Agenda and draft minutes

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

Contact: Sam Winter, Democratic Services Manager 616327 

Items
No. Item

C:46

PRAYERS

Minutes:

Prayers were led by Rev Canon Ling

 

C:47

MINUTES

To confirm as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 17 October 2019    (previously circulated).

 

Minutes:

RESOLVED:   The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 October 2019 were approved as a correct record, subject to the minute C45i considering CAB53 Boal Quay Gallery proposal reflecting the fact that the Regeneration and Development Panel proposals moved by Councillor Moriarty as an amendment were accepted, voted on and agreed.

 

C:48

DECLARATION 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.

 

 

Minutes:

None

C:49

MAYOR'S COMMUNICATIONS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive Mayor’s communications and announcements.

 

Minutes:

None

C:50

URGENT BUSINESS

To receive any items of business which in the opinion of the Mayor are urgent. 

 

Minutes:

None

C:51

PETITIONS AND PUBLIC QUESTIONS

To receive petitions and public questions in accordance with Standing Order 9.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited  public questioners to come forward under standing order 9.

 

1)         Robert Raab:

 

“Why was Hardings Way Road in King’s Lynn changed from an All Types of Transport Road to a Bus and Cycle Road only?

 

Councillor Blunt gave the following response:

 

When Hardings Way was opened, Norfolk County Council traffic order (TRO) for the use of Hardings Way was for buses, cycles and emergency vehicles.

 

By way of supplementary Mr Raab asked why the Council wanted to change it back to pollute the area.

 

Councillor Blunt reiterated that it had never been changed, it was the same traffic order as originally opened with.

 

 

 

2)         Daphne Sampson – KLimate Concern

 

Back at the April Council meeting George Gawlinski asked, on behalf of King’s Lynn Climate Concern, if the council would set upa local climate change partnership, a forum of people from across our community, including business, environmental organisations and councillors, to work together in seeking solutions to the ever rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. We pointed out that this partnership was one of the two main ‘asks’ of the excellent Tomorrow’s Norfolk Today’s Challenge signed by the borough council ten years ago. The answer from Councillor Devereux was that the Environment Agency was looking into something similar as part of their planning and that the council was in communication on this. We continued to press for this when we were invited to the Local Plan Task Group in August. 

What progress has there been? 

 

Councillor Devereux gave the following response:

 

“Thank You for your Question. Yes, back in April The Environment Agency was in the process of consulting on their draft Flooding and Coastal Erosion and Risk Management Strategy up to the year 2100. A very important document for us in West Norfolk.   A key objective was “Between now and 2050 the nation will be resilient to future flood and coastal risks. Over the next year the Environment Agency will work with partners to explore and develop the concept of standards for flood and coastal resilience”.  The strategy attracted a significant national response from across England and is now being consolidated with further work across DEFRA.

 

However, through my role with the Environment Agency I am involved in one such collaborative activity. The  Stakeholder Technical review of the “Future of the Fens” with the EA partners including County Councils, Borough& District Councils, Internal Drainage Boards, Anglian Water and other technical Authorities such as Utility companies and Highway Authorities.  This is a long-term activity which will take several years to define the range of available options and perhaps decades for implementation at considerable cost. This is an undertaking that must involve all stakeholders across Government, Industry, Commerce and Community from the highest levels –so partnership working will become essential for its success and our long-term survival. 

 

Specifically on Climate Change mitigation, as you will see from my report later in the proceedings, we are working the Eastern and Great Ouse Regional Flood and  ...  view the full minutes text for item C:51

C:52

DETERMINATION OF COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNTS RELATING TO SECOND HOMES AND EMPTY DWELLINGS FOR 2020/2021 pdf icon PDF 86 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:           That under Section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as enacted by Section 75 of the Local Government Act 2003, Section 11B of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as enacted by Section 11 and Section 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 2012 and in accordance with the provisions of the Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings) (England) Regulations 2003, the Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 and the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018 the Council determines:

 

1.     That the council tax discount for Second Homes defined as being within Class A of the Regulations be set at 0% for 2020/2021;

 

2.     That the council tax discount for Second Homes as defined by Class B of the Regulations be set at 0% for 2020/2021;

 

3.     That the council tax discount for Empty / Unfurnished dwellings defined as being within Class C of the Regulations be set at 0% for 2020/2021;

 

4.     That the council tax discount for Uninhabitable dwellings defined as being within Class D of the Regulations be set at the following for 2020/2021:

 

a.     25% for 12 months starting on the day the dwelling becomes uninhabitable; then

b.     0% once the 12 month period has expired;

 

5.     That the Levy rate for Long Term Empty Dwellings as defined in the Regulations be set as follows for 2020/2021:

 

a.     100% for properties empty between two and five years, and

b.     200% for properties empty longer than five years;

 

6.     That any period of occupation of less than six weeks shall be disregarded when calculating the maximum period of a reduction or the start date of the Levy;

 

7.         That delegated authority be given for individual applications under s13a Local Government Finance Act 1992 to be determined by the Revenues and Benefits Manager in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Resources and Performance and the relevant Ward Member/s.

 

8.     In accordance with Section 11A(6) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, as enacted by Section 75 of the Local Government Act 2003 and the Local Government Finance Act 2012, these determinations shall be published in at least one newspaper circulating in West Norfolk before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the date of the determinations.

 

C:53

CABINET MEMBERS REPORTS

In accordance with Standing Order 11.1 to receive reports from Cabinet Members in the following order and under Standing Order 11.2 (a) Members of the Council may ask questions of the Cabinet Member on their reports and Portfolio areas:

 

(Councillors are reminded that this is a question and answer session not a debate.)

 

 

C:53i

Business Development - Councillor G Middleton pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Middleton presented his report. In response to a question from Councillor Kemp on what he could suggest to encourage the raising of wages in the area, Councillor Middleton suggested it was a matter to raise with the new MP when elected to raise the minimum wage, as apart from this and ensuring they remained within legal frameworks, what firms paid their employees was the decision of the firms themselves.  He reminded Members of the economic development work being done by the council.

 

Following a question from Councillor Squires on a Sunday Times article on unemployment hotspots which featured King’s Lynn and what was being done to stop the unemployment increase, Councillor Middleton referred to the bids made under the Future High Streets fund to assist with the town centres.  He disputed the figures quoted and encouraged people to come to King’s Lynn and see what was on offer.

 

Councillor Rust asked what was being done to ensure the Future High Streets Fund would incorporate the views of the public.  Councillor Middleton responded that the deadline had been changed to the end of January for draft submissions with final submissions in April and that the Vision Kings Lynn brand and Love West Norfolk and social media were being used to spread information. 

C:53ii

Commercial Services - Councillor P Kunes pdf icon PDF 58 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Kunes presented his report.  He informed members that the tap in and out facility at the multi storey car park was now working well.

C:53iii

Development - Councillor R Blunt pdf icon PDF 361 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Blunt presented his report.  A question was raised by Councillor Kemp on the consideration by the Corporate Performance Panel (CPP) of the call in on the County Council Waste and Minerals strategy comments asking why the issue of fracking and incineration had not been included in the response.  Councillor Blunt indicated that he would update his decision in accordance with the recommendations from CPP as a matter of urgency as he didn’t want to jeopardise the comments made to remove Shouldham from the document. He also agreed to incorporate some wording on fracking and incineration.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Rust on what steps were being taken to analyse and change planning income forecasts for the following year.  Councillor Blunt explained that they were regularly analysed, and it was not planned to amend the figures a small number of large applications would cover the shortfall.  He confirmed there was no impact of not changing the figures.

C:53iv

Environment - Councillor I Devereux pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Devereux presented his report.  He undertook to forward to Councillor de Whalley a copy of a presentation he had recently attended on Local Decisions around climate change. 

 

Following a question from Councillor Squires, Councillor Devereux confirmed that the Council had adopted a ban on the release of balloons and Chinese lanterns on its land some time ago.

 

Councillor Devereux undertook to organise a briefing for Councillors on sea level rises and mitigation being undertaken when requested by Councillor Squires.

 

In response to a comment from Councillor Kemp that building plots in the flood plain should be removed from the plan as they weren’t appropriate for older or disabled people, Councillor Devereux reminded Members that flood risk assessments would have to be carried out on all plots and the levels would have to be revised according to the levels at any time.  Councillor Blunt also responded that the Local Plan Task Group was considering sites, and all issues would have to be considered.

 

Following a question from Councillor Mrs Collop about the emptying of very full bins and the jamming of items in the bottom of the bin, Councillor Devereux explained that the lorries did shake the bin on emptying, but encouraged householders to clean their bins.

 

Councillor Jones asked whether the IPCC reports sea level were threats to coast and whether the current strategies were sufficient to safeguard towns and villages.  Councillor Devereux commented that there was little doubt that there would be evolution to what was currently used. He concurred that he wanted to know the Environment Agency sea level rise predictions in the borough’s area.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Parish as to the remit of permits to extract water and the environmental impact on chalk streams,  Councillor Devereux informed members that the Council had recently joined the Water Resources East Group which examined the use of the water resources in the area.  He acknowledged the importance of chalk streams to the local flora and fauna.

 

In response to Councillor A Tyler asking what arrangements were being put in place to inform households of what to put in the recycling bins, Councillor Devereux said he expected the information to be on the Christmas delivery leaflets as it had been in previous years. 

 

Following a question from Councillor Rust whether the remediation work to Heacham beach wasn’t taking place due to lack of funding, Councillor Devereux confirmed that the shingle bank work was paid for by the Environment Agency and the Community Interest Company, however the amount of shingle needed to be recycled was less than expected, the annual recycling works would be completed as usual in February/March next year.

 

Councillor Rust asked whether having attended the flood workshop Councillor Devereux had a greater understanding of the climate emergency and the need to declare. She also asked the views of the owners of new builds at Snettisham on this. Councillor Devereux referred to the presentation he had attended and again undertook to provide this for  ...  view the full minutes text for item C:53iv

C:53v

Housing - Councillor A Lawrence pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Lawrence presented his report and in response to questions from Councillor J Collop regarding the length of time applicants remained on the Home Choice register as the numbers were so high, explained that people came on and off the register all the time.  As there were 43 properties available in the previous period, 43 people had been removed from the register, they had been replaced by new applicants.

 

In response to a question from Councillor J Collop asking if he agreed that the night shelter and its volunteers were a worthy cause and its volunteers were to be commended.  Councillor Lawrence commended the night shelter, Churches Together and all the volunteers who gave up their time to assist.  He thanked all those involved.

 

Councillor Bone made comments on the need to provide more social housing as well as trying to get people into private rented.  Councillor Lawrence confirmed that the Council was trying to assist with the social housing situation, and also assisted tenants with deposits etc. 

 

Councillor Joyce drew Council’s attention to the fact that Home Choice provided an update to a system previously that was open to abuse.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Howman regarding the numbers of empty homes, Councillor Lawrence reminded members he had undertaken to provide it quarterly or half yearly.

 

Councillor Rust asked how many private renters made homeless were on the Home Choice list.  Councillor Lawrence undertook to investigate.

C:53vi

Project Delivery - Councillor P Gidney pdf icon PDF 51 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Gidney presented his report, he confirmed to Councillor Moriarty that the web site referred to in his report should be ready for the next meeting.

 

In response to a question from Councillor Kemp on whether the town’s library was being decommissioned  and moved elsewhere and whether the Borough would resist this, Councillor Gidney reminded Members that this was a County Council building and function.

C:53vii

Deputy Leader and Culture, Heritage and Health - Councillor Mrs E Nockolds pdf icon PDF 61 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Nockolds presented her report, and responded to Councillor Squire’s question regarding the number of new members signed up for the Alive West Norfolk, confirming that the numbers of new member contracts were 947.

 

In response to Councillor Rust’s question on what analysis was given to the contractor selection for the cinema works, Councillor Nockolds confirmed that interviews and tender evaluation was carried out, the project manager lived locally.

 

Councillor Kemp asked what the situation was regarding Fairstead surgery as the CCG had postponed their meeting to take a decision on it, Councillor Mrs Nockolds confirmed that the CCG would call a meeting after the election.

 

In response to a further question from Councillor Kemp regarding the pop in centre facing closure Councillor Mrs Nockolds confirmed that the Lily Co-ordinator had made contact with the group, offering help with funding, but had received no reply.  In order to assist the Council would need to know the financial situation.

C:53viii

Leader and Resources - Councillor B Long pdf icon PDF 57 KB

Minutes:

Councillor Long presented his report.  He informed Members that he had attended the Leeway event relating to raising awareness of domestic violence which was at the Town Hall and moving around the county as part of the campaign.

 

With regard to the Sunday Times report referred to earlier in the meeting, Councillor J Collop asked what the Council were doing to assist.  Councillor Long responded by stating that the unemployment rates in King’s Lynn were below the East of England average. He believed they had factored in job losses from CITB.   The Council were working hard to assist in identifying potential jobs for those made redundant.  The situation was changing, there were businesses taking on more staff, he encouraged members to concentrate on the positive opportunities and not on the negative. He referred to the presentation members had received earlier which showed unemployment was low.

 

Councillor Morley asked that the Leaders report contain more financial information, key data, productivity and asset utilisation. He also asked how many jobs had been relocated from CITB.   Councillor Long directed Members to the monthly Monitoring report which was issued to all councillors.  He undertook to check the number of jobs relocated from CITB.

 

Councillor Rust asked how many of the jobs in the area were full time or other contracts.  Councillor Long referred Members to the presentation received as part of their briefing.

C:54

MEMBERS QUESTION TIME

In accordance with Standing Order 11.2 (b), Members of the Council may ask any questions of the Chairman of any Council Body (except the Cabinet).

Minutes:

None

C:55

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM COUNCIL BODIES

(Members are reminded this is a debate, not a question and answer session)

To consider the following recommendations to Council:

 

C:55i

Cabinet: 12 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 61 KB

CAB65: Corporate Complaints Policy

CAB66: Revised Unreasonable Complaints (revised policy attached)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Long proposed the recommendations from Cabinet with the amended policy in CAB66.  This was seconded by Councillor Nockolds.

 

CAB65: Corporate Complaints Policy

CAB66: Revised Unreasonable Complaints (revised policy)

 

RESOLVED:   That the recommendations from the meeting on 12 November 2019 be agreed.

C:56

APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES TO INTERNAL DRAINAGE BOARDS pdf icon PDF 59 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED:               1)         That Council delegates authority to officers to seek nominations for vacant positions on Internal Drainage Boards from group leaders and thereafter ballot members for their votes to be returned within a set time scale.

 

2)         That this approach be endorsed for future appointments to IDBs.

 

C:57

NOTICES OF MOTION

1)         To consider the following Notice of Motion (7/19), submitted by Councillor J Rust

 

“Council are asked that the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk

 

(i) recognises that councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity; 

 

(ii) further recognises 

 

·        that very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,

·        that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

·        that revenues received by councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

 

(iii) accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 115 MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply; and 

 

(iv) further resolves to 

 

§  inform the local media of this decision,

§  write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and

§  write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at 8 Delancey Passage, Camden, London NW1 7NN or info@powerforpeole.org.uk) expressing its support.”

 

 

2)         To consider the following Notice of Motion (8/19), submitted by Councillor J Rust

 

“Our council resurrected the Freedom of the Borough award in 2003 after a long period of absence. The criteria for the nomination of the award only state that the nominee must have given outstanding service to the borough.   The leader of the council has previously stated that “they” have set the bar high.  Based on those who have been awarded the freedom compared to those who have been nominated and not granted it, that bar could be deemed to have been set at a measure invisible to most and arbitrary at best.  This motion sets to change that and instead, provide clearer guidelines on what could be considered to fulfil the criteria.

 

This council is asked to adopt the following criteria when awarding this honour.

 

The conferment of the Honorary Freedom of the Borough is a mark of distinction upon the person or persons whom the council wishes to honour.  The freedom itself carries no privilege and is purely an honour, reflecting the eminence of the person on whom it is conferred or as recognition of significant and/or valuable services rendered to the borough by that person.  It is normally an honour bestowed on those of note who have lived or worked in the borough and who are proud to be a part of the history of that borough through that freedom.  It should not be awarded to serving councillors. 

 

What criteria should be used to award  ...  view the full agenda text for item C:57

Minutes:

1)         Notice of Motion (7/19)

 

Councillor J Rust proposed the Notice of Motion, this was seconded by Councillor Jones.

 

“Council are asked that the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk

 

(i) recognises that councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity; 

 

(ii) further recognises 

 

·        that very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so,

·        that making these financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations, and

·        that revenues received by councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities;

 

(iii) accordingly resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 115 MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply; and 

 

(iv) further resolves to 

 

§  inform the local media of this decision,

§  write to local MPs, asking them to support the Bill, and

§  write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, (at 8 Delancey Passage, Camden, London NW1 7NN or info@powerforpeole.org.uk) expressing its support.”

 

Councillor Long urged Councillors not to support the motion which was submitted by a lobby group.  He considered the Motion premature, and did not agree that the majority of the population welcomed on shore wind farms as opposed to off shore.

 

Councillor A Tyler expressed his support for the proposal.  Councillor Joyce considered the pros and cons of the argument but supported it in principle.

 

Councillor Dark spoke against the motion due to the number of disadvantages such as unpredictable speeds, variable directions not most efficient use of the turbines, noise and the danger to birds, less efficient than off shore turbines.  He acknowledged the need to move to cleaner energy but could make things worse.

 

Councillor Parish drew attention to the Government statement that there would not be more on shore wind turbines due to the impact on people and bird life.  The off shore option was more efficient.

 

Councillor Ayres drew attention to the large campaign in his ward against a wind turbine, and the fact that Scotland required a turbine to be 1.5Km away from a property.

 

In summing up, Councillor Rust thanked members for the feedback but urged members not to dismiss because it had been put forward by a lobby group.  She considered that many of the community would benefit from this energy sold to them.

 

On being put to the vote the motion was lost.

 

RESOLVED:   That the Motion is lost.

 

 

2)         Notice of Motion (8/19)

 

Councillor J Rust  proposed  ...  view the full minutes text for item C:57