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Council and Democracy

Agenda item

NOTICES OF MOTION

Motion in the name of Councillor Gwynne:

 

That this Council recognises that further action must be taken to protect residents and communities living alongside our busiest roads in Tameside from exposure to harmful pollutants. The effects of which include asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease and cancer.

 

An IPPR report in 2018 condemned air pollution levels in Greater Manchester as “lethal and illegal”, and is believed to contribute to 1,200 deaths a year across the city region. Harmful gases such as nitrogen dioxide – and tiny particles of soot and other matter – from vehicle exhausts are among the main causes of this air pollution.

 

Tameside Council is co-operating with other GM local authorities to prepare a Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan, with the intention of reducing vehicle emissions within our communities. However the Government’s two-tier approach to the mandating of Clean Air plans and charges does nothing to protect some of our residents at greatest risk from the effects of air pollution who live alongside the strategic road network managed by Highways England.

 

Unbelievably, Highways England is not mandated in the same way as Tameside MBC and other Greater Manchester Authorities to improve the air quality on and around its road network. In particular, residents living and working alongside the A628 (Market Street) in Hollingworth are currently being ignored by both the government and legislation, despite homes and school playgrounds being situated alongside this highly polluted road.

 

This Council believes:

Highways England should be mandated in the same way as Tameside MBC and other local authorities to develop and execute a Clean Air Plan for its highway network, effectively reducing levels of Nitrogen Dioxide and particulate matter on trunk roads and motorways running through Tameside and in other areas of Greater Manchester similarly affected.

 

This Council resolves to request that the Chief Executive write to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) to demand urgent action by Highways England to reduce the unacceptably high levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulates on its highway network to meet mandated levels on air quality by 2023. There is no time to waste in combating this silent killer that blights our communities.

 

 

Motion in the name of Councillor Warrington:

 

That Tameside Council notes the ‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C’, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, (a) describes the enormous harm that a 2°C rise is likely to cause compared with a 1.5°C rise, and (b) confirms that limiting Global Warming to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society and the private sector.  This is indeed a climate emergency.

 

The Council welcomes the climate action taken by the Greater Manchester Mayor and other city authorities around the world to declare – and commit resources to tackling our Climate Emergency.

 

We also note the action taken to date recognising we need to go further including:

·                The Council’s long-standing commitment to the climate change agenda in constituting “The Carbon Reduction Panel “;

·                That in 2017, the Greater Manchester Pension Fund pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the very latest – a higher target than the Government had set itself and continues to be the largest local government  pension fund investor in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  These efforts to date had been recognised by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee noting the Fund had the highest levels of engagement to manage the risks that climate change posed to UK pension investments; and

·                That in 2018, Tameside Council held its own Green Summit, which was attended by local stakeholders including schools, businesses and the voluntary sector. This began a conversation to highlight and seek ongoing pledges for changes to reduce our carbon footprint within the local authority.

 

TAMESIDE COUNCIL agrees to:

·                Declare a ‘Climate Emergency’ that requires urgent action.

·                To continue to build on the work of the Tameside 2018 Green Summit.

·                Make the Council’s operations net-zero carbon in line with the GM commitment to do so by 2038.

·                Support and work with all other relevant agencies towards making the entire area zero carbon within the same timescale

·                Request that the Carbon Reduction Panel continue to consider the impact of climate change and the environment when reviewing Council’s policies and strategies.

·                to continue to work with ‘Just Transition’ as a just transition for the Greater Manchester Pension Fund is key to the UK’s success in building a zero-carbon and resilient economy in a sustainable way that supports an inclusive economy, with a particular focus on workers and communities in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, which stated ‘the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs in accordance with nationally defined development priorities’ and the Funds fiduciary duties.

·                Will play an active part in Greater Manchester Combined Authority to achieve net zero carbon across Greater Manchester and commit to supporting the Mayor to deliver this challenging ambition for the region

·                Requests that the Chief Executive writes to Government requesting:

a)     it takes more urgent action since Parliament declared a climate emergency in May 2019;

b)     additional funding and powers to enable us to deliver the Paris agreement;

c)     that ministers work with other governments to ensure that the UK maximises carbon reduction in order to fulfil the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement;

d)     Require Highways England to address the high levels of carbon emissions caused as a result of the roads they are responsible for;

e)     Accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions from aviation;

f)      Accelerate the decarbonisation of the electricity grid, funding low carbon energy generation; and

g)     Ensure that the UK prosperity fund focuses on enable the transition to a low carbon economy.