Agenda

Venue: Council Chamber, Trafford Town Hall, Talbot Road, Stretford

Contact: Ian Cockill  Governance Officer

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 255 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 22 November 2023, for signature by the Mayor as Chair of the Council.

2.

Announcements

To receive any announcements from the Mayor, Leader of the Council, Members of the Executive, Chairs of Scrutiny Committees and the Head of Paid Service.

3.

Questions By Members pdf icon PDF 232 KB

This is an opportunity for Members of Council to ask the Mayor, Members of the Executive or the Chairs of any Committee or Sub-Committee a question on notice under Procedure Rule 10.2.

4.

Membership of the Council, Committees and Outside Bodies

To note that Councillor G. Carter was nominated and subsequently appointed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority as a substitute member to the GMCA Overview and Scrutiny Committee, with effect from 15 December 2023, as a replacement for Councillor K. Procter.

5.

Review of Polling Districts and Polling Places pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To consider a report of the Chief Executive and Acting Returning Officer.

Additional documents:

6.

6-month Corporate Report on Health, Safety & Wellbeing- 1 April to 30 September 2023 pdf icon PDF 403 KB

To consider a report of the Deputy Leader of the Council and Executive Member for Leisure, Arts, Culture and Heritage.

7.

Motions

To consider the following motions submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 11:

7a

Motion Submitted by the Conservative Group - Debate Not Hate

 

This Council believes that:

 

1.     Debating and disagreement is a fundamental part of a healthy democracy, and that this should always be done with respect;

 

2.     It is a privilege to be elected to public office and comes with the responsibility of representing everyone, regardless of how they voted and anyone, regardless of their background or political affiliation, should feel safe to become a councillor and be proud to represent their community.

 

This Council notes that:

 

1.     The Local Government Association (LGA) has amassed a considerable volume of evidence and personal accounts of the impact of abuse, intimidation, and aggression at a national level. The research showed that seven in 10 councillors reported experiencing abuse and intimidation over the last 12 months and councillors reported feeling that abuse is becoming more common and increasing in severity;

 

2.     If left to continue, this negative and unacceptable behaviour can prevent elected members from representing the communities they serve, deter individuals from standing for election and undermine local democracy.

 

This Council further notes that:

 

1.     The LGA has launched its “Debate Not Hate” campaign, which aims to raise public awareness of the role of councillors in their communities, encourage healthy debate and improve the responses and support for local politicians facing abuse and intimidation;

 

2.     This research outlines seven recommendations that Councils, the LGA, police forces, the Government and social media companies should take to improve the environment for current and prospective councillors, ranging from protecting privacy to creating a long-term culture change that de-normalises the abuse of politicians and other high-profile individuals;

 

3.     This campaign has received support from across the political spectrum, as well as representatives from bodies such as the National Association of Local Councils, Compassion in Politics, the Local Government Information Unit and the National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

 

The Council resolves to:

 

1.     Endorse the LGA Debate Not Hate campaign and call on all political groups to sign the public statement;

 

2.     Support the LGA’s proposal for a national working group to produce and implement an action plan that addresses the abuse and intimidation of elected members and candidates and ensures their safety while they fulfil their democratic roles;

 

3.     Assess how it can take greater responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of its members, taking a proactive approach to preventing and handling abuse and intimidation and addressing the impacts of abuse on mental health and wellbeing

 

Councillors agree to continually promote diversity and inclusion ahead of the next Local Elections and beyond, including diversity of thought – publicly condemning politically fuelled abusive behaviour.

Additional documents:

7b

Motion Submitted by the Labour Group - City of Sanctuary

 

This Council notes that:

 

-         Trafford Council is proud of its rich history of welcoming and supporting all those seeking safety in our borough and is committed to continuing to uphold the principles of dignity, respect and compassion towards all our residents.

 

-         More and more men, women and children are being forced to flee from their homes due to conflict, war, persecution, human rights violations and the effects of the climate crisis.

 

This Council believes that:

 

-     Current Government laws undermine internationally recognised rights for people fleeing war and persecution to seek safety and have created a hostile environment for refugees which is cruel and divisive, causing harm and distress to some of the most vulnerable people.

 

-       Those fleeing violence and persecution flourish and contribute to their new country when given comprehensive and well-co-ordinated support within their new host communities to empower them to rebuild their lives, and should always be treated with dignity and respect, housed as our neighbours and given support to integrate into our communities.

 

-       Becoming a member of the national network of City of Sanctuary Councils will build on, support and enhance the Council’s work in creating a culture of welcome, inclusion and empowerment for people seeking sanctuary in collaboration with organisations such as the Hub in Altrincham, which is supporting occupants of the Britannia Ashley Hotel in Hale, Rehoboth for Families, and St John’s Centre.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

-     Sign up to the City of Sanctuary membership pledge to become a non-awarded member of the City of Sanctuary Local Authority Network, agreeing to work towards a City of Sanctuary Local Authority Award with the aim of becoming a recognised Council of Sanctuary, thereby influencing and offering inspiration to other Local Authorities and committing to recognising and raising awareness of the positive contribution that people seeking sanctuary make to our borough.

 

-       Work together with the members of the Local Authority Network to influence government policy, challenging the current hostile approach, defending the human right to seek safety, and encouraging and enabling social change.

 

-       Develop an action plan to embed the concept of sanctuary across council services and the wider community.

 

-       Continue to work in partnership with community and voluntary organisations and those with lived experience, and continue to enable and empower people seeking sanctuary to lead at all levels of the network and the community.

7c

Motion Submitted by the Labour Group - Local Government Funding

 

This Council notes that:

 

1.      A Fair Funding Review for local government was first promised by the government in 2016 but has still not been delivered and there is no indication of when it will be.

 

2.      In 2015, the government set out plans to reset business rates baselines for council in 2020, but this has still not happened.

 

3.      The government’s Autumn Statement in November 2023 failed to provide any new funding for local councils, meaning there is a £4 billion funding gap facing councils just to maintain current services.

 

4.      Almost one in five council leaders and chief executives in England surveyed by the Local Government Association think it is very or fairly likely that they will need to issue a section 114 notice this year or next.

 

5.      The provisional Local Government Finance settlement announced by the government on 18 December 2023 assumes that all councils will increase their council tax by the maximum allowed in 2024/25, following the same assumption used in previous years.

 

6.      For the last six years, the government has only issued one-year settlements which makes it difficult for councils to plan their future financial sustainability.

 

7.      Responding to the settlement, the Local Government Association noted that it “does not provide enough funding to meet the severe cost and demand pressures which have left councils of all political colours and types warning of the serious challenges they face to set balanced budgets next year”.

 

8.      More than 40 Conservative Members of Parliament have signed a letter to the Prime Minister, warning they are “exceptionally concerned” that their local Councils are facing financial crisis.

 

This Council further notes that:

 

1.      Trafford is one of the 20 worst funded councils in the country, one of the lowest spending councils and its council tax levels are the second lowest in Greater Manchester. The Institute for Fiscal Studies identified Trafford as the lowest funded local authority compared to 150 similar authorities, meaning it receives £11 million less each year on average than similar authorities.

   

2.      Since 2010, Trafford has suffered a 60% real terms reduction in its budget and had to close budget gaps totalling £288 million.

 

3.      Between 2010-15, when the Conservatives led the council, council tax in Trafford was frozen. This has meant the council has £15 million less in income each year.

 

4.      Increases in demand for adult social care and children’s services, high levels of inflation and increases in the National Living Wage are costing the council around £12 million each year. Increases in council tax, business rates indexation and certain grants only provide around £6 million each year, meaning the council budget has an underlying structural deficit, where it has to find £6 million of savings every year just to stand still.

 

This Council resolves to:

 

1.      Launch a public campaign alongside other Greater Manchester authorities:

 

a.     calling on the Government to fix the broken system of local government finance and give Trafford a fair funding settlement.

b.     highlighting the cuts made  ...  view the full agenda text for item 7c

Additional documents: