Glasgow City Council Agenda - 24 June 2021, 11:00 Help

A meeting to be held at by video conference at 11:00 on 24 June 2021.

Number Item
1Minutes of Council meeting of 13th May 2021 (Print 2, pages 63 to 77).  View Papers
2Print 2 - Committees' minutes - Consideration of paragraphs marked "C", remaining paragraphs being submitted for information and approval as a correct record only (page 78 onwards).  View Papers
3Changes to committees etc - General Purposes City Policy Committee - Remove Aileen McKenzie and appoint Gary Gray. View Papers
4Representation on outside bodies. View Papers
5Correspondence. View Papers
6Questions. View Papers
7Notice of motions.
(a)By Councillor Kenny McLean:-

"Council welcomes the publication of the Scottish Government's Housing Strategy 'Housing to 2040' and the commitment towards building 100,000 new homes across Scotland by 2032.

Council further welcomes the 2040 Route Map being promptly implemented into action by the allocation to Glasgow City Council of a record 120m by the Scottish Government to deliver new affordable and social housing in the city in partnership with the city's registered social landlords.

Council recognises the 2040 Route Map sets out a range of principles that are consistent with Glasgow City Council's Housing Strategy and Investment Plans. Council further recognises its opportunities to work with partners to prevent and reduce homelessness, improve access to all tenures, invest in delivering quality affordable homes and enhance digital connectivity.

Council acknowledges that this funding - allocated through the Affordable Housing Supply Programme - will be used to fund around 850 new housing approvals and will see the completion of over 1,453 new homes in Glasgow during 2021/22. Council further acknowledges the 2021/22 allocation means that the total funding that Glasgow City Council has received for housing since 2003 is 1.298 billion, translating into 14,560 new affordable homes. Council welcomes the opportunity for City Building being able to contribute their expertise to delivering this historic investment in affordable housing.

Council notes that all homes will be built to the 'Glasgow Standard' which places a focus on ensuring new housing has sufficient space, designed to achieve a high level of sustainability with minimum carbon emissions, and, creates strong and vibrant neighbourhoods with access to outdoor space. Council further notes that meeting these outcomes contributes towards improving the health and wellbeing of the city's population and tackles climate change and fuel poverty.

Council instructs the Chief Executive to work with the City Urbanist to profile Glasgow as a United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Centre for Excellence and world leader in sustainable and affordable housing, in partnership with the Scottish Government and the city's registered social landlords at COP26."  View Papers
(b)By Councillor Aileen McKenzie:-

"Council notes the alternative certification model, and belatedly announced associated appeals system, in place to issue grades this year, and notes that pupils will begin to receive provisional grades from 24th June. Council further notes that this 'appeals' system could see grades lowered and does not include provision for challenging results on the basis of exceptional personal circumstances.

Council believes that this model is in crisis; that this model represents exams by another name; that the level of distress and anguish felt by both pupils and parents is completely unacceptable; that this year potentially represents a bigger crisis than the SQA exams fiasco in 2020; and believes that situation must be addressed urgently.

Council therefore resolves to write to the Scottish Government to demand: the introduction of a no-detriment policy in the appeals process; the immediate establishment of an exceptional personal circumstances criteria for appeals; and to express its lack of confidence in the Scottish Qualifications Authority." View Papers
(c)By Bailie Kyle Thornton:-

"Council welcomes the recent publication of the Accounts Commission report 'Local Government in Scotland Overview 2021'. Council notes its thanks to Elma Murray OBE, Interim Chair of the Accounts Commission, and her team who helped to compile this independent assessment of the performance of councils in addressing the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19.

Council notes several key messages emanating from the report which include issues around service disruption, community engagement, governance structures and processes, workforce versatility, longer term recovery and ongoing learning. Council further acknowledges the clear warnings presented by the Accounts Commission regarding the financial sustainability of local government funding.

Council notes the Accounts Commission's conclusion that funding of local authorities beyond 2021/22 remains uncertain and accepts its assessment that this presents significant challenges for councils in our ability to plan effectively for the future. Council acknowledges Elma Murray's warning that, without the certainty of a multi-year financial settlement, there is a "clear risk to the financial sustainability of our councils". Council further welcomes an endorsement of this view by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), whose resource spokesperson Councillor Gail Macgregor highlighted greater funding certainty as a means to allow "longer term financial planning for the benefit of communities".

Council therefore supports the policy proposal set out by Glasgow MSP, Annie Wells in the Scottish Parliament motion entitled 'Fair Funding for Local Government' lodged in her name on 22nd February 2021 which read: "That the Parliament believes that local government should have its own fiscal framework that will automatically entitle it to a fixed proportion of the Scottish budget each year, thereby enshrining fair funding in law."

Council acknowledges the intent of the policy to create a 'Barnett Formula' style funding arrangement for local authorities by which they can expect to receive a guaranteed proportion of Scottish Government resources. Council believes that such an approach would satisfy the concerns of the Accounts Commission in terms of increasing financial certainty for councils across Scotland.

Council notes in the most recent Scottish Government budget, councils in Scotland received an uplift of less than 1% in their grant from the Scottish Government whereas the Scottish Parliament's block grant from the UK Government increased by 9%. This Council believes that it is not sustainable for local authorities to be continuously underfunded versus the Scottish Government budget.

Council regrets that the aforementioned motion was amended to exclude reference to an automatic entitlement for councils to receive a fixed proportion of the Scottish Government's budget each year, however notes the amended motion to include a commitment to engage with local authorities on the future of local government finance. Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Scottish Government endorsing the view of the Accounts Commission regarding the impact that the current lack of financial certainty has on effective planning as well as the consequence of ring fencing on councils' ability to respond to local needs, and further supporting development of policy which would create a fiscal framework that would automatically entitle local government to a fixed proportion of the Scottish Government's budget every year." View Papers
(d)By Councillor Kim Long:-

"Council notes World Refugee Day, which occurred on 20th June, and that 2021 marks the 70th Anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention.

Council joins more than 75 Scottish organisations in opposing the UK Government's New Plan for Immigration, and supports the new UK-wide coalition Together With Refugees in their calls for a more effective, fair and humane approach to the UK's refugee system.

Council opposes the recent re-starting of immigration enforcement raids in our city. Council asserts that immigration raids are unnecessary, expensive, harmful, and re-traumatising to people who are already traumatised; that such raids should never be used routinely, and should only be deployed when there is a danger to the public. Council calls for Police Scotland to review their position in the Home Office's Immigration Enforcement Operation Notification Process, and asks that the City Convener for Equalities and Human Rights writes to Police Scotland in that regard.

Council reaffirms that people seeking asylum should have the right to work and that there should be adequate support to ensure people can live in communities in dignity, not destitution.

Council also notes with concern the recent crisis created by Home Office mishandling of the change of asylum support payment card provider, notes that this left thousands of individuals and families in Glasgow and access the UK with either no or inadequate access to money and therefore without food, toiletries, baby formula or nappies. Council understands that people using existing payment cards were advised by the Home Office to "stock up" because there would be no access to funds for a weekend; believes this is not an acceptable way to deliver service change, notes that it is a financial impossibility for people living on 5.66 per day to stock up on supplies, and that the crisis has lasted for several weeks.

Council highlights the emergency response provided by Glasgow's third sector over many weeks, which came at great cost in both emergency grants provided and in staff time for these organisations. Council offers sincere gratitude to the charities that stepped into the vacuum left by the Home Office but deeply regrets that this was necessary in an entirely foreseeable and avoidable crisis.

Council therefore asks the City Convener for Equalities to write to the Home Secretary to convey Glasgow's expectation that any emergency grants provided to individuals in this crisis will not be clawed back by the Home Office, and that all due support back-payments will be automatically provided to asylum seekers adversely affected by this transition. Furthermore, that those organisations in Glasgow and, indeed across the rest of the UK, who filled the crisis gap created by Home Office recklessness, should be recompensed for their emergency work and expenditure." View Papers
(e)By Councillor Jennifer Layden:-

"Council condemns the Home Office actions taken at Kenmure Street and again restates that enforced removal of asylum seekers has no place in Glasgow; and notes the continued requests for meaningful engagement on asylum dispersal from this Council remain unaddressed.

Council welcomes the letter from Glasgow Councillors, MPs and MSPs to the Home Secretary on 21st May and paper at COSLA Leaders raising concerns about the New Plan for Immigration and recent Home Office tactics.

Council calls on the Home Secretary to meet with the Council Leader, Scottish Government and Glasgow politicians to discuss:

- a fair and dignified immigration system that meets Scotland's and Glasgow's needs, including sufficient funding for Local Authorities to support asylum dispersal;

- our concerns regarding lack of consultation or engagement on the proposals for the New Plan for Immigration;

- assurances that Dawn Raids/Immigration Enforcement will not be used to evict people in Scotland; and

- the devolution of immigration and asylum policy to the Scottish Parliament. View Papers
(f)By Councillor Bill Butler:-

"Council notes that the former Assisted House Garden Maintenance Scheme delivered a service to the city's over 70s, with medical conditions which would prevent them from maintaining their garden. Council further notes that this scheme no longer operates due to a lack of funding.

Council believes that 13,000 vulnerable households across the City have been let down as a result of this; and rejects any assertion that the decision to withdraw the Assisted Garden Maintenance Scheme is a result of the pandemic.

Council therefore resolves to instruct the administration to produce proposals, and identify appropriate funding, to provide the same level of service to affected households; and that this should be reported to the Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee at the earliest opportunity." View Papers
(g)By Councillor Martha Wardrop:-

"Council notes that in this year's Queen's Speech the Westminster government has set out their intention to introduce a photo ID requirement for voting, which would only apply to UK-wide general elections and would therefore further separate the requirements for voting in Scottish local and parliamentary elections from those for Westminster elections, creating confusion as to which paperwork is required for which election.

Council acknowledges that following the 2019 UK general election only 4 people were convicted of voter fraud and that the electoral commission states, "the UK has very low levels of proven electoral fraud." Therefore there is no need for any further measures to combat electoral fraud, especially if those measures risk voter disenfranchisement.

Council recognises that there is no form of photo ID currently available for free in the UK and that therefore demanding photo ID to vote is demanding that people pay to vote.

Council agrees that adding this further requirement to vote will disenfranchise some voters. People least likely to have photo ID, and therefore most likely to be disenfranchised by a photo ID requirement, are those under 30, families on low incomes and disabled people.

Council therefore agrees to:

a reject any proposal to be involved in a pilot of photo ID for voting to the fullest extent the law allows;

b refuse to administer photo ID for voting to the fullest extent the law allows; and

c respond to any consultation on photo ID for voting with an unequivocal statement against it.

Council calls on the council leader to write to the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary stating Glasgow City Council's objection to voter ID laws and to any law which will disenfranchise Glasgow's citizens." View Papers
(h)By Councillor Allan Gow:-

"Council notes the imminent end of the school year, one which has been unique in its challenges for pupils, parents and Education staff.

Council wishes to place on record its gratitude to all pupils and staff for their resilience, adaptability, stamina and fortitude. Council pays tribute to our teaching staff at all levels and welcomes their informed best efforts in providing provisional assessment grades to their pupils.

Council notes the significant progress made in educational attainment over the last decade and looks forward to seeing this continue both now and in the years ahead. For this year, particularly given the significant COVID-19 restrictions and challenges, we would acknowledge the efforts of our pupils, their parents and carers and our teaching staff.

As the national vaccination programme moves to its completion and restrictions ease, we may all hope that we do not see our future staff and pupils face the challenges which have been faced by our 2020-21 cohort. Council wishes all pupils who are leaving school the very best in whatever destination they may now choose." View Papers