Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 15th March, 2023 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 E Spagnola.


The DSGOS noted that unfortunately the PCC had also had to give his apologies at short notice and would not be in attendance for the Crime and Disorder Update.




Cllr J Toye.


Public Questions & Statements

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


None received.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 329 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15 February 2023.


Minutes of the meeting held on 15th February 2023 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          The Chairman noted that there were a number of outstanding issues from the previous meeting that warranted discussion. He added that since the last meeting there had been several developments with Serco staff, and asked if officers could provide an update. The DFC stated industrial action was being taken by members of Unison with regards to a pay dispute with Serco, which would affect both North Norfolk and Breckland waste Collections. He added that despite this, all but one round had been deployed, and whilst a number of rounds had not been completed in the preceding days, it was small number when placed in context. It was noted that collection crews were returning to missed collections for residual and trade waste, whilst missed recycling would be collected the following fortnight with additional bags accepted. The Chairman asked whether collections were being undertaken by one loader rather than the normal two, to which the DFC replied that this was dependent on available resources. He added that crews were working effectively and covering each other, so there was limited service disruption on the whole. In response to a further question from the Chairman, it was confirmed that industrial action was scheduled to take place from 13th-19th March, with no further action planned. The DFC stated that there was potential for further action, but no notice had been given at the current time. He added that he saw no problems with collections of additional recyclables in a fortnight’s time, as weight was generally not an issue with recyclable materials. Cllr J Rest noted that there had not been any noticeable disruption with collections in the Fakenham area. Cllr S Bütikofer suggested that Serco staff be thanked for their efforts in continuing to make collections under the circumstances.


      ii.          Cllr N Housden stated that he was unable to attend the previous meeting, but raised concerns that information relating to £400k uplift funding for the NWHSHAZ project had still not been provided. The DSGOS informed Members that he had raised a request for the information with officers, but had been informed that one tender had been delayed as a result of potential changes to the Loke works, and officers were therefore not able to confirm the cost of the works. Cllr N Housden stated that the information requested was for estimates, and he had made the original request several months ago. The CE stated that whilst he was unsure of the full details of the request, he was aware of potential changes to the plans for Black Swan Loke, and  would seek to provide an answer in due course. The Chairman noted that the initial request had been made some time ago, and it was concerning that information had still not been provided. Cllr S Bütikofer noted that it would not be possible to publish information whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 146.


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.


None declared.


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.


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:


The DSGOS informed Members that the budget had been approved by Full Council, in-line with the Committee’s recommendations.


Crime and Disorder Update: Police and Crime Commissioner Briefing pdf icon PDF 781 KB

To receive and note a briefing from the Police and Crime Commissioner on progress made with the implementation of the Police and Crime Plan.


The DSGOS stated that in the absence of the PCC, Members may wish to propose questions that could be shared for a response.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr W Fredericks stated that it was disappointing not to receive an update on performance, especially on matters relating to domestic violence where significant improvements were needed to support vulnerable residents. She added that she would she would write to the PCC directly, if the Committee were not minded to direct a similar question.


      ii.          Cllr S Bütikofer noted that she was the appointed representative for the Police and Crime Panel and would be happy to take back any questions, or answer any questions if she could. She added that it was disappointing that a substitute was not available for the PCC, given that comments had been made about Members’ attendance at the last Panel meeting. The Chairman agreed that for previous crime and disorder updates, officers attending had been more than capable of responding to questions on behalf of the PCC and it was unfortunate that it could not have been arranged on this occasion.


     iii.          Cllr L Withington stated that she would have liked to have asked how the PCC would implement the up and coming online safety bill, as there was little within the Plan which addressed it. She added that one argument for removing PCSOs was to place more emphasis on tackling online crime and harassment, and it would be helpful to know if this had taken effect.


    iv.          Cllr J Toye referred to safety for cyclists and walkers on rural roads, and noted that the PCC had previously suggested that more speed cameras would be used to address these concerns, and it would be helpful to receive an update.


      v.          Cllr N Housden referred to a strategic review of policing and suggested that it would be helpful to have some idea of what future plans might include and whether any priorities had changed.


    vi.          Cllr C Cushing referred to recruitment issues and noted that a number of veterans were known to be retiring, and it would therefore be helpful to understand what recruitment plans were in place to address any shortcomings. He added that it would also be helpful to know whether SNAP meetings would continue. The DFC noted that there was a consultation process underway in relation to the future of SNAP meetings, with an event planned on 24th March to discuss their future. Cllr S Bütikofer noted that Police officers no longer attended Parish Council meetings, and it was often suggested that Councillors could attend SNAP meetings instead, but with their future in question community engagement with the Constabulary was a real concern.


   vii.          Cllr V Holliday referred to savings required with the Constabulary’s budget, and stated that to would be helpful to know what these were and be given some assurance that services would not be compromised. Cllr S Bütikofer stated that she had asked a similar question during discussion of the budget, to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 152.


Budget Monitoring P10 2022-23 pdf icon PDF 379 KB





Options considered:


This report summarises the budget monitoring position for the revenue account and capital programme to the end of January 2023.


Not applicable




The overall position at the end of January 2023 shows a £3.022m underspend for the current financial year on the revenue account. However this is currently expected to deliver a full year overspend of £0.603m. At the end of 2021/22 £0.616m was added to the General Fund Reserve to help offset the impacts of pay and inflation in this current year.













Reasons for



It is recommended that Cabinet:


1)    Note the contents of the report and the current budget monitoring position.


2)    Recommend to full Council that any outturn deficit is funded by using the General Fund Reserve.



To update Members on the current budget monitoring position for the Council.




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




System Budget monitoring reports





Cabinet Member(s) Cllr Eric Seward


Ward(s) affected All

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:  Tina Stankley 01263 516439



Additional documents:


Cllr T Adams – Council Leader introduced the report and informed Members that inflationary pressures had made a significant contribution to the forecast overspend. He added that mitigation measures had been implemented in response to fuel and energy inflation, such as switching to LED lighting. It was noted that some costs would be recovered from service charges and rent. Cllr T Adams stated that Members would also be aware of the impact of staff inflation, which had been partly mitigated through vacant posts. He added that building and maintenance costs had also been challenging, but materials were purchased in advance where possible. It was noted that vandalism had also contributed to the overspend, with repair costs in the region of £30k. Cllr T Adams stated that work to identify further savings would form an essential part of financial planning going forward, but the Council remained in a relatively good position to deal with the current level of inflation.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        The DFR noted that the current year-end deficit was approximately £600k, however the previous year’s underspend of £616k had been placed into reserves to offset this figure.


     ii.        Cllr C Cushing referred to redundancy payments outlined in the report and asked whether any redundancies had been made, given the number of vacancies. The DFR replied that these were for fixed-term contracts where employees had accrued over two years service, and would therefore be entitled to redundancy pay.


    iii.        Cllr N Housden referred a unbudgeted variance of £355k within the Communities Directorate, and asked for further details. The CE replied that this was the result of payments made in advance for programmes such as the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which would be spent in due course.


   iv.        The recommendations were proposed by Cllr L Withington and seconded by Cllr P Heinrich.




1.    To note the contents of the report and the current budget monitoring position.


2.    To recommend to Full Council that any outturn deficit is funded by using the General Fund Reserve.


Managing Performance Q3 pdf icon PDF 145 KB












Options considered:

The Managing Performance Report attached, as Appendix A, enables the Council to assess delivery against objectives detailed in the Corporate Plan Delivery Plan 2019-2023 and operational service performance. It gives an overview of progress towards achieving the objectives in the Corporate Plan, assesses the achievements and issues identified in the third quarter of 2022/23, and the actions being taken to address these issues and proposes any further action needed.


Options considering action regarding performance are presented separately, issue by issue, to the appropriate Council Committee where committee approval is required.




Overall good progress has continued to have been made over the third quarter of 2022/23 in areas of core service delivery and in respect of key Corporate Plan projects and objectives as detailed in the report. 











Reasons for



That Cabinet resolves to note this report and endorses the actions being taken by Corporate Leadership Team detailed in Appendix A – Managing Performance.


That Cabinet asks for further information or action where they consider it necessary regarding performance as outlined in Appendix A.


To ensure the objectives of the Council are achieved.

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Tim Adams

Ward(s) affected



Contact Officer, telephone number and email: Helen Thomas, Policy, Performance and Risk Manager


Tel:- 01263 516214



Additional documents:


Cllr T Adams – Council Leader introduced the report and informed Members performance was positive across the Council, with objectives reached such as the Council’s tree planting goal, and taking further steps towards decarbonisation. He added that the Council had also made significant efforts to support residents through the cost of living crisis, whilst the High Street Task Force had begun work in Stalham. It was noted that there had been challenges, such as losing blue flag status at three beaches, though this was beyond the control of the Council and efforts were being made to address issues as quickly as possible to regain blue flag status in 2026. Cllr T Adams reported that performance of changes to Benefits had significantly improved, and staff had risen to the challenge.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr V Holliday stated that she had been advised of the loss of blue flag beaches by the relevant Cabinet Member, but asked if further details could be provided as she felt the issue may not have been pursued as aggressively as required. Cllr T Adams replied that NNDC representatives had met with AW and the EA, and reported that there had been issues identified at the Gimingham Combined Sewage Overflow facility, and whilst sewage outflow events could not be directly related to the facility, significant improvements were required. He added that the EA planned to DNA test the water in order to provide some indication of the cause, but consistent results would be required to regain blue flag status. It was reported that meetings had also taken place with NCC highways, though it was very unlikely that highways drainage was the source of the issue. Cllr T Adams stated that efforts had to be made to push for investment in drainage and sewage networks across the Country, as issues were not unique to North Norfolk.


     ii.        Cllr L Withington referred to local homes for local need, and noted that whilst the number of affordable homes delivered was positive, affordable housing  remained unaffordable for many. She added that it would be helpful to understand how many social housing projects were delivered, alongside exception sites used to deliver more affordable homes. Cllr W Fredericks replied that once the nutrient neutrality mitigation measures were in place, the Council should be able to move forward with delivering more affordable and social housing. She added that an update could be provided on the Housing Strategy and emerging plans once mitigation was in place. The DSGOS suggested that this update could be proposed as a potential item for the 23-24 work programme.


    iii.        Cllr J Rest referred to boosting business sustainability and growth and noted that he had been contacted by several businesses regarding significant increases in business rates with no warning or explanation, which had caused some businesses to cease trading. He added that high rates were putting off new businesses, and asked whether the Council had any plans to address concerns. Cllr T Adams replied that whilst NNDC did not  ...  view the full minutes text for item 154.


Performance Benchmarking and Contextual Measures pdf icon PDF 346 KB














Options considered:

To provide Overview & Scrutiny Committee with benchmarking information so that they are in a position to make recommendations to Cabinet for action based on evidence to improve performance. In addition, at the committee’s request, trend analysis and benchmarking information for the contextual measures listed in the Corporate Plan 2019 to 2023 is attached, so members can make recommendations to Cabinet for further investigation, monitoring and possible intervention, based on the results of the measures in the Contextual Measures Report.


1.    No action

2.    Make recommendations to Cabinet.




Using the benchmarking information comparing NNDC performance to our CIPFA nearest neighbours will provide a valuable insight into the Council’s performance in the context of the performance of similar local authorities. Using the contextual measure information, which covers a wide range of social-economic indicators, will allow a broad assessment of the health and climate of North Norfolk. Monitoring the trends over time and in comparison to North Norfolk’s CIPFA Nearest Neighbours; the East of England Districts; and the England Districts, will provide a detailed insight of each measures and will be a useful facilitator for any resulting recommended actions that may be required.











It is recommended that the Committee;


For the benchmarking report:


1.    Receive and note the benchmarking information.


2.    Make recommendations to Cabinet to investigate specific levels of performance and/ or to take action.


3.    Decide if additional datasets are needed to monitor business demography, in relation to the dataset CIPFA 9 Rate of births of new enterprises per 10,000 resident population aged 16 and above.



For the contextual measures report:


1.    Receive and note the information in the Contextual Measures Report – first review.


2.    Make recommendations to Cabinet to investigate specific datasets and/or to take action.


3.    Decide the frequency of further reviews of the report, to keep up to date with the latest published data.


4.    Decide if any additional reports are needed for different comparison groups, such as Norfolk Districts or East of England Districts.


5.    Decide if the printed copies of the additional attachments for monitoring the health profile, should be retained for meetings or if the hyperlinks will suffice.



Reasons for



Reviewing benchmarking data in this way will ensure the Council maintains acceptable levels of performance across the services delivered by the Council. Reviewing contextual measure data in this way will enable a more thorough monitoring of the objectives in the Corporate Plan 2019 to 2023. It will also enable a proactive insight in to the health and climate of North Norfolk.



Policy and Performance Management Officer and Corporate Data Analyst, Helen Thomas and Lucy Wilshaw. Tel: 01263 516 214 / 379 Email:




Additional documents:


The CE introduced the report and informed Members that whilst the preceding Performance Report focused on the Corporate Plan and its objectives, this did not allow for comparison with other authorities. As a result, considerable efforts had been made to measure the Council’s performance against others on key areas of service delivery, and this report was the continued development of that work.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr C Cushing referred to data that showed that the level of household recycling had deteriorated, and asked how much it had declined, the reasons for this, and any actions taken to address this. The DFC stated that the Council sought to improve recycling rates as much as possible, with lower levels of contamination than many neighbouring authorities. He added that despite this, improving recycling rates remained a challenge, with higher rates at neighbouring authorities often the result of food waste collections, which would have a significant carbon footprint for NNDC. It was noted that food waste collections also had a significant cost implication, and it would be cheaper to promote recycling and the reduction of food waste.


     ii.        Cllr T Adams noted that neighbouring authorities had similar or in some cases worse recycling rates, and it was unfortunate that overall the County did not perform well in recycling. He added that there may be Government funding available in the future for food waste collections, but for now, more emphasis had to be placed on promoting recycling and reducing contamination.


    iii.        Cllr W Fredericks noted that supermarket food waste was declining, and whilst this was positive it meant that more food was required for food larders to support those in need.


   iv.        Cllr N Housden referred to total expenditure for central services by head of population, and noted that the Council appeared to be spending above average, and asked if there was any reason for this. The CE replied that data was not yet available for 21-22 as the external audit had not been completed, but comparisons were being made to better understand this metric and why NNDC ranked above average in terms of expenditure.


     v.        Cllr J Rest asked why CIPFA items listed on p198 were blank, to which the DFC replied that it was intended for management commentary, but the CE would seek to determine why the information was missing.


   vi.        Cllr V Holliday praised the report but suggested that paper copies for all data were not necessary if the information could be accessed online. The Chairman agreed and stated that recent additions had been very helpful for understanding the Council’s performance, but it had added considerable weight to agendas. Cllr N Housden said that it would be preferable to access information online to give Members more time to review data. The CDA replied that a new intranet page had been set-up that would provide access to this information which Members could be directed to.


  vii.        Cllr T Adams referred to the birth of businesses per 10k population measure, and suggested that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 155.


Ambulance Response Times Monitoring pdf icon PDF 338 KB

To receive and consider ambulance response times data for Category 1, 2, and 3 calls for the period covering July 22 to February 2023.


The DSGOS introduced the item and informed Members that updated data had been shared in advance of the meeting. He added that whilst written commentary had been requested, this had not been received, though Cllr V Holliday had discussed the data with EEAST. It was noted that hospital turnaround times continued to have a significant impact on response times, limiting the number of available ambulances.


Questions and Discussion


      i.        Cllr V Holliday stated that she had received a briefing note from the ambulance trust, who had informed her that considerable efforts had been made to reduce demand on hospitals. She added that these diversionary measures would help to reduce pressure on the NNUH, and reduce ambulance turnaround times. It was noted that the number of calls was lower than previous years, so it was clear that response times were being effected by delays at hospitals.


     ii.        Cllr S Bütikofer asked why there was no data for the NR11 postcode, to which Cllr V Holliday replied that monitoring was focused on the coastal postcodes where response times were the greatest concern. She added that whilst data for the whole District had been reviewed previously, it was difficult to review such a large dataset. The CE suggested that given the concerns across the District, it may be wise to seek data for all postcodes to provide an all-encompassing picture of performance.


    iii.        The Chairman stated that the Committee would need to consider how to proceed, taking into account the work of NHOSC and the resource available to request and review data at officer level. Cllr S Bütikofer stated that she would prefer to look at the wider dataset, even if this was on a less frequent basis, which could be used to refocus the Committee’s attention. Cllr N Housden noted that Parish Councils were particularly interested in the Committee’s consideration of ambulance response times, and it would therefore be helpful to review data for all postcodes within the District. The CE suggested that reviewing data for all postcodes would help to ensure that efforts to address issues in coastal parishes did not have a negative impact on other parishes throughout the District.


   iv.        Cllr V Holliday stated that it had been useful to focus on a select few postcodes to see disparities, which was not the approach taken by NHOSC, and suggested it would be good to maintain this level of postcode specific detail going forward.


     v.        The DSM noted that EEAST could provide a range of data, but a six week lead-in time was required.


   vi.        It was proposed by Cllr N Housden and seconded by Cllr S Bütikofer to review ambulance response times data for all postcodes across the District as part of the next monitoring report. 




1.    To receive and note the report.


2.    That future response times monitoring should include data for all postcodes within the North Norfolk District.



The Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To note the upcoming Cabinet Work Programme.


The DSGOS informed Members that the Council was nearing the end of its term, and as a result there were no further Cabinet meetings planned until after the election, at which point a new work programme would be established.




To note the update.


Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme and Update pdf icon PDF 301 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 stated that as with the Cabinet work programme, the Committee had effectively reached the end of its term and the 23-24 work programme was yet to be drafted. He added that certain items could be expected to follow the election such as the crime and disorder update.




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.”