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Declarations of Interests under Standing Order 13(2)(b)
· the ordinary meeting held on 10 July 2018.
Communications and apologies for absence
Deputations from the Public under Standing Order No 24 for all items excluding those in respect of item 6, which are dealt with separately on the agenda
Questions from the Public under Standing Order 25
Petition - Bring back public toilets at Kingston Rec
Bring back public toilets at Kingston Rec
We the undersigned petition the council to provide toilet and baby/child changing facilities at Kingston Rec.
The Council’s rules state that as the petition contains more than 1,000 signatures it will be debated by the Full Council (if the lead petitioner so requests and they do) even if the issue has been considered by the Council within the last 24 months and it not a matter the Full Council can determine.
1. The lead petitioner, Mrs Nicola Coles will be given six minutes to present the petition at the meeting,
2. Followed by any public deputations received on this item.
3. The Administration, via a proposer and seconder, will then present its response to the petition
4. The petition will then be discussed by councillors and the normal rules of debate will apply,
Note - As an Executive (Cabinet) matter, the Full Council is precluded from determining the issues raised in the Petition, although of course the petition can still be debated at the Full Council meeting.
To receive and consider the attached report by the Cabinet held on 9 October 2018 (recommendations to follow).
To receive and consider the attached report by the Cabinet held on 9 October 2018 (recommendations to follow).
To consider the Chief Executive's attached report.
Notices of Motion: Process information
Standing Order (32(d)) requires a vote by members before each motion to determine whether or not the motion is to be debated at the meeting or stand referred to the Cabinet or relevant Committee (including Scrutiny) to report back to a future meeting.
Notices of Motion
Friendship agreement between Portsmouth and Zhanjiang
Proposed by Councillor David Fuller
Seconded by Councillor Lee Mason
The cities of Portsmouth and Zhanjiang have since the first signing enjoyed cultural links through the Portsmouth Chinese Association and educational links through the University.
The Council hereby authorise the Lord Mayor to sign a continuation of a "Memorandum of Understanding" of friendship between our two cities.
Portsmouth Naval base
Proposed by Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson
Seconded by Councillor Dave Ashmore
In 2008 the people of the City, all parties at the city council, the university, trade unions and councils and businesses across the Solent area united in the campaign to keep the Naval base in Portsmouth.
We also united to campaign for the new carriers to be based in Portsmouth. We succeeded in both these campaigns.
The Royal Navy currently has thirteen frigates. The Government has ordered eight Type 26 Frigates as replacement. These were designed in Portsmouth. These frigates have a crucial role in the battle groups that sail with and protect the new carriers. It is hoped the Government will order five Type 31 frigates.
The city council supports the Royal Navy in their wish to have effective carrier groups. The City Council therefore calls for the Government to base all of the new Type 26 frigates here in Portsmouth. We therefore ask the Leaders of all the political groups to collectively write to the Secretary of State for Defence and the Shadow Secretary of State for Defence to say the logical decision would be to base all the new frigates here in Portsmouth, the home of the Royal Navy.
Care leavers council tax exemption
Proposed by Councillor Stephen Morgan
Seconded by Councillor George Fielding
This council notes that:
Last year (1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018) 51 children left the care of the city council and became care leavers. At the end of the year (31 March 2018) Portsmouth City Council were supporting 153 young people as care leavers, 36 of whom were unaccompanied minors.
A 2016 report by The Children’s Society found that when care leavers move into independent accommodation they begin to manage their own budget fully for the first time. The report showed that care leavers can find this extremely challenging and with no family to support them and insufficient financial education, are falling into debt and financial difficulty.
Research from The Centre for Social Justice found that over half (57%) of young people leaving care have difficulty managing their money and avoiding debt when leaving care.
The local authority has statutory corporate parenting responsibilities towards young people who have left care up until the age of 25.
The Children and Social Work Act 2017 places corporate parenting responsibilities on district councils for the first time, requiring them to have regard to children in care and care leavers when carrying out their functions.
This council believes that:
1. To ensure that the transition from care to adult life is as smooth as possible, and to mitigate the chances of care leavers falling into debt as they begin to manage their own finances, they should be exempt from paying council tax until they are 25.
2. Care leavers are a particularly vulnerable group for council tax debt.
This council, therefore, asks Cabinet:
1. To develop a policy to ensure care leavers in Portsmouth are exempt from council tax.
2. To write to neighbouring local authorities to urge them to also use their convening powers and expertise in corporate parenting to work to also exempt all care leavers from council tax up to the age of 25.
Bus route changes
Proposed by Councillor Luke Stubbs
Seconded by Councillor Robert New
First Bus recently made changes to their network, resulting in a reduction in service on several routes. Residents are concerned at, amongst other changes, the withdrawal of the 4pm bus on the number 15 and the loss of the link between Southsea and Old Portsmouth via the number 1.
Council recognises that decisions over bus services are taken by bus companies acting in their own commercial interest. However, the City Council has a duty to speak for residents. It therefore invites members to share their concerns with the Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation and it calls on her to then liaise with First Bus to attempt to address some of the issues identified.
Proposed by Councillor Judith Smyth
Seconded by Councillor Tom Coles
Universal credit is now the only way that new claimants in Portsmouth can apply for and claim the benefits to which they are entitled. Existing claimants will be transferred to the new system later on.
Universal credit might look sensible on paper but the uncaring Tory government seems to have designed it to save money and serve bureaucracy rather than to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged households.
Research done by the child poverty action group and others shows, for example, that it has not been designed for the many claimants who are not able to apply on line. It penalises claimants who cannot then provide online updates as things change. Benefits will then be suspended. Families and individuals who are in irregular work, are self-employed, live with mental ill health or mental or physical disabilities are particularly disadvantaged by UC. If abusive men make and receive family claims women and children may be further disadvantaged.
Since UC was first introduced the length of time claimants have to wait for first payments has been slightly reduced and advance payments can more easily be made. However these will need to be repaid out of future entitlement and already families and individuals have experienced great hardships. Evidenced by huge increase in use of food banks. Demand for mental health services and additional avoidable and unforeseen deaths.
There is some great work being done by both voluntary and statutory agencies in the city to support claimants and reduce the worst effects of UC. I would like to thank all those who are providing this support across the city. Many, including public landlords are doing this out of their own resources because they are concerned about rising rent arrears and evictions leading to homelessness. Others are using short term funding available for such support. This is not sustainable longer term.
Overall I am worried about the effect on people with disabilities and on the 25,000 children and young people already living in poverty in Portsmouth particularly those that are isolated and lonely because for many of these UC will make their lives and opportunities even worse.
Therefore this council ask Cabinet to
1. Support services for claimants during their first year adjusting to UC should be continued by this council and other agencies.
2. learn from elsewhere about how best to develop effective support for the most isolated and vulnerable individuals and families.
3. conduct a study of the effects of the introduction of UC on claimants by collecting information from individuals and families and all the agencies supporting claimants so that we can press for changes to the system if it continues to fail the most disadvantaged and ensure that future support for claimants is adequate and effective.
4. This council understands that some disadvantaged individuals and families may find UC so difficult that they may lose tenancies, go hungry and suffer from further stress and asks Cabinet do what it can to reduce the effects of this, too often punitive, new process.
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Guidelines on antisemitism
Proposed by Councillor John Ferrett
Seconded by Councillor Scott Payter-Harris
This Council has always had a close and supportive relationship with the Jewish community in our city. Therefore, this council expresses alarm at the rise in antisemitism in recent years across the UK. This includes incidents when criticism of Israel has been expressed using antisemitic tropes. Criticism of Israel can be legitimate, but not if it employs the tropes and imagery of antisemitism.
This council fully supports the UK Government’s announcement on December 11th 2016 that it will sign up to the internationally recognised International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) guidelines on antisemitism which define antisemitism thus:
“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
The guidelines highlight manifestations of antisemitism as including:
· Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.
· Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
· Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
· Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (e.g. gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust).
· Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
· Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.
· Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavour.
· Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.
· Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (e.g., claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterize Israel or Israelis.
· Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
· Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel.
This Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations. Moreover, it condemns those who seek to qualify, amend or caveat the IRHA definition.
This Council hereby asks Cabinet to adopt the above definition of antisemitism as set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and pledges to combat this pernicious form of racism.
Victory Energy Services Ltd
Proposed by Councillor Ian Lyon
Seconded by Councillor Judith Smyth
The Council regrets the recent decision of the Cabinet to withdraw its support from Victory Energy Services Ltd (VESL).
While the business should generate a surplus, and it has been demonstrated that this would be more than likely over time, the Council considers that the benefits to Portsmouth that ownership of our own energy company could bring, have been substantially overlooked.
As a revenue-raising venture, VESL has the potential to sustain vital frontline services that would otherwise be jeopardised by future spending constraints on the Council. In addition, the Council’s substantial housing stock would benefit from the synergy of the supply of energy services with those currently provided by the Council.
With its commitment to purchase energy from renewable sources, Portsmouth, through VESL, can set an example for other Councils seeking to go green.
In addition, the Council’s ownership of VESL should alleviate the blight of fuel poverty and accrued debts from other suppliers for Portsmouth’s more vulnerable residents who, otherwise, will continue to rely on companies that have no interest beyond the purely commercial in our city.
The Council calls upon the Cabinet, when the business case comes back to it later this year, to take into account members’ support for the project; to review it in good faith; and carefully to consider reversing its original decision.
Making the next census count for Armed Forces community
Proposed by Councillor Darren Sanders
Seconded by Councillor Jeanette Smith
This council notes:
1. The obligations it owes to the Armed Forces community within Portsmouth City Council as enshrined in the Armed Forces Covenant; that the Armed Forces community should not face disadvantage in the provision of services and that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most.
2. There is an absence of definitive and comprehensive statistics on the size or demographics of the Armed Forces community within Portsmouth City Council. This includes serving Regular and Reserve personnel, veterans and their families.
3. That the availability of such data would greatly assist the council, local partner agencies, the voluntary sector, and national Government in the planning and provision of services to address the unique needs to the Armed Forces community within Portsmouth City Council.
In light of the above, this Council moves to support and promote The Royal British Legion's call to include a new topic in the 2021 census that concerns military service and membership of the Armed Forces community. We further call upon UK Parliament, which will approve the final census questionnaire through legislation in 2019, to ensure that the 2021 census includes questions concerning the Armed Forces community.