Agenda item

In accordance with Standing Order 11, to receive reports from Cabinet Members moved en bloc, under Standing Order 11.2 Members of the Council may ask questions of Cabinet Members on their reports and Portfolio areas. The order of putting questions shall commence with a Member from the largest opposition group, proceeding in descending order to the smallest opposition group, followed by a non-aligned Member and finally a Member from the ruling group. This order shall repeat until the time for questions has elapsed or there are no more questions to be put. 


The period of time for putting questions and receiving responses shall not exceed 50 minutes for all Cabinet Members, excluding the Leader


The period of time for putting questions and receiving responses to the Leader shall not exceed 15 minutes.



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



Corporate Services - Councillor H Humphrey

Environment - Councillor P Kunes

Development - Councillor R Blunt

Finance – Councillor A Dickinson – to follow

Property – Councillor A Lawrence

People and Communities – Councillor S Sandell

Deputy Leader and Business, Culture & Heritage – Councillor G Middleton


Leader - Councillor S Dark – to follow



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Councillor Dark moved the Cabinet Members reports en bloc.  This was seconded by Councillor Middleton.


Councillor Dickinson responded to a question from Councillor Morley on the finances of the Guildhall.


Councillor Sandell responded to a question from Councillor Collop on Councillor Wilkinson’s behalf regarding the visit to the Fairstead Community shop.


Councillor Blunt responded to points raised by Councillor Kemp around the Town Deal fund, the area which was raised was not within its area, but confirmed discussions were taking place about the ferry outside of the Town Deal discussions.


Following a question from Councillor Spikings, Councillor Kunes confirmed that the Welney Wildfowl  and Wetlands Trust was a huge boost to the tourism offer, attracting many visitors to the area.


In response to a question from Councillor Rust regarding the inclusion of more properties with affordable rents within the housing companies, Councillor Lawrence confirmed that West Norfolk Housing Company was a Registered Provider of housing already had a number on its books but that he would do his best to utilise his portfolio to provide properties. 


Councillor Kunes responded to Councillor Kemp’s question on the provision of planting an orchard in South Lynn and explained that investigations of the site were under way because of its proximity to the road, it was possible that an orchard was not advisable due to the particulates from the traffic.


Councillor Devereux asked Councillor Kunes whether the Solar Together scheme would be open to late applications.  It was confirmed that it would not but that a second round would be likely next year.


Councillor de Whalley asked Councillor Kunes questions on tree management and maintenance, Councillor Kunes confirmed the site was tested , and would let him know the details.


In response to a point raised by Councillor Joyce, Councillor Dickinson confirmed that security was the prime concern with investments, and the investment he referred to was short term and had been redeemed.


Councillor Collingham asked Councillor Sandell about the films recently shown at the Corn Exchange to which she confirmed that some Ukrainian films had been shown which resulted in good attendance figures.   Further foreign language films were being considered.


Councillor Blunt in responding to Councillor Holmes confirmed that the council was lobbying central government regarding house completion targets as in previous years.  He explained that there may have to be an action plan dependent on the government responses.


In response to Councillor D Tyler, Councillor Blunt informed members that the Local Plan Examination was due to commence on 6 December and would have 3 sessions in all with the following sessions on 10-12 January, and 25-26 January 2023.  He encouraged members of the Local Plan Task Group to attend.


Following a question from Councillor Parish on the Rural Prosperity Fund, Councillor Middleton confirmed that the Council would have to fund its administration, that match funding would be sought from applicants, although it could be flexible and would be open to rural communities.


Following a question from Councillor Ryves regarding legal advice taken over the Guildhall Trust, Councillor Middleton confirmed the decision was taken that the CIO be appointed was taken as the preferred option.


Councillor Humphrey responded to a question from Councillor Crofts giving details about the successful Fawkes in the Walks and Christmas lights switch on. 


In response to a question from Councillor Joyce regarding the Trustees Councillor Middleton confirmed the CIO with the new Trustees was being set up.


Following a question from Councillor Crofts, Councillor Blunt gave an update on the next round of CIL applications which commenced on 1 January 2023.  He encouraged Members to make sure their parishes were aware of it.


Following a question from Councillor Ryves regarding the funding of the Guildhall, Councillor Middleton reminded members that it would need to go through Council for a decision on finances where the position would be examined.


In response to a question from Councillor Parish regarding the funding of the consultants working on the Kaset, Councillor Middleton reminded members that the decision had been through Panels for consideration and comments, but that there was a team working on the proposals.


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Leaders Questions


Councillor Rust asked the Leader a question on the letter sent to the Government Minister regarding the QE Hospital. He explained it was a letter from all Leaders of Councils surrounding the area, MPs urging Government to replace the hospital.


Councillor Collop asked why the remembrance event at Gaywood had not taken place this year.  The Leader undertook to ascertain the reasons why.


In response to Councillor Kemp’s question about the announcement made by Jeremy Hunt MP about an elected mayor for Norfolk, Councillor Dark explained that discussions were ongoing about devolvement of power to Norfolk.  He stated that if something was due to happen then he would ask the County Council to brief the Borough Council on it.


Councillor Long urged consideration of the appointment of Honorary Aldermen as it hadn’t been appropriate to do so during the pandemic.  The Leader confirmed this would take place post election and encouraged Group Leaders to give consideration to any appropriate nominees.

Councillor de Whalley made reference to James Wilde MP not appearing to be objecting to the Medworth incinerator.  The Leader undertook to raise the issue with him.


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