Agenda item

Motions

Motion 1

  

Proposed by Cllr. Jonathan Nunn 

Seconded by Cllr. Mike Hallam 

  

"This Council notes that both Daventry District Council and Northampton Borough Council, along with over 2/3 of local Councils across the country have now declared a climate emergency. This Council re-affirms its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and agrees to hold a wide-ranging climate conference to listen to views of residents, businesses and community groups to contribute to plans already in place to achieve a carbon neutral West Northamptonshire by 2030".  

  

Motion 2

  

Proposed by Cllr. Hallam  

Seconded by Cllr. Morgan  

 

Council agrees that planting trees has a significant benefit to health, well-being, the environment and to helping tackle climate change. This Council agrees to fully embrace “The Queen’s Green Canopy Scheme” launched to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.   

 

Council agrees to develop an action plan to work with Schools, Colleges and Community Groups alongside the Woodland Trust to co-ordinate a campaign across West Northamptonshire to apply for the free saplings available as part of the Scheme and to encourage tree planting between Oct 2021 to the end of 2022.  

 

Motion 3

 

Proposed by Cllr. Davenport 

Seconded by Cllr. Sharps 

 

As a Public Authority we have a duty to ensure our residents’ safety, and this includes on our roads. Hundreds of students and vulnerable residents have had no choice but to cross the very busy, unsafe junction of the Billing Road and Rushmere Road in Northampton. The junction does not have any safe pedestrian crossing points. This Council assures residents that this Council will explore ways of making the Rushmere Road and Billing Road traffic light junction a safe place for our children, adults and vulnerable residents to cross. 

 

Motion 4

 

Proposed by Cllr. Beardsworth 

Seconded by Cllr. Gareth Eales 

 

“The Structural Change Order that led to the creation of West Northamptonshire Council dictated that the Shadow Authority and the council elected this May should operate under the Leader and Cabinet Model. 

 

We believe that it is now time for the Councillors and local people to determine themselves on ways of working and democratic oversight that will better serve the interests of the different communities we represent. We should also consider the potential devolution of services to localities. 

 

To this aim we call for the council to enable the Democracy & Standards Committee to set up a cross party working group, based on the scrutiny model with officer support, to evaluate the potential replacement of the Leader and Cabinet system by a new Committee System of governance. There should also be a full and open piece of public consultation. 

 

This process should be thorough and well thought out. Therefore, the target commencement of any new governance model to come into operation would be May 2023. 

 

The first step will be the Democracy & Standards Committee working group establish a term of reference based on the above at its first meeting, which should be no later than September 2021.” 

 

Motion 5 

 

Proposed by Cllr. Gareth Eales 

Seconded by: Cllr. Adam Brown 

 

“This council recognises: 

 

The importance of motions passed within the previous four authorities in the West Northants catchment area. 

 

That it is crucial to ensure any democratic decisions are retained and flow through into the present day thinking of WNC. 

 

That adopting an exercise to preserve the above will not only efficiently capture all approved motions into one report, it also will reaffirm the importance of local democratic decision making. 

 

This council resolves: 

·       To instruct the Democracy & Standards Committee to collate any motions passed in the last six years within the previous authorities. 

·       That once collated, these motions will be forwarded to the relevant Scrutiny Committee to pass comment on.  

·       That once this process is completed, a report containing all legacy matters will be brought to the earliest possible full council, with the target of December 2021’s meeting. The report will lay out all motions which should be voted on individually for acceptance or any minor modifications. Such changes must not seek to alter the fundamental principles previously passed. 

 

Motion 6 

 

To be moved by: Cllr. Emma Roberts 

To be seconded by: Cllr. Danielle Stone 

 

Over 1 million people working in the public sector are paid less than the real Living Wage. As a result, more workers than ever are struggling to keep their heads above water on wages that don’t meet the basic costs and pressures of everyday life; 

  

That low pay is a leading cause of poverty, with most people living in poverty now being in working households; 

  

That foodbank providers within the West Northants footprint have seen usage increase three fold as a result of the pandemic and ensuring a real living wage is available to as many as possible is essential to any Covid 19 Recovery Plan; 

  

Research in 2018 found that the extra wages paid by local authorities accredited as Living Wage Employers are inevitably invested back into the local economy; 

  

As a Council who has committed to producing an anti-poverty strategy taking steps to seek living wage accreditation would cement that commitment; 

  

Through accreditation, this local authority would be making a commitment to tackle in-work poverty in our communities. Accreditation also means the authority can use the Living Wage Employer Mark to publicly demonstrate this commitment to the real Living Wage;  

  

This will support a commitment to all staff and their quality of life.  Raises the profile of the Living Wage campaign locally.  Sets it stall out as a model employer and demonstrates visible leadership on tackling poverty pay, inspiring others to do the same; 

  

Beyond being the right thing to do and an investment in both workers and the community, paying the real Living Wage has distinct benefits for local authorities as employers; 

  

This Council resolves: 

  

·       To commit to becoming a Living Wage Employer and seeking Living Wage Foundation Accreditation 

·       To ensure all directly employed staff are paid at least the real Living Wage  

·       To enquire with the Living Wage Foundation to begin the process and receive guidance  

·        To nominate an individual to be lead officer on the real Living Wage to liaise with the Living Wage Foundation and document progress 

·        To initiate an internal working group to plan and manage the Living Wage on an ongoing basis. 

·        To identify all relevant contracts that need the Living Wage embedded, with target dates for implementation 

·        To build Living Wage into all terms and conditions, pre-qualification questionnaires and future supplier communications 

·        To plan how this will be managed and reported annually to the Living Wage Foundation 

·        To report on the plan with dates for implementation at the Council’s AGM 

 

Motion 7 

 

To be moved by Cllr Jonathan Harris 

To be seconded by Cllr Rosie Humphreys 

 

In June 2021 West Northamptonshire Council ran a training event on the subject of equality. The aim of this training was to explain to councillors that the new council must offer equality of access to all our residents. In a report in 2019, The Office of National Statistics, highlighted the fact that more than 5 million people have never used the internet in the UK, with the vast majority of this offline minority being older people, and 79% of the total aged 65 or over. 

 

Often, our residents are directed to ‘online form filling’ or asked to deal with issues that they may have using the council’s website. Based on the data shown above, there is a high probability that we are alienating too many residents in our local wards. There are a number of instances where little or no thought has been given to those without internet access. A recent example is the green bin/garden waste renewal service in the Daventry area. This provided residents with a slip detailing the website to go to in order to renew their services, and no other apparent method of renewing. We are discriminating against many residents, simply by ignoring the fact that they do not either have access to or use the internet. 

 

To rectify this, this council resolves to: 

·        review all of its service access points to ensure that individuals without internet access are not being discriminated against. 

·        ensure that there are always alternate means of access, in addition to online access, to services and/or renewal information, and these are readily available and communicated to our residents. 

·        retrain all of its workforce on equality matters, to ensure that all groups are always considered regarding communications and access to services. 

 

Motion 8 

 

To be moved by Cllr Emma Roberts 

To be seconded by Cllr Wendy Randall 

 

We understand that interim appointments to senior officer roles via recruitment agencies are occasionally made by the council.? These must be fully transparent.? Recent information reported shows this transparency was not as would be expected.? It would appear that these appointments should be captured by the pay policy and pay policy statement approved by Full Council earlier this year.? It is clear that the policy and the Localism Act 2011 and relevant sections should apply to such appointment and remuneration information.? 

? 

The pay policy provides a definition for Chief and Deputy Chief Officers and it is clear therefore that the remuneration package of those officers and all other statutory and non-statutory officers was expected to be detailed within that policy and any subsequent policy.? 

? 

The Pay policy statement confirms: "Where an appointment proposes a remuneration package greater than £100,000, approval will be sought from Full Council". No such referral to full Council currently occurs prior to senior interim agency appointments.? 

? 

Section 39(4) of the Localism Act 2011 allows "A relevant authority may by resolution amend its pay policy statement (including after the beginning of the financial year to which it relates)".?? 

? 

There cannot be any doubt that a fundamental reason for having such a pay policy is to inform and provide openness and accountability.? If our policy provides any doubt around what is expected, whether a position is temporary or not and of what needs to be brought before Full Council, then that policy cannot be fit.? Ambiguity cannot be allowed.? 

? 

This Council resolves to:? 

? 

1.     Amend the pay policy statement for approval at the next full Council to ensure interim agency appointments are covered.? 

2.     Amend the pay policy statement for approval at the next full Council to ensure complete clarity that any?appointment that proposes a remuneration package that could reach £100,000 must have approval of full Council? 

3.     Review all positions to ensure no other ambiguity remains.? 

 

Minutes:

I)                Councillor Nunn proposed and Councillor Hallam seconded:

 

“This Council notes that both Daventry District Council and Northampton Borough Council, along with over 2/3 of local Councils across the country have now declared a climate emergency. This Council re-affirms its commitment to tackling the climate emergency and agrees to hold a wide-ranging climate conference to listen to views of residents, businesses and community groups to contribute to plans already in place to achieve a carbon neutral West Northamptonshire by 2030".

 

Councillor Harris proposed and Councillor Humphreys seconded an amendment.


Amended motion to read:

 

""This Council notes that both Daventry District Council, and Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council, along with over 2/3 of local Councils across the country have now declared a climate emergency. It notes that South Northants District Council implemented a Climate Action Plan.

 

This Council will build on their examples by declaring a climate emergency and reaffirming its commitment to achieve Net Zero Carbon for the council’s operations and estate by 2030.

 

By the end of 2021 this Council will hold a wide-ranging climate conference to listen to views of residents, businesses and community groups, and will regularly and openly engage with these groups going forward. This Council will also set and publicly report on key performance indicators to measure delivery of actions to tackle the climate emergency. Immediate actions will include:

 

·       In Q3 2021 - publish its detailed actions to address causes and impacts of climate change; actions to be baselined by the end of Q4 2021

·       In Q4 2021 set key performance indicators to measure delivery of actions to tackle the climate emergency, to be reported on monthly

·       In Q1 2022 set up a quarterly climate forum including representation from residents, businesses and community groups

 

Furthermore, this council recognises that it cannot achieve this on its own and will therefore sign the UK100 Net Zero Pledge (see appendix 1)”

 

Council debated the amendment.

 

Upon a vote, the amendment fell.

 

Council debated the original motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.

 

II)              Councillor Hallam proposed and Councillor Morgan seconded:

 

“Council agrees that planting trees has a significant benefit to health, well-being, the environment and to helping tackle climate change. This Council agrees to fully embrace “The Queen’s Green Canopy Scheme” launched to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

 

Council agrees to develop an action plan to work with Schools, Colleges and

Community Groups alongside the Woodland Trust to co-ordinate a campaign across West Northamptonshire to apply for the free saplings available as part of the Scheme and to encourage tree planting between Oct 2021 to the end of 2022.”

 

Councillor Roberts proposed and Councillor Joyce seconded an amendment.

 

Amended motion to read:

 

“Council agrees that planting trees has a significant benefit to health, well-being, the environment and to helping tackle climate change.

 

“There is a negative bias that over-emphasises the challenges and conflicts without enough content about the benefits or solutions that would lead to improvement of our urban forests and community engagement around them.

 

We call on this Council to:

1. Note the significant role trees play in enhancing accessible green spaces, improving air quality, restoring and protecting soil health, creating wildlife habitat, mitigating flood risk and benefiting public health;

2. Recognise the contribution trees make to the environment in our towns including shading and cooling pollution and noise mitigation, as well speeding up floodwater drainage and improving the quality of our street scene.

3. Call for a review of current policies on, and attitude towards, the planting of trees in our urban area with a view to introducing a more proactive policy, which looks to increase the number and regularity of trees planted in our town and residential streets and parks and other open spaces;

4. Call for a new strategy to include providing opportunities to educate children in understanding the benefits of trees and to get involved in tree planting;

5. Recommends closer partnership working with the, and landowners seeking sites for new tree planting

6. Recommends a Tree Summit bringing together the Local Councils, Park Rangers, Landowners and partners responsible for land maintenance, the Woodland Trust and members of the public to work out how to plant more trees in our town, residential streets and in our parks and other open spaces.

7. To fully embrace “The Queen’s Green Canopy Scheme” launched to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. 

8. To work with Schools, Colleges and Community Groups alongside the Woodland Trust to co-ordinate a campaign across West Northamptonshire to apply for the free saplings available as part of the Scheme and to encourage tree planting

9. this action into a working Tree Policy that includes but is not exhaustive of the following;

·       To allow for ‘replacement in situ’ of valuable urban trees.

·       For a regular maintenance plan to be outlined.

·       There should be a mapping exercise. This is not just for existing trees, but for planting opportunities.

·       Stronger tree policies that informs infrastructure design and prevents conflicts.

·       Arboricultural Officer (s) at the heart of plans

·       Parameters agreed on what residents can and can’t do to trees.

·       A clear inclusion of the responsibilities for Trees on Council owned/NPH run land, taking account of the tree size and maintenance requirements

·       More information on tree benefits.”

 

Council debated the amendment.

 

Upon a vote, the amendment fell.

 

Council debated the original motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.

 

III)             Councillor Davenport proposed and Councillor Sharps seconded:

 

“As a Public Authority we have a duty to ensure our residents’ safety, and this includes on our roads. Hundreds of students and vulnerable residents have had no choice but to cross the very busy, unsafe junction of the Billing Road and Rushmere Road in Northampton. The junction does not have any safe pedestrian crossing points. This Council assures residents that this Council will explore ways of making the Rushmere Road and Billing Road traffic light junction a safe place for our children, adults and vulnerable residents to cross.”

 

Council debated the motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.

 

IV)            Councillor Beardsworth proposed and Councillor G Eales seconded:

 

““The Structural Change Order that led to the creation of West Northamptonshire Council dictated that the Shadow Authority and the council elected this May should operate under the Leader and Cabinet Model.

We believe that it is now time for the Councillors and local people to determine themselves on ways of working and democratic oversight that will better serve the interests of the different communities we represent. We should also consider the potential devolution of services to localities.

 

To this aim we call for the council to enable the Democracy & Standards Committee to set up a cross party working group, based on the scrutiny model with officer support, to evaluate the potential replacement of the Leader and Cabinet system by a new Committee System of governance. There should also be a full and open piece of public consultation.

 

This process should be thorough and well thought out. Therefore, the target

commencement of any new governance model to come into operation would be May 2023.

 

The first step will be the Democracy & Standards Committee working group establish a term of reference based on the above at its first meeting, which should be no later than September 2021.”

 

Council debated the motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion Fell.

 

V)              Councillor G Eales proposed and Councillor Brown seconded:

 

“This council recognises:

 

The importance of motions passed within the previous four authorities in the

West Northants catchment area.

 

That it is crucial to ensure any democratic decisions are retained and flow through into the present day thinking of WNC.

 

That adopting an exercise to preserve the above will not only efficiently capture all approved motions into one report, it also will reaffirm the importance of local democratic decision making.

 

This council resolves:

·       To instruct the Democracy & Standards Committee to collate any motions passed in the last six years within the previous authorities.

·       That once collated, these motions will be forwarded to the relevant Scrutiny Committee to pass comment on.

·       That once this process is completed, a report containing all legacy matters will be brought to the earliest possible full council, with the target of December 2021’s meeting. The report will lay out all motions which should be voted on individually for acceptance or any minor modifications. Such changes must not seek to alter the fundamental principles previously passed.”

 

Council debated the motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.

 

VI)            Councillor Roberts proposed and Councillor Stone seconded:

 

Over 1 million people working in the public sector are paid less than the real Living Wage. As a result, more workers than ever are struggling to keep their heads above water on wages that don’t meet the basic costs and pressures of everyday life;

 

That low pay is a leading cause of poverty, with most people living in poverty now being in working households;

 

That foodbank providers within the West Northants footprint have seen usage

increase threefold as a result of the pandemic and ensuring a real living wage is available to as many as possible is essential to any Covid 19 Recovery Plan;

 

Research in 2018 found that the extra wages paid by local authorities accredited as Living Wage Employers are inevitably invested back into the local economy;

 

As a Council who has committed to producing an anti-poverty strategy taking steps to seek living wage accreditation would cement that commitment;

 

Through accreditation, this local authority would be making a commitment to tackle in-work poverty in our communities. Accreditation also means the authority can use the Living Wage Employer Mark to publicly demonstrate this commitment to the real Living Wage;

 

This will support a commitment to all staff and their quality of life. Raises the profile of the Living Wage campaign locally. Sets it stall out as a model employer and demonstrates visible leadership on tackling poverty pay, inspiring others to do the same;

 

Beyond being the right thing to do and an investment in both workers and the

community, paying the real Living Wage has distinct benefits for local authorities as employers;

 

This Council resolves:

·       To commit to becoming a Living Wage Employer and seeking Living Wage Foundation Accreditation

·       To ensure all directly employed staff are paid at least the real Living Wage

·       To enquire with the Living Wage Foundation to begin the process and receive guidance

·       To nominate an individual to be lead officer on the real Living Wage to liaise with the Living Wage Foundation and document progress

·       To initiate an internal working group to plan and manage the Living Wage on an ongoing basis.

·       To identify all relevant contracts that need the Living Wage embedded, with target dates for implementation

·       To build Living Wage into all terms and conditions, pre-qualification questionnaires and future supplier communications

·       To plan how this will be managed and reported annually to the Living Wage Foundation

·       To report on the plan with dates for implementation at the Council’s AGM”

 

Council debated the motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion Fell.

 

VII)          Councillor Harris proposed and Councillor Humphreys seconded:

 

“In June 2021 West Northamptonshire Council ran a training event on the subject of equality. The aim of this training was to explain to councillors that the new council must offer equality of access to all our residents. In a report in 2019, The Office of National Statistics, highlighted the fact that more than 5 million people have never used the internet in the UK, with the vast majority of this offline minority being older people, and 79% of the total aged 65 or over.

 

Often, our residents are directed to ‘online form filling’ or asked to deal with

issues that they may have using the council’s website. Based on the data shown above, there is a high probability that we are alienating too many residents in our local wards. There are a number of instances where little or no thought has been given to those without internet access. A recent example is the green bin/garden waste renewal service in the Daventry area. This provided residents with a slip detailing the website to go to in order to renew their services, and no other apparent method of renewing. We are discriminating against many residents, simply by ignoring the fact that they do not either have access to or use the internet.

 

To rectify this, this council resolves to:

·       review all of its service access points to ensure that individuals without internet access are not being discriminated against.

·       ensure that there are always alternate means of access, in addition to online access, to services and/or renewal information, and these are readily available and communicated to our residents.

·       retrain all of its workforce on equality matters, to ensure that all groups are always considered regarding communications and access to services.”

 

Councillor Gonzalez De Savage proposed and Councillor Nunn seconded an amendment.

 

Amended motion to read:

 

“In June 2021 West Northamptonshire Council ran a training event on the subject of equality. The aim of this training was to explain to councillors that the new council must offer equality of access to all our residents. In a report in 2019, The Office of National Statistics, highlighted the fact that more than 5 million people have never used the internet in the UK, with the vast majority of this offline minority being older people, and 79% of the total aged 65 or over.

 

Often, our residents are directed to ‘online form filling’ or asked to deal with

issues that they may have using the council’s website. Based on the data shown above, there is a high probability that we are alienating too many residents in our local wards. There are a number of instances where little or no thought has been given to those without internet access. A recent example is the green bin/garden waste renewal service in the Daventry area. This provided residents with a slip detailing the website to go to in order to renew their services, and no other apparent method of renewing. We are discriminating against many residents, simply by ignoring the fact that they do not either have access to or use the internet.

 

To rectify this, this council resolves to:

·       review all of its service access points to ensure that individuals without internet access are not being discriminated against.

·       ensure that there are always alternate means of access, in addition to online access, to services and/or renewal information, and these are readily available and communicated to our residents.

·       Ensure that all staff are trained on equality matters, to ensure that all groups are always considered regarding communications and access to services.”

 

Council debated the amendment.

 

Upon a vote, the amendment was agreed and the amended motion became the substantive motion.

 

Council debated the substantive motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.

 

 

VIII)        Councillor Roberts proposed and Councillor Randall seconded:

 

“We understand that interim appointments to senior officer roles via recruitment agencies are occasionally made by the council. These must be fully transparent.

 

Recent information reported shows this transparency was not as would be

expected. It would appear that these appointments should be captured by the pay policy and pay policy statement approved by Full Council earlier this year. It is clear that the policy and the Localism Act 2011 and relevant sections should apply to such appointment and remuneration information.

 

The pay policy provides a definition for Chief and Deputy Chief Officers and it is clear therefore that the remuneration package of those officers and all other statutory and non-statutory officers was expected to be detailed within that policy and any subsequent policy.

 

The Pay policy statement confirms: "Where an appointment proposes a remuneration package greater than £100,000, approval will be sought from Full Council". No such referral to full Council currently occurs prior to senior interim agency appointments.

 

Section 39(4) of the Localism Act 2011 allows "A relevant authority may by resolution amend its pay policy statement (including after the beginning of the financial year to which it relates)".

 

There cannot be any doubt that a fundamental reason for having such a pay policy is to inform and provide openness and accountability. If our policy provides any doubt around what is expected, whether a position is temporary or not and of what needs to be brought before Full Council, then that policy cannot be fit. Ambiguity cannot be allowed.

 

This Council resolves to:

1. Amend the pay policy statement for approval at the next full Council to ensure interim agency appointments are covered.

2. Amend the pay policy statement for approval at the next full Council to ensure complete clarity that any appointment that proposes a remuneration package that could reach £100,000 must have approval of full Council

3. Review all positions to ensure no other ambiguity remains.”

 

Council debated the motion.

 

Upon a vote, the motion was Carried.