Agenda item

Cabinet (Agenda Item 9)

Unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 29 April 2008.


(Schedule of Representations on Outside Bodies 2008/2009 attached for information – Minute No 68/08 refers).


(a)       Comprehensive Equality Policy 2008 - 2010


RESOLVED that the revised Comprehensive Equality Policy and Action Plan 2008 - 2010 be adopted.


(b)       Race Equality Scheme 2008 - 2010


RESOLVED that the revised Race Equality Scheme and Action Plan 2008 – 2010 be adopted and published.


(c)        Environment Strategy for Breckland


A Member asked when the Council would insist on higher standards for house building.  It was explained that Building Regulations standards were set nationally; however developers were encouraged to build to higher standards and documents were being prepared to enable the Council to support the Nottingham Declaration.


RESOLVED that the Environment Strategy 2008 – 2013 for Breckland Council and the delivery of the Year One Action Plan be approved, subject to quarterly reviews and the continued monitoring of feedback through the Environment Strategy Working Group established by the Overview and Scrutiny Commission.


(d)       Transfer of Play Areas


A Member questioned the Council’s policy of passing the responsibility for play areas down to Town and Parish Councils who lacked the resources to maintain them.


The Leader of the Council pointed out that the parishes had looked after their own play areas for years and that funding was being made available for the Council to inspect and maintain the play areas for the next 20 years.


(e)       Review of Political Management Arrangements


The Leader of the Labour Party explained why Labour Members had voted against item 2 of the recommendation.  He was concerned that only one Member and one officer could make decisions and that one officer could decide what items were contentious.  He also asked why the Scrutiny Champion was to be an officer.


The Chief Executive explained that the aim was to allow simple reports to get to the decision stage more speedily and did not affect the delegation process.


It was also pointed out that the Scrutiny Champion officer would check on officers’ standards, not Members.


RESOLVED that the following changes to the political management arrangements at Breckland Council be approved:


1.      Overview and Scrutiny Function


a)     The proposals as set out in paragraphs 3.2.11 to 3.2.19 inclusive of the report be adopted and the Member Development Team Leader develops an action plan by 29 May 2008 together with a timed programme of its delivery.


b)     The sum of £10,000 per annum to provide funding to support major Scrutiny reviews and assist research by the University of East Anglia be allocated.


2.      Speed up the Decision Making Process


a)     The proposed new report clearance process, as shown in Appendix 1 of the report, be introduced with immediate effect subject to the provision for consultation with Ward Members on ward-specific matters and the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Commission (on a suggested weekly-list basis or such other method as may be practicable).


3.      Development of Councillors as Community Leaders


a)     Ward profiles and plans be developed to describe the character of each Ward (or cluster of wards), in consultation with relevant Members as detailed in paragraph 3.2.21(b) of the report.


The Labour Members voted against the recommendation and Mr Lamb and Mr Gilbert abstained.


(f)         Appointments to Outside Bodies 2008/09


The Member Services Manager told Members that the Supporting People Members’ Panel (page 41) had not been disbanded and suggested they might wish to appoint a representative.


Mrs Howard-Alpe asked for her address to be corrected at page 29.


Another Member pointed out that the Attleborough Area Partnership (page 28) no longer existed and that The Attleborough Town Hall Management Committee contact needed changing to Mrs H Elias.


RESOLVED that representatives be re-appointed en-bloc to Outside Bodies for 2008/09 in accordance with the Schedule, with the addition of Mrs D Irving as the Council’s representative on the Supporting People Members’ Panel.


(g)       Adoption


RESOLVED that the unconfirmed minutes of the Cabinet meeting held on 28 April 2008 be adopted.


Supporting documents: