Agenda item

Motions

To debate the motions submitted in accordance with Standing Order 41.

 

Members are asked to note that the motions submitted will be circulated as a supplementary paper in advance of the meeting, in accordance with Standing Order 41(c).

Decision:

16.1    The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was approved:

 

Standing up to racism, discrimination and prejudice in Brent

 

This Council notes:

 

Brent Council adopted the definition of antisemitism in September 2017, including its examples, set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and now, seeks to adopt the definition of Islamophobia, including its examples, as set out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims.

 

The charity Tell Mama reported that in the week after 50 innocent, Muslim worshippers were massacred in the Christchurch New Zealand terror attack, Islamophobicincidents increased by almost 600 per cent back in Britain.

 

This Council believes:

 

That words have consequences within political discourse.

 

We unequivocally condemn all forms of pernicious racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, pregnancy and maternity discrimination, ableism and sexism and reaffirm our commitment to fighting against them.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To adopt the APPG on British Muslims – Working Definition of Islamophobia as follows:

 

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

 

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·                Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/ fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

 

·                Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism, and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

 

·                Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

 

·                Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

 

·                Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·                Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, e.g. loyalty tests.

 

·                Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia (e.g. the Prophet Muhammed being a paedophile, claims of Muslims spreading Islam by the sword or subjugating minority groups under their rule) to characterize Muslims as being ‘sex groomers’, inherently violent or incapable of living harmoniously in plural societies.

 

·                Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.

 

16.2  The following motion submitted by the Conservative Group was not approved:

 

Surcharge on diesel Vehicle Owners

 

This Council notes, with grave concern, the surcharges that are being imposed on all diesel vehicle owners who have or are applying for a Residents Parking Permit in a CPZ. (Controlled Parking Zone) in the London Borough of Brent.

 

This Council appreciates that there are high levels of pollution in Brent and London as a whole, but that the way this has been implemented is draconian and very unfair. These charges will have little if any impact on reducing the levels of pollution within the borough and that it appears to be nothing more than a means of raising revenue.

 

This Council therefore calls on Cabinet to cancel the policy and requests that a new policy is formulated in which all diesel cars, taxi’s and vans that meet the Euro 6 standards be exempt from any surcharges. It also proposes that surcharges be applied to older Petrol vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standard.

 

These proposals will bring Brent in line with the policies set by The Mayor of London & TFL.

 

16.3  The following motion submitted by the Labour Group was approved:

 

Declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency

 

This Council notes:

 

Humankind is at an unprecedented point in its history; faced with a stark choice between continuing to live beyond its means, or using all necessary measures to avert catastrophe.

 

So profound are the changes that man has wreaked upon the world that we live in an age known as the Anthropocene, the age of man. And how is humankind’s stewardship of the planet faring?

 

Our seas are warming, acidifying and choking with plastic.

 

Our insects, a vital part of our eco-system, are disappearing, whilst globally wild animals are hunted, killed and driven to starvation in unprecedented numbers.

 

Extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, causing destruction and misery when they strike, whether it be storm or sea-surge, flood or fire.

 

And the whole world is heating up. Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C from pre-industrial levels. The UN’s panel of climate change experts (the IPCC), state is it essential that the rise in temperatures is kept below 1.5°C, as if we fail in this endeavour and the temperature rises by 2°C, the possibility of a ‘snowball effect’, of problems feeding into and worsening other problems, becomes too risky to even countenance. We have only one planet to sustain us, and no country will be immune from the fallout if our systems fail.

 

In Brent, the consequences of inaction to address this climate emergency will include:

 

·                Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings, infrastructure and the local economy.

 

·                Health problems, particularly for children, older people and those with pre-existing conditions.

 

·                Higher living costs including energy, food, travel and insurance costs.

 

·                Increases in social injustice and inequality.

 

·                Financial and emotional consequences for residents with families around the world adversely affected by the impact of a changing climate

 

The rise of international movements of non-violent civil disobedience such as the Student School Strikes and Extinction Rebellion shows the degree to which ordinary citizens are concerned about our future, and we all have a role to play. Cities and city regions such as Brent must be in the vanguard of the low carbon transition, as cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for as much as 70% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

 

This Council further notes:

 

·                Brent Council’s Civic Centre is recognised as the greenest public building in the UK – constructed using methods which produced 26% less carbon emissions across the supply chain.

 

·                In the first initiative of its kind in London, the council is sowing 22 urban meadows to create a seven-mile long “bee corridor” of wildflowers to boost the number of pollinating insects and increase the biodiversity of the borough.

 

·                Brent Council has committed to a wholesale ban of fracking in Brent since 2013.

 

·                Research shows, greenhouse gas emissions have reduced in Brent by 26% over the last decade.

 

·                By 2021 carbon emissions from the Council are on track to decline by 60% from 2010/11 levels.

 

·                The Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently announced that the Labour Party will launch a Green New Deal, with the goal of decarbonising the UK’s economy and creating new jobs in the renewable energy sector in the most deprived areas of the country.

 

This Council believes that:

 

That a changing climate will have severe and enduring social, economic and environmental implications, and that tackling climate change is an issue of inequality as the greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable and those least able to protect themselves.

 

Thus this Council resolves:

 

·                To join our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in declaring a Global climate emergency. This is essential to protect our only planet, not only for us, but for all the life on it and, hopefully, all the generations of life to come.

 

·                Do all reasonable in the Council’s gift to aim for carbon neutrality for 2030 and work with government to achieve the national 2050 target.

 

·                Develop a Carbon Offset Fund and strategy, to enshrine the principle that developments, could and should fund projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere in the borough.

 

·                At every opportunity, redirect our investments into renewable energy projects and carbon free or carbon neutral technologies.

 

·                To continue delivering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions via the development of district energy networks and support for renewable alternatives

 

·                Request that the appropriate scrutiny committee review the actions taken to reduce carbon emissions in Brent and the Council at the end of the municipal year.

 

·                To empower a Lead Member to take responsibility for tackling climate change in Brent and charges that person with the responsibility to produce a report on this subject within 6 months, one that emphasises and promotes the importance of local biodiversity.

 

·                Make representations to national government to urge them to provide the power and resources to the Mayor of London and local authorities to hasten the pace of carbon reduction and to immediately end the £10.5 billion of hidden subsidies with which central government supports the Fossil Fuel industry in this country.

 

·                Explore the viability of there being an annual Green summit for interested parties, where issues can be discussed, good practice shared and ideas promoted.

Minutes:

Before moving on to consider the motions listed on the summons, the Mayor reminded members of the changes agreed last year to the way in which the debate on motions would be undertaken.  He advised that a total of 30 minutes would be set aside for the consideration of all three motions submitted for debate, based on an initial allocation of 10 minutes per motion.  Should the time taken to consider the first motion be less than 10 minutes he advised that the remaining time available would be split between the remaining motions on a rolling basis.

 

18.1       Motion from the Labour Group - Standing up to racism, discrimination and prejudice in Brent (adopting the definition of Islamophobia as set out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims)

 

Prior to inviting Councillor Shahzad to move the first motion, the Mayor reminded Members that given the subject matter to be considered, the Council had a statutory duty to have “due regard” to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who shared a protected characteristic and persons who did not.  This was known as the public sector equality duty with the protected characteristics relevant to the motion including race and religion or belief.  At the same time, he pointed out that Members would, however, be free to express their own political opinions during the debate.

 

The Mayor then invited Councillor Shahzad to move the motion submitted on behalf of the Labour Group.

 

Councillor Shahzad advised he was honoured to move the motion to oppose Islamophobia which, he felt, reinforced the message that the London Borough of Brent was a truly diverse, multi-cultural and multi-religious society and a borough that cared about and respected all its residents.  He felt this aspect of the borough’s culture had also been reflected in the motion previously adopted to oppose anti-Semitism and was concerned to see any form of intolerance taking place in Brent, whether against Muslims or people of other faiths.  Highlighting what he felt was the worrying advance of the far right, he pointed out how this was causing fear and concern within the Muslim community who wanted to be able to live a peaceful and productive life and convey the universal message of peace and friendship to all.  The motion, he felt, highlighted the need for action to be taken in order to prevent the targeting of hate on people and communities based on their faith whilst also encouraging people to stand together in order to demonstrate that racism and hatred towards Muslims or any other faith would no longer be tolerated.

 

In commending the motion to Members, Councillor Shahzad believed its adoption would strengthen community relations and deliver the message that Brent was united in standing up for everyone regardless of their faith.

 

The Mayor then invited other Members to speak on the motion, with the following contributions received.

 

Councillor Dar, speaking in support of the motion, highlighted what he felt to be the alarming increase in Islamophobia within the UK and across the world as evidenced by the recent mass shootings in New Zealand.  He felt these served as a terrible reminder of the growing threat and need for action to be taken.  In highlighting a need to ensure that whole communities were not held collectively responsible for the acts of single extremist groups, he hoped that the motion would receive the support of all members and provide a positive approach to securing a more tolerant society.

 

Councillor Mahmood, highlighting the work he had undertaken as Mayor in representing all communities across the borough, took the opportunity in supporting the motion to thank the all-party parliamentary group for their appropriate and timely hard work in defining Islamophobia.  Highlighting the diverse nature of Brent, he felt there was a need to ensure that all communities felt safe, secure and were treated equally.  Taken alongside previous Council motions passed in relation to anti-Semitism, LGBTQ+ and minority rights, he felt the motion, which he hoped all boroughs would eventually adopt, would further enhance the measures being taken to tackle racism and hatred and provide the Muslim community with the confidence that their rights were equally protected.

 

At this stage in proceedings the Mayor advised that the time allocated for the debate on the motion had expired.  As there were a number of Members who indicated they still wanted to speak it was RESOLVED that the time available to complete the debate be extended by an additional 5 minutes.

 

Councillor Nerva, expressing solidarity with members of the Muslim community and other councillors, felt it was important to highlight the many positives of living in Brent including its diversity and way in which racism against all minority groups was fought against and not tolerated.  He hoped that all councillors would support the motion as a demonstration of how seriously these values were upheld.

 

Councillor Dixon then spoke and also commended the all-party parliamentary group for the work they had undertaken in seeking to define and ensure the motion on Islamophobia was adopted.  The outcome of the work undertaken would, she felt, have a similar impact to that of the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry given the wide and extensive scope of the definition provided.

 

Councillor Hassan also spoke in support of the motion, highlighting as a specific concern gender Islamophobia and its effect on women.  In view of the increase in Islamophobic attacks and the increase in the activity of the far right she advised that alongside the adoption of the motion, she would like to see the Council strengthening its work with the Police to highlight and tackle what she pointed out was often an under reported crime.

 

As a final contribution to the debate, Councillor Kansagra also spoke in support of the motion which he felt set out a number of principles that he hoped many people would already have in their nature to support and accept.  In supporting adoption of the motion, he also highlighted the need for education as a means of addressing intolerance and hatred.

 

At this stage the Mayor advised that the additional time allocated for the debate on the motion had now expired and therefore invited Councillor Shahzad to exercise his right of reply.

 

In summing up, Councillor Shahzad thanked Members for their contributions and their support in bringing forward the motion for debate.  He spoke of the rise in Islamophobic attacks, particularly on women, across the world and felt it was therefore appropriate to commend the motion as a means of demonstrating unity.

 

The Mayor then put the motion (as set out below) to a vote, by show of hands, which was declared unanimously CARRIED:

 

“This Council notes:

 

Brent Council adopted the definition of antisemitism in September 2017, including its examples, set out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and now, seeks to adopt the definition of Islamophobia, including its examples, as set out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims.

 

The charity Tell Mama reported that in the week after 50 innocent, Muslim worshippers were massacred in the Christchurch New Zealand terror attack, Islamophobic incidents increased by almost 600 per cent back in Britain.

 

This Council believes:

 

That words have consequences within political discourse.

 

We unequivocally condemn all forms of pernicious racism, Islamophobia, antisemitism, homophobia, transphobia, ageism, pregnancy and maternity discrimination, ableism and sexism and reaffirm our commitment to fighting against them.

 

This Council resolves:

 

To adopt the APPG on British Muslims – Working Definition of Islamophobia as follows:

 

“Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness.”

 

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·             Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist/ fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

 

·             Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism, and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

 

·             Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

 

·             Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

 

·             Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·             Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, e.g. loyalty tests.

 

·             Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia (e.g. the Prophet Muhammed being a paedophile, claims of Muslims spreading Islam by the sword or subjugating minority groups under their rule) to characterize Muslims as being ‘sex groomers’, inherently violent or incapable of living harmoniously in plural societies.

 

·             Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.”

 

18.2    Motion by the Conservative Group - Surcharge on Diesel Vehicle Owners

 

The Mayor then invited Councillor Maurice to move the motion on behalf of the Conservative Group who began by highlighting what he felt to be the unfair nature of the recent surcharge imposed on resident parking permits for diesel cars, particularly as it included vehicles classified as Euro 6 and Ultra Low Emission Zone compliant.  In commenting on the stated aims of the proposal he felt it would actually do very little to improve air quality across the borough, given the significant levels of pollution caused by larger vehicles such as heavy good vehicles (including the Council’s fleet of vehicles) and buses, which he pointed out were all exempt from the surcharge.  Councillor Maurice also felt it was important to recognise that many diesel vehicles had been purchased at a time when there were very few alternatives available and also raised concerns at the lawfulness of the potential use of any surplus funds generated as a result of the surcharge and its compliance with the current policies of the Mayor for London.  On this basis he commended the motion to Council.

 

The Mayor then invited other Members to speak on the motion, with the following contributions received.

 

Councillor Kelcher, speaking against the motion, queried its focus in terms of expressing concern about the action being taken to address levels of pollution across the borough.  Whilst the motion recognised the concern in relation to air quality across the borough he pointed out it was actually seeking to reject one of the key measures available to tackle the problem.  Given that Brent included four out of the ten most polluted roads in London, with cars responsible for almost half of all harmful emissions, he supported looking at how it would be possible to incentivise local people to buy and use cleaner and greener cars, with Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) one of the few levers available for local authorities to achieve this.  Having also highlighted the Green Party’s objection to a recent consultation on a CPZ in Dollis Hill, he urged those members who were serious about tackling air quality to reject the motion.

 

Councillor Krupa Sheth advised that she would also be opposing the motion on behalf of the Labour Group.  Highlighting the next motion due to be considered relating to the declaration of an ecological and climate emergency, she felt it was ironic that the Council were now debating a motion on whether diesel vehicles, one of the biggest contributors to pollution, should be exempt from the efforts to improve air quality within the Borough.  Referring to recent research she outlined the recognised impact of emissions from diesel engines on air quality and reminded Councillor Maurice that, following consultation on the policy, she had held also held an all member briefing to explain the background at which he had not been present and assured members that the decision to introduce the surcharge had not been taken lightly and had involved a range of options being considered (including exemptions for certain types of vehicles).  Given the impact on air quality, however, it had been felt that the measures approved were vital in order to ensure the health of future generations.

 

As no further members had indicated they wished to speak and having ruled out a point of order raised by Councillor Colwill in relation to wider environmental concerns, the Mayor then invited Councillor Maurice to exercise his right of reply.

 

In summing up, Councillor Maurice declared that he owned a diesel vehicle which he had purchased as Euro 6 compliant.  He felt it was important to recognise that the motion was not seeking a total exemption for all diesel vehicles and advised he would have no objection to a surcharge being applied to older more polluting vehicles.  He did, however, feel strongly that those vehicles which were compliant should be exempt from the surcharge and in commending the motion to members, also felt there was a need for the Council to consider the implications in relation to its own current fleet of diesel vehicles.

 

The Mayor then put the motion (as set out below) to a vote, by show of hands, which was declared LOST:

 

“This Council notes, with grave concern, the surcharges that are being imposed on all diesel vehicle owners who have or are applying for a Residents Parking Permit in a CPZ. (Controlled Parking Zone) in the London Borough of Brent.

 

This Council appreciates that there are high levels of pollution in Brent and London as a whole, but that the way this has been implemented is draconian and very unfair. These charges will have little if any impact on reducing the levels of pollution within the borough and that it appears to be nothing more than a means of raising revenue.

 

This Council therefore calls on Cabinet to cancel the policy and requests that a new policy is formulated in which all diesel cars, taxi’s and vans that meet the Euro 6 standards be exempt from any surcharges. It also proposes that surcharges be applied to older Petrol vehicles that do not meet the Euro 4 standard.

 

These proposals will bring Brent in line with the policies set by The Mayor of London & TFL.”

 

18.3    Motion from the Labour Group – Declaring a Climate and Ecological Emergency

 

The Mayor invited Councillor Mashari to move the final motion submitted on behalf of the Labour Group which she advised was seeking the Council’s immediate approval to the declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency.  The motion had been based on a warning from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regarding the dangers and need to ensure that the ongoing rise in global temperature was kept below 1.5 degrees in order to avoid a climate catastrophe.  Highlighting the current impact of climate change in relation to the planet, as well as more locally in Brent, she was concerned at the lack of positive action by the Government and support for policies identified as harmful to the environment such as fracking.  Given the severe social, economic and environmental implications associated with climate change, Councillor Mashari felt there was a need for immediate and radical action as set out in the motion.  In commending the motion to members she ended by highlighting the need for collective strategic action in order not only to empower people but also to future proof the local economy and protect local habitats.

 

The Mayor then invited other Members to speak on the motion, with the following contributions received.

 

Councillor Gill, speaking in support of the motion, felt it was important for members to recognise the scale of the emergency needing to be addressed referring, as an example, to the recent record breaking temperatures across Europe and number of the major world economies included within the list of top five global polluters.  Given that global climate change often impacted hardest on the poor and vulnerable he felt it was important for the Council to act now and do all it could before the situation spiralled any further out of control.

 

Council Kennelly also advised that he fully supported the motion in seeking to declare a climate emergency and within this context took the opportunity to challenge the proposals for a third runway at London Heathrow.

 

Councillor Maurice, replying on behalf of the Conservative Group, also felt there was an important need to recognise the environmental, social and economic impact created by the global rise in population which was an issue he regarded as key in also addressing the concerns highlighted.

 

Councillor Choudhury also spoke in support of the motion highlighting the contributing effects of global warming in terms of natural disasters such as flooding and the severe weather recently experienced across Pakistan and India.

 

As a further contribution, Councillor Tatler reminded members that as community leaders it was up to them all to encourage their communities to make the necessary behavioural changes that would help to address the current issues.  In this respect she advised she was pleased to see students and young people leading the way and being at the forefront of climate change protests and action and advised she would also be supporting the motion.

 

Councillor Krupa Sheth, as Lead Member within whose remit climate change was now included, advised she also fully supported the motion and was looking forward to working with residents, members and officers, along with the Mayor for London, in order to tackle the challenge head on.  In terms of Brent, she highlighted the extent of the work already undertaken through initiatives such as the reduction in carbon emissions, introduction of wildflower meadows and bee corridors and role they had played in terms of increasing biodiversity.  Recognising that everyone had their part to play in tacking the emergency she advised that she would also be keen to seek funding from central government in order to support and move forward with the Council’s various initiatives.

 

As the remaining time available for the debate on motions had expired, the Mayor then invited Councillor Mashari to conclude by exercising her right of reply.

 

In summing up Councillor Mashari thanked Members for their contributions and support and advised she was looking forward to working with Councillor Krupa Sheth and other members in order to progress the various initiatives and development of the strategy outlined within the motion.  She ended by highlighting how pleased she also was to see the Labour Party leading on the issue at both a local and national level.

 

The Mayor then put the motion (as set out below) to a vote, by show of hands, which was declared unanimously CARRIED:

 

“This Council notes:

 

Humankind is at an unprecedented point in its history; faced with a stark choice between continuing to live beyond its means, or using all necessary measures to avert catastrophe.

 

So profound are the changes that man has wreaked upon the world that we live in an age known as the Anthropocene, the age of man. And how is humankind’s stewardship of the planet faring?

 

Our seas are warming, acidifying and choking with plastic.

 

Our insects, a vital part of our eco-system, are disappearing, whilst globally wild animals are hunted, killed and driven to starvation in unprecedented numbers.

 

Extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, causing destruction and misery when they strike, whether it be storm or sea-surge, flood or fire.

 

And the whole world is heating up. Global temperatures have already increased by 1°C from pre-industrial levels. The UN’s panel of climate change experts (the IPCC), state is it essential that the rise in temperatures is kept below 1.5°C, as if we fail in this endeavour and the temperature rises by 2°C, the possibility of a ‘snowball effect’, of problems feeding into and worsening other problems, becomes too risky to even countenance. We have only one planet to sustain us, and no country will be immune from the fallout if our systems fail.

 

In Brent, the consequences of inaction to address this climate emergency will include:

 

·             Increased risk of flooding and damage to buildings, infrastructure and the local economy.

 

·             Health problems, particularly for children, older people and those with pre-existing conditions.

 

·             Higher living costs including energy, food, travel and insurance costs.

 

·             Increases in social injustice and inequality.

 

·             Financial and emotional consequences for residents with families around the world adversely affected by the impact of a changing climate

 

The rise of international movements of non-violent civil disobedience such as the Student School Strikes and Extinction Rebellion shows the degree to which ordinary citizens are concerned about our future, and we all have a role to play. Cities and city regions such as Brent must be in the vanguard of the low carbon transition, as cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and are responsible for as much as 70% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

 

This Council further notes:

 

·             Brent Council’s Civic Centre is recognised as the greenest public building in the UK – constructed using methods which produced 26% less carbon emissions across the supply chain.

 

·             In the first initiative of its kind in London, the council is sowing 22 urban meadows to create a seven-mile long “bee corridor” of wildflowers to boost the number of pollinating insects and increase the biodiversity of the borough.

 

·             Brent Council has committed to a wholesale ban of fracking in Brent since 2013.

 

·             Research shows, greenhouse gas emissions have reduced in Brent by 26% over the last decade.

 

·             By 2021 carbon emissions from the Council are on track to decline by 60% from 2010/11 levels.

 

·             The Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recently announced that the Labour Party will launch a Green New Deal, with the goal of decarbonising the UK’s economy and creating new jobs in the renewable energy sector in the most deprived areas of the country.

 

This Council believes that:

 

That a changing climate will have severe and enduring social, economic and environmental implications, and that tackling climate change is an issue of inequality as the greatest impact will be on the most vulnerable and those least able to protect themselves.

 

Thus this Council resolves:

 

·             To join our Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan in declaring a Global climate emergency. This is essential to protect our only planet, not only for us, but for all the life on it and, hopefully, all the generations of life to come.

 

·             Do all reasonable in the Council’s gift to aim for carbon neutrality for 2030 and work with government to achieve the national 2050 target.

 

·             Develop a Carbon Offset Fund and strategy, to enshrine the principle that developments, could and should fund projects that reduce carbon emissions elsewhere in the borough.

 

·             At every opportunity, redirect our investments into renewable energy projects and carbon free or carbon neutral technologies.

 

·             To continue delivering reductions in greenhouse gas emissions via the development of district energy networks and support for renewable alternatives

 

·             Request that the appropriate scrutiny committee review the actions taken to reduce carbon emissions in Brent and the Council at the end of the municipal year.

 

·             To empower a Lead Member to take responsibility for tackling climate change in Brent and charges that person with the responsibility to produce a report on this subject within 6 months, one that emphasises and promotes the importance of local biodiversity.

 

·             Make representations to national government to urge them to provide the power and resources to the Mayor of London and local authorities to hasten the pace of carbon reduction and to immediately end the £10.5 billion of hidden subsidies with which central government supports the Fossil Fuel industry in this country.

 

Explore the viability of there being an annual Green summit for interested parties, where issues can be discussed, good practice shared and ideas promoted.”

Supporting documents: