Agenda and decisions

Cabinet - Monday, 4th October, 2021 10.00 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Emma Denny  Email: emma.denny@north-norfolk.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 248 KB

To approve, as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 6th September 2021.

3.

Public Questions and Statements

To receive questions and statements from the public, if any.

4.

Items of Urgent Business pdf icon PDF 1 MB

There is one of item of urgent business:

 

Business Rates Pooling – 2022/23

 

Recommendation:

To resolve that:

 

1)    North Norfolk joins a business rates pooling arrangement with Norfolk County Council and other Norfolk District Councils;

2)    That the power be delegated to the Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Chief Finance Officer to agree the detailed pooling and governance arrangements for the pool with Norfolk County Council and other Norfolk Districts.

 

Reason for urgency:        A decision is required by 8th October 2021.

 

Please note - a full report will follow shortly

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED

 

1)    North Norfolk re-joins the business rates pooling arrangement with Norfolk County Council and other Norfolk district Councils subject to the financial forecasts demonstrating this would result in additional growth being retained;

2)    That the power be delegated to the Chief Executive Officer in consultation with the Leader of the Council and the Chief Finance Officer to agree the detailed pooling and governance arrangements for the pool with Norfolk County Council and other Norfolk Districts.

 

Reason for the decision:

 

To maximise the amount of additional business rates income that is retained in Norfolk and invested in Norfolk

5.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 233 KB

Members are asked at this stage to declare any interests that they may have in any of the following items on the agenda. The Code of Conduct for Members requries that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (see attached guidance and flowchart)

6.

Members' Questions

To receive oral questions from Members, if any

7.

Recommendations from Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party

Recommendations from Planning Policy & Built Heritage Working Party 13th September:

 

Small Growth Villages update:

 

Resolved to recommend to Cabinet:

 

That the decision to remove Happisburgh from the list of Small Growth Villages be reversed and that the Planning Policy Manager in consultation with the Chair of the Working Party and local Member be authorised to make the final decision on the status of Happisburgh as late in the Plan preparation process as possible having regard to the circumstances at the time.

 

Local Plan Site Allocations Cromer:

 

Resolved to recommend to Cabinet:

 

That land west of Cromer adjacent to Norwich Road is included in the Reg19 Local Plan as an allocation for approximately 400 dwellings, sports pitches, elderly persons’ accommodation, open space and supporting infrastructure and that development of the site accords with a single comprehensive master plan and phasing agreement.

 

That land at Clifton Park is NOT allocated in the Reg19 Plan for approx. 55 dwellings, elderly care accommodation and public open space,subject to confirmation that it does not constitute a CWS designation and does not meet the criteria for such a designation.

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED:

 

Small Growth Villages:

 

To reverse the decision to remove Happisburgh from the list of Small Growth Villages and to authorise the Planning Policy Manager (in consultation with the Chairman of the Working Party and the Local Member) to make the final decision on the status of Happisburgh, having regard to the circumstances at the time.

 

Local Plan Site Allocations Cromer:

 

That land west of Cromer adjacent to Norwich Road is included in the Reg19 Local Plan as an allocation for approximately 400 dwellings, sports pitches, elderly persons’ accommodation, open space and supporting infrastructure and that development of the site accords with a single comprehensive master plan and phasing agreement.

 

That land at Clifton Park is not allocated in the Reg19 Plan.

8.

Recommendations from Overview & Scrutiny Committee

To consider any recommendations referred to the Cabinet by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee for consideration by the Cabinet in accordance within the Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules

9.

DETERMINATION OF COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNTS 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

This report sets out alternative options for the level of council tax discounts which Full Council will resolve shall apply to classes of dwelling for the financial year 2022/23.

 

The determinations are made by the Council under sections 11A and 11B, and of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, subsequent enabling powers and Regulations made under the Act.

 

The recommendations take advantage of the reforms included in the Local Government Finance Act 2012 as amended to generate additional revenue. 

 

Conclusions:

 

The legislation provides local authorities with the power to make changes to the level of council tax discount in relation to classes of property. The Council has to approve its determinations for each financial year. The calculation of the tax base for 2022/23 will be made on the assumption that the determinations recommended below will apply. 

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

Members recommend that Full Council shall resolve that under section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, and in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 2012 and other enabling powers one of the following applies:

 

Recommendation 1

 

(a)            The discounts for the year 2022/23 and beyond are set at the levels indicated in the table at paragraph 2.1.

(b)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 24 months) is set at 100% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(c)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 60 months) is set at 200% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(d)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 120 months) is set at 300% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(e)            To award a Council Tax Hardship Discount of 100% as per the policy attached at Appendix B, under the provisions section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended)

(f)             To continue to award a local discount of 100% for eligible cases of care leavers under section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended).

(g)            That an exception to the levy charges may be made by the Section 151 Officer in conjunction with the Portfolio holder for Finance, on advice of the Revenues Manager in the circumstances laid out in section 3.6 of this report.

 

Recommendation 2

 

(a)            those dwellings that are specifically identified under regulation 6 of the Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings)(England) Regulations 2003 will retain the 50% discount and;

(b)            those dwellings described or geographically defined at Appendix A which in the reasonable opinion of the Head of Finance and Asset Management are judged not to be structurally capable of occupation all year round and were built before the restrictions of seasonal usage were introduced by the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, will be entitled to a 35% discount.

   

In accordance with the relevant  ...  view the full agenda text for item 9.

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

Resolved to recommend to Full Council:

 

that Full Council shall resolve that under section 11A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, and in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 2012 and other enabling powers one of the following applies:

 

Recommendation 1

 

(a)            The discounts for the year 2022/23 and beyond are set at the levels indicated in the table at paragraph 2.1.

(b)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 24 months) is set at 100% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(c)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 60 months) is set at 200% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(d)            The premium for long term empty properties (those that have been empty for a consecutive period longer than 120 months) is set at 300% of the Council Tax charge for that dwelling

(e)            To award a Council Tax Hardship Discount of 100% as per the policy attached at Appendix B, under the provisions section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended)

(f)             To continue to award a local discount of 100% for eligible cases of care leavers under section 13A of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (as amended).

(g)            That an exception to the levy charges may be made by the Section 151 Officer in conjunction with the Portfolio holder for Finance, on advice of the Revenues Manager in the circumstances laid out in section 3.6 of this report.

 

Recommendation 2

 

(a)            those dwellings that are specifically identified under regulation 6 of the Council Tax (Prescribed Classes of Dwellings)(England) Regulations 2003 will retain the 50% discount and;

(b)            those dwellings described or geographically defined at Appendix A which in the reasonable opinion of the Head of Finance and Asset Management are judged not to be structurally capable of occupation all year round and were built before the restrictions of seasonal usage were introduced by the Town and Country Planning Act 1947, will be entitled to a 35% discount.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

To set appropriate council tax discounts which will apply in 2022/23 in accordance with the legal requirements and to raise additional council tax revenue.

 

10.

Draft Procurement Strategy 2021 - 2025 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

The Council’s Procurement Strategy has been updated in light of the Covid19 pandemic and to reflect the Council’s Corporate priorities. It outlines how the procurement function will support delivery of these objectives, as well as supporting delivery of the Council’s budget, Medium Term Financial Strategy (MTFS).The updated Strategy also emphasises the increasing importance of using procurement to support wider social, economic and environmental objectives, in ways that offer real long term benefits. The draft Strategy was considered by the Governance Risk and Audit Committee at their meeting of 28 September and any recommendations to the current draft will be provided verbally at the Cabinet meeting.

 

The Council could continue to operate under the current Procurement Strategy but this does not take account of any impact of Covid19 or the current Corporate Priorities.

 

Conclusions:

 

The Strategy document provides the framework which governs the Council’s corporate aims and objectives in relation to procurement. It also provides the structure for the effective management and monitoring of procurement activity. It has been updated in light of the Covid19 pandemic and to reflect the Council’s Corporate Priorities and emphasises the increasing importance of using procurement to support wider social, economic and environmental objectives.

 

Recommendations:

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

That Cabinet approve the draft strategy.

 

To agree the updated Procurement Strategy.

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

 

 

Cabinet Member(s) - Cllr Eric Seward

 

Ward(s) affected - All

Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Duncan Ellis, 01263 516330, Duncan.ellis@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED

 

To approve the Procurement Strategy 2021 - 2025

11.

Customer Services Strategy pdf icon PDF 120 KB

Summary:

 

Options considered:

Adoption of updated Customer Services Strategy

 

An approved strategy is required.

 

Conclusions:

 

The Customer Services Strategy provides a sound base for the definition and improvement of standards and performance and should be approved for adoption.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

Cabinet are requested to approve the Customer Standards Strategy for adoption.

Reasons for

Recommendations:

This will allow the further definition and development of the Digital Customer Service Improvement programme.

 

             

Cabinet Member(s):

Cllr. Lucy Shires

 

Ward(s) affected: All

 

 

Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Sean Kelly, 01263516276, Sean.Kelly@North-norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED

 

To adopt the Customer Service Strategy

 

Reason for the decision:

 

To ensure a high standard of customer service is provided across the organisation.

12.

People Services Restructure pdf icon PDF 635 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following the Management Restructure a new ‘People Services’ service grouping was formed which brings together the Benefits, Housing Options, Housing Adaptation and Health and Wellbeing teams under an Assistant Director.

 

The Assistant Director has identified a number of challenges and opportunities for the service and has proposed changes to the structure which are supported by additional posts to provide capacity to deliver an enhanced service in support of the Corporate Plan objectives and maximise the opportunities to lever in external funding and income to expand the offering further. 

 

This paper sets out the basis for these additional fixed term posts and the use of uncommitted fee income and relevant reserves to fund them over the two-year period.

 

 

 

 

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is recommended that Cabinet agree the use of uncommitted fee income and reserves to fund the proposed additional posts within for the revised ‘People Services’ service grouping and to earmark the uncommitted fee income and the required level of reserves to support the funding of the structure for the next 2 years.    

 

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

 

none

 

 

 

 

             

Cabinet Member(s)

 

Ward(s) affected – all

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Karen Hill, Assistant Director of People Services, 01263 516183, karen.hill@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

 

 

 


 

 

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED

 

To agree the use of uncommitted fee income and reserves to fund the proposed additional posts within for the revised ‘People Services’ service grouping and to earmark the uncommitted fee income and the required level of reserves to support the funding of the structure for the next 2 years.    

 

Reasons for the decision:

To provide capacity to deliver an enhanced service in support of the Corporate Plan objectives and maximise the opportunities to lever in external funding and income to expand the offering further

 

13.

Use of Housing Reserves to Enhance Delivery pdf icon PDF 462 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

This paper provides information on the level of housing reserves held by NNDC as at 31/3/21, which were £2.516m; and includes information on the source of these reserves. 

 

The report goes on to set out some proposed uses for these reserves; including reference to a paper elsewhere on today’s agenda which set out proposals for maintaining and strengthening staffing resources in Peoples Services.

 

The report sets out plans and commitments already in place to use some of the funding, i.e. continuing to fund the Community Enabler post and ensuring some grant funding remains for community-led housing.

 

The report further recommends that funding is used to support a dedicated energy officer role to help deliver many of the energy efficiency projects included in the agreed Housing Strategy

 

The report then recommends uses for the remaining housing reserves to enhance housing delivery, which are in line with the objectives in the Housing Strategy.

 

 

Options considered for use of reserves, in line with agreed Housing Strategy objectives, are set out in the body of the report.

Retaining un-committed reserves was rejected as an option as it is considered that releasing the funding can have a positive impact on housing need at this time.

 

Conclusions:

 

£2.516m of housing reserves were brought into 2021/22. Some of these reserves have already been committed to existing salaries and projects. However, the remaining reserves can be used to help meet housing needs in the district in line with the Corporate Plan objective Local Homes for Local Need.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

That Cabinet support the recommended uses of the £2.516 of housing reserves to fund the continuation of posts and restructure of Peoples Services, continuation of community-led housing activity and an energy officer role (as set out in paragraphs 2.1 – 2.11)

 

That Cabinet support use of the remaining £890,246 of reserves to accelerate housing delivery (as set out in paragraphs 2.12 – 2.25), including the purchase of two further units of temporary accommodation for homeless households.

 

That Cabinet gives delegated authority to a Chief Officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing & Benefits, for the purchase of the specific properties within the overall re-allocated budget of £640,000 (with all purchases subject to an independent valuation and survey). 

 

To provide authority for expenditure over £100,000.

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which are not published elsewhere)

 

 

Outturn Report – Period 12 budget monitoring (Cabinet 6th September 2021)

Community Housing Fund (Cabinet 6th February 2017)

 

 

 

 

             

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Wendy Fredericks

 

Ward(s) affected

Districtwide

Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Contact Officer: Nicky Debbage/Graham Connolly, Housing Strategy & Delivery Manager, tel: 01263 516027/516282

 

 

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED

 

That Cabinet support the recommended uses of the £2.516 of housing reserves to fund the continuation of posts and restructure of Peoples Services, continuation of community-led housing activity and an energy officer role (as set out in paragraphs 2.1 – 2.11)

 

That Cabinet support use of the remaining £890,246 of reserves to accelerate housing delivery (as set out in paragraphs 2.12 – 2.25), including the purchase of two further units of temporary accommodation for homeless households.

 

That Cabinet gives delegated authority to a Chief Officer, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Housing & Benefits, for the purchase of the specific properties within the overall re-allocated budget of £640,000 (with all purchases subject to an independent valuation and survey). 

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

To provide authority for expenditure over £100,000

 

14.

North Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant Pledge pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusions:

 

The National Armed Forces Covenant represents a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served, and their families, are treated fairly. All 407 local authorities in mainland Great Britain and 4 Northern Ireland councils have pledged to uphold the National Armed Forces Covenant. Thousands of organisations have signed the covenant, including businesses and charities.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) signed the Norfolk Armed Forces Covenant at an official ceremony on 7 March 2012.

 

The Covenant, in its current form, has been in operation for nearly ten years. Whilst positive progress has been made, the Government is concerned that some members of the Armed Forces Community still face disadvantage when accessing public services.?

 

Legislation will soon be introduced to increase awareness of and improve the delivery of the Covenant in key areas fundamental to a good life, while retaining the ability of local service providers to honour the Covenant in the best way to suit local needs.

 

To further demonstrate North Norfolk District Council’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant and to ensure compliance with the forthcoming legislation, it is proposed that the Council publishes and signs its own Armed Forces Covenant Pledge. The pledge will include a commitment to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) awards.

 

 

There is no legal requirement for NNDC to publish its own pledge. However, a pledge forms part of the eligibility criteria for the ERS and will help the Council ensure compliance with the new Armed Forces Covenant Duty of Due Regard legislation. It will also demonstrate the Council’s gratitude and support to members of the Armed Forces Community.

 

From a reputational and legislative perspective it is considered essential that the Council publishes a pledge therefore no other options have been considered.

 

The publication of a North Norfolk District Council Armed Forces Covenant Pledge will demonstrate NNDC’s gratitude, support for and commitment to residents of the Armed Forces Community that live in or visit North Norfolk.

It will help the Council to meet the eligibility criteria to achieve the Bronze, Silver and Gold Defense Employer Recognition Scheme.

It will support compliance to the forthcoming Armed Forces Covenant Duty of Due Regard legislation

 

 

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

To give authority to the Armed Forces Member Champion and Lead Officer to write a North Norfolk Armed Forces pledge in accordance with this report and ensure actions are implemented within an agreed timescale.

 

The pledge to be formally signed by the Leader of the Council.

 

 

The pledge will identify specific actions that NNDC will take as an employer and community leader to support members of the Armed Forces Community and achieve the criteria for the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

 

To ensure that NNDC is able to meet the forthcoming Armed Forces Covenant legislative Duty of Due regard.

 

 

LIST OF BACKGROUND PAPERS AS REQUIRED BY LAW

(Papers relied on to write the report, which do not contain exempt information and which  ...  view the full agenda text for item 14.

Decision:

Decision

RESOLVED:

 

To give authority to the Armed Forces Member Champion and Lead Officer to write a North Norfolk Armed Forces pledge in accordance with this report and ensure actions are implemented within an agreed timescale.

 

The pledge to be formally signed by the Leader of the Council.

 

Reasons for the decision:

 

The pledge will identify specific actions that NNDC will take as an employer and community leader to support members of the Armed Forces Community and achieve the criteria for the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

 

To ensure that NNDC is able to meet the forthcoming Armed Forces Covenant legislative Duty of Due regard.

 

16.

Private Business

15.

Exclusion of Press and Public

To pass the following resolution:

“That under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs _ of Part I ofSchedule 12A (as amended) to the Act.”