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 may 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.

 

 

FULL COUNCIL MOTIONS – 16 March 2021

 

1.                  Mayoral Referendum

 

Council notes that the people of Bristol in 2012 decided to adopt a mayoral model following a referendum for Bristol City Council.

 

While noting that the current mayoral system of governance cannot be changed until 2024, there is a ground swell of opinion that the Council should review its current mayoral system of governance, from both the community and a number of elected members on the Council.

 

A new Mayor will be elected this May until 2024 and it will be up-to them how they use their power.

 

Council notes that the position of directly elected Metro Mayor has been introduced and powers and money have been transferred to that office.  

 

This motion is to determine that a referendum should be held and to enable full consultation on the new governance arrangements and alternative system, Leader and Cabinet, with a view to holding a referendum in May 2022.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves: 

(i)                  That the holding of a referendum on the Council’s governance arrangements be approved and that the Council’s Returning Officer be requested to prepare to hold such a referendum on Thursday 5th May 2022.

(ii)                That the governance review and referendum question be to determine whether to retain the mayoral model or change to a Leader and Cabinet governance arrangement.

(iii)              Delegate to the Chief Executive, in consultation with Party Leaders, to make any decisions or clarifications on any proposed changes with regards to arrangements and Executive powers as per the Local Government Act 2000 that are required as part of the referendum.

Motion moved by: Councillor Hopkins, Liberal Democrat Group

Motion submitted: 4th March 2021

2.                  Bristol’s Clean Air Zone Western Boundary

 

“This Council acknowledges the difficult circumstances, challenges and choices which have had to be made to finalise the Full Business Case submission for Bristol’s Clean Air Zone to DEFRA by 26th February 2021.

 

The local authority is under legal, moral, and political imperatives to tackle particulate pollution, especially in relation to reducing NO2 vehicle emissions in parts of the city where these regularly exceed permissible limits.

 

Delay in the production of an action plan led to Ministerial Directions the latest of which required implementation for nitrogen dioxide compliance, specifying a Medium Charging Clean Air Zone Class C with small Charging Clean Air Zone Class D… as soon as possible and at least in time to bring forward compliance to 2023.

 

Notwithstanding these facts, Council is extremely concerned over the unintended consequences or effect created by the western boundary of the presently proposed scheme. The inclusion of the A4 Portway – running into the Cumberland Basin road network – a major north-south transit route is certain to cause serious problems for commercial and commuter traffic.

 

The result of this measure will be to either raise costs or displace large volumes of vehicles onto alternative roads and residential streets.  This, in turn, will lengthen journey times and increase environmental pollution in other areas previously spared this health hazard. 

 

Accordingly, Council calls on the Mayor and Party-Group Leaders to urgently lobby the Under-Secretary of State at DEFRA and the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to review  the Council’s evidence to  determine whether the current western perimeter of the CAZ could be revised whilst still  complying with the overarching legal duties placed on the Council by legislation.”

 

Motion to be moved by Councillor Mark Weston

Motion Submitted: 4th March 2021

 

3.                  Support for Student Tenants in Private Accommodation

This Council notes that:

1.     Covid-19 has hit all areas of our society hard, but students in Bristol have been particularly affected by continuously changing guidance on movement and travel.

  1. Many students are stuck outside of Bristol or the country, advised not to return to a room for which they are paying full rent.[1]
  2. The average rent for a student at Bristol University is £131 per week, and £160 per week for students at the University of the West of England.[2]
  3. Many students are facing significant financial hardship during these times. The average student maintenance loan is not enough to cover rent and living costs in Bristol, meaning that many students usually rely on part-time jobs in the hospitality sector to stay afloat. With the entire sector closed down, many students have lost this essential income which they rely on to pay rent.

This Council recognises:

1.     The University of Bristol has offered concrete measures to support their students in halls with rent. This includes a 100% rent rebate from 1st February to 26th March for students who do not return to halls. Students for whom it is better that they do not stay in their residence in Bristol have also been offered a no-penalty contract release without needing to find a replacement tenant. The University of the West of England have taken similar steps, whilst Unite Students have offered a 50% rebate from 18th January to 14th February for students not in residence.[4]

  1. However, students in the private sector cannot access this support, despite facing the exact same issues and hardships. Since the majority of students rent in the private sector, this leaves many still facing significant hardship.
  2. The University of Bristol, Bristol Students’ Union, and a cross-party group of 67 Bristol councillors and candidates have called on Student Landlords, Accommodation Providers, and Letting Agents in Bristol to offer their student tenants a rent waiver, rent reduction or no-penalty contract release.[4]

This Council believes:

1.     Given the dangers posed by new variants of Covid-19, it is vital for public health that students are supported to do the right thing and minimise travel.

  1. Nobody should face financial hardship for obeying the law and public health advice.
  2. Student Landlords, Accommodation Providers, and Letting Agents in Bristol should make use of the financial aid the Government has put in place, such as mortgage holidays, to allow them to support student tenants.
  3. The Government should provide the necessary financial support to universities and students during the pandemic to ensure that students do not face undue financial hardship, and receive adequate education and mental health support.

 

Therefore this Council requests that the Mayor or relevant Cabinet member:

1.    Write to Student Landlords and Accommodation Providers in Bristol, to signpost the financial aid that Government has put in place to help landlords, and ask them to offer their tenants:

o   A rent waiver or a significant rent reduction for the period of lockdown if their tenant is unable to return to Bristol.

o   A no-penalty contract release without needing to find a replacement tenant if the tenant does not want to return to Bristol for the duration of the tenancy due to COVID-19.

o   A significant rent reduction (for example 50%) for students who are losing out financially but remain in residence for the period of lockdown.

If these exact requests are not possible due to the financial situation of the landlord, we ask that landlords enter discussions with tenants and come to an agreement about what level of support is feasible.

2.    Write to Letting Agents, who do not have the power to set rents or make financial decisions on behalf of your landlords, to ask them to pass     the letter on to landlords.

  1. Write to the Minister of State for Universities demanding extended financial support to universities and students during the pandemic to ensure that students do not face undue financial hardship, and receive adequate education and mental health support.

 

Motion moved by: Councillor Carla Denyer, Green Group

Submitted: 3 March 2021

 

Notes:

  1. Advice not to return for most students: https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/for-students/student-guide-to-coronavirus/returning-to-university-in-2021 
  2. Average weekly rent for University of Bristol and University of West of England Students 2020: https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/universities-students-pay-the-most-rent.html
  3. The average Maintenance Loan is approximately £6,859 a year, or £132 per week, based on data from the National Student Money Survey and information supplied by the Student Loans Company. https://www.savethestudent.org/student-finance/maintenance-loans.html#amount 
  4. Open letter: https://www.bristolsu.org.uk/resources/councillor-and-council-candidate-open-letter 

 


 

4.             A Universal Basic Income Trial for Bristol

This council notes:

1.      The drastic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on employment and household incomes in the city;

2.      The threat to income and employment from automation and artificial intelligence, which could affect a great many more jobs in future;

3.      The development of universal basic income (UBI) trials in other countries, which offer a non-means-tested sum paid by the state to cover the basic cost of living, which is paid to all citizens individually, regardless of employment status, wealth, or marital status, which has been widely debated in recent months;

4.      That a trial of UBI was promised by the Labour party had the party won the last general election;

5.      The resolutions of other local authorities including Sheffield, Birmingham, Lewes,  and Brighton and Hove [with cross party support] calling for trials of UBI;

6.      A network of Universal Basic Income Labs has been set up and works with local authorities across the UK developing UBI proposals to address problems such as poverty, inequality, discrimination and environmental damage, long-term and immediately, in relation to coronavirus. One is operating in Bristol.

7.      Birmingham City Council has issued a briefing on UBI[1]

8.      UBI has been Green Party Policy since about 1973 and more recently taken up by other parties[2]

This council believes:

1.      That the current benefit system is failing citizens, with Universal Credit causing hardship to many communities

2.      A UBI is the fairest, most effective way to mitigate the effects of coronavirus on people’s incomes as it does not discriminate between employment status, caring responsibilities, age, or disability when providing basic support;

3.     There is a danger of increasing numbers of people facing poverty as a result of the coronavirus crisis; 

4.      Testing a UBI is needed, as a UBI has the potential to help address key challenges such as inequality, poverty, precarious employment, loss of community, and breach of planetary boundaries through: 

                    i.            Giving employers a more flexible workforce whilst giving employees greater freedom to change their jobs; 

                   ii.            Valuing unpaid work, such as caring for family members and voluntary work; 

                 iii.            Removing the harmful impacts of benefit sanctions and conditionality;  

                 iv.            Giving people more equal resources within the family, workplace and society; 

              v.         Breaking the link between work and consumption, thus helping reduce strain on the environment in line with the One City Climate Strategy; 

            vi.         Enabling greater opportunities for people to work in community and cultural activities or to train or reskill in areas that will be needed to transition to a lower-carbon economy. 

5.      The success of a UBI pilot should not be measured only by impact upon take-up of paid work, but also the impact upon communities and what the people within them do, how they feel, and how they relate to others and the environment around them; and, 

6.      Given its history of social innovation, wealth of expertise, and active networks across community, business and public services, Bristol is ideally placed to pilot a UBI. 

This council calls on the Mayor to:

1.      Send a joint letter with the other party leaders to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the leader of the party in Government, their counterparts in all opposition political parties in parliament, and all local MPs, to request a trial of Universal Basic Income in the city citing the above reasons.

 

[1]https://birmingham.cmis.uk.com/Birmingham/Document.ashx?czJKcaeAi5tUFL1DTL2UE4zNRBcoShgo=nb28HJzZZy8R6UE9qsv3LHJckreeBwn50Tbzg0riXhiHQcf3zr1WGQ%3D%3D&rUzwRPf%2BZ3zd4E7Ikn8Lyw%3D%3D=pwRE6AGJFLDNlh225F5QMaQWCtPHwdhUfCZ%2FLUQzgA2uL5jNRG4jdQ%3D%3D&mCTIbCubSFfXsDGW9IXnlg%3D%3D=hFflUdN3100%3D&kCx1AnS9%2FpWZQ40DXFvdEw%3D%3D=hFflUdN3100%3D&uJovDxwdjMPoYv%2BAJvYtyA%3D%3D=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&FgPlIEJYlotS%2BYGoBi5olA%3D%3D=NHdURQburHA%3D&d9Qjj0ag1Pd993jsyOJqFvmyB7X0CSQK=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&WGewmoAfeNR9xqBux0r1Q8Za60lavYmz=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&WGewmoAfeNQ16B2MHuCpMRKZMwaG1PaO=ctNJFf55vVA%3D&fbclid=IwAR3v5XWzNYc_KENecR4_O6k4xSFL847QcMyKppBD6IUO5x2gLp5E3GdI3_M

 

[2]https://www.bristol247.com/opinion/your-say/otherpartieswillriudiculegreenpolicies/

Motion moved by: Martin Fodor, Redland Ward Green Party Councillor

Date submitted: 3 March 2021

 

 

 


 

5.           Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol

 

 This council notes:

 

1.      That streets in Bristol are often affected by rat-running, speeding vehicles, congestion, and pollution;

2.      Residential streets across the city are frequently hostile places for children, older residents, and those with disabilities, yet the council has declared an aim to be an age friendly, child friendly, and inclusive city and has declared climate and ecological emergencies;

3.      Redesigning our streets and neighbourhoods can create a healthier, safer, greener, and less stressful and more peaceful environment;

4.      Progress to make neighbourhoods more liveable is underway in many cities in Britain and other countries; 

5.      There are groups in many parts of the city campaigning for liveable neighbourhoods, with a citywide Liveable Neighbourhoods for Bristol [1] campaign supported by 38 groups representing a wide range of needs and interests;

6.      The council has recently consulted on several innovative proposals for better street space in high streets and rat runs on ‘Bristol Citizenspace’ which may incorporate many of the same features as liveable neighbourhoods;

7.      The basic features of liveable neighbourhoods are to filter out rat-running and through traffic across an area, and to enable safer movement by active travel, as well as the introduction of facilities for local people such as pocket parks, seating, shelter, nature, while maintaining essential access throughout;

8.      In liveable neighbourhoods there is evidence that lives are healthier, overall levels of motor traffic reduce while active travel increases; emergency vehicles are consulted and do not report delays;

9.      Streets can become more favourable for young families, children, older people and disabled people once there is less through traffic;

10.  Support for liveable neighbourhoods has already been declared by the current Labour administration[2], Greens[3], and many other organisations[4] but a strategy does not yet exist to implement them and no resources have yet been identified.

 

 

This council believes that:

1.      Developing liveable neighbourhoods can help tackle many of the problems affecting streets across the city and assist many local traders, hospitality and cultural organisations affected by the pandemic;

2.      A participatory and inclusive process is needed to inform solutions and deal with many issues in different neighbourhoods, addressing inequalities in streets and different parts of the city, just as with the street space consultation process underway; there are many myths [5] and engagement is needed to discuss and dispel these;

3.      Area based solutions are needed (to avoid traffic and parking displacement) and concerns about essential access, deliveries, disabled parking, and space for local traders has to be informed by evidence and examples from elsewhere, but there is no uniform model that should be imposed on areas of the city;

4.      A mix of different facilities, layouts, amenities and traffic management options can be trialled and adopted to create liveable neighbourhoods depending on local needs, preferences and opportunities, e.g. to incorporate school streets.

 

 

This council calls on the Mayor to:

1.      Commit to making Bristol a city of liveable neighbourhoods; 

2.      Build on the streetspace projects by working with residents and stakeholders across the city to enable residents and other partners to work together with council support to develop and trial liveable neighbourhoods;

3.      Identify budgets (such as community infrastructure levy), support, and facilities that could be used to progress the introduction of liveable neighbourhoods in conjunction with government and WECA funds for active travel, play, and COVID recovery.

 

References:

1. https://liveablebristol.org.uk/

2. https://thebristolmayor.com/2020/11/23/liveable-neighbourhoods/?fbclid=IwAR1yaEvgRknvDcRE0m3VhWUVlaRynNLIzPRhvpFdQuemK82E8RxjFgtBxNM

3. https://sandy4mayor.co.uk/flourishing-bristol-liveable-neighbourhoods/?fbclid=IwAR1U3agx41GFfPxwMvxjdIaW206t6IripFfDcOkvAsRbgJU1PYG1sTflpgI 

4. https://bristolcycling.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/LNfB-Open-Letter.pdf 

5. For instance, these eight relating to low traffic neighbourhoods: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/nov/16/mythbusters-eight-common-objections-to-ltns-and-why-they-are-wrong


Motion proposed by: Martin Fodor - Redland ward Green Party councillor

Motion submitted: 3 March 2021

 

 

6.                  Motion to Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill

 

Full Council notes that: 

1.      In November 2018 Bristol City Council became the first UK local authority to declare a Climate Emergency. In February 2020 it also declared an Ecological Emergency. The Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Plan was published in 2019, leading in early 2020 to the One City Climate Strategy: A strategy for a carbon neutral, climate resilient Bristol by 2030.

 

2.      The UK Government’s own target is for carbon neutrality by 2050. This is not satisfactory because the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s limit of 1.5°C warming over the pre-industrial level between 2030 and 2040, causing significant and irreversible harm. The UK Government has declined to declare a Climate Emergency, although the UK Parliament and the devolved administrations of Wales and Scotland have all done so.

 

3.      In January 2021 the World Meteorological Organization confirmed that 2020 was one of the joint hottest years on record, with an average temperature that was 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level. This means that the warmest six years on record have all occurred since 2016, and that since the 1980s each decade has been hotter than the decade which preceded it. On current trends the world will see a catastrophic temperature rise of 3-5°C this century, compared to the pre-industrial level.

 

4.      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that avoiding significant harm by limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of sustainable jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

5.      Many local authorities have now established Citizens’ Assemblies to assist them in their plans to achieve net zero by 2030 or before. Bristol City Council has established a Citizens’ Assembly to help shape the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

6.      There is a Bill before Parliament - the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”) – which has already attracted the support of around 100 MPs. The Bill would require the UK Government to develop an emergency strategy that:

a)      requires the UK to play its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures;

b)      ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

c)      includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

d)      protects and restores biodiverse habitats in overseas supply chains;

e)      restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, thereby maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

f)       sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.

 

Full Council therefore resolves to:

1.      Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill;

2.      Inform the media of this decision;

3.      Write to Bristol’s MPs, asking them to support the Bill, or in the case of Darren Jones (Bristol NW) and any other Bristol MPs who have chosen to support the bill, thanking them for their action;

4.      Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing this council’s support (campaign@ceebill.uk).

 

Motion proposed by: Councillor Stephen Clarke

Motion submitted: 3rd March 2021

 

 

7. 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.      That motion committed the city to achieve net zero carbon impact by 2030 and there are now under 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 concept had the support of 4 local authorities including Bristol City Council. [1]

5.      This model of green bond is proven to mobilise local and other investment and channels local savings into local projects with low risk and a modest return to investors [2] and after the first issue further calls can be automated.

 

Full Council believes:

1.      That offering local savers a way to support the city’s journey to carbon neutrality mobilises community engagement in the process of change, attracts significant sums for named projects, and should be developed. 72% of people want to lend savings to help councils develop Climate Emergency Plans [3]

2.      That offering security and a modest rate of interest through municipal bonds is an established way to develop local infrastructure [4]. This could complement other projects such as the successful Bristol Energy Cooperative.

3.      That CMIs can help us develop a series of practical projects for a low carbon transition now in partnership with others which will be popular with local savers.

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

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

 

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 be engaged and actively involved in contributing to a zero carbon city.

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

 

 

References:

1.      The report supported by Bristol: https://baumaninstitute.leeds.ac.uk/research/financing-for-society/

2.      Initial proposed interest rate is 1.2%. See: Your questions answered on Green Community Bonds | Abundance Blog
https://medium.abundanceinvestment.com/community-municipal-investments-your-questions-answered-25218ed4d2cb

3.      Survey by One Poll, 2020, cited by the Local Government Association.

4.      https://medium.abundanceinvestment.com/community-municipal-investments-the-new-option-for-your-low-risk-money-a9cc5d72e03a?source=post_internal_links---------1------------------

5.      These are: Leeds Council, Warrington, and West Berkshire. Eg Invest now: https://info.westberks.gov.uk/wbcmi; https://www.abundanceinvestment.com/invest-now/warrington-2025

 

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Martin Fodor, Redland ward Green Party

Date of submission: 3rd March 2021

 

 

8. Supporting In-House Security And Cleaning Staff

 

“This Council is concerned over the apparent disparity in interpretation, perception and understanding between the trade unions, senior management and the Labour Administration regarding the proposed implementation of changes in terms and conditions for some of our workforce.  

 

More specifically, the recent announcement to co-source/outsource security and cleaning staff to Bristol Waste seems particularly insensitive and ill-judged.  The timing of such a proposal will strike many as egregious at this moment given that it involves disposal of some of our lowest paid employees who have proven themselves to be key workers during the health crisis.

 

Council does not believe moving these people off payroll represents an acceptable way to reward such service.  Moreover, Members have not yet been provided with convincing information to justify such a controversial move.

 

Accordingly, Council calls on the Mayor to withdraw or remove this threat and provide an assurance that these workers will remain highly valued local government employees.”

 

Motion to be moved by Councillor Richard Eddy

Motion submitted: 4th March 2021

9. 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 Councillor Graham Morris

Motion submitted: 4th March 2021

 

 

10. Enhanced Protection of The Green Belt

 

 “This Council welcomes the Government’s recent recognition of the public consultation which has been received to the first stage of its reform of the Planning system.  Of particular importance is the proposed strengthening of the status afforded to the statutory Green Belt following the efforts of such bodies as the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England.

 

Council is especially pleased to learn of the increased emphasis placed on redevelopment of ‘brownfield’ and previously used sites in urban centres, rather than ‘eating’ into our surrounding fields, farmland and countryside.

 

Partly in response to this announcement but also to reflect the substantial level of local opposition shown in public consultation, Council resolves to amend its draft Bristol Local Plan to delete the proposed de-registration of Green Belt protection within the South Bristol Link Road, in Bedminster Down and Highridge.

 

One practical consequence of this change will be the deletion of the proposed planned approval for the construction of 200 properties near Yew Tree Farm and 150 properties near Elsbert Drive.”

 

Motion to be moved by Councillor Kevin Quartley

Motion submitted: 4th March 2021

11. 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)

Date of submission: 4th March 2021

 

 

12. New Secondary School in Knowle

 

Secondary School places in South Bristol are in short supply and the situation will get worse over the next couple of years.  The problem becomes even more challenging as the public transport is woeful and travelling from Knowle to Brislington or Bedminster Down is very challenging for pupils. 

 

After gap of 20 years with no secondary provision in the area, we now have a solution with the new school being built on part of the old Merrywood School site.  The other part of the site will be given over to a great new community facility costing around £6M

 

This Council thanks the trustees of “The Park” Local Opportunity Centre for doing such a great job of providing community facilities over the last 20 years on the old school site and working so hard on the imaginative new plan.

 

Government, Oasis, funders and the community are to be thanked also and we must recognise that Officers and Cabinet Members gave full backing to this scheme (despite a couple of frankly silly objections).

 

This Council asks for one further contribution, with the present timetable a couple of the most critical years will not benefit from the new school.   We ask that the school is set up earlier in temporary accommodation from September 2021.

 

Council notes that the site is, unlike the Temple Meads new site, large and open and that the failure of the plans for early opening at Temple Meads will put even more pressure on numbers over the next 2 years in East and South Bristol.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Gary Hopkins, Knowle Ward (Lib Dem)

Date of submission: 4th March 2021

 

 

13. 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)

Submitted: 4th March 2021

 

14. Climate and Ecological Emergency

 

Full Council notes that: 

1.      In November 2018 Bristol City Council became the first UK local authority to declare a Climate Emergency. In February 2020 it also declared an Ecological Emergency. The Mayor’s Climate Emergency Action Plan was published in 2019, leading in early 2020 to the One City Climate Strategy: A strategy for a carbon neutral, climate resilient Bristol by 2030.

 

2.      The UK Government’s own target is for carbon neutrality by 2050. This is not satisfactory because the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s limit of 1.5°C warming over the pre-industrial level between 2030 and 2040, causing significant and irreversible harm. The UK Government has declined to declare a Climate Emergency, although the UK Parliament and the devolved administrations of Wales and Scotland have all done so.

 

3.      In January 2021 the World Meteorological Organization confirmed that 2020 was one of the joint hottest years on record, with an average temperature that was 1.2°C above the pre-industrial level. This means that the warmest six years on record have all occurred since 2016, and that since the 1980s each decade has been hotter than the decade which preceded it. On current trends the world will see a catastrophic temperature rise of 3-5°C this century, compared to the pre-industrial level.

 

4.      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has reported that avoiding significant harm by limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, trade unions, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of sustainable jobs, breathable cities and thriving communities.

 

5.      Our ambition is for Bristol to play a full and leading role nationally and internationally in the urgent task of halting climate change and tackling the ecological emergency and to reach net-zero carbon emissions as quickly as possible. There are many aspects of how we can fulfil that ambition and we have included some of them below. This is not an exhaustive list and we note that we need to focus widely across policy areas as well as deeply and urgently for sustainable, significant change.

 

5) For example, many local authorities have now established Citizens’ Assemblies to assist them in their plans to achieve net zero by 2030 or before. Bristol City Council has established a Citizens’ Assembly to help shape the city’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

7. This year the UK hosts COP26, the international climate change conference. This is an opportunity to showcase Bristol’s achievements on halting climate change.

 

8. We note that getting to net-zero on carbon emissions in order to achieve our ambition, we will have to use the best possible evidence, work closely with scientists, engineers, schools and colleges as well as the university and trade unions, in order to train the workforce we need at speed and to high levels.

             

9. We further note that getting to net-zero requires improvements to how we build and retrofit homes and work places, how we generate and conserve energy, how we design and operate transport systems, how we produce, distribute and consume food and more.

             

10. We also note that it is vital to work closely with the trade union movement on supporting the development of new jobs and any changes needed to existing ones, to ensure that training, terms and conditions are promoted and their expertise valued.

 

11. We note that there is a Bill before Parliament - the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”) – which has already attracted the support of around 100 MPs. The Bill would require the UK Government to develop an emergency strategy that:

 

a)           requires the UK to play its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase  to 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures;

b)          ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;

c)           includes emissions from aviation and shipping;

d)          protects and restores biodiverse habitats in overseas supply chains;

e)           restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, thereby maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;

f)            sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.

 

12.        We note that unfortunately the impact of the Covid crisis on the Parliamentary timetable means that this Bill will not be heard, debated or voted on as it is a Private Members’ Bill which has now no listing. Parliament will end this current session within a few weeks at which point all Bills fall. We want to make sure that the commitment and aims of the current draft are brought into the next session of parliament, ideally in the form of a Government Bill.

 

13.        We do not want our aims and ambitions for national change to be limited by this as our ambition is long term and focussed on the most important task, to halt climate change and ecological emergency.

 

14.        We are focussed on promoting Bristol as an example of good practice as the country moves towards COP26 later this year, an opportunity to showcase Bristol’s role in ending climate change.

             

15.        We also note the work our MPs are already doing, for example, on the Environment Bill, the various select committees, on policy development on zero-carbon housing and sustainable transport.

             

16.        We also note that to be effective, any change in law needs to be via a Government Bill, with full government support. The CEE Bill has highlighted and raised awareness of what that Bill should include, and we want to build on that, in order to fulfil our ambition of halting climate change and the ecological emergency.

 

Full Council therefore resolves to call on the Mayor or relevant Cabinet Member to:

 

1.                  Support the aims of the current draft of the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill;

 

2.           Ask all our MPs to support these aims going into a new Bill in the next Parliamentary session.

 

3.           Write to our MPs to ask them how we can work more effectively together to promote Bristol’s work and to push Government for a Bill in government time to fulfil the aims of the CEE Bill and to thank them for the wide range of work they are already undertaking to halt climate change in their different roles.

 

4.           Contact the relevant leads in the Universities in Bristol and the Policy Studies teams to ask them to brief the council on key policy changes we could make to improve what we are doing and how we measure it

 

1.5.            Work closely with the scientists, environmental experts and consultants in our city who can help us to reduce our carbon footprint in buildings, transport and infrastructure as well as waste and energy.

 

2.6.       Inform the media of this decision;

 

4.7.       Write to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, expressing this council’s support (campaign@ceebill.uk) and asking them what their plans are for the new Parliamentary session.

 

Motion to be moved by Cllr Shah, Labour Group

Submitted on 4th March 2021

 

 

15. Nursery Funding

 

Full Council recognize the vital role that early years provision and our nursery school network play in supporting communities across the whole city. Bristol should be justly proud of its achievements in this area. Throughout the hard times of austerity and COVID, dedicated and committed staff have ensured that children and families get the support they need, including those with complex needs. Yet the long-term financial sustainability of our nursery school network is under threat due to failure by government to review and revise the formula through which funding is provided, despite promises to do so. The Chancellor's recent announcement of an "above inflation" rise amounts to only a few pence per child and is therefore totally inadequate as a protection for the long-term future of this vital service, as it does not take into account the effect that a decade of austerity has had on child poverty rates.

 

Full Council resolves to:

 

1) Acknowledge the unique contribution that early years provision and our nursery schools play in offering the best start in life for children from all backgrounds and communities.

 

2) Ask that the Mayor, the Cabinet Member for Education, and the Cabinet Member for Women, Children, and Families organise a meeting of Members of Parliament and interested councillors to discuss this vital matter and agree how best to continue to lobby the Government on the matter.

 

3) As that the Mayor, the Cabinet Member for Education, and the Cabinet Member for Women, Children, and Families, to write to the Minister for Early Years and to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to demand that they give priority to introducing a new fair funding formula and the necessary additional resources to ensure a stable long-term future for state provided nursery and early years provision.

 

Motion to be moved by: Cllr Tincknell, Labour Group

Submitted on 4th March 2021

 

 

 16. Air Pollution

 

Full Council notes that:

The death of nine year old Ella Kissa-Debrah in London has been directly linked to air pollution by a coroner’s inquest, the first ruling of its kind in the UK. She was exposed to excessive nitrogen dioxide levels in excess of EU and national guidelines, and particulate levels above World Health Organisation guidelines, principally as a result of vehicle emissions. In a report investigating her death, it was found there was a “real prospect that without unlawful levels of air pollution, Ella would not have died”.

 

Full Council believes that:

UK cities’ clean air policies must now change urgently in response to this, to ensure that children and others vulnerable to poor air quality are saved from premature death. Cities have a massive role to play in this and Bristol can lead the way with innovative approaches.

The Council’s Clean Air Zone is one such step forward, and Bristol has opportunities to put in place an effective and innovative plan to reduce emissions from vehicles. Legal compliance should be the minimum aim of this scheme and the Council should press for Bristol to lead the way in bringing our air to healthy levels that are safe for children living in congested areas in both the short and long term.

 

Full Council:

. Expresses sympathy with the family of Ella, and of those that have lost loved ones due to air pollution-related deaths;

. agrees with the Mayor of London’ s view that this represents a ‘landmark moment’ and highlights how air pollution is now a major public health issue and should be treated with the highest priority by all cities across the UK;

. Notes the Mayor’s and Council’s commendable work in this area, through the pedestrianisation of the Old City, the consultation on a Clean Air Zone, investment in electric vehicle charging points, and the unprecedented investment in active travel.

. Notes that reaching both our air quality and carbon emissions is considerably more difficult in the absence of a mass transit scheme, and Full Council reiterates its support for one.

. Calls on the Mayor and Cabinet member to push for stronger measures to improve air quality in Bristol, backed up with financial assistance from the Government to implement these measures.

. Call on Government to give Bristol the powers and resources to implement measures that may include, but are not limited to, enforcing bans on wood-burners, and the banning of burning garden waste at inner-city allotments.

. Calls on both the Mayor and national Government to explore innovative ways to improve our air quality in Bristol.

 

Motion submitted by : Cllr Wellington, Labour Group

Submitted on: 4th March 2021

Minutes:

Following a short adjournment, it was 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 9pm.

Motion 1 – Mayoral Referendum

 

Councillor Hopkins moved the following motion:

 

Council notes that the people of Bristol in 2012 decided to adopt a mayoral model following a referendum for Bristol City Council.  While noting that the current mayoral system of governance cannot be changed until 2024, there is a ground swell of opinion that the Council should review its current mayoral system of governance, from both the community and a number of elected members on the Council. 

 

A new Mayor will be elected this May until 2024 and it will be up-to them how they use their power.

 

Council notes that the position of directly elected Metro Mayor has been introduced and powers and money have been transferred to that office.

 

This motion is to determine that a referendum should be held and to enable full consultation on the new governance arrangements and alternative system, Leader and Cabinet, with a view to holding a

referendum in May 2022.

 

Therefore, this Council resolves:

(i) That the holding of a referendum on the Council’s governance arrangements be approved and that the Council’s Returning Officer be requested to prepare to hold such a referendum on Thursday 5th May 2022.

(ii) That the governance review and referendum question be to determine whether to retain the mayoral model or change to a Leader and Cabinet governance arrangement.

(iii) Delegate to the Chief Executive, in consultation with Party Leaders, to make any decisions or clarifications on any proposed changes with regards to arrangements and Executive powers as per the Local Government Act 2000 that are required as part of the referendum.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Mike Davies.

 

Following debate, the Lord Mayor invited Councillor Hopkins, as mover of the original motion to speak.

 

Following final remarks, upon being put to the vote, the original motion was LOST (24 For, 35 against, 3 abstentions)

 

 

Motion 2 – Bristol’s Clean Air Zone Western Boundary

The Lord Mayor moved a further motion and it was agreed that standing order CPR2.1(xi) be suspended to allow the meeting to continue until 9.10pm in order to hear the motion.

 

Councillor Weston moved the following motion:

 

This Council acknowledges the difficult circumstances, challenges and choices which have had to be made to finalise the Full Business Case submission for Bristol’s Clean Air Zone to DEFRA by 26th February 2021.  The local authority is under legal, moral, and political imperatives to tackle particulate pollution, especially in relation to reducing NO2 vehicle emissions in parts of the city where these regularly exceed permissible limits.

 

Delay in the production of an action plan led to Ministerial Directions the latest of which required implementation for nitrogen dioxide compliance, specifying a Medium Charging Clean Air Zone Class C with small Charging Clean Air Zone Class D… as soon as possible and at least in time to bring forward compliance to 2023.

 

Notwithstanding these facts, Council is extremely concerned over the unintended consequences or effect created by the western boundary of the presently proposed scheme. The inclusion of the A4 Portway – running into the Cumberland Basin road network – a major north-south transit route is certain to cause serious problems for commercial and commuter traffic.

 

The result of this measure will be to either raise costs or displace large volumes of vehicles onto alternative roads and residential streets. This, in turn, will lengthen journey times and increase environmental pollution in other areas previously spared this health hazard.  Accordingly, Council calls on the Mayor and Party-Group Leaders to urgently lobby the Under-Secretary of State at DEFRA and the Joint Air Quality Unit (JAQU) to review the Council’s evidence to determine whether the current western perimeter of the CAZ could be revised whilst still complying with the overarching legal duties placed on the Council by legislation.

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor Goulandris.

 

Following debate, the Lord Mayor invited Councillor Weston, as mover of the original motion to speak.

 

Following debate, upon being put to the vote, the motion was LOST (20 Members voting for, 37 against, 1 abstention).