Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Parker 01553 616632 

No. Item


Apologies for absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Taylor, Mrs Westrop and Mrs Wilkinson.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 94 KB

To approve the minutes of the previous meeting.


RESOLVED: The Minutes from the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Declarations of interest

Please indicate if there are any interests which should be declared.  A declaration of an interest should indicate the nature of the interest (if not already declared on the Register of Interests) and the agenda item to which it relates.  If a disclosable pecuniary interest is declared, the Member should withdraw from the room whilst the matter is discussed.


Those declarations apply to all Members present, whether the Member is part of the meeting, attending to speak as a local Member on an item or simply observing the meeting from the public seating area.


There were no declarations of interest.


Urgent Business

To consider any business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chairman proposed to accept as urgent under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.


There was none.


Members Present Pursuant to Standing Order 34

Members wishing to speak pursuant to Standing Order 34 should inform the Chairman of their intention to do so and on what items they wish to be heard before the meeting commences.  Any Member attending the meeting under Standing Order 34 will only be permitted to speak on those items which have been previously notified to the Chairman.


There was none.


Chairman's Correspondence

If any.


There was none.


Exclusion of Press and Public

To consider passing the following resolution:


“That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act, 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act”.


RESOLVED: That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.


EXEMPT Alive Leisure Update and Fees and Charges


Representatives from Alive Leisure presented the Panel with information on their fees and charges review. The presentation provided information on the budget deficit that Alive Leisure may face in the future and detail of proposals that Alive Leisure would be presenting to their Board to address the potential deficit


Three Options on how Alive Leisure could implement changes to their fees and charges were presented and the Panel, along with Alive Leisure’s preferred option of implementation.  The Panel was requested to provide their feedback on the options presented and was informed that Alive Leisure would come back to the Panel at a future meeting once detailed proposals had been drawn up and the relevant consultation had taken place.


The Chairman thanked the representatives from Alive Leisure for attending the meeting, and invited questions and comments from the Panel as summarised below.


Councillor Fraser commented that she felt that the increase proposed for family swimming was high as she felt that swimming was an activity that appealed to all.  Tommy Goode commented that it was hoped that the proposed changes to fees and charges were to make it a ‘level playing field’ in that all the pay to play sporting activities would be similar prices.


Councillor Smith felt that most of the prices proposed were reasonably affordable and by making all the pay to play activities a similar price it may encourage people to try different sports.  Tommy Goode explained that a lot of research had been conducted whilst looking at the different options available to Alive Leisure.  He reminded those present that Alive Leisure Card holders would still get a discount on activities.


The Vice Chairman, Councillor Bambridge asked what effect the changes to concession charges would have.  Tommy Goode explained that Alive Leisure would lose some income on this, but felt that it was the right thing to do.  It was explained that the proposal was for existing members to be protected and the changes in fees would apply to new members.


The Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Health, Councillor Mrs Nockolds commented that she felt that the Trust had worked well and provided a high quality service.  She did not, however, feel that the Trust should focus on increasing fees, and instead should be working to encourage new members to join and addressing health issues.  She felt that work should be carried out to ascertain why some people did not use the facilities and what could be done to encourage them to take up sport.


Councillor Mrs Nockolds referred to the importance of the health and wellbeing of residents of the Borough and how sport should remain affordable and accessible to all; it should not be considered a luxury.  She also felt that low prices would be restricted to members and if you did not have an Alive Leisure card you would have to pay higher prices.   Councillor Mrs Nockolds acknowledged the struggles that Alive Leisure faced, but felt that their top priority should be to improve  ...  view the full minutes text for item EC58:



Scrutiny Arrangements Review Cabinet Report pdf icon PDF 166 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Executive presented the Cabinet report which detailed the conclusions from the Scrutiny Structures Task Group over a year on from the Scrutiny restructure which had taken place in 2016.  The report considered the responses from a questionnaire on Scrutiny structures which had been issued to all Councillors.  50% of Members had responded to the questionnaire.


The Chief Executive provided detail of the recommendations which the Task Group would be presenting to Cabinet and the Panel were invited to consider the proposals and make any appropriate recommendations to Cabinet.  It was noted that the Report would also be considered by the Regeneration and Development Panel and Corporate Performance Panel both of which would have the opportunity to make recommendations to Cabinet.


The Chairman thanked the Chief Executive for his report and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.


The Leader, Councillor Long thanked the Scrutiny Structures Task Group for the report and all the work which had been carried out.  He also thanked the Members who had responded to the questionnaire.  The Leader welcomed input from the Panel, which would be considered by Cabinet and he stressed the importance of the Council having a strong Scrutiny system.  He reminded those present that the arrangements would be reviewed again in twelve months.


The Panel discussed the role of ‘back-benchers’ and the importance of all Councillors being able to put suggestions forward for consideration on the Panel’s Work Programme.  The Leader encouraged all Members to put forward Scrutiny items for consideration on the Work Programme.  He referred to recommendation six which encouraged Panels to work with the relevant Portfolio Holder who could provide detail of what was happening within their Portfolio so that the Panel could incorporate potential items into the Work Programme.  He stated that the Work Programme should be led by Councillors and not just officers and the Chairman.


The Panel discussed recommendation seven, which was that the Leader would nominate the Panel Chairs for agreement at Council and the Vice Chairman be appointed by the Panel.  The Portfolio Holder for Environment, Councillor Devereux explained that he was a Member of the Scrutiny Review Task Group and a lot of in depth discussions had taken place, especially regarding on how Chairman and Vice Chairman should be appointed.  Generally the Panel supported the current arrangements, which were that the Chairman and Vice Chairman were appointed by their respective Panel.


The Panel also discussed recommendation nine, which was that the appraisal of Chairman be investigated.  In general Members felt that if the Panel elected their own Chairman and Vice Chairman, this would, in effect, be the appraisal process, as if the Chairman was not performing, they were unlikely to be re-elected the following year.


The Chief Executive highlighted the appendix to the report, which was a role profile for Chairman and he referred to the Key Points in the profile explaining that regardless of how the Chairman was appointed, they would need to be effective and adhere to  ...  view the full minutes text for item EC59:



Additional documents:


The Executive Director for Finance Services presented the Panel with information on the Council’s Budget.  She explained that the presentation (as attached) would also be presented to the Regeneration and Development Panel and the Corporate Performance Panel and any comments made by the Panels would be included in the report to Cabinet in February 2018.


The Executive Director explained that the Council should know their Government settlement just before Christmas and then a report would be presented to Cabinet and Council in February 2018.


The Chairman thanked the Executive Director for her presentation and invited questions and comments from the Panel, as summarised below.


Councillor Hipperson referred to Parish Council Audits and guidance on how much they should keep in Reserves.  He explained that he had been advised that one year’s expenditure should be kept, which could be the reason why some Parish Councils increased their precept.  The Executive Director explained that guidance should be available on the National Association of Local Councils website.


In response to a question from the Vice Chairman, Councillor Lesley Bambridge, the Executive Director explained that the increase in car parking charges had not yet been decided.  She explained that the core three hour charge would be looked at and then other charges would be determined from that.


Councillor John Collop asked if projections for the rate of inflation were included and if Brexit would have an impact on the Council’s budget.  The Executive Director explained that she did not yet know what affect Brexit may have on the economy so this had not yet been factored into the Council’s Budget.  She explained that the rate of inflation was included in the projections and interest rates were also considered.  The Executive Director commented that some assumptions had to be made and this would be detailed in the Cabinet report.


Councillor Fraser referred to the proposals to increase the Council tax charges on empty properties and she asked if it was easy to find out where empty properties were and who they belonged to.  The Executive Director explained that the Housing and Council Tax Departments would be able to provide the information.  The Leader, Councillor Long explained that the Council would need to make a decision, in the future, on how much, and if an additional levy would be placed on empty homes.  He commented that he would support the maximum increase as empty properties could sometimes be subject to antisocial behaviour or become derelict and the additional charge may encourage some owners to bring the houses back into use.


RESOLVED: The Environment and Community Panel noted the presentation.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 68 KB


Members of the Panel were reminded that an eform was available on the Intranet which could be completed and submitted if Members had items which they would like to be considered for addition to the Work Programme.


The following items were suggested for inclusion on the Work Programme:


·        Update on the Docks

·        Surface Water Management and Dykes

·        Update on the Tree Strategy


RESOLVED: The Panel’s Work Programme was noted.


Date of the next meeting

To note that the next meeting of the Environment and Community Panel is scheduled to take place on Thursday 4th January 2018 at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn.


The next meeting of the Environment and Community Panel would be held on Thursday 4th January 2018 at 6.00pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King’s Lynn.