Agenda item

Notice of Motion

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

 

1.    Bulky Waste Collection

 

Council is concerned about the cost-of-living crisis having a new impact on fly tipping, with the cost of bulky waste collection becoming a disincentive for many residents.  Council calls upon the Managing Director to bring reports to the relevant Council Committees, to consider the costs, consequences and benefits of a universal, pre-booked, free household bulky waste collection service for Worcester residents, which will enable elected councillors to consider options and determine what action, if any, to take.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Udall

 

2.    Bus Services Within the City Boundaries

 

Council calls upon the Managing Director to bring reports to relevant Council Committees to enable City Councillors to consider costs and options for either free or reduced price bus services within the city boundaries during December, including weekends and evenings, which would help promote bus use and support key workers, local retailers and their employees, and businesses.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Norfolk

 

3.    Proportional Representation for General Elections

 

First Past the Post (FPTP) originated when land-owning aristocrats dominated parliament and voting was restricted to property-owning men.

In Europe, only the UK and authoritarian Belarus still use archaic single-round FPTP for general elections. Meanwhile, internationally, Proportional Representation (PR) is used to elect parliaments in more than 80 countries. Those countries tend to be more equal, freer and greener.

 

PR ensures all votes count, have equal value, and those seats won match votes cast. Under PR, MPs and Parliaments better reflect the age, gender and protected characteristics of local communities and the nation.

 

MPs better reflecting their communities leads to improved decision-making, wider participation and increased levels of ownership of decisions taken.

 

PR would also end minority rule. In 2019, 43.6% of the vote produced a government with 56.2% of the seats and 100% of the power. PR also prevents ‘wrong winner’ elections such as occurred in 1951 and February 1974.

 

PR is already used to elect the parliaments and assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So why not Westminster?

 

Council therefore resolves to mandate the Managing Director to write to H.M. Government calling for a change in our outdated electoral laws to enable Proportional Representation to be used for general elections.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Allcott

 

4.    Worcester Warriors Rugby Club

 

This Council notes with dismay the financial mismanagement of the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club that has come to light in recent months and has led to the ownership of the club being taken away and transferred to the Joint Administrators of Julie Palmer, Julian Pitts and Andrew Hook all of Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP.

 

Since the WRFC Trading Limited entered administration on 27th September horror stories have emerged of a complicated series of financial dealings that have transferred the property assets of WRFC Trading into the hands of a tangled web of Third Parties including Militibus Quanco (subsequently renamed Worcester Sport in August 2020), MQ Properties, and Link Corporate Trustees. It has also emerged that the players and staff are employed by yet another company WRFC Players Limited, that was wound up by the High Court on 5th October leaving the playing staff unemployed.

 

In a rapidly developing situation welcome news was received on 6th October that the Joint administrators have confirmed they have seized Sixways land from club's co-owners and would be included as part the future sale of the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. On the same day Premiership Rugby has confirmed that the club are suspended for remainder of the 2022/23 season and will be relegated to the Championship for the 2023/24 season.

 

Therefore, the Council agrees to:

1.     Request the Managing Director to write to Julie Palmer and her fellow Administrators at Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP to thank them for their work in the handling the administration process

2.     Request the Managing Director to write to Simon Massie-Taylor, the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby to reconsider the decision to demote Worcester Warriors to the Championship for the 2023/24 season, and to allow the option of any future owners to field a team in the current playing season

3.     Provide encouragement in supporting any potential investors to find a positive outcome for the future of Worcester Warriors

4.     Request the Managing Director to write to Robin Walker MP to ask the DCMS to extend the scope of the proposed independent football regulator, to cover other professional spectator team sports including Rugby Union

5.     Request the Managing Director to write to Steve Diamond, the Director of Rugby at the Worcester Warriors, to thank him for his efforts in helping the playing staff in these difficult times

6.     That Worcester City Council will engage in some commercial activity to financially assist the club that is appropriate; this could include hiring club owned facilities, advertising boards at Sixways, advertisement in the matchday programme or on the big screens.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Stephen Hodgson

 

5.    Climate and Ecology Bill

 

Worcester City Council resolves to: 

 

1.     Support the Climate and Ecology Bill; 

2.     Mandate the Managing Director to write to our local MP Robin Walker informing him that the motion has been passed and urging him to sign up to support the Bill;

3.     Mandate the Managing Director to write to Zero Hour, the organisers of the cross-party campaign for the Bill, expressing the Council’s support forthe Climate and Ecology Bill.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Lewing

 

6.    Investment Zones

 

This Council believes a transition to a fairer, greener local economy can be achieved with targeted investment in renewable energy, building insulation, public transport and nature recovery. We are concerned that Government plans for Investment Zones, far from supporting such a transition, could actually set them back, whilst undermining local control of planning.  We note the Open Letter to the Prime Minister signed by 78 leaders of nature, conservation and humanitarian organisations and charities, which states that “ proposals to weaken environmental planning rules in “Investment Zones” around the country would be… misconceived”.

 

This Council therefore resolves to call on Worcestershire County Council to: 

    Make plain their commitment to local control of planning.

    Make plain that they will continue to insist on existing environmental protections and nature recovery rules – as a minimum.

 

Where council leaders insist on submitting ‘Expressions of Interest’ forms, we call on them to declare that they will:

    Not accept a reduction in affordable housing as a percentage of overall development in their area.

    Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you agree in principle to ensure outstanding planning matters impeding early delivery are brought to resolution to an accelerated timetable (enabling additional delivery within the next two years)?

    Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the request to “confirm whether you will agree in principle to using a new streamlined overarching planning system". 

 

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: https://www.wcl.org.uk/open-letter-to-pm-on-environmental-deregulation.asp

 

Proposed by: Councillor Bisset

Minutes:

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

 

1.    Bulky Waste Collection

 

Council is concerned about the cost-of-living crisis having a new impact on fly tipping, with the cost of bulky waste collection becoming a disincentive for many residents.  Council calls upon the Managing Director to bring reports to the relevant Council Committees, to consider the costs, consequences and benefits of a universal, pre-booked, free household bulky waste collection service for Worcester residents, which will enable elected councillors to consider options and determine what action, if any, to take.

 

The proposer, Councillor Udall and the seconder, Councillor Desayrah, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke in on the Motion, where a range of views were expressed across the Chamber, following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees to instruct the Managing Director to bring reports to the relevant Council Committees, to consider the costs, consequences and benefits of a universal, pre-booked, free household bulky waste collection service for Worcester residents.

 

2.    Bus Services Within the City Boundaries

 

Council calls upon the Managing Director to bring reports to relevant Council Committees to enable City Councillors to consider costs and options for either free or reduced price bus services within the city boundaries during December, including weekends and evenings, which would help promote bus use and support key workers, local retailers and their employees, and businesses.

 

The proposer, Councillor Norfolk and the seconder, Councillor Barnes, both 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 the Managing Director to bring reports to relevant Council Committees to enable City Councillors to consider costs and options for either free or reduced price bus services within the city boundaries during December, including weekends and evenings.

 

3.    Proportional Representation for General Elections

 

First Past the Post (FPTP) originated when land-owning aristocrats dominated parliament and voting was restricted to property-owning men.

In Europe, only the UK and authoritarian Belarus still use archaic single-round FPTP for general elections. Meanwhile, internationally, Proportional Representation (PR) is used to elect parliaments in more than 80 countries. Those countries tend to be more equal, freer and greener.

 

PR ensures all votes count, have equal value, and those seats won match votes cast. Under PR, MPs and Parliaments better reflect the age, gender and protected characteristics of local communities and the nation.

 

MPs better reflecting their communities leads to improved decision-making, wider participation and increased levels of ownership of decisions taken.

 

PR would also end minority rule. In 2019, 43.6% of the vote produced a government with 56.2% of the seats and 100% of the power. PR also prevents ‘wrong winner’ elections such as occurred in 1951 and February 1974.

 

PR is already used to elect the parliaments and assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. So why not Westminster?

 

Council therefore resolves to mandate the Managing Director to write to H.M. Government calling for a change in our outdated electoral laws to enable Proportional Representation to be used for general elections.

 

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

 

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

 

Add the following paragraph before the final paragraph: “PR is also sorely needed at local elections.”

 

Add the following words at the end of the final paragraph: “...to be used for general and local elections.”

 

A vote on this amendment was carried. Members then entered into a debate, where a range of views were expressed across the Chamber. On being put to the vote the Motion, as amended, was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees to instruct the Managing Director to write to H.M. Government calling for a change in our outdated electoral laws to enable Proportional Representation to be used for Parliamentary General and Local Elections.

 

4.    Worcester Warriors Rugby Club

 

This Council notes with dismay the financial mismanagement of the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club that has come to light in recent months and has led to the ownership of the club being taken away and transferred to the Joint Administrators of Julie Palmer, Julian Pitts and Andrew Hook all of Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP.

 

Since the WRFC Trading Limited entered administration on 27th September horror stories have emerged of a complicated series of financial dealings that have transferred the property assets of WRFC Trading into the hands of a tangled web of Third Parties including Militibus Quanco (subsequently renamed Worcester Sport in August 2020), MQ Properties, and Link Corporate Trustees. It has also emerged that the players and staff are employed by yet another company WRFC Players Limited, that was wound up by the High Court on 5th October leaving the playing staff unemployed.

 

In a rapidly developing situation welcome news was received on 6th October that the Joint administrators have confirmed they have seized Sixways land from club's co-owners and would be included as part the future sale of the Worcester Warriors Rugby Club. On the same day Premiership Rugby has confirmed that the club are suspended for remainder of the 2022/23 season and will be relegated to the Championship for the 2023/24 season.

 

Therefore, the Council agrees to:

1.     Request the Managing Director to write to Julie Palmer and her fellow Administrators at Begbies Traynor (Central) LLP to thank them for their work in the handling the administration process

2.     Request the Managing Director to write to Simon Massie-Taylor, the Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby to reconsider the decision to demote Worcester Warriors to the Championship for the 2023/24 season, and to allow the option of any future owners to field a team in the current playing season

3.     Provide encouragement in supporting any potential investors to find a positive outcome for the future of Worcester Warriors

4.     Request the Managing Director to write to Robin Walker MP to ask the DCMS to extend the scope of the proposed independent football regulator, to cover other professional spectator team sports including Rugby Union

5.     Request the Managing Director to write to Steve Diamond, the Director of Rugby at the Worcester Warriors, to thank him for his efforts in helping the playing staff in these difficult times

6.     That Worcester City Council will engage in some commercial activity to financially assist the club that is appropriate; this could include hiring club owned facilities, advertising boards at Sixways, advertisement in the matchday programme or on the big screens.

 

The proposer, Councillor Stephen Hodgson and the seconder, Councillor Mrs Lucy Hodgson, both spoke in support of the Motion.

 

The following amendment was proposed by Councillor Denham and seconded by Councillor Udall:

 

7.     Council agrees to recognise the contribution of Worcester Warriors Foundation to many aspects of health and well-being in our city communities and seek ways to co-operate with the Foundation to facilitate the sustainability of their projects in Worcester.

 

A vote on this amendment was carried, following which the Motion, as amended, was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was


RESOLVED: That the Council agrees the actions set out in items 1-7 above.

 

The Mayor then proposed a short adjournment. The meeting adjourned at 9.20p.m. and reconvened at 9.30p.m.

 

5.    Climate and Ecology Bill

 

Worcester City Council resolves to: 

 

1.     Support the Climate and Ecology Bill; 

2.     Mandate the Managing Director to write to our local MP Robin Walker informing him that the motion has been passed and urging him to sign up to support the Bill;

3.     Mandate the Managing Director to write to Zero Hour, the organisers of the cross-party campaign for the Bill, expressing the Council’s support forthe Climate and Ecology Bill.

 

The proposer, Councillor Lewing and the seconder, Councillor Laurenson, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke in support of the Motion, where a range of views were expressed across the Chamber,  following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to instruct the Managing Director to:

 

1.    write to Robin Walker, MP informing him that a motion has been passed by the Council to support the Climate and Ecology Bill and urging him to sign up to support the Bill; and

2.    write to Zero Hour, the organisers of the cross-party campaign for the Bill, expressing the Council’s support for the Climate and Ecology Bill.

 

6.    Investment Zones

 

This Council believes a transition to a fairer, greener local economy can be achieved with targeted investment in renewable energy, building insulation, public transport and nature recovery. We are concerned that Government plans for Investment Zones, far from supporting such a transition, could actually set them back, whilst undermining local control of planning.  We note the Open Letter to the Prime Minister signed by 78 leaders of nature, conservation and humanitarian organisations and charities, which states that “ proposals to weaken environmental planning rules in “Investment Zones” around the country would be… misconceived”.

 

This Council therefore resolves to call on Worcestershire County Council to: 

    Make plain their commitment to local control of planning.

    Make plain that they will continue to insist on existing environmental protections and nature recovery rules – as a minimum.

 

Where council leaders insist on submitting ‘Expressions of Interest’ forms, we call on them to declare that they will:

    Not accept a reduction in affordable housing as a percentage of overall development in their area.

    Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you agree in principle to ensure outstanding planning matters impeding early delivery are brought to resolution to an accelerated timetable (enabling additional delivery within the next two years)?

    Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the request to “confirm whether you will agree in principle to using a new streamlined overarching planning system".  

 

Open Letter to the Prime Minister: https://www.wcl.org.uk/open-letter-to-pm-on-environmental-deregulation.asp

 

The proposer, Councillor Bisset and the seconder, Councillor Stephen, both spoke in support of the Motion. Other Members spoke in support of the Motion, where a range of views were expressed across the Chamber,  following which the Motion was put to the vote. The Motion was agreed and it was

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agree to instruct the Managing Director to:

 

1.    write to Worcestershire County Council, calling them to: 

  Make plain their commitment to local control of planning.

  Make plain that they will continue to insist on existing environmental protections and nature recovery rules – as a minimum; and

 

2.    where council leaders insist on submitting ‘Expressions of Interest’ forms, write to them, calling them to declare that they will:

  Not accept a reduction in affordable housing as a percentage of overall development in their area.

  Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the question “Do you agree in principle to ensure outstanding planning matters impeding early delivery are brought to resolution to an accelerated timetable (enabling additional delivery within the next two years)?

  Refuse to provide a simple ‘Yes’ to the request to “confirm whether you will agree in principle to using a new streamlined overarching planning system".