Agenda item

Motions on notice

To consider motions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 38. 

 

1.    Motion to be proposed by Councillor Catherine Webber, seconded by Councillor Debby Hallett

 

Council notes that:

a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;

b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

d) Council has already shown foresight when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. In 2008, Council agreed a Climate Change Strategy, introduced by Councillor Mary de Vere, which provided the framework for the council to set about reducing the carbon footprint of its own activities and of the local community. Between 2008 and 2013, this council collaborated with the Energy Saving Trust on the development of a strategy to reduce area-wide carbon emissions, as well as with the Carbon Trust, to produce a Carbon Management Plan which sets out how the council planned to reduce energy and fuel use in its own buildings and vehicles. All of this has led to a 30% drop in energy use in ourbuildings through 2018.

e) although the Vale of White Horse District Council is managing to deliver absolute carbon reductions despite the upward pressures on carbon emissions caused by changes in the structure of its operations and services and variability caused by factors such as the weather, it is not delivering the necessary absolute carbon reductions fast enough to meet either the UK’s 2050 80% reduction target or the 1.5 degree Celsius target.

 

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

2. Ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that they provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier;

3. Request that, in light of the recent IPCC report and the latest Vale of White Horse District Council data (published June 2018), officers review the council’s Climate Change Strategy and Carbon Management Plan with the aim of bringing a report to Cabinet in the autumn of 2019, after consideration by Scrutiny. The review should include the option of adopting an early carbon neutral target for the Vale, and proposals for regular reporting to Scrutiny Committee the progress with the strategy and plan;

 

4. Ask officers to ensure that as the council’s policies are routinely reviewed, specific consideration is given to how policies, and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible;

5. Ask officers to provide the cost and the most appropriate training for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future consideration by Cabinet;

4. Continue to work with partners across the district, county and wider region to

deliver widespread carbon reductions.

 

2.         Motion to be proposed by Councillor Emily Smith, seconded by Councillor Bob Johnston

Council notes that although Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet have discussed possible route options, this Council has not debated its position in relation to the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Council notes that all possible routes through the government’s chosen corridor will have a direct impact on residents in the Vale of White Horse District and our environment for decades. 

Council recognises the benefits of closer working between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, supporting new business in the region and improving access to amenities and services, but on the basis of the evidence currently available does not accept that spending between £4billion to £7billion on a new road is the best way to achieve these aims.

In particular, Council notes:

·         the contradictory nature of the Expressway scheme’s stated aims; a strategic highway for through traffic and freight with limited junctions cannot also be a road serving new housing developments.

·         claims that the Expressway is a solution to congestion and safety on the A34 are misleading. The A34 is not a stated priority for this scheme, and some of the possible routes will bring more traffic through residential areas. 

·         insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail links to deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth along the corridor

·         the risk the Expressway poses to the viability of East-West Rail has not been assessed

·         there has been no environmental impact assessment of this scheme, which stands to destroy swathes of countryside and valuable ecosystems.

·         that despite the scheme being worked on since 2015 and the devastating impact on our communities, there has been no public consultation

·         that increased road building will inevitably have a serious negative impact on air quality and carbon emissions at a time when all public bodies must seek to use every part of their planning, investment and delivery mechanisms to improve air quality and reduce our carbon emissions.

Therefore, Council resolves to oppose the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Council requests that the leader of the council, at stakeholder meetings they attend with Highways England, Department for Transport and relevant Government ministers:

1.    make clear this council’s opposition to the Expressway

2.    call for greater investment by central government in, and more assessment of, sustainable transport infrastructure options for the Oxford to Cambridge corridor

 

 

Minutes:

1.    Councillor Catherine Webber moved, and Councillor Debby Hallett seconded the following motion:

 

“Council notes that:

a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;

b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

d) Council has already shown foresight when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. In 2008, Council agreed a Climate Change Strategy, introduced by Councillor Mary de Vere, which provided the framework for the council to set about reducing the carbon footprint of its own activities and of the local community. Between 2008 and 2013, this council collaborated with the Energy Saving Trust on the development of a strategy to reduce area-wide carbon emissions, as well as with the Carbon Trust, to produce a Carbon Management Plan which sets out how the council planned to reduce energy and fuel use in its own buildings and vehicles. All of this has led to a 30% drop in energy use in ourbuildings through 2018; and

e) although the Vale of White Horse District Council is managing to deliver absolute carbon reductions despite the upward pressures on carbon emissions caused by changes in the structure of its operations and services and variability caused by factors such as the weather, it is not delivering the necessary absolute carbon reductions fast enough to meet either the UK’s 2050 80% reduction target or the 1.5 degree celsius target.

 

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

2. Ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that they provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier;

3. Request that, in light of the recent IPCC report and the latest Vale of White Horse District Council data (published June 2018), officers review the council’s Climate Change Strategy and Carbon Management Plan with the aim of bringing a report to Cabinet in the autumn of 2019, after consideration by Scrutiny.  The review should include the option of adopting an early carbon neutral target for the Vale, and proposals for regular reporting to Scrutiny Committee the progress with the strategy and plan;

4. Ask officers to ensure that as the council’s policies are routinely reviewed, specific consideration is given to how policies, and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible;

5. Ask officers to provide the cost and the most appropriate training for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future consideration by Cabinet; and

6. Continue to work with partners across the district, county and wider region to deliver widespread carbon reductions.” 

 

Amendment

 

Councillor Blagrove moved and Councillor Ware seconded an amendment in the following terms with deleted words shown by a strikethrough and additional words in bold

 

“Council notes that:

a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees celsius;

b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

d) Council has already shown foresight when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. In 2008, Council agreed a Climate Change Strategy, introduced by Councillor Mary de Vere, which provided the framework for the council to set about reducing the carbon footprint of its own activities and of the local community. Between 2008 and 2013, this council collaborated with the Energy Saving Trust on the development of a strategy to reduce area-wide carbon emissions, as well as with the Carbon Trust, to produce a Carbon Management Plan which sets out how the council planned to reduce energy and fuel use in its own buildings and vehicles. All of this has led to a 30% drop in energy use in our buildings through 2018; and

e) Request that, in light of the recent IPCC report and the latest Vale of White Horse District Council data (published June 2018), Notes that work has commenced on a officers review of the council’s Climate Change Strategy and Carbon Management Plan in collaboration with the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy, with the aim of bringing a report to Cabinet as soon as possible, and no later than Autumn 2019, the review to come forward to include the option feasibility of adopting an early carbon neutral target for the Vale, and proposals for regular reporting to Cabinet, Scrutiny Committee and where necessary full Council the progress with the strategy and plan;

 

e) although the Vale of White Horse District Council is managing to deliver absolute carbon reductions despite the upward pressures on carbon emissions caused by changes in the structure of its operations and services and variability caused by factors such as the weather, it is not delivering the necessary absolute carbon reductions fast enough to meet either the UK’s 2050 80% reduction target or the 1.5 degree celsius target.

 

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

2. Ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State requesting that they provide the necessary powers and resources to make local action on climate change easier; to seek confirmation of the Government’s intention to work with local government on climate change strategies;

3. Ask that as officers, to ensure that as the as per the council’s policies, are routinely reviewed currently reviewing policy and strategies, with specific consideration is being given to how policies, and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible; As far as possible, the reporting templates for Council, Cabinet and committees to be amended to include an ‘Environmental Impact’ section;

4. Ask officers to provide the cost and availability of, and the most appropriate training options for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future consideration by Cabinet;

5. Request the Cabinet member for housing and environment to bring to Council a report on the activities of the Oxfordshire Environmental Partnership, of which the Vale is a member on the Vale’s environmental policies & strategies; and

6. Continues the positive collaborative work with partners across the district, county and wider region to deliver widespread carbon reductions”.

 

With the consent of Council the mover and seconder of the original motion accepted the amended wording.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 67, which provides for a recorded vote if three members request one, the Chairman called for a recorded vote on the motion which was declared carried with the voting as follows:

For

Against

Abstentions

Councillors

Councillors

Councillors

Alice Badcock

Yvonne Constance

Mike Badcock

 

 

Matthew Barber

 

 

Eric Batts

 

 

Edward Blagrove

 

 

Roger Cox

 

Margaret Crick

 

 

Charlotte Dickson

 

St John Dickson

 

 

Robert Hall

 

 

Debby Hallett

 

 

Jenny Hannaby

 

 

Dudley Hoddinott

 

 

Simon Howell

 

Vicky Jenkins

 

Bob Johnston

 

 

Mohinder Kainth

 

Monica Lovatt

 

Sandy Lovatt

 

Ben Mabbett

 

Chris McCarthy

 

Mike Murray

 

 

Chris Palmer

 

Helen Pighills

 

Julia Reynolds

 

 

Judy Roberts

 

 

Robert Sharp

 

Janet Shelley

 

Emily Smith

 

 

Reg Waite

 

 

Elaine Ware

 

 

Catherine Webber

 

 

Total: 32

Total: 0

Total: 1

 

RESOLVED:

That Council notes that:

 

a) the recent 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states that we have just 12 years to act on climate change if global temperature rises are to be kept within the recommended 1.5 degrees Celsius;

b) all governments (national, regional and local) have a duty to limit the negative impacts on climate breakdown, and local governments that recognise this should not wait for their national governments to change their policies. UK county, district and city councils need to commit to aggressive reduction targets and carbon neutrality as quickly as possible;

c) districts are well placed to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions, as their responsibility for planning policies opens up a range of sustainable transport, buildings and energy opportunities;

d) Council has already shown foresight when it comes to addressing the issue of Climate Change, having signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2007. In 2008, Council agreed a Climate Change Strategy, which provided the framework for the council to set about reducing the carbon footprint of its own activities and of the local community. Between 2008 and 2013, this council collaborated with the Energy Saving Trust on the development of a strategy to reduce area-wide carbon emissions, as well as with the Carbon Trust, to produce a Carbon Management Plan which sets out how the council planned to reduce energy and fuel use in its own buildings and vehicles. All of this has led to a 30% drop in energy use in ourbuildings through 2018; and

e) Work has commenced on a review of the council’s Climate Change Strategy and Carbon Management Plan in collaboration with the Oxfordshire Energy Strategy, with the aim of bringing a report to Cabinet as soon as possible, and no later than Autumn 2019, the review to come forward to include the feasibility of adopting an early carbon neutral target for the Vale, and proposals for regular reporting to Cabinet, Scrutiny Committee and where necessary full Council the progress with the strategy and plan.

 

In light of the above, the Council therefore agrees to:

1. Join other councils in declaring a Climate Emergency;

2. Ask the leader to write to the Secretary of State to seek confirmation of the Government’s intention to work with local government on climate change strategies;

3. Ask that as officers, as per the council’s policies, are currently reviewing policy and strategies, that specific consideration be given to how policies, and our related decisions and actions, affect our contribution to climate change, and where necessary, update these policies to reduce our impact wherever possible. As far as possible, the reporting templates for Council, Cabinet and committees to be amended to include an ‘Environmental Impact’ section;

4. Ask officers to provide the cost and availability of the most appropriate training options for members and officers about how to promote carbon neutral policies for future consideration by Cabinet;

5. Request the Cabinet member for housing and environment to bring to Council a report on the activities of the Oxfordshire Environmental Partnership, of which the Vale is a member on the Vale’s environmental policies and strategies; and

6. Continue the positive collaborative work with partners across the district, county and wider region to deliver widespread carbon reductions.

 

 

Councillor Mike Badcock declared an interest in the following motion left the meeting and did not take part in the discussion on it – see Minute C0. 58.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.    Councillor Smith moved, and Councillor Johnston seconded a motion in the following terms:

 

“Council notes that although Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet have discussed possible route options, this Council has not debated its position in relation to the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway. 

 

Council notes that all possible routes through the government’s chosen corridor will have a direct impact on residents in the Vale of White Horse District and our environment for decades. 

 

Council recognises the benefits of closer working between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, supporting new business in the region and improving access to amenities and services, but on the basis of the evidence currently available does not accept that spending between £4billion to £7billion on a new road is the best way to achieve these aims. 

 

In particular, Council notes:

·         the contradictory nature of the Expressway scheme’s stated aims; a strategic highway for through traffic and freight with limited junctions cannot also be a road serving new housing developments.

·         claims that the Expressway is a solution to congestion and safety on the A34 are misleading.  The A34 is not a stated priority for this scheme, and some of the possible routes will bring more traffic through residential areas. 

·         insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail links to deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth along the corridor

·         the risk the Expressway poses to the viability of East-West Rail has not been assessed

·         there has been no environmental impact assessment of this scheme, which stands to destroy swathes of countryside and valuable ecosystems.

·         that despite the scheme being worked on since 2015 and the devastating impact on our communities, there has been no public consultation

·         that increased road building will inevitably have a serious negative impact on air quality and carbon emissions at a time when all public bodies must seek to use every part of their planning, investment and delivery mechanisms to improve air quality and reduce our carbon emissions.

 

Therefore, Council resolves to oppose the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Council requests that the leader of the council, at stakeholder meetings they attend with Highways England, Department for Transport and relevant Government ministers:

1.    make clear this council’s opposition to the Expressway

2.    call for greater investment by central government in, and more assessment of, sustainable transport infrastructure options for the Oxford to Cambridge corridor.” 

 

Amendment

Councillor Blagrove moved and Councillor Cox seconded an amendment in the following terms with deleted words shown by a strikethrough and additional words in bold: 

 

“Council notes that although Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet have discussed possible Corridor route options, this Council has not yet debated its position in relation to the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and its routes and will bring forward a debate once the consultations begin.

Council notes that all possible routes through the government’s chosen corridor will have a direct impact on residents in the Vale of White Horse District and our environment for decades. 

Council recognises the benefits of closer working between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, supporting new business in the region and improving access to amenities and services, but on the basis of the evidence currently available does not accept and will welcome, as part of the forthcoming consultations, the opportunity to review the evidence that supportsspending between £4billion to £7billion on a new road as is the best way to achieve these aims.

Council welcomes the following, as confirmed by Minister of State Jesse Norman during parliamentary debate on January 11 2018:

·         We are still at early stages.  On all routes there needs to be further Process, Discussions, Consultations & Review

·         Government & Highways England needs to do further serious analytical work to develop & design route options that are workable for communities, and the environment.

·         Local feedback is an important part of the process

·         Government wishes to develop the scheme in a way that is sensitive to the natural, the built and the historic environment

·         A full environmental consultation will take part as part of the development of the route options

·         Commitment to continue to work with stakeholders before the public consultation

·         There will be a full public consultation on Route options to help shape the design so that it meets the needs of the local community and businesses, where people can have their say on the route options and the wider case for an expressway

·         The final summary to the debate:

There will be “ample opportunity for members of the house and their constituents to express their views and shape the decision on the expressway”

In particular Council notes:

·         the contradictory nature of the Expressway scheme’s stated aims; a strategic highway for through traffic and freight with limited junctions cannot also be a road serving new housing developments.

·         claims a wish to see that the Expressway is part of the a solution to congestion and safety on the A34 are misleading, A40 & A420. We wish to see the current review of safety on the A34 is not a stated priority for this scheme, and some of the possible routes will bring more traffic through residential areas. 

·         We welcome the confirmation from Minister of State Jesse Norman during parliamentary debate with Oxfordshire MPs on 11th January, that work on a potential Expressway will be integrated with work on enhancement to the East West rail network.

·         Council notes, as is legally required, any route must include a full and thorough environmental impact assessment of this scheme

·         insufficient work has been done on the potential of enhanced rail links to deliver better outcomes for passengers, freight, and sustainable economic growth along the corridor.

·         the risk the Expressway poses to the viability of East-West Rail has not been assessed

·         there has been no environmental impact assessment of this scheme, which stands to destroy swathes of countryside and valuable ecosystems.

·         that despite the scheme being worked on since 2015 and the devastating impact on our communities, there has been no public consultation

·         that increased road building will inevitably have a serious negative impact on air quality and carbon emissions at a time when all public bodies must seek to use every part of their planning, investment and delivery mechanisms to improve air quality and reduce our carbon emissions.

Therefore, Council resolves to oppose engage fully in the consultation process and challenge, wherever required, on the proposed Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Council requests that the leader of the council (or an allotted cabinet deputy), at stakeholder meetings they attend with Highways England, Department for Transport and relevant Government ministers:

1.  Make clear this council’s opposition concerns regarding any negative potential impact of to the Expressway on Vale residents that may emerge during the consultation.

2. Welcome the commitment to call for greater investment by central government in, and more assessment of, sustainable transport infrastructure options for the Oxford to Cambridge corridor and elsewhere.

3.    Commits to using all reasonable measures to alert residents to the public consultations, including, but not limited to, links on our website and a press release to confirm the dates and how residents of the Vale can get involved, once these details are established.”

 

On being put to the vote the amendment was declared carried.

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12, which restricts the duration of meetings to three hours, the Chairman advised that consideration of the motion would be deferred until a future meeting of Council.