Agenda item

Motions

Note:

Under the Council’s constitution, 30 minutes are available for the consideration of motions. In practice, this realistically means that there is usually only time for one, or possibly two motions to be considered. With the agreement of the Lord Mayor, motion 1 below will be considered at this meeting, and motion 2 is likely to be considered, subject to time. Details of other motions submitted, (which, due to time constraints, are very unlikely to be considered at this meeting) are also set out for information.

 

 

MOTIONS RECEIVED FOR FULL COUNCIL – 8 SEPTEMBER 2020

 

Save Jubilee Pool (Golden Motion)

 

This Council is concerned that the future of this much-loved south Bristol swimming pool has once again been put under a cloud of uncertainty by the Labour Mayor.

 

The last review, conducted in 2017, over the cost of running this heritage facility, resulted in a plan and a promise to subsidise it for a further five years.  Council is therefore surprised that a consultation has now been launched around its proposed closure unless a community asset transfer can take place, even though the Administration’s own consultation does not recommend this course of action.

 

Given that this leisure pool serves some of the most economically deprived parts of the city, it seems unlikely and unrealistic to expect local users to muster sufficient finance to secure such an acquisition.

 

Consequently, Council calls on the Mayor to (i) withdraw this threat over the pool; (ii) allocate the necessary (and relatively modest) capital and revenue funding to enable it to continue to operate in a COVID secure and safe way, and; (iii) honour the previous agreement made with the provider Parkwood Leisure to maintain this public amenity until at least 2022.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Graham Morris

Date of submission: 26th August 2020

 

 

* * * * *

 

Atonement and Reparation for Bristols role in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans (TTEA) (Silver Motion)

 

This council notes that:

 

1. Bristol played a major role in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans (TTEA) which saw at least 15 million Africans forcibly trafficked to the Caribbean and America with many thousands losing their lives during the crossing from Africa to the Americas on ships registered in Bristol. A significant amount of the institutional and corporate wealth of our city was founded through this hugely regrettable inhumane episode in our collective history. ‘By the latter half of the century, Bristols position had been overtaken by Liverpool. But even as late as 1789, the trade to Africa and the West Indies was estimated to have comprised over 80 per cent of the total value of Bristols trade abroad.’ (1)

 

2. Around 2 million people of African descent live in the United Kingdom itself, including an estimated 30,000 plus in Bristol which includes a high percentage of African Caribbean descendants. (2)

 

3. In 1833 the British Government used £20 million to compensate enslavers, the debt for which was not paid off until 2015. Formerly enslaved persons received no compensation.

 

4. The United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the ‘Right to A Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law’ provides a framework for the reparatory justice system including, among other measures: an investigation of the facts, an official acknowledgment, and apology, a receipt of answers; an opportunity for victims to speak in a public forum about his/her experiences and to be actively involved the reparatory justice process. 

 

5. The various  efforts made by community activists and movements including the Countering Colston Campaign,  the Councils legacy steering committee, the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR), the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), CARICOM (Caribbean Community and Common Market) Reparations Committee, the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign, the Global Afrikan People's Parliament (GAPP), The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee; and many others who have been working for many years to raise awareness of the lasting impact of enslavement.

 

6. The progress made in educating young people in Bristol on African Caribbean and ‘Black’ history, culture and achievements through the city-wide One Bristol Curriculum.

 

 

Full Council believes: 

 

1. It must be a priority for Bristol to actively acknowledge this history and actively seek to bring about reconciliation and reparations by lending and leading its voice as an institution towards remedial holistic reparations and action towards the legacies that continue to plague contemporary life for descendants of the African Caribbean enslaved. The continuation of harm and discrimination manifests itself in but is not limited to: over representation in the mental health system, discrimination within the criminal justice system, poverty and disadvantage. 

 

2. The International Decade for People of African Descent, proclaimed by UN General Assembly resolution 68/237 and to be observed from 2015 to 2024, provides a solid framework for the United Nations, Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join together with people of African descent and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities in the spirit of recognition, justice and development. Such a process is long overdue in Bristol.

 

 

Full Council resolves:

 

To call on the Mayor or other appropriate council agency to:

 

1.  Ensure the scope of the commission recently announced includes an audit to trace the flow of wealth from the (TTEA) into the city of Bristol and its citizens and down the generations to the present day. The commission should also call on those Bristol institutions, families and corporations with historic ties to (TTEA) to share their understanding of their role, and clarify what measures they will put in place to work with African Caribbean heritage communities, to agreed measures and implement steps towards holistic reparations for African Caribbean heritage communities.

 

2. Write to the Prime Minister to request that the UK government immediately establishes an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice to acknowledge, apologise and instigate reparations for the (TTEA) the experience and extent of which is further understood by campaigners as the Maangamizi. (3)

 

3. Write to the Chancellor to raise concerns about how tax payers were until 2015 paying back compensation paid to enslavers. A petition gaining 10,000 signatures expresses the disgust at this fact, which many people, not just those of African Caribbean descent, find completely abhorrent. (4)

 

4. To ensure all schools in Bristol are implementing the ‘One Bristol Curriculum’, and request that independent private schools and academies do so as well.

 

5. Carry out an audit to establish the living conditions for people of African descent living in council housing and other dwellings and see that it is fit for purpose.

 

6. In collaboration with CORE (Commission of Racial Equality) and other partners, seek to scrutinise and lobby the health and criminal justice systems including but not limited to providing and resourcing culturally competent mental health provision for African descent people inside and outside of the prison service and better representation in terms of ethnicity on parole boards.

 

7. To protect and support long-standing black-led cultural institutions of the city that continue to be severely underfunded and under resourced, either through direct council intervention or by brokering relationships with institutions in the city. Such institutions may include the Malcolm X Centre, the Kuumba Centre, the Docklands Settlement and the Rastafari Cultural Centre.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Cleo Lake 

Date of submission: 26 August 2020 

 

Footnotes

 

1)      https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/stories/bristol-transatlantic-slave-trade/

  

2)      Estimates based on most recent census (2011)

 

3)      The terms of reference for this commission of inquiry should focus on the need to inform the public of the nature of colonialism and enslavement, as well as its long-term consequences including present-day impacts upon both individuals and communities. The Commissions work should be of a participatory nature, calling for submissions from all those with knowledge of the nature and impacts of colonialism and slavery.

 

This will aim to include, but not be limited to, testimony from: individuals, organisations, academics, communities, and nations. Affected communities and individuals must have their own voice, agency, and self-determined solutions in effecting reparatory justice and steps must be taken to facilitate their participation in any reparatory process in which the United Kingdom is engaged.

 

Ultimately the goal is to secure holistic reparations - including but not limited to financial compensation - as defined by the UN’s ‘Basic Principles and Guidelines’. These include mechanisms for restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees for non-repetition. See notes below.

 

 

4)     https://www.change.org/p/refund-our-taxes-paid-to-compensate-enslavers 

 

Notes:

 

Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law

 

Adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 60/147 of 16 December 2005

 

1. Restitution should, whenever possible, restore the victim to the original situation before the gross violations of international human rights law or serious violations of international humanitarian law occurred. Restitution includes, as appropriate: restoration of liberty, enjoyment of human rights, identity, family life and citizenship, return to one’s place of residence, restoration of employment and return of property.

 

2. Compensation should be provided for any economically assessable damage, as appropriate and proportional to the gravity of the violation and the circumstances of each case, resulting from gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law, such as:

(a) Physical or mental harm;

(b) Lost opportunities, including employment, education and social benefits;

(c) Material damages and loss of earnings, including loss of earning potential;

(d) Moral damage;

(e) Costs required for legal or expert assistance, medicine and medical services, and psychological and social services.

 

3. Rehabilitation should include medical and psychological care as well as legal and social services.

 

4. Satisfaction should include, where applicable, any or all of the following:

(a) Effective measures aimed at the cessation of continuing violations;

(b) Verification of the facts and full and public disclosure of the truth to the extent that such disclosure does not cause further harm or threaten the safety and interests of the victim, the victim’s relatives, witnesses, or persons who have intervened to assist the victim or prevent the occurrence of further violations;

(c) The search for the whereabouts of the disappeared, for the identities of the children abducted, and for the bodies of those killed, and assistance in the recovery, identification and reburial of the bodies in accordance with the expressed or presumed wish of the victims, or the cultural practices of the families and communities;

(d) An official declaration or a judicial decision restoring the dignity, the reputation and the rights of the victim and of persons closely connected with the victim;

(e) Public apology, including acknowledgement of the facts and acceptance of responsibility;

(f) Judicial and administrative sanctions against persons liable for the violations;

(g) Commemorations and tributes to the victims;

(h) Inclusion of an accurate account of the violations that occurred in international human rights law and international humanitarian law training and in educational material at all levels.

 

5. Guarantees of non-repetition should include, where applicable, any or all of the following measures, which will also contribute to prevention:

(a) Ensuring effective civilian control of military and security forces;

(b) Ensuring that all civilian and military proceedings abide by international standards of due process, fairness and impartiality;

(c) Strengthening the independence of the judiciary;

(d) Protecting persons in the legal, medical and health-care professions, the media and other related professions, and human rights defenders;

(e) Providing, on a priority and continued basis, human rights and international humanitarian law education to all sectors of society and training for law enforcement officials as well as military and security forces;

(f) Promoting the observance of codes of conduct and ethical norms, in particular international standards, by public servants, including law enforcement, correctional, media, medical, psychological, social service and military personnel, as well as by economic enterprises;

(g) Promoting mechanisms for preventing and monitoring social conflicts and their resolution;

(h) Reviewing and reforming laws contributing to or allowing gross violations of international human rights law and serious violations of international humanitarian law.

 

 

Other notes:

 

-        Legacies of British Slave-ownership - UCL: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/lbs/  

 

-        Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation – UN Office of the High Commissioner: https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/remedyandreparation.aspx

 

 

* * * * *

 

3. Protecting jobs, recovering from the pandemic

 

Full Council notes:

1.     The Labour golden motion passed by Full Council in July, which again underlines Mayor Marvin Rees’ administration’s twin priorities of social and environmental justice.

2.     As well as suffering the most excess deaths in Europe during the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic, the UK has now entered the deepest recession of the world’s largest advanced economies (G7).

3.     Government incompetence risked writing off the talent and hard work of Bristol’s young people – and therefore our economic future – through the avoidable chaos around A Level and BTEC results.

 

Full Council believes:

1.     The Government is prematurely closing the furlough scheme, putting Bristolians’ jobs at risk.

2.     The Government should support calls for sector specific relief programmes to protect jobs and pay, including for aerospace, hospitality and other particularly affected industries.

3.     The Government should implement the Time Out to Help Out campaign, launched by Labour Metro Mayors and the Trades Union Congress, which would support people to self-isolate to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

 

Full Council resolves:

1.     To encourage the West of England Combined Authority to formally back the extension of the furlough scheme and the introduction of sector-specific support.

2.     To request that the Mayor of the West of England finally backs the Time Out to Help Out campaign started by Mayors Andy Burnham and Steve Rotherham in the north west of England.

3.     To request that the Leader of the Opposition (Councillor Weston) puts aside party politics and publicly joins Marvin in lobbying for the furlough scheme, sector-specific support, and the Time Out to Help Out campaign, as well as pressing his Government to close the financial gap faced by local authorities as a result of the pandemic.

 

To be moved by: Councillor Helen Godwin (Labour – Southmead)

 

* * * * *

 

4. No Supermarkets Compact

 

This Council notes that retail and distribution workers have been at the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, facing a high-pressured environment and that supermarkets have made many adaptions to keep the city running during the lockdown.  This commitment and innovation could be extended to deliver greater permanent benefits.

The Council notes a number of challenges within the retail and distribution sector that hamper the city’s sustainability aspirations. These challenges include, but not exclusively:

       extensive usage of a wide range of packaging materials

       continuing use of materials, particularly plastics, with poor recycling outcomes

       excessive levels of wastage, particularly of food

       increasing heavy vehicular distribution-miles, both cross-countries and within the city

The Council regrets that it lacks the regulatory powers to control the negative outcomes from some large commercial organisations in the city and the resources required to resolve and mitigate some of these issues.

This Council notes the announcements and actions by more conscientious firms to address some of these issues to reduce their costs and be more responsible.

This Council notes the unacceptable level of food poverty in our city.

 This Council notes the increasing challenges around goods delivery vehicles in our city and the use of freight consolidation which is attempting to reduce the volume of traffic and improve air quality.

This Council notes that a successful plan to deliver carbon neutrality by 2030 will require committed leadership to inspire common purpose in everyone and across all groups in our city

This Council notes that much customer packaging places volume and disposal demands on the city’s waste services, while their bulk packaging is also unsustainable though disposed through commercial operators.

This Council notes that a proposal to address these issues is supported by research and a dossier of detailed responses from all of the eight major supermarkets, which has been prepared by a BCC scrutiny committee and was commended by a committee of the Core Cities team.

The Council resolves to thank our retail and distribution workers.

A focused and co-operative approach might deliver multiple benefits, including a:

       reduction in the use of plastic

       reduction in food waste

       reduction in delivery-miles

       rewarding sustainable practice

       getting out our sustainability message though big players to the shopping public

       tackling at source some resulting issues currently funded through the public purse

The Council resolves to set up a working group to engage with key stakeholders, including supermarkets, councillors and trade unions, to resolve these challenges.

Council therefore resolves to launch the first core-city co-operative initiative of its kind:

Council resolves that this working group will explore a Supermarkets Charter with the major chains in Bristol where the City council sets a small number of key criteria that will benefit the city and promotes a ‘Kitemark’- type scheme awarding recognition as each is achieved. This would recognise good practice in a competitive market increasingly sensitive to improving sustainability, and enable customers to make informed choices, with the ‘Kitemark’ displayed on their premises and promotional literature.

Such a scheme would be a simple and highly visible way of advancing our sustainability ambitions. It would be co-operative, competitive and catalytic while fair and sustainable. It would be a cost-effective way for this city to offer mutual solutions to long-standing common problems. It would be a bold advance in the crucial community engagement measures to deliver real-life sustainability, closer to source. We request the Mayor to take this forward through the most appropriate structures.

 

Motion to be presented by: Cllr. Anthony Negus (Cotham, LibDem councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

5. Growing Provision of Allotments across the City

 

“This Council recognises the long established benefits derived from the provision of small agricultural holdings and allotments to individuals and families.  These sites give people the chance to take productive exercise and grow cheap food but, also, are valued for other reasons such as providing educational opportunities, help to build communities and offer some protection to the local environment.

 

Council notes the commitment previously given by the Mayor to have community gardens and allotments in every ward’ but is anxious to ensure that such rhetoric translates into action.

 

At present, the Authority has 497 vacancies with a waiting list of 5665 people. Council is concerned that much suitable land held by the Authority for this purpose is either underutilised or could be de-registered for development, ironically, when there is likely to be a growing desire and demand to maintain an allotment.

 

Accordingly, Council calls on the Mayor to pledge to preserve, protect and promote existing sites; to increase the size of this network; extend the number which are accorded (limited) ‘statutory’ protection under current legislation; and ensure that all those who want access to a plot, are able to do so.”

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Graham Morris (Conservative Councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

6. Restoring Political Partnership Working

 

Council was disappointed to learn of concerns over a lack of collaborative working within the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

 

Whilst there appears to be some dispute over the accuracy of this assessment or assertion, Council calls on the Mayor to use this moment as a chance to restate his early promise and commitment to ‘renew our democracy’ in Bristol by pursuing a more inclusive form of executive decision-making.

 

At present, many members feel marginalised through withheld information, and find the ‘opportunity to contribute’, shape or influence policies which impact our city extremely limited.

 

Council agrees with the Mayor that often a ‘collective effort ensures maximum impact’. 

 

Whilst it is still too early to determine the true scale of the effect on the local authority’s finances arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, Council urges the Mayor to embrace a genuine all-Party approach to tackling this public health crisis.  Moves to secure extra support from Central Government to cover these costs need to be cooperative and coordinated.

 

To this end, Council asks that the Mayor convene a Party Group Leaders meeting at the earliest possible juncture with the aim of achieving cross-party consensus and joint strategy in the lobbying of Central Government and West of England Combined Authority.

 

The challenges confronting our city in this regard dictate that traditional rivalries should be put aside for the greater good of maintaining essential frontline services upon which Bristolians depend.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Mark Weston (Conservative Councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

7. Expanding Adult Training Programmes

 

This Council welcomes the recent adult training initiatives introduced by Government such as the National Retraining Scheme and, regionally, the WECA Employment & Skills Plan, designed to help adults access better jobs or pursue new careers due to changes in the economy.

 

“Whilst the social and economic impact of the Corona virus has yet to unfold over the months and possibly years ahead, it is vital that all those who are unfortunately made unemployed as a result of this crisis have access to full-time, vocational, technical or traditional craft apprenticeships.

 

“Council believes that this challenge could best be met by a revival in city-based learning hubs like the often wrongly maligned former polytechnics and Government industrial training centres.  Sadly, provision such as the Skillscentre network closed in 1993 but they served as a highly effective means or bridge into employment.  Restoration of these institutions can equip people with the skills needed to adapt to the new world of work and help fill any identified skills gaps in the regional workforce.

 

“Accordingly, Council calls in the Mayor to work through WECA to make the urgent case to Government for a greatly expanded and accelerated investment programme, to create additional sites in the city to cater for the anticipated surge in demand for these services, at least in the short to medium term.”

 

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Matt Melias (Conservative Councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

8. The Government’s White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’

 

This Council:

·       appreciates the merit of the present hierarchy of planning in the UK. Where it works well the system allows for local neighbourhood plans and for consultation and engagement with the preparation of Local Plans and the Sub-Regional joint Spatial Plan

·       accepts the need for such plans to be approved, and sometimes overruled, by central government to comply with overall national criteria

·       acknowledges the necessity for certain infrastructure works to be subject to  special Permitted Development rules where government restricts local consultation and democracy for strategic reasons

·       recognises the value of transparency and fairness throughout  the planning system so that citizens voices can be heard amid the wider assembly of guidance for the justification for new development and how this can or cannot be reasonably accommodated within suitable  local policy frameworks formed from national guidance and approved for use by central government

·       supports the high target it has set for new housebuilding in and around Bristol to sustain its local growth and is generally satisfied with the way it has administered the present planning system to approve a high percentage of developers planning applications.

 

Council further notes that the Government Planning White Paper ‘Planning for the Future‘ dated 6th August 2020 proposes:

 

·       Local Plans are to be produced under government direction and with targets set nationally, even extending to local areas

·       that areas are to be classified as Growth, Renewal or Protected with designated Conservation Areas not automatically ‘protected’.

·       No planning consent will be required in Growth areas and only minimal checks will be required in Renewal areas.

·       Domestic houses will be allowed up to two storey extensions with no approvals or objection from neighbours

·       local planning committees will be effectively abolished or rendered toothless so inappropriate siting, quality, design and other impacts will no longer be capable of challenge

·       buildings can be removed and replaced with poor quality housing without checks on reasonable space standards or even natural light so sanctioning worsening public health for volume housing and the creation of ‘modern slums’  *

·       The present overall development tax, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is to be nationally restructured so that it no longer reflects a locally-fair contribution; the individual development mitigation arrangements (S106), are to be abolished.

·       no alternative is indicated to replace the affordable housing (currently 26,800 nationally or 50% of the affordable housing built last year) which was achieved through S106 arrangements, that are to be abandoned

·       the size of development that requires a proportion of affordable housing is to be downgraded from 10 to 50 units which will seriously reduce the best source of essential affordable housing

 

Council regrets:

·       the proposals do not address the fundamental acknowledged blocks, stemming from land  valuation, finance and tenure limitations, particularly prevalent in the UK, to increasing the supply of housing, particularly affordable housing

·       the government’s belief that the planning system is the cause of delay in building new housing whereas instead it is the way that housebuilding is financed within this country that encourages developers to use planning permissions as a means of adding value over time

·       the proposals restrict rather than enhance the present opportunities to provide much-needed affordable housing  of an acceptable standard

·       there is no acknowledgement, or attempt to resolve, the ‘log-jam’ to building which is the hoarding of planning permissions by developers due to the unrealistic relationship of land price to sales value and the reluctance of financiers to embrace large-scale rented development

·       the escalation in Permitted Development Rights with its removal of sensible controls and enforcement over development that has already exposed poor quality and reduced numbers of affordable housing

·       the proposals presage a very different relationship across the country between local and national government and a compact with the people with a clear loss of local and regional democracy

·       this democracy and community support built in to the present system is being sacrificed because of a misapprehension that the current seven year cycle of Local Plans, derived from government timetables, is a block to development rather than a  constantly evolving resource

·       the proposals ignore the hard-to-improve results from the system at present: 90% of all developments are approved within the current planning system; 65% of refusals that go to appeal are turned down by the inspector

·       nationally 1, 000, 000 homes granted planning permission in the last 10 years are still unbuilt despite, in some cases, having been required to be resubmitted for approval three times. This is twice the five years quoted by the Minister as the delay caused by the planning system “”to getting a spade in the ground”

·       The proposals make no attempt to address this virtually automatic serial re-approval with no penalty or requirement to complete the permitted development within the period of the permission

·       the Local Government Association, the Town and Country Planning Association, the Royal Town Planning Institute, the Royal Institute of British Architects should all have seen the need to condemn the proposals

 

Council resolves to request the Mayor:

·       to make early representations to government along with other members of the Core Cities Group and fellow planning authorities within WECA, leading the way for other councils around the country expressing concerns about the removal of local democratic control promised by previous governments as part of the benefits of adopting a mayoral system

·       to instruct officers to prepare a strong response to the consultation across the areas of governance, democracy, local knowledge, quality control and reduction in affordable housing delivered, and any others that become apparent during this process

·       to advertise the consultation and invite representations from the Bristol public to the government

·       to strive to maintain the consensus within this council to explore creative opportunities for maximising the delivery of sustainable housing, independently and with others, affordable by all our citizens whatever their need and circumstance.

 

Notes:  * a government commissioned study published in July 2020 (carried out by University College, London and the University of Liverpool) has shown that poorer quality homes are being created from Permitted Development than through the existing planning system. They are less likely to achieve national space standards, are more likely to be deficient with natural daylight

 

Motion to be presented by Cllr. Anthony Negus (Cotham, LibDem councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

9. Mobilise community investments to tackle climate change

 

Full Council notes:

1.      That this council unanimously declared a climate emergency in November 2018 following a Green Motion to Council

2.      The motion committed the city to achieve net zero carbon impact by 2030 and there are now 10 years left to this target date

3.      The council has been progressing a package of low carbon opportunities called City Leap since May 2018. City Leap is still subject to a procurement process since a new process was started in 2020.

4.      A new low risk model called Community Municipal Investments [CMI] has been developed by Leeds University and Abundance Investments platform with UK Government and EU support. This had the support of 4 local authorities including Bristol City Council. [1]

5.      This new concept is a way to channel local savings into local projects with low risk and a modest return to investors [2].

 

Full Council believes:

1.      That offering local savers a way to support the city’s journey to carbon neutrality should be developed.

2.      That offering security and a modest rate of interest through municipal bonds is an established way to develop local infrastructure [3]. This could complement other projects such as the successful Bristol Energy Cooperative.

3.      That CMIs can help us develop a low carbon city now in partnership with others.

4.      The Mayor should prioritise CMIs as part of the package of investments that will create positive economic opportunities and carbon neutrality

5.      Bristol should join the other 3 pioneers of CMI in developing local opportunities for local investors [e.g. 4]

 

Full Council resolves:

1.      To call on the Mayor to begin development of Community Municipal Investments for the city.

2.      That the Mayor promote CMI as a way residents and institutions can contribute to a new zero carbon city.

3.      To request officers to identify carbon saving projects suited to CMI investment in conjunction with city partners.

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Martin Fodor (Green Councillor)

 

* * * * *

 

10.Proportional Representation

 

In the 2019 General Election, Full Council notes that the 'First Past the Post' voting system:

1.     Has again failed to elect a government representing the majority of voters, with the Conservative party winning 43% of the popular vote, yet gaining over half of the seats in parliament.

2.     Has again yielded a wildly disproportionate allocation of seats with, for example, the Democratic Unionist Party gaining 8 seats from 244,127 votes compared with 11 seats from 3.6 million votes for the Liberal Democrats.

3.     Has spectacularly failed to match votes to seats with, for example, only 25,882 Scottish National Party votes cast for each SNP MP elected, compared with over 800,000 Green votes resulting in the election of one Green Party MP.

4.     Has resulted in 70.8% of votes being ‘wasted’ i.e. having no effect on the outcome of the election. The largest number of ignored votes in any UK constituency was in Bristol West with 56,718 votes being ignored (either votes cast for a losing candidate or surplus votes).

Full Council further notes:

1.     That worldwide, FPTP systems inherited from colonial rule cause the under-representation of minority groups, contributing to ethnic tensions and instability [1].

2.     That no country using FPTP achieves greater than 40% female representation in parliament. [2]

3.     That there is a statistically significant link between countries using proportional election systems and having lower levels of income inequality [3], and scoring more highly on the United Nations Index of Human Development [4].

4.     That the Single Transferable Vote system is already used for local elections in Scotland, where it has led to an increase in turnout and voter confidence in the electoral process [5], and in both Northern Irish local elections and the Northern Ireland Assembly. Other proportional electoral systems are used to elect the devolved parliaments and assemblies in Scotland, Wales and London.

5.     That support for proportional representation is official policy of the Green Party, the SNP and the Liberal Democrats; polling shows three quarters of Labour members want their party to campaign for it [6].

Full Council believes:

1.     That a Parliament that more accurately reflects the views of the nation is more likely to develop an economic, social and environmental agenda that benefits Bristol’s residents;

2.     That enabling people to feel that their votes count would increase voter engagement and participation;

3.     That a robust democracy must include a fair voting system and that nobody should be disenfranchised because of where they live.

Therefore, Full Council:

1.     Applauds the many groups and organisations campaigning for fair votes including the Electoral Reform Society, Make Votes Matter and the Labour Campaign for PR;

2.     Calls for the introduction of a proportional voting system

a.     for local elections in England and Wales;

b.     for Westminster elections;

3.     Requests for Bristol to be allowed to pilot the holding of local elections under a proportional system.

Full Council resolves to call on the Mayor to:

1.     Publicly support proportional representation for local elections in Bristol and as the national electoral system;

2.     Inform local MPs and the media of this decision and work with them in support of this campaign;

3.     Forward a copy of this motion to the Leaders of all political parties represented in the UK Parliament, and to all Bristol MPs.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Eleanor Combley (Green Councillor)

Notes:

[1] http://aceproject.org/ero-en/topics/electoral-systems/Electoral%20Systems%20and%20the%20Protection%20and%20Participation%20of%20Minorities.pdf

[2] https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/equality

[3] Birchfield, Vicki and Crepaz, Markus (1998). “The Impact of Constitutional Structures and Collective and Competitive Veto Points on Income Inequality in Industrialized Democracies.” European Journal of Political Research 34: 175-200.

[4] Carey, John M. and Hix, Simon (2009). “The Electoral Sweet Spot: Low-magnitude Proportional Electoral Systems.” PSPE Working Paper 01-2009. Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK

[5] https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-we-are-and-what-we-do/elections-and-referendums/past-elections-and-referendums/scotland-local-council-elections/report-how-2017-scottish-local-elections-were-run

[6] https://www.makevotesmatter.org.uk/newsroom-2/2019/12/16/poll-three-quarters-of-labour-members-want-proportional-representation

 

* * * * *

 

11.Mitigating the effects of the Clean Air Plan on the most affected and most deprived residents.

Council notes that there is now the prospect of a way of achieving the required clean air standards in the period required that may not be in the form of restricted and charging zones.. Despite many reservations from scrutiny, cabinet has given its approval to a plan which may be modified in the light of changing conditions as a result of the pandemic. Nevertheless the following considerations still apply to the present situation and need to be resolved in the process of achieving the final version.

 

Council regrets that no public consultation was carried out on the specific plan adopted by the Cabinet which was different to the two options put forward to the public and wants this to be remedied

 

Council has concerns about how this will impact on the way that goods and people move within and around any clean air zones, and anticipating and mitigating potential poor outcomes.

 

Council is concerned that the capability of the present system of ‘public’ transport to sustainably accommodate is inadequate, certainly in the short and medium-term.

 

Council is concerned about the effects of greater vehicle movements outside any zones to avoid restrictions on small roads not designed for this and the impact on safety, congestion, necessary infrastructure work and migrated poorer quality air.

 

Council is concerned that deprivation being given the highest rating alongside public health in the approach to the clean air problem – rather than confronting the central issue and mitigating any poor outcomes- there are no meaningful exemptions or concessions for people in the present central zone except a possible £2000 grant to enable replacement for a diesel car.

 

This council resolves to ask the Mayor to examine meaningful ways to ease the transition into any new plan for those people most affected and least capable of coping with the outcomes including, but not exclusively, the following:

 

•       A longer transition period for phasing out ownership by residents in the present inner zone of all private diesel cars, focusing on pre-Euro6 models.

•       Preparation and consultation on an impact analysis, and resulting mitigation, for the closure of the eastbound Cumberland Basin to all vehicles except buses.

•       Alternative provisions for access to the many hospitals (including sufficient information and warnings) within the zone including the extension of the present hospital bus network to collect from car parks outside the zone.

•       Examining how to provide additional funds where needed to top up the likely £2000 so-called scrappage scheme in order that this may deliver more sustainable and cleaner private cars held

•       Developing transitional arrangements for alternative travel by bus

•       Exempting disabled people from any zone restrictions

•       Exempting Diesel vehicles that meet Euro6 standards from the diesel ban, to allay risk that these may be replaced by poorer quality older petrol vehicles, delivering worse outcomes.

 

Council instructs the Chief Executive to write a letter to Government with the resolution of Council.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Anthony Negus (Lib Dem)

 

* * * * *

 

12.Introduce a ‘Low Carbon Advertising Policy’

 

This council notes:

·        That Bristol City Council currently holds an Advertising Concession Agreement (ACA) with Clear Channel UK involving the upkeep and maintenance of over 300 bus stops across the city, many of which include digital advertising screens. This contract is due to come to an end soon and a new one will need to be re-tendered. [1]

·        That advertising prohibitions and restrictions already exist regarding all tobacco products and e-cigarettes, guns and offensive weapons, breath testing and products designed to mask the effects of alcohol, ‘pyramid schemes’, prostitution services, ‘obscene material’ as well as other rules regarding marketing to children, high fat sugar and salt products, medical and health claims, religion, financial products, and pornography. [2]

·        That a double-sided digital bus stop advertising screen uses four times the electricity of the average British home. [3]

·        That Bristol City Council declared a Climate Emergency in November 2018, which included a commitment for Bristol to go carbon neutral by 2030.

·        That Bristol’s One City Climate Strategy includes a plan to create ‘advertising standards and restrictions to support responsible consumption.’ [4]

 

This council believes:

·        That the very purpose of advertising is to stimulate demand for goods and services.

·        That some advertising content undermines the council's objectives regarding public health, air pollution and sustainable consumption. For example: High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) products undermine health objectives, petrol and diesel car adverts (especially for Sports Utility Vehicles) undermine air quality objectives, and airline advertising undermines carbon emission targets.

 

This council resolves:

·        To call on the Cabinet member for Transport to review the Advertising Concession Agreement immediately, to investigate the possibility of amending the set of prohibitions and restrictions to include products that contribute to climate change and air pollution, to take effect when the ACA is re-tendered.

·        To call on the Cabinet member for Planning to implement a Low Carbon Advertising Policy as part of the council's planning policies, to apply to bus stops, billboards and advertising spaces in the city within the jurisdiction of the local planning area.

·        To call on all Cabinet members to look into the possibility of an overarching Bristol City Council advertising policy that links the One City Climate Strategy, Local Plan and public health objectives by setting targets, expectations or restrictions on all advertising in the city that interacts with the Council’s objectives on public health, air pollution, climate change and sustainable consumption.

 

Proposer: Councillor Carla Denyer

 

References:

1.      https://democracy.bristol.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?AIId=12821

2.      https://www.badverts.org/case-studies

3.      http://adblockbristol.org.uk/2019/11/the-electricity-cost-of-digital-advert

4.      https://www.bristolonecity.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/one-city-climate-strategy.pdf, page 46

 

Minutes:

Following a short adjournment, it was then moved by the Lord Mayor that standing order CPR2.1(xi) be suspended to allow the meeting to go past the 30 minutes time limit for motions.  Following a vote it was agreed to proceed up until a 60 minute limit.

Motion 1 – Save Jubilee Pool

 

Councillor Morris moved the following motion:

 

This Council is concerned that the future of this much-loved south Bristol swimming pool has once again been put under a cloud of uncertainty by the Labour Mayor.

 

The last review, conducted in 2017, over the cost of running this heritage facility, resulted in a plan and a promise to subsidise it for a further five years. Council is therefore surprised that a consultation has now been launched around its proposed closure unless a community asset transfer can take place, even though the Administration’s own consultation does not recommend this course of action.

 

Given that this leisure pool serves some of the most economically deprived parts of the city, it seems unlikely and unrealistic to expect local users to muster sufficient finance to secure such an acquisition.

 

Consequently, Council calls on the Mayor to (i) withdraw this threat over the pool; (ii) allocate the necessary (and relatively modest) capital and revenue funding to enable it to continue to operate in a COVID secure and safe way, and; (iii) honour the previous agreement made with the provider Parkwood Leisure to maintain this public amenity until at least 2022.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Eddy.

 

Councillor Rippington then moved the following amendment:

 

‘That the motion be amended to read as follows:

 

This Council is concerned that the future of this much-loved south Bristol swimming pool is regretfully under a cloud of uncertainty because of rising costs due to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

 

The last review, conducted in 2017, over the cost of running this heritage facility, resulted in a plan and a promise to subsidise it for a further five years. 

 

This Council notes:

 

(i)    a consultation has now been launched around its proposed closure, with the Mayor indicating a willingness to consider other options including a community asset transfer (CAT);

(ii)   the impact of the Hengrove PFI deal, signed in 2010;

(iii) more than 1,000 new public swimming pools opened under the previous Labour Government, contrasted with numerous pool closures and cuts under Bristol’s Lib Dem administrations;

(iv) the loss of at least 300 public owned and state school pools since 2010, contributing to more than one in three children leaving primary school unable to swim, following a decade of Tory cuts to local government;

(v)   the unforeseeable and far-reaching impact of the pandemic on leisure facilities in Bristol and around the country.

 

Given that this leisure pool serves some of the most economically deprived parts of the city, it seems unlikely and unrealistic to expect local users to muster sufficient finance to secure such an acquisition.

 

Consequently, Council calls on the Mayor to:

(i)    extend the current consultation for a further month to enable further exploration of options;

(ii)  establish a cross-party group comprising relevant cabinet member(s) and councillors, working to look at potential solutions including those discounted in the consultation (reopening with additional funding; finding a new contractor; taking the service in-house; awarding the service to a community trust; and a CAT);

(iii) continue to work to assess options on how to honour the previous agreement made with the provider Parkwood Leisure to maintain this public amenity until at least 2022.

 

Council further resolves to:

 

(i)    Support the Mayor and Bristol in lobbying in national Government to follow through with their original promise to do “whatever it takes” to compensate councils for the impact of the pandemic;

(ii)   Support the Mayor and Bristol in lobbying in national Government for sector-specific support for particularly-affected industries, including the leisure sector, to support Jubilee Pool and countless other swimming pools in similar situations.

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Jackson.

 

The Lord Mayor then invited Councillor Morris, as mover of the original motion to speak.

 

Following debate, upon being put to the vote, the amendment was CARRIED (32 For, 30 Against).

 

Councillor Hopkins then moved the following amendment:

 

‘That the motion be amended to read as follows:

 

This Council is concerned that the future of this much-loved south Bristol swimming pool has once again been put under a cloud of uncertainty by the Labour Mayor.

 

The last review, conducted in 2017, over the cost of running this heritage facility, resulted in a plan and a promise to subsidise it for a further five years.  Council is therefore surprised that a consultation has now been launched around its proposed closure unless a community asset transfer can take place, even though the Administration’s own consultation does not recommend this course of action.

 

Given that this leisure pool serves some of the most economically deprived parts of the city, it seems unlikely and unrealistic to expect local users to muster sufficient finance to secure such an acquisition.

 

Consequently, Council calls on the Mayor to (i) withdraw this threat over the pool; (ii) allocate the necessary (and relatively modest) capital and revenue funding to enable it to continue to operate in a COVID secure and safe way, and; (iii) honour the previous agreement made with the provider Parkwood Leisure to maintain this public amenity until at least 2022. (iv) that Council once again commits to resume the longer term maintenance work for the building to ensure the efficient running of the facility into at least the medium term.”

 

The amendment was seconded by Councillor Kent.

 

The Lord Mayor then invited Councillor Morris, as mover of the original motion to speak.

 

Following debate, upon being put to the vote, the amendment was LOST (29 For, 33 Against).

 

Following final remarks, upon being put to the vote, the amended motion was CARRIED (40 For, X against, 22 absentions) and it was

 

RESOLVED:

 

This Council is concerned that the future of this much-loved south Bristol swimming pool is regretfully under a cloud of uncertainty because of rising costs due to the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.

 

The last review, conducted in 2017, over the cost of running this heritage facility, resulted in a plan and a promise to subsidise it for a further five years. 

 

This Council notes:

 

(i)    a consultation has now been launched around its proposed closure, with the Mayor indicating a willingness to consider other options including a community asset transfer (CAT);

(ii)   the impact of the Hengrove PFI deal, signed in 2010;

(iii) more than 1,000 new public swimming pools opened under the previous Labour Government, contrasted with numerous pool closures and cuts under Bristol’s Lib Dem administrations;

(iv) the loss of at least 300 public owned and state school pools since 2010, contributing to more than one in three children leaving primary school unable to swim, following a decade of Tory cuts to local government;

(v)   the unforeseeable and far-reaching impact of the pandemic on leisure facilities in Bristol and around the country.

 

Given that this leisure pool serves some of the most economically deprived parts of the city, it seems unlikely and unrealistic to expect local users to muster sufficient finance to secure such an acquisition.

 

Consequently, Council calls on the Mayor to:

(i)    extend the current consultation for a further month to enable further exploration of options;

(ii)  establish a cross-party group comprising relevant cabinet member(s) and councillors, working to look at potential solutions including those discounted in the consultation (reopening with additional funding; finding a new contractor; taking the service in-house; awarding the service to a community trust; and a CAT);

(iii) continue to work to assess options on how to honour the previous agreement made with the provider Parkwood Leisure to maintain this public amenity until at least 2022.

 

Council further resolves to:

 

(i)    Support the Mayor and Bristol in lobbying in national Government to follow through with their original promise to do “whatever it takes” to compensate councils for the impact of the pandemic;

(ii)   Support the Mayor and Bristol in lobbying in national Government for sector-specific support for particularly-affected industries, including the leisure sector, to support Jubilee Pool and countless other swimming pools in similar situations.

 

The Lord Mayor informed Full Council that the extended one hour time limit for motions had been reached.  It was then moved by the Lord Mayor that standing order CPR2.1(xi) be suspended to allow the meeting to proceed for a further 45 minutes to hear the next motion.  The vote was LOST.

Supporting documents: