Council leader Andrew Proctor’s views on the NDR, DIY waste charges and more
Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor discussed a range of key subjects in an interview with BBC Norfolk. Here is what he had to say:
• In April this year, the council introduced controversial new DIY waste charges at its recycling centres across the county.
Mr Proctor was asked if fly tipping had increased because of it.
He said: “We have been gathering evidence of fly tipping from all the district councils since April this year.
“It does show a slightly rising trend in fly tipping.
“We are monitoring the situation but it hasn’t shown that the rise in fly tipping is down to the DIY waste and construct waste [charges].
“If it was showing that we would do something about it, but it is not.”
• In 2012 the county council purchased the former RAF Coltishall site for £4m.
One listener asked Mr Proctor if the council was getting value for money for the site, which is now home to the Scottow Enterprise Park.
He said: “There has been a serious amount of work to get businesses interested in there and to really to drive up some revenue from the place as well.
“It is generating revenue, but to be fair, it is not generating the revenue we really want at the moment, and we need to take that further and fast.”
Mr Proctor said he would be meeting with Simon Coward, managing director of Hethel Innovation, next week to have a “serious talk” about the business plan for the park.
• Drivers have complained about the design of the roundabouts on the newly-opened Norwich Northern Distributor Road (NDR), now known as Broadland Northway.
He said: “You have to accept it is a new piece of road and a new method of construction and it does take a bit of getting used to.
“We have done a safety audit and we recognise a few changes have to be made to siding and so forth.
“But ultimately it is down to people using the road, being responsible on the road and making sure they drive to the road conditions. A safety audit has been done so there is absolutely no reason why it cannot be used in the way it is designed for.”
Mr Proctor said the council had analysed serious incidents on Norfolk’s roads. He said it was a “fact” that 90pc were caused by human error.
• Norfolk County Council has to make £99m of savings over the next three years.
He said: “Part of those savings have got to come from doing things differently.
“There will be reductions in service provision. But aim of this is to continue to deliver front-line services we said we would do, not cutting those.
“If we can make efficiency changes, if we can cut out things from the back office and work better with partners, we can deliver these in the longer term.
“Certain things will have to change, and I would emphasises change rather than go.”
• Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green has made a case to govern the county’s fire service.
Mr Proctor said: “From what has been put forward by the PCC, he has put forward business case, it is out for consultation. The county council has looked at it and we have found significant flaws, as far as we are concerned, in it.
“We are concerned in long term funding and financing of a fire service if it was transferred to responsibilty of the PCC.
“We see it as being a far, far better service being retained by the county council.”
• A litany of failings in three separate Norfolk cases involving vulnerable children were revealed in reports this week.
Mr Proctor said: “The important thing to put out here is Norfolk County Council is responsible for vulnerable people and in this particular case, I am sorry to say we failed, and I would like to offer my apologies to all concerned.
“Children’s services has been under spotlight for a while now.
“We have a new director and a new leadership team and a direction we know we must follow.”