To consider a Notice of Motion, submitted
with Standing Order 18.1:
a) Notice of Motion submitted by Councillor Jackie Porter, seconded
by Councillor Malcolm Wade.
Please see the attachment at Item 9
within the agenda pack for the detail of the Motion.
The Council considered a Notice
of Motion proposed by Councillor Jackie Porter and seconded by
Councillor Malcolm Wade, submitted in accordance with
Standing Order 18.1 as set out in Item 9 on the Agenda.
Councillor Steve Forster declared a personal interest in his involvement with a business looking at electrification and sustainability.
In speaking to the Motion,
Councillor Porter drew Members attention to a typographical error,
as submitted, in recommendation 3 that should read “in all 11
districts”, which was noted.
In opening the debate and welcoming the principle of the Motion, the Leader highlighted that, should the recommendations be agreed by the Council, careful consideration would need to be given to the financing of those recommendations in light of the Council’s current financial position as a result of responding to Covid-19 as reported earlier in the proceedings. The Leader also highlighted that it may be necessary for the Council to consider the matter again once the implications of the Motion were better understood.
During the course of the debate
there was cross party support for the Motion in terms of
climate change and health benefits such as reducing obesity.
Concerns were expressed regarding the funding of the
recommendations, detailed consideration and evaluation of the
implications of the recommendations, and the importance of
appropriate levels of consultation. A number of Members made
it clear that their support for the Motion was conditional upon
further consideration of the financial implications. It was
noted that a number of initiatives were in operation in schools
such as ‘park and stride’ and that the County Council
had already introduced cycling and walking pop-up schemes which
have been monitored, and where necessary modified to ensure they
are effective, and in some cases, removed if they have proved
unsuccessful. Members also noted that the County Council was
waiting to hear if their bid for funding from the Emergency Active
Travel Fund is successful. In addition, a lot of work was
being done nationally regarding electrification of modes of
transport which will have significant impact on reducing air
Members were also reminded of the work carried out by the Economy, Transport and Environment (ETE) Select Committee regarding walking and cycling as a consistent theme and it was confirmed that the Select Committee would also be giving consideration to the issues set out in the Motion at future meetings.
In summing up the debate the Leader welcomed the various views expressed by Members and the opportunity to debate these important issues. The Leader also highlighted the need for wider discussion about home to school transport, for those that qualify and the year-on-year rising cost of provision, which was in excess of £30m in the last year. For clarity, the Leader confirmed that the proposals were currently unfunded and would require further consideration by Cabinet and the ETE Select Committee before final determination on implementation.
Councillor Porter welcomed that further work on the Motion would
be carried out by the ETE Select Committee.
This Council resolves to:
1. Work with
districts, schools and local partners to swiftly identify those
schools in the county that could put a “school streets”
scheme in place.
2. Work with
districts, schools and local partners to enable all schools that
wish to take part in the “school streets” scheme to do
so – taking advantage of experimental traffic orders and new
statutory guidance over fast-tracked Traffic Regulation Orders
3. Measure air
quality around a sample of schools in all 11 districts at
child-head height to identify the level of air pollution children
are being exposed to at school drop-off and pick-up.
4. Pilot additional measures to improve air quality near schools in 2020/21, such as ‘living green walls’ and tree planting.