Agenda item

Motions

The Council’s Constitution provides for a maximum of two hours for debate on motions.  The time limit for member speeches is three minutes and the time limit for proposing a motion is five minutes.

 

In accordance with Procedural Rule 10.2 in Part 4 of the Council Constitution, the Chief Executive has prepared a short accompanying note for each motion in respect of any implications for climate change, resources, human rights and any other pertinent factors they may wish to include in accordance with the Council’s Policy Framework.

 

Motion 864 - Restoring our rivers

Proposed by Cllr Paul Hodgkinson

Seconded by Cllr Bernie Fisher

 

This Council notes that:

·         Gloucestershire is fortunate to have 28 rivers running through our county, including the River Severn and River Thames, Britain’s longest and second longest rivers.

  • However, many of these waterways are flooded with harmful pollutants, including raw sewage discharges from water treatment operators Thames Water, Severn Trent and Wessex Water.
  • This pollution is causing extensive damage to the fragile ecosystems around our county.
  • It can also prove a serous public health concern for those residents living near rivers or using them for leisure activities; with pathogens able to cause serious illnesses.
  • Furthermore, traces of Covid-19 have been found in sewage outputs in global hotspots.

 

This Council recognises that dumping raw sewage into rivers is currently legal in extreme circumstances, but also recognises claims that the use of these measures has become routine for some operators.

 

This Council believes that the adverse impacts on the county’s waterways are unacceptable and that water treatment operators need to adjust their behaviour and invest more in the networks to avoid damaging our county’s public resources.

 

This Council also believes that the county’s waterways are a resource that every resident should be confident in using safely, and that we should strive to have the country’s first designated bathing waters in rivers, which could bring great economic and social benefits to Gloucestershire.

 

This Council therefore resolves to

  • Call on the Cabinet to take urgent action with District Councils, the Environment Agency, local partners and communities to lead comprehensive monitoring of the county’s waterways to determine the extent of the damage caused by raw sewage and pollutants.
  • Call on the Cabinet to work with local partners, including The Rivers Trust and water treatment operators to promote better use of sewage facilities – recognising that everyone has a role to play in improving our waterways.
  • Write to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to ban the routine dumping of raw sewage into our rivers, with the ultimate aim of restoring our rivers to a state where we can safely swim in them and to protect their environment and biodiversity.

 

 

Motion 865 – Public Health England

Proposed by Cllr Iain Dobie

Seconded by Cllr Nigel Robbins

 

This Council recognises the hard work of the County Council’s Public Health officials when looking to tackle the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Gloucestershire.

 

This Council also notes that the team has had to work within the confines of a 25 per cent cut to the whole public health budget in England compared to 2015, which commentators have said limited the UK’s ability to respond effectively to Covid-19.

 

This Council further notes, with dismay, that the current Government is seeking to dismantle Public Health England at a time when the Office of National Statistics estimate that some 2,400 people are still being infected every day.

 

This Council believes that the break-up of PHE at this time is politically motivated to shift the blame from this Government to unelected state officials, that it will take time and resources away from tackling the pandemic and that it will harm the country’s recovery and ability to tackle local outbreaks as we move into the potentially dangerous winter months.  This council is also concerned that doing so without any plan for preventative functions (such as tackling smoking) could leave these critical services rudderless.

 

This Council also believes that it will be essential, as soon as this pandemic is under control, to hold a thorough and transparent investigation into the Government’s handling of the pandemic, which may well have implications for the agency responsible for pandemic planning – though only when appropriate – and will likely acknowledge the need for greater delegation to local public health experts.

 

This Council resolves to request the Chief Executive and Council Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Health to:

·         Express this Council’s grave concerns about the dismantling of Public Health England in the midst of a pandemic.

·         Reiterate the need for a thorough and transparent enquiry into why the UK has one of the highest Covid-19 mortality rates in the world.

·         Call for the 25 per cent cut in funding since 2015 to be reinstated.

 

 

Motion 866 – Rainbow flag crossings

Proposed by Cllr Kate Haigh

Seconded by Cllr Lesley Williams

 

This Council notes that the public realm can be used by local authorities to promote inclusivity and community cohesion and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Council further notes that long lasting and colourful road crossings can also enhance the design of the public realm and provide interesting and safer places to cross the road.

 

This Council resolves to call on the Cabinet to create an inclusive rainbow flag crossing in Gloucester City centre in time for Pride month 2021 and to enter into discussions with other districts about suitable locations for crossings to be located over the next 2 years. This will support Pride in Gloucestershire’s bid for Europride 2026 to be held in the county.

 

Supporting documents: