Labour Reject without a vote motions on traffic safety; curbing sexist language; rough sleepers; use of foreign languages; rough sleeping & City Magazine

LpoolTH

Sometimes Liverpool Town Hall seems more like the Russian Duma (Parliament) than a centre for democratic debate!

Liverpool City Council has an arcane set of rules which basically put all the cards in the hands of the Labour Party when it comes to debates at the full meeting of the Council. There is, however, a provision that when all Parties agree on a motion it can be approved without debate.

We put forward the resolutions below in the hope that they would be accepted by the Council in that way. Why should we really debate curbing the use of sexist language or looking at accident prevention on main arterial roads such as Menlove and Mather Avenues? Couldn’t we agree them and get on with them?

No! Although the Lib Dems agreed 4 motions on an all-Party basis the Labour Party blocked every single Lib Dem resolution. They then voted against the motions when they were put to the meeting without debate en bloc.

Have a look at these motions and see what you think about them. Don’t you think that they should at least have been debated?

  1. Safety on Liverpool’s roads by Andrew Makinson, Mirna Juarez, Malcolm Kelly and Richard Kemp CBE

Council believes that it is more important to spend money on necessary road improvements for safety purposes on the main arterial roads in the City than on prestigious city centre schemes, such as the Strand proposals, which the majority of people consulted have rejected.

Given the number of collisions involving both vehicles and pedestrians Council therefore calls for a review of all main arterial roads starting with Mather Avenue and Menlove Avenue with particular attention to the multi-junctions at Mather and Greenhill Roads; Menlove and Green Lane; Menlove and Crompton’s Lane and Menlove and Druids Cross Road.

That such a review should take place immediately with a view to recommendations from that review being commenced in the financial year 2018/19.

  1. Languages – Liverpool’s Front Door to the World by Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE

Council believes that in a modern world class city there is a need to have more front-line staff such as train conductors; station staff; cab drivers; bus drivers and police officers able to speak to tourists and business visitors with a least a basic level of conversation in at least one foreign language.

Therefore, it requests the Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Events to convene a meeting of universities; colleges; schools language staff; Network Rail; Train operators; representatives of the taxi trade and major retailers with a view to the creation and implementation of basic foreign language courses in French; Spanish and Mandarin for front line staff.

  1. Homeless and rough sleepers by Councillor Mirna Juarez

That this Council thanks Mr. Lawrence Kenwright for his humanitarian gesture of opening up the empty Kingsway House to accommodate the homeless and rough sleepers. That this Council further acknowledges the hard work and commitment shown by his team and the volunteers they have recruited to help these vulnerable people in need. Some rough sleepers are in need of medical attention in many ways, many are in poor health. Without this refuge from the cold, many would have been at serious risk. Furthermore, that this council will review the empty buildings it owns to assess the feasibility of using them to accommodate the homeless and rough sleepers.

  1. City Magazine by Councillors Andrew Makinson, Richard Kemp, Mirna Juarez and Malcolm Kelly

This Council agrees with the statement made by Mayor Anderson to the Mayoral Scrutiny Committee on 4th July 2012 that, “Having our own magazine has become a luxury in these austere times.” Therefore, it deplores the decision in November to relaunch the City Magazine at a cost of £33,000 per edition, and the plans to distribute three editions per year costing £96,000. And that this decision to reverse a council budget decision was allowed to be taken under delegated powers, avoiding council scrutiny. Council calls upon Mayor Anderson to cease any further editions of the City Magazine from publication.

  1. Luxury car lease agreements by Councillors Andrew Makinson, Mirna Juarez, Malcolm Kelly and Richard Kemp

Council notes that the number of luxury cars being leased for senior officers has doubled since 2012, meanwhile the previously leased cars have been upgraded. At present Liverpool City Council is paying for the Chief Executive and three Executive Directors to benefit from the leases of:

  • A Jaguar XF Portfolio – lease commenced 4/8/16
  • BMW i3 Range Extender – lease commenced 14/11/14
  • Mercedes C250 CDi – lease commenced 3/3/15
  • BMW 320d – lease commenced 6/7/15

This is despite Mayor Anderson’s statement at the budget meeting on 8th March 2017 that, “This council is not paying for sports cars for directors.”

This council believes that the council’s limited resources should be spent on the “Many” and not the “Few”. Therefore the city’s council tax payers should not be forced to fund “luxury perks” for the top 1% highest paid.

Council therefore calls for the head of paid service to begin immediate consultation with the recipients of these four luxury cars, with a view to giving them the opportunity to take over responsibility for these leases, or returning these vehicles to their leasers at the earliest opportunity.

  1. The use of sexist language by Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE
  2. Council believes that the way we use language is important and that those of us in public office should set a high example to the rest of the Community. It believes that many women are put off politics because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour. Council believes that politics can be an unwelcoming environment for women because of the use of sexist language and chauvinistic behaviour. Council regrets therefore, that Mayor Anderson used the term ‘Fishwife’ in response to questioning from Councillor Mirna Juarez at the last council meeting. It therefore resolves to ask the Women’s Equality Party and the Women’s Leadership Group to work with the Council to promote a seminar for all councillors and staff on the appropriate use of language and behaviour, including preferred pronoun training to create a fairer and more inclusive environment for women in public life.
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About richardkemp

Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Liverpool. Deputy Chair and Lib Dem Spokesperson on the LGA Community Wellbeing Board. Married to the lovely Cllr Erica Kemp CBE with three children and four grandchildren.
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1 Response to Labour Reject without a vote motions on traffic safety; curbing sexist language; rough sleepers; use of foreign languages; rough sleeping & City Magazine

  1. John Brace says:

    I must admit that when I read the title “The use of sexist language by Councillor Richard Kemp, CBE” in the agenda I noticed it unfortunately has a double meaning. That is to say if you read it and didn’t know that Councillor Richard Kemp was the proposer of the motion, it implies to those that don’t know that the NoM is about the use of sexist language “by” Councillor Richard Kemp (even though it’s not)!

    On Wirral Council there are regular debates about how many Notices of Motion opposition parties should have at a public meeting of Council. However the political makeup of Wirral Council is split 39 Labour, 21 Conservative, 5 Liberal Democrat and 1 Green.

    What happens is each political party picks one of their NoM that they want debated. Then they are debated in the order Labour, Conservative, Liberal Democrat. Once it gets to the guillotine (the time of which can be changed) then the Notices of Motion are proposed, seconded, voted etc without a debate. This usually happens around the 9 pm point (for a meeting that usually starts at 6 pm).

    It’s partly why I’m not used to Council meetings being as long as they are at Liverpool City Council!

    This means that usually, it is part way through an opposition party debate when this happens.

    Unlike Liverpool City Council AFAIK there isn’t a maximum time on each Notice of Motion debate (just on speeches), so some can be very long if councillors use all their speaking time!

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