Council 07-JUL-2015

7 July 2015 at 6:30pm in the Council Chamber

Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU

Committee Administrator(s)

Michael Popham & Richard Woodford. Contact Committee Services Team

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Attachments

pdf icon Agenda [29kb]

pdf icon All Papers [283kb]

Agenda

ItemActionWards AffectedReport
1.

Mayor's Announcements

To receive Mayor's Announcements

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2. 

Declarations of Interest

To receive any declarations of interest

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3.

Minutes

The Mayor to sign the Minutes of the proceedings of the Council Meeting held on 27 May 2015

-pdf icon Minutes [133kb]
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 [16kb]
6.

Questions from Councillors

Questions in accordance with Standing Order 10.

-pdf icon Item 6 [54kb]
7.

Reports and Recommendations from Committees

Officer Employment Procedure Rules

Report by Managing Director

-pdf icon Item 7 [53kb]
8.

Motions

Right to Buy Housing Association Properties

Councillor Davies to move:
This Council notes:

  • That there is an increasingly acute demand for social housing in Reading as demonstrated by the number of households on the Housing Register which currently stands at more than 10,000.
  • That this demand is against the national background of rising house prices and private rents.
  • That nationally house building is at its lowest level for decades.
  • That nationally in 2013 for every 6 Council homes sold under the right to buy only 1 was built in its place.
  • That the Conservative Government has declared its intention to force Housing Associations to sell housing stock at large discounts to qualifying tenants, costing an estimated £5.8bn.
  • That the Conservative Government has proposed that this subsidy be funded by Local Authorities being forced to sell their "best" properties when they become empty, further diminishing the supply of decent social housing.
  • That the erosion of the not-for-profit Housing Associations' asset base will affect their viability and make it more difficult for them to build new homes for rent.

This Council therefore resolves:

  1. To call on the government to scrap the proposal to force Housing Associations to sell their houses with large discounts.
  2. To write to the two Reading MPs asking them to lobby relevant ministers and inform those ministers of the damaging effect this proposal could have in Reading worsening the current housing crisis.
  3. That in the event that the Government does bring a bill forward to enact this proposal, lobby ministers for an exemption from the policy in areas of high housing demand such as Reading.
  4. To liaise with our housing association partners on a common strategy to tackle this threat.
  5. That In the event of a bill being brought forward to ask officers to bring a report to an appropriate meeting of the Housing, Neighbourhoods and Leisure committee outlining the impact on Reading, detailing any responses to 1 - 4 above and any action which might be taken to mitigate the effects.
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9. Council Funding for Cycling
Councillor Whitham to move:
Council notes:
  • The air quality, congestion, health and sustainability benefits of cycling
  • In "Cycling Demonstration Towns" estimated benefits of up to £64m were realised for an investment of only £18m1
  • The number of cycle journeys in Reading has stagnated over the last decade with less now than in 20032
  • Edinburgh Council committed to an investment in cycling of 5% of their transport budget (capital and revenue excluding external funding) with a 1% per year escalator with an initial target of 10%pdf icon 3 [140kb]
  • 70 bodies4 including Age Concern, Child Growth Foundation, Association of Directors of Public Health, British Heart Foundation, Healthcare Commission, Royal College of Physicians, UK Public Health Association & Sustrans supported "Take action on active travel" report and investing at least 10% of transport budgets in cycling and walking
Council resolves to report back before the end of the year on:
  • Cycling related spending broken down by capital, revenue and external funding
  • Committing to a fixed percentage of transport capital and revenue expenditure (excluding any extra external funding) going to cycling of 5% or higher
  • Committing to a 1% per year escalator on cycling related capital and revenue funding within the transport budget with an aim of reaching 10%
  

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