Agenda and draft minutes

Council - Wednesday, 20th July, 2022 1.00 pm

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds

Contact: Kevin Tomkinson, Democratic Services 

Media

Items
No. Item

18.

Announcements

Additional documents:

Minutes:

(a)  The Lord Mayor welcomed members to this meeting of Full Council and also any members of the public who were joining the meeting and reminded those present that the meeting was to be streamed live.

 

(b)  The Lord Mayor informed Council that in his first seven weeks as Lord Mayor he had attended more than 80 events and he had been struck by the diversity and community cohesion across the City making Leeds such a rich cultural place to live.

 

(c) The Lord Mayor congratulated Farsley Celtic Football Club on their achievement in  winning the Deaf Final of the FA Disability Cup.

 

(d)  The Lord Mayor congratulated all those recipients from Leeds or who work and volunteer in Leeds and who had been recognised in Her Majesty the Queen’s 2022 Birthday Honours list. The Lord Mayor offered his congratulations on the receipt of the award.

 

(e)  The Lord Mayor reported that he was delighted to learn that the Leeds Armed Forces Covenant had been awarded silver status by the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme.  This was a fantastic recognition for the work of the council to support members of our Armed Forces and the Lord Mayor thanked all those involved who had worked hard to support this.

 

(f)  The Lord Mayor informed Council of the recent death of Honorary Alderman John Hamilton.

 

 Council stood in silent tribute.

 

19.

Procedural Motion

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Lennox, seconded by Councillor Cohen and

 

RESOLVED - That Council Procedure Rule (CPR) 22.1 (Suspension of CPRs), that CPR 12.2 (motions and amendments) be suspended to allow the introduction of an additional not for debate White Paper on Twinning with Kharkiv to be heard at the start of the meeting.

 

20.

Not for Debate White Paper Motion (in the name of Councillor Lewis)

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Lewis, seconded by Councillor Andrew Carter and supported by Councillors Golton, Hutchison, Dobson and Blackburn and

 

RESOLVED – That this Council notes Leeds has a long tradition of building strong international partnerships in a show of friendship and has a number of long-standing twinning agreements and sister city relationships across the world.

 

Council continues to condemn the invasion of Ukraine and welcome Ukrainian refugees, as the humanitarian situation worsens.

 

Council requests officers to explore a twinning between Leeds and Kharkiv to support closer ties of friendship confirming the City’s commitment to show support and solidarity with Ukraine.

 

21.

Minutes of the last Meeting pdf icon PDF 244 KB

To approve the minutes of the Council Meeting held on 26th May 2022.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Lennox, seconded by Councillor Cohen and

 

RESOLVED – That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th May 2022 be approved.

 

22.

Declaration of Interest

To disclose or draw attention to any interests in accordance with Leeds City Council’s ‘Councillor Code of Conduct’.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interests.

 

23.

Communications

To receive such communications as the Lord Mayor, the Leader,  Members of the Executive Board or the Chief Executive consider appropriate.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

 

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2(d) Councillor Venner drew to the meetings attention communications which had been received from Ofsted to both the Director of Children and Families and the Children and Young People of Leeds.

 

In accordance with a whips agreement Councillor Andrew Carter replied to the Communication.

 

The Chief Executive informed Council that responses had been received regarding 2 white paper resolutions in March, from Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport on the Transport White Paper and George Eustice MP Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Trees White Paper copies of which had previously been circulated to all Members of Council.

 

24.

Deputations

To receive deputations in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 10.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Two deputations were admitted to the meeting and addressed Council, as follows:-

 

1)  National Endometriosis Survivors Support

 

2)  Zest

 

 

RESOLVED – That the subject matter in respect of deputation 1 be referred to the Director of Adults and Health for consideration in consultation with the relevant Executive Member and that the subject matter in respect of deputation 2 be referred to the Director of Adults and Health and Director of Public Health for consideration in consultation with the relevant Executive Member.

 

 

 

25.

Recommendations of the General Purposes Committee - Amendments to Article 17 of the Constitution, Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference and Council Procedure Rules pdf icon PDF 385 KB

To consider the report of the Director of Adults and Health setting out recommendations from the General Purposes Committee on 11 July 2022 to Full Council recommending amendments to Article 17 of the Constitution, The Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference and Council Procedure Rules to reflect the changes in the health and care system of England as set out in The Health and Care Act 2022 legislation (which came in to effect from the 1 July 2022).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the Director of Adults and Health recommending amendments to Article 17 of the Constitution, The Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference and Council Procedure Ruleswas moved by Councillor Lewis, seconded by Councillor Coupar and

 

RESOLVED –

 

(a)   That the proposed amendments to Article 17 of the Constitution, The Health and Wellbeing Board Terms of Reference and Council Procedure Rules as set out in the appendices to the report be approved.

(b)  That the mandatory appointment on the Health and Wellbeing Board of Tim Ryley (Place Based Lead, Leeds Health & Care Partnership) who is the nominated representative of the Leeds Committee of the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board be noted.

26.

Report on Appointments pdf icon PDF 410 KB

To consider the report of the City Solicitor on appointments.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report of the City Solicitor on appointments was moved by Councillor Lennox, seconded by Councillor Venner, an amendment was moved by Councillor Stephenson, seconded by Councillor Cohen;

 

To amend the Report on Appointments to include the following recommendation:

 

(c) to request that the Children & Families Scrutiny Board appoint a non-voting social worker staff representative as a co-opted member.

 

The amendment in the name of Councillor Stephenson was declared lost and upon being put to the vote it was

 

RESOLVED – That the report of the City Solicitor on appointments be approved including those listed on the order paper, namely;

 

1  To note the following appointments to various West Yorkshire Combined Authority Committees and the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group;

·  Councillor Sam Firth to the Economy Scrutiny Committee

·  Councillor Izaak Wilson to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee.

·  Councillor Jess Lennox to replace Councillor Izaak Wilson on the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Scrutiny Committee

·  Councillor Scopes to replace Councillor Martin on the West Yorkshire Pension Fund Joint Advisory Group

 

2  To note the following appointment to a Committee, Board or Panel 

 

·  Councillor B Flynn be appointed to fill the vacancy on Corporate Governance & Audit Committee.

·  Councillor Almass to replace Councillor Maqsood on the Strategy and Resources Scrutiny Board.

·  Councillor Lennox to fill the Labour vacancy and Councillor Lay to fill the Liberal Democrat vacancy on the Infrastructure, Investment and Inclusive Growth Scrutiny Board.

·  Councillor Dowson to replace Councillor Smart on the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee.

 

On the requisition of Councillor Stephenson and Councillor Cohen the voting on the amendment was recorded as follows;

 

YES – 28

 

Alderson, B Anderson, C Anderson, Amanda Carter, Andrew Carter, Cohen, Dixon, Dobson, Downes, Finnigan, Firth, Flynn, Foster, Golton, Harrand, Harrington, Hutchison, Howley, Lamb, Newton, Richards, D Seary, S Seary, Senior, Shemilt, Smith, Stephenson, and Wadsworth.

 

NO – 55

 

Akhtar, Almass, Arif, Bithell, Bowden, Bromley, Brooks, Burke, Carlill, Coupar, Cunningham, Dowson, Dye, Farley, Flint, France-Mir, Garthwaite, Garvani, Gibson, Grahame, Gruen, Hamilton, Harland, Hayden, Heselwood, A Hussain, Z Hussain, Illingworth, Iqbal, Jenkins, Khan, Lennox, Lewis, Maloney, Marshall-Katung, Martin, McKenna, Midgley, Mulherin, Pryor, Rafique, Ragan, Renshaw, Ritchie, Scopes, Sewards, Shahzad, E Taylor, Thomson, Truswell, Tudor, Venner, Walshaw, Wilson and Wray.

 

ABSTAIN – 5

 

Blackburn, Carlisle, Forsaith, Field and McCormack

 

 

 

27.

Report of the Independent Remuneration Panel pdf icon PDF 334 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services presenting to Council the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel (IRP) following a meeting on 23 May 2022 setting out their conclusions and recommendations.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Coupar, seconded by Councillor Lewis and

 

RESOLVED – That the report of the Head of Democratic Services presenting to Council the report of the Independent Remuneration Panel be received and the recommendations set out agreed, namely;

 

a)  The level of Special Responsibility Allowance for the Chair of Climate Emergency Advisory Committee (CEAC) should be 35% of that of the Leader of Council.

b)  The level of Special Responsibility Allowance for the Shadow Chair of CEAC should be 15% of that of the Leader of Council.

c)  The continuation of indexation arrangements to June 2026, which currently permit the annual adjustment of allowances in line with the headline pay increase negotiated through the National Joint Council for Local Government Employees (or equivalent).

 

28.

Report on Scrutiny Annual Report pdf icon PDF 326 KB

To consider the report of the Head of Democratic Services presenting to Council the Scrutiny Annual Report for 2021/22 providing an overview of the work and activities undertaken by the Council’s Scrutiny Boards in discharging the scrutiny function during the previous municipal year, 2021/2022. 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Coupar, seconded by Councillor Lennox and

 

RESOLVED – That the report of the City Solicitor presenting the Scrutiny Boards Annual Report for 2021/22 to Council be received and noted.

 

 

At the conclusion of this item Council adjourned from 15.30 to 15.45.

29.

Report on the Annual Report of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 327 KB

To consider the report of the Chief Officer Financial Services presenting to Council the Annual Report of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee, Council are requested to receive and consider the annual report reflecting the work of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee in the 2021-22 municipal year.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Wray, seconded by Councillor Coupar and

 

 

RESOLVED - That the report of the Chief Officer Financial Services be received and the matters set out in the annual report reflecting the work of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee in the 2021-22 municipal year be noted.

30.

Executive Questions

To deal with executive questions in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 11.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Q1  Councillor Stephenson to the Executive Member (Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships):-

 

Can the Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships inform Council how many formal grievances have been received from children's social workers so far this year; and where these were group grievances how many employees were included in the grievance?

 

The Executive Member (Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships) replied.

 

Q2  Councillor Golton to the Leader of Council :-

 

Does the Leader of Council share my dismay that despite having control of a £multi-million bus investment and subsidy budget, leadership of a supposedly innovative and ground-breaking ‘West Yorkshire Bus Enhanced Partnership’, and a close professional relationship with the Unite Union, the West Yorkshire Mayor has refused to use her position of influence to intervene and arbitrate an end to the Arriva strike which has adversely affected the lives of Leeds workers, students and elderly residents since June 6th in wards such as Rothwell, which are totally dependent on Arriva services, and has still not been resolved?

 

The Leader of Council replied.

 

Q3  Councillor Mulherin to the Executive Member (Adults and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships):-

 

Please could the Executive Member for Adults and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships comment on the recent high court judgement on the Government’s policy to discharge hospital patients into care homes without testing for Covid-19?

 

  The Executive Member (Adults and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships) replied.

 

Q4  Councillor Dobson to the Executive Member (Resources):-

 

In an age when Elected Members are faced with more and more challenges to our personal safety, does the Executive Member for Resources agree with West Yorkshire Police that when we are duty bound to progress casework to them on behalf of a resident, our role as conduits should be routinely shared with the person(s) against whom the complaint has been lodged?

 

The Executive Member (Resources) replied.

 

 

Q5  Councillor Khan to the Executive Member (Communities):-

 

Please could the Executive Member update Council on the support provided in Leeds to Ukrainian refugees?

 

The Executive Member (Communities) replied.

 

Q6  Councillor Richards to the Executive Member (Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships):-

 

Can the Executive Member for Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships inform Council how many children's social workers have resigned from their post so far this year; how many of those were newly qualified; and how many returned exit surveys or completed exit interviews?

 

  The Executive Member (Adult and Children’s Social Care and Health Partnerships) replied.

 

At the conclusion of question time, the following questions remained unanswered and it was noted that, under the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 11.6, written answers would be sent to each Member of Council:-

 

Q7  Councillor Downes to the Executive Member (Communities).

 

Q8  Councillor Flint to the Executive Member (Economy, Culture and Education)

 

Q9  Councillor Dobson to the Executive Member (Resources)

 

Q10  Councillor  ...  view the full minutes text for item 30.

31.

Minutes of the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Executive Board pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To receive the minutes in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2(i).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Lewis, seconded by Councillor Lennox that the minutes be received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2(i).

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor Andrew Carter, seconded by Councillor Flynn

 

To add the following at the end of item 11:

 

To request that Executive Board reconsiders the decision in respect of Minute 10, Social Value Fund Proposal, of the Executive Board meeting held on 22 June.

 

A second amendment was moved by Councillor Andrew Carter seconded by Councillor Robinson

To add the following at the end of item 11:

 

To request that Executive Board reconsiders the decision in respect of Minute 9, Leeds Station Sustainable Travel Gateway Scheme, of the Executive Board meeting held on 22 June.

 

A third amendment was moved by Councillor Stephenson seconded by Councillor Richards

 

To add the following at the end of item 11:

 

To request that Executive Board reconsiders the decision in respect of Minute 13 of the Executive Board meeting held on 22 June.

 

Upon being put to the vote the amendments (references back) were declared lost and upon being put to the vote it was

 

RESOLVED – That the minutes be received in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 2.2(i).

 

 

Council Procedure Rule 4, providing for the winding up of business, was applied prior to any notified comments on the minutes having been debated.

 

 

At the conclusion of this item Council adjourned from 16.50 to 17.25

32.

White Paper Motion (in the name of Councillor Andrew Carter) - Highways pdf icon PDF 201 KB

 

This Council is concerned that the mean average highways maintenance backlog in the city is 19.8 years, pointing to significant under investment in the city’s roads by the current administration.

 

Council is further concerned that budget amendments to increase highways capital investment have been repeatedly ignored suggesting that the administration do not see highways investment as a priority. This is particularly the case when set against a backdrop of massive borrowing and debt incurred by the authority since 2010, meaning that in 2022/23 up to £63.5m will be spent on MRP debt and interest, money that could have been spent on frontline services or prioritised towards highways investment.

 

Council further notes significant Government investment in highways and transport in recent years both in Leeds and nationally:

 

·  £173.5m or the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme

·  £200m for development and delivery of a mass transit scheme in Leeds

·  £4.8m in pothole grant funding allocated in 2021/22

·  £2.7 billion in local highways maintenance funding between 2022/23 and 2024/25 to local authorities outside of London and the 8 largest city regions

·  £20m Levelling Up funding for West Leeds transport improvements

·  CRSTS funding of £830m announced in April 2022

 

This Council believes that Leeds residents see highways maintenance as a major priority both in terms of road safety, amenity and to prevent damage to vehicles. Council therefore calls for a report to be brought to Executive Board setting out how highways maintenance will be prioritised and how much additional investment the Council will make in the city’s roads in the coming years.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Andrew Carter, seconded by Councillor Lamb that this Council is concerned that the mean average highways maintenance backlog in the city is 19.8 years, pointing to significant under investment in the city’s roads by the current administration.

 

Council is further concerned that budget amendments to increase highways capital investment have been repeatedly ignored suggesting that the administration do not see highways investment as a priority. This is particularly the case when set against a backdrop of massive borrowing and debt incurred by the authority since 2010, meaning that in 2022/23 up to £63.5m will be spent on MRP debt and interest, money that could have been spent on frontline services or prioritised towards highways investment.

 

Council further notes significant Government investment in highways and transport in recent years both in Leeds and nationally:

 

·  £173.5m or the Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme

·  £200m for development and delivery of a mass transit scheme in Leeds

·  £4.8m in pothole grant funding allocated in 2021/22

·  £2.7 billion in local highways maintenance funding between 2022/23 and 2024/25 to local authorities outside of London and the 8 largest city regions

·  £20m Levelling Up funding for West Leeds transport improvements

·  CRSTS funding of £830m announced in April 2022

 

This Council believes that Leeds residents see highways maintenance as a major priority both in terms of road safety, amenity and to prevent damage to vehicles. Council therefore calls for a report to be brought to Executive Board setting out how highways maintenance will be prioritised and how much additional investment the Council will make in the city’s roads in the coming years.

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor Golton, seconded by Councillor Downes

 

In the first paragraph insert the words ‘and pavements’ after ‘….city’s roads’

 

In the second paragraph delete everything (including bullet points) after ‘…as a priority.’

 

Retain the final paragraph and insert after ‘…highways maintenance’ the words ‘,residential parking capacity, and pedestrian accessibility’ and insert the words ‘and pavements’ after the words ‘…city’s roads’

 

The amended White Paper would then read as follows:

 

 

“This Council is concerned that the mean average highways maintenance backlog in the city is 19.8 years, pointing to significant under investment in the city’s roads and pavements by the current administration.

 

Council is further concerned that budget amendments to increase highways capital investment have been repeatedly ignored suggesting that the administration do not see highways investment as a priority.

 

This Council believes that Leeds residents see highways maintenance, residential parking capacity, and pedestrian accessibility as a major priority both in terms of road safety, amenity and to prevent damage to vehicles. Council therefore calls for a report to be brought to Executive Board setting out how highways maintenance will be prioritised and how much additional investment the Council will make in the city’s roads and pavements in the coming years.”

 

A second amendment was moved by Councillor Hayden, seconded by Councillor Carlill

 

Delete All after “This Council” and replace with:

 

…..“welcomes the decision by  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.

33.

White Paper Motion (in the name of Councillor Forsaith) - Fair Votes pdf icon PDF 203 KB

 

This Council notes that the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system originated when land-owning aristocrats dominated parliament and voting was restricted to property-owning men. In Europe, only the UK and authoritarian Belarus still use archaic single-round FPTP for general elections.

 

Council supports fair votes for all and further notes that:

 

  • the UK’s First Past the Post voting system curtails voter choice and leaves millions feeling unrepresented by their elected representatives. This growing disillusionment amongst voters is evidenced by low turn outs, particularly in local elections. These factors have contributed to dangerous levels of distrust and disillusionment with our democratic process.

 

  • Proportional Representation (PR) is used to elect parliaments in more than 80 countries. Those countries tend to be more equal, freer and greener. PR ensures all votes count, have equal value, and that seats won match votes cast. Under PR, MPs and Parliaments better reflect the age, gender and protected characteristics of local communities and the nation. MPs better reflecting their communities leads to improved decision-making, wider participation and increased levels of ownership of decisions taken.

 

  • PR would also end minority rule. In 2019, 43.6% of the vote produced a government with 56.2% of the seats and 100% of the power. PR also prevents ‘wrong winner’ elections such as occurred in 1951 when more people voted Labour than Conservative, yet the Conservatives formed the government.

 

  • PR is already used to elect the Parliaments and Assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as London and the Welsh Senedd is reviewing legislation on Single Transferable Vote for local councils.

 

  • There is a growing movement of supporters for Proportional Representation, with the Unite and Unison unions now backing PR.

 

  • There is a range of options for implementing Proportional Representation systems, any of which would deliver a fairer and more representative democracy for electors.

 

Council believes

 

  • that it is essential that faith is restored in our democratic system and that the public see both Parliament and Councils as fairly reflecting their views

 

  • that our First Past the Post voting system is a significant barrier to restoring this faith which prevents the balance of opinion among the electorate being reflected in Parliament and local councils
  • that a system of Proportional Representation in which seats match votes and all votes count equally would help to rebuild public trust by ensuring that all political views are represented in Parliament and local councils in proportion to their level of public support

 

Council therefore resolves to write to HM Government calling for a change in our outdated electoral laws to enable Proportional Representation to be used for general and local elections.

 

Council further resolves to ask all the MPs who represent Leeds residents to support changing our electoral system to a fairer Proportional Representation system.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Forsaith, seconded by Councillor Carlisle that this Council notes that the First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system originated when land-owning aristocrats dominated parliament and voting was restricted to property-owning men. In Europe, only the UK and authoritarian Belarus still use archaic single-round FPTP for general elections.

 

Council supports fair votes for all and further notes that:

 

  • the UK’s First Past the Post voting system curtails voter choice and leaves millions feeling unrepresented by their elected representatives. This growing disillusionment amongst voters is evidenced by low turn outs, particularly in local elections. These factors have contributed to dangerous levels of distrust and disillusionment with our democratic process.

 

  • Proportional Representation (PR) is used to elect parliaments in more than 80 countries. Those countries tend to be more equal, freer and greener. PR ensures all votes count, have equal value, and that seats won match votes cast. Under PR, MPs and Parliaments better reflect the age, gender and protected characteristics of local communities and the nation. MPs better reflecting their communities leads to improved decision-making, wider participation and increased levels of ownership of decisions taken.

 

  • PR would also end minority rule. In 2019, 43.6% of the vote produced a government with 56.2% of the seats and 100% of the power. PR also prevents ‘wrong winner’ elections such as occurred in 1951 when more people voted Labour than Conservative, yet the Conservatives formed the government.

 

  • PR is already used to elect the Parliaments and Assemblies of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as London and the Welsh Senedd is reviewing legislation on Single Transferable Vote for local councils.

 

  • There is a growing movement of supporters for Proportional Representation, with the Unite and Unison unions now backing PR.

 

  • There is a range of options for implementing Proportional Representation systems, any of which would deliver a fairer and more representative democracy for electors.

 

Council believes

 

  • that it is essential that faith is restored in our democratic system and that the public see both Parliament and Councils as fairly reflecting their views

 

  • that our First Past the Post voting system is a significant barrier to restoring this faith which prevents the balance of opinion among the electorate being reflected in Parliament and local councils
  • that a system of Proportional Representation in which seats match votes and all votes count equally would help to rebuild public trust by ensuring that all political views are represented in Parliament and local councils in proportion to their level of public support

 

Council therefore resolves to write to HM Government calling for a change in our outdated electoral laws to enable Proportional Representation to be used for general and local elections.

 

Council further resolves to ask all the MPs who represent Leeds residents to support changing our electoral system to a fairer Proportional Representation system.

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor Cohen, seconded by Councillor Richards

 

Delete all after “First Past the Post (FPTP) voting system” in the first line, and replace with the following:  ...  view the full minutes text for item 33.

34.

White Paper Motion (in the name of Councillor Harland) - Household Support Fund pdf icon PDF 87 KB

This Council believes funding allocated by the Government to Leeds City Council for the Household Support Fund to help residents in financial difficulties is not enough given the current Cost of Living crisis which has followed 12 years of austerity.

 

Council is very concerned that the amount allocated to support residents in Leeds works out at no more than £9 per person meaning many families will not receive the support that they need at an increasingly difficult time financially for many people.

 

Council calls on Government to urgently increase funding allocated via the Household Support Fund to ensure residents in Leeds who need support both now and through the winter can afford to meet the price of food, heating and essential living costs.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

It was moved by Councillor Harland, seconded by Councillor Farley thatthis Council believes funding allocated by the Government to Leeds City Council for the Household Support Fund to help residents in financial difficulties is not enough given the current Cost of Living crisis which has followed 12 years of austerity.

 

Council is very concerned that the amount allocated to support residents in Leeds works out at no more than £9 per person meaning many families will not receive the support that they need at an increasingly difficult time financially for many people.

 

Council calls on Government to urgently increase funding allocated via the Household Support Fund to ensure residents in Leeds who need support both now and through the winter can afford to meet the price of food, heating and essential living costs.

 

An amendment was moved by Councillor B Anderson, seconded by Councillor Smith

 

Delete all after “This Council” and replace with the following:

 

“notes the range of global factors affecting the cost of living for households nationally and in Leeds and welcomes the actions being taken by the government in response.

 

“Council welcomes government action that saw a £150 non-repayable reduction in Council Tax bills for all households in Bands A-D in England but regrets that the ruling administration were unable to administer this, resulting in thousands of people receiving double payments totalling £3.7m and unknown costs in officer time to deal with the consequences.

 

“Council welcomes the unprecedented levels of support provided by the government through the pandemic. In addition, measures announced by the government in the Autumn Budget and subsequently will help vulnerable households in Leeds, such as:

 

·  Increasing the National Living Wage to £9.50 an hour

·  Cutting fuel duty following 11 years of freezing it

·  £15bn energy bill rebate package worth up to £550 each for around 28 million households

·  £650 Cost of Living payment for those on benefits

·  £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment to 8 million pensioner households

·  £140 million in Discretionary Housing Payments supporting families with rent or housing costs, and an extra £65m to support low-income households with rent debts

·  Increased generosity of the Local Housing Allowance for housing benefit, with more than 1.5m households benefiting from an additional £600 a year.

·  £150 disability cost of living payment

·  £1bn in Household Support Fund

 

“Council notes that there have been two rounds of Household Support funding since November 2021 amounting to £7.1m each for Leeds, meaning total allocated funding through this scheme is £14.2m in the past 8 months. Council further notes that funding is targeted at those most in need meaning that the funding will broadly be targeted at the 63,000 households that claim Council Tax Support in Leeds which would equate to approximately £225 per household.

 

“Council remains concerned about increasing inflation and the potential consequences for interest rates, mortgages for Leeds residents and debt, particularly given Leeds City Council’s £2.165bn net external debt.

 

“This Council therefore asks the Chief Executive to bring a report to Executive Board  ...  view the full minutes text for item 34.