Agenda item

Motions on notice

To consider motions from councillors in accordance with Council procedure rule 39. 

 

Motion 1. Delayed Waste Services Guidance

 

Motion to be proposed by Councillor Sally Povolotsky, seconder to be notified

 

Council notes that:

1.      Under the Environment Bill, there are due to be significant changes in waste and recycling policy, as well as the introduction of a deposit return scheme.

2.      It is expected that DEFRA will require the majority of the planned reforms to come into effect from 2025, but the guidance councils need to put this in place has not yet been issued.

3.      Our current waste contract runs until 2024. This council, like many others, are unable to commission or plan new waste services in line with the Environment Bill without detailed information about what is expected and how it will be funded.

4.      The Local Government Association wrote to the previous environment minister, highlighting growing disquiet within the sector because of the lack of guidance.

5.      The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) concluded that continuing delays and uncertainty means that investment is not being “unlocked” and local decisions are being stalled.

 

Therefore, Council resolves to

6.      Support the aims in the Environment Bill to reduce waste and encourage reuse as well as recycling.

7.      Ask the leader to write to the new environment minister, copied to our two local MPs, to:

a.      ask for the guidance we need to plan our waste services to be issued urgently.

b.      express this council’s concern about the risk the current delay creates to local household waste services and our impeccable record as one of the UK’s top district councils for waste recycling.

c.       back the request made by LARAC that the industry needs at least a year’s advance warning to budget for operational changes, and up to five years to deliver infrastructure changes.

 

Motion 2. Support for Struggling Local Businesses

 

Motion to be proposed by Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne, Seconded by Councillor Neil Fawcett

 

We are living through a Cost of Living crisis, which is affecting individuals, families and businesses in the Vale and across the UK. This is being driven by food price inflation, up a record 13.1%* and energy price inflation. Small businesses have been particularly affected by rising energy, affecting their viability.

Data published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that nearly 53% of small companies expect to stagnate, downsize or fold in the next year. Many were taken to the brink of collapse during the pandemic and desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to recover. Businesses such as restaurants and pubs, which experienced greater challenges during the pandemic, now face even greater problems.

Even with the Government price cap support, energy prices will be double what they were last year for domestic users and for businesses, the cap only lasts for six months. The capped electricity costs 30% higher than 2021 for small businesses, and gas prices are 147% higher.

People will have less disposable income to support our local businesses during this crisis and the many businesses that were taken near to collapse during the pandemic desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to flourish. The short-term energy price cap will not provide this.

During the covid-19 pandemic, this council processed and gave out £37.2 million of covid grants to help businesses in our district. We also offered advice and networking opportunities through services such as ‘South and Vale business support’.

Council therefore resolves to:

1.      Request that the Leader write to the relevant minister(s) asking them to:

a)      reconsider the short length of the business energy cap period and to look at additional ways to provide direct support to specific business sectors such as pubs and restaurants.

b)      accelerate and provide further renewable energy grants to enable businesses to more affordably transition to non-fossil fuel derived energy sources. This will help to mitigate this crisis and reduce exposure to similar crises in the future.

2.      Aim to process any available support grants in the fairest and quickest way in line with Government guidance and due diligence. Using the experience gained during the covid pandemic, enable the council to seek to get them to where they are needed most.

3.      Continue to provide advice and support to help local businesses through South and Vale Business Support, building on the lessons learned through our covid support programme.

4.      Request the Chief Executive to consider instructing officer to bid for grants that become available to district councils to support local businesses to generate energy sustainably, making them less reliant on the rising costs of natural gas and electricity.

5.      Continue to work positively with the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) to ensure that the current needs of SMEs and rural businesses across the Vale are understood and considered when developing OxLEP programmes.            
             

*as of the latest available figures in August 2022

 

Motion 3. Fracking

 

Motion to be proposed by Councillor Nathan Boyd, Seconder to be notified

 

This Council welcomes the government’s intention to tackle energy insecurity given the current energy costs crisis and supports efforts to introduce new environmentally friendly power generation including wind, solar and other green energy solutions.  However, this council is concerned at the suggestion of the potential for fracking in the Vale of White Horse and its impact of residents.

 

No viable deposits of shale gas have been identified in the area in or around Vale of White Horse, but even if one were to be identified, the potential introduction of fracking into the Vale would have a number of detrimental implications for the local area, which include:

 

1) The introduction and effect of heavy vehicle movements on our roads.

2) The seismic risks caused by fracking especially considering the uncertainty about steps to predict and reduce its impact

3) The potential impact upon our rivers and protected streams

4) The hugely detrimental potential effect on our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 

If the Government decided to allow any exploration and extraction of shale gas within the district, this council would require the strictest of safeguards in relation to any potential site in the Vale.

 

Our residents will be naturally concerned at the implications of fracking therefore this council believes that residents consent to any potential site is critical and that Government should take account of the views of residents – which should be at the forefront - when considering any application.  

 

With the evidence available, this council does not believe that fracking is a good alternative energy option for the Vale of White Horse.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the appropriate Government minister to make the council’s position on fracking clear and to suggest that the method of local approval should not only be through council approval, but also by a referendum of local residents to be carried out at the cost of the energy company.

 

Decision:

Motion 1. Delayed Waste Services Guidance

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Council notes that:

  1. Under the Environment Bill, there are due to be significant changes in waste and recycling policy, as well as the introduction of a deposit return scheme.
  2. It is expected that DEFRA will require the majority of the planned reforms to come into effect from 2025, but the guidance councils need to put this in place has not yet been issued.
  3. Our current waste contract runs until 2024. This council, like many others, are unable to commission or plan new waste services in line with the Environment Bill without detailed information about what is expected and how it will be funded.
  4. The Local Government Association wrote to the previous environment minister, highlighting growing disquiet within the sector because of the lack of guidance.
  5. The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) concluded that continuing delays and uncertainty means that investment is not being “unlocked” and local decisions are being stalled.

 

Therefore, Council resolves to

  1. Support the aims in the Environment Bill to reduce waste and encourage reuse as well as recycling.
  2. Ask the leader to write to the new environment minister, copied to our two local MPs, to:
  1. ask for the guidance we need to plan our waste services to be issued urgently.
  2. express this council’s concern about the risk the current delay creates to local household waste services and our impeccable record as one of the UK’s top district councils for waste recycling.
  3. back the request made by LARAC that the industry needs at least a year’s advance warning to budget for operational changes, and up to five years to deliver infrastructure changes.

 

 

Motion 2. Support for Struggling Local Businesses

 

RESOLVED:

 

That we are living through a Cost of Living crisis, which is affecting individuals, families and businesses in the Vale and across the UK. This is being driven by food price inflation, up a record 13.1%* and energy price inflation. Small businesses have been particularly affected by rising energy, affecting their viability.

Data published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that nearly 53% of small companies expect to stagnate, downsize or fold in the next year. Many were taken to the brink of collapse during the pandemic and desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to recover. Businesses such as restaurants and pubs, which experienced greater challenges during the pandemic, now face even greater problems.

Even with the Government price cap support, energy prices will be double what they were last year for domestic users and for businesses, the cap only lasts for six months. The capped electricity costs 30% higher than 2021 for small businesses, and gas prices are 147% higher.

People will have less disposable income to support our local businesses during this crisis and the many businesses that were taken near to collapse during the pandemic desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to flourish. The short-term energy price cap will not provide this.

During the covid-19 pandemic, this council processed and gave out £37.2 million of covid grants to help businesses in our district. We also offered advice and networking opportunities through services such as ‘South and Vale business support’.

Council therefore resolves to:

  1. Request that the Leader write to the relevant minister(s) asking them to:

a)    reconsider the short length of the business energy cap period and to look at additional ways to provide direct support to specific business sectors such as pubs and restaurants.

b)    accelerate and provide further renewable energy grants to enable businesses to more affordably transition to non-fossil fuel derived energy sources. This will help to mitigate this crisis and reduce exposure to similar crises in the future.

  1. Aim to process any available support grants in the fairest and quickest way in line with Government guidance and due diligence. Using the experience gained during the covid pandemic, enable the council to seek to get them to where they are needed most.
  2. Continue to provide advice and support to help local businesses through South and Vale Business Support, building on the lessons learned through our covid support programme.

4.    Request the Chief Executive to consider instructing officer to bid for grants that become available to district councils to support local businesses to generate energy sustainably, making them less reliant on the rising costs of natural gas and electricity.

5.    Continue to work positively with the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) to ensure that the current needs of SMEs and rural businesses across the Vale are understood and considered when developing OxLEP programmes.
         

*as of the latest available figures in August 2022

 

 

Motion 3. Fracking

 

RESOLVED:

 

That this Council welcomes the government’s intention to tackle energy insecurity given the current energy costs crisis and supports all efforts to introduce new environmentally friendly power generation including wind, solar and other green energy solutions to combat the climate emergency.  However, this council is concerned at the suggestion of the potential for fracking in and around the Vale of White Horse and its impact of residents.

 

No viable deposits of shale gas have been identified in the area in or around Vale of White Horse, but even if one were to be identified, the potential introduction of fracking into the Vale would have a number of detrimental implications for the local area, which include:

 

1) The introduction and effect of heavy vehicle movements on our roads.

2) The seismic risks caused by fracking especially considering the uncertainty about steps to predict and reduce its impact

3) The potential impact upon our rivers and protected streams

4) The hugely detrimental potential effect on our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 

This government has said it would allow fracking in areas with local consent. This council would resist any exploration of fracking in the Vale of White Horse district. 

 

Our residents will be naturally concerned at the implications of fracking therefore this council believes that residents’ consent to any potential site is critical and that Government should take account of the views of residents – which should be at the forefront - when considering any application. 

 

With the evidence available, this council believes that fracking is an unacceptable alternative energy source for the Vale of White Horse.

 

Fracking is inconsistent with this council’s corporate plan objectives and in a climate emergency and current cost of living crisis, the focus should be on boosting the production and infrastructure for renewable energy and distribution for the future so everyone can afford green, sustainable energy.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the appropriate Government minister to make the council’s position on fracking clear and to ask for confirmation that no fracking sites will be allowed without district council approval. On top of this, the minister should also consider requiring a referendum of local residents to be carried out at the cost of the energy company.

 

 

Minutes:

Council considered the motions set out in the agenda.

 

Motion 1. Delayed Waste Services Guidance

 

Councillor Sally Povolotsky moved, and Councillor Bob Johnston seconded the motion as set out in the agenda at agenda item 12.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That Council notes that:

  1. Under the Environment Bill, there are due to be significant changes in waste and recycling policy, as well as the introduction of a deposit return scheme.
  2. It is expected that DEFRA will require the majority of the planned reforms to come into effect from 2025, but the guidance councils need to put this in place has not yet been issued.
  3. Our current waste contract runs until 2024. This council, like many others, are unable to commission or plan new waste services in line with the Environment Bill without detailed information about what is expected and how it will be funded.
  4. The Local Government Association wrote to the previous environment minister, highlighting growing disquiet within the sector because of the lack of guidance.
  5. The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) concluded that continuing delays and uncertainty means that investment is not being “unlocked” and local decisions are being stalled.

 

Therefore, Council resolves to

  1. Support the aims in the Environment Bill to reduce waste and encourage reuse as well as recycling.
  2. Ask the leader to write to the new environment minister, copied to our two local MPs, to:
  1. ask for the guidance we need to plan our waste services to be issued urgently.
  2. express this council’s concern about the risk the current delay creates to local household waste services and our impeccable record as one of the UK’s top district councils for waste recycling.
  3. back the request made by LARAC that the industry needs at least a year’s advance warning to budget for operational changes, and up to five years to deliver infrastructure changes.

 

Motion 2. Support for Struggling Local Businesses

 

Councillor Hayleigh Gascoigne moved, and Councillor Neil Fawcett seconded the motion as set out in the agenda at agenda item 12

 

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

RESOLVED:

 

That we are living through a Cost of Living crisis, which is affecting individuals, families and businesses in the Vale and across the UK. This is being driven by food price inflation, up a record 13.1%* and energy price inflation. Small businesses have been particularly affected by rising energy, affecting their viability.

Data published by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that nearly 53% of small companies expect to stagnate, downsize or fold in the next year. Many were taken to the brink of collapse during the pandemic and desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to recover. Businesses such as restaurants and pubs, which experienced greater challenges during the pandemic, now face even greater problems.

Even with the Government price cap support, energy prices will be double what they were last year for domestic users and for businesses, the cap only lasts for six months. The capped electricity costs 30% higher than 2021 for small businesses, and gas prices are 147% higher.

People will have less disposable income to support our local businesses during this crisis and the many businesses that were taken near to collapse during the pandemic desperately need a period of stability and prosperity to flourish. The short-term energy price cap will not provide this.

During the covid-19 pandemic, this council processed and gave out £37.2 million of covid grants to help businesses in our district. We also offered advice and networking opportunities through services such as ‘South and Vale business support’.

Council therefore resolves to:

  1. Request that the Leader write to the relevant minister(s) asking them to:

a)    reconsider the short length of the business energy cap period and to look at additional ways to provide direct support to specific business sectors such as pubs and restaurants.

b)    accelerate and provide further renewable energy grants to enable businesses to more affordably transition to non-fossil fuel derived energy sources. This will help to mitigate this crisis and reduce exposure to similar crises in the future.

  1. Aim to process any available support grants in the fairest and quickest way in line with Government guidance and due diligence. Using the experience gained during the covid pandemic, enable the council to seek to get them to where they are needed most.
  2. Continue to provide advice and support to help local businesses through South and Vale Business Support, building on the lessons learned through our covid support programme.

4.    Request the Chief Executive to consider instructing officer to bid for grants that become available to district councils to support local businesses to generate energy sustainably, making them less reliant on the rising costs of natural gas and electricity.

5.    Continue to work positively with the Future Oxfordshire Partnership and Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) to ensure that the current needs of SMEs and rural businesses across the Vale are understood and considered when developing OxLEP programmes.
         

*as of the latest available figures in August 2022

 

Motion 3. Fracking

 

With the agreement of Council, Councillor Nathan Boyd moved, and Councillor Andy Cooke seconded revised wording to the motion set out in the agenda with deleted words shown by a double strikethrough and additional words shown in bold below:

 

“This Council welcomes the government’s intention to tackle energy insecurity given the current energy costs crisis and supports all efforts to introduce new environmentally friendly power generation including wind, solar and other green energy solutions to combat the climate emergency.  However, this council is concerned at the suggestion of the potential for fracking in and around the Vale of White Horse and its impact of residents.

 

No viable deposits of shale gas have been identified in the area in or around Vale of White Horse, but even if one were to be identified, the potential introduction of fracking into the Vale would have a number of detrimental implications for the local area, which include:

 

1) The introduction and effect of heavy vehicle movements on our roads.

2) The seismic risks caused by fracking especially considering the uncertainty about steps to predict and reduce its impact

3) The potential impact upon our rivers and protected streams

4) The hugely detrimental potential effect on our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 

This government has said it would allow fracking in areas with local consent.If the Government decided to allow any exploration and extraction of shale gas within the district, This council would resist any exploration of fracking in the Vale of White Horse district. require the strictest of safeguards in relation to any potential site in the Vale.

 

Our residents will be naturally concerned at the implications of fracking therefore this council believes that residents’ consent to any potential site is critical and that Government should take account of the views of residents – which should be at the forefront - when considering any application. 

 

With the evidence available, this council does not believe that fracking is a good alternative believes that fracking is an unacceptable alternative energy source energy option for the Vale of White Horse.

 

Fracking is inconsistent with this council’s corporate plan objectives and in a climate emergency and current cost of living crisis, the focus should be on boosting the production and infrastructure for renewable energy and distribution for the future so everyone can afford green, sustainable energy.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the appropriate Government minister to make the council’s position on fracking clear and to suggest that the method of local approval should not only be through ask for confirmation that no fracking sites will be allowed without district council approval. On top of this, the minister should also consider requiring but also by a referendum of local residents to be carried out at the cost of the energy company”.

 

After debate and on being put to the vote the motion was agreed.

 

RESOLVED:

 

That This Council welcomes the government’s intention to tackle energy insecurity given the current energy costs crisis and supports all efforts to introduce new environmentally friendly power generation including wind, solar and other green energy solutions to combat the climate emergency.  However, this council is concerned at the suggestion of the potential for fracking in and around the Vale of White Horse and its impact of residents.

 

No viable deposits of shale gas have been identified in the area in or around Vale of White Horse, but even if one were to be identified, the potential introduction of fracking into the Vale would have a number of detrimental implications for the local area, which include:

 

1) The introduction and effect of heavy vehicle movements on our roads.

2) The seismic risks caused by fracking especially considering the uncertainty about steps to predict and reduce its impact

3) The potential impact upon our rivers and protected streams

4) The hugely detrimental potential effect on our Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

 

This government has said it would allow fracking in areas with local consent. This council would resist any exploration of fracking in the Vale of White Horse district. 

 

Our residents will be naturally concerned at the implications of fracking therefore this council believes that residents’ consent to any potential site is critical and that Government should take account of the views of residents – which should be at the forefront - when considering any application. 

 

With the evidence available, this council believes that fracking is an unacceptable alternative energy source for the Vale of White Horse.

 

Fracking is inconsistent with this council’s corporate plan objectives and in a climate emergency and current cost of living crisis, the focus should be on boosting the production and infrastructure for renewable energy and distribution for the future so everyone can afford green, sustainable energy.

 

Council therefore resolves to ask the leader of the council to write to the appropriate Government minister to make the council’s position on fracking clear and to ask for confirmation that no fracking sites will be allowed without district council approval. On top of this, the minister should also consider requiring a referendum of local residents to be carried out at the cost of the energy company.

 

 

 

Vale of White Horse District Council