Agenda item

Notice of Motion

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

 

Flooding

 

This council notes that:  

1.  Climate change means that Worcester and the River Severn catchment experience periods of more intense rainfall causing more frequent and costly floods;

2.The flooding disrupts residents trying to go about their daily lives, and afterwards, when the water has receded, buildings need to dry out and the public realm and street infrastructure need to be cleaned. This work diverts council staff from their usual roles and, as floods become more frequent and more severe, other council services are increasingly impacted; and

3.The financial support from the government for the public sector to carry out this work is not adequate. Sometimes no funding is made available at all. It is not fair for the council to have to use our ever-dwindling reserves. 

This council therefore resolves to:  

Ask the Managing Director to write to the government: 

a) to ask the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to overhaul the funding arrangements and provide guaranteed levels of flood recovery funding for our city with the level of funding to be regularly reviewed in line with the frequency of flooding.


b) to ask the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to implement natural flood management techniques along the length of the Severn so that rainwater can be absorbed rather than flow out to sea. 

 

c) to call for the River Severn Partnership to be given a renewed purpose and funding base which can benefit Worcester at a local level, or otherwise look into setting up another cross-council working group of stakeholders to actively involve Worcester in discussions with other frequently flooded towns and cities along the River Severn (such as Shrewsbury, Bewdley and Tewkesbury), to bring together experience and voices to work together, to implement meaningful and rapid local improvements while working together on long-term changes throughout the River Severn valley.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Lewing

 

Debate Not Hate

 

The increasing intimidation and abuse of councillors, both in person and online, is eroding democratic principles. Such behaviour undermines the ability of elected representatives to serve their communities effectively, dissuades potential candidates from participating in elections, and corrodes the democratic processes that form the foundation of public life.

 

This Motion is brought to seek commitment from across the Council Chamber to civility in public life and a safe and respective working environment for councillors.

 

This Motion is aligned with the principle of fostering a healthy, respectful, and inclusive political environment. It upholds the values of safeguarding democracy, ensuring elected officials can perform their roles without fear, and promoting civic engagement free from harassment and intimidation. Alongside this it supports our goals of equality and diversity in local politics by ensuring that all candidates feel safe and supported when standing for election.

 

Recent training for Worcester city councillors on civility in public life has highlighted the Local Government Association’s current national campaigns as well as the important role that we can all play as individuals to set the right standards of respectful debate.

 

This Council resolves:

 

(1) To actively support the LGA’s Debate Not Hate campaign and their ongoing work on Civility in Public Life. The LGA campaigns aim to raise public awareness of the role of councillors in local communities, encourage healthy debate, and improve the response to and support those in public life facing abuse and intimidation.

 

(2) To ask the Council’s Standards Committee to ensure there are clear reporting and review mechanisms in relation to the abuse, intimidation and public safety of councillors, and that information is shared with other agencies as appropriate so that decisive actions can be taken.

 

To ask the Council’s four Political Group Leaders to show their support of a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of councillors and officers, and their support to promoting respectful debate and civility in public life.

 

Proposed by: Councillor Collier

 

 

 

Minutes:

The Council considered Notices of Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 8.

 

Flooding

 

This Council notes that: 

 

1)   Climate change means that Worcester and the River Severn catchment experience periods of more intense rainfall causing more frequent and costly floods;

2)   The flooding disrupts residents trying to go about their daily lives, and afterwards, when the water has receded, buildings need to dry out and the public realm and street infrastructure need to be cleaned. This work diverts council staff from their usual roles and, as floods become more frequent and more severe, other council services are increasingly impacted;

3)   The financial support from the government for the public sector to carry out this work is not adequate. Sometimes no funding is made available at all. It is not fair for the council to have to use our ever-dwindling reserves; and

4)   That there is a link between flooding and sewage dumps.

 

This Council therefore refers to the Environment Committee to enable Councillors to have a full debate, discussion and determine the following proposals:

 

To ask the Managing Director to write to the government:

 

a) to ask the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to overhaul the funding arrangements and provide guaranteed levels of flood recovery funding for our city with the level of funding to be regularly reviewed in line with the frequency of flooding;

 

b) to ask the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to implement natural flood management techniques along the length of the Severn so that rainwater can be absorbed rather than flow out to sea; and

 

c) to call for the River Severn Partnership to be given a renewed purpose and funding base which can benefit Worcester at a local level, or otherwise look into setting up another cross-council working group of stakeholders to actively involve Worcester in discussions with other frequently flooded towns and cities along the River Severn (such as Shrewsbury, Bewdley and Tewkesbury), to bring together experience and voices to work together, to implement meaningful and rapid local improvements while working together on long-term changes throughout the River Severn valley.

 

The proposer, Councillor Lewing, spoke in support of the Motion, which was seconded by Councillor Pingree.

 

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

 

Delete “Council resolves” and insert “Council refers to the Environment Committee to enable Councillors to have a full debate, discussion and determine the following proposals:”

 

Upon being put to the vote this amendment was agreed.

 

The following amendment was proposed by Councillor Jagger and seconded by Councillor Murray:

 

Add the following words: “4. Frequent flooding increases the chances of sewage dumps into the River Severn having an overall detrimental impact on the quality of our water.”

 

Councillor Lewing did not accept this and suggested it be brought as a separate Motion. Councillor Jagger therefore proposed shortening the wording to read: “This Council notes that there is a link between flooding and sewage dumps into the River Severn.” She clarified that this was a point for noting, not an action. Having received clarification, her amendment was put to the vote and was agreed.

 

Other Members spoke on the Motion, following which the Council proceeded to vote on the Motion, as amended. It was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:

 

1.    notes that: 

 

1)  Climate change means that Worcester and the River Severn catchment experience periods of more intense rainfall causing more frequent and costly floods;

2)  The flooding disrupts residents trying to go about their daily lives, and afterwards, when the water has receded, buildings need to dry out and the public realm and street infrastructure need to be cleaned. This work diverts council staff from their usual roles and, as floods become more frequent and more severe, other council services are increasingly impacted; and

3)  The financial support from the government for the public sector to carry out this work is not adequate. Sometimes no funding is made available at all. It is not fair for the council to have to use our ever-dwindling reserves.

4)  That there is a link between flooding and sewage dumps into the River Severn; and

 

2.    therefore refers to the Environment Committee to enable Councillors to have a full debate, discussion and determine the following proposals:

 

To ask the Managing Director to write to the government:

 

a) to ask the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to overhaul the funding arrangements and provide guaranteed levels of flood recovery funding for our city with the level of funding to be regularly reviewed in line with the frequency of flooding;

 

b) to ask the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs to implement natural flood management techniques along the length of the Severn so that rainwater can be absorbed rather than flow out to sea; and

 

c) to call for the River Severn Partnership to be given a renewed purpose and funding base which can benefit Worcester at a local level, or otherwise look into setting up another cross-council working group of stakeholders to actively involve Worcester in discussions with other frequently flooded towns and cities along the River Severn (such as Shrewsbury, Bewdley and Tewkesbury), to bring together experience and voices to work together, to implement meaningful and rapid local improvements while working together on long-term changes throughout the River Severn valley.

 

Debate Not Hate

 

The increasing intimidation and abuse of councillors, both in person and online, is eroding democratic principles. Such behaviour undermines the ability of elected representatives to serve their communities effectively, dissuades potential candidates from participating in elections, and corrodes the democratic processes that form the foundation of public life.

 

This Motion is brought to seek commitment from across the Council Chamber to civility in public life and a safe and respective working environment for councillors.

 

This Motion is aligned with the principle of fostering a healthy, respectful, and inclusive political environment. It upholds the values of safeguarding democracy, ensuring elected officials can perform their roles without fear, and promoting civic engagement free from harassment and intimidation. Alongside this it supports our goals of equality and diversity in local politics by ensuring that all candidates feel safe and supported when standing for election.

 

Recent training for Worcester city councillors on civility in public life has highlighted the Local Government Association’s current national campaigns as well as the important role that we can all play as individuals to set the right standards of respectful debate.

 

This Council resolves:

 

(1)  To actively support the LGA’s Debate Not Hate campaign and their ongoing work on Civility in Public Life. The LGA campaigns aim to raise public awareness of the role of councillors in local communities, encourage healthy debate, and improve the response to and support those in public life facing abuse and intimidation;

 

(2)  To ask the Council’s Standards Committee to ensure there are clear reporting and review mechanisms in relation to the abuse, intimidation and public safety of councillors, and that information is shared with other agencies as appropriate so that decisive actions can be taken; and

 

(3) To ask the Council’s four Political Group Leaders to show their support of a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of councillors and officers, and their support to promoting respectful debate and civility in public life.

 

The proposer, Councillor Collier, spoke in support of the Motion, which was seconded by Councillor Cooper.

 

Other Members spoke on the Motion. The Council then proceeded to vote on the Motion. It was agreed and

 

RESOLVED: That the Council agrees:

 

1.    to actively support the LGA’s Debate Not Hate campaign and their ongoing work on Civility in Public Life. The LGA campaigns aim to raise public awareness of the role of councillors in local communities, encourage healthy debate, and improve the response to and support those in public life facing abuse and intimidation;

 

2.    to ask the Council’s Standards Committee to ensure there are clear reporting and review mechanisms in relation to the abuse, intimidation and public safety of councillors, and that information is shared with other agencies as appropriate so that decisive actions can be taken; and

 

3.    to ask the Council’s four Political Group Leaders to show their support of a zero-tolerance approach to abuse of councillors and officers, and their support to promoting respectful debate and civility in public life.