Agenda item - Petitions for Council Debate

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Agenda item

Petitions for Council Debate

Petitions to be debated at Council.  Reports of the Monitoring Officer (copies attached).


(i)        Single-Use Plastics.  Lead petitioner N. O’Neill.


(ii)       Secondary School Places.  Lead petitioner K. Hmaimou.


87.1      The Mayor stated that where a petition secured 1,250 or more signatures it could be debated at the council meeting.  She had been made aware of two such petitions however, since the publication of the agenda the second petition relating to school places had been withdrawn.  She also noted that there was an amendment to the covering report’s recommendation for Item 87(i), Single-Use Plastics from the Green Group.


87.1      The Mayor then invited Mr. Radcliff and Ms. Haley-Mirnar to come forward and present the petition.


87.2      Ms. Mirnar stated that the use of single-use plastics had become a huge environmental issue with only around 20% being recycled and a large amount now entering the food chain.  As a sea swimmer she and her friends were experiencing more and more plastics on the beach and in the sea after large events had taken place in the city.  Whilst the clear-up rate after events was generally good, it created waste which was not being dealt with effectively.


87.3      Mr. Radcliff stated that the city council was a progressive organisation and had recently announced an attempt to reduce the use of plastic bottles in the marathon; however more was needed to be done and one option was to have a licensing policy to prevent use of single-use plastic at events.  He noted that by 2050 current projections showed the weight of plastic in the oceans would be more that the actual fish that lived in them.


87.4      Councillor Robins thanked the petitioners for presenting the petition and noted that since the Notice of Motion was passed in November, officers had been looking at the options for addressing the use of single-use plastics, including where they could be removed or alternatives provided.  An update report was taken to the Policy, Resources & Growth Committee (PR&G), in March and it was intended to encourage event organisers to get involved and to work with organisations to improve the situation and a further report was expected for the PR&G Committee in July.


87.5      Councillor Druitt moved the amendment on behalf of the Green Group which called for a report to the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee on the issue of introducing a condition to prevent event organisers and vendors from using single-use plastics as part of the permission to hold the event in question.  He noted that city already had a bio-sphere and suggested that it should lead by example to protect this and its environment.  He hoped that the Administration would take this forward.


87.6      Councillor Mac Cafferty formerly seconded the amendment.


87.7      Councillor Bell welcomed the petition and the amendment and stated that you only needed to look around the city to see the problem that existed.  The matter needed to be taken seriously and noted that the Government had announced the intention to ban the use of plastic straws and stated that the council needed to follow the example and take action.


87.8      Councillor Robins noted the comments and stated that he was happy to accept the amendment as it outlined the actions that the council was already aiming to achieve.  He also noted that San Francisco was seen as leading the way on this matter, and yet having banned single-use plastics it had led to water being supplied in tetra packs which were in effect no better than plastic bottles.  It showed that more was needed to be done and he hoped that a report could be brought to a future meeting.


87.9      The Mayor thanked Mr. Radcliff and Ms. Haley-Mirnar for attending the meeting and presenting the petition, and noted that the Green Group’s amendment had been accepted.  She therefore put the recommendations as amended to vote which were carried unanimously.


87.10   RESOLVED:


(1)       That the petition be noted and considered by the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee; and


(2)       That a report be brought to the Tourism, Development & Culture Committee exploring the proposals set out in the petition including:


-        the possibility of requiring event organisers and vendors to avoid Single Use Plastic as a condition of their event permission.

Supporting documents:


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