Glasgow City Council Agenda - 10 December 2020, 11:00 Help

A meeting to be held at by video conference at 11:00 on 10 December 2020.

Number Item
1Minutes of Council meeting of 29th October 2020 (Print 3, pages 101 to 118). View Papers
2Print 3 - Committees' minutes - Submitted for information and approval as a correct record only (page 119 onwards). View Papers
3Changes to committees etc. View Papers
4Representation on outside bodies. View Papers
5Correspondence: View Papers
(a)Letter from HM Treasury in response to Council motion on Universal Basic Income. View Papers
(b)Letter from Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity in response to Council motion on public transport; and View Papers
(c)Letter from Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills in respponse to Council motion on educational attainment. View Papers
6Questions. View Papers
7Notices of motions.
(a)By Councillor John Letford:-

"Council welcomes the recent announcement of the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB) 12.5 million investment in M Squared Lasers, based in Maryhill, a company at the cutting edge of innovation and a recognised world leader in its field.

Council believes that science and advanced technologies have a major role to play in Glasgow and Scotland's future economic prosperity. Council further believes that by increasing investment in research and development with a mission-based approach, Scotland has a real opportunity to actively tackle climate change and grow companies providing high value, high quality, low carbon, sustainable employment opportunities. Council notes that Glasgow is already leading the way in this respect, and boasts a globally leading ecosystem of technological, scientific, creative, manufacturing and low carbon innovation.

Council further notes that the SNIB is the UK's first mission-led development bank and is being capitalised by the Scottish Government with 2 billion over 10 years. Council further notes that the bank's proposed missions will focus on supporting Scotland's transition to net zero, creating opportunities and reducing inequalities through improving places, and harnessing innovation to enable Scotland to flourish.

Council considers that the current pandemic renders the need for mission-led investment even more vital to create a robust, resilient wellbeing economy in Scotland. Council further considers that recognition of the Future of Work and its related challenges and opportunities for workers must be a key part of any investment in new technology, and that this optimises returns not only in performance, but in job quality.

Council therefore welcomes the fact that Glasgow is already pioneering the mission-led approach, in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise and neighbouring local authorities, through the Clyde Mission. Council notes this is backed by an initial 35m of Scottish Government investment which seeks to build on the potential of existing industries; attract international investment and develop a skilled future workforce and create new well paid jobs; bring vacant and derelict land back into use; build on the work of the Connectivity Commission; ensure the Clyde is climate-ready, adaptable and resilient; and harness the river as a source of renewable energy.

Council considers that Glasgow's innovation leadership and early adoption of the mission-led approach makes the city ideally placed to benefit from the SNIB's unique investment mission. Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the chair of the SNIB seeking early engagement with the Council and with Glasgow's economic partnerships to identify opportunities for future joint working and further investment that fulfils both the bank's mission and Glasgow's own ambitions for a green, sustainable place-based, innovation-led inclusive wellbeing economy. View Papers
(b)By Councillor Archie Graham:-

Council notes: that, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, most Glasgow City Council facilities run by Glasgow Life have been closed for 9 months, and are not expected to reopen in the foreseeable future; that these facilities include local libraries, gyms, community centres and sports facilities; that the reopening of these facilities depends on Glasgow Life having the necessary budget to do so; and that Glasgow Life faces a funding crisis.

Council believes: that Glasgow Life facilities are vital parts of our local communities; that our citizens rely heavily on the services that they provide and facilitate; that access to cultural and sports facilities are crucial for the health and mental wellbeing of our citizens; that Glasgow Life is core to creating vibrant communities and that brings investment, jobs and people to our city; that Glasgow is the powerhouse of the Scottish economy and that when Glasgow does well, Scotland does well.

Council therefore resolves that the Scottish Government must immediately clarify and improve funding available to Glasgow City Council, and thereby Glasgow Life, to ensure that all 171 sports, arts and cultural venues are fully reopened and available for use by the citizens of this City as soon as it is safe to reopen them; and Council resolves to write to the Scottish Government in these terms. View Papers
(c)By Bailie Christy Mearns:-

"Council notes its recent Housing Strategy Annual Report 2020 which highlights that 'registered private rented sector dwellings now account for around 20% of all housing within Glasgow having more than doubled over the last decade" and that this has "concentrated housing wealth and constrained demand, particularly for younger households unable to access finance for buying a home'.

Council notes that rents in Glasgow continue to rise at unacceptable levels; new statistics show that in the last 10 years private-sector rents have risen by a staggering 41%, and continue to rise well above the rate of inflation.

Council recalls its decision in 2017 to progress, with cross-party support, work on Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), however notes that full proposals for RPZs have not been possible due to constraints of current legislation, and therefore believes that the 2016 Private Housing legislation which created RPZ powers is fundamentally flawed and that there is a strong need to consider alternative protections for tenants.

Council further notes that the number of people in the private-rented sector who are living in poverty has tripled over the last decade, according to research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; and that 72% of private-rented homes are understood to be in critical disrepair as well as of a poorer energy efficiency standard (Scottish House Condition Survey 2018).

Council also recognises the compounding impact that the Coronavirus pandemic is having on renters, many of whom still face eviction this winter and beyond, through no fault of their own.

Council considers that it lacks the range of powers needed to tackle these interrelated issues of increasingly concentrated housing wealth, excessive rent rises, housing standards, poverty and housing insecurity. Council therefore agrees that Glasgow has a rent crisis and resolves to set up a tenant-led Commission to make recommendations on reforms needed to address this crisis.

Council also agrees to write to the Housing Minister in these terms asking him to account for the flaws in the 2016 Private Housing legislation and to set out what further action the Scottish Government will take to ensure effective regulation of the private-rented sector so that it provides secure, affordable, low carbon, high quality housing for tenants in Glasgow." View Papers
(d)By Councillor Thomas Kerr:-

"Council notes that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Burial of the Unknown Warrior, laid to rest in Westminster Abbey on the 11th November 1920 and serving to represent all those who have died in war whose place of death is not known or whose remains are unidentifiable. Council believes this centenary date is an opportunity for the City of Glasgow to once again record our immeasurable appreciation and respect to those brave men and women of our armed forces who have put their own lives on the line to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy.

Council wishes to see all layers of government work together to look after our armed forces and veteran community. Council notes estimates that there are an estimated 2.4 million UK Armed Forces veterans across the whole of Great Britain including over 200,000 here in Scotland. Council welcomes the collaboration between the UK Government and devolved administrations on the publication of a joint 'Strategy for our Veterans' which identifies 6 key themes relating to veterans issues and was welcomed by stakeholder groups including Veterans Scotland. Council notes the existence of at least 291 armed forces charities in Scotland and supports their work to transition acts of remembrance this year to digital platforms in light of Coronavirus related restrictions on social interaction. Council further welcomes the recent launch of the 'Veterans Railcard' which offers a discount of one third off the price of rail travel across the UK and 60% off for up to four accompanying children aged 5-15 years.

Council acknowledges the work of the armed forces during the Coronavirus pandemic, with the British Army supporting the Scottish Government in setting up the NHS Louisa Jordan right here in Glasgow as well as Nightingale Hospitals throughout the United Kingdom. Council further thanks the work of the armed forces in Scotland in setting up mobile testing units to support care homes and rural areas, the deployment of 'military liaison officers' to support each of Scotland's NHS Boards, and the use of RAF helicopters based in Kinloss Barracks to support the transferring of sick patients in rural areas to hospitals on the mainland where they can seek further treatment.

Council notes the recent announcement of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom regarding the UK Government's plans to invest in the defence of Scotland. Council welcomes the assurances issued by the Prime Minister on the future of the Black Watch regiment in Scotland, as well as his commitment to expand shipbuilding on the Clyde - extending a programme of investment that is already creating and sustaining thousands of jobs right here in Glasgow. Council further welcomes the announcement of a new 'Space Command' to launch its first rockets from Scotland in 2022. Council believes the comprehensive package of defence spending, worth 16.5 billion over four years, will help the United Kingdom upgrade and modernise our defensive capabilities and thereby meet the threats and challenges of the future. Council notes that the United Kingdom exceeds our spending obligations under the NATO alliance and so plays a key role internationally in maintaining peace and security across the globe. Council rejects any move which would reduce the capacity of the British Armed Forces to defend the people of Scotland.

Council therefore resolves to write to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom welcoming his commitment to defence spending here in Scotland and requesting that he outline in further detail the benefits this investment will bring to the people of Glasgow. Council further resolves to write to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, People and Veterans, Johnny Mercer MP, asking that he explain the progress made thus far under the joint 'Strategy for our Veterans' and what engagement he has had with his ministerial counterpart in the Scottish Government regarding the impact of Coronavirus on our veteran community in Scotland." View Papers
(e)By Councillor Jennifer Layden:-

"Council notes that today is the final day for 16 days of Action against Gender-Based Violence and also International Human Rights day. There are many factors contributing to violence against women and girls, and gender inequality remains at the root of this.

Council notes that the pandemic has seen an increase in violence against women. It is anticipated that violence against women during the pandemic could remain unreported for months and years, and that the economic and social impact could further exacerbate violence against women and increase gender inequality in recovery.

Council welcomes Glasgow Violence Against Women's Partnership COVID-19 recovery plan, which identifies key short and medium term actions to address the impact on women and children during lockdown. Council thanks the violence against women's partnership and organisations in Glasgow who have continued to provide advice and support. Council also welcomes the joint guidance from Scottish Government, Cosla, Public Health Scotland and the Improvement Service on Coronavirus (COVID-19) Supplementary National Violence Against Women Guidance, which identifies measures to ensure and embedded a strong partnership approach to safeguarding women, children and young people at a local level.

Council resolves to ensure through Glasgow's Violence Against Women's Partnership, Social Recovery Taskforce and Community Planning Partnership will review equality impact assessments to embed a gendered approach to social and economic recovery of the city".  View Papers
(f)By Bailie Kyle Thornton:-

"Council notes that while responsible use of fireworks can provide enjoyment to some people, they can be a source of fear and distress to others - including animals and wildlife. Council notes calls from the RSPCA, amongst other interested parties, who believe that the use and sale of fireworks requires further regulation in order to maintain community cohesion and reduce the risk of fireworks causing distress, injury or anxiety to people, as well as death, injury or distress to animals.

Council notes that fireworks are a regular feature of Glasgow's seasonal calendar and that events in recent weeks in communities throughout the city have highlighted a number of safety concerns, including incidences of 'street battles' using pyrotechnics and fireworks set off at unsociable hours. Council further notes reports that the number of people treated in Greater Glasgow on Bonfire Night for firework injuries more than tripled this year and constituted the highest number of injuries recorded since 2008.

Council understands that legislative competency relating to fireworks is split between the Scottish and UK Parliaments. Council therefore welcomes the publication of the Firework Review Group's independent report on the legislation governing fireworks in Scotland. Council notes that the report makes reference to the public response to the Scottish Government's consultation on fireworks conducted in 2019 in which very substantial majorities were reported to believe that there should be more controls over how fireworks are used in Scotland (92%), that there should be more controls over the sale of fireworks (94%), and that there should be more controls to make sure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering because of the use of fireworks (93%).

Council further notes the conclusion reached by the Firework Review Group that a "fundamental shift is required in how fireworks are accessed and used". Council notes that the report issues 11 recommendations including introducing restrictions on the times of day fireworks can be sold and the volume of fireworks that can be purchased, further restrictions on the days and times fireworks can be set off, and the commissioning of research by the Scottish Government to evaluate the wider health and environmental consequence of firework use in Scotland.

Council therefore resolves to liaise with the appropriate layer of government to strengthen the regulation of fireworks here in Glasgow. Council further instructs officers to bring a report to the relevant City Policy Committee outlining Glasgow's response to the Firework Review Group report as well as the practicability of pursuing the following measures:

- to require all public firework displays within the local authority boundaries to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people;

- to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people -including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks;
- to support legislation limiting the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays;

- to encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock 'quieter' fireworks for public display. View Papers