Meetings

Meeting Details

Policy and Resources Committee
14 Sep 2021 - 18:00 to 20:00
Occurred

 

This meeting will be held in public and in person at the Town Hall, Great Yarmouth.

This meeting will be streamed LIVE on to the Council's YouTube Channel and, we would encourage Members of the public to watch remotely by clicking here. If you wish to attend in person please could we ask where possible, you indicate in advance that it is your intention to do so. This can be completed by contacting memberservices@great-yarmouth.gov.uk. We will ask for contact details to be given incase of the need to contact you (in the event of a COVID 19 Outbreak). Public Seating will also at this time remain limited.

Councillors and Officers attending the meeting will be undertaking a lateral flow test in advance prior to the meeting. They will also be required to wear face masks when they are moving around the room but may remove them once seated. We would like to request that any external attendees or public speakers attending the meeting do the same to help make the event safe for all those attending. Information about symptom-free testing is available here

  • Documents
  • Attendance
  • Visitors
  • Declarations of Interests

Documents

Agenda

Standard Items
1 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
To receive any apologies for absence. 


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Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Smith & B Walker.

 

 

 

2 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

You have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest in a matter to be discussed if it relates to something on your Register of Interests form. You must declare the interest and leave the room while the matter is dealt with.

You have a Personal Interest in a matter to be discussed if it affects
•    your well being or financial position
•    that of your family or close friends
•    that of a club or society in which you have a management role
•    that of another public body of which you are a member to a greater extent than others in your ward.
You must declare a personal interest but can speak and vote on the matter.

Whenever you declare an interest you must say why the interest arises, so that it can be included in the minutes. 

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Councillor P Carpenter declared a personal interest in item 13 as she was a member of the GYBS Liaison Board and Norse Board.

 

Councillor Wells declared a personal interest in item 13 as he was a Director of GYBS.

 

Councillor Hanton declared a personal interest in item 10 as he was the Independent Chairman of Great Yarmouth Community Safety Ltd.

 

However, in accordance with the Council's constitution, they were allowed to both speak and vote on the items.

 

 

 

3 pdf MINUTES - 13.7.21 (201Kb)

 

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on the 13th July 2021.

 

 

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The minutes of the meeting held on 13 July 2021 were confirmed.

 

Councillor A Wright referred to minute number 5, regarding the proposed shared Information Hub on Great Yarmouth seafront as he felt that Members had been mislead as the Information Hub had only opened for 4 weekends and as a result of the closure of the Tourist Information Centre (TIC), 3 members of staff had been made redundant. He felt that if Members had been informed of this information on the evening, they would not have supported the officer recommendation. Great Yarmouth was a Top 10 resort and the only resort without a dedicated TIC which made him feel disappointed and angry. Councillor Wright asked that this item be revisited and a report brought back to this Committee recommending that a TIC be opened in preparation for the 2022 summer season. Councillor Wright stressed that it was imperative that Members had the full facts before them before they were asked to make a decision.

 

The Chairman referred Councillor Wright to recommendation (d) of minute number 5. The Chief Executive Officer reported that it was hoped to provide a TIC in the former Greenwoods building but this had been reliant on interest being expressed in a joint venture between the Council/CCG/Norfolk Police. However, the CCG had used an empty retail unit at Market Gates as a walk-in vaccination centre. However, as next year was predicted to be just as busy as this year, the Council would work with the Police to provide a facility. The Covid Marshalls were acting as tourism ambassadors and the new Heritage Centre would provide this service in the future.

 

 

 

4 pdf MINUTES - 27.7.21 (198Kb)

 

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on the 27 July 2021.

 

 

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The minutes of the meeting held on 27 July 2021 were confirmed.

 

 

 

5 pdf FORWARD PLAN (61Kb)

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the Forward Plan.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee note the Forward Plan.

 

 

 

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the report from the Senior Performance & Data Protection Officer.

 

The Senior Performance & Data Protection Officer reported that the report gave an update on performance for the first quarter of 2021/22 (Apr – Jun) where progress was assessed against targets which were set at the start of the financial year. The report also provided an update on the position of key projects that were linked to the corporate priorities from ‘The Plan 2020-2025’. A summary of progress for the suite of key projects and individual highlight reports for each of these key projects were presented in Appendix 1 of the report. The performance measures, see Appendix 2, gave a comprehensive overview of how the authority as a whole was performing and covered most Council functions.

 

Councillor P Carpenter asked if any of the major project builds would be affected by the shortages of building materials and were their risk registers being updated to reflect this potential knock-on effect to the completion dates. The Chief Executive reported that each project had its own risk register. The majority of the building materials for the Marina Centre had already been sourced and purchased so it was not an issue. However, for projects like the Wintergardens this could become an issue so the project teams were considering the pricing of contracts and the contingency elements.

 

Councillor Wainwright asked in regard to the level of interest in the Incubator Units at the Gy Energy Park. The Chief Executive reported that in regard to the O & M campus, close contact was being kept with Tier 1 suppliers and there had been a good level of interest in the units. A needs assessment was being commissioned as the present one was over 2 years old to ensure that needs continued to be met and that this was work in progress.

 

The Chairman assured the Committee that the Third River Crossing and the O & M Campus were in hand and that County was keeping a close eye on cost, price and delivery of all major projects in the County.

 

Councillor A Wright reported that the shortage of goods was a result of the pandemic and Brexit. Councillor Wright referred to the wording on page 35 of the agenda report which he thought was clumsily worded. The Chief Executive agreed with Councillor Wright and reported that the final paragraph under Mitigation on page 35, would be amended.

 

Councillor Myers reported that the furloughing of staff had caused production of goods to cease as their was no demand during the pandemic. The Chairman reported that this issue had also been compounded by the lack of HGV drivers.

 

Councillor Wainwright reported that the delivery of the new Marina Centre was both on time and on budget and the topping-out ceremony would be taking place the following week.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee agree that:-

 

(i) All measures to be monitored during the next quarter; and

 

(ii) All key projects would continue to be monitored over the next quarter with the aim of maintaining a green status and where possible, attaining a green status for those key projects which are currently amber.

 

 

 

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the report from the Strategic Planning Manager.

 

The Strategic Planning Manager reported that the Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) built upon and provide more detailed advice or guidance on policies in an adopted local plan. They did not form part of the ‘development plan’ but were a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. The Council currently had two adopted Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) for Hall Quay and North Quay.

 

The Strategic Planning Manager reported that the Town and Country Planning (Local Planning) Regulations 2012 required at least two stages of consultation during the preparation of an SPD. Firstly, consultation was required during the initial preparation of the document to inform a draft SPD. This consultation was typically more informal and could be in a questionnaire format (such as the initial consultation on the North Quay SPD) or in the form of a first draft of the SPD. More than one consultation could be undertaken if necessary and some consultations could be more tailored to be focused on certain interest groups. The point of consultation at this stage was to give people an early say on the content of the SPDs before the Council had formalised a final position on the matter.

 

The Strategic Planning Manager reported that in order to support the timely production of these documents this report requested that delegated authority was given to the Director of Planning and Growth, in consultation with the Local Plan Working Party and the Chairman of Policy and Resources Committee, to approve the public consultation at the initial stages of preparation. The Local Plan Working Party would have input on the drafting and formulation of consultation materials for these initial stages. Prior to approving materials for consultation, the Director of Planning and Growth would also consult with the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee and feedback the input from the Local Plan Working Party. The formal stage of consultation on the final draft of the SPD would still be subject to approval by the Policy and Resources Committee which also had the responsibility for adoption of the SPD on behalf of the Council.

 

The Chairman asked if the issue of where the s106 monies would feed in to this process would be addressed. The Strategic Planning Manager assured the Committee that this issue was in hand.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee delegate authority to the Director of Planning & Growth, in consultation with the Chairman of the Policy & Resources Committee and the Local Plan Working Party, to approve the first stages of public consultation on emerging Supplementary planning Documents.

 

 

 

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the report from the Corporate Health & Safety Advisor.

 

The Commercial Team Manager reported that the review provided an overview of revisions made to the Council's Health & Safety Policy which had been last updated in 2018.

 

Councillor P Hammond asked if this policy included Members. The Commercial Team Manager reported that this policy was for staff and there would be a separate Health & Safety Policy for Members. Councillor P Carpenter reported that this policy had been reviewed and commented on by the Joint Consultative Working Group where this question had also been raised and was being looked in to by the Head of Organisational Development.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee formally agree the revisions to the Health & Safety Policy.

 

 

 

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the report from the Revenue & Benefits Service Manager.

 

The Head of Customer Services reported that the Committee had last considered the Revenues Write-off report and schedules of debt in March this year. Consideration for writing off a debt was given where it was held to be uneconomical to recover, was time barred or was legally unenforceable. Under the law, there was an obligation to take reasonable steps to collect debts. There were, however, many situations where there was justification for writing off debts, where reasonable steps have been taken regarding each individual case.
Where a debt was irrecoverable, write-off of such debts was important, so that the Council could budget for bad debts. An integral part of debt recovery, was the effective management of bad debts, to ensure resources were applied efficiently to the collection of monies outstanding which could reasonably be expected to be collected. 

 

The Head of Customer Services reported that the Council had a bad debt provision within its financial accounts, as part of its monitoring process, and the amount of this provision was reviewed annually. Before presenting this report, final checks were made to determine if there were any material changes that would remove the need to write the debts off. Where the Council writes off a debt and then later finds there had been a change in the debtors circumstances, it would reinstate and pursue recovery of the monies owed.

 

The Head of Customer Services reported that this report sought the approval and authorisation of a schedule of one Business Rate and one Sundry Debt account, where the debts were both deemed unrecoverable due to being subject to either a Company or Individual Voluntary Arrangement and, therefore, both recommended for write-off.

 

Councillor Myers asked for clarification as to why there was a drop in write-offs for 2018 and 2019 compared to other years. The Head of Customer Services reported that she did not have the relevant information to hand but would respond to Councillor Myers after the meeting.

 

Councillor Grant asked for clarification regarding the over-payment of Housing Benefit as detailed on page 86 of the report and asked whether this was fraud and subject to prosecution  The Head of Customer Services reported that the DWP had now taken over responsibility of investigating and taking action including possible prosecution of Housing Benefit Fraud and confirmed the Council was still responsible for any debt arising from the over-payment of housing benefit.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee approve and authorise individual write-offs as detailed within the Schedule 1 (Business Rates) and Schedule 2 (Sundry Debt).

 

 

 

 

Report attached.

 

 

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The Committee received and considered the report from the Financial Services Manager.

 

The Finance Director reported that this report presented the financial monitoring position to the end of July compared to the budget as approved in February this year. The latest monitoring position was a forecast deficit of £163k compared to the budgeted deficit of £111k, a movement of £52k. 

 

The Finance Director reported that the detail of the report provided the commentary on the variances to date, together with, where applicable, the full year forecasts. These were continuing to be monitored and actions taken as applicable. 

 

The Finance Director reported that the report also provided the current position on the capital programme, of which there would be a more detailed review over the coming months to be updated, and included in the medium term financial strategy.

 

RESOLVED:-

 

That the Committee note the content of the report and the revised forecast for 2021/22.

 

 

 

 

11 ANY OTHER BUSINESS
To consider any other business as may be determined by the Chairman of the meeting as being of sufficient urgency to warrant consideration.

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RESOLVED:-

 

That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be
excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it
involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 3 of Part I
of Schedule 12(A) of the said Act. 

 

 

 

12 EXCLUSION OF PUBLIC
In the event of the Committee wishing to exclude the public from the meeting, the following resolution will be moved:-

"That under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraph 1 of Part I of Schedule 12(A) of the said Act."

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RESOLVED:-

 

 

13 CONFIDENTIAL - GYB SERVICES LIMITED SHAREHOLDER'S REPORT
14 CONFIDENTIAL MINUTES - 13.7.21
15 CONFIDENTIAL MINUTES - 27.7.21

Attendance

NameReason for Sending ApologySubstituted By
Carl Smith Daniel Candon
Brian Walker  
NameReason for AbsenceSubstituted By
No absentee information has been recorded for the meeting.

Declarations of Interests

Member NameItem Ref.DetailsNature of DeclarationAction
Penny Carpenter13Is a member of the GYBS Liaison Board and Norse Board.PersonalAllowed to both speak and vote on the item.
Mr Ron Hanton10Is the Independent Chairman of Great Yarmouth Community Safety LtdPersonalAllowed to both speak and vote on the item.
Paul Wells13Is a Director of GYBSPersonalAllowed to both speak and vote on the item.

Visitors

 

PRESENT:-

 

Councillor Smith (in the Chair); Councillors P Carpenter, Flaxman-Taylor, Grant, P Hammond, Hanton, Myers, Wainwright, Wells, Williamson & T Wright.

 

Councillor Candon attended as a substitute for Councillor Smith.

 

Ms S Oxtoby (Chief Executive Officer), Mrs K Blakemore (Strategic Director), Mrs P Boyce (Strategic Director), Ms K Sly (Finance Director), Ms C Whatling (Monitoring Officer), Mrs M Lee (Head of Customer Services),Mrs G Britton (Commercial Team Manager), Mr J Wedon (Senior Performance & Data Protection Officer), Mr S  Hubbard (Strategic Planning Manager) & Mrs C Webb (Executive Services Officer).

 

 

 

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