Agenda item - Member Involvement
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To consider the following matters raised by councillors:
(a) Petitions: to receive any petitions submitted to the full Council or at the meeting itself;
(b) Written Questions: to consider any written questions;
(i) Councillor Mac Cafferty – Brexit
(c) Letters: to consider any letters;
(d) Notices of Motion: to consider any Notices of Motion referred from Council or submitted directly to the Committee.
Referred from Full Council 19 July 2018:
(i) Charter Against modern Slavery (copy attached)
52.1 There were none.
52b Written Questions
52.2 A written question had been submitted by Councillor Mac Cafferty
52.3 Councillor Mac Cafferty asked the following question:
The government's Brexit contingency plans to manage lorry traffic in Kent would take 14 days to implement and cost around 30m to facilitate for up to six months. The National Audit Office has slammed government departments for their inadequate planning for Brexit, warning that they have put at risk billions of pounds in exports and damage to key industries. According to the Open University 3 in 5 firms say that the UK’s skill shortage worsened in the last year; more than half of businesses expect the situation to deteriorate. The Governor of the Bank of England has warned that a no-deal Brexit could be as bad as the 2008 financial crash. A survey from the British Chambers of Commerce reveals that nearly two-thirds of businesses have yet to do any risk assessments of a no-deal outcome. While the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply has said a no-deal Brexit would bankrupt 1 in 10 UK firms and David Rutley MP has been appointed to oversee the protection of food supplies.
Last year the European Union invested £17m to support 601 farmers around Brighton; it has invested over £100m to support research projects and £1m to create jobs. Our city still has had absolutely no clarity about where any of the EU funds will come from in the future.
Will the Chair of the Committee urgently write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union asking them to share with the City Council the assessments their departments have written about how the city and the region’s economy will be affected by Brexit; what assurances their departments will give to residents that everything is being done by their departments and the government to mitigate risks to jobs and livelihoods; and that in the absence of such mitigation they will aid and compensate city residents whose income is lost through Brexit.
52.4 The Chair gave the following response:
It would be helpful to outline some things which are going on in and around the city to prepare ourselves for Brexit. Brexit was an important concern for those in the city.
· The Leader plans to write to Ministers, potentially as part of a wider response from councils.
· The direction of travel is also to consider this across the functional economic area (i.e. through the Greater Brighton Economic Board and South East 7).
· The position on Brexit is obviously a concern, and it has been helpful to have the Green Group raise it at Audit & Standards and through this question.
· As it stands, the Administration has already commissioned a cross-council view which the Regeneration and Policy teams are leading on. A report will be submitted to forthcoming Audit & Standards and Policy, Resources & Growth Committees.
· The report will include the outcome of high level reviews from Finance and Procurement on potential economic impacts.
· The Greater Brighton Economic Board has commissioned and adopted a new Trade and Inward Investment Strategy that considers how the city region can best place itself to trade internationally in a post-Brexit environment
· The Emergencies & Resilience team is also working with neighbouring authorities in light of concerns first raised by Kent County Council (which has experience through Operation Stack) over the potential impact on the travel network and ports.
· Closer to March 2019, liaison with blue light services will focus more specifically on the immediate impact in the city.
52.5 Councillor Mac Cafferty thanked the Chair for the response and did not have a supplementary.
52.6 There were none.
52d Notices of Motion
52.7 A Notice of Motion on ‘Charter Against Modern Slavery’ was referred to the Policy Resources & Growth Committee from Council held on 19 July 2018. The Notice of Motion stated:
This council resolves to ask for a report to the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee detailing:
(1) The implications of signing up to the Charter Against Modern Slavery, which will commit the council to 10 action points, including to:
· Train its corporate procurement team to understand modern slavery through the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) online course on Ethical Procurement and Supply.
· Challenge any abnormally low-cost tenders to ensure they do not rely upon the potential contractor practising modern slavery
· Publicise its whistle-blowing system for staff to blow the whistle on any suspected examples of modern slavery.
(2) How to ensure staff are made aware and trained as appropriate in identifying possible instances of modern slavery.
The Notice of Motion was proposed by Councillor Cattell and seconded by Councillor Daniel. The Notice of Motion was agreed unanimously by Full Council.
52.8 The Chair proposed requesting a report as detailed in the Notice of Motion.
RESOLVED: That the Committee agreed to request a report