Agenda and minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee - Wednesday, 13th November, 2019 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 and Cllr N Pearce.






Public Questions & Statements

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


Public questions were received for the Crime and Disorder Briefing, and were taken as part of the item.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 323 KB

To approve as a correct record the minutes of the meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 16th October 2019.


Minutes of the meeting held on 16th October 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

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.


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:


At its meeting on 4th November 2019, Cabinet considered the Committee’s recommendations on the Draft Framework of the Corporate Plan. Recommendations 1 to 6 were accepted and had already been implemented. Recommendation 7 was not accepted, as it was deemed that a better name for the Customer Focus Theme had not been forthcoming. Recommendations 8 to 10 were accepted and had either already been implemented, or would be at the appropriate time.


The DS&GOS informed Members that at its meeting on 4th November, Cabinet considered the Committee’s recommendations on the draft framework of the Corporate Plan. It was reported that recommendation one had been partially accepted and the residents’ survey used to inform the Corporate Plan had been shared with Members, though the return metrics had not. Recommendations two to six had been accepted and implemented. The DS&GOS informed Members that recommendation seven had not been accepted as Cabinet felt that a better name for the Customer Focus theme had not been forthcoming. Recommendations eight to ten were accepted and had either been implemented, or would be at the appropriate time. 


Crime & Disorder Briefing - Rural Policing

To receive a briefing from the Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk on the challenges of tackling rural crime in the district.


The Chairman introduced the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) – Lorne Green, District Superintendent – Mike Britton, and the PCC’s Communications Officer – Dominic Chessum.


The PCC thanked the Committee for the invitation to speak and stated that he had recently held similar briefings across the county. He congratulated the district on the success of its good neighbour schemes, with ten in place and two more in the pipeline, and suggested that these were a great help to vulnerable people suffering from issues of rural isolation.


Domestic abuse was discussed, and the PCC stated that he was putting considerable effort and funding into tackling the issue, that resulted in up to sixty calls per day in Norfolk. He added that he had recently attended the launch event for a Leeway campaign to raise awareness amongst men and boys of their responsibility to understand the malign nature of domestic abuse and promote gender equality.


The PCC congratulated Members on living within what was statistically, the safest district in the Norfolk. He added that the district’s police force had also recently received  national recognition for being rated within the top three police forces in the country for efficiency. The county itself was also reported to be within the top ten safest in the country. Despite the positive statistics, the PCC did accept that there were still problems in the district, such as the previously mentioned cases of domestic abuse, which were exacerbated by the isolation and distance of the district. As a result, the PCC stated that all Norfolk residents deserved the same police service whether they lived in a city, town, village or hamlet. Therefore, the PCC stated that tough decisions had to be made to make the best use of the limited resources available, and this meant that public safety was often given priority over non-violent crimes.


The Superintendent informed Members that he had been appointed as District Commander for North Norfolk and Gt. Yarmouth on the 9th of September, and that this was his first public meeting since taking the position. Whilst he accepted that the change in structure had meant the loss of a dedicated Superintendent and Chief Inspector, he assured Members that no front-line police officers had been lost. It was reported that there had been a slight increase in the ranks of inspectors as a result of the change, and that this had allowed more community policing to take place. Visibility of police officers remained a key challenge for the force, as it now covered a much larger area, though at three months in, the Superintendent stated that he had met with  many of the local authorities in the area.


The Committee was informed that there were seven Safer Neighbourhood Teams in North Norfolk, each with their own dedicated beat manager, that were embedded in local communities. In addition, Members were reminded that the district also had an Operational Partnership Team, led by a dedicated inspector based in Cromer, that focused on early help via  ...  view the full minutes text for item 27.


Splash Leisure Centre Project Update Briefing - November 2019 pdf icon PDF 634 KB

To receive a briefing on the progress of the Splash Leisure Centre Project.


Cllr V Gay - Portfolio Holder for Culture and Welling introduced the update and informed Committee Members that the financial figures remained the same, the Sport England grant was on track to be delivered in late November, and whilst there had been some issues with construction, no additional cost to the Council was expected.


Questions and Discussion


Members were reminded that the Internal Audit Team had been asked to undertake a review of the project, which was expected to be reported to the Governance Risk & Audit Committee in December, and could also be seen by O&S Members.


The Chairman referred to the concrete slab issue, and asked whether the knock-on costs of this would be covered by the existing contingency sum, or whether the surveyors would absorb the costs. He also asked to what extent the contingency had been eroded. Cllr V Gay replied that it was her understanding that it would not affect the contingency, though she would seek to provide a written response for further clarification.


Cllr N Housden asked for clarification on the contingency, and whether the aforementioned issues would have an impact on the project’s time schedule. Cllr V Gay stated that the delay would be known by the 21st November, and this would be communicated to Members once known. The S151 Officer later confirmed that the project contingency comprised of a £200k construction contingency and a £75k client contingency. It was confirmed that £53k of the contingency had been spent.


The Chairman suggested that these questions be answered both in writing to Committee Members and to all Members during the Portfolio Holder updates at Full Council.




To note the Update.







Options considered:

This report summarises the budget monitoring position for the revenue account and capital programme to the end of September 2019.


Not applicable.




The overall position at the end of September 2019 shows an £710,908 underspend for the current financial year on the revenue account, this is currently expected to deliver a full year overspend of £41,115.
















Reasons for


It is recommended that:


1)    Cabinet note the contents of the report and the current budget monitoring position;

2)    Cabinet agree to the release of £68,000 from the Asset Management Reserve to fund the Asset Valuation Programme;

3)    Cabinet approve the Capital project funding in section 6.2 or recommend approval to Full Council where appropriate



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




(Papers relied on the write the report and which do not contain exempt information)


System budget monitoring reports



Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Eric Seward


Ward(s) affected


Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Duncan Ellis,

01263 516330,


Additional documents:


Cllr E Seward – Portfolio Holder for Finance introduced the report, and sought to clarify that South Norfolk District Council (SNDC) remained, at the time of the meeting, a member of the Norfolk Business Rates Pool (BRP).


Questions and Discussion


Members were informed that SNDC’s inclusion in the BRP had been brought into doubt after the NHS had publically challenged their obligation to pay business rates, with a decision on the outcome expected in February 2020. Whilst it was expected that both sides would appeal the decision if ruled out of favour, the Council’s position was that it would remain in the BRP until further notice, and accept its share of the liability if the case against the NHS was lost. It was confirmed that the Council did have a business rates reserve of £2.3m, to cover the compensation of £0.5m for smaller hospitals in the district and approximately £1m for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, should the case be lost. Members were reminded that this was a national issue, and that all Council’s had to hold these reserves until the case was decided.


Cllr E Seward informed Members that a request for match-funding required for the North Walsham Heritage Action Zone Project would go to the next meeting of Council.


On the financial provision for the purchase of waste contract vehicles outlined in the report, Cllr E Seward stated that it was cheaper for the Council to buy the vehicles itself, and doing so would also provide additional security to the continuation of the service if the contractor were to go into administration.


Cllr G Mancini-Boyle asked if there were any other known business rates appeals underway, and whether they would be backdated. The HF&AM replied that there was an appeal underway for ATMs, but noted that there was a delay in the check challenge appeal process. He added that the Council would appeal the decision if the outcome was particularly unfavourable.


Cllr T Adams asked if an estimate was available for the financial impact of the December General Election. The HF&AM replied that the election would be funded by Central Government, though the Council would have to cover the costs in the short-term.




To commend the Report to Council.


The Cabinet Work Programme pdf icon PDF 219 KB

To note the upcoming Cabinet Work Programme.


The DS&GOS informed Members that the Cabinet Work Programme was up to date, and stated that Members could expect to see the Medium Term Financial Strategy at the December meeting.




To note the Cabinet Work Programme.


Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme and Update pdf icon PDF 266 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 DS&GOS informed Members that O&S Work Programme was up to date, and that the Treasury Management and Financial Strategy reports were expected to be on the agenda for the December meeting. It was suggested that the Beach Huts monitoring would be a small item to ensure that the Committee’s recommendations had made a positive impact to the service. The DS&GOS stated that the rural transport briefing may take time to arrange, as it was not a direct responsibility of the Council, and would therefore require input from an external organisation.


Members were informed that all actions from the last meeting had either been completed, or would be at the next Council meeting.




To note the Overview & Scrutiny Work Programme.


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.”




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 3 of Part I of Schedule 12A (as amended) to the Act.


Waste & Related Services Contract Procurement







Options considered:

This report is to update members on the procurement process undertaken to let a new contract for various services including the collection of household waste, trade waste, street cleansing services and grounds maintenance.


Not applicable to this report.




There is a statutory duty to provide waste collections and to separately collect recycling.  The award of this contract for waste and recycling collection will ensure the statutory duty is met.


A full OJEU procurement process has been followed for this procurement and all legal obligations have been met.  External legal support was provided by Bevan Brittan for the procurement and preparation of the contract.











Reasons for



1.    That members agree the frequency that Overview & Scrutiny Committee receive updates on contract performance and management from Officers.


2.    That members request officers arrange wider briefing sessions for all Members during the mobilisation period and before contract start as appropriate.


To enable members to adequately monitor the performance of the contract against the specification and be aware of any matters around management or governance of the contract which arise from the regular partnership meetings.


To allow all Members opportunities to gain a better understanding of the contract arrangements, particularly around mobilisation of the contract and to get to know the new contractor so they are able to respond to resident questions that arise appropriately.



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


Cabinet Member(s) Cllr Nigel Lloyd

Ward(s) affected:




Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Steve Hems, Head of Environmental Health   01263 516182



Cllr N Lloyd – Portfolio Holder for the Environment introduced the report, and informed Members that the joint procurement of the waste contract was a process that had begun in 2017. He stated that it had been a Cabinet decision to take this approach, and that Members had been given several opportunities to shape the contract requirements throughout the process. It was explained that the procurement was at an extremely sensitive stage in the process, and as such it was necessary for the  discussion to be held in private, to avoid compromising the bidding process. Cllr N Lloyd thanked the HEH for his tireless efforts in facilitating the process.


Questions and Discussion


The HEH stated that the procurement process had been governed by an EU Directive ‘Public Contract Regulations 2017’, which allowed five different methods for contract procurement. There were two options available for complex procurement of the type required for the joint waste contract, one of which allowed for dialogue with bidders. It was suggested that the Council had a clear aim for the contract, but that there would be benefit in allowing bidders to come forward with ideas. As a result, the Competitive Procurement with Negotiation (CPN) method was chosen, which enabled negotiation without extension of the process.


The HEH stated that during the initial stages of the procurement process, several steps were taken to mitigate risks, such as ensuring that bidders could demonstrate their ability to meet contractual obligations. It was reported that only two bidders came forward at this stage, as several companies did not have the resources to bid for additional contracts at the time. It was noted however, that having only two bidders had significantly simplified the process. Members were informed that the process was now in the final tenders stage, and that the contract would be awarded at Cabinet on 6th December.


On vehicle pricing, Members were informed that due to uncertainties such as Brexit, prices could not be guaranteed for any longer than thirty days, hence a second evaluation stage was included that would transfer any risk of vehicle price increases onto the bidder.


The Chairman asked what would happen if there was a substantive and material challenge during the standstill period. The HEH replied that if this were to happen, the Council would take advice from the appointed external legal consultant. He added that three different consultants had been used for the project, and it was hoped that the risk of challenge had been reduced to a minimum.


Cllr G Mancini-Boyle asked whether the Council was protected from the market price fluctuation of recyclables. The HEH replied that the processing of recyclables was not a part of the contract, but was covered by Norfolk Environmental Waste Services, that NNDC was party to. He added that there was volatility in the market of recyclables, and that there was flexibility in the contract to protect the council from this. It was suggested that some recycling costs offset others, further reducing any  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.