Agenda item

Notice of Motion

To consider any Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

Cost of Living

 

This Council notes that:

 

On 1 April 2022 Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.  This means the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year and the average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year.  (1)

 

The Government has not applied the pensions “triple lock” for 2022/23 meaning that Worcester’s pensioners will see a rise of just 3.1 per cent this year as opposed to 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula. This year, this will cost a Worcester pensioner on the full new state pension an average of £487 and a Worcester pensioner on the full basic state pension an average of £373.  (2)

 

Worcester Foodbank fed 10,838 people in 2021 and has seen a 22% rise in demand since 2020.  More than 1 in 3 people fed by Worcester Foodbank are children.  (3)

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wish for Government to:

 

Immediately remove the standard rate of VAT on fuel from 5 per cent to 0 per cent saving Worcester households £100 (£98.55 on the average standard tariff maximum and £100.85 on the average pre-pay meter energy bill);

 

Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year further saving the average Worcester household £587.50 this year (4);

 

Immediately apply and backdate the pensions “triple lock” for this year (2022/23) to support Worcester’s pensioners now.

 

(1)   Ofgem website announcement 3rd March 2022

(2)   TUC statement 18th March 2022

(3)   Worcester Foodbank website statement 20th June 2022

(4)   Officer for Budget Responsibility October 2021 VAT Forecast

 

Proposed by: Councillor Allcott

 

Dines Green Community Police Post

 

Council is concerned about the proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner to close the Dines Green Community Police Post. Council opposes such a decision and believes the Commissioner should continue to provide a permanent police presence in St John’s and west of the river, which would be responsive to local needs and would assist with community engagement and community safety.  Council therefore mandates the Managing Director to request that the Police and Crime Commissioner reconsiders his proposal and to work with the City Council to consider alternatives to closure and disposal.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Udall

 

Protection and Engagement – Private Renters  

 

This Council is committed to protecting and engaging with private renters as no one should live in a home that is damp, in a poor state of repair, overcrowded or unaffordable. Private renters need to hear more from Worcester City Council about the rights they have and how to exercise them.

 

Council therefore resolves to instruct Officers to compile an Action Plan for consideration by the Council’s Communities Committee identifying measures of how the Council can further protect and engage with private renters. Examples of such measures include:

 

The serving of compliance notices for excess cold in homes that fail Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

Training and information provided to Councillors on how the Council can help residents in rented properties.

Information Pack provided by the Council including how to access any help for private renters.

The feasibility of a confidential reporting system for tenants.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Denham

 

Minutes:

The Council considered the following Notices of Motion, which had been submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8:

 

Cost of Living

 

This Council notes that:

 

On 1 April 2022 Ofgem increased the energy price cap by 54 per cent.  This means the average standard tariff energy bill will increase by £693 per year and the average pre-pay meter energy bill will increase by £708 per year.  (1)

 

The Government has not applied the pensions “triple lock” for 2022/23 meaning that Worcester’s pensioners will see a rise of just 3.1 per cent this year as opposed to 8.3 per cent under the triple lock formula. This year, this will cost a Worcester pensioner on the full new state pension an average of £487 and a Worcester pensioner on the full basic state pension an average of £373.  (2)

 

Worcester Foodbank fed 10,838 people in 2021 and has seen a 22% rise in demand since 2020.  More than 1 in 3 people fed by Worcester Foodbank are children.  (3)

 

This Council therefore declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wish for Government to:

 

Immediately remove the standard rate of VAT on fuel from 5 per cent to 0 per cent saving Worcester households £100 (£98.55 on the average standard tariff maximum and £100.85 on the average pre-pay meter energy bill);

 

Immediately reduce the standard rate of VAT from 20 per cent to 17.5 per cent for one year further saving the average Worcester household £587.50 this year (4);

 

Immediately apply and backdate the pensions “triple lock” for this year (2022/23) to support Worcester’s pensioners now.

 

(1)     Ofgem website announcement 3rd March 2022

(2)     TUC statement 18th March 2022

(3)     Worcester Foodbank website statement 20th June 2022

(4)     Officer for Budget Responsibility October 2021 VAT Forecast

 

The proposer, Councillor Allcott and the seconder, Councillor Denham, both spoke in support of the Motion.

The following amendment was proposed by Councillor Stephen and seconded by Councillor Lewing:

Between the words “Immediately” and “remove” add the words “for this year.” On being put to the vote the amendment was lost.

Members then entered into a debate on the Motion, where a range of views were expressed. Upon being put to the vote it was agreed and

RESOLVED: That this Council declares a ‘Cost of Living Emergency’ and requests the Managing Director to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer and express this Council’s wishes as set out in the Motion above.

 

Dines Green Community Policy Post

Council is concerned about the proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner to close the Dines Green Community Police Post. Council opposes such a decision and believes the Commissioner should continue to provide a permanent police presence in St John’s and west of the river, which would be responsive to local needs and would assist with community engagement and community safety.  Council therefore mandates the Managing Director to request that the Police and Crime Commissioner reconsiders his proposal and to work with the City Council to consider alternatives to closure and disposal.

 

The proposer, Councillor Udall and the seconder, Councillor Amos, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke in support of the Motion, following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees to mandate the Managing Director to request the Police and Crime Commissioner to reconsider his proposal and to work with the City Council to consider alternatives to closure and disposal.

 

Protection and Engagement – Private Renters

 

This Council is committed to protecting and engaging with private renters as no one should live in a home that is damp, in a poor state of repair, overcrowded or unaffordable. Private renters need to hear more from Worcester City Council about the rights they have and how to exercise them.

 

Council therefore resolves to instruct Officers to compile an Action Plan for consideration by the Council’s Communities Committee identifying measures of how the Council can further protect and engage with private renters. Examples of such measures include:

 

·        The serving of compliance notices for excess cold in homes that fail Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards.

·        Training and information provided to Councillors on how the Council can help residents in rented properties.

·        Information Pack provided by the Council including how to access any help for private renters.

·        The feasibility of a confidential reporting system for tenants

 

The proposer, Councillor Denham and the seconder, Councillor Norfolk, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke in support of the Motion, following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees to instruct Officers to compile an Action Plan for consideration by the Council’s Communities Committee identifying measures of how the Council can further protect and engage with private renters.