Agenda item

Portfolio Reports

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)


Cabinet members (listed alphabetically):


Cllr T Adams (Leader / Executive Support)

Cllr A Brown – Planning & Enforcement

Cllr A Fitch-Tillett – Coast

Cllr W Fredericks – Housing & Benefits

Cllr V Gay – Leisure, Culture & Wellbeing

Cllr R Kershaw – Sustainable Growth

Cllr N Lloyd – Environment & Climate Change

Cllr E Seward - Finance, Assets & Legal

Cllr L Shires – Organisational Resources



The Chairman invited Cabinet members to provide a brief update to their written report if they wished to do so.


Cllr A Brown, Portfolio Holder for Planning & Enforcement, referred to page196 and the Glaven Valley Conservation Area Appraisal & Management Plan. He said he wanted to advise member that the public hearings for Holt and Blakeney would now take place on 9th March (both on the same day).


Cllr Dr V Holliday asked Cllr N Lloyd, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services, how and why a resident had died of Leptospirosis following a rat infestation in their property. Cllr Lloyd replied that this was a very sad incident. There was an extensive infestation which resulted in a case of Weil’s disease. It had been reported to the Council but the matter was being dealt with by a commercial company which was dealing with the infestation. Cllr Lloyd said that support was being provided to the affected family.


Cllr N Pearce asked Cllr R Kershaw, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Growth, for more information on how the first tranche of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund would be dispersed. Cllr Kershaw replied that the late delivery of the first tranche would be allowed to roll over into year two. He said the Council had received confirmation that its investment plan was approved and work was underway with the panel, which included both local MPs and stakeholders, to begin working on the delivery mechanism. Cllr Kershaw said that the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) would be distributing funds and ensuring that there would be no cross-over with other local authorities. Consultation with businesses would commence soon.


Cllr S Penfold asked Cllr A Brown to provide more information on how the proposed Joint Venture company which was being established to deliver mitigation against the impact of nutrient neutrality. Cllr Brown replied that the intention was to establish a company with other affected Norfolk authorities and Anglian Water to invest in environmental credits to sell to developers who wished to ‘unlock’ sites affected by nutrient neutrality. There was still work to do regarding how the funds would be divided up, there were several possible options that could be considered, although ti was likely that priority would be given to minor developments as these could be delivered quickly. He said that a report would be going to Cabinet on 6th March, setting out more detail.  More work needed to be undertaken on how credit ‘banking’ could be avoided. It was anticipated that sites could be unlocked for development in the next couple of months.


Cllr M Taylor asked Cllr Lloyd about missed bin collections. He made reference to a resident in his ward whose brown (garden) bin had been missed three times. Given that residents paid for this service, Cllr Taylor wondered whether the Council was able to provide compensation. He also asked Cllr Lloyd to confirm how much the Council had collected in fines from Serco (the waste collection service) for missed collections. Cllr Lloyd said that payments from Serco only applied if they did not collect bins the day after they were reported as missed. In the vast majority of cases, the bins were collected on the next day. He said that he would provide a written update with the figure. Cllr Lloyd said that he was disappointed with Serco’s performance. However, the cost of a brown bin was approximately £50 a year, for a fortnightly collection, so the administration costs for offering any compensation did not add up. Cllr Taylor sought clarification that the mechanism was in place to fine Serco but the amount of compensation that could be offered was so small, it wasn’t worth it. Cllr Lloyd concurred.


Cllr P Heinrich asked Cllr Brown about the tight deadline of 3rd March for responding to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) consultation and any implications this may have for the Planning Policy team. Cllr Brown replied that the Council was duty bound to respond. He said the proposals were broadly positive and there were some significant changes that would impact on the Council’s Local Plan, resulting in some adjustments if it was approved. He said the main alteration was to the housing delivery test and the methodology that would have to be adopted to comply with this.  There was also a proposed change to supplementary planning documents in that they would no longer just be material considerations but would form part of the Local Plan. However, the major concern for NNDC, was that there was a legacy from the White Paper, proposing that decision-making is taken away from local councils and a ‘pattern book’ of local development was adopted instead and this was one of the key issues that the Council would be feeding back on in response to the consultation.


Cllr G Mancini-Boyle asked Cllr N Lloyd about the Council’s decarbonisation ambitions and whether it was simply virtue signalling to state a target of 2030. He said unless the fuel in the waste collection vehicles was changed and all council owned buildings were decarbonised, it would never be achieved. He said changing light bulbs and planting trees was not enough. He asked why textile collections were not offered as part of the waste service and if any of this work had been costed up at all and how would it be paid for. Cllr Lloyd said he took offence at the suggestion that the Council’s Net Zero pledge was virtue signalling. The portfolio holder report to Full Council was just a summary of projects that officers had been working on in recent weeks. He said that he was fully aware that changing lightbulbs would not help the Council reach its target. There was a wide range of aspects which were set out comprehensively in the Net Zero Action Plan. The first few years of costings were included in the action plan, but beyond that it was hard to predict, especially when rising inflation was factored in. In terms of decarbonisation, all of the issues mentioned by Cllr Mancini-Boyle would have to be tackled. This included decarbonisation of council buildings and moving away from fossil fuels. In 2028/2029, as the target date of 2030 approached, a decision would have to be taken as to whether the Council was on track or whether off-setting need to be considered. As it currently stood, it was anticipated that this would not be necessary. Cllr Lloyd concluded by saying that he did not like Cllr Mancini-Boyle’s comment regarding tree planting. The value in trees was about well-being, health and biodiversity. It was a good thing to do and that was why the Council was doing it. Cllr Mancini-Boyle asked to come back with a response, however, the Chairman would not allow it.


The Chairman concluded the meeting by reminding members that there was an Extra-ordinary meeting of Full Council on 1st March to discuss the submission of the Draft Local Plan.

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