Venue: Council Chamber, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn PE30 5DQ. View directions
Contact: Kathy Wagg
Apologies for Absence
To receive any apologies for absence.
Apologies for absence had been received from Councillor Mrs Wilkinson.
Councillors Lowe and Rust (Chair) had advised that they would be late arriving to the meeting.
To confirm as a correct record the minutes of the previous meeting.
The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a correct record.
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.
These 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.
To consider any business which, by reason of special circumstances, the Chairman proposes to accept as urgent under Section 100(b)(4)(b) of the Local Government Act, 1972.
There was no urgent business to report.
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 were no Members present pursuant to Standing Order 34.
Chair's Correspondence (if any)
There was no Chair’s correspondence to report.
Julie Chaplin, Hanseatic Union will give a briefing on the work being carried out with the Ukrainian community and the wider migrant community.
The Chair welcomed Julie Chaplin from the Hanseatic Union to the meeting to give an outline of the work being carried out with the Ukrainian community and wider migrant community.
Julie explained that the Hanseatic Union was a charity which had been set up 10 years ago to help to address isolation and the non-interaction between the different parts of the community. The charity decided to put on some activities to bring the communities together and to build up a programme and offer support to help get people into employment. She added that following meetings with clients, there tended to be a theme of issues and need, and so a project was put together to try and meet that need.
She added that over the 10 years the Hanseatic Union had worked with thousands of different Eastern Europeans, different migrant groups and more recently Ukraine’s, which was how links had been formed with the Council in relation to the Ukrainian Welcome Centre. Work was also carried out with English people. She added that Eastern Europeans, migrants and refugees tended to be very isolated.
Julie provided some statistics to the Committee in relation to the areas of work which they covered (January 2023 – January 2024) and explained some of the stories behind the statistics and the challenges faced:
· Benefits – 309
· Council Tax - 33
· Housing - 229
· Poverty - 245
· Tribunals – 38
Councillor Rust joined the meeting and took over the Chair.
She explained that in a lot of the cases there was very little that the Charity could do in terms of financial support.
The Chair thanked Julie for the update and then invited questions / comments from the Committee, a summary of which is provided below:
Councillor Jones asked whether the local Councillor was contacted if someone was having issues, as they might be able to help signpost to the correct department. Julie explained that she didn’t but would look to do this in the future and share with her colleagues. One such issue that had arisen was Eastern Europeans being able to vote in the elections.
Councillor Bone asked whether the Hanseatic Union carried out any joined up working with Access. Julie explained that Access had closed so they had taken on extra work because of that.
The Chair added that other charities were also at risk of closure.
Councillor Colwell asked whether they linked up with the Citizens Advice Bureau?
Julie explained that she had spoken to the Regional Manager, but they worked in different ways. The HU was about relationship building and giving advice and guidance also came into that but the HU wanted long-term relationships. In terms of legal advice, she explained that they used Google and Norfolk Community Law, but she was trying to get funding to be able to provide legal advice for their clients, as there was no longer legal aid.
Councillor Colwell asked whether there was ... view the full minutes text for item 7.
Street lighting - Tracy Brooker
The Chair welcomed Tracy Brooker, Property Services Manager to the meeting, to respond to questions which had been raised at the Special Expenses meeting held on 16 November 2023, in relation to:
Tracy confirmed that the Council had looked at using solar power for streetlighting. There were some advantages of using solar streetlighting but also disadvantages, the obvious one being that it was very weather dependant. Also, the initial outlay was greater for solar lighting, it provided limited brightness and there was also an increase in maintenance costs because of the frequency of upkeep and cleaning of the solar panels. Whilst it did have its uses, it was emerging technology, which was being kept under review, but it was not really suitable for the Borough’s streetlights at the moment.
This was a function of the County Council, but they had devolved it to the Borough Council and unfortunately, they were not adopting any more streetlights. Some savings had been made. Under the Re:fit programme the Council was awarded £569,000 to change some streetlighting columns which had been procured at a reduction of approximately £270,000. The remaining £300,000 from that budget was going to be used to replace all of the Borough’s streetlights with LED equivalents to reduce on-going energy costs. The project was starting now, and it was hoped that it would be out to procurement at the beginning of the next financial year.
These would be replaced to LED lighting as part of the project detailed above.
In summary, the issues raised were on the radar already and it was hoped to bring the changes in as soon as possible subject to going through the appropriate tender processes.
The Chair thanked Tracy for the update and invited the Committee for questions / comments, as detailed below:
Councillor Jones stated that he understood the problems with solar panels, but he felt that there were other technologies where you could have mains supply so that when the battery in the solar panel reduced, it could switched over to the mains.
The Property Services Manager explained that the solar streetlights had a battery which needed replacing after every 10 years and could be a disadvantage where the streetlights were used more frequently. There were some advantages to solar but not for large scale replacement projects. She added that there were more disadvantages than advantages at the present time for solar lighting, but she envisaged that this would change in time as it was emerging technology.
Councillor Kemp asked if officers were aware that the County Council were sadly planning to cut out 2% of streetlights in Norfolk. She added that there were areas in the town where streetlights were needed for safety reasons and asked ... view the full minutes text for item 8.
Update on Accessible Play Equipment at The Walks
The Assistant Director – Health, Wellbeing & Public Protection advised the Committee that the bid had been submitted and accepted. A decision on whether the bid had been successful would be announced in March 2024.
The Chair would be speaking to Radio Norfolk about the provision of the accessible play equipment even though a decision on the bid would not have been made. She added that this would send a message to residents that this was an ambition of the Committee.
Appoint another Member to the KLACC Planning Sub-Group
AGREED: That Councillors Bartrum and Ware be appointed to the Sub-Group, subject to appropriate Planning Committee Training being carried out.
The Committee is asked to consider items for a future Work Programme for
The Committee is also asked to consider the Cabinet’s Forward Decision List.
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The Committee discussed items to be placed on the work programme.
Councillor Colwell asked for an item on a crossing for Tennyson Avenue be added. He advised that he had commissioned a feasibility report on the issue. It was agreed that this would be circulated to the Committee.
Councillor Bone suggested that the Committee should look at producing a Neighbourhood Plan for the town.
AGREED: (1) That the above items be added to the work programme.
(2) That the Committee noted the Cabinet’s Forward Decisions list.
Honorary Alderman John Loveless
Tributes were made to Honorary Alderman John Loveless who had sadly passed away at the weekend.
The Committee then stood for a minutes’ silence in his memory.
Date of Next Meeting
An additional meeting of the Committee had been scheduled for Tuesday 13 February 2024 at 5.15 pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall.