Agenda item

Motions

Minutes:

Reports:

 

In year Constitution Changes.

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES:                42

ABSTAIN:       5

NO:                 1

TOTAL:           48

 

RESOLVED: The recommendations in the report were approved.

 

 

Adoption of the Statement of Licensing Policy

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES:                44

ABSTAIN:       6

NO:                 0

TOTAL:           50

 

RESOLVED: The recommendations in the report were approved.

 

 

Motions:

 

Motion 1: Green

 

To declare a climate emergency

 

Amendment 1: Labour

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 44

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  6

TOTAL            50

 

The Labour Amendments was CARRIED

 

Substantive Motion as amended by Labour

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 49

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  1

TOTAL            50

The motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:

 

Motion to declare a Climate Emergency

 

Full Council notes:

1.       Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt around the world. Global temperatures have already increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm). This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity;

2.       In order to reduce the chance of runaway Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, it is imperative that we reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from their current 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible; [1]

3.       Individual and collective action is needed to make this reduction. Society needs to change its laws, taxation, infrastructure, etc., to make low carbon living easier and the new norm;

4.       Carbon emissions result from both production and consumption;

5.       Unfortunately, our current plans and actions are not enough. The world is on track to overshoot the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit before 2050; [2], [3]

6.       In Lambeth, the consequences of government inaction to address this emergency will include:

·           Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings and infrastructure.

·           Health problems, particularly for children, the disabled and older people.

·           Higher energy and food costs.

·           Increases in social injustice and inequality.

7.       The IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, published in October, describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared to a 1.5°C rise, and told us that limiting Global Warming 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; [3]

8.       This administration has shown leadership by being one of the first local authorities to set out a clear plan to divest their pension portfolio from carbon intensive fossil fuel assets.

9.       This council has already taken bold steps towards carbon neutrality, including changing street lights to LED alternatives; reducing council offices from 14 buildings to two; changing our parks maintenance fleet to electric vehicles and prioritising greener and healthier transport methods in our draft Transport Strategy.

10.     The Council is also working with local organisations, such as Repowering London, to build community energy projects; building new, high-quality, energy-efficient Council homes through Homes for Lambeth and is continuing to lobby for the Ultra Low Emission Zone to be extended across the borough.

11.     The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Councils around the world, including Bristol, Brighton & Hove and Stroud, have responded by declaring a ‘Climate Emergency’ and committing resources to address this emergency.[4]

 

Full Council believes that:

1.         Central government guidelines to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 is not a sufficiently urgent response.

2.         All governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts of Climate Breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. It is important for the residents of Lambeth, London and the UK that Councils commit to carbon neutrality as quickly as possible

3.         Cities are uniquely placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as they are in many ways easier to decarbonise than rural areas – for example because of their capacity for heat networks and mass transit.

4.         The consequences of global temperatures rising above 1.5°C are so severe that preventing this from happening must be humanity’s number one priority.

5.         Bold climate action can deliver economic and social benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings, market opportunities and improved health and well-being.

 

Full Council resolves to:

1.       Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’;

2.       Pledge to work to make the Borough of Lambeth carbon neutral by 2030, taking into account both production and consumption emissions

3.       Call on Westminster to address their chronic lack of action and funding for carbon reduction initiatives by providing the powers and resources to the Mayor of London and local authorities to make the 2030 target possible;

4.       Continue to work with other Local Authorities (within London and across the UK) to determine and implement best practice methods to limit Global Warming to less than 1.5°C;

5.       Continue to work with partners across the borough and beyond to deliver this new goal through all relevant strategies and plans;

 

Council resolves:

1.         To call on central Government to provide additional powers and resources to support local and national action towards the 2030 target.

2.         To pledge to do everything within the Council’s power to make Lambeth carbon neutral by 2030

3.         To continue our planning and support in the borough for adaptation to the climate change that is already happening

4.         To develop a strategy for Lambeth Council to play a leadership role in promoting community, public and business partnerships for this Carbon Neutral 2030 commitment throughout Lambeth

5.         To continue to work with partner bodies across Lambeth and London to ensure the climate emergency is adequately reflected in the development and implementation of all borough wide strategies and plans including Transport and Local plans.

6.         To continue to work with key partner organisations to investigate all possible sources of external funding to support this commitment

7.         To draw up a Climate Change Action Plan and provide an annual report on progress made.

 

Motion 2: Labour

 

Poverty in the UK and Lambeth

 

Amendment 1: Green

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 5

ABSTAIN        1

NO                  43

TOTAL            49

 

The Green Amendment was not CARRIED

 

 

Original Motion

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 49

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  1

TOTAL            50

 

The Original motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED to:

 

Poverty in the UK and Lambeth

 

Lambeth Council:

·           Welcomes the Report of Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, into poverty in the UK.

·           Agrees with Professor Alston that: ‘the experience of the United Kingdom, especially since 2010, underscores the conclusion that poverty is a political choice. Austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so.’

·           Agrees with Professor Alston that “local authorities, especially in England, which perform vital roles in providing a real social safety net have been gutted by a series of government policies.”

·           Fully supports the statement that “For almost one in every two children to be poor in twenty-first century Britain is not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one.”

·           Notes that over the past eight years Lambeth’s funding from central government has been cut by 56%.

·           Notes that whilst rightly condemning Conservative and Liberal Democrat central government policies such as austerity imposed on Councils and Universal Credit, Professor Alston praises the creativity of Councils in seeking to protect their vulnerable residents.

 

Notes that:

·           Two-thirds of children living in poverty in London live in a household where at least one parent is in paid employment. In work poverty occurs because of low wages, exploitative contracts, cuts to welfare and rising living costs.

·           Only 15 of London’s 32 boroughs are accredited London Living Wage employers. Lambeth was one of the first Councils to pay the London Living Wage and accreditation was granted by the Living Wage Foundation in 2012.

·       The London Food Poverty Campaign named Lambeth as the council with the most effective approach to food poverty in London whilst neighbouring Conservative-run boroughs of Wandsworth and Westminster came last and second-last.

·       This Council is supporting the creation of a record number of better paid jobs and new businesses. For example, we have recently secured the commitment for the London Living Wage at International House, a former Council office building which will become one of the biggest affordable workspaces in London.

·       The Council’s financial resilience strategy has helped thousands of residents with debt advice, to get the benefits they deserve, to boost their incomes and to be supported through the introduction of Conservative welfare reforms.

·       This Council has made it a priority to give young people the best start in life, by securing record investment in the most deprived areas through the Lambeth Early Action Partnership, putting youth services in the hands of young people through the Young Lambeth Cooperative (YLC) and working with the voluntary sector to keep open adventure playgrounds, one o’clock clubs and children’s centres despite the scale of government cuts.

·       Despite this, too many Lambeth children - over 21,000 - still live in poverty.

 

Council resolves to:

·       Commit to working with our public health team and across the Council to look into the issue of local poverty and reviewing if there is even more we can do to reduce it despite the failures of central government.

·       Renew our financial resilience strategy to provide support and advice to people adversely affected by government welfare policies and universal credit.

·       Deliver the recommendations of Lambeth’s Equality Commission, including the ‘Routeways’ project which helps residents escape low pay.

·       Ring-fence funding from our developer tax to invest in services for children and youth services in every part of Lambeth.

·       Continue to work with schools, children’s centres and the voluntary sector to protect front-line services in the borough from government cuts.

·       Continue to campaign against the government’s austerity measures which are increasing poverty and misery in Lambeth and across the country.

 

Motion 3: Conservative

 

To break all links with the Maduro regime

 

Amendment 1: Labour

 

 VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 44

ABSTAIN        5

NO                  1

TOTAL            50

 

The Labour Amendments was CARRIED

 

Substantive Motion as amended by Labour

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 43

ABSTAIN        5

NO                  1

TOTAL            49

 

The motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:

 

Venezuela

 

Council notes that Labour Councillors specifically condemned the violence against the people of Venezuela carried out by the Maduro regime, including death squads and Chavismo militias in the Labour group amendment to Councillor Briggs motion in October 2017.

 

Council notes that inflation in Venezuela is now 60,324% a year. An estimated 81% of the population live in poverty, with 9.6 million people having two or less meals a day. 8 million school children have stopped attending school. Water and electricity are cut off for parts of the day, health services have broken down, standards of living are plummeting, an estimated 2.6 million people are fleeing the country, yet still the regime tries to blame anyone but itself.

 

On behalf of the substantial Latin American community in Lambeth Council expresses its support for the people of Venezuela over their oppressors

 

Council believes that the Conservative party in Lambeth should stop using the appalling crimes of the Maduro regime for cheap and irrelevant political point-scoring and that Councillor Briggs should stop making false and absurd assertions about the actions of fellow Councillors.

 

 

Motion 4: Labour

 

Parental Leave

 

The Motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:

 

Parental leave

 

This Council notes:

·           That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of Councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017. Of the seats that were up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested;

·           That across England, Labour has improved its representation since seats were last up for grabs, with 45% women compared with 40% in 2014, Liberal Democrat representation up from 34% to 36% whilst the Conservative Party saw a fall from 31% to 29% in the share of its Councillors who are female;

·           That as of the 2018 local elections, only 26 out of 119 Labour Councils and only 33 out of 130 opposition Labour Groups are led by women;

·           As of summer 2017, only 4% of Councils in England and Wales have parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society;

·           That the equalities section of the Labour Party Democracy Review mandates all Labour Councils and Labour Groups to introduce a parental leave policy for to cover their group and their Council as applicable;

·           That the role of a Councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become Councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing Councillors who may want to start a family to remain as Councillors;

·           That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

 

This Council resolves: 

·           To adopt the parental leave policy drafted by the Local Government Association Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all Councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting;

·           To ensure that Councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

·           To notify the LGA Labour Group that this Council has passed a motion at full Council to adopt the parental leave policy.

 

 

Motion 5: Labour

 

Ending Section 21 evictions

 

Amendment 1: Conservative

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 2

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  48

TOTAL            50

 

The Conservative Amendment was NOT CARRIED

 

 

Amendment 2: Green

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 5

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  45

TOTAL            50

 

The Green Amendment was NOT CARRIED

 

 

Original Labour Motion

 

VOTE TOTALS:

 

YES                 49

ABSTAIN        0

NO                  1

TOTAL            50

 

The Motion was CARRIED and Council RESOLVED:

 

Ending Section 21 evictions

 

This Council notes that: 

·           With homeownership out of reach for many people, the number of households nationally who are renting privately has almost doubled over the last 20 years, and it is estimated that four out of ten homes in Lambeth are now rented privately.

·           The government’s consultation earlier this year on changes to the length of fixed-term tenancies from six months to three years, whilst still permitting a tenant to end a tenancy early if they wish, was welcome as it gives tenants more security, and allows them a certain degree of flexibility in case their circumstances change.

·           However, the Government did not consult on abolishing Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988, which allows landlords to evict tenants at the end of a fixed-term tenancy without providing them with a reason. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation recently estimated that 80 percent of all evictions since 2015 occurred under the provisions of Section 21.

·           The threat of a “no-fault eviction” can cause great insecurity and stress for people who rent privately in Lambeth and it discourages tenants from complaining about substandard privately rented accommodation.

·           Lambeth Council is taking action to improve conditions in the private rented sector by expanding its Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing scheme and prosecuting rogue landlords who put tenants at risk with substandard and overcrowded accommodation.

·           The Lambeth Labour manifesto pledged ‘to campaign for more powers from central government to improve the standard and security of the private rented sector and for controls on rent rises.’

 

This Council believes that:

·           Abolishing section 21 would help to make renting more secure, improve standards and increase tenant confidence.

 

This council resolves to:

·           Write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, asking him to abolish Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 and to speedily implement the Government’s other proposal to extend fixed-term tenancies as the very first steps to end insecurity and unfairness in the private rented sector.

·           Introduce a Private Renters Charter, as set out in the Lambeth Labour manifesto, to set out the rights of renters and what support the council can give to them.

·           To consult with private renters, landlords and organisations that support private renters on what the charter should include and what more the council could do to support them.

 

Supporting documents: