Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 20th July, 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 Cllr L Withington, Cllr E Spagnola, Cllr S Penfold and Cllr P Fisher.






Public Questions & Statements

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


The DSGOS noted that whilst the Committee had not been contacted directly, the Council Leader had received a letter regarding the CCfA Second Homes and Holiday Lets report, which could be shared if necessary.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 349 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15th June 2022.


Minutes of the meeting held on 15th June 2022 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


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 in relation to item 11 as she owned a holiday let, and stated that she would leave the room during discussion of the report. 


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

To consider any responses of the Council or the Cabinet to the Committee’s reports or recommendations:


None to report.


Ambulance Response Times Monitoring: ICB (Former CCG) & EEAST pdf icon PDF 191 KB

To receive and note the requested data, alongside responses to advance questions submitted by the Committee.



Marcus Bailey – Chief Operating Officer EEAST (COO) and Ross Collett - Associate Director of Urgent & Emergency Care NHS Norfolk & Waveney ICB (ADUE) attended the meeting remotely to brief the Committee.


The COO began by noting that response times were a known concern, particularly in areas such as North Norfolk, and confirmed that as a result Rapid Response Vehicles (RRVs) would remain in place for the remainder of the financial year, in addition to training over 100 new emergency call handlers. The ADUE stated commissioning arrangements with the ambulance service would be rolled over without change, though contract negotiations for 2023 were due to begin in Q3. He added that this allowed services to remain in place, whilst providing additional funding to help address service delays. It was noted that urgent care stacks had also been reviewed to consider what more could be done to respond differently, in ways that may not require an ambulance, thus reducing wait times for those in life threatening situations.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr N Housden referred to a press report about EEAST not having a comprehensive record of defibrillators across the region, and asked how long it would take to complete the registration process. The COO replied that the National Defibrillator Project was ongoing with the first wave of registrations complete, and an overall aim to have records complete by the end of October. Cllr N Housden noted that he understood there was also a shortage of defibrillator batteries, and asked whether this was being addressed. The COO replied that batteries had now begun to be received with over 100 distributed to local communities.


      ii.          Cllr V Holliday asked if there had been a decrease in ambulance dispatches from the Multidisciplinary Team approach, to which the ADUE replied that 48% percent of calls reviewed had been pulled away from the Ambulance Service, and evaluation data could be shared with the Committee once available.


     iii.          The ADUE stated that there was a direct correlation between ambulance response times and delays at hospitals, and concerted efforts were being made across services to address this, such as introducing Acute Hospital Liaison Officers at all Norfolk hospitals. He added that category 2 rapid release trials, which allowed for the rapid release of ambulance crews to respond to C2 calls had been successfully utilised at the NNUH, in a similar way to the C1 drop and go process. It was noted that cohorting areas had also been established to allow patients to be safely looked after whilst allowing faster release of ambulance crews.


    iv.          Cllr V Holliday stated that the NNUH had the longest ambulance wait times in the region with the QEUH in fourth, which had a significant impact on ambulance response times. She added that postcode data from earlier in the year for NR23 C1 calls showed mean response times of up to 35 minutes and 23 minutes for NR24, and asked officers for comment. The ADUE replied that none of the delays were acceptable, and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 26.


CCfA: Impact of Second Homes and Holiday Lets Data Report pdf icon PDF 164 KB







Options considered:

This report provides data on the possible impacts of second homes and holiday lets on the District of North Norfolk, and provides recommendations to implement possible future mitigation measures.


1.     Note the report and choose not to act upon the data.

2.     Request further analysis or appraisal of options available to the Council, and the appropriate resource to do so.

3.     Consider approval of the recommendations and await expected legislation aimed to mitigate the impacts of second homes and holiday lets.




Data provided in the report shows that whilst there are a high number of second homes in select areas or Parishes, it remains difficult to prove any direct correlation between the prevalence of second homes and holiday lets with any tangible positive or negative impacts.












































Reasons for



1.     It is recommended that Members note the data provided in the report and consider the merit of draft policies relating to Council Tax and Planning restrictions, alongside the resources required to implement such policies.


2.     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).


3.     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.


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


5.     If Members 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.


To determine whether the data outlined in the report warrants the need to prepare for implementation of policies to mitigate the impacts of second homes and holiday lets. 



(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


Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Matt Stembrowicz, 01263 516047,

Nicky Debbage, 01263 516027,

Graham Connolly, 01263 516282,

Mark Ashwell, 01263 516325,

Sean Knight, 01263 516347,

Stuart Quick, 01263 516263,

Rob Young, 01263 516162,



Additional documents:


Cllr J Toye introduced the report and thanked officers for their work preparing the report. He added that Members must be careful not to make decisions with unintended consequences, and referred to issues caused by restrictions placed on new homes in St. Ives. It was noted that many concerns around second and holiday homes related to the limited supply of affordable housing available for residents, though data did not appear to fully support this hypothesis. Cllr J Toye stated that in Wells, higher prices paid for homes significantly increased the viability and number of new affordable homes built. He added that recent studies in Wales had shown that restricted occupancy of new build homes attracted more retirees, which placed greater strain on resources and public services. It was stated that no objective evidence was found to suggest that the loss of local services had been caused by second and holiday homes, as this was a national trend. Cllr J Toye stated that meeting the demand for affordable housing across the Country would require significant changes in Government Policy with 2021 data showing 4250 socially rented homes built nationally, against a waiting list of 1.6m. He added that the private rental market was also in decline with a fifty percent reduction in availability and increasing average rents of approximately £1200. It was stated that whilst fixing these problems would require major changes to the housing system, the narrative on second homes and holiday lets needed to change to recognise the benefits they could bring with the right controls. Cllr J Toye noted that the Government were in the process of considering new controls, and these were represented within the recommendations of the report.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr H Blathwayt asked whether there was any way of recording section 21 notices in the District so that Members could understand how many tenants had been evicted to free up properties for short-term lets. The HSDMND replied that she would seek to provide this information in a written reply, though the Council did hold data on the number of households presenting as homeless as a result of section 21 notices, but it was not known whether this was for short-term letting. She added that evictions could be the result of a number of factors including the state of the housing market, changes to the tax system, or rent arrears built-up throughout the Pandemic, though 2021 Census data would clarify this. Cllr J Toye stated that approximately 80% of privately rented accommodation was being sold, rather than converted to short-term lets.


      ii.          Cllr C Cushing thanked officers for the report and suggested that credit was due to the Government for proposing legislation to help tackle the issue, though he accepted that serious consideration needed to be given to the impact of any Policy changes. He added that it would be helpful to see second and holiday homes split into Council Tax categories. The HSDMND replied that it would be possible to provide this information  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


EQL Scrutiny Panel: Public Conveniences Review & Recommendations Report pdf icon PDF 457 KB


The Council has sought to prepare a Public Convenience Strategy aimed at providing a clear path to future management of this non-statutory function that is felt to be essential for both visitors and the local population.  Public toilets are crucial to tourism and town centre economies but are facing ever increasing costs to provide.


Options considered

The panel has reviewed in-depth over the past 6 months, the Draft Public Convenience Strategy and sought expertise and guidance from both officers and external consultants regarding a range of options and ideas.  The group also sought opinions from local Town and Parish Councils.



In general the panel supports the provision of a Strategy to ensure a holistic approach to the future management of the Council’s extensive portfolio of 38 public conveniences across the District.  The following recommendations are made regarding the Draft Public Toilet Provision Strategy Document.


The Panel reviewed current provision, sought to identify options for the future and reviewed means of obtaining and achieving customer expectation.



The working group has made fourteen recommendations which are listed throughout the report and summarised in Appendix 3 on page 10 of the report.


Reasons for Recommendations

To ensure that the Council’s public conveniences are managed and maintained efficiently and effectively to a high standard for public use by residents and visitors. 



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

Public Conveniences Strategy

Cabinet Member(s):    Ward(s) affected:  All

Contact officer, telephone and email:

Maxine Collis

01263 516256

 to follow.


Cllr H Blathwayt introduced the report and thanked officers and panel members for their work in developing the recommendations as the culmination of six-months work. 


Questions and Discussion


      i.        The Chairman noted that there were fourteen recommendations and asked whether there was any opportunity to conjoin or prioritise them. Cllr H Blathwayt replied that the fourteenth recommendation was the most urgent for responding to the growing demand of campervan waste. He added that many water recycling centres were not able to take this form of waste, and specialist processing was required. It was noted that the Chief Executive was aware of the situation and its urgency. On the remaining recommendations, Cllr H Blathwayt stated that these related to each section of the review and had to be taken as a whole.


     ii.        Cllr P Heinrich referred to recommendation fourteen on campervan waste disposal and noted that as a caravan user, he was always conscious of disposing of the waste properly, though many did not. He added that wild camping was illegal in England, so caravan and campervan owners should be disposing of their waste at the facilities provided on campsites. It was noted that whilst wild camping was permitted in Scotland, waste disposal facilities were provided, and this model could be considered. Cllr P Heinrich stated that there was no excuse for improper emptying of waste, and more vigilant policing may be required. Cllr H Blathwayt noted that the Broads had waste disposal facilities available for a small fee. Cllr V Holliday noted that she had worked with a coastal group on addressing this issue, however the illegality of wild camping had limited progress. She added that despite this many people were still wild camping and dumping waste into roadside ditches, causing significant harm to the environment, and she was therefore supportive of Cllr Heinrich’s suggestions to more vigilantly police wild camping.


    iii.        Cllr E Seward noted that a budget had been agreed for the review process and sought clarification on whether this had been spent. The DSGOS replied that the £30k budget remained in place to fund any external audit work, though a procurement exercise would need to take place if it met the relevant threshold. Cllr H Blathwayt noted that cost-benefit analysis had also been requested of any future cubicle-based designs. In response to a question from the Chairman, Cllr E Seward replied that prioritising the recommendations would be helpful, and noted that if the budget had been approved for the external audit, then the Panel should proceed as planned. The DSGOS noted that prioritisation of recommendations could be undertaken via email to avoid the need for a further meeting. He added that assurances would need to be sought that the £30k funding for an external audit had been approved, prior to proceeding with procurement. It was noted that the Estates Team had previously utilised external providers for similar work, and could be used again subject to procurement.


   iv.        Cllr V Holliday asked whether a Cabinet decision would  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Waste Contract: New Target Operating Model - Verbal Update

To receive and note a verbal update from the Director for Communities on the implementation of Serco’s new target operating model.


The DSGOS read out an update on behalf of the Director for Communities:


‘We continue to work with Serco over the implementation of the Target Operating Model (TOM).


The fuel tank at the Aylsham Depot is now fully operational.


The recent focus has been on the delivery of the collections TOM which sees the reorganisation of the rounds and routes to be more effective and efficient.


Serco have shared the draft collection rounds with Officers and we have provided back some challenges and suggestions, which they are currently investigating. The new collection rounds will come into effect on Monday 5th September 2022.


There will be changes to collection times or day for around 90% of households across the district. Serco are working up the Communications to residents including the collection calendars and will work closely with our own Communications Team in the run up to the change to promote the change.


Members will be provided with a briefing by Serco in due course.


During the recent hot weather we agreed with Serco early start times so that crews could get collections done before the temperatures increased too much. Despite this some disruption to collections have occurred mainly due to issues with vehicles suffering heat related problems and staff who succumbed to the heat. All Serco staff have done an amazing job in the circumstances and I would wish to extend my thanks to them all.


I am happy to respond to any questions in writing should there be any.’


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr H Blathwayt asked whether the DFC was satisfied with the level of service from Serco, given the piles of refuse that had not been collected in areas such as the ramp at Sea Palling, and suggested that an urgent review of the service was required in this area. It was noted that a written response would be requested.


     ii.        Cllr V Holliday noted that there were issues with the opening and closing of the Weybourne Portaloo toilet, and suggested that this should be reviewed. 




To note the update. 


The Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 289 KB

To note the upcoming Cabinet Work Programme:  


      i.        The DSGOS noted that finance reports were expected at the September meeting, in addition to a substantial list of recommendations from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee’s July meeting.


     ii.        Cllr E Seward stated that he had been assured that the Outturn report and Q1 Budget Monitoring report would be ready for the September meeting, with draft reports expected in mid-August.




To note the update.


Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme and Update pdf icon PDF 287 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:


The DSGOS informed Members that if financial reports were ready for September, it was likely that the meeting would have a very full agenda, with performance and benchmarking reports expected, alongside the Planning Service Improvement Plan, an NWHAZ update and possible Reef Leisure Project Review.




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.”