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Agenda item

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

Motion E

 

Councils at Breaking Point

 

Proposed by: Cllr Ejiofor

Seconded by: Cllr James

This Council notes that many council budgets are now at Breaking Point. Austerity, implemented by the Conservative and Liberal Democrats, when in Government, has caused huge damage to communities up and down the UK, with devastating effects on key public services that protect the most defenceless in society – children at risk, disabled adults and vulnerable older people – and the services we all rely on, like clean streets, libraries, children’s centres and schools;

      Tory cuts mean councils have lost 60p out of every £1 that the last Labour Government was spending on local government in 2010;

      Councils had to spend an extra £800m last year to meet the demand on vital services to protect children;

      With an aging population and growing demand adult social care faces a gap of £3.5 billion – with only 14% of council workers now confident that vulnerable local residents are safe and cared for

      Government cuts have seen over 500 children’s centres and 475 libraries close, potholes are left unfilled, and 80% of council workers now say have no confidence in the future of local services;

      By 2020, all of Haringey’s 69 schools will have faced cuts with a net loss of £346 per pupil

      Northamptonshire has already gone bust due to Tory incompetence at both national and local level, and more councils are predicted to collapse without immediate emergency funding

      Councils now face a further funding gap of £7.8 billion by 2025 just to keep services ‘standing still’ and meeting additional demand. Even Lord Gary Porter, the Conservative Chair of the Local Government Association, has said ‘Councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring’

      To stop planned further cuts to local authorities, the Chancellor needs to find an additional £1.3bn next year.

 

This Council condemns Chief Secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss for stating on BBC Newsnight on 1st October 2018 that the government is “not making cuts to local authorities”, when all independent assessments of government spending show that this is entirely false; and that this Council further notes that Prime Minister Theresa May has also claimed that “austerity is over” despite planning a further £1.3bn of cuts to council budgets over the next year;

This Council believes that there should be increased freedoms for councils based on recognition that councils are democratic, transparent, and accountable, and that councillors can be trusted not to overstep the boundaries of acceptability set by regular interactions with the ballot box. This should include immediate abolition of the council tax referendum limit, increased powers to levy higher council tax on empty homes, and the ability to look at local taxes such as land value tax, tourism tax, and possibly even local retention of a portion of income tax;

 

This Council agreeswith the aims of the ‘Breaking Point’ petition signed by labour councillors across the country, in calling forthe Prime Minister and Chancellor to truly end austerity in local government by:

      Using the Budget to reverse next years planned £1.3bn cut to council budgets;

      Immediately investing £2bn in children’s services and £2bn in adult social care to stop these vital emergency services from collapsing;

      Pledging to use the Spending Review to restore council funding to 2010 levels over the next four years

 

This Council resolves to

  • Support the ‘Breaking Point’ campaign, recognising the devastating impact that austerity has had on our local community
  • Ask the Leader of the Council to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government setting out the funding pressures faced by our local council, and calling on the Government to truly end austerity in local government

 

 

Motion F

 

Proposed by: Cllr Ogiehor

Seconded by: Cllr Barnes

A welcoming borough

Background:

Haringey is one of the most diverse boroughs in London, with a long and proud tradition of welcoming refugees and migrants, many of whom have made a considerable contribution to our society.

The recent central Government ‘Hostile Environment’ immigration policy has led to a rise in the number of injustices and severe hardships experienced by many of Haringey’s most vulnerable residents, including the Windrush generation and their descendants, families with no recourse to public funds, people seeking asylum, EU migrants, and under-documented or undocumented migrants.

The Council believes:

  • That all residents, including those who have lived long-term in the borough as well as newly arrived immigrants, should be treated with dignity and respect.
  • That welcome, not hostility, should be the spirit driving the Council’s approach to service delivery and to working with all residents, particularly vulnerable refugees and migrants.
  • That the debate on immigration should be conducted with care for the dignity of people who are vulnerable, who do not have a voice in the public domain and who have to suffer the consequences of inaccurate and inflammatory language.
  • That everybody should be treated justly and fairly and not forced into destitution or left without basic protections.
  • That together with local civil society we must ensure that good processes are in place to enable integration and inclusion, so that Haringey is a truly welcoming borough to all its residents.
  • That ‘Hostile Environment’ policies are unjust and have no place in our society.

 

The Council resolves:

  • That the beliefs listed above should guide the Council’s interactions with refugees and migrants
  • To do all in its power to protect the vulnerable from destitution and to prevent extreme hardship
  • To immediately undertake a comprehensive audit of its relationship with the Home Office and immigration enforcement, and an assessment of its current practices and the impact of the Hostile Environment policy on inclusion, equality and cohesion in the borough
  • To prioritise welcome, integration and inclusion within the forthcoming Borough Plan
  • To work with other local authorities to make regular representations to the Government demanding that they end the ‘Hostile Environment’
  • In the coming months to develop and implement a ‘Welcome Strategy’ detailing policy and practice guidelines to ensure best practice in integration and inclusion within the borough and protection and support for Haringey residents targeted by the ‘Hostile Environment’ policy.

 

 

Supporting documents: