Meeting Details

    Council
    24 Nov 2015 - 19:30 to 22:00
    Occurred

    Documents

    Agenda

    Standard Items
    1 Lord Mayor's announcements
    2 Declarations of interest
    (Please note that it is the responsibility of individual members to declare an interest prior to the item if they arrive late for the meeting)
    3 Questions from the public
    4 Petitions
    5 pdf Minutes (167Kb)

    Purpose - To agree the accuracy of the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2015

    6 Questions to cabinet members / committee chairs


    (A printed copy of the quesiotns and replies will be available at the meeting)

     

     

     

     

    Purpose - To consider the greater Norwich growth programme 2016-7 and the inclusion of the city council projects in the draft capital programme for 2016-7 which will be submitted to cabinet and council for approval in February 2016.

    8 Motion - Trade Union Bill

    Proposed by Councillor Grahame and seconded by Councillor Waters



    The government’s Trade Union Bill would affect this council’s relationship with our trade unions and with our workforce as a whole.



    Payroll administration of membership dues and facility time - as negotiated with our trade unions - suits our needs and supports our staff.



    New rules restricting strikes and pickets remove unions’ ability to protest against changes that will affect them. The 40% mandate required far exceeds the mandate of this government to make such a law which will impact on many people’s lives.



    Council RESOLVES:-



    1) to lobby government to enable facility time and payroll deductions for Trade Union membership to continue



    2) to write to the Secretary of State and the Prime Minister stating its opposition to the unnecessary, anti-democratic and bureaucratic Trade Union Bill.



    3) if the bill becomes law, to:-



    a) ask cabinet to seek to continue its own locally agreed industrial relations strategy and take every measure possible to maintain its autonomy with regard to facility time and the continuing use of check-off



    b) call on Norfolk constabulary not to prioritise investigating people for infringement of new laws such as those on picketing.

    9 Motion – Food Poverty and Food waste


    Proposed by Councillor Howard and seconded by Councillor Price



    In Norwich more than 7,000 children live in food poverty. Across the UK it is estimated that 180,000 tonnes of unsold food from supermarkets went to waste in 2014.



    The effects of childhood malnutrition can last a lifetime and put increased pressure on public services with significant cost to the taxpayer.


    Council RESOLVES to :-



    1) commend the work of the dedicated volunteers in Norwich who feed hundreds of people each week



    2) ask cabinet to :-



    a) raise awareness of the work of food redistribution organisations and the challenges they face through articles in Citizen magazine.



    b) learn from other successful food redistribution partnerships; for example those supported by Lambeth and Bristol councils.



    c) work in partnership with local organisations who have joined forces under the umbrella organisation Norwich Food Hub to tackle the joint problems of increased food poverty and the wasting of surplus food across the city, in order understand the many challenges they face and help them best achieve their objectives.



    d) help to build dialogue between the city’s large retailers and the new hub, to ensure the most effective redistribution of surplus food.



    e) work with Norfolk County Council, the Clinical Commissioning Group and other public bodies to find premises and funding to help local people who want to redistribute surplus food to those in need.



    f) work with Norfolk County Council to encourage all food retailers to sign up to a redistribution scheme in their area.



    g) lobby DEFRA to introduce penalties for large retailers deliberately spoiling or wasting surplus food and to end the retail practice of rejecting food on purely cosmetic grounds.

    10 Motion – Housing




    Proposed by Councillor Harris and seconded by Councillor Woollard                                                                  



    The YMCA report entitled ‘Uncertain Futures’ says the budget proposal to cut housing benefits for 18 to 21 year olds could leave thousands of vulnerable young people homeless. Young people are amongst the millions on low incomes - including many in work - relying on housing benefit to secure accommodation who will be severely impacted by proposals to cut benefits.



    Other proposals to extend ‘Right to Buy’ to housing association homes will undermine the finances of associations; affect their ability to build genuinely affordable housing while councils are forced to sell “high value” properties to fund the ‘Right to Buy’ extension, further depleting the supply of affordable housing.



    Council RESOLVES to write to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to:-

    1) highlight its opposition to :-



    a) housing benefit cuts which will punish those in housing need



    b) the depletion of the stock of social housing through the extension of the right to buy and the forced sale of council housing



    2) ask for :-



    a) a massive increase in the supply of housing – including council housing – with proper security of tenure and genuinely affordable rents through a public sector house building programme, including empowering and resourcing local authorities to build housing directly



    b) regulation of private rented sector housing to improve its security and quality and review whether locally-led controls on private sector rent could deliver benefits for local housing markets and reduce expenditure on housing benefit

    11 Motion – Climate change and fossil fuel


    Proposed by Councillor Schmierer and seconded by Councillor Raby                                                                  



    The risk to both the planet and Norwich from climate change as a result of burning fossil fuels is very real. Ending Norwich City Council’s financial links to the fossil fuel industry would help it realise the goals outlined in its own 'Environmental Strategy'.



    Norwich City Council contributes to the Norfolk Pension fund which has £65,575,000 directly invested in fossil fuel based companies. The council therefore contributes to supporting the fossil fuel industry.



    Most fossil-fuel companies have shown considerable decreases in share price, e.g. BHP Billiton has fallen by over 35% in the last year.



    Council therefore RESOLVES to:-



    1) ask cabinet to:-



    a) consider how best an ethical investment policy, which would include not investing in fossil fuel based companies, might be achieved and make appropriate recommendations to council for inclusion in the Treasury Management Strategy.



    b) engage with local businesses, community groups and other relevant organisations, including Fossil Free Norfolk and Transition Norwich, to explore the potential for supporting a more widespread move to a fossil fuel free future.



    c) call on the Norfolk Pension Fund to consider an ethical investment policy and a rapid divestment from fossil fuel based companies.



    2) write to the relevant ministers urging them to:-



    a) reverse policies that harm the fight against climate change (such as recent changes to Feed-In Tariffs and other subsidies for green energy, changes to planning policy and cuts to Green Deal Finance),



    b) support the principles of fossil fuel divestment and stop subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, and advocate for all countries to commit to this during the COP21 global climate change negotiations later this year in Paris.
    12 Motion – Equality for mental health


    Proposed by Councillor Wright and seconded by Councillor Ackroyd



    Mental health services are often referred to as the ‘Cinderella service’ and still suffer severe inequality compared with those for physical health.



    People with mental ill health often do not have equal access to treatment and services with 75% of people experiencing mental ill health not accessing any treatment at all.



    The recent open-letter from Norman Lamb MP, Alistair Campbell and Andrew Mitchell, along with leaders from the business, faith, culture and sport communities, called on Government to end the historic injustices in mental health and to consider the need for additional investment in mental health services.



    Council RESOLVES to:



    1) call on the Government to:



    a) formally welcome the calls from this cross-party and cross-society campaign and commit to take action to address inequalities in mental health services;



    b) commit to additional, dedicated funding for mental health services in the 2015 spending review.



    2) ask cabinet to ensure mental health and wellbeing receive the same billing and priority as physical health in the work the council does, recognising that positive steps have already been taken in this area.

    Attendance

    Declarations of Interests

    Visitors

    Visitor Information is not yet available for this meeting