Leader's Announcements (Agenda item 5)
To receive a verbal update from Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen, Leader of the Council.
The Leader of the Council, Councillor Sam Chapman-Allen relayed his congratulations to Thetford Town Council for their recent award.
The following announcements were made:
· Serco Respect Campaign
Serco had recently launched their respect charter. This charter was supported, not just by Breckland Council but also Norfolk Constabulary in which there was a zero tolerance policy towards any violence aggression and any abuse directed against Serco employees who were delivering front line services for residents in Breckland. Many messages of support for the crews for their valued hard work had already been received.
This had been a concern for all Members, residents and businesses in Breckland but since May 2019 the Council had been taking an extremely proactive approach in relation to fly-tipping and inappropriate disposal of household waste. As a result, for the period to date Breckland was now the top authority in Norfolk for fly tipping enforcement with 13 fixed penalty notices issued for various offences.
· Swanton Morley Neighbourhood Plan
The Leader congratulated Swanton Morley Parish Council on the completion of their Neighbourhood Plan and he hoped that Cabinet would endorse the Plan at its forthcoming meeting.
· Breckland Training Services
The East of England LGA had supported Breckland Training Services with the Local Authority Challenge EAST event held on 30 October 2019 which, the Leader was pleased to announce, Breckland Council had won for the first time in 8 years.
· Breckland Lottery
In its second year of iteration, ‘Our Breckland Lottery’ was a scheme that supported all good causes in Breckland. For every £1 lottery ticket bought, 60p went straight back to good causes. £56,000 had been raised thus far from the Breckland allocation and most recently £4,000 had been awarded to Beeston Plough Share, Garboldisham Fox, Dunham Parish Council and Swaffham Town Football Club.
· Silver Social Project
The recent event held in October 2019 had seen the highest amount of attendees across the whole of the Silver Social campaign. He was pleased to announce that the spring programme included a set of workshops supported by Kate Dimbleby.
The Leader of the Labour Group, Councillor Jermy was delighted with the Council’s progress in relation to fly-tipping and he asked for the Group’s thanks to be passed onto the Officers involved. He asked the Leader if the fines from fly-tipping would be allocated towards education; one of the recommendations from the former Fly-tipping Task & Finish Group, and whether there was an update on this matter moving forward.
In relation to the education piece, the Leader advised that the conversation was still on-going and he would inform Members accordingly once completed.
Councillor Atterwill, a Ward Member for Swanton Morley Parish and Chairman of the Parish Council, thanked the Leader for his kind comments on their Neighbourhood Plan. He asked if the Council had any plans to carry out any additional promotional work on Neighbourhood Plans in the District as he did not believe that Breckland did enough to promote such work in its communities and felt that further engagement was required.
In response, the Leader was aware that Councillor Atterwill had offered to be the Neighbourhood Plan champion for Breckland Council to visit and talk to parishes and towns across the District. He mentioned the Town & Parish Council Forum that had been arranged in early 2020 and felt that this would be an ideal opportunity for Councillor Atterwill to highlight Neighbourhood Plans and act as an ambassador of how the process worked and how it would be of a benefit to communities.
Councillor Gilbert mentioned the Watton Neighbourhood Plan and how the Town Council had formed various Groups to investigate different issues such as drainage and asked the Leader if he could encourage others to do the same as local knowledge he felt was key. The Leader said that he would be happy to encourage this process.