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 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 the reports en bloc.


Councillor Crofts asked Councillor Anota for an update on refurbishment of Downham Market toilets.  He explained that it was moving forward and an updated proposal would be coming forward.


Councillor Kemp asked Councillor Ring if the West Lynn side would be incorporated into the riverfront project.  He suggested that the ideas be submitted to the Town Deal Board.


Councillor Bearshaw asked Councillor Anota what the situation was with works to King’s Court.  Councillor Anota confirmed the stair case works were carried out all bar the cosmetic element.  He explained that the had asked for a review of King’s Court layout to be carried out in order for the potential for letting out further space.


Councillor Sandell asked Councillor Rust if she agreed that the additional donation to the foodbank was the right move. Councillor Rust reminded members that the proposal had been accepted unopposed and made reference to the cost of living crisis.


Councillor Heneghan asked about the pause in the provision of accessible play equipment, to which Councillor Rust explained she had been to a meeting on accessible play equipment  which had showed what was available which had resulted in her taking stock of what was to be provided.


Councillor Kemp asked Councillor Anota whether the car park at the West Lynn Community centre would be extended.  Councillor Anota invited Councillor Kemp to let him have the detail and he would look into it.


Councillor Lintern asked if parish councils were being encouraged to distribute new food caddies or they were being taken with the Beat the Bills Roadshow.  Councillor Squire responded that she would be happy to work with parish councils and the Beat the Bills suggestion was very sensible.


Councillor Long asked how Councillors generally would be involved in the review of Alive West Norfolk. Councillor Ring reported that a report was being prepared over the coming months which would be brought through for Cabinet and Panel consideration.


By way of an update, councillor Beales informed Council that the groundworks contractor for Lovells, Bowie construction had gone into liquidation. He reported this would effect the Florence Fields site, but it would be for Lovells to source a replacement contractor. 


Councillor Dark asked Councillor Ring who decided on the level of support for the children’s schemes during holidays etc.  Councillor Ring confirmed that the Alive West Norfolk Board made those decisions.  He undertook to look at the figures quoted by Councillor Dark as activity in children was an important focus on health, he also suggested that schools should be doing more.


Councillor Ryves asked if the Community Based Housing approach might work.  Councillor Rust explained it was in its early stages, but she had been introduced to it by a resident, and since she looked at some areas which could help support community driven schemes.


Councillor Devulapalli asked for clarification on 1/8 households not having access to green space, Councillor Rust undertook to check her records to see it was nationally.


In response to a question from Councillor Ryves on the £20m Government Towns Fund, Councillor Beales responded that the Council had been notifies with information available on the Government’s web site.  He felt confident in the ability to deliver, the funding was flexible and could be used to cashflow projects.  He reported on the fact there was a new Chair for the Town Deal Board, the role of the police and MPs had strengthened.


Councillor Rust responded to a point raised by Councillor Devulapalli on the shortage of therapeutic services in the East for child sexual abuse victims, she drew attention to an existing group of volunteers who were assisting with it, she had also drawn their attention to potential areas of funding through the Health and Wellbeing Partnership.


Councillor Bearshaw asked what the Council had to do with monitoring the Wash Barrier project.  Councillor de Whalley said he would be looking into the integrity of the project.  Councillor Squire informed members that she had spoken to the company and their PR representative was keen to speak to Councillors on the matter.


Leader’s Questions


Councillor Long asked what progress had been made on the removal of a Chair following the Standards hearing.  Councillor Parish responded that he had asked the individual to resign on 3 occasions, but they had declined to do so, so any change would have to take place at the Annual Council meeting.  Councillor Nash asked the Leaders if the Group would adhere to the published rules when dealing with internal and external matters.  Councillor Parish confirmed the rules would be adhered to and he would attempt to ensure that both Councillor Nash and the Legal representatives had their say.


Councillor Kemp asked if there would be a Town Council for King’s Lynn.  Councillor Parish responded that the would like to see one for the town, but it was necessary to comply with Council decisions, and drew attention to the fact that the King’s Lynn Area Committee was now in place with executive powers.   He explained that he received comments for and against a parish council.


Councillor Collingham asked the Leader if he supported the Queen Elizabeth Hospital bid as it currently stood or somewhere else.  Councillor Parish suggested that he would be keen to see a direct comparison and reasoned arguments of the suggestions of the existing site and a different site/s.  He undertook to support the hospital with their reasoned answer.


Councillor Ryves asked what plans were in place to work constructively with the Trust to achieve the new hospital.  Councillor Parish explained that he met with the Trust, and re-iterated the need for straight forward answers from them as everyone wanted the best option for the new hospital for west Norfolk.


Councillor Dark drew attention to a previous debate on the protection of the shingle ridge flood defences for Snettisham and Wolferton.  Councillor Parish commented that the shingle ridge was currently getting higher and wider.  The Environment Agency report on the defenses was due out in the spring.  He commented that a strong storm surge would not stop the ridge moving, although the Environment Agency had taken action against those households who had damaged the bank and had indicated that if it needed repairs they would deal with it.. 

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