Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Thursday, 21 April 2022 7.00pm

Venue: St George's Centre, Pembroke Road, Chatham Maritime, Chatham ME4 4UH

Contact: Wayne Hemingway, Head of Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

821.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Browne, Doe, Mrs Josie Iles, Opara, Prenter, Andy Stamp and Thompson.

822.

Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary Interests and Other Significant Interests pdf icon PDF 371 KB

Members are invited to disclose any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Other Significant Interests in accordance with the Member Code of Conduct.  Guidance on this is set out in agenda item 2.

 

Minutes:

Disclosable pecuniary interests

 

There were none.

 

Other significant interests (OSIs)

 

Councillor Gulvin declared an OSI in relation to agenda item No. 15 (Contract Letting - Exceptional Circumstances) as he is a Board Member of Medway Development Company Ltd (MDC). He relied on a dispensation granted by the Councillor Conduct Committee to enable him to take part in any discussions and votes thereon.

 

Other interests

 

Councillor McDonald declared an interest in a response given to public question 7E as he is aligned to one of the organisations mentioned. Councillor McDonald remained in the room during the response.

 

Councillor Cooper declared an interest in a response given to public question 7E as Medway Voluntary Action was mentioned and Councillor Cooper is a befriender for this organisation. Councillor Cooper remained in the room during this response.

823.

Record of meeting pdf icon PDF 414 KB

To approve the record of the meeting held on 24 February 2022.

Minutes:

The record of the meeting held on 24 February 2022 was agreed by the Council and signed by The Worshipful The Mayor of Medway as correct.

824.

Mayor's announcements

Minutes:

The Worshipful The Mayor of Medway said that Members would be aware of the passing of two of the Council’s Honorary Aldermen, Ted Baker and Tom Mason.

 

Alderman Baker had served continuously on Medway Council between 1997 and 2015 representing St Margaret’s and Borstal and then Rochester West ward.Alderman Baker had served as Mayor of Medway twice and had been  Deputy Mayor twice. In recognition of his significant contribution to Medway, he had been awarded the title of Honorary Alderman in October 2015.

 

Alderman Mason had represented Medway continuously for more than 40 years, having been first elected to the Frindsbury Extra ward on Strood Rural District Council, followed by the City of Rochester-upon-Medway Council and then Medway Council. He had also served as a Member of Kent County Council. He had previously served as Mayor of Rochester-upon-Medway on two occasions.In October 2021, he had been awarded the title of Honorary Alderman in recognition of his outstanding service.

 

The Mayor also announced that Brian Prodger, the husband of ex-Councillor Angela Prodger, had also recently passed away. Former Councillor Prodger had served as a Councillor on the City of Rochester-upon-Medway Council  and then Medway Council. She had served as Mayor, with Mr Prodger having supported her as consort.  

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, said that Alderman Baker had been dependable, had a great sense of humour and had stood up for what he considered to be right for Medway. Alderman Mason had strongly held beliefs and views and would be much missed.

 

The Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Maple, reflected that Alderman Mason had been dedicated to public service and to Strood. Councillor Maple echoed the Leader’s comment that Alderman Baker had stood up for what he believed was right and had been passionate about his Council work and the local community. 

 

Other Members of the Council added their tributes.

 

A minute’s silence was held in memory of Honorary Aldermen Baker and Mason and Mr Prodger.

825.

Leader's announcements

Minutes:

The Leader of the Council advised of a proposal to grant the Freedom of the Borough to the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, on behalf of the Chatham Dockyard workforce. This would be in recognition of the outstanding service of this workforce at the time of the Falklands Conflict.

 

Although it had been suggested that the proposal be considered at the Annual meeting of Medway Council in May, this had not taken account of previous protocol that the Council would agree the intention to award freedom status at a Council meeting and then bestow that status at a Special Council meeting. The Leader had, therefore, instructed that consultations took place to ensure that freedom status could be appropriately granted and the protocol followed.

826.

Petitions

Minutes:

Public:

 

A petition was submitted, which had been signed by 16 members of the public. This related to overgrown trees on Gillingham Green that overlooked Layfield Road and called on the Council to trim the trees in this area.

 

Member:

 

Councillor Price submitted a petition on behalf of members of the public. The petition, which had been signed by 26 people, related to the access road to the rear of Granville Road, Gillingham. The petition called on the Council to make repairs to potholes on the road and to improve drainage.

 

Councillor Cooper submitted a petition on behalf of members of the public. The petition, which had been signed by residents of Gillingham North ward related to the Sunlight Centre in Gillingham. The petition called on the Council to register the Sunlight Centre as an Asset of Community Value.

827.

Public questions pdf icon PDF 94 KB

This report sets out the public questions received for this meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question A - Alan Stockey of Rainham asked the Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Housing and Community Services, Councillor Doe, the following:

 

“Given all the focus on air quality and the current concerning state in Four Elms Hill, I want to ask why there is no reference to air quality in section 11 of the Climate Change Action Plan - Resilience, which currently focuses exclusively on flood and extremes of temperature?”

 

Responding on behalf of Councillor Doe, the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, thanked Mr Stockey for his question. He said that air quality was an important part of the Climate Change agenda and was included within the Climate Change Action Plan under Priority Area 6 - Transport, Travel and Digital Connectivity. There were a number of measures under this priority area which ensured that the Air Quality Action Plan was delivered. 

 

Councillor Gulvin said that the Climate Change Action Plan aligned with the Kent and Medway Energy and Low Emissions Strategy, where air quality measures also sat under Transport, Travel and Digital Connectivity.  

 

Question B - Louise Smith of Rochester asked the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Economic Growth and Regulation, Councillor Chitty, the following:

 

“I note with amazement that despite thousands of people being on the Medway housing waiting list, that properties in Chatham Waters and Rochester Riverside are currently being advertised in Hong Kong by Peel and Countryside Partnership. The Chatham Waters development was reported by the Medway Messenger on 2nd April.

 

It is therefore shocking that the position of this Council’s leadership is to lose hundreds and hundreds of quality jobs to build more properties to be bought by investors in the Southern Hemisphere not by Medway residents.

 

Will the Portfolio Holder confirm she still wants hundreds of jobs lost with the housing being bought by individuals overseas, depriving local people of both employment and homes?”

 

Councillor Chitty thanked Ms Smith for her question. She said that the matter was a commercial decision by the company concerned and that the firm had stated that it had created 199 new homes for Chatham residents.

 

It was understood that properties would be sold to a property investor and a company appointed by the investor as an agent to let and manage the properties. This would give control to ensure that these properties were occupied by local people.

 

Councillor Chitty understood that related planning issues would be considered by the Council’s Planning Committee.

 

Question C - Karen Turner of Gillingham asked the Portfolio Holder for Children’s Services – Lead Member, Councillor Mrs Josie Iles, the following:

 

“I am a teaching assistant in a Medway school. Support staff like myself have worked hard throughout the pandemic supporting the education of children and enabling other key workers to continue doing their vital jobs. Medway Council has miscalculated holiday pay for term time only workers for many years, yet you are offering Medway staff (like myself) just half of what was given to Kent workers over the same issue.

 

Why  ...  view the full minutes text for item 827.

828.

Leader's report pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received the Leader’s Report and raised the following issues during debate:

 

·       The impact of the war in Ukraine and the hosting of refugees in Medway.

·       The Development of the Innovation Park Medway Northern and Southern sites.

·       Development of the former Strood civic site and reinstallation of the Strood Community trail.

·       The competition of Rochester Riverside phases 1 to 3.

·       The New Healthy Living Centre in the Pentagon Shopping Centre.

·       Progress on the Brook Theatre and St John’s Church works.

·       Progression of the Housing Infrastructure Fund project.

·       The Children’s Services improvement journey and progress being made.

·       Concern about Covid-19 rule breaking by politicians at national level.

·       The Medway Go children’s activity programme that had run during the Easter holiday. This had started in 2021 and had received £1.1million of funding.

·       Concerns about progress on the development of Medway’s new Local Plan.

·       The impact of high transport costs and the cost of electric car charging points.

·       Success of the English Festival held at Riverside Country Park.

·       Plans to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Medway.

·       Difficulties facing the health service in relation to funding, recruitment and the high cost of living.

·       Pay of school term-time only staff.

·       Workforce planning and the future availability of adequate numbers of staff to support public services.

·       Concern about local provision of bus services.

829.

Report on Overview and Scrutiny Activity pdf icon PDF 148 KB

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

Members received a report on overview and scrutiny activity and raised the following issues during debate:

 

·       The topic of the next Overview and Scrutiny Task Group. This would be GP Appointments and Access to Services, followed by Physical Activity.

·       Concerns about progress being made in the development of Medway’s new Local Plan and the impact of Government requirements.

·       The Call in of a Cabinet decision in relation to proposals regarding the development of the Queen Street Car Park site.

·       Promotions recently secured by Medway Rugby Club and Chatham Town Football Club.

·       The hight cost of living, the need for people to use foodbanks and concern that activities that had been accessible to all were now becoming unaffordable for many.

·       The importance of the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

 

Decision:

 

The Council noted the report.

830.

Nominations of Mayor and Deputy Mayor 2022/23

To receive nominations for candidates for election at the Annual Council Meeting on 18 May 2022 as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2022/2023 municipal year in accordance with Council Rule 20.3, as set out in the Council’s Constitution.

Minutes:

Councillor Griffin, supported by Councillor Hackwell, proposed that Councillor Aldous be nominated as the Mayor of Medway for the 2022/2023 municipal year.

 

On being put to the vote, the nomination of Councillor Aldous was agreed. 

 

Councillor Buckwell, supported by Councillor Tejan, proposed that Councillor Barrett be nominated as the Deputy Mayor of Medway for the 2022/2023 municipal year. 

 

On being put to the vote the nomination of Councillor Barrett was agreed.

831.

Members' questions pdf icon PDF 97 KB

 This report sets out Members’ questions received for this meeting. 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Question A - Councillor Murray asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

 

“Following Russia’s declaration of war against Ukraine there has been a commendable and sincere outpouring of support from our community in Medway, with many generous donations for victims displaced by the war and volunteer groups working hard to coordinate collections, packing and transport.

 

Now that the government has put local councils at the centre of the scheme to offer sanctuary to Ukrainian refugees, can the Leader of the Council tell me what steps he has taken to ensure that any refugees who may come to Medway will get the services and support they need?”

 

Councillor Jarrett thanked Councillor Murray for her question. He said that Medway was proud that 59 Medway households had so far come forward to open up their homes to people who were fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Whilst some guidance was awaited from the Government, the Council stood ready to support Ukrainians and sponsors through the process.

 

Over 30 households had either completed or booked for the required checks to take place. Sponsors were being informed of the process and provided support where necessary.

 

Regular meetings were held with senior officers to understand the issues and  Councillor Jarrett had assembled a small group of Councillor colleagues and senior officers to meet on a fortnightly basis in order to review the issues and ensure good progress of the work.

 

The first priority had been to ensure that safeguarding issues were addressed. Work was being undertaken to ensure arrivals received the health and social care they needed and that children had access to schooling. Work was also taking place with community groups and Councillor Jarrett considered that the Council was doing as much as it could.

 

It was a vote of confidence from the Government that they had asked local authorities to help and Councillor Jarrett felt that central government would not have been able to deal with the pandemic in the way it had without having being able to call on the support of local authorities. He was, therefore, pleased to have been asked to take up this new challenge.

 

Question B - Councillor Maple asked the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, the following:

 

“Like many people I was shocked and appalled at the totally unacceptable treatment of 800 hard working women and men dismissed by a pre-recorded Microsoft Teams message. With our long-standing nautical history Medway stands in solidarity with the workers of P&O, who have been treated in such a manner.

 

The parent company, DP World, who have been happy to receive millions of pounds of government contracts, have treated those workers, who come from across Kent and Medway with utter contempt, whilst being happy to spend millions of pounds on sponsorship for golf and Formula One.

 

Will the Leader agree that until those workers are reinstated, that Medway Council will not deal with DP World in any way and in doing so will he and his Cabinet  ...  view the full minutes text for item 831.

832.

Medway Youth Justice Plan 2022 - 2024 pdf icon PDF 155 KB

The Crime and Disorder Act 1998, requires Local Authorities to have a Youth Justice Plan, which is updated annually to set out how Youth Justice will be delivered locally within available resources.

 

The Youth Justice Plan is a strategic plan and forms part of the Policy Framework for Medway Council (Chapter 2, Article 4.1 of the Constitution). The approval or adoption of the Policy Framework is a function of Full Council.

 

The format of the plan follows guidance and headings provided by the national Youth Justice Board in April 2021, detailing best practice in the Youth Justice Plans completion.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report set out the Youth Justice Plan 2022 2024. The report stated that the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, required Local Authorities to have a Youth Justice Plan, which would be updated annually to set out how youth justice would be delivered locally within available resources. The Plan followed guidance and headings provided by the national Youth Justice Board in April 2021, detailing best practice in the Youth Justice Plan’s completion.

 

The report explained that the Youth Justice Plan was a strategic plan that formed part of the Policy Framework for Medway Council and approval of which was therefore a matter for Full Council

 

The report had been considered by the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 3 March 2022 and by the Cabinet on 5 April 2022. The comments, recommendations and decisions of the Committee and Cabinet were set out in sections 6 and 7 of report respectively.

 

A Diversity Impact Assessment had been undertaken in relation to the Plan, details of which were set out in Appendix 2 to the report.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, Councillor Potter, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

a)    The Council noted the comments from the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee, as set out at section 6 of the report and the decision of the Cabinet, as set out at section 7 of the report.

 

b)    The Council approved the Medway Youth Justice Partnership Strategic Plan 2022 – 2024 attached at Appendix 1 to the report, including its priorities and themes and details of its consultation process (attached at Appendices 1 and 2 to the Strategic Plan).

833.

Amendments to the Capital Programme pdf icon PDF 121 KB

This report requests Council approval for a number of amendments to the Capital Programme as recommended by Cabinet on 8 March 2022.

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report provided details of proposals to make a number of amendments to the Capital Programme as recommended by Cabinet on 8 March 2022. These amendments included an addition to the Capital Programme in relation to the Medway City Estate Connectivity Scheme and a number of removals from the Capital Programme of unspent budget, as se out in sections 3 to 6 of the report.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Portfolio Holder for Inward Investment, Strategic Regeneration and Partnerships, Councillor Rodney Chambers OBE, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council agreed to remove the schemes and unspent budget set out in sections 3 to 6 of the report from the Capital Programme, and to add £236,000 S106 funding to the Capital Programme, as set out in section 7 of the report.

834.

Change to the Employee Scheme of Delegations pdf icon PDF 145 KB

At its meeting on 16 February 2022, the Councillor Conduct Committee (the Committee) considered three applications for dispensations and noted that all such applications were required to be considered by the Committee. At the Monitoring Officer’s request, the Committee agreed to recommend Council to delegate such decision making to the Monitoring Officer, retaining the decision making to the Committee where he was not minded to grant the request.

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report set out a recommendation to Council, which had been made by the Councillor Conduct Committee on 16 February 2022, to make an amendment to the Employee Delegation Scheme, within the Council’s Constitution.

 

This amendment would enable the Monitoring Officer to consider and determine any requests for dispensations from Medway Members and voting and non-voting co-opted Committee members and to only refer requests for dispensations to the Councillor Conduct Committee for determination where the Monitoring Officer was minded to not grant a dispensation.

 

It was noted that the dispensations granted would be reported to the Councillor Conduct Committee on an annual basis.

 

Councillor Mrs Diane Chambers, supported by Councillor Fearn, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

Decision:

 

The Council agreed that the delegation set out at paragraph 6.20 of the Employee Delegation Scheme, within the Council’s constitution, be reworded as follows:

 

“To consider and determine any requests for dispensations from Medway Members and voting and non-voting co-opted Members in cases where the timing of a request would make it impractical to convene a meeting of the Committee and to only refer requests for dispensations to the Councillor Conduct Committee for determination where the Monitoring Officer is minded to not grant a dispensation”.

 

The revised paragraph 6.20 of the Employee Delegation Scheme to read as follows:

 

To consider and determine any requests for dispensations from Medway Members and voting and non-voting co-opted Members and to only refer requests for dispensations to the Councillor Conduct Committee for determination where the Monitoring Officer is minded to not grant a dispensation.

835.

Contract Letting - Exceptional Circumstances pdf icon PDF 167 KB

This report details contracts awarded in accordance with the provisions of the current Contract Procedure Rule 1.8.2.

 

Exemptions to Contract Procedure Rules, to deal with the letting of contracts in exceptional circumstances where it is considered to be in the best interests of the Council to do so, can be approved by the Monitoring Officer, provided that the exemption does not breach any Directive, Statute or Regulation.

 

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

This report provided details of thirteen contracts awarded during the period 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2022, in accordance with the provisions paragraph 1.8.2 of the Contract Procedure Rules. The report stated that exemptions to Contract Procedure Rules to deal with the letting of contracts in exceptional circumstances, where it was in the best interests of the Council to do so, could be approved by the Monitoring Officer, provided that the exemption did not breach any UK Directive, Statute or Regulation.

 

The Portfolio Holder for Resources, Councillor Gulvin, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services, Councillor Filmer, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

 

Decision

 

The Council noted the contents of the report.

836.

Establishment of Committees, Appointments and Schedule of Meetings 2022/2023 pdf icon PDF 148 KB

This report asks the Council to make a number of recommendations to the Annual meeting of the Council on 18 May 2022 regarding the committees and other bodies to be appointed for 2022/2023 and also a programme of meetings.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Background:

 

This report asked the Council to make a number of recommendations to the Annual meeting of the Council on 18 May 2022 regarding the committees and other bodies to be appointed for 2022/2023 and a programme of meetings.

 

The report set out that on 20 January 2022, the Council had agreed a draft schedule of meetings for 2022/2023. Subsequently, the Business Support Overview and Scrutiny Committee had requested two changes to the scheduled of meetings for that Committee, as set out in section 4 of the report.

 

Councillor Kemp, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Adults' Services, Councillor Brake, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

 

Decision:

 

1)    The Council agreed to recommend to Annual Council on 18 May 2022:

 

a)      The establishment of committees, sub committees and task groups, their size and the allocation of seats to political groupsas set out in Appendices A and B to this report, together with terms of reference as set out in the Council’s constitution;

 

b)      That appointments should be made to Joint Committees, outside bodies and other bodies as set out in Appendix C (with nominees to be reported at the Annual Council meeting);

 

c)      The timetable of meetings for the 2022/2023 municipal year as set out in Appendix D and;

 

d)      Agreed to delegate authority to the Chief Executive to vary the timetable of meetings during 2022/2023 including the cancellation or re-arrangement of meetings in consultation with the Leader of the Council, the relevant Committee Chairman and the Leader of the Labour and Co-operative Group, as necessary, in response to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

2)    The Council:

 

a)      Nominated the Director of People – Children and Adults Services to the Board of the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board.

 

b)      Authorised the making of an agreement with the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board to place the Director of People – Children and Adults Services at the disposal of the Board for the purpose of her designation as a Board Member with effect from 1 July 2022 at the earliest.

 

c)      Agreed to delegate authority to the Assistant Director, Legal and Governance to agree the terms of the agreement between the Council and the NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board.

837.

Use of Urgency Provisions pdf icon PDF 111 KB

This report provides details of recent usage of urgency provisions contained within the Constitution.

Minutes:

Discussion:

 

This report provided details of recent usage of urgency provisions contained within the Constitution.

 

The Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, supported by the Portfolio Holder for Business Management, Councillor Hackwell, proposed the recommendations set out in the report.

 

Decision:

 

The Council noted the report.

838.

Motions

838A)

Councillor Brake, supported by Councillor Lammas, submitted the following:

Medway Council commits to “Homes for Ukraine” initiative

 

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and has been ruthless in their military action, specifically towards the innocent civilians trying to live their everyday lives. The conflict has seen thousands lose their lives, including children, and over 3.9 million Ukrainians displaced across Europe - mainly women and children. These sights have been harrowing across the globe and as a Council we have a duty to support the Government “Homes for Ukraine” initiative.

 

This initiative will provide Ukrainian refugees a safe home to re-evaluate and plan their next move, which has been kindly offered by Medway residents.

 

This Council commits to:

 

·         Inspecting volunteers’ accommodation in line with Government regulations

·         Vetting those who apply to house a Ukrainian family under the Homes for Ukraine initiative

·         Vetting, where possible, refugee Ukrainian families.

·         Providing support to those refugees to get established in their new lives in Britain

·         Distributing available Government funding to these families as soon as possible

·         Providing support to those Medway residents who have volunteered their homes

·         Thanking Medway residents for opening their homes to a Ukrainian family

 

Medway Council is fully committed to providing support where we can and ensuring every Ukrainian family who comes to Medway will have a safe space and receive any support they may need to adjust to life in the UK. We are also committed to ensuring Medway residents who have volunteered under the programme are provided with any support they may require, not least because of the immense kindness they have displayed. We pledge to continue this effort and show Medway as the welcoming Child Friendly city we know it to be.

Minutes:

Councillor Brake proposed an alteration to his previously submitted motion. In accordance with Council Rule 11.4.1, the meeting’s consent was signified without discussion, therefore, the altered motion was considered as follows [change from the published motion is shown as strikethrough]:

 

Medway Council commits to “Homes for Ukraine” initiative

 

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and has been ruthless in their military action, specifically towards the innocent civilians trying to live their everyday lives. The conflict has seen thousands lose their lives, including children, and over 3.9 million Ukrainians displaced across Europe - mainly women and children. These sights have been harrowing across the globe and as a Council we have a duty to support the Government “Homes for Ukraine” initiative.

 

This initiative will provide Ukrainian refugees a safe home to re-evaluate and plan their next move, which has been kindly offered by Medway residents.

 

This Council commits to:

 

·       Inspecting volunteers’ accommodation in line with Government regulations

·       Vetting those who apply to house a Ukrainian family under the Homes for Ukraine initiative

·       Vetting where possible, refugee Ukrainian families

·       Providing support to those refugees to get established in their new lives in Britain

·       Distributing available Government funding to these families as soon as possible

·       Providing support to those Medway residents who have volunteered their homes

·       Thanking Medway residents for opening their homes to a Ukrainian family

 

Medway Council is fully committed to providing support where we can and ensuring every Ukrainian family who comes to Medway will have a safe space and receive any support they may need to adjust to life in the UK. We are also committed to ensuring Medway residents who have volunteered under the programme are provided with any support they may require, not least because of the immense kindness they have displayed. We pledge to continue this effort and show Medway as the welcoming Child Friendly city we know it to be.

 

Decision:

 

On being put to the vote, the substantive motion was carried.

 

Medway Council commits to “Homes for Ukraine” initiative

 

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and has been ruthless in their military action, specifically towards the innocent civilians trying to live their everyday lives. The conflict has seen thousands lose their lives, including children, and over 3.9 million Ukrainians displaced across Europe - mainly women and children. These sights have been harrowing across the globe and as a Council we have a duty to support the Government “Homes for Ukraine” initiative.

 

This initiative will provide Ukrainian refugees a safe home to re-evaluate and plan their next move, which has been kindly offered by Medway residents.

 

This Council commits to:

 

·       Inspecting volunteers’ accommodation in line with Government regulations

·       Vetting those who apply to house a Ukrainian family under the Homes for Ukraine initiative

·       Providing support to those refugees to get established in their new lives in Britain

·       Distributing available Government funding to these families as soon as possible

·       Providing support to those Medway residents who have volunteered their homes

·       Thanking Medway residents for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 838A)

838B)

Councillor Osborne, supported by Councillor Curry, submitted the following:

Divestment Motion

 

Council notes:

 

?     Medway Council, as part of the Local Government Pension Fund, has around £210 million invested in fossil fuels via the Local Government Pension Scheme.

 

?     The United Nations Paris Agreement, reaffirmed at the 2021 Glasgow Climate Summit, commits our governments to keep the global temperature increase to under 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees. Carbon budgets produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations and the International Energy Agency show that preventing two degrees of warming relies on not burning the vast majority of all proven fossil fuels.

 

?     The UN International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global oil demand will significantly fall by 2030, leading their Executive Director to refer to oil and gas companies as potential ‘junk investments.’ Action by governments to limit carbon emissions will ultimately leave fossil fuel reserves unburnable. It has been estimated that this asset bubble, known as the ‘carbon bubble’, may be over €1 trillion in Europe alone.

 

?     Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that fossil fuel investments risk becoming “stranded assets” as investors exit the sector. “A question for every company, every financial institution, every asset manager, pension fund or insurer – what’s your plan?”

 

?     Pension funds have a fiduciary duty to consider the material risks of continued investment in fossil fuels. Fiduciary duty is defined by the Law Commission as “ensuring that pensions can be paid, ensuring that this is undertaken at the best possible value”.

 

?     Pension funds have a legal duty to treat members “fairly as between them”. That means taking seriously the longer-term interests of younger members who may be affected more by the climate transition.

 

This Council commits to:

 

  1. Reviewing its Investment Strategy and developing and implementing a Responsible Investment Policy which rules out new investments in fossil fuel companies.

 

  1. Calling on the Medway Council Trustee / Nominated Person on the Kent Superannuation Fund Committee to request divestment from fossil fuels through the development and adoption of responsible investment policies which:

 

a.      Immediately freeze any new investment in the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.

 

b.      Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within an appropriate timescale.

 

c.      Set out an approach to quantify and address climate change risks affecting all other investments.

 

d.      Actively seek to invest in companies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimise climate risk.

 

3.    Recognising that fossil fuel investments should be considered as part of the Council’s “carbon footprint” and divesting our pension fund is one of the most impactful steps we can take to reduce our impact on our community and the world.

Minutes:

Divestment Motion

 

Council notes:

 

?      Medway Council, as part of the Local Government Pension Fund, has around £210 million invested in fossil fuels via the Local Government Pension Scheme.

 

?      The United Nations Paris Agreement, reaffirmed at the 2021 Glasgow Climate Summit, commits our governments to keep the global temperature increase to under 2 degrees and aim for 1.5 degrees. Carbon budgets produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, United Nations and the International Energy Agency show that preventing two degrees of warming relies on not burning the vast majority of all proven fossil fuels.

 

?      The UN International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that global oil demand will significantly fall by 2030, leading their Executive Director to refer to oil and gas companies as potential ‘junk investments.’ Action by governments to limit carbon emissions will ultimately leave fossil fuel reserves unburnable. It has been estimated that this asset bubble, known as the ‘carbon bubble’, may be over €1 trillion in Europe alone.

 

?      Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that fossil fuel investments risk becoming “stranded assets” as investors exit the sector. “A question for every company, every financial institution, every asset manager, pension fund or insurer – what’s your plan?”

 

?      Pension funds have a fiduciary duty to consider the material risks of continued investment in fossil fuels. Fiduciary duty is defined by the Law Commission as “ensuring that pensions can be paid, ensuring that this is undertaken at the best possible value”.

 

?      Pension funds have a legal duty to treat members “fairly as between them”. That means taking seriously the longer-term interests of younger members who may be affected more by the climate transition.

 

This Council commits to:

 

  1. Reviewing its Investment Strategy and developing and implementing a Responsible Investment Policy which rules out new investments in fossil fuel companies.

 

  1. Calling on the Medway Council Trustee / Nominated Person on the Kent Superannuation Fund Committee to request divestment from fossil fuels through the development and adoption of responsible investment policies which:

 

a.      Immediately freeze any new investment in the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies.

 

b.      Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within an appropriate timescale.

 

c.      Set out an approach to quantify and address climate change risks affecting all other investments.

 

d.      Actively seek to invest in companies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and minimise climate risk.

 

3.    Recognising that fossil fuel investments should be considered as part of the Council’s “carbon footprint” and divesting our pension fund is one of the most impactful steps we can take to reduce our impact on our community and the world.

 

In accordance with Rule 12.4 of the Council Rules, a recorded vote on the motion was taken.

 

For – Councillors Adeoye, Cooper, Curry, Edwards, Howcroft-Scott, Johnson, Khan, Lloyd, Mahil, Maple, McDonald, Murray, Osborne, Paterson, Pendergast, Price, Sands, Chrissy Stamp and Van Dyke. (19)

 

Against – Councillors Ahmed, Aldous, Barrett, Brake, Buckwell, Carr, Mrs Diane Chambers, Rodney Chambers OBE,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 838B)