Agenda item

Notices of Motion

Councillor Sally Lansbury submitted the following Motion –

 

‘Extreme weather events over the last few years have presented severe challenges to property, transport, agriculture and other services in the Allerdale Borough Council area and have led to the deaths and displacement of thousands of people worldwide. The MET Office clearly states that these kind of extreme weather events are significantly more likely on a planet with human-caused climate change.

 

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1.5C report, published in October 2018, humanity has 11 years for “ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities” to deliver the “rapid and far reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities” needed to turn this around, so we can avoid reaching tipping points where we would no longer have the ability to avoid extreme weather events. Business as usual is clearly no longer an option.

 

Bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities, as well as improved well-being for people locally and worldwide.

 

A rapidly growing number of Parish, Town, City & District Councils, together with the Mayor of London, have passed motions declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’. A number of Local Authorities have also signed up to the UK100 Agreement, pledging to achieve 100% ‘clean energy’ usage by 2050 in their region. But the recent IPCC report shows it is imperative that this target is reached much sooner.

 

Allerdale Borough Council is committed to reducing carbon emissions, both as an organisation and as the Local Planning Authority and resolves to go further than the UK100 Agreement and to act in line with the scientific consensus that we must reduce emissions to net zero by 2030, and therefore commits to:

  • Work with partners in local sustainability organisations and Parish, Town and County Councils to help to deliver this goal through strategies, plans and shared resources
  • Work with relevant officers to divest from fossil fuels and to invest in ethical funds
  • Pledge to make Allerdale carbon neutral by 2030
  • Call on Government to provide the policy changes & funding to make the 2030 deadline possible
  • Report to full Council with the actions the council will take to address this emergency, within six months, in time for their recommendations to be funded in the next budget cycle
  • Establish an ethical procurement framework to ensure suppliers reduce their carbon footprint

 

And to take the following actions:

 

  Ensure that political and chief officer leadership teams embed this work in all areas of the Council Plan and take responsibility for reducing, as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the Council’s activities, ensuring that any recommendations are fully costed and that the Executive and Scrutiny functions review council activities taking account of production and consumption emissions and produce an action plan within 6 months, together with budget actions and a measured baseline; 

 

  Request that Scrutiny consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council policies and strategies;

 

  Work with, influence and inspire partners across the district, county and region to help deliver this goal through all relevant strategies, plans and shared resources by developing a series of meetings, events and partner workshops;

 

  Set up an Allerdale Partnership Climate Change group, drawing on expertise from Councillors, residents, young citizens, climate science and solutions experts, businesses, skills providers, Cumbria Action for Sustainability, Sustainable Keswick and Riversmeet and other relevant parties. The Group will consider strategies and actions being developed by the Council and other partner organisations and develop a city wide strategy in line with a target of net zero emissions by 2030, engaging other anchor institutions and SMEs. It will also recommend ways to maximise local benefits of these actions in other sectors such as employment, health, agriculture, transport and the economy;

 

  Request that the Council and partners take steps to proactively include young people in the process, ensuring that they have a voice in shaping the future;

 

  Review the Council’s Investment Strategy to give due consideration to Climate Change targets in the Investment portfolio whilst also ensuring the security of principal, portfolio liquidity and return on investment. Request a report within 6 months from the Head of Financial Services on investment strategies of any financial institutions where council funds are or could be held;

 

  Ensure that all reports in preparation for the 2020/21 budget cycle and Investment Strategy will take into account the actions the council will take to address this emergency; 

 

  Add the voice of Allerdale Borough Council to the calls on the UK Government to provide the powers, resources and help with funding to make this possible;

 

  In recognition of the seriousness of the financial constraints that the Council faces, and the expectation that both the development and implementation of many measures above are likely to be contingent on securing significant additional extra funding, that the Borough’s local MPs be called upon to ensure that Central government provides the powers, resources and funding to make this possible, and that Council writes to them to seek their commitments;

 

  Consider other actions that could be recommended (but are not restricted to): low carbon energy production and storage, providing electric vehicle infrastructure and encouraging the use of electric vehicles within the fleet, workforce and wider community, integrating low carbon technologies into operational assets and projects, increasing the efficiency of buildings, prioritising these measures for housing to address fuel poverty; proactively using our local planning powers to accelerate the delivery of net carbon new developments and communities, coordinating a series of information and training events to raise awareness and share good practice;

 

  Where needed, officer reports to the Council Executive and Full Council contain impact assessments on Climate Change that include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce carbon emissions where possible.’

 

 

Councillor Paul Scott submitted the following Motion –

 

‘I would like to propose that Allerdale Borough Council acknowledge the performance of one of its own. Ben Stokes has worked tirelessly in his career and put Cockermouth on the map with his dedication and commitment.

Ben Stokes is the son of Gerard and Deborah Stokes and moved to England at the age of 12 after his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town Rugby League club. Ben grew up in Cockermouth and attended Cockermouth School, playing cricket for Cockermouth Cricket Club. He won the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division Title with the club as a 15 year old in 2006. Ben Stokes holds the following list of achievements;

 

- Second-fastest Test double hundred in terms of balls faced

- Fastest 250 in Tests for which he took 196 balls

- Second highest number of sixes in a Test innings – 11 sixes

- Most runs in a Test innings at the sixth position – 258 runs

- Most runs in the first session of a day in Tests – 130 runs

- Highest Test partnership for the sixth wicket

- Man of the Final in Cricket World Cup – 2019

 

More so with his performance in the second innings of the present Ashes series, Ben secured the 3rd test for England with a workman like batting performance and again secured player of the match.

I firmly believe 2019 belongs to Ben Stokes and to acknowledge this and all of his achievements I call an extraordinary meeting of Council to award him the position of Freeman of our Borough.’

 

Minutes:

The Mayor moved that the Motion submitted by Councillor P Scott would be considered first.

 

Councillor P Scott moved the following Motion –

 

‘I would like to propose that Allerdale Borough Council acknowledge the performance of one of its own. Ben Stokes has worked tirelessly in his career and put Cockermouth on the map with his dedication and commitment.

Ben Stokes is the son of Gerard and Deborah Stokes and moved to England at the age of 12 after his father was appointed head coach of Workington Town Rugby League club. Ben grew up in Cockermouth and attended Cockermouth School, playing cricket for Cockermouth Cricket Club. He won the North Lancashire & Cumbria Cricket League Premier Division Title with the club as a 15 year old in 2006. Ben Stokes holds the following list of achievements;

 

- Second-fastest Test double hundred in terms of balls faced

- Fastest 250 in Tests for which he took 196 balls

- Second highest number of sixes in a Test innings – 11 sixes

- Most runs in a Test innings at the sixth position – 258 runs

- Most runs in the first session of a day in Tests – 130 runs

- Highest Test partnership for the sixth wicket

- Man of the Final in Cricket World Cup – 2019

 

More so with his performance in the second innings of the present Ashes series, Ben secured the 3rd test for England with a workman like batting performance and again secured player of the match.

I firmly believe 2019 belongs to Ben Stokes and to acknowledge this and all of his achievements I call an extraordinary meeting of Council to award him the position of Freeman of our Borough.’

 

This was seconded by Councillor A Smith who was in full support of the motion. Councillor A Smith said he could remember when Ben must have been around 15 years old, he applied to Cockermouth Town Council for funding and the Town Council gave him £150 towards a bursary, and commented that that was possibly the best £150 the Council had ever spent.

 

Councillor M Heaslip commented there was only one disturbing aspect of the Ben Stokes affair which was the behaviour of the The Sun newspaper and asked that the Council record its support for Ben and his family in response to that appalling behaviour.

 

A vote was taken; the vote was unanimous. The motion was carried.

 

 

In moving her motion Councillor S Lansbury added that tonight a petition of over 1,200 signatures from constituents across West Cumbria had been presented to the Council and that she presented this motion to represent their views, to join Carlisle, Eden, South Lakes and 230 other UK Councils to declare a Climate Emergency.

Globally, the last 5 years have been the hottest 5 years on record.  June and July 2019 were the two hottest months ever. Once in a lifetime flooding, is happening regularly – often in our own Borough as we know too well.  Rising sea levels, unprecedented heatwaves, hurricanes other devastating weather events now seem common. 

 

She continued, it may feel strange to make a Climate Emergency Declaration in the shadow of the temporary suspension of our recycling services, however, what the contract dispute has shown everyone is just how much unnecessary waste each and every household in Allerdale needs to deal with. The problem of the bins is a temporary issue which is being addressed and solved.  Climate change is a long term and urgent issue which also needs to be addressed and we have to do it now. 

 

What the Climate Emergency Motion asks is that Allerdale establishes a policy framework and action plans for the Borough to reach a carbon neutral target by 2030.

 

This was seconded by Councillor A Smith.

 

Councillor C McCarron-Holmes was in support of the motion. She said climate change was rising to catastrophic proportions and locally we need to be reducing our carbon footprint. She said the decision by Central Government to endorse plans to leave the carcasses of the oil rigs on defunct oil filed installations is equally bad. The content of these rigs qualified as hazardous waste, they should be decommissioned within the international laws.

 

Councillor M Jenkinson said the submitted Motion came to Council with suggested solutions however none included costings; that the new administration had inherited a £2.3m deficit position and some of the requests could have a significant financial impact. He also felt that a 30 minute debate was not enough for implementing such huge decisions.

 

Councillor M Jenkinson moved an amendment to the motion; full wording as attached to the minutes.

 

This was seconded by Councillor M Fitzgerald.

 

Councillor A Pitcher rose in support of the amendment and said it would be added in to the Scrutiny work programme, with timescales, so progress would be made. He continued that the Council needed to work with other agencies and discuss with them what was achievable.

 

Councillor M Heaslip commented that the £2.3m budget shortfall mentioned earlier was entirely due to the actions of Central Government it was not a shortfall created by this Council.

Councillor Heaslip was opposed to the amendment saying the danger was if you remove the commitment to reduce emissions to net zero by 2030, or restrict it by saying only applies where it does not negatively impact on our communities, he said if we don’t do that there will be a huge impact on our communities. We’ve got to weigh in the balance of what we mean by negative impact on our communities.

 

Councillor P Scott was in support of the amendment and said it showed a stronger commitment from the Council, that we are putting it through a designated Scrutiny Panel that can do the work making it in to a deliverable Policy, rather than just a 30 minutes debate.

 

Councillor A Semple was opposed to the amendment. He said as a Cockermouth councillor a surgery was held recently at the Kirkgate Centre and the number of young people that attended he had not seen that amount of young people coming to political things before. He felt it was something that was definitely engaging. It would be a bigger impact on our communities if we do nothing.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald said the amended motion was very little different to the original proposal; we feel that it is such an important issue that it needs to be properly embedded in the Councils policy and that can’t properly be done on the back of a 30 minute discussion here tonight. She said we need to call on the services of the Scrutiny Committee who already have it on their work plan to look at all the points included and bring a report back to Council then we can proceed to embed it in to policy.

 

Councillor J Farebrother was against the amended motion mainly because of the misunderstood role of Overview and Scrutiny. She said their task is not to put forward ideas and policies their role is to scrutinise what the Executive do. It is up to the Executive to come forward with ways of cutting our carbon footprint and for Scrutiny to see whether those are actually doable.

 

Councillor M Campbell-Savours said he didn’t see why the Executive were looking to hide behind Overview and Scrutiny; we are not asking you to spend 30 minutes looking at this we are asking the Executive to go and look at it and turn it in to something else. With regards to the investments he said, we are not alone here, there is a movement in this County of people trying to drive change. We want to join that movement, there will be challenges but let’s not hide and say it can’t be done.

 

In her right of reply Councillor S Lansbury said she understood that the suggestions of the detail were difficult to agree in one evening but within the points in the original motion we have already got that Scrutiny considers the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing council policies and strategies however the most important thing is that it is urgent to pass this emergency motion tonight for the benefit of your communities. Young people are starting to feel climate despair and mental health issues are coming up as a result of this; they can’t see how their future is going to develop. Please respect the 1000’s of youth strikers and the 1300 who have signed the petition. She concluded, show your people that you care, it can’t always be cost driven sometimes it’s the value of the long term gain not the short term cost savings.

 

Councillor S Lansbury requested a recorded vote. A vote was taken on the request for a recorded vote, which was approved.

 

A vote was taken on the amendment becoming the substantive motion, 30 in favour, 12 against and 0 abstentions. The vote was carried.

 

A recorded vote was taken on the Motion, viz. –

 

In favour:

 

Councillors C Armstrong, C Bell, N Cockburn, J Cook, A Daniels, M Fitzgerald, P Gaston, M Grainger, I Greaney, H Harrington, A Hedworth, V Hodgson, J Holliday, D Horsley, M Jenkinson, M Johnson, G Kemp, J King, A Kirkbride, J Lister, M Little, P Little, O Martin, A Pitcher, J Sandwith, B Sansom, P Scott, S Stoddart, A Tyson and L Williams.

 

Against:

 

Councillors T Annison, M Bainbridge, M Campbell-Savours, J Farebrother, M Heaslip, P Kendall, S Lansbury, E Lynch, L Maguire, C McCarron-Holmes, A Semple and A Smith.

 

No Abstentions.

 

The vote was 30 in favour, 12 against and 0 abstentions. The motion was carried.

 

Supporting documents: