Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 28th April, 2021 6.00 pm

Venue: remotely via Zoom. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

25.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence, if any.

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Cllr P Bevan Jones, Cllr S Butikofer, Cllr P Fisher, Cllr M Millership and Cllr E Spagnola

26.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 678 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Council held on 24 February 2021.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 24th February 2021 were agreed as a correct record.

27.

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.

Minutes:

None received.

28.

TO RECEIVE DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS FROM MEMBERS 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 requires that declarations include the nature of the interest and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (see attached guidance and flowchart)

Minutes:

None received.

29.

Chairman's Communications

To receive the Chairman’s communications, if any.

Minutes:

The Chairman said that it had been a very challenging year due to the pandemic, however, he was pleased to inform members that the virtual ‘Cley Calling’ events had been very successful and had raised £2275 for the Chairman’s charity, Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

30.

Leader's Announcements

To receive announcements from the Leader, if any.

Minutes:

None.

31.

Public Questions and Statements

To consider any questions or statements received from members of the public.

Minutes:

Ms K Hart spoke in relation to Agenda item 17, Notice of Motion: Domestic Abuse. She said that she wished to highlight the lack of resources available in the town of Sheringham. She said that there were more resources available to those suffering from domestic violence but that there was very little support for the victims of emotional and  psychological abuse, which could have a detrimental effect on mental health. She said that she would like to see a local support service established to assist victims and direct them to relevant voluntary organisations and agencies. Often people lacked the knowledge and the confidence to approach these bodies themselves and having someone to support them through this process would be hugely beneficial. She referred to the Daisy Programme in Dereham which offered these services and said that a similar scheme in Sheringham would be welcomed. She concluded by urging members to consider creating such a help hub.

32.

Appointments to Committees, sub-committees, Working Parties & Outside Bodies

To approve any appointments to committees, sub committees, working parties, panels and outside bodies as notified by the Group Leaders.

Minutes:

The Independent Group Leader, Cllr J Rest informed members of the following changes to appointments:

 

Cllr J Rest to replace Cllr N Housden on the Constitution Working Party

Cllr N Housden to be removed from North Norfolk Community Transport (replacement to be confirmed)

33.

Portfolio Reports pdf icon PDF 415 KB

To receive reports from Cabinet Members on their portfolios.

 

Members are reminded that they may ask questions of the Cabinet Member on their reports and portfolio areas but should note that it is not a debate.

 

No member may ask more than one question plus a supplementary question, unless the time taken by members’ questions does not exceed 30 minutes in total, in which case, second questions will be taken in the order that they are received (Constitution, Chapter 2, part 2, section 12.2)

 

Cllr A Fitch-Tillett – Coast

Cllr V Gay – Health, Wellbeing & Culture

Cllr G Hayman – Housing & Benefits

Cllr R Kershaw – Economic Development

Cllr N Lloyd – Environment & Climate Change

Cllr E Seward – Finance & Assets

Cllr L Shires – Organisational Resources

Cllr J Toye – Planning & Enforcement

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman invited Portfolio Holders to present their reports:

 

Cllr A Fitch-Tillett, Portfolio Holder for Coast said that she was delighted to inform members that the Bacton to Walcott Sandscaping scheme had recently been awarded the Norfolk Construction Excellence Award. She said that Coastal Partnership East’s £8m bid for a 6 year programme to deliver an adaptation scheme on the Norfolk / Suffolk coast had been successful. She concluded by saying that the CPE team was preparing a response to the consultation on the FloodRe scheme, which was exploring the possibility of widening the current scheme to include protection from wider forms of risk such coastal erosion, which was currently uninsurable.  

 

Cllr C Cushing began by congratulating the team on their award. He referred to a report in the North Norfolk News on 16th April which detailed sand erosion on Bacton beach. He sought reassurance that the issue was being addressed and asked how it would be monitored. Cllr Fitch-Tillett replied that sand was constantly moving and changing. The coastal team was aware of certain objects rising to the surface and being exposed and the situation was being monitored by the coastal engineers. Any hazards that were found were marked as such. Advice to the public on beach safety would be issued in advance of the summer season.

 

Cllr V Gay, Portfolio Holder for Health, Wellbeing and Culture, presented her report. She informed members that the new ‘Reef’ leisure centre in Sheringham was on course for a summer opening. She said that an announcement was expected imminently regarding the Council’s blue and green flags. From Saturday 1st May, four beaches would have a lifeguard in attendance.

 

Cllr Gay highlighted the continuing success of the North Norfolk Sustainable Communities Fund which had allocated £106k to 22 organisations between March 2020 and March 2021. She concluded by saying that the social prescribing briefing for members had now taken place. It was well attended and feedback had been excellent.

 

Cllr W Fredericks thanked Cllr Gay for the social prescribing briefing which had been very informative.

 

Cllr G Hayman, Portfolio Holder for Housing and Benefits presented his report as written. He drew members attention the to Domestic Abuse bill which was shortly to be enacted. He said that the Council was working closely with the County Council to deliver the services required to support the victims of domestic abuse.

 

Cllr R Kershaw, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development introduced his report and provided an update grant payments. In the last year the Council had distributed £118.5m to businesses. He thanked the team for their exceptional performance. He informed members that consultants had been appointed for the North Walsham Heritage Action Zone project, with work about to commence on the lokes. The newly formed Cultural Committee had recently met.

 

Cllr G Mancini-Boyle asked whether the Portfolio Holder would like to thank central government for the funding received from Government to pay in grants to businesses. Cllr Kershaw agreed.

 

Cllr N Lloyd, Portfolio Holder for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

Additional Restrictions Grant pdf icon PDF 158 KB

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

This report sets out the current financial position of the COVID Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the actions the Council plans to undertake to commit the remainder of the District’s allocation which is intended to support businesses and the local economy.

 

The Council is obliged to use the ARG fund to support local businesses, particularly those who have not been able to benefit from the mandatory grant schemes. The Government has advised that this should predominantly take the form of discretionary grants. However, the fund also allows the Council to use funding to deliver wider business support to which a range of options, including those outlined within this report, are possible. The Council could choose to focus the remaining allocation solely on providing grants. However, it is recognised, particularly as national restrictions are eased, that businesses would additionally benefit from a broad offering of non-financial support to assist their recovery process, enable them to embed Covid-safe practices and measures and to support resilience.

 

Conclusions:

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has taken a considerable toll on local businesses. Whilst some businesses have either been able to trade to some extent – because they are non-customer facing, through diversification or via e-commerce channels – many have been heavily impacted and continue to struggle to meet their ongoing fixed costs and recoup their losses. Whilst the mandatory schemes have played a significant role in helping some businesses, there are many others who have slipped between the cracks. The ARG scheme, and the wider support it can offer, provides an opportunity for the Council to address the support needs of some of those businesses who have not been able to access such schemes and for the Council to provide a wider range of assistance to help the local economy to bounce back.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons for

Recommendations:

 

It is recommended that:

-        Full Council note the content of the report and the progress to date in committing the ARG allocation to support local businesses;

-        given the time constraints, that delegation is provided to the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Growth Economic, to:

1.     establish the terms and processes to commit the remaining ARG fund by 30 June 2021, and;

2.     develop a programme of business support using the anticipated ARG top-up funds that the District will benefit from following the full dissemination of the current fund.

 

To ensure the funding is fully defrayed within the timescales determined by the Government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet Member(s)

Cllr Richard Kershaw

Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth

Ward(s) affected

All

 

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Stuart Quick (Economic Growth Manager), 01263 516263,

stuart.quick@north-norfolk.gov.uk

 

Minutes:

Cllr R Kershaw, Portfolio Holder for Economic Growth, introduced this item. He explained that the report set out the current financial position of the COVID Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) and the actions that the Council was undertaking to commit the remainder of the District’s allocation which was intended to support businesses and the local economy. He said that the Government had recently announced that local authorities would receive an additional top-up to their ARG allocation. However, in order to qualify for this money (£760,411 for North Norfolk) Councils would need to have fully defrayed all of their current allocation and consideration was now being given as to how this could be drawn down for the benefit of the business community.

 

AGREED to note

 

-        the content of the report and the progress to date in committing the ARG allocation to support local businesses;

-        given the time constraints, that delegation is provided to the Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Sustainable Growth Economic, to:

1.     establish the terms and processes to commit the remaining ARG fund by 30 June 2021, and;

2.     develop a programme of business support using the anticipated ARG top-up funds that the District will benefit from following the full dissemination of the current fund.

 

 

 

35.

Preparations for managing anticipated increased visitor numbers - Summer 2021 pdf icon PDF 249 KB

 

Summary:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Options considered:

 

With continued uncertainty about the opportunities for people to take overseas holidays this summer due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, it is expected that demand for staycation holidays in the UK will be strong; such that tourist destinations, such as North Norfolk, will need to make some contingency arrangements to manage larger numbers of staying and day visitors to the district than might be the case in a more “normal” year.  This report details the consideration the District Council is giving to the management of larger numbers of visitors to the District during the summer of 2021.

 

Do nothing and potentially see overcrowded seaside resort locations where a lack of parking, overcrowded beaches and town / village centres mean that visitors do not have a positive experience of the District and may not make repeat visits in future years.

 

Conclusions:

 

That the Council seeks to take a number of actions as detailed in the report to accommodate larger numbers of visitors to the District during this summer as part of the District’s Recovery from the COVID pandemic in a way which seeks to minimise transmission of the virus, protects local residents and visitors, supports local businesses and economic recovery in the short, medium and longer terms.

 

Recommendations:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reason for Recommendations:-

 

 

Council is asked to note the report and actions proposed to accommodate large numbers of visitors to the District this summer, including:-

 

·       Provision of advanced road signage promoting the large capacity of the Runton Road Car Park in Cromer, including the overflow “Carnival” field;

·       Proposed provision of chargeable weekend and Bank Holiday parking at the District Council’s Holt Road offices in Cromer;

·       Exploring the operation of a Park and Ride service to serve Sheringham in conjunction with a private landowner in the A148 corridor to the south of the town, with a frequent bus service to the town centre (to operate throughout July and August);

·       Exploring the provision of a food court area from which to serve takeaway food / street food by local businesses from the vacant former tennis court area of North Lodge Park, with additional seating and bins in the park to reduce queues and congestion in the town centre

·       Refreshing our social distancing measures and signage as appropriate

·       With Visit North Norfolk promote less busy parts of the District for visitors to explore to “avoid the crowds” through social media and other campaigns

·       Review the provision and servicing of litter bins and public toilets in main visitor locations in the District to manage larger visitor numbers

·       Provision of a composting toilet at the Beach Road car park in Weybourne in response to increased numbers of visitors to this car park.

 

To ensure the Council makes appropriate advance planning arrangements to accommodate larger numbers of visitors to the District’s principal coastal resorts over the 2021 summer.

 

             

Cabinet Member(s): Cllr Richard Kershaw

 

Ward(s) affected:- All, but particularly coastal wards and wards in The Broads area

Contact Officer, telephone number and email:

Steve Blatch, Chief  ...  view the full agenda text for item 35.

Minutes:

The Chief Executive introduced this item. He said that it set out the consideration that the Council was giving to the management of larger numbers of visitors to the District during the summer of 2021. He outlined the key challenges, including an increased demand for holiday homes, car parking, improved road signage and the promotion of quieter areas of the District, to reduce pressure on the coastal towns. He then set out proposals for each of the main coastal towns to manage the anticipated rise in visitor numbers and to ensure that compliance with Covid regulations and guidance was maintained throughout.

 

The Chairman invited members to comment:

 

Cllr J Rest referred to the recommendation regarding the provision of a food court area in North Lodge park in Cromer. He asked whether the reference to local businesses meant existing businesses in the area to set up a satellite business or whether other traders who wouldn’t normally trade in that way would be allowed to participate. He also asked whether they would have to be registered with NNDC. The Chief Executive replied that the opportunities would initially be offered to businesses that already had a presence in Cromer such as cafes and restaurants. Conversations were currently ongoing. He confirmed that they would be businesses registered with the Council in terms of food hygiene and commercial licences.

 

Cllr E Withington said that Sheringham would welcome the opportunity for a Park and Ride scheme in the town. She thanked the Chief Executive for the information and work that had been undertaken so far regarding preparations for the summer season.

 

Cllr G Hayman asked about the former playgroup building in North Lodge park and whether consideration was being given to it being brought into use over the summer. The Chief Executive replied that the Council’s Estates team was currently looking at options for the building.

 

Cllr N Pearce asked about car boot sites, saying that there may be an issue regarding additional traffic in relation to these. He also raised concerns regarding the new McDonalds restaurant in Cromer, saying that the traffic on the first day of trading had been exceptionally heavy. In addition litter from the site had begun to appear across the District. The Chief Executive replied that car boot sales had not been considered but this would be monitored together with outdoor markets. Regarding the new McDonalds, he said that the traffic on the first day had been exceptional and had eased off now. The littering situation was the subject of ongoing discussions with the operator.

 

Cllr S Penfold commented that there were lots of hidden gems across the District and he supported the proposals to promote them more.

 

AGREED

 

To note the report and the actions listed.

36.

Senior Management Restructure

To receive an update from the Chief Executive on the senior management restructure.

Minutes:

Cllr J Rest, Chairman of the Employment & Appeals Committee, introduced this item. He explained that a Panel had been convened to support the process of the recruitment of the new Director of Place and Climate Change. This had been done in conjunction with SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives). The Panel had met the previous week to undertake the final interviews in person. He said that he was pleased to confirm that the Panel had supported one candidate and a formal offer had been made to them. A response was still awaited and further details would be provided at a suitable time.

37.

Recommendations from Cabinet 15 March and 12 April

No recommendations were made to Council by Cabinet at the meetings held on 15th March and 12th April 2021.

Minutes:

None.

38.

Recommendations from the Overview & Scrutiny Committee 21 April 2021

To consider any recommendations made at the meeting of Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 21st April.

 

Please note this meeting was held after the publication of the Full Council agenda, so the Chairman will provide a verbal update at the meeting.

Minutes:

None.

39.

Questions Received from Members

None Received.

Minutes:

None received.

40.

Opposition Business

None Received.

Minutes:

None received.

41.

Notice(s) of Motion

The following Notices of Motion have been received:

 

1.     Environment Bill

Proposed by Cllr N Lloyd

Background

Human activity has already resulted in climate change.

The impacts of rising temperatures are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and regional authorities, the private sector, and local communities.

Average World temperature records continue to be broken year on year with the previous 10 year period being the hottest on record (WMO). Despite this, green house gasses continue to rise.

North Norfolk, with its extended coastline, is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change.

Councils have an important role to play in tackling climate change. They can act as leaders and role models for others to follow. NNDC is committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2030. This pledge will soon be evidenced in our Climate Change Charter, indeed reducing the Council’s carbon footprint has been a priority since 2019.

NNDC have already taken action by committing to planting 110,000 trees by 2023, switching to a green energy supply, renewable energy projects, introducing EVCP’s to North Norfolk and including ambitious green policies into our draft Local Plan. Our journey has only just began.

Everyone, has a responsibility to reduce their impact on the environment - but we cannot be expected to solve the problem of climate change on our own. The Government has a huge role to play in restoring the quality of the air we breathe, nature, biodiversity and the natural environment.

The recently announced delay to the Environment Bill was therefore extremely disappointing. This Bill promised new powers to defend nature and biodiversity, protect our water supplies, reduce flooding potential, improve air quality, enhance waste and resource efficiency whilst improving recycling rates.

Motion:

North Norfolk District Council calls for the Government to reintroduce the Environment Bill at its earliest opportunity.

The Bill will call for a new environmental relationship between local and national Government. Councils will take a greater responsibility to enforce many aspects of the Bill and will be obliged to formally adopt new environmental improvement rolesat a local level. NNDC believe we are well placed to take a leading role in this new agenda and to deliver ambitious plans to protect our beautiful district for future generations. However, this will come at a cost. This Council therefore calls upon Government to provide the support that will be required in terms of finance and legislative powers to ensure the Bill is implemented effectively.

NNDC will write to George Eustice MP to express our support for the Bill, urge him to reintroduce the Bill at his earliest opportunity whilst emphasising that adequate resources must be provided to local Councils.

Write to North Norfolk’s two MP’s seeking their support for the Environmental Bill and request them to take a leading role by championing its passage into law through Parliament.

2.     Domestic Abuse  ...  view the full agenda text for item 41.

Minutes:

The Chairman said that two notices of motion had been received:

1.    Environment Bill, proposed by Cllr N Lloyd and seconded by Cllr E Seward

2.    Domestic Abuse, proposed by Cllr W Fredericks and seconded by Cllr E Withington

 

He invited Cllr Lloyd to introduce the first motion. Cllr Lloyd presented the motion as set out in the agenda:

Human activity has already resulted in climate change.

The impacts of rising temperatures are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius may still be possible with ambitious action from national and regional authorities, the private sector, and local communities.

Average World temperature records continue to be broken year on year with the previous 10 year period being the hottest on record (WMO). Despite this, green house gasses continue to rise.

North Norfolk, with its extended coastline, is particularly susceptible to the effects of climate change.

Councils have an important role to play in tackling climate change. They can act as leaders and role models for others to follow. NNDC is committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2030. This pledge will soon be evidenced in our Climate Change Charter, indeed reducing the Council’s carbon footprint has been a priority since 2019.

NNDC have already taken action by committing to planting 110,000 trees by 2023, switching to a green energy supply, renewable energy projects, introducing EVCP’s to North Norfolk and including ambitious green policies into our draft Local Plan. Our journey has only just begun.

Everyone, has a responsibility to reduce their impact on the environment - but we cannot be expected to solve the problem of climate change on our own. The Government has a huge role to play in restoring the quality of the air we breathe, nature, biodiversity and the natural environment.

The recently announced delay to the Environment Bill was therefore extremely disappointing. This Bill promised new powers to defend nature and biodiversity, protect our water supplies, reduce flooding potential, improve air quality, enhance waste and resource efficiency whilst improving recycling rates.

Motion:

North Norfolk District Council calls for the Government to reintroduce the Environment Bill at its earliest opportunity.

The Bill will call for a new environmental relationship between local and national Government. Councils will take a greater responsibility to enforce many aspects of the Bill and will be obliged to formally adopt new environmental improvement roles at a local level. NNDC believe we are well placed to take a leading role in this new agenda and to deliver ambitious plans to protect our beautiful district for future generations. However, this will come at a cost. This Council therefore calls upon Government to provide the support that will be required in terms of finance and legislative powers to ensure the Bill is implemented effectively.

NNDC will write to George Eustice MP to express our support for the Bill, urge him to reintroduce the Bill at his earliest opportunity whilst  ...  view the full minutes text for item 41.

42.

Exclusion of 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 item(s) of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph(s) _ of Part 1 of Schedule 12A (as amended) to the Act.”

43.

Private Business