Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 12th October, 2022 9.30 am

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices. View directions

Contact: Matthew Stembrowicz  Email:

No. Item


To Receive Apologies for Absence


Apologies were received from Committee Members Cllr E Spagnola, Cllr S Penfold, Cllr A Varley, Cllr C Cushing, Cllr P Fisher and Cabinet Member Cllr R Kershaw.




Cllr N Pearce and Cllr G Mancini-Boyle.


Public Questions & Statements

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


Mr M Hicks made a public statement regarding concerns related to the North Walsham High Street and Heritage Action Zone Project, and encouraged Members to support free parking to increase footfall in the town.



Minuts of the meeting held on 28th September 2022 will be considered for approval on 9th November 2022.


Minutes from the previous meeting to be considered for approval in November.


Items of Urgent Business

To determine any other items of business which the Chairman decides should be considered as a matter of urgency pursuant to Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972.


None received.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 721 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 requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Cllr V Holliday declared a pecuniary interest for agenda item 11, and informed the Committee that she had been granted a dispensation.


Petitions From Members of the Public

To consider any petitions received from members of the public.


None received.


Consideration of Any Matter Referred to the Committee by a Member

To consider any requests made by non-executive Members of the Council, and notified to the Monitoring Officer with seven clear working days’ notice, to include an item on the agenda of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee.


None received.


Responses of the Council or the Cabinet to the Committee's Reports or Recommendations

At the meeting held on 3rd October 2022, Cabinet accepted the following recommendations:


‘1. To recommend to Cabinet that NNDC supports the draft provisions of the Regeneration and Levelling Up Bill which would enable the doubling of Council Tax on second homes, alongside the Council making representations to Government seeking further legislative changes to enable the retention of increased tax revenue collected by 2nd tier authorities (District Councils).


2. To recommend to Cabinet that NNDC supports the extension of planning controls proposed in the draft provisions of the Regeneration and Levelling Up Bill, alongside the Council making representations to Government seeking further changes to request that all second and holiday homes require planning permission.


3. To recommend to Cabinet that NNDC responds positively to a call for evidence on the registration of tourist accommodation.


4. If Cabinet are not satisfied that the data provided in the report provides the necessary information required to support mitigation measures, it is recommended that consideration is given to what further investigation is required, and the resources necessary to undertake such investigations.


5. To recommend to Cabinet that consideration is given to consulting Parish and Town Councils on the impact of second homes and holiday lets, and take account of any proposed mitigation.’


The DSGOS informed Members that Cabinet had accepted the Committee’s recommendations from the CCfA report on the Impact of Second Homes and Holiday Lets. He added that the related Bill was now on a second reading, and whilst the Council had missed the deadline for the consultation response, it was expected that the relevant Cabinet Minister would be contacted to request that any potential increase in Council Tax revenue should be retained by the District.


Waste Contract: Serco Briefing - New Collections Model Update

To receive and note the briefing.


The Serco Regional Director (SRD) and Contracts Manager (SCM) were in attendance to provide an update on the implementation of the new waste collections model and outstanding gap analysis tasks. It was noted that an updated gap analysis was yet to be discussed by officers, and was considered too premature to share with the Committee. It was noted that written reports would be preferred for future meetings. The DFC noted that officers maintained daily contact with Serco to address any issues related to the implementation of the new collections model such as missed collections. The SRD referred to the gap analysis and noted that of the six-hundred items identified, seventy to eighty were yet to be delivered, with approximately thirty percent of these given a date for implementation. He added that meetings had been requested with the three authorities of the joint contract to discuss the remaining items, in order to provide context and agree implementation timeframes, so long as they remained deliverable.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr S Bütikofer referred to the outstanding actions identified in the gap analysis, and suggested that when the contract agreed, Serco must have known its obligations. The SRD replied that many of the outstanding items were taken from method statements that had been put in for added value which were not universally clear. Cllr S Bütikofer replied that she still expected Serco to have understood the contractual requirements when entering into the agreement. The SRD replied that unfortunately the authors of the method statements were no longer working with Serco, and it was now down to officers to interpret and agree the remaining actions. The Chairman noted that it was the third time Serco had attended the Committee, and suggested that it would have been helpful to hear these concerns sooner.


     ii.        The Chairman reminded attendees that the primary purpose of the briefing was to discuss the ongoing implementation of the new collections model, and noted that he and other Councillors had received a reasonable amount of feedback from the public on missed collections and other issues. He asked for Serco to give their perspective on how the implementation had gone to date, and what their understanding of the customer experience was. The SCM referred to the new TOM, which had been introduced from the 5th September, and informed Members that it was the third implementation for the Norfolk Waste Contract, with Breckland and Kings Lynn both coming before North Norfolk. He added that North Norfolk’s TOM was the largest change, with over ninety percent of collection days being changed across the District. It was noted that previously waste had been collected over zones, whereas the new methodology used a near and far model, which split days into far collections. The SCM stated that the reasons for this change were to reduce mileage and carbon emissions, and noted that with all major service changes there was a twelve week introductory period where disruptions were likely. He added that Serco were currently in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.













Options considered:

This report sets out the proposed level of council tax discounts which shall apply to classes of dwelling for the financial year 2023-24.


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 options from the reforms included in the Local Government Finance Act 2012 as amended to incentive homes back into use and generate council tax income.




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 2023/24 will be made on the assumption that the determinations recommended below will apply. 

















































Reasons for



Recommend to Full Council 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 that:


1)     The discounts for the year 2023-24 and beyond are set at the levels indicated in the table at paragraph 2.1

2)     The existing 100% council tax hardship discount and associated policy (see Appendix B) remains in place for 2023-24

3)     That an exception to the levy charges may be made by the Revenues Manager in the circumstances laid out in section 2.2 of this report

4)     The premiums for the year 2023-24 and beyond are set at the levels indicated in the table at paragraph 2.3

5)     A new second homes premium of 100% as detailed in paragraph 2.4 is applied from April 2024, subject to the necessary legislation.

6)     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)

7)     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 as set out in paragraph 1.2 of this report.

8)     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


To set appropriate council tax discounts and premiums which will apply in 2023-24 and to raise council tax revenue.


In accordance with the relevant legislation these determinations shall be published in at least one newspaper circulating in North Norfolk before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with the date of the determinations.





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




Cabinet Member(s)  ...  view the full agenda text for item 64.

Additional documents:


Cllr T Adams – Council Leader introduced the report and informed Members that hardship and care leavers discounts would be retained, and the Committee were aware of the planned premiums that would be placed on second homes. He added that a discount would be reintroduced for empty properties in need of major refurbishment, which had been impacted by labour shortages, which was expected to be a relatively low number. The RM noted that the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill referred to within the report required a year’s notice to implement changes, as such Council Tax premiums would be introduced in 2024, subject to any further delays.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          The Chairman noted that two items within the report were focused on Council Tax premiums, which should be reflected in the report title, alongside an acknowledgement that any changes to second homes Council Tax would not be implemented until 2024. The RM agreed with comments on the title, and noted that whilst they did fall within discounts legislation, he accepted that it would be more transparent to refer to the proposed changes as premiums. He added that proposed changes for second homes did require one years notice, hence the 2024 implementation.


      ii.          Cllr V Holliday noted that she had received a representation from a local resident who felt it was unfair that second home owners should pay a differential Council Tax rate as opposed to the business rates payments and associated rates relief by owners of holiday rental accommodation. She added that they had also suggested that a similar minimum occupancy requirement should be implemented for second home owners. Cllr V Holliday then asked whether long-term rental owners would be liable to pay the increased Council Tax charges, which could dissuade owners from long-term lets. The RM replied that there was no existing minimum occupancy requirement for second homes, whereas holiday lets had to be available to let for 140 days or more per year. He added that the decision to charge Council Tax or non-domestic business rates was a decision made by the valuation office as part of HMRC. It was noted that the Government would be reviewing holiday let usage in 2023, with a requirement for these properties to be used for 140 days in the year, and it was therefore expected that some owners may seek to change categorisation of their property. The RM suggested that it was likely that many unused properties would switch to paying Council Tax in advance of the legislative changes.


     iii.          Cllr L Withington suggested that properties let on a long-term bases were likely to have Council Tax charges paid by tenants as their primary residence, rather than by the property owners. She added that increasing Council Tax charges may therefore encourage second home owners to rent them on long-term letting contracts to avoid the Council Tax premium. It was confirmed that tenants would only pay the normal Council Tax charge as the property would be considered their primary residence.


    iv.          The recommendations  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.







Options considered:

This paper provides an overview of the Rural England Prosperity Fund, the timescales and the suggested process for taking this forward.


In order to obtain grant from this funding source the Council is obliged to submit an application. The Fund is non-competitive and secures significant investment into the District. Failure to submit a compliant plan would miss a key funding opportunity.




The Rural England Prosperity Fund provides greater powers than under the previous EU funded models to support rural businesses and communities. At this stage Local Authorities do not need to provide detailed specifics as to how the fund will operate. However, the Council will need to submit an application to the Government (by 30 November 2022) which outlines the local rural challenges and the suggested interventions that need to be made to support them.





















Reasons for




1.To note the contents of the report.


2.To endorse the process for developing the REPF Addendum to the UKSF. It is proposed that this follows the same principles and processes that were adopted to develop the UKSPF Investment Plan and will be led by the Economic Growth Manager and Assistant Director for Sustainable Growth, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth. An established Local Partnership Group, composed of a variety of key local stakeholders, is already in place and will help to inform and shape the final submission. However, given that this fund is more rural focussed, there is likely to be value in inviting additional stakeholders representing aspects of the rural economy.


This fund will help the Council in its delivery of the Corporate Plan objectives of ‘Boosting Business Sustainability and Growth’ and ‘Quality of Life’.



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


Cabinet Member(s)                             Ward(s) affected

Cllr. Richard Kershaw                         All       


Contact Officer: Stuart Quick, Economic Growth Manager, 01263 516263,



The EGM introduced the report and informed Members that it was intended to give Members early sight of the fund, the timescales involved and how the process would be taken forward. He added that the fund could be considered a top-up of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, and would be available to local authorities across England as a successor to the EU model for rural funding. It was noted that the funding was intended for capital projects that would support either local business communities, or the communities themselves in order to help improve productivity and strengthen the rural economy. The EGM stated that the indicative funding allocation for North Norfolk was £1.457m, which was the second highest amount in Norfolk behind Kings Lynn and West Norfolk. He added that the first twenty-five percent of funding was expected in the first year, with the remainder released in the following two years. It was noted that the local partnership group model adopted for the Shared Prosperity Fund to determine funding allocations would be utilised with key representative groups and more rural partners. The EGM stated that the Council was required to submit an addendum to the Shared Prosperity Fund outlining key rural challenges and priorities by 30th November. It was expected that the Council would hear whether this had been approved early in 2023, though the funding was guaranteed as it was not a competitive application process.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr N Housden asked whether the North Norfolk Sustainable Community Fund (NNSCF) would have any input in the process, or potentially receive additional funding. The EGM replied that the Council had indicated that it would use the Shared Prosperity Fund to support the NNSCF, and further funding may not therefore be necessary.


      ii.          Cllr L Withington asked whether it would be appropriate for Members to consider the addendum before it was submitted to Government. It was noted that as a result of the tight timescale, it would not be possible for the Committee to review and provide feedback on the addendum, however a summary paper outlining the key priorities could be bought back for consideration in due course.


     iii.          Cllr V Holliday suggested that she would be interested to see who the additional stakeholders would be, to which the ADSG replied that these would include rural business representative groups such as the NFU. He added that there was a broad range of rural issues that the fund could be used to address ranging from nature and conservation issues, to farm diversification projects. Cllr V Holliday suggested that it would be helpful not to place too much emphasis on tourism, as it was important to encourage economic diversity across the District. The ADSG agreed and stated that whilst support for tourism schemes had been addressed previously, it should be noted that many farm diversification projects could include some element of tourism.


    iv.          Cllr S Bütikofer noted that the report suggested that more details on the fund were anticipated from Government, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.



To receive and note the update.

Additional documents:


The ADSG introduced the report and informed Members that the formatting issues on the risk register had been resolved, with budget and risk information also provided for each workstream. It was noted that officers and Cllr R Kershaw had met with the public speaker to discuss their concerns as a property owner in relation to the project, and it was apparent that their views did coincide with the overall aims of the project. The ADSG suggested that he could not comment on the public speaker’s desire for free parking, as this was an issue for Councillors to consider, though it should be noted that the town remained accessible, with ample parking provided in close proximity to the centre. He added that the limited loss of on-street parking spaces had been compensated by free one-hour parking spaces in two town centre car parks, which would retain and enhance access.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr P Heinrich referred to parking spaces and stated that it had to be made clear that by the end of the project, the amount of free parking within two-minutes walk of the town centre would be greatly improved, alongside better access for older or disabled visitors. He added that shopping in small towns was changing, and this had to be taken into account, with future habits likely centred around leisure, residential living and small specialist shops, which would all benefit from increased pedestrianisation. Cllr P Heinrich asked whether there was an expected completion date for work on the Cedars, whether the quality of existing work had been signed-off, and whether any progress had been made securing tenants. The ADSG replied that there had been variations to the Cedars improvements throughout the improvement works, such as changes to the heating system from gas to electric, and assessing potential tenants needs for future fittings. He added that officers were now working with contractors to develop a final programme, and once agreed this would include a snagging period, with the principle designer holding responsibility for ensuring the overall quality of the work. Cllr P Heinrich noted that he had seen issues with existing repairs that were supposed to have been completed, and noted that other work such as the renovation of windows would need to be done before winter, which was cause for concern. The ADSG replied that he would seek to confirm when these works would take place in writing, and noted that other issues would be addressed during the snagging period, with all works due for completion in November.


      ii.          Cllr S Bütikofer noted that whilst it was important to take into account the comments made by the public speaker, it was outlined in the report that the level of free parking available would not be reduced, which was more than in many other towns. She added that it may help to increase signage to alert visitors where the free parking was available, as this was not clear to people who were not familiar with the changes. It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 66.


The Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 222 KB

To note the upcoming Cabinet Work Programme.


The DSGOS noted that the Engagement Strategy was listed for November, though this would be subject to completion of the consultation. He added that the Performance Management Framework would also go forward for approval in November.




To note the Cabinet Work Programme.


Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme and Update pdf icon PDF 289 KB

To receive an update from the Scrutiny Officer on progress made with topics on its agreed work programme, training updates and to receive any further information which Members may have requested at a previous meeting.

Additional documents:


       i.          The DSGOS noted that the Reef Project review had been expected for some time as a result of the accounts closedown being delayed, and whilst the report was due to be completed in November, it was too soon to confirm when the report would come to Committee. He added that the Committee could expect an update from the Coastal Management Team in November, and the Beach Huts and Chalets monitoring report was expected in December.


      ii.          Cllr L Withington referred to the Coastal Transition Accelerator Programme briefing held recently, and asked whether this would be covered or could be considered as part of a future report. The DSGOS noted that he would be happy to receive suggestions for inclusion in the report.


     iii.          Cllr S Bütikofer asked if the car park usage monitoring report was still expected in November, to which the DSGOS replied that this would be subject to availability of officers, given that it was a financial report and the Team were currently understaffed.


    iv.          Cllr V Holliday referred to the anticipated ambulance response times update in February and asked if representatives from the ICB and EEAST could be asked to attend.


      v.          In response to a question from Cllr N Housden, it was confirmed that Serco representatives would be in attendance at the November meeting.




To note the update.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

To pass the following resolution, if necessary:


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