Council 24-MAR-2015

24 March 2015 at 18:30 in the Council Chamber

Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU

Committee Administrator(s)

Michael Popham.  Contact Committee Services.

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Attachments

pdf icon Agenda [23kb]

pdf icon All papers [674kb]

Agenda

ItemDescriptionWards AffectedReport
1.

MAYOR'S ANNOUNCEMENTS

To receive Mayor's announcements

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2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive any declarations of interest

--
3.

MINUTES

The Mayor to sign the minutes of the proceedings of the Council meeting held on 24 February 2015 (Pages A1-A6)

-pdf icon Item 2 [49kb]
4.

PETITIONS

To receive petitions in accordance with standing order 8

-pdf icon Item 4 [7kb]
5.

QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC

Questions in accordance with standing order 9

-pdf icon Item 5 [23kb]
6.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS

Questions in accordance with standing order 10

-pdf icon Item 6 [64kb]

Reports and Recommendations from Committees:

7.

COUNCILLORS' ALLOWANCES AND PENSION SCHEME FOR COUNCILLORS

Report my Managing Director

-pdf icon Item 7 [116kb]
8.

PAY POLICY STATEMENT REVISION 2015/16

Report by Managing Director

-pdf icon Item 8 [325kb]

Motions:

9.

TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP

Councillor Hoskin to move:

This Council notes:

1. That the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is currently being negotiated between the US and the EU primarily seeking a deal to cut tariffs and regulatory barriers to trade, making it easier for companies on both sides of the Atlantic to access each other's markets

2. TTIP negotiations are being conducted behind closed doors between representatives of the EU and US without transparency or democratic accountability.

3. TTIP could open up access to government procurement markets and eliminate preferential treatment to local suppliers and introduce investment protection provisions that include investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms which allow investors to challenge government actions which they consider as threatening to their investments.

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The Council further notes the briefing of the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU) of which it is a member that "TTIP will give foreign companies the right to bid for all government spending, including on health. It could put restrictions on the ability of the UK government to control costs (e.g. of medicines) and to regulate any transnational companies that provide health services."

The LGIU further states that "Supporters of TTIP say that health will anyway be exempt from the treaty because it is a public service. In the context of FTAs, the term 'public service' refers only to those services that are not supplied on a commercial basis, or are not in competition with other service providers. There is an argument that since the passing of the Health and Social Care Act (2012), the NHS does not conform to this description."

The Council also notes that the British Medical Association council chair Mark Porter has warned: 'In order to protect the NHS, it is crucial that the final agreement does not jeopardise the ability of member state Governments to act as they see fit.'

The BMA has also called on the protection of public health services by:

  • Excluding the NHS from the reach of the TTIP treaty negotiations.
  • Building in protections to the so-called IP (investor protection) and ISDS (investor to state dispute settlement) mechanisms to ensure they cannot be used by corporations to attack public services.

This Council believes that the TTIP negotiations and potential deal therefore pose a real threat to the very existence of a publicly provided NHS and could seriously restrict the powers of future, democratically elected governments, to reverse the privatisation of our health services unless the NHS is specifically excluded.

This Council therefore resolves to request that the Leader of the Council to write to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, asking them to ensure that the NHS is specifically excluded from the scope of TTIP.

Furthermore this Council requests the Leader of the Council to write to the declared parliamentary candidates for Reading East and West constituencies to inform them of the views of the Council expressed in this motion and to request that they commit to support excluding the NHS from TTIP if elected as an MP for Reading.

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