The following motions have been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 16:
1. The following motion has been received from Councillor Julian Dean and is supported by Councillors Pauline Dee, Andy Boddington, David Vasmer and Roger Evans:
This Council recognises the damage that is likely to result from a No-Deal Brexit, highlighted by the ‘Operation Yellowhammer’ reports. For example, we note the threat to people’s health due to the risk of shortages in medicines, and we note the threat to the livelihoods of our farming community due to the additional checks and changes to tariffs. We note that NFU President Minette Batters has said that a No-Deal Brexit will be “socially and economically absolutely disastrous.”
This Council further recognises the Home Secretary's plans for a no-deal Brexit may well have a negative impact on those members of our community who have chosen to move from elsewhere in the EU to live and work in Shropshire, many of whom are essential workers in the NHS and in our agriculture sector.
This council states, loud and clear, to EU citizens living in Shropshire; ‘you continue to be welcome here’.
This council calls on the MPs representing Shropshire to work to prevent a No-Deal Brexit. Allowing such a disaster to happen can be avoided by the UK Parliament so refusing to take the necessary action to prevent this would be to willingly inflict harm on the people of this county.
Finally, this council calls on the leader to write to the Prime Minister to make it clear to him that Shropshire Council is opposed to a No-Deal Brexit which will harm our community.
2. The following motion has been received from Councillor Peter Adams and is supported by Councillors Dean Carroll, Steve Charmley, Peter Nutting and Brian Williams:
SHROPSHIRE COUNCIL SUPPORTS A PROPOSAL TO EXTEND THE M54 MOTORWAY FROM JUNCTION SEVEN AT WELLINGTON TO PRESTON BOATS JUNCTION NEAR SHREWSBURY
Shropshire is experiencing a prolonged period of sustained growth, and this needs to be enhanced and reinforced with the continued levels of house building in the County. There is a need for increased levels of investment in the County’s infrastructure.
With this in mind I would like Council to accept the above proposal. Foreign investors use decisions as to where they put their money and often rely on knowledge of the motorway systems of the Countries being examined, and in this respect, Shropshire is weak.
With the North West Relief Road being given the go ahead, this will open up North Shropshire and parts of Mid Wales for development.
Council is asked:
1. To encourage Local Members of Parliament to lobby Government and Highways England to extend the M54.
2. To allow Officers to signal our intentions to Partners like Midland Connect.
3. To ask Officers to provide a Business Plan.
3. The following motion has been received from Councillor Andy Boddington and is supported by the Liberal Democrat Group:
Shropshire Tree Bank
Shropshire Council declared a Climate Emergency at its May 2019 meeting. This council supports the work in progress by the council and its partners to reduce its carbon emissions, including the creation of a task and finish group to map the route forward to zero carbon. The formation of a working group does not rule out Council establishing initiatives where there is a clear need to so do in the context of the declared climate emergency.
The role that trees can play in mitigating the increase in atmospheric CO2 and promoting biodiversity is well understood. But this council has not set out a specific ambition for increasing tree cover in the county. This motion declares such an ambition and provides an innovative mechanism for helping achieve it. The mechanism, the Shropshire Tree Bank, recognises that sometimes householders, housing providers, landowners and developers cannot replace felled trees on site but would welcome the opportunity for substitute planting.
Specifically, this council resolves:
1) To declare its ambition to ensure that at least one additional tree is planted in the unitary area for every resident before 2050 – an estimated 345,000 trees.
2) To create a Shropshire Tree Bank. Where a tree is lost without replacement, the council should encourage a voluntary financial contribution towards the Tree Bank, a central pot that will distribute free native saplings each autumn (perhaps in a similar manner to the council’s earlier Free Tree Scheme).
Such a scheme should be cost neutral to Shropshire Council and might be administered by either the Council or an independent body. By way of indication, those felling a tree without replacement might be encouraged to pay for two saplings at £5 each. This fee would be more than adequate to cover the cost of the saplings and contribute towards administrative, storage and distribution costs.
The scheme would initially be open to householders, housing providers and landowners. Scope for opening extending the scheme to developers will need to be considered in the context of the government’s proposals to mandate biodiversity net gain for most developments in the forthcoming Environment Bill.
4. The following motion has been received from Councillor David Vasmer and is supported by the Liberal Democrat Group:
Highways Contract Arrangements
Members will be aware of the deep concerns that exist over the state of Shropshire’s highways. I propose that firstly:
This Council Notes:
1. The poor record of Ringway who were responsible for highway projects and schemes, pothole repair, gritting, bridge maintenance, grass cutting, drainage, street lighting, emergency responses, winter maintenance and extreme weather provision.
2. That Kier were appointed to take over on 1st April 2018
3. That when the contract was awarded in October 2017, Steve Davenport, the Cabinet member for Highways and Transport said: "We're confident we have found the best contractor for this work and we look forward to working with them (Kier) to deliver the best possible highways maintenance services for the people of Shropshire.
4. Since April 2018 the service provided by Kier has not delivered the improved services we were promised, and in some cases is now worse than that provided by Ringway. Councillors of all parties have found it very difficult to get essential highway repairs done.
This Council Resolves:
1. To conduct an urgent review of the current arrangements for highways maintenance and whether the standards set out in the contract with Kier are being met.
2. To include within the review, options for the Council to take over functions from Kier and bring services in-house at some point in the future
3. To conclude the review before the next Council meeting so that the Council can debate its content and agree how we can deliver the quality of services our residents deserve
5. The following motion has been received from Councillor D Vasmer and is supported by the Liberal Democrat Group:
This Council Notes
- The growing numbers of people across England reliant upon the private rented sector for their homes, including families on low incomes or receiving benefits, single parents, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ+ people, older people, and people who are from two or more of these categories.
- The use of Section 21 of the Housing Act to evict private rental tenants, via a no-fault eviction, where a landlord needs to provide no reason, and needs to provide only two months' notice, leaving the tenant to cover moving and relocation costs, irrespective of their circumstances.
- The impacts that no fault evictions have on those evicted, who may not have sufficient funds to find new accommodation in the time available, including forcing children to move schools, tearing people away from their friends and communities, and leaving tenants financially compromised and requiring support from the state.
- The impact that the threat of a no-fault eviction has on tenants who cannot plan their lives when they have no confidence where home will be in 12 months' time or are intimidated into not complaining about disrepair or mistreatment.
- The impact that no fault evictions have on local authorities like Shropshire, increasing the numbers of people they must support as a consequence of being forced into homelessness following a S21 eviction.
This Council calls for:
- Reform of the private rental market to make it fairer for private renters.
- Support for private renters to enable them to safely report health and safety issues in rented properties.
- Local authorities to be enabled to create and maintain registers of landlords providing private rental properties for lease.
- Tenants to be given the first refusal to buy the home they are renting when a landlord decides to sell during their tenancy, and at the market rate according to an independent valuation.
- Longer tenancies of three years or more, with an inflation-linked annual rent increase built in giving tenants security and limit rent hikes.
- Improved protections against rogue landlords through mandatory licensing and allow access for tenants to the Database of Rogue Landlords and Letting Agents
This Council resolves:
- To encourage renters across Shropshire to take part in the End Unfair Evictions coalition online survey as part of the Government consultation on scrapping section 21. Including sharing support for the End Section 21 campaign on all social media channels
- That the Leader of the Council will write to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government to stress that any changes to section 21 and section 8 cannot allow no-fault evictions through the back door.
- Call on the member of parliament to publicly state his support for the abolition of section 21.