Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group
Members considered the proposals for the Council to establish a Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group as an Executive Advisory Panel. A list of Members who had been nominated to sit on the group was tabled at the meeting (attached at Appendix 2).
In presenting the recommendations the Leader of the Council requested an alteration. This alteration proposed, in addition to establishing the Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group and approving the group’s membership, that the Council should also declare a climate emergency and take immediate action to address this. This alteration was accepted.
During consideration of this item an amendment was proposed by Councillor Bill Hartnett. This amendment was seconded by Councillor Greg Chance. The amendment called for the meetings of the Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group to be open to the public.
In proposing the amendment Councillor Hartnett explained that he felt that the terms of reference for the group should be altered to permit all meetings of the group to be held in public, except in cases where the meetings were required to go into private session to consider exempt matters. The decision to establish a Climate Change Cross-Party Working Group had been taken in part in response to a question that had been received by the Leader from a member of the public and this, together with recent protests by climate change activists in the town, demonstrated that there was public interest in the matter.
In seconding the amendment Councillor Chance commented that it was important to hold the meetings in public in order to demonstrate that the Council was taking action to address climate change. There were targets in respect of climate change and energy efficiency to meet by 2050, though action could be taken prior to this date.
Members subsequently discussed the amendment in detail and in doing so noted the following:
· The level of public interest in climate change, particularly amongst young people, and the potential to involve them in the local democratic process.
· The standard arrangements for Executive Advisory Panels and scrutiny Task Groups which generally met in private.
· The potential for some of the group’s meetings to be held in public in cases where consultation might be taking place.
· The option for interested parties to be invited to attend meeting of the group to provide information.
· The role of the group to provide Members with an opportunity to review relevant matters in detail before a decision was taken by the Executive Committee.
· The Access to Information rules that applied to public meetings.
On being put to the vote the amendment was lost.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services Enforcement Policy
The Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS) Enforcement Policy had been considered already by the WRS Board. All constituent authorities needed to approve the policy prior to implementation. The policy set out how Officers would undertake enforcement action. Wherever possible Officers would seek to work with individuals and prosecution would only be undertaken as a last resort.
Disposal of an HRA Asset ... view the full minutes text for item 45