Agenda item

Motions

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  At the end of the two hour period, those members who have already indicated their intention to speak on the motion being debated at that time will be allowed to speak, the mover of the motion will be asked to sum-up and the vote will be taken.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 27 November 2017:

 

Motion 800 - Adoption and promotion of electric vehicles

Proposed by Cllr Rachel Smith

Seconded by Cllr Iain Dobie

 

This Council notes the great importance of good air quality to public health and wellbeing in Gloucestershire. Poor air quality not only contributes to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, but also limits uptake of cycling, and reduces pedestrian numbers - harming wider public health goals.

 

This Council notes that a leading cause of air pollution is vehicle emissions. This Council further notes that air quality monitoring is a district responsibility, but that air quality issues need a co-ordinated approach between all local authorities in order to reduce unnecessary deaths from poor air quality and cut carbon emissions.

 

Councillors agree that more can be done through this authority to combat poor air quality, and welcome the formation of an air quality task group. Recognising the urgency of the problem of both air pollution and carbon emissions, this Council:

a)      Commits to moving to electric or low emission options wherever possible for all direct or indirectly operated council vehicles at the earliest opportunity.

b)      Commits to replacing 10% of the vehicles within its fleet (owned or leased) with electric or low emission vehicles by 2019.

c)      Commits to establishing principles for use in procurement to encourage use of electric or low emission vehicles by Council contractors.

d)      Commits to engaging with district councils and other relevant stakeholders to promote adoption of electric and low emission vehicles, including through identifying schemes, funding and other incentives for provision of publicly accessible EV charging points, and EV charging points in new housing developments.

 

 

Motion 801 - Votes at 16

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Klara Sudbury

 

This Council notes that currently 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are denied the vote in public elections in the UK.

 

This Council recognises that 16 and 17 year olds are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen.

 

This Council believes people who can consent to medical treatment, work full-time, pay taxes, get married or enter a civil partnership and join the armed forces should also have the right to vote.

 

This Council therefore requests the Leader of this Council to write to all six Gloucestershire MPs asking that a letter be written to county representatives of the Youth Parliament to express support in lowering the voting age to 16.

 

 

Motion 802 – Increase in the State Pension Age for Women

Proposed by Cllr Eva Ward

Seconded by CllrBrian Oosthuysen

 

This Council notes that 39,400 women in Gloucestershire born on or after 05 April 1951 have been adversely affected by increase in the State Pension Age (SPA) and that these women have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the SPA. The lack of appropriate notification has resulted in many women not being told about the changes until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.

 

The Council calls on the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements so that women do not live in hardship due to these State Pension Age changes and instructs the Chief Executive to  write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and all the Members of Parliament representing Gloucestershire seeking their support for action by the Government.

 

 

Motion 803 – Council tax exemption for care leavers

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by CllrBrian Oosthuysen

 

This Council recognises that young people leaving care can be amongst the most vulnerable in our community and it is committed to supporting care leavers to successfully make the often difficult transition to adult life as part of its corporate parenting role.

 

This Council recognises that managing money and bills for the first time can be a particular challenge for care leavers, with research from the Centre for Social Justice finding that 57% of your people find it difficult to manage their money and avoid debt when leaving care.

 

This Council believes there is more that can be done to support Care Leavers and all aspects of Local Government have a part to play in giving this support. This Council recognises that it does not set the Council Tax precept for the 6 District and Borough Authorities in the County however each of these Authorities will have Care Leavers living in their Districts.

 

This Council therefore  resolves to write to each of the Authorities asking them to introduce exemptions for council tax for care leavers between the ages 18-25.

 

 

Motion 804 – Joint working across the Emergency Services

Proposed by Cllr Jeremy Hilton

Seconded by CllrPaul Hodgkinson

 

This Council welcomes the decision of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner to withdraw his bid to takeover the governance of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

This Council notes that 2017 Police and Crime Act places a duty on the blue light services to work together to provide more effective service to their communities.

 

This Council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has an excellent track record on collaborating with the other emergency services on mutually beneficial projects.

 

This Council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue is currently consulting on its draft Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2018-2021

 

This Council therefore resolves to support the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure in opening up discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner about opportunities for both services to work together on mutually beneficial projects, with both themselves and also with the ambulance service.

Minutes:

Motion 800 - Adoption and promotion of electric vehicles

Cllr Rachel Smith proposed and Cllr Iain Dobie seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Smith thanked officers for their support in providing information relating to the motion.  She said that that the main drivers for electric vehicles were climate change, air quality and cost savings.  She believed that it was incumbent on the Council to set an example.  She noted that electric vehicles worked out cheaper to run over four years with even greater savings achievable over the longer term.  The Council had direct control over 90 vehicles and provided funding for 825 taxis and buses.  She stated that changes to procurement practices were essential to ensure that school buses were more energy efficient and less polluting.  She referred to a number of other local authorities that were already using electric vehicles.  These included the London Fire Brigade, Oxford City Council, Lewes District Council, Portsmouth City Council, Westminister City Council, the London Borough of Havering and Cornwall Council.

 

Cllr Dobie explained that the motion aimed to nudge the Council in the right direction. He noted that, following an amendment to the Council’s budget, residents with electric vehicles now benefited from free residents’ parking.  He said that a commitment to convert 10% of Council vehicles to electric over two years equated to just nine vehicles.  He believed that bus companies should commit to reducing pollution by running cleaner vehicles.  He noted the poor air quality outside Leckhampton School which had been recorded as the worst outside a school in the county.  He was anxious that the Council committed to concrete action by supporting this Public Health motion.

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, was already committed to reducing carbon emissions.  He referred to the introduction of LED street lighting across the county and the reuse of energy at the Javelin Park residual waste facility.  He recognised the importance of electric vehicles in reducing carbon emissions and improving air quality.  He said that the Council was already looking to provide more charging points across the county.  He noted that the majority of vehicles operated by the Council were vans and HGVs and there were currently limited opportunities to replace them with electric vehicles.  He stated that a scrutiny task group chaired by Cllr Jeremy Hilton was looking at air quality and this would allow opportunities to be considered.

 

The meeting was adjourned for a short period while Group Leaders considered an amendment to the motion.

 

Cllr Smith and Cllr Dobie accepted the following changes to the motion (see the highlighted text):

 

This Council notes the great importance of good air quality to public health and wellbeing in Gloucestershire. Poor air quality not only contributes to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, but also limits uptake of cycling, and reduces pedestrian numbers - harming wider public health goals.

 

This Council further welcomes the £500m allocated to support Electric Vehicles by the Chancellor in the recent budget.

 

This Council notes that a leading cause of air pollution is vehicle emissions. This Council further notes that air quality monitoring is a district responsibility, but that air quality issues need a co-ordinated approach between all local authorities in order to reduce unnecessary deaths from poor air quality and cut carbon emissions.

 

Councillors agree that more can be done through this authority to combat poor air quality, and welcome the formation of an air quality task group. Recognising the urgency of the problem of both air pollution and carbon emissions, this Council:

 

a)     Commits to moving to electric or low emission options wherever possiblepracticable for all direct or indirectly operated council vehicles at the earliest opportunity.

b)     Commits to replacing the vehicles within its fleet (owned or leased) with electric or low emission vehicles where possible with a view to deliver 5% by 2020.

c)      Commits to establishing principles for use in procurement to encourage use of electric or low emission vehicles by Council contractors.

d)     Commits to engaging with district councils and other relevant stakeholders to promote adoption of electric and low emission vehicles, including through identifying schemes, funding and other incentives for provision of publicly accessible EV charging points, and EV charging points in new housing developments.

 

Some members expressed concern that reducing the target for electric and low emission vehicles from 10% to 5% showed a lack of ambition.  They noted that 5% equated to just 4.5 vehicles.

 

A member believed that Gloucestershire should be at the forefront of the issue as it helped to promote the county and showed that it was forward thinking and innovative.

 

Another member said that it made no logical sense to replace vehicles early and it was practical to move over to lower emission vehicles over a period of time.

 

Cllr Hilton, the chair of the Air Quality Task Group, supported the amendment and advised that the task group would be holding a session on 16 January 2018 with a range of organisations to explore what was possible moving forward.   

 

On being put to the vote, the revised motion received the unanimous support of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council notes the great importance of good air quality to public health and wellbeing in Gloucestershire. Poor air quality not only contributes to 40,000 premature deaths in the UK every year, but also limits uptake of cycling, and reduces pedestrian numbers - harming wider public health goals.

 

This Council further welcomes the £500m allocated to support Electric Vehicles by the Chancellor in the recent budget.

 

This Council notes that a leading cause of air pollution is vehicle emissions. This Council further notes that air quality monitoring is a district responsibility, but that air quality issues need a co-ordinated approach between all local authorities in order to reduce unnecessary deaths from poor air quality and cut carbon emissions.

 

Councillors agree that more can be done through this authority to combat poor air quality, and welcome the formation of an air quality task group. Recognising the urgency of the problem of both air pollution and carbon emissions, this Council:

 

a)     Commits to moving to electric or low emission options wherever practicable for all direct or indirectly operated council vehicles at the earliest opportunity.

b)     Commits to replacing the vehicles within its fleet (owned or leased) with electric or low emission vehicles where possible with a view to deliver 5% by 2020.

c)      Commits to establishing principles for use in procurement to encourage use of electric or low emission vehicles by Council contractors.

d)     Commits to engaging with district councils and other relevant stakeholders to promote adoption of electric and low emission vehicles, including through identifying schemes, funding and other incentives for provision of publicly accessible EV charging points, and EV charging points in new housing developments.

 

 

Motion 801 - Votes at 16

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Klara Sudbury seconded the following motion:

 

This Council notes that currently 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds are denied the vote in public elections in the UK.

 

This Council recognises that 16 and 17 year olds are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen.

 

This Council believes people who can consent to medical treatment, work full-time, pay taxes, get married or enter a civil partnership and join the armed forces should also have the right to vote.

 

This Council therefore requests the Leader of this Council to write to all six Gloucestershire MPs asking that a letter be written to county representatives of the Youth Parliament to express support in lowering the voting age to 16.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr Hodgkinson stated that voting at 16 had been in the manifesto of the Liberal Democrat Party since 2001.  He said that over half of the MPs in Westminster supported voting at 16 with the Labour Party, Scottish National Party and Green Party all behind the campaign. He noted that 16 and 17 year olds in the Isle of Man and Jersey and in many countries throughout the World were already able to vote. 

 

The introduction of Citizenship in schools and colleges had made 16 and 17 year olds more politically aware. Research showed that people who started voting at a young age carried on voting throughout their lifetime. Sixteen and 17 year olds could pay tax, consent to sexual relationships, get married, be a director of a company and serve in the armed forces.   Young people were the future of the country with strong opinions and enthusiasm for life.  Cllr Hodgkinson could not see any reason why they should not be allowed to vote.  He called on the Council to be forward thinking and call for the voting age to be lowered to 16.    

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Klara Sudbury stated that in her role as Mayor of Cheltenham she had met with lots of young people who would welcome the opportunity to vote.  She said that most councillors had no idea about the pressures of modern life for young people. The growth of the internet had shrunken the World and young people were a lot better informed today.  She was concerned that young people were not being given an opportunity to have a voice.  She believed that reducing the voting age would improve the quality of decision making and everyone would benefit.

 

A number of members spoke in support of the motion.  They believed that democracy should not standstill but move to reflect the needs of a changing society.  They noted the impact of younger voters during the Scottish Referendum and how it had helped reinvigorate democratic debate amongst families.  Young people who attended question time events with politicians showed that they had a good understanding of the political issues of the day.  

 

One member expressed concern that, although Citizenship courses were run in schools, there was little coverage of the political parties and what they stood for.

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, the Leader of the Council, believed that it was vitally important to engage with young people whatever their age and listen to their views.    He noted that children under 18 could consent to their own medical treatment but could be over-ruled if they were not felt to be competent.  Children could take up a job from aged 14, there was no age limit on paying taxes and they could only get married or join the armed forces with the permission of their parents.  Sixteen year olds could not drive a car, purchase a knife, make a will, sign a contract or watch some films.

 

Other members spoke against the motion and believed that voting at 18 struck the right balance.   

 

In summing up, Cllr Hodgkinson stated that he was embarrassed about what some members had said in speaking against the motion.  He believed that it was patronising towards 16 year olds and he called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 to allow young people to be inspired, empowered and encouraged to get involved.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion was defeated.

 

 

Motion 802 – Increase in the State Pension Age for Women

Cllr Eva Ward proposed and Cllr Kate Haigh seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr Ward stated that the change in State Pension Age was affecting women across the county and was causing financial hardship. She said that they had lost £51,000 over six years and were being forced to take jobs that were not suitable, including zero hour contracts.  They were often carers for older relatives and their retirement plans had been shattered.  She said that the national campaign, known as Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI), was not looking for the changes to be reversed but for proper transitional arrangements to be put in place.

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Haigh recognised that the equalisation of pensions between men and women was a good thing but women of a certain age should not be discriminated against in this way and suffer severe financial hardship.  She called upon the Leader of the Council to sign the letter alongside the Chief Executive.

 

Other members spoke in support of the motion, recognising that efforts to equalise the state pension between men and women had resulted in unintended consequences with women of a certain age suffering financially.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion received the unanimous support of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council notes that 39,400 women in Gloucestershire born on or after 05 April 1951 have been adversely affected by increase in the State Pension Age (SPA) and that these women have unfairly borne the burden of the increase to the SPA. The lack of appropriate notification has resulted in many women not being told about the changes until it was too late to make alternative arrangements.

 

The Council calls on the Government to reconsider transitional arrangements so that women do not live in hardship due to these State Pension Age changes and instructs the Leader of the Council and the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and all the Members of Parliament representing Gloucestershire seeking their support for action by the Government.

 

 

Motion 803 – Council tax exemption for care leavers

Cllr Lesley Williams proposed and Cllr Brian Oosthuysen seconded the motion on the agenda.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr Williams noted that the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ now funded a quarter of all property purchases in the UK.  She said that a financially stable base to start out in life was vitally important.  Research indicated that 57% of care leavers had problems managing their finances.  What started out as falling slightly behind with bills could easily escalate to a court summons and recovery proceedings.  She stated that Council Tax was a particular problem.  She advised 48 local authorities had already passed resolutions to support the motion. 

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Oosthuysen said that care leavers were amongst the most vulnerable people in society and it was vital that they were supported in their transition into adult life. 

 

Other members recognised the need to provide support to care leavers but they were not convinced that asking the district councils to provide an exemption from Council Tax was the best approach. 

 

Cllr Richard Boyles, the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, believed that the aspiration should be that young people who were brought up in the Council’s care should be able to support themselves and should not need this type of support.

 

The meeting was adjourned for a short period while Group Leaders considered an amendment to the motion.

 

Cllr Williams and Cllr Oosthuysen accepted the following changes proposed to the motion (see the highlighted text):

 

This Council recognises that young people leaving care can be amongst the most vulnerable in our community and it is committed to supporting care leavers to successfully make the often difficult transition to adult life as part of its corporate parenting role.

 

This Council recognises that managing money and bills for the first time can be a particular challenge for care leavers, with research from the Centre for Social Justice finding that 57% of your people find it difficult to manage their money and avoid debt when leaving care.

 

This Council believes there is more that can be done to support Care Leavers and all aspects of Local Government have a part to play in giving this support. This Council recognises that it does not set the Council Tax precept for the 6 District and Borough Authorities in the County however each of these Authorities will have Care Leavers living in their Districts.

 

This Council therefore resolves to write to each of the Authorities asking them to introduce exemptions for council tax for care leavers between the ages 18-25.

 

This Council resolves to ask the Cabinet to consider how we can better support care leavers in Gloucestershire in times of difficulty, and to bring forward proposals as part of the budget.

 

On being put to the vote, the revised motion received the unanimous support of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council recognises that young people leaving care can be amongst the most vulnerable in our community and it is committed to supporting care leavers to successfully make the often difficult transition to adult life as part of its corporate parenting role.

 

This Council recognises that managing money and bills for the first time can be a particular challenge for care leavers, with research from the Centre for Social Justice finding that 57% of your people find it difficult to manage their money and avoid debt when leaving care.

 

This Council believes there is more that can be done to support Care Leavers and all aspects of Local Government have a part to play in giving this support.

 

This Council resolves to ask the Cabinet to consider how we can better support care leavers in Gloucestershire in times of difficulty, and to bring forward proposals as part of the budget.

 

 

Motion 804 – Joint working across the Emergency Services

Cllr Jeremy Hilton proposed and Cllr Paul Hodgkinson seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

In proposing the motion, Cllr Hilton noted that the Police and Crime Commissioner had undertaken research costing more than £100,000 to assess whether there was a business case for him to take over the governance of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS).  The County Council had spent a further £35,000 making the case for GFRS remaining under the control of the Council.  He was pleased that the Commissioner had issued a press release that day highlighting areas for collaboration.

 

He stated that a great deal of work on blue light collaboration was being undertaken in Cornwall with a range of initiatives already in place.  He recognised that in Gloucestershire, GFRS was already highly integrated within the County Council with Trading Standards, Emergency Management and ICT amongst the services falling under the responsibility of the Chief Fire Officer.  He noted that the vehicle workshops at Waterwells were now also being used by Highways and the Local Resilience Forum was led by GFRS.  The South Western Ambulance Service and Severn Area Rescue Association were already sharing premises with GFRS but there were further opportunities to explore.  He believed that there might be opportunities for the fire joint training centre in Avonmouth to be used by the police and the ambulance service. 

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Hodgkinson said that he was pleased that GFRS would remain under the control of the Council.  He recognised that the Council’s relationship with the Police and Crime Commissioner had been difficult at times but he hoped that it would be more constructive in the future.  He was anxious that the bluelight services took the opportunity to share premises to allow them to have a better presence in rural communities.  He referred to the opportunities for sharing premises in Bourton and Northleach within in his own division.

 

One member expressed concern that Gloucestershire Constabulary had been selling off its premises in Cheltenham.  He believed that police and fire stations should not be integrated as they were distinct services. 

 

Other members spoke in support of the motion and believed that the blue light services should share assets where it was sensible and cost effective to do so. They recognised that there were opportunities to improve local resilience by bringing fire, police and ambulance services together in towns. 

 

Cllr Nigel Moor, the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure, advised that he had met the Police and Crime Commissioner with the Leader of the Council to discuss joint working.  A governance committee with key people had been set up to allow joint approaches to be developed. A number of areas had already been identified including procurement and estate management.  He was pleased to announce that proposals were being put together to develop a tri-service centre with fire, police and ambulance services co-located in Cirencester. He was anxious, however, that projects delivered real benefits and were not put forward for the sake of it.

 

In summing up, Cllr Hilton recognised that collaboration should only take place where it was appropriate and with proper agreement between all the parties involved.  He was pleased that a governance committee had been established but he was anxious that an appropriate mechanism was established for non-executive members to scrutinise the proposals coming forward.

 

On being put to the vote, the motion received the unanimous support of the Council.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council welcomes the decision of the Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner to withdraw his bid to takeover the governance of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service.

 

This Council notes that 2017 Police and Crime Act places a duty on the blue light services to work together to provide more effective service to their communities.

 

This Council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service has an excellent track record on collaborating with the other emergency services on mutually beneficial projects.

 

This Council notes that Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue is currently consulting on its draft Integrated Risk Management Plan for 2018-2021

 

This Council therefore resolves to support the Cabinet Member for Fire, Planning and Infrastructure in opening up discussions with the Police and Crime Commissioner about opportunities for both services to work together on mutually beneficial projects, with both themselves and also with the ambulance service.