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Agenda item

To consider the following Motions in accordance with Council Rules of Procedure No. 13

Motion B: Grenfell Tower and fire safety in Haringey

Proposer: Cllr Bob Hare

Seconder: Cllr Liz Morris

This Council is very concerned by the events at Grenfell Tower and offers it condolences to those who lost family members and loved ones in the fire.

This Council notes that since the fire, the cladding in many tower blocks across the county have failed fire safety and flammability tests.

This Council also notes with concern that at least five tower blocks in Haringey also have faulty cladding and welcomes the steps taken by Newlon Housing Association to make the buildings safe for residents.

This council commits to acting promptly to any relevant recommendations from the forthcoming public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

This Council also commits to ensuring that every building built and maintained by the Council, Homes for Haringey and the Haringey Development Vehicle:

·         Does not have flammable cladding

·         Meets all fire safety requirements and building regulations

·         Has working fire and smoke alarms

·         Has appropriate fire safety measures, such as fire escapes and sprinklers

 

This Council also commits to ensuring that all schools in the borough have working fire/smoke alarms and sprinkler systems.

This Council calls on the Conservative Government to strengthen building and fire regulations and to ensure that in future, fire checks of buildings are completed by the Fire Brigade.

 

Motion C: International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism

 

Proposer: Cllr Claire Kober

Seconder: Cllr Gail Engert

 

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 therefore welcomes 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:

 

This Council notes that:

 

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.

 

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

  • 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.

 

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

 

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

 

This Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations.

 

This Council hereby resolves 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.

 

This Council also condemns all forms of racism, islamophobia, homophobia and sexism and we commit to fighting against them.

Minutes:

The Mayor invited Cllr Hare to propose his motion, who gave some information on the requirements for adequate fire suppression in tower blocks, the situation in Haringey and neighbouring boroughs and some actions that the Council  could take to given the concerns of residents about fire safety.

 

Cllr Morris formally seconded the motion, and welcomed that there were broad areas of agreement between the two parties. She was keen that there be retrofitting of sprinkler systems in high rise buildings, as would be required for new buildings.

 

Moving an amendment to the motion, Cllr Strickland referred to recent updates circulated on fire safety provided to Members and the desire in the amendment to thank officers for their efforts following the Grenfell fire and to consider fire safety measures in a broader sense.

 

Following Cllr Jennifer Mann’s formal seconding of the amendment, Cllr Reith moved that the motion be now put, which was agreed.

 

Following a vote, where there were 39 votes in favour and 8 abstentions, the amendment was CARRIED.

 

The motion as amended was then put to the vote, where it was AGREED unanimously.

 

The Mayor then invited Cllr Kober to move the second motion. In so doing, Cllr Kober referred to the Government’s encouragement of authorities adopting this definition, which had been done by other neighbouring boroughs. She felt the motion was timely given the recent rise in hate crime.

 

In seconding the motion, Cllr Engert set out that she was satisfied that the motion did not impinge on free speech, which she knew was a concern of some people.

 

Cllr Reith moved that the motion be now put, given the late hour. This was agreed, and the motion put to the vote where it was AGREED unanimously.

 

RESOLVED

 

MOTION B – GRENFELL TOWER AND FIRE SAFETY IN HARINGEY

 

This Council is very concerned by the events at Grenfell Tower and offers it condolences to those who lost family members and loved ones in the fire.

 

This Council notes that since the fire, the cladding in many tower blocks across the county have failed fire safety and flammability tests.

 

This Council notes that testing of the 12 council owned high-rise blocks with external cladding has shown that all have fire resistant cladding

 

This Council further notes that at least five tower blocks in Haringey do have faulty cladding and welcomes the steps taken by Newlon Housing Association to make the buildings safe for residents.

 

This Council further notes and commends the rapid work of Homes for Haringey staff in conducting checks of all Council blocks of six stories or more, within 24 hours, to ensure they were in full compliance with fire safety requirements

 

This Council recognises that reassuring tenants and leaseholders at this distressing time is key and welcomes Homes for Haringey’s work to provide advice and listen to concerns, including holding drop-in sessions in high rise blocks, meeting with 60 resident champions and providing additional fire safety information

 

This Council commits to acting promptly to implement any relevant recommendations from the forthcoming public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire.

 

This Council also commits to ensuring that every building built and maintained by the Council, Homes for Haringey and the Haringey Development Vehicle:

·         Does not have flammable cladding

·         Meets all fire safety requirements and building regulations

·         Has working fire and smoke alarms

·         Has appropriate fire safety measures, in accordance with the updated regulations

 

This Council also commits to ensuring that all schools in the borough have the appropriate range of fire safety and fire fighting equipment.

 

This Council calls on the Conservative Government to strengthen building and fire regulations and to ensure that in future, fire checks of buildings are completed by the Fire Brigade.

 

MOTION C: INTERNATIONAL HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE ALLIANCE DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM

 

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 therefore welcomes 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:

 

This Council notes that:

 

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.

 

To guide IHRA in its work, the following examples may serve as illustrations:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for ?why things go wrong.? It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.

 

Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

·         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.

 

Antisemitic acts are criminal when they are so defined by law (for example, denial of the Holocaust or distribution of antisemitic materials in some countries). Criminal acts are antisemitic when the targets of attacks, whether they are people or property – such as buildings, schools, places of worship and cemeteries – are selected because they are, or are perceived to be, Jewish or linked to Jews.

 

Antisemitic discrimination is the denial to Jews of opportunities or services available to others and is illegal in many countries.

 

This Council welcomes the cross-party support within the Council for combating antisemitism in all its manifestations.

 

This Council hereby resolves 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.

 

This Council also condemns all forms of racism, islamophobia, homophobia and sexism and we commit to fighting against them.

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