Agenda item


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The Corporate Governance Manager presented the report which proposed the adoption of the Annual Plan for 2024-2025.

The Panel’s attention was drawn to the key issues and options considered as set out in the report.


It was explained that the Annual Plan 2024/2025 had been developed to reflect the services and projects which would commence, be in progress or will be delivered during the year.


The Chair thanked the Corporate Governance Manager for the report and invited Councillors attending under Standing Order 34 to address the Panel.


Under Standing Order 34, Councillor Kemp addressed the Panel and referred one of the key corporate priorities – protect our environment and commented that consideration should be given as to how active travel could fit with the King’s Lynn Area Transport Plan (KLATS) and gave examples of the King’s Lynn Ferry being more accessible and the footpaths in West Lynn to reduce the traffic.  Councillor Kemp also referred to the Town Deal Plan for West Norfolk and the opportunity for a new railway station.


The Chair invited the Panel to ask questions/make comments, a summary of which is set out below.


Councillor Mrs Spikings highlighted the fact that residents living in rural areas relied on a car and there was no suitable transport to travel into the town centre.


In response to questions from Councillor Sayers on encouraging private sector house development and what measurable impact could be expected, the Corporate Governance Manager undertook to liaise with the relevant Executive Director and provide a response to the Panel.


Following comments from the Chair on the presentation of the Corporate Plan, the Corporate Governance Manager explained that the 2023/2024 plan had been published and the Corporate Strategy 2023-2027 was adopted by Council in November 2023.  To underpin the four-year Corporate Strategy, Cabinet resolved to produce an Annual Plan each year to highlight the key priorities for the year ahead which reflected the current economic climate, financial position and the needs of residents, visitors and  business.  It was the first time that the Annual Plan had been presented by the current Administration.


Councillor Long commented that it was now being presented in a new format which looked at priorities which were similar in all councils in the UK for a vibrant borough and added that it was importance that the priorities identified were delivered.


The Chair, Councillor Dark drew attention to page 211 – protect our environment and the Council will implement the Hunstanton Coastal Management Plan and carry out a geotechnical investigation of Hunstanton sea defences.  The Chair expressed concern regarding the role of the Environment Agency and the article in the Eastern Daily Press on 26 February 2024 that there was an issue with the Environment Agency maintaining sea defences and cost implications and asked if this section could be “beefed up.”


The Chair drew the Panel’s attention to page 212 – efficient and effective delivery of our services – consider appropriate resources to investigate a town council for the unparished area of King’s Lynn and the adoption of West Norfolk as the name of the borough and asked why it was included if the proposal was now off the table for a couple of years.  In response, the Chief Executive explained that priorities set out in the Corporate Strategy were for the whole period 2023 to 2027.  The Chief Executive reassured the Chair that the investigation into a town council would not progress in 2024.


The Chair referred to page 211 as above and commented that the word be amended to read:  Implement the Hunstanton Coastal Management Plan led by the Environment Agency, etc…


Councillor Long concurred with the concerns expressed by the Chair in relation to the Hunstanton Coastal Management Plan and added that in the past the Shoreline Management Plan had been driven by partners and outlined the Environment Agency model to protect the single ridge.  Councillor Long stated that he could not endorse the Annual Plan 2024-2025.


The Chair invited the Leader to address the Panel.


The Leader addressed the Panel and explained that the Council would produce a Annual Plan and referred to the article which had been published in the Eastern Daily Press and commented that he hoped the Panel would support the Annual Plan.


The Chair proposed the following amendment:


We will influence the Coastal Management Plan to best protect the businesses and residents of West Norfolk and carry out a geotechnical investigation of Hunstanton sea defences.


Councillor Long seconded the proposal but on being put to the vote was lost (4 for, 5 against).


RESOLVED:  The Panel supported the recommendation to Cabinet as set out below:


That Cabinet resolve to endorse and adopt the Annual Plan for 2024/2025.


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