Title: Oxford City Council logo

 

To:

Council

Date:

30 November 2020

Title of Report:

Motions and amendments received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.17

 

Councillors are asked to debate and reach conclusions on the motions and amendment listed below in accordance with the Council’s rules for debate.

The Constitution permits an hour for debate of these motions.

Introduction

This document sets out motions received by the Head of Law and Governance in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.17 by the deadline of 1.00pm on 18 November 2020, as amended by the proposers.

All substantive amendments sent by councillors to the Head of Law and Governance by publication of the briefing note are also included below.

Unfamiliar terms are explained in the glossary or in footnotes.

Cross party motions as agreed by the group leaders will be taken first. Motions will be then taken in turn from the Green group, the Labour group, the Liberal Democrat group, and an Independent member (if any) in that order.

a)     Improving coronavirus testing and tracing (proposed by Cllr Upton, seconded by Cllr Simmons and supported by Cllr Gant) [proposers have amended their own motion]

b)     Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety (proposed by Cllr Aziz)

c)     Universal Basic Income (proposed by Cllr Garden, seconded by Cllr Gant ) [proposer has amended her own motion]

d)     Supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff) [amendment proposed by Cllr Hayes]

e)     Charitable donations from members' allowances (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

f)      Homelessness and Social Housing (proposed by Cllr Tidball)

g)     Pavement Parking (proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills)

h)     Defining 'Net Zero' buildings (proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons)

i)       Chinese New Year 2021  (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

j)       The Permitted Deportation of EU Nationals Found Rough Sleeping (proposed by Cllr Wade, seconded by Cllr Gotch)

k)     Student Fees (proposed by Cllr Garden)

l)       Fireworks (proposed by Cllr Goddard)

 

a)    Improving coronavirus testing and tracing (proposed by Cllr Upton, seconded by Cllr Simmons and supported by Cllr Gant) [proposers have amended their own motion]

Cross party motion

Substantive motion: Original motion and agreed additional text in italics at the end

Oxford City Council expresses concern that, so far into the COVID pandemic, the country still does not have an adequate testing and tracing system, putting the people of Oxford at increased risk of suffering from coronavirus.

Test and trace has been proven in countries with a properly functioning system to be a successful strategy to manage and contain COVID-19 outbreaks.

Numerous experts have repeated that, to be effective, testing and tracing needs to be managed and carried out at a local level. However, instead of funding local bodies – which have the expertise, experience and vital local connections – this Government has squandered billions of pounds of public money on private companies (though the system has still been misleadingly named ‘NHS’ Test & Trace). This poor performance has contributed to the failure to contain COVID outbreaks and, ultimately, to an increased loss of life. This lack of integration into normal local NHS services (which would allow GPs to contact positive cases with crucial and timely medical advice) could and probably will cost lives. This lack of integration with local authorities prevents the timely offering of financial and practical support.

In late recognition that its tracing performance could not improve without local participation, NHS Test and Trace have in recent months passed to local authorities the names of people with positive tests whom they failed to reach. In short, they are getting local authorities to clean up their mess.

This Council believes the only way to fully rectify the situation is for full control to be passed to local authorities, with the necessary funding to do the job properly, with national input providing any support necessary to ensure effective co-ordination.

We believe a local scheme will:

Pressure is building on the Government both to use local authorities more and to cease contracting out 'NHS’ Test and Trace' to private companies.

This Council agrees to add its voice to those challenging the current, failed system by asking the Leader to:

Council also recognises the tireless work of the Oxford Vaccine Group who, in partnership with AstraZeneca, have taken us a giant step closer to ending the pandemic.

Council particularly applauds the decision to make the vaccine available on a not-for-profit basis around the world.

 

 

b)   Domestic Abuse and Covid-19 workplace and community safety (proposed by Cllr Aziz)

Labour member motion

 

This Council notes more than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of the Covid-19 lockdown, as reported by the BBC in July 2020.

Domestic Abuse is a common form of violence, overwhelmingly impacting women and girls globally and nationally and here in Oxford. Men and children are also impacted by domestic abuse as are non- binary and LGBQTI+ people.

According to women’s groups, at least twenty six women including children have been killed in domestic homicides since the lockdown started, the eldest victim was over 82 years old and the youngest were four and two, killed alongside their mother.

Domestic Abuse impacts people of all ages, genders, race, disabilities and class, as well as work places, places of worship, places of learning and all communities.

This Council recognises people with insecure immigration status are especially vulnerable to seeking help due to the Hostile Environment, leaving many homeless and facing additional threats with pregnant migrant women facing particular risks.

This Council recognises the Covid pandemic, lockdowns and restriction of movement, means there is a greater need for increased protection and support for victims and survivors in Oxford.

This Council resolves:

to ask the Head of Business Improvement to submit a report to Cabinet setting out proposals to

·         Develop a Domestic Abuse in the Workplace Policy for Oxford City Council and encourage Oxford’s workplaces to do the same. As the government instructs people to work from home over the next six months, this council encourages all workplaces to prioritise domestic abuse as a work place and community safety issue.

·         Support and build links with trade unions and employers to implement work place domestic abuse policies.

·         Raise awareness and provide information on how to help friends, family members and colleagues affected by domestic abuse.

·         Campaign and lobby for increased sustainable and emergency funding from central government for organisations working with victims and survivors, especially services for BAME women, which are hugely underfunded.

This Council thanks Oxford’s frontline domestic abuse workers, charities and organisations for their life saving work.


 

c)    Universal Basic Income (proposed by Cllr Garden, seconded by Cllr Gant ) [proposer has amended her own motion]

Liberal Democrat member motion

Minor amendment to the 1st action and deleting the 3rd action:  made by the proposer

This Council recognises that financial security is critical to a stable and thriving society. Yet, too many people are without enough money to meet their basic needs. Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an opportunity to revolutionise a welfare system that is no longer fit for purpose.

The Bank of England predicts that unemployment levels will rise to 7.7% by the middle of next year. Oxford will not be immune. Businesses closing, zero hour contracts and gig economy adding further uncertainty. Housing is expensive and too much income is being spent on rent or mortgages so we can expect an increase in evictions and homelessness. These trends are likely to persist and worsen as climate change intensifies requiring significant industry restructuring.

Demand for financial state support is anticipated but there’s little confidence that Universal Credit will be sufficient. The system is intrusive and demeaning, and has caused much distress and hardship even before the current crisis. Many are expected to fall through the gaps.

Financial inequality impacts social cohesion and productivity. The consequent cost to the health, police, education and social services are immense.

We need a more flexible and supportive social security infrastructure to allow society to cope with the necessary changes. Poverty and inequality pose great threat to the economic recovery. But with the right support, individuals could be empowered to embark on new enterprises and retraining for new careers. Rebuilding can be successful, and support the much need transition to a low-carbon high-tech economy, but we need a strong confident innovative workforce.

UBI would provide every adult (regardless of employment status, wealth, or marital status) with a fixed, regular and unconditional income to relieve some of the financial pressures facing households. It’s a monthly grant sufficient to contribute to the basic needs of food, shelter and education. It is a fair way of eliminating poverty, guaranteeing a minimum standard of living, and improving well-being. It helps the local economy by providing stability and security; allowing people to thrive rather than just survive.

There have been several trials of basic income internationally and most recently in Finland. Results have been encouraging. Spain is rolling it out as part of their COVID-19 response measures.

The Scottish government is considering the practicalities. The UK government has not come out in support as yet, but several authorities (Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Hull in the north, and Brighton and London in the south) are calling for trials. This requires political will and Oxford should stand in solidarity with them.

The Council calls on the Leader:

1.    to write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy requesting that the government considers Oxford for a pilot study of Universal Basic Income..

2.    to circulate the response from the government to all council members once the reply is received.

[final sentence removed: that Oxford campaigns for a Universal Basic Income.]

 

References:

1: "The Many Faces of Universal Basic Income — US Basic Income ...."

http://www.usbig.net/pdf/manyfacesofubi.pdf. Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

2: "Radical transformation or technological intervention? Two ...."

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X19301652 . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

3: "Universal Basic Income: A Dynamic Assessment | NBER." 11 Jun. 2020,

https://www.nber.org/papers/w27351 . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

4: "Universal basic income in the developing world - MIT Economics." 4 Feb. 2019,

https://economics.mit.edu/files/16000 . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

5: "A universal basic income: the answer to poverty, insecurity ...." 12 Dec. 2016,

https://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6473 . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

Rutger Bregman (2017-03-14). Utopia for Realists: How We Can Build the Ideal World . Little, Brown and

Company/Hachette Book Group USA.

World Economic Forum Growth Development Index 2017

http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Forum_IncGrwth_2017.pdf

6: "Basic Income Scotland." https://basicincome.scot/ . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

 


 

 

d)   Supporting the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill (proposed by Cllr Simmons, seconded by Cllr Wolff) [amendment proposed by Cllr Hayes]

Green member motion

1.    Council notes that, on 12 August 2020, the CEE Bill Alliance launched the campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill which was presented to Parliament on 2 September. This is a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) written by scientists, lawyers and activists; it is gathering support from a broad range of campaign groups, businesses, charities and individuals. The bill has the potential to become the most significant move forward since the Climate Change Act 2008 (which also notably started as a PMB)

 

2.    At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from across the political spectrum including Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat.

 

 

3.    In summary, the Bill will set an emergency path for the UK to follow. It will see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that will put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy. The key objectives of the Bill are to:

Full details of the CEE Bill and the background to it, can be found at: https://www.ceebill.uk/

 

4.    This Council recognised the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency in January 2019 subsequently holding its own Citizen Assembly in Autumn 2019 and well as setting up its own Climate Emergency Review scrutiny group. All of these highlighted the important role that the Westminster Government in galvanising action.

 

5.    This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for the CEE Bill by:

a)    Publicly expressing its support for the CEE Bill by joining the campaign and encouraging individual Councillors to do likewise

b)    Asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals

c)    Taking into account the aims and goals of the CEE Bill when setting its own strategies, policies and targets.

 

 

Amendment proposed by Cllr Hayes

Deletions struck-through, additions in italic.

Add at the start:

Council notes that while Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency in May last year, Boris Johnson’s Government is not responding with the necessary urgency to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Council regrets that the Government’s recently announced climate budget contains just £3bn of new funding, meaning that its level of ambition pales in comparison to Germany's €42.8bn green stimulus and France's €35bn.

In original 2nd paragraph, delete:

At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from across the political spectrum including Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat MPs.

In original 3rd paragraph amend:

In summary, the Bill will set an emergency path for the UK to follow. The Bill is a Presentation Bill (which does not involve a debate or a vote in Parliament but is a way of drawing attention to an issue which requires a real change in the law). The nature of the Bill could It will see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that will would put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy.

 

In original 5th paragraph amend:

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for the CEE Bill urgent climate action and significant new national funding to match the scale of the climate emergency and jobs crisis we face by:

Delete (a) Publicly expressing its support for the CEE Bill by joining the campaign and encouraging individual Councillors to do likewise

New (a)  welcoming the CEE Bill for raising awareness and sharing ideas; and

(b)  asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals;

new (c )publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for real action right now. This means backing the Labour Party’s Green Economic Recovery, a widely supported and implementable plan for Government to speedily bring forward £30bn in capital investment as part of a rapid stimulus package to support up to 400,000 new low-carbon jobs over the next 18 months;

Delete (c) Taking into account the aims and goals of the CEE Bill when setting its own strategies, policies and targets.

New (d) as the aims and goals of the CEE Bill have already been acted upon by the Council when setting its own strategies, policies and targets across many years, commit to the continuation of this approach

[and some minor corrections to text to remain within word limit]

 

 

If the amendment is agreed, the motion would read:

Council notes that while Parliament declared an environment and climate emergency in May last year, Boris Johnson’s Government is not responding with the necessary urgency to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Council regrets that the Government’s recently announced climate budget contains just £3bn of new funding, meaning that its level of ambition pales in comparison to Germany's €42.8bn green stimulus and France's €35bn.

Council notes that on 12 August 2020 the CEE Bill Alliance launched the campaign for the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE) Bill which was presented to Parliament on 2 September. This is a Private Members’ Bill (PMB) written by scientists, lawyers and activists; gathering support from a broad range of campaign groups, businesses, charities and individuals. The bill has the potential to become the most significant move forward since the Climate Change Act 2008 (which also notably started as a PMB).

At the time of writing, 81 MPs have supported the Bill with co-sponsors from Labour, Green, Liberal Democrat MPs.

The Bill is a Presentation Bill (which does not involve a debate or a vote in Parliament but is a way of drawing attention to an issue which requires a real change in the law). The nature of the Bill could see the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly that would put forward recommendations, contributing to the work of both the UK Government and UK Parliament in delivering an essential climate and ecological emergency strategy.

This Council recognised the urgency of the climate and ecological emergency in January 2019 subsequently holding its own Citizen Assembly in Autumn 2019 and setting up its own Climate Emergency Review scrutiny group. All of these highlighted the important role of the Westminster Government in galvanising action.

This Council therefore wishes to express its strong support for urgent climate action and significant new national funding to match the scale of the climate emergency and jobs crisis we face by:

1.     welcoming the CEE Bill for raising awareness and sharing ideas; and

2.     asking the Leader to write to the City’s MPs asking them to sign the CEE Bill Early Day Motion (no. 832) as well as offering their public support and backing for its aims and goals;

3.     publicly expressing its support for many of the aims of the CEE Bill by expressing strong support for real action right now. This means backing the Labour Party’s Green Economic Recovery, a widely supported and implementable plan for Government to speedily bring forward £30bn in capital investment as part of a rapid stimulus package to support up to 400,000 new low-carbon jobs over the next 18 months;

4.     as the aims and goals of the CEE Bill have already been acted upon by the Council when setting its own strategies, policies and targets across many years, commit to the continuation of this approach.

 


 

e)    Charitable donations from members' allowances (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

Independent member motion

 

Each councillor receives a basic allowance of £5,142. This allowance is intended to help councillors meet the costs of representing their communities. The pandemic has caused a great deal of hardship both in the public and private sector, with in need of universal credit suffering from food poverty and as we approach winter fuel poverty.

Council is agreed that in recognition of their community’s increased need for support. Councillors are encouraged individually contribute 20% from their basic allowance to support the efforts of the Oxford Hub or other bodies that continue support our local communities.

Therefore, Council asks that:

            Each Oxford City Councillor agrees to commit 20% of their basic allowance to support local community groups, making personal contributions from their monthly allowance

            The portfolio holder for supporting local communities identifies and advertise to councillors groups and projects committed to alleviating hardship

            On the Council’s behalf the leader writes to local MP’s and the leader of County Council requesting a similar scheme be introduced both locally and nationally.

Officer’s explanatory note:

This motion would not affect the Members’ Allowances Scheme or the allowances paid to each councillor but if passed would encourage each councillor individually to make donations from the allowances they receive. Such donations may be to groups identified by the portfolio holder, or to other groups. It would be for Councillors to take account of their own circumstances and the needs of their community when deciding on any such donation.

 

f)     Homelessness and Social Housing (proposed by Cllr Tidball)

Labour member motion

 

This Council notes with horror proposals by the Government to make sleeping rough sufficient grounds for deportation from the UK once the Brexit Transition period ends; nothing could expose the callous brutality of the current Conservative administration more clearly than this.

The Council also notes that in addition to long-standing and indisputable evidence linking both homelessness and poor quality housing with poor mental and physical health, poorer educational outcomes and worse life chances, it is becoming clearer that overcrowded homes are likely to be a significant factor in both the spread of Covid and deaths from the virus.

This Council notes that overcrowding is just one factor that has been identified as leading to the higher rates of people from BAME backgrounds becoming critically ill and dying from Covid-19 and the work Shelter and The Big Issue have done to highlight the government's own figures that black people are 'three times as likely to experience homelessness'. The pandemic is intensifying the housing crisis and widening inequalities for these groups.

The pandemic has demonstrated that we are only as safe as our most vulnerable member; those with no recourse to public funds must have access to public services including housing services with no fear of deportation.

The Council further notes that the ‘everyone in’ campaign at the onset of lockdown showed that it is possible to end rough sleeping with sufficient political will and funding, and also notes that over the last 70 years it is only when council housing was being built in sufficient volumes alongside market housing that enough homes for everyone were provided.

This Council believes that nobody should have to sleep rough on our streets, and that having a secure, safe and affordable home is a basic human right for all our residents.

This Council believes that the Government should use the opportunity of the long-delayed Social Housing White Paper – promised more than three years ago and still not published – to address properly both the moral imperative to end rough sleeping, and the equally important need to provide genuinely affordable and secure homes for all.

This Council therefore asks that

 

g)   Pavement Parking (proposed by Cllr Roz Smith, seconded by Cllr Landell Mills)

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

The Government has recently consulted on “Pavement Parking: Options for Change”. Liberal Democrats in Oxfordshire submitted a joint response fully supporting the option of banning pavement parking, as has been the case in London since 1974.

This Council:

·         Recognises that dangerous parking, on pavements, in cycle lanes, around schools and in many other instances, has got worse in recent years and causes significant danger and inconvenience to many people including wheelchair users, parents with small children, the less mobile, and many others.

·         Recognises that enforcement is widely seen to be limited in effectiveness.

·         Believes that the right of pedestrians and cyclists to safe use of their space takes priority over the right of motorists to stop or park nearer to their destination than the nearest legitimate parking space and that pavement parking is an obstacle to Active Travel.

Council therefore:

1.            Fully endorses the objective of the government consultation to end pavement parking, while taking into account local circumstances and supporting Option 3 as set out in the Government consultation paper.

2.            Commits to supporting the use of civil enforcement powers in a way which both enforces this policy effectively and does not represent a financial cost to the council.

3.            Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Leaders of the County Council and neighbouring district councils informing them of this resolution and offering to investigate opportunities for effective joint working over, for example, enforcement contracts.

4.            Asks the Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford to write to the Secretary of State and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport informing them of this resolution and urging them to move to banning pavement parking as soon as possible.

References:

1: full consultation document “Pavement Parking: Options for Change” https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/managing-pavement-parking/pavement-parking-options-for-change.

 

h)   Defining 'Net Zero' buildings (proposed by Cllr Wolff, seconded by Cllr Simmons)

Green member motion

 

Oxford City Council is listed as a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), along with Cambridge, Bristol and 43 other local authorities.

1. For the sake of clarity in public discourse, the Council therefore accepts at a point in the future the 'framework definition' of 'net zero carbon buildings' as developed by the UKGBC, which in summary states:

Net zero carbon – construction (1.1):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with a building’s product and construction stages up to practical completion is zero or negative, through the use of offsets or the net export of on-site renewable energy.

Net zero carbon – operational energy (1.2):

When the amount of carbon emissions associated with the building’s operational energy on an annual basis is zero or negative. A net zero carbon building is highly energy efficient and powered from on-site and/or off-site renewable energy sources, with any remaining carbon balance, after all efforts have been otherwise made, offset.

Note: The framework also provides reporting templates, which (if followed) enable claims of 'net zero' construction and operation to be supported with evidence.

2. Council asks that the Transition Director brings a report to Cabinet to investigate ways to ensure that:

·         'net zero' claims made by house-builders and the Council are evidentially supportable (and incompliance with the definition as above)

3. Council asks that the Head of Regeneration & Economy brings a report to Cabinet setting out proposals (including costings) as to how the authority can ensure that:

·         its own properties meet net-zero operational standards by 2030 at the latest; and

·         all new build by the Council meets net zero carbon construction standards by 2030 at the latest; and

·         it further explores the possibility of reflecting this in the relevant planning policies and guidance when they are reviewed in the future.

 

i)     Chinese New Year 2021  (proposed by Cllr Henwood)

Independent member motion

 

Some 24,000 students study at Oxford University, including approximately 1,068 students from China of which 631 are graduates and 360 undergraduates and the remainder visiting students. Oxford also remains a popular destination for Chinese tourists that number 13,000 (from a Visit Britain report) annually. China contributes much to Oxford’s economy and cultural diversity.

In recent months the Chinese government has been under pressure to contain the coronavirus. China’s resolve in trying to contain this virus has received global recognition, however, at the same time Chinese and Asian citizens living in Oxford have been subject to prejudicial statements.

The Chinese New Year celebration is organised by the Chinese Community Advice Centre every year at Oxford Town Hall and in 2020 it was decided to cancel the event due to the coronavirus outbreak in China.

2021 is the year of Chinese zodiac Ox sign. Ox people born in this year should have a particular connection to Oxford. A connection Oxford City Council should also recognise and celebrate.

Council is resolved to reassure Chinese and Asian stakeholders that Oxford will not tolerate of any kind of discrimination, and to further demonstrate that Oxford is a welcoming and diverse city to all.

Therefore, Council asks that at the earliest possible convenience the Head of Communities offer to rescind charges for renting the town hall for Chinese New Year celebrations.

 

j)     The Permitted Deportation of EU Nationals Found Rough Sleeping (proposed by Cllr Wade, seconded by Cllr Gotch)

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council welcomes the excellent work done by its officers, by charities and by volunteers since March in ensuring that the ‘everyone in’ policy worked for all our Rough Sleeper residents, whether they were UK or other European nationals, and whether or not they had recourse to public funds.

While the pandemic has raged, all those who wanted to be ‘in’ have been found a room of their own, and now more MHCLG (Ministry of Homes, Communities and Local Government) funding will make a permanent home a reality for people who must have thought the community didn’t care about them.

Meanwhile, the Home Office has introduced a draconian policy wholly at variance with the approach from MHCLG during covid, which will come into force on the day the UK finally leaves the EU: 1 January 2021.

The change to the Immigration Rules will mean that for any EU National, simply being a rough sleeper will be a ground for deportation (however unfortunate or temporary his or her sad circumstances may be).

Inevitably Rough Sleepers will become fearful of seeking help from Council officers or outreach teams, and may retreat into the clutches of the underground economy, exploitation and at worst modern slavery. Oxford will not be immune from this hidden nightmare.

This Council therefore calls on the Leader:

1.    To write to the Secretary of State for the Home Office and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to ask that the changes to the Immigration Rules shall not be implemented.

2.    To confirm the City Council’s support for the ‘everyone in’ policy for people rough sleeping on our streets, whether or not they are UK or other EU Nationals or have recourse to public funds.

 

k)    Student Fees (proposed by Cllr Garden)

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

Oxford should be rightly proud of its record for fighting against injustice, for its record in supporting access to university for all students, and fighting to retain Oxford’s connection to Europe. The approach to Brexit has taken us through an unfortunate period in our country’s history. There’s little doubt that, whatever the outcome of the negotiations, Brexit reduces our right to live, work and retire in over 30 countries. It’s divided the nation and driven many away, and the government, intentionally or unintentionally, continues to sever ties, even with its own citizens.

Frequently overlooked are those British citizens, who sought to live or work in the European Union as so many have done over the years. Many of their children are often enrolled in their local British school. Most retain links to the UK.

Until now British students living anywhere in the European Union were included in the home fees agreement (British students who happened to live in an EU country could return to study at a university in the UK and be treated as “Home / EU”).

After the end of the transition period and as of 1st January 2021, British passport-holding students living in the European Union will no longer meet the residency qualification for UK universities. They will be treated as foreign if they’ve not lived in one of the UK’s four nations (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) for three years up to when they start the course ; and liable to the international fee rate. Yet these same British students will also be seen as foreign in European Universities, where the fees are dependent on nationality, and therefore charged accordingly.

We do not believe that the vote to leave the EU intended to forsake all those British children and their families who had taken the opportunity of living and working in the European Union. The law needs to change to enable those British students living in the EU to be given the opportunity to attend a British university, the opportunity to re-establish ties with the UK, the opportunity for a Higher Education.

Council calls on the Leader to write to the Secretary of State for Education:

1. Requesting him to ensure that all British citizens who are resident in the European Union, who are planning to study at UK universities, have access to the home fees rate.

2. Asking that they should also be granted access to be able to apply for student loans.

 

References:
1: "Student finance - GOV.UK." https://www.gov.uk/student-finance . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

2: "Living Abroad And Uk Citizen Fees - Complete University Guide."

https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/ask/answer/3878/living-abroad-and-uk-citizen-fees .

Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

3: "Many British expats are shocked to find that they may be ...." 8 Feb. 2016,

https://ukstudyoptions.com/many-british-expats-are-shocked-to-find-that-they-may-be-expected-to-pay-overseas-fees-when-their-son-or-daughter-is-applying-to-university-in-the-uk/ . Accessed 18 Nov. 2020.

 

l)     Fireworks (proposed by Cllr Goddard)

Liberal Democrat member motion

 

This Council notes:

·         that in the absence of public firework displays, private use of fireworks seems anecdotally to have been more widespread this Bonfire Night than in most years;

·         that both public and private use of fireworks can have harmful effects on the welfare of vulnerable people and domestic and wild animals;

·         that it is necessary to strike a balance between the enjoyment fireworks can provide and the harm they can cause.

This Council resolves that in time for next Bonfire Night, November 5th 2021, it will:

1.    require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

2.    actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people — including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;

3.    write to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy  urging him to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays;

4.    encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.