillor Nunn, Leader of the Council.
The Leader provided Members with an update on the following matters:
The Leader was aware that a number of concerns had been raised in relation to Capita with regard to staffing matters and performance. To reassure Members Simon Wood, the Interim Director of Planning and Building Control, would be invited to attend the next Full Council meeting to inform the Council how the service was moving forward.
The Leader was pleased to announce a number of projects that would benefit from funding from the new Community Reserve. Funding totalling £6.15 million had been made available over a four year period to support a number of projects and initiatives in Breckland such as:
· up to £100,000 had been allocated to create a themed grant scheme based on improving social mobility;
· up to £50,000 (for each town) had been allocated to carry out a feasibility study to explore the option of developing a commercial leisure offer in Swaffham and Attleborough;
· up to £100,000 to be spent on transport to work schemes;
· up to £100,000 to create a grant scheme to help support local entrepreneurs; and
· up to £50,000 to be spent on providing digital skills training to Breckland residents.
Waste & Recycling
It had been a long-standing ambition to bring together waste collection services from across Norfolk. The Leader was therefore pleased to announce that Breckland Council had signed an inter-authority agreement with two other Norfolk Councils – Kings Lynn & West Norfolk Borough Council, and North Norfolk District Council. This highlighted Breckland’s commitment to procuring waste/recycling services across the three areas from 2020 onwards. This collaborative approach should benefit everyone with an improved service and economies of scale when the contract was let and should bring substantial savings going forward.
Employment Support Officers
Two people had been offered the above roles to start their employment with Breckland Council at the beginning of January 2019, subject to references. Both had a great deal of experience working and developing apprenticeships in Norfolk and would be focussing on developing links between schools and businesses.
Norfolk Skills and Careers Festival
Breckland Council was sponsoring the public sector zone at the Festival which was taking place on 6/7 March 2019 at the Norfolk Show Ground. The Employment Support Officers would be supporting the Breckland presence at the Festival and would be promoting Breckland as an employer of choice for local young people.
Leisure Feasibility Studies (Attleborough & Swaffham)
Max Associates had been appointed to conduct this piece of work for both locations. They would be asking local people about other services they would like to see developed in the towns. A draft report was expected in January 2019 followed by a final report in February 2019.
Young People Support Scheme
The Council would have to go out to a full tender process due to the value of this project. The documentation was being drawn up with a view to going out to market week commencing 10 December 2018 with the contract being awarded at the end of January, beginning of February 2019.
Transport to Work Schemes
Breckland Council had match funded the amount of £20k towards the Trip Starter project with the Local Enterprise Partnership and Department for Work and Pensions. This project was looking at ways of supporting people with high needs that could not travel to work by themselves. Further research was currently being undertaken into where best to target the remaining £80k.
Entrepreneurs/Dragons Den Scheme
Breckland Council was currently working with Norfolk Community Fund who were administering and designing the scheme on the Council’s behalf. The application process would be open before Christmas and the Comms Team were currently working on how to promote this. This project would be to encourage youngsters and new businesses to come forward.
Following his announcements, the Leader then wished everyone a very Happy Christmas.
Councillor Clarke referred to the Capita item and could not recall seeing anything being referred to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission as previously requested. Members were informed that this matter would be brought to the Overview & Scrutiny Commission in March 2019.