Agenda item

NOTICES OF MOTION

The following Notices of Motion have been received:-

 

(i)                                         Islamophobia and Anti Semitism

 

“Bury Council is proud of its diversity, it is a huge asset and a source of great strength. A substantial proportion of its residents are Muslim, who are an integral part of its make-up, playing a huge role in all aspects of Bury’s life.

Bury Council has a strong history of promoting cohesion and welcoming people from all over the world. Its residents have always united and supported each other in the fight against racism and discrimination in all its forms, including adopting the IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism.

 

Data published by the Home Office in the annual report on hate crime 2017-18 shows that over half, 52%, of religious hate crime victims are Muslims. The terrorist attacks against the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand and the Finsbury Park Mosque in Islington have highlighted the severe Islamophobic attacks that Muslim communities in the UK and around the world are faced with. The charity Tell Mama reported that in the week after the NZ attack killing 50 innocent worshippers, Islamophobic incidents increased by almost 600 per cent in the UK.

 

Bury Council also acknowledges that Islamophobia is not a recent phenomenon and that we must do more as a society to tackle this rising form of intolerance and persecution.

 

In light of this, Bury Council expresses its gratitude for the work done by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims to produce a definition of Islamophobia.

 

This Council therefore welcomes, endorses and adopts the working APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia, including all of its examples in full, cited 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, considering 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.

•      Denying Muslim populations, the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.

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

•      Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia.

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

This Council further asks the Chief Executive of the council to:

 

1.         Write to government ministers asking them to listen to Muslim communities and the cross-party group of MPs and peers and to adopt this definition of Islamophobia which classifies discrimination against Muslims as a form of racism

2.         Continue to prioritise tackling hate crime and Islamophobia in partnership.  Bury Council works with partners, especially GMP Bury, on a rolling basis, and will now coordinate future actions in line with this definition of Islamophobia for all Muslims.

 

Members should also note that the IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism previously adopted by the Council was intended to be the full definition including all of the following examples:

Manifestations might include the targeting of the state of Israel, conceived as a Jewish collectivity. However, criticism of Israel similar to that levelled against any other country cannot be regarded as antisemitic. Antisemitism frequently charges Jews with conspiring to harm humanity, and it is often used to blame Jews for “why things go wrong.” It is expressed in speech, writing, visual forms and action, and employs sinister stereotypes and negative character traits.
 
Contemporary examples of antisemitism in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in the religious sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

·                      Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews in the name of a radical ideology or an extreme view of religion.

·                      Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonizing or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other social institutions.

·                      Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.

·                      Denying the fact, scope, mechanisms (eg gas chambers) or intentionality of the genocide of the Jewish people at the hands of National Socialist Germany and its supporters and accomplices during World War II (the Holocaust)

·                      Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.

·                      Accusing Jewish citizens as being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations

·                      Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming that the existence of the State of Israel is a racist endeavour.

·                      Applying double standards by requiring of it behaviour not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.

·                      Using the symbols and images associated with classic antisemitism (eg claims of Jews killing Jesus or blood libel) to characterise Israel or Israelis.

·                      Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis

·                      Holding Jews collectively responsible for the actions of the state of Israel.

 

In the names of Councillors J Black, S Briggs, R Cathcart, A Cummings, C Cummins, R Gold, J Grimshaw, M Hayes, S Haroon, T Holt, D Jones, K Leach, G McGill, C Morris, B Mortenson, E O’Brien, A Quinn, T Rafiq, A Simpson, L Smith, S Smith, Sarah Southworth, Susan Southworth, T Tariq, K Thomas, S Walmsley, C Walsh and M Whitby.

 

 

ii)          Radcliffe Community Governance Review

 

THIS COUNCIL notes :-

 

Bury MBC has powers to conduct a Community Governance Review (CGR) for a specific area within the Borough. 

 

The Council notes the establishment of a Town Council may promote community engagement, effective local government and the provision of local services for local people that Bury Council may be unable to sustain due to resource pressures.

 

In addition, Government guidance states that it is good practice for principal councils to conduct a community governance review every 10-15 years, except in areas with very low populations.

 

THIS COUNCIL therefore resolves :-

 

Bury Council (‘the Council’) to undertake a community governance review (‘the review’) of the whole area of the township of Radcliffe following the Electoral Review by the Boundary Commission. 

 

The review will consider whether any changes should be made to existing community governance arrangements within Radcliffe, including whether a new Town Council should be created and the electoral arrangements for this Town Council. 

 

In undertaking this review the Council will have regard to the Guidance on Community Governance Reviews issued in March 2010 by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and will comply with Part 4 of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 (‘the 2007 Act’), the relevant parts of the Local Government Act 1972 and regulations issued under those acts.

 

The terms of reference set out the aims of the review, the matters that it will address and policies that the Council considers relevant to the review. The terms of reference will be published on the Council’s website and in hard copy and will be made available at the Council offices and at other venues within the area under review.

 

In accordance with regulations issued under the Local Government Act 2000, functions relating to Community Governance Reviews are not to be the responsibility of an authority’s executive.

 

The management of the review will be the responsibility of a project manager appointed by the relevant Director. The review will be overseen by the Community Governance Review Working Party to which Councillors are appointed by the Council. The Council itself will agree the draft and final recommendations and make any Reorganisation of Community Governance Order.

 

In coming to its recommendations in the review, the Council will take account of the views of local people and stakeholders. Legislation requires the Council to consult the local government electors for the area under review and any other person or body who appears to have an interest in the review, and to take the representations that are received into account by judging them against the criteria in the 2007 Act.

 

The Council will promote community engagement and transparency in decision-making. In relation to the review the Council will:-

- Publish these terms of reference;

- Publicise the review as widely as possible using printed and electronic means and seek to engage the local media in reporting the issues under review;

- Consult residents, business organisations, community groups, other local

organisations, political parties and elected representatives for the areas under

review;

- Make key documents available at the Council offices and at other venues in the

areas under review;

- Accept submissions by post or via e-mail or the Council’s website;

- Take into account representations received in connection with the review; and

- Publicise the draft and final recommendations and the outcome of the review.

 

Publication of a terms of reference formally begins the review, which must then be completed within twelve months.

 

If the review results in any changes to community governance, at the conclusion of the review the Council will make a Reorganisation of Community Governance Order. Copies of this order, the map(s) that show the effects of the order in detail, and the document(s) which set out the reasons for the Council’s decisions (including where it has decided to make no change following the review) will be deposited at the Council’s offices, published on its website.

 

In the names of Councillors R Caserta, P Cropper, J Daly, I Gartside, D Gunther, J Harris, S Hurst, K Hussain, N Jones, G Keeley, O Kersh, I Schofield, D Silbiger, D. Vernon, R Walker, and Y Wright

 

(ii)                                              Tackling Loneliness and Isolation

 

This Council notes that loneliness and isolation are important public health issues that must be tackled at a local, as well as a national level. It is estimated that one in ten people over the age of 65 are likely to be classed as isolated or severely lonely. In addition, a growing number of young people are being recorded as suffering from loneliness and isolation, with 16 to 24 year olds being the most likely age group to report feeling lonely. Tackling loneliness and isolation can be a preventative measure which can serve to improve the quality of life for individuals and it can also help to reduce long-term costs for health and social care.

This Council believes and recognises that:

(a)  Lonely people are more likely to suffer from dementia and depression, with loneliness also being associated with higher rates of heart disease and high-blood pressure.

(b)  Raising awareness of the health impact of loneliness is important because it has a significant impact on people’s quality of life and mortality.

(c)   A number of interventions have been found to be an effective way of tackling loneliness, with many of these being of low cost.

(d)  Councillors and the local authority have a crucial role to play in ensuring Bury is an area where people find it easy to pursue paths to establish and maintain social connections.

(e)  The health and wellbeing functions of the authority have a vital role to play in mapping and supporting the local services and interventions which can help to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst all age ranges.

This Council resolves to work to address loneliness and isolation by:

(a) Conducting an assessment into existing schemes and services targeting loneliness and isolation across the borough. Identify any examples of ‘good practice’ and establish a plan of promoting and enabling these to work across all areas of Bury.

(b) Improving information and advice on existing services and activities that help to reduce loneliness and isolation. Ensure these are made available through several different channels (such as the Council website, various social media platforms, leaflets, posters in public places etc.) to make sure that the information is reaching all age groups and areas of society.

(c)  Launching a borough-wide campaign to raise awareness of the health effects of loneliness and isolation amongst target risk groups and encourage people to share experiences and seek support.

(d) Involving older people, including those experiencing or at risk of loneliness, in mapping local assets, determining responses, and co-producing solutions.

(e) Taking an active interest and role in ensuring the public health problem of social isolation in Bury is recognised, and ensure that a plan is used to measure progress of any newly-established schemes.

(f)   Protecting subsidies for public transport for over-60s, and improve accessibility to public and community transport to make it easier for people to maintain social connections and stop isolation.

(g) Bring a report within the next twelve months to the Cabinet and Strategic Commissioning Board to update members on this work.

 

In the names of: Councillors M Powell, T Pickstone, C Tegolo and S Wright

 

iv)               Expansion of free travel pass for school children

 

This Council Notes

 

It is universally agreed that a large percentage of Radcliffe schoolchildren require transport to attend their chosen school, this will remain the case for as long as Radcliffe is without a Secondary School of its own.

At present, the eligibility criteria for free school travel allocation has limitations for many of these children,  should children wish to attend a school that is not considered to be appropriate, that child is not eligible for the free school travel pass scheme.

Eligibility defined by this council as:

The appropriate school in the case of mainstream education would usually be the nearest school in whose catchment area the pupil resides with the capacity to accommodate them

Radcliffe is the only Town in the Borough without at least one secondary school, thereby limiting choice, with low income families amongst those most impacted by travel costs.

Expansion may reduce the traffic congestion by giving parents the option of sending their children to school on public transport. This would offer Radcliffe children and their families the ability to choose a school based on their specific needs.

This proposal would send a message to the people of Radcliffe that their concerns are being listened to, and finally it would be the right thing to do.

Free pass provision for 16 – 18 year olds has recently been approved and implemented across the GMCA.

Council therefore resolves:

1)   This council extend the free travel pass scheme to all those children in Radcliffe that meet the distance criteria currently in place.

 

In the names of Councillors J Mason and M Smith