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 time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

The following motions were received by the closing date of 10am on 3 September 2019: 

 

Motion 843 – Enabling road safety measures

Proposed by Cllr Klara Sudbury

Seconded by Cllr Eva Ward

 

This Council notes that:

·         road safety and traffic speeds are of significant concern to many residents in Gloucestershire, in both urban and rural areas.

·         elected county councillors have a key role to play, working with local communities, to resolve these concerns, finding effective road safety solutions to help pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

 

However, this Council further notes that:

·         when County Councillors request measures to reduce traffic speeds, even when offering to put their highways local funds towards it, policy and financial constraints mean they rarely come to fruition.

·         a key obstacle in securing some traffic calming measures is the cost of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and the lengthy processes needed to secure changes such as yellow lines.

 

Therefore this Council resolves to:

a)    Ask Cabinet to review County Council policies relating to traffic calming, including the use of physical design and vehicle activated signage, to aid councillors in securing evidence-based road changes.

b)    Write to the relevant Secretary of State to:

i)     Express our serious concern that national road safety guidelines are too restrictive and ask for the guidance to be reviewed to create a more enabling policy framework.

ii)    Clarify what progress has been made to simplify the TRO process.

c)    Consider increasing the road safety budget for 2020-21 through the budget setting process, which could include a ring fenced budget for each council division. 

d)    Build on existing local road safety initiatives to establish “road safety partnerships” for each of the six districts where there are none, and to formalise the relationship between road safety partnerships and the highways authority and county councillors.

 

Motion 844 – Future proofing public buildings and developments in Gloucestershire

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Ben Evans

 

This Council notes:

·         That a ‘climate emergency’ was declared by Gloucestershire County Council (GC) in May 2019, along with five of the six district councils.

  • That the County Council is striving to become carbon neutral by 2030 and is identifying measures to deliver an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole county by the same date.

 

This Council further notes:

·         GCC holds significant sway over the design of county-council-backed public buildings, such as the proposed new secondary school in Leckhampton.

·         GCC has significant influence over developers when disposing of land for development. 

·         In 2006 the Government made a pledge to make all new-build homes zero carbon by 2016, a commitment dropped by the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2015.

·         Without ambitious incentives, most developers are likely to prioritise cost over greener methods of construction.

·         Carbon dioxide emissions from housing currently makes up a third of all the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, a figure which is predicted to rise to over 50 per cent by 2050.   

 

This Council requests that the Cabinet:

·         Ensure that all new public buildings commissioned are carbon neutral throughout their entire life-span (with GCC funding Gloucestershire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap).

·         Legally bind developers, or work with procured developers, to ensure that all residential and commercial developments on GCC disposed land are carbon neutral throughout their entire life-span (with GCC or developers funding Gloucestershire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap).

 

Motion 845 – Equality and diversity

Proposed by Cllr Kate Haigh

Seconded by Cllr Steve Robinson

 

This Council notes that:

 

Gloucestershire County Council is committed to equality and diversity.

 

Across parties, we stand together to promote and celebrate diversity in our county standing against intolerance and hate crime.

 

The Council continues to create positive opportunities to employ a workforce 

that’s representative of the county’s communities, and provide a safe and 

accessible work environment that values and respects each individual.

 

The Council plays a crucial roll in promoting and fostering good relations within our communities and the relationship they have with the Council.

 

This Council resolves to:

a)    Commit to creating a Gloucestershire community that is strong, safe and inclusive for everyone.

b)    Set up a cross party equalities working group chaired by the Leader of the Council (or nominated Cabinet Member) which will draw up an equalities action plan bringing together the work on all equalities strands into a common document.

c)    Make a cross-party commitment to fostering diversity and promoting equality for all residents, Members and members of staff.

d)    Take action throughout the year to celebrate the County’s diversity by:

i)     Having a programme of flag-flying and support for key awareness days throughout the County.

ii)    Supporting our communities to celebrate what’s important to them.

 

Motion 846 - Tree planting

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Graham Morgan

 

This Council passed a motion on 15th May 2019 recognising that there is a climate emergency.


This Council committed to an 80% reduction in the corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving to 100% with carbon offset by the same date. Research now shows that planting billions of trees is the best and cheapest way to tackle climate change.

This Council resolves to request Cabinet to develop a policy of tree planting; with a target of planting 2 trees for each Gloucestershire resident by 2030, if not sooner, and to work with tenant farmers and encourage at least 2 trees per field for most pasture land.


I ask that a progress report is included in the annual Environmental report.

 

Motion 847 - Against Prorogation of Parliament

Proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams

Seconded by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

 

This Council regards the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, until 14 October, as an extraordinary abuse of the British constitution. 

 

This Council believes that the decision to prorogue Parliament has little to do with recalibrating the new Government’s policies with a Queen’s speech and everything to do with minimising the opportunity for elected representatives to debate Brexit.

 

This Council also notes the number of people protesting in Gloucestershire and nationwide and recognises that residents are appalled by the undemocratic move made by a Prime Minister who was recently appointed by a small number of Conservative members. 

 

This Council requests the that Leader of the Council write to the Prime Minister calling for Parliament to be recalled at the first possible opportunity.

 

Minutes:

Motion 843 – Enabling road safety measures

 

Cllr Klara Sudbury proposed and Cllr Eva Ward seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Sudbury noted how important it was for county councillors to be able to secure effective road safety measures for their local communities.  She expressed concern that the traffic regulation order process often blocked the implementation of schemes. This was frustrating for local communities who were best placed to judge on what was needed in their areas. The amount of money spent on road safety in Gloucestershire was just £1.53 per person each year.  She noted that even when she had made funds available through her Highways Local allocation, highway officers had not been cooperative.

 

Cllr Ward advised that road safety was one of the main concerns in local communities.  She said that the public had no idea about the complexity of the traffic regulation order process in implementing the simplest road safety measures.  She noted that it had taken two years in her Stroud Division to go through the approval and implementation process for four vehicle-activated signs.  Communities were often left to set up local campaigns in an effort to manage speeds.  She believed that a county-wide road safety partnership should be established to ensure that there was a consistent approach.

 

A number of members referred to the success of speed awareness campaigns in their own areas.  They acknowledged frustrations with the time that it could take to implement schemes, but believed that there should be more focus on working with local communities to reduce speeds.  They noted that enforcement was an important aspect of traffic regulation orders and there was little point in putting schemes in place if they could not be enforced.

 

A member asked that highways officers be thanked for their efforts in introducing a complex scheme in Moreton-in-Marsh to protect pedestrians, cyclists and children going to school. 

 

Other members expressed frustration at the complexity of the traffic regulation order process and the lack of officer resources available to implement schemes.  Often it was taking years to implement simple schemes such as pedestrian crossings and yellow lines where the dangers were obvious to everyone.  In other local authority areas, it was apparent that road safety schemes were being introduced, including 20mph schemes, without the problems that were being faced in Gloucestershire.

 

They believed that a change of attitude was required and officers should not just rely on official figures for accidents.  It was shocking that schemes were not being progressed because they were not supported by official statistics for people that were killed or seriously injured.  There were near misses every day, accidents were often not reported to the Police and insurance companies were prevented from releasing information due to GDPR regulations.

 

A member expressed disappointment that the Council had stopped providing support for road safety partnerships in each district.  They noted their value in bringing together community groups, road safety organisations, magistrates, the police and GCC staff.  They said that the Stroud Road Safety Partnership continued to operate without Council support.  The position had become confusing with other road safety groups with different purposes being established. 

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Leader of the Council, recognised the frustrations around the implementation process for traffic regulation orders, and said that it was important that lobbying activity focused on specific areas where change was needed. Scrutiny members were well placed to carry out research and gather evidence including seeking the views of other local authorities.

 

Cllr Dave Norman, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, Parking and Libraries, noted that the Department for Transport was looking at traffic regulation orders and it was important that the Council engaged in this process.  He assured members that the Council would always be supportive of evidence-based road safety schemes.  He said that the demise of the Gloucestershire Road Safety Partnership at the request of the Police and Crime Commissioner had resulted in a significant reduction in funding for road safety initiatives.  The Council was committed to improving road safety with its partners and he noted that the Chief Fire Officer was the lead for the Police and Crime Commissioner’s priority for Safe and Social Driving.  He believed that district-based community safety partnerships might be best placed to lead local campaigns.      

 

In summing up, Cllr Sudbury called for more investment with 26 people being killed on the county’s roads each year.  She said that it was important that this was addressed quickly to allow the necessary funds to be included in the Council budget for 2020-21. 

 

RESOLVED to refer the following motion to the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee:

 

This Council notes that:

·         road safety and traffic speeds are of significant concern to many residents in Gloucestershire, in both urban and rural areas.

·         elected county councillors have a key role to play, working with local communities, to resolve these concerns, finding effective road safety solutions to help pedestrians, cyclists and all road users.

 

However, this Council further notes that:

·         when County Councillors request measures to reduce traffic speeds, even when offering to put their highways local funds towards it, policy and financial constraints mean they rarely come to fruition.

·         a key obstacle in securing some traffic calming measures is the cost of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) and the lengthy processes needed to secure changes such as yellow lines.

 

Therefore this Council resolves to:

a)    Ask Cabinet to review County Council policies relating to traffic calming, including the use of physical design and vehicle activated signage, to aid councillors in securing evidence-based road changes.

b)    Write to the relevant Secretary of State to:

i)     Express our serious concern that national road safety guidelines are too restrictive and ask for the guidance to be reviewed to create a more enabling policy framework.

ii)    Clarify what progress has been made to simplify the TRO process.

c)    Consider increasing the road safety budget for 2020-21 through the budget setting process, which could include a ring fenced budget for each council division. 

d)    Build on existing local road safety initiatives to establish ‘road safety partnerships’ for each of the six districts where there are none, and to formalise the relationship between road safety partnerships and the highways authority and county councillors.

 

 

Motion 844 – Future proofing public buildings and developments in Gloucestershire

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson proposed and Cllr Ben Evans seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Hodgkinson said that it was time for the Council to put money where its mouth was by calling for the decarbonisation of public buildings and carbon-neutral new developments.  He noted that the Council was making a significant investment of £700,000 in a new school in Leckhampton but there had been limited discussion around carbon reduction and none at all about making the school carbon-neutral. Housing in the UK was one of the most inefficient in the World with the housing industry contributing 30% of UK carbon emissions.  He believed that the Council should ensure that new developments on Council-owned land were carbon-neutral.  He noted that other local authorities were making strides in ensuring that new developments were carbon-neutral.

 

Cllr Evans stated that it was about achieving best value rather than the best price for development on Council-owned land.  If decisions were not made now to build homes to the highest environmental standards then the people living in them would have to take remedial steps in 20-30 years time.  It was estimated that carbon emissions from the housing industry would rise from 30% to 55% in future years.  A carbon-neutral approach by the Council would encourage entrepreneurs to come forward with innovative ideas for new developments.

 

Cllr Lynden Stowe moved and Cllr Nigel Moor seconded the following amendment:

 

This Council notes:

·         That a ‘climate emergency’ was declared by Gloucestershire County Council (GC) in May 2019, along with five of the six District Councils.

 

·         That the County Council is striving to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and is identifying measures to deliver an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole county by the same date.

 

·         That District Councils have the responsibility to lead on issues of planning and housing.

 

      This Council further notes:

·         GCC holds significant sway over the design of County Council backed public buildings, such as the proposed new secondary school in Leckhampton.

 

·         GCC has significant influence over developers when disposing of land for development. 

 

·         In 2006 the Government made a pledge to make all new-build homes zero carbon by 2016, a commitment dropped by the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2015.

 

·         In 2019, the government legally committed the UK to a target of zero emissions by 2050, one of the first major countries in the world to do so.

 

·         Without ambitious incentives, most developers are likely to prioritise cost over greener methods of construction.

·         Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use resulting from housing currently makes up a third of all the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, a figure which is predicted to rise to over 50 per cent by 2050 if no action is taken.   

 

This Council requests that the Cabinet:

·         Work with the NHS, Gloucestershire Police, District Councils and others, via Leadership Gloucestershire, to ensure that all new public buildings commissioned are carbon neutral throughout their entire life-span (with GCC funding Gloucestershire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap) support the move to zero carbon.

 

·         Legally bind developers, or work with procured developers, Work with district councils to ensure that all residential and commercial developments on GCC disposed land are carbon neutral throughout their entire life-span (with GCC or developers funding Gloucestershire-based carbon offsetting to capture any technically unavoidable performance gap) in Gloucestershire support the move to zero carbon.

 

Cllr Stowe stated that the Council was having regard to the BREEAM environmental standards in undertaking development, including the Quayside development alongside Shire Hall.  He said that the County Council was a small player in terms of the redevelopment of its own land as the District Councils were responsible for housing development across the county.  He was also mindful of imposing a financial burden on capital receipts and reducing the money available to tackle Council priorities including climate change initiatives.  He feared that such an approach might make some schemes unviable. 

 

Cllr Moor advised that the County Council complied with the standards requested by the District Councils.  If the County Council’s approach was too demanding then it would be at a competitive disadvantage compared with private developers.  He believed that it was much better for the County Council to work with the District Councils to improve standards of development across the county.  This would help provide a level playing field for all forms of development.  

 

A number of members spoke against the amendment.  They believed that it watered-down the sentiment of the original motion and lacked ambition.  It appeared that the Council was only interested in the capital receipts it could generate from disposals. They suggested that if the private sector did not want to develop Council land then the Council should look at opportunities to develop the land itself for a commercial return.  With imagination, homes of the highest environmental standards could be built for local people with associated financial, social and environmental benefits.

 

A member regretted that the design for the new school in Leckhampton was using an old-fashioned gas boiler rather than modern heat pumps and solar panels. 

 

Other members believed that the original motion was too narrow and unambitious and would do little to help in getting to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  The Council could not act in isolation and needed to work with the District Councils and other public agencies if it was to make a real difference across the county. 

 

On being put to a vote, the amendment was supported and became the substantive motion.

 

A number of members expressed disappointment that the original motion had not been supported but indicated that they would support the amended motion as they believed that the Council should come together to address climate change.  Concern was expressed that the Council’s climate change strategy had been delayed until later in the year. 

 

Cllr Hodgkinson, as the mover of the original motion, called for a timescale to be given for the work with the District Councils and other public agencies and for feedback to be provided to members.

 

RESOLVED that

 

This Council notes:

·         That a ‘climate emergency’ was declared by Gloucestershire County Council (GC) in May 2019, along with five of the six District Councils.

 

·         That the County Council is striving to become carbon-neutral by 2030 and is identifying measures to deliver an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole county by the same date.

 

·         That District Councils have the responsibility to lead on issues of planning and housing.

 

      This Council further notes:

·         GCC holds significant sway over the design of County Council backed public buildings, such as the proposed new secondary school in Leckhampton.

 

·         GCC has significant influence over developers when disposing of land for development. 

 

·         In 2019, the Government legally committed the UK to a target of zero emissions by 2050, one of the first major countries in the world to do so.

 

·         Without ambitious incentives, most developers are likely to prioritise cost over greener methods of construction.

 

·         Carbon dioxide emissions from energy use resulting from housing currently makes up a third of all the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, a figure which is predicted to rise to over 50 per cent by 2050 if no action is taken.   

 

This Council requests that the Cabinet:

·         Work with the NHS, Gloucestershire Police, District Councils and others, via Leadership Gloucestershire, to ensure that all new public buildings commissioned support the move to zero carbon.

 

·         Work with District Councils to ensure that all residential and commercial developments in Gloucestershire support the move to zero carbon.

 

 

Motion 845 – Equality and diversity

Cllr Kate Haigh proposed and Cllr Steve Robinson seconded the motion included on the agenda.

 

Cllr Haigh stated that she was proud to bring the motion before Council in the week between Gloucester Day, which celebrated the lifting of the siege of Gloucester, and Pride in Gloucestershire, which celebrated diversity in the local community.  She noted the importance of diversity and she hoped that the Council could be united.  As leaders in their communities members should oppose the use of inappropriate language and never be bystanders.  She called for a working group to be established that put the Cabinet Member responsible for equalities and diversity at the heart of the process.  One of the key ambitions of Vision 2050 was for Gloucestershire to be a county that welcomed everyone and promoted diversity.  She believed that it was essential that it was not just left to officers and something that members themselves needed to be fully involved in. 

 

Cllr Mark Hawthorne proposed and Cllr Phil Awford seconded the following amendment (see highlighted text):

 

This Council notes that:

 

Gloucestershire County Council is committed to equality and diversity.

 

Across parties, we stand together to promote and celebrate diversity in our county standing against intolerance and hate crime.

 

The Council continues to create positive opportunities to employ a workforce that’s representative of the county’s communities, and provide a safe and accessible work environment that values and respects each individual.

 

The Council plays a crucial roll in promoting and fostering good relations within our communities and the relationship they have with the Council.

 

This Council resolves to:

a)    Continue to commit to creating a Gloucestershire community that is strong, safe and inclusive for everyone.

 

b)    Set up a cross party equalities working group chaired by the Leader of the Council (or nominated Cabinet Member) which will draw up an equalities action plan bringing together the work on all equalities strands into a common document.

Note that equality and fairness is a key part of the Council’s role – and that it flows through everything we do. 

 

c)    Ask Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to continue its work providing independent, cross-party, scrutiny of this vital issue.

 

d)    Make aRestate the long-standing cross-party commitment to fostering diversity and promoting equality for all residents, Members and members of staff.

 

e)    Take action throughout the year to celebrate the County’s diversity by:

i)     Having aContinue the programme of flag-flying and support for key awareness days throughout the County.

ii)    SupportingContinue to support our communities to celebrate what’s important to them.

 

Cllr Haigh and Cllr Robinson accepted the amendment as friendly and it became the substantive motion. 

 

Cllr Robinson highlighted the importance of standing against intolerance.  People in Gloucestershire were from diverse backgrounds and members had an important role alongside officers in ensuring equality considerations were taken account of in every decision that the Council took.

 

A member said that they were impressed by the work that the Council did in promoting equality and diversity and they made special mention of the activities of PRISM, the group for LGBTQIA+ staff. They wondered whether the Council could appoint a member champion to demonstrate its commitment to equality and diversity.

 

On being put to the vote, there was unanimous support for the amended motion.

 

RESOLVED

 

a)    To continue to commit to creating a Gloucestershire community that is strong, safe and inclusive for everyone.

 

b)    To note that equality and fairness is a key part of the Council’s role –and that it flows through everything we do. 

 

c)    Ask Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee to continue its work providing independent, cross-party, scrutiny of this vital issue.

 

d)    To restate the long-standing cross-party commitment to fostering diversity and promoting equality for all residents, Members and members of staff.

 

e)    To take action throughout the year to celebrate the County’s diversity by:

i)     Continuing theprogramme of flag-flying and support for key awareness days throughout the County.

ii)    Continuing to supportour communities to celebrate what’s important to them.

 

 

Motion 846 - Tree planting

There was insufficient time to consider the following motion proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams and seconded by Cllr Graham Morgan:

 

This Council passed a motion on 15th May 2019 recognising that there is a climate emergency.


This Council committed to an 80% reduction in the corporate carbon emissions no later than 2030, striving to 100% with carbon offset by the same date. Research now shows that planting billions of trees is the best and cheapest way to tackle climate change.

This Council resolves to request Cabinet to develop a policy of tree planting; with a target of planting 2 trees for each Gloucestershire resident by 2030, if not sooner, and to work with tenant farmers and encourage at least 2 trees per field for most pasture land.


I ask that a progress report is included in the annual Environmental report.

 

Motion 847 - Against Prorogation of Parliament

There was insufficient time to consider the following motion proposed by Cllr Lesley Williams and seconded by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson:

 

This Council regards the decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prorogue Parliament for five weeks, until 14 October, as an extraordinary abuse of the British constitution. 

 

This Council believes that the decision to prorogue Parliament has little to do with recalibrating the new Government’s policies with a Queen’s speech and everything to do with minimising the opportunity for elected representatives to debate Brexit.

This Council also notes the number of people protesting in Gloucestershire and nationwide and recognises that residents are appalled by the undemocratic move made by a Prime Minister who was recently appointed by a small number of Conservative members. 

 

This Council requests the that Leader of the Council write to the Prime Minister calling for Parliament to be recalled at the first possible opportunity.