Responding to the youth-led climate strikes
Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: For Determination
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
Councillor Turner re-joined the meeting.
Council had before it the original text of the motion proposed by Councillor Wolff (set out in the agenda and briefing note) and amendments proposed by Councillors Gant, Hayes, and Upton (set out in the briefing note).
Councillor Wolff drafted a new text for the motion as set out below. This incorporated elements of the original motion and two of the three amendments in the briefing note. This was tabled for all councillors to consider.
Councillor Wolff, seconded by Councillor Henwood, proposed this new text for their submitted motion as set out below.
Councillors Hayes and Gant withdrew their amendments.
Councillor Upton, seconded by Councillor Simm, proposed her amendment to the new text of the motion. After debate and on being put to the vote the amendment was declared lost.
After debate and on being put to the vote the motion as set out below (as revised and tabled at the meeting) was agreed.
Council resolved to adopt the following motion:
Council welcomes and supports the youth-led climate strikes that took place in September around the world. The march in Oxford on 20th September was one of the largest gatherings in the City's history and enjoyed cross-party support. Council wishes to place on record its support for the climate strikers and our admiration for their commitment and determination.
Council has already recognised the climate emergency and established a Citizen's Assembly, which is on-going, to engage residents in the inevitable de-carbonisation of our economy that must happen over the next few decades.
Council notes that the Scrutiny function is independent and can and does give serious and detailed attention to selecting matters to consider, and that Council as a whole cannot and does not wish to influence that process. Council also notes that resource for panels and other functions is set as part of the budget process.
Council also notes and welcomes initiatives taken by a number of councils recently, and encourages further close co-operation and learning from best practice.
Council therefore asks the Cabinet to:
1. Establish a Climate Advisory Group to support all-member engagement to build on the aims of the Citizens’ Assembly; to engage the public in the issue; and bring recommendations to the Cabinet on how best to use its powers of control and influence to meet the Climate Emergency across the City Council and the city of Oxford; noting that this does not pre-empt the outcome of the Citizen’s Assembly;
2. Ask officers to report back to Cabinet on the financial and constitutional issues.
Council also asks the Leader to write to Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education & Cultural Services, to request that she contacts Oxford's schools setting out our support for the youth strikers and our request that absenteeism from school to attend climate strikes is treated leniently.
Publication date: 17/10/2019
Date of decision: 07/10/2019
Decided at meeting: 07/10/2019 - Council