Agenda

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Reading

Contact: Michael Popham - Democratic Services Manager  Email: michael.popham@reading.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

1.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive Mayor’s Announcements.

2.

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 97 KB

The Mayor to sign the Minutes of the proceedings of the previous Council Meeting.

4.

Petitions

To receive petitions in accordance with Standing Order 8.

5.

Questions from Members of the Public

Questions in accordance with Standing Order 9.

6.

Questions from Councillors

Questions in accordance with Standing Order 10.

7.

Councillors' Allowances Scheme 2020/21 - 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 108 KB

Report by Executive Director of Resources

8.

Pay Policy Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 311 KB

Report by Executive Director of Resources

9.

Local Electricity Bill

Councillor Emberson to move:

 

Reading Borough Council acknowledges the efforts that this Council has made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote renewable energy.

 

The Council also recognises that:

 

  • Councils can play a central role in creating sustainable communities, particularly through the provision of locally generated renewable electricity

 

  • The very large financial setup and running costs involved in selling locally generated renewable electricity to local customers result in it being impossible for local renewable electricity generators to do so.

 

  • Making financial costs proportionate to the scale of a renewable electricity supplier’s operation would create significant opportunities for councils to be providers of locally generated renewable electricity directly to local people, businesses and organisations.

 

  • Revenues received by councils that became local renewable electricity providers could be used to help fund local greenhouse gas emissions reduction measures and to help improve local services and facilities.

 

Accordingly, Reading Borough Council resolves to support the Local Electricity Bill, currently supported by a cross-party group of 115 MPs, and which, if made law, would make the setup and running costs of selling renewable electricity to local customers proportionate by establishing a Right to Local Supply.

 

The Council further resolves to inform the local media of this decision, write to the Members of Parliament for Reading East and Reading West to ask them to support the Bill, and to write to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, Power for People, expressing its support.

 

10.

End the Decline in Wildflowers to Save the Bees

Councillor Sokale to move:

 

The British landscape has witnessed a 97% decline in wildflower meadows since 1945.   Wildflowers also have a part to play in meeting the challenge of climate change as they have been shown to improve air quality in urban areas. This is because they have an optimum green structure with their different leaves capturing a range of pollutants as well as removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

 

Today, wildflower meadows make up less than 1% of the UK landscape.  Wildflowers are especially important for pollinating insects such as: bumble bees, moths, butterflies, wasps, beetles, and hoverflies as well as honeybees which have being negatively impacted over the last century with habitat loss, pesticides and the depletion of nectar sources.

 

The decline of wildflowers and the resulting decline in pollinating insects is a problem for us all as it is estimated that one third of food we eat is pollinator dependant. Without them, we endanger future food production. 

 

The Council welcomes:

·       The Reading Climate Change Partnership Strategy which will reflect the council’s commitment to climate change and the environment.

·       Financial initiatives to increase wildflower planting and maintenance within the Borough on Council-managed property.

·       The commitment of our Parks Team to identify routes and areas where the possibility exists for wildflower planting with the Council’s Geographical Information System (GIS).

·       The draft Local Transport Plan, currently out for public consultation, and its intent to increase biodiversity along Reading’s highways.

 

This Council resolves to:

·       Seek to increase wildflower planting within the Borough, noting that much land suitable for planting is in private ownership.

·       Continue to identify and manage Reading’s wildflower meadows for wildlife and pollinators and seek viable opportunities to increase the extent of these habitats.

·       Explore and, where suitable, trial alternative maintenance approaches on grass verges.

·       Actively engage local groups and interested residents on areas suitable for wildflower planting and to further work with and advise those volunteers as to the planting and maintenance of these areas.

·       Deliver on the wider Biodiversity Strategy, now out for public consultation, as a component of the Reading Climate Change Strategy and to regularly review and improve its management plans for parks and open spaces to increase biodiversity.