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.)


Business – Councillor A Beales

Climate Change and Biodiversity – Councillor M de Whalley

Environment and Coastal - Councillor S Squire

Finance – Councillor C Morley

Property & Corporate Services – Councillor B Anota

People and Communities – Councillor J Rust

Tourism Events and Marketing – Cllr S Ring

Deputy Leader Development and Regeneration – Councillor J Moriarty


Leader - Councillor T Parish



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Councillor Parish proposed all Cabinet Members reports en bloc and explained there were some updates.


Councillor Rust gave an update on the meetings she had attended, the Open Road Meeting was due to take place on 12 December.

Councillor Squire explained it was Flood Action Week and encouraged Members to get involved.


Councillor Ring corrected the 600 years comment regarding Shakespeare in his report to 400 years.


Councillor Moriarty’s report didn’t contain his portfolio name etc.


Councillor Lawrence asked whether the comments and views expressed by Councillor Rust on the hospital replacement were known by the hospital leadership.  Councillor Rust confirmed that the information she had commented on was from a public document and she would continue to endeavour to be clear.


Councillors Rust and Ring responded to a question from Councillor Collop on her being invited to any meetings on the 3G pitch. Councillor Ring confirmed that going forward the Council would consult with residents on a 3G pitch.  He informed Members that following feedback on some highways issues with the Beulah Street entrance the planning application for the 3G pitch had been withdrawn.  He confirmed meetings were taking place with Norfolk Football Association and the Football Foundation to find an alternative site. 


Councillor Sayers asked Councillor Morley if the Council disregarded injury compensation payments received by members of the armed forces when taking into account housing benefit and discretionary payments in accordance with the Armed. Forces Covenant. Councillor Morley confirmed that they were disregarded.


Councillor Bullen asked as to whether Councillor Rust had witnessed the work of the Downham Market Macular Group which he had supported with his Councillor Grant.  Councillor Rust commended the work of the Group and confirmed that the wider focus on health included social activity as well as clinical.  She also drew attention to the Downham Market Food For Thought course, and projects concentrating on men’s health, along with the Beat the Bills work being carried out by the Borough Council.


Councillor Long asked whether Councillor Rust had apologised for comments made about the County Education when referring to the Boost project.  Councillor Rust responded that she was referring to young people not being able to achieve what they wanted to achieve.


In response to a question from Councillor Jones regarding the roll out of Councillors IT equipment he confirmed that IT were chasing those Councillors who hadn’t yet responded but the roll out would begin shortly.


In response to a question from Councillor Sayers on the homeless facilities in the Borough Councillor Rust gave an overview of the types of accommodation available.


Councillor de Whalley responded to Councillor Kemp’s question on what the Council was doing to speak against the Wisbech Incinerator in that every opportunity had been taken to speak against, and a letter had been sent to the Secretary of State signed by all group leaders.

Councillor Dark asked Councillor Ring why he hadn’t attended the HAG meeting and why the Soapbox Derby had been moved to September.  Councillor Ring explained he had missed the HAG meetings due to diary clashes, but he had met with 2 key members of the Group, he had given them the options around the timing of the Derby of Easter or September, to which they didn’t mind but agreed that holding it in September was likely to extend the season. 


Councillor Ware asked Councillor Beales if the planting of trees on the Florence Field site was to use the exemplar demonstrated at Sandringham.  Councillor Beales confirmed the site was a good one to plant trees, although there were not many contractors. He offered Councillor Ware a visit when he was next on site.


In response to Councillor Colwell’s question on the Parkway flooding, Councillor Beales explained it was an attenuation area, a deliberate area to hold the water during the recent storm.  He confirmed he had liaised with Councillor Long as IDB Chair to discuss a broken culvert which was restricting flow, which may cause a delay to installation of tanks. He undertook to report on any additional costing in due course.


In response to Councillor Blunt’s question about the provision of housing, Councillor Beales said that they were hoping to increase the numbers of properties through the Council’s Companies.  The final decision on it would be for the Council to decide.


Councillor Beales undertook to provide Councillor Bartrum and all councillors with a written response to the progress on the S 106 earmarked for improvements to the Salters Road development play area.


Councillor Devulapalli asked Councillor Moriarty a question on improvements to infrastructure and cycling in the borough and if and how consultations would take place.  Councillor Moriarty confirmed that the policies were the responsibility of NCC and in 2022 they carried out a consultation – he undertook to send the link to the report.  There was also the Countywide local cycling and walking Infrastructure plan which was sent out for consultation.   He confirmed that the Borough needed to do some work on how the council approached consultation.


Councillor Collingham asked a question of Councillor Anota as to whether it was planned to have any preferential rates for Christmas shoppers this year to encourage people into town.  In his absence Councillor Anota would be asked to respond in writing, copying in all Councillors.


Leader’s Questions


Councillor Dark asked the Leader whether he had visited the Ukrainian centre, in King’s Court and if the funding if it was being approved.  Councillor Parish confirmed he had visited the centre, and the funding was in the process of being approved.


Councillor Sayers asked if the Charity Commission’s advice that grant giving organisations publish their policy of giving the grants was heeded by the Council.  Councillor Parish confirmed that the Borough Council provided a number of grants, and he would ascertain what the situation was in due course.


Councillor Ryves made reference to the report of the Public Accounts Committee on the new hospital programme.  He referred to the site implications and how it may affect King’s Lynn.  Councillor Parish read out an extract from the report on problems being experienced with the design, build, size and affordability of the new hospitals planned, including the King’s Lynn hospital.  He confirmed he would be writing to the Secretary of State and MPs to ask for assurance that the new hospital would not be affected, he undertook to give other group leaders the opportunity to sign the letter.   He confirmed that he would also be commenting in the newspaper the following day.


Councillor Blunt asked Councillor Parish that if following the staff pay award the staff recruitment and retention was on a similar level to proceeding years and recruitment issues were connected to national issues.  He asked if there was evidence put forward for the additional payment made in the award. 


Councillor Parish pointed out that the question had been answered on the evening at Corporate Performance Panel, but that the issue of recruitment was ongoing in some areas as had been the case previously. He confirmed that the pay award was only recently made, and that work was going forward to look at the next years award.


Councillor Sayers asked if free school meals should be given to all families that were in receipt of Universal Credit or on a low income.  Councillor Parish reminded members that the Borough was not responsible for school meals, but he did support the provision of meals, breakfast clubs and after school snacks for after school activities.  He confirmed that a child was more likely to attend school when a meal was provided.


Councillor Parish wished all members a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.

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