Here is a brief overview of the Full Council meeting on 2nd July. The full agenda can be found here.
4. Public questions and communications
– there was a petition and questions about G4S (see Cllr Rob Murphy’s Motion 15); also about contracting out adult social care; but the main item was a 12,000 signature petition calling for safety measures on Normanton Hill. All parties spoke, supporting the measures outlined by the administration. Rob Murphy made a well-received speech extending the issue to the number of people killed and injured nationally: if these were public transport accidents there would be an outcry, but somehow speeding in a private car is not seen as totally unacceptable.
Break followed by eulogies to the 12 councillors who have left or lost their seats.
5. Members questions (i.e. by Cllrs to cabinet members)
– any warmth and unity generated by the above rapidly obliterated as questions degenerated into defensive point scoring.
6. Representation on committees – names being added and changed as new year begins.
7. Changes to constitution.
8. Report from Health Scrutiny Board on Congenital Heart Disease nodded through.
9. Cllr Julie Dore (Labour) motion regretting the Queen’s speech and calling on Government to adopt Labour’s policies.
Some of these are good, of course, but others we don’t agree with – for instance the call to “give local authorities greater control over fracking and address the inadequate (compensation) payments …”. Our position is that we are completely against fracking. Cllr Creasy made a speech agreeing that national policies are damaging Sheffield and the country as a whole … but doubting that a Labour government will reverse the process especially as environmental pressures add to economic woes; and regretting that the administration continues to debate national policy in the council chamber rather than providing any clues about what it intends to do at local level to meet these challenges.
Greens ABSTAINED on LD amendment and Labour motion
10. Cllr Ben Curran (Labour) motion pledging the council not to use any workfare placements.
Greens VOTED FOR the Labour motion (and AGAINST the LD amendment)
11. Cllr Joe Otten (LD) criticising proposed changes to winter maintenance (gritting and snow wardens).
Greens VOTED FOR Labour amendment (in parts) which replaced the LD motion.
12. Cllr Leigh Bramall (Labour) welcoming recent steps to drive forward New Retail Quarter.
Greens ABSTAINED on all except the clause welcoming the fact the council has secured the land (and against the LD amendment). We welcome the fact the council has sacked Hammersons and is setting up an investment fund so that it can take back ownership … but not everything they are planning to do with those powers!
13. Cllr Harry Harpham (Labour) calling for an inquiry into the policing at Orgreave.
Greens VOTED FOR the Labour motion (and against the LD amendment)
14. Cllr Ian Auckland (LD) welcoming HS2. There were LD and Labour amendments.
Greens VOTED AGAINST the eventual motion, except for clauses supporting better links with Leeds and Manchester and a city centre station if HS2 does go ahead. Green Party policy is in favour of investment in the rail network, but would prefer to see capacity increased through more local network investment. HS2 will be beyond the reach of all but the wealthiest travellers.
15. Cllr Rob Murphy (Green) calling on the council to avoid contracting with companies with poor human rights records.
We tried to get this moved up the agenda so it could be passed while the G4S campaigners were still in the chamber – but all except one had gone by the end of Item 4. It was seconded by Labour and PASSED UNANIMOUSLY.
16. Cllr Steve Wilson (Labour) supporting the commemoration for the centenary of WW1
17. Cllr Ross (LD) backing the Government’s latest measures to help young people into work.
There were LD and Labour amendments.
Greens voted FOR parts of LD amendment, ABSTAINED on Labour amendment and FOR parts of the eventual motion (i.e. the Labour, delete-all) amendment.
18. Cllr Clement-Jones calling for an on-line market to support Sheffield independent traders.
Greens voted against the Labour amendment (which watered down the LD proposal) but FOR the eventual motion, i.e. the Labour amendment once it became the substantive motion.