Labour Group Report for Sept / Oct 2019

This report was put together for the local Labour Party, and is a summary of the Borough Council’s activities over the period starting September 2019, finishing in October. As the leader of the group I’ll be preparing these monthly to keep constituents informed of our action on their behalf. You’ll see from below that pretty much all that we say and do is recorded both in writing and audio format. You can listen to our words in context and hear what we’ve said on a given subject. We’re always happy to discuss our views, and would love to hear yours, so please get in touch.

The Rushcliffe Labour Group before the first Full Council Meeting on the 19th of September

A typically busy period on the council. The Corporate Overview Group met, where we are represented by Cllrs Bansal and Walker. Among other things they discussed the update for the Corporate Strategy. Minutes for the meeting and the full agenda can be found at https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=270&MId=835

A recording of the meeting is available at:

Next on the agenda was a cabinet meeting, attended by myself as an opposition leader. At a cabinet meetings we are permitted one question that is relevant to the day’s agenda. This time I concentrated on procedure and how it is currently skewed in favour of the ruling party. Surprisingly there was recognition and understanding and a small concession was made so that the number of working days councillors and the public are allowed to come up with questions on the agenda. This change has been passed through to full council meetings too. I also asked cabinet and the chief executive to consider ways of making council process more open and appealing.

One citizen’s question was submitted and read since the questioner did not pose the question themselves. The minutes for the meeting and full agenda can be found here: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=137&MId=814

A recording of the meeting is available at:

Cllrs Gowland and Murray attended a planning meeting, as members of the committee, where large developments in Keyworth and Ruddington were discussed. The recommendation from the council planning officers advised As there was currently no five year housing supply, and Keyworth is a Key Settlement, this planning application should be approved. There is precedent that without a five year supply this site would be granted permission at appeal to the planning inspectorate, like the Asher Lane site in Ruddington. Outline planning was granted to this site.

On the Ruddington development Cllr Gaunt spoke against the application. In a situation similar to the Keyworth application it was recommended that this site was approved, due to lack of five year supply of housing presented within the council’s planning documents. Outline planning was granted to this site.

The minutes and agenda can be found here: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=140&MId=855

A recording of the meeting is available at:

Cllr Walker was in attendance as Vice Chair of the Governance Scrutiny Group, where I was on the committee. This meeting discussed Internal Audit, Risk Management, and the program of work for future compliance issues. 

The agenda and minutes can be found at: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=272&MId=844

A recording can be found at:

The first Council Meeting of this period occurred on the 19th. The main reports (and votes) were on the Corporate Strategy, the new Community Infrastructure Levy, the Gotham Neighborhood Plan, and the Polling Places Review. The group voted in favour of all of these items.

Cllr Walker Proposed the following motion after working cross party to gain support:

“This Council agrees to:

(1)       Conduct an immediate audit of all its investments to ascertain the current level of fossil fuel equity investments.

(2)       Conduct an immediate audit of the carbon footprint of its operational assets through its Carbon Reduction Work Programme.

(3)       Incorporate in its Environmental Plans the reduction of the use, and future investment in, fossil fuels wherever possible.”

After a healthy debate and some excellent speeches from our councillors the motion was passed unanimously. Whatever happens from now on the Rushcliffe Labour Group will always have a better record than Boris Johnson’s government.

Cllr Gowland asked a Councillor’s Question regarding the L21 & L22 bus routes.

No Citizens questions were submitted.

The agenda and minutes can be found at: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=145&MId=824 

A recording can be found at:

Cllr Walker’s motion was the first we’d taken to full council, so with it passing unanimously we felt a little celebration was in order…

Cllrs Begum and Walker attended the Labour Conference in Brighton, playing an active part in the proceedings. Cllr Begum was able to speak in support of an emergency motion on Kashmir.

Cllr Bansal attended the Communities Scrutiny Group. This covered Positive Futures and YouNG, the Carbon Management Plan, and the PSPO Review. Minutes are available here: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=271&MId=839

A recording is not yet available.

The second Full Council of this period was an Emergency Meeting to discuss the Government Inspector’s recommendations to the Local Plan Part 2.

On this subject there was some division in the Labour Group with two councillors voting against the proposals on several grounds and the remaining four in attendance voting with the recommendation. A great number of arguments were put across on the night and all Councillors had a free vote on the subject. A recording of the debate is available here: 

The agenda, minutes and adopted local plan can be found here: https://democracy.rushcliffe.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=145&MId=884

We try to keep people as informed as possible on Council Business and tweet via @RBCLabour, are on facebook as https://www.facebook.com/RBCLabour

If you’d like to get in touch you can email me at cllr.bgray@rushcliffe.gov.uk

Thank you for reading.

Ben

1 thought on “Labour Group Report for Sept / Oct 2019

  1. Re ‘division in the Labour Group’ (over Local Plan Part 2), is the issue here – what are the compelling reasons to vote for the Local Plan? It’s a Plan that greatly affects areas surrounded by Green Belt but would seem to be a ‘matter of principle’ for the WB-based members. In this scenario Group cohesion might have been better served by acknowledging the greater effect upon Green Belt areas and acting in solidarity with GB Councillors. In short, what was so compelling for WB Councillors that reasons outweighed Group cohesion?

    Like

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