1. United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
In accordance with Rule No. 3.4.3, Councillor K. Melton will move and Councillor M Spoors, will second a motion to the following effect:
This Council notes with concern the recent Special Report from the United Nations Secretary General – “Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals: towards a rescue plan for people and planet“- published in July 2023 to mark the midpoint between 2015 and the delivery date of 2030.
The Secretary General finds that “… many of the Goals are moderately to severely off track and puts forward five major recommendations to rescue the Goals and accelerate implementation between now and 2030.”
In particular, this Council notes the third of those recommendations, calling upon Governments to “… strengthen national and subnational capacity, accountability and public institutions to deliver accelerated progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
To that end, Newark and Sherwood District Council resolves to adopt the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) as a framework for informing our local authority's policies, work programs, functions, and initiatives.
By doing so, we commit to aligning our strategies with the national and global agenda for sustainable development and working towards achieving these goals within our sphere of influence; thus recognising the significance of the UN SDGs as a comprehensive framework for sustainable development at the global level. We shall seek to apply the UN SDGs at the local level for the wellbeing of our residents.
The Council believes that:
1. Adopting the UN SDGs will provide a clear direction for our local authority's policies, work programs, and initiatives, ensuring their alignment with the national and global agenda for sustainable development.
2. Emphasising the importance of multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnerships will help in implementing the UN SDGs effectively.
3. Committing to regular monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of our progress towards achieving the UN SDGs is vital to engage our community in the process.
4. Encouraging cooperation and knowledge-sharing with other local authorities across the UK and world that have already adopted the UN SDGs, will help in promoting collective action and learning both locally and globally.
The Council therefore agrees to:
A. Adopt the UN SDGs as a framework for informing our local authority's policies, work programs, and initiatives.
B. Contribute to the achievement of the UN SDGs through delivery of the Community Plan.
C. Actively engage and collaborates with other local authorities, organisations, and community groups to share best practices, experiences, and lessons learned in advancing the UN SDGs.
D. Receive an annual report from the Portfolio Holder for Climate Change setting out the Council’s contributions to the global agenda for sustainable development.
By taking this step, we can also demonstrate our commitment to contribute to the global effort to achieve a more equitable, sustainable and resilient world for future generations.
2. Ocean Recovery
In accordance with Rule No. 3.4.3, Councillor E. Oldham will move and Councillor K. Melton will second a motion to the following effect:
What is the Motion for the Ocean?
The Motion for the Ocean has been created to enable local authoritiesto play their part in realising a clean, healthy and productive ocean and all of the direct economic, health and wellbeing benefits it will bring. The #Motion4theOcean is a blueprint for local action, developed by leading ocean experts Emily Cunningham, Dr Pamela Buchan and Nicola Bridge together with Councillors and Council Officers from across England. It is non-partisan.
18 councils have so far passed a locally adapted Motion for the Ocean (see Appendix I). The majority of these are coastal councils; however, the responsibility for ocean action lies equally with inland councils.
Why is it important for an inland council for pass a Motion for the Ocean?
No matter where we live in the UK, we are never more than 70 miles from the ocean. We all benefit from our ocean through the air we breathe, the food we eat and the way our ocean regulates the climate. The evidence is clear that our ocean is in a state of emergency and that this impacts us all, no matter where we live.
This Council believes that:
The people of Newark & Sherwood District benefit from our ocean through the air we breathe, the food we eat and the way our ocean regulates the climate. We all impact our ocean not only if we visit the coast, but every day through what we put down the drain, the litter and pollution that flows into our rivers and the carbon emissions we produce. The River Trent, among many others are key features of our District and is our direct links to the ocean.
The burden of taking care of our ocean falls to communities at the coast; but they are at the end of the line, receiving pollution and problems from inland communities. NSDC, as an inland council has an essential role to play in recovering the health of our ocean through increasing awareness of how local actions can affect the ocean and by acting as responsible custodians of the rivers, streams and waterways that run through our district on their way to the sea.
Newark & Sherwood District Council recognises that we have an essential role to play in recovering the health of our ocean.
This Council pledges to champion ocean recovery as outlined below:
1. Work with responsible authorities and others with an interest in the River Trent to bring an action plan and to review the timetable to Cabinet within 12 months. Longer-term, we commit to making this report publicly available on the NSDC website and to subsequent bi-annual progress reporting at the Policy & Performance Improvement Committee.
2. Embed protection and recovery of the River Trent and its tributaries in decision making by the Council (particularly in planning, regeneration, waste, skills and economic policy), in line with our actions to mitigate the Climate and Ecological Emergencies and to consider nature-based solutions in our journey towards a carbon neutral and climate resilient future.
3. Work with Severn Trent, the Environment Agency, developers, and other agencies to explore ways to improve the water quality of our rivers and coastal waters in our district benefitting nature and residents alike.
4. Update the Council’s Climate Change plan to recognise how land and rivers connect to and impact the ocean and strive to support ocean recovery through a source-to-sea approach. Ensure any future relevant plans set out in our new Development Plan 2024 to 2029, also adopts this approach.
5. Grow ocean literacy (where a person understands the ocean’s impact on them and their impact upon the ocean) and marine citizenship in Newark & Sherwood, including:
a) Working with the responsible authorities with the aim of ensuring that all primary school-aged children in Newark and Sherwood have a first-hand experience of the ocean or River Trent- striving to engage home-schooled children.
b) Promoting sustainable and equitable experience and awareness of the ocean or River Trent through physical and digital experiences for all residents; and
c) Through these actions, embed understanding of the ‘source to sea’ approach and how all people, wherever they live, impact and are impacted by ocean health.
6. Use our website and other communication channels to provide updates on the recovery of our rivers, and signpost to opportunities and guidance that enable residents to become more ocean literate and to get involved with river and marine citizenship activities and to stop pollution at its source.
7. Ensure that the Council’s Biodiversity Portfolio Holder, or Cabinet in any future absence of a designated Portfolio Holder, champions ocean recovery in line with the pledges laid out in this motion.
8. Recognising that wherever we live we share responsibility for sustainable marine management, the Leader will write to the Government calling on them to put the ocean into recovery by 2030, following expert guidance as outlined in Appendix 2.
Councils that have passed a Motion for the Ocean:
· Plymouth City Council, 22 November 2021
· Falmouth Town Council, 10 January 2022
· South Tyneside Council, 13 January 2022
· North Norfolk District Council, 9 February 2022
· North Devon Council, 23 February 2022
· Monmouthshire County Council, 3 March 2022
· Seaton with Slingley Parish Council, 16 March 2022
· Seaham Town Council, 22 March 2022
· Torridge District Council, 11 April 2022
· Portsmouth City Council, 17 May 2022
· Devon County Council, 27 May 2022
· Blandford Forum Town Council, 25 July 2022
· Blackpool Council, 20 November 2022
· Isle of Wight Council, 19 July 2023
· Canterbury City council, 20 July 2023
· North Somerset Council, 19 September 2023
· Havant Borough Council, 21 September 2023
In addition to the local Councils who have individually declared, the Local Government Association also supported the Motion for the Ocean on 29September 2022.
We will write to the Government calling on them to put the ocean into recovery by 2030, following expert guidance as follows:
a) Ensuring Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities have the resources they need to effectively research and monitor our growing number of marine protected areas, and to set and enforce appropriate fishing levels that support local economies and deliver environmental sustainability.
b) Working with coastal communities to co-develop marine policy to ensure it delivers equitable and sustainable outcomes in local placemaking.
c) Appointing a dedicated Minister for Coastal Communities.
d) Embedding ocean and civic literacy into the national curriculum.
e) Stopping plastic pollution at source by strengthening the regulations around single-use plastics and set standards for microfibre-catching filters to ensure that all new domestic and commercial washing machines are fitted with a filter that captures a high percentage of microfibres produced in the wash cycle.
f) Improve the water quality of our rivers, coastal waters and ocean to benefit nature and the health and wellbeing of all UK residents, including by stopping the regular pollution of our rivers and seas.
g) And by listening to marine and social scientific advice to update the Marine Policy Statement and produce a national Ocean Recovery Strategy which will:
i. Enable the recovery of marine ecosystems rather than managing degraded or altered habitats in their reduced state.
ii. Consider levelling up, marine conservation, energy, industrial growth, flood and coastal erosion risk management, climate adaptation and fisheries policy holistically rather than as competing interests.
iii. Develop a smarter approach to managing the health of the entire ocean that moves beyond Marine Protected Areas and enables links to be made across sectors towards sustainability.
iv. Establish improved processes for understanding the benefits of ocean recovery, leaving no doubt the links between this and human lives, livelihoods and wellbeing.
Ocean recovery - bringing our seas back to life so they are clean, healthy and productive, for people, climate and nature.
Ocean literacy – where a person understands the ocean's influence on them and their influence on the ocean.
Marine citizenship - exercising the right to participate in the transformation of the human-ocean relationship for sustainability. This means taking individual and collective responsibility to consider one’s own and society’s impacts on the ocean; and exercising rights as a marine citizen, e.g., writing to a local Councillor to ask them to take action for ocean recovery; or promoting or making local, national or international policy changes.
3. Disposal of Single Use Vapes
In accordance with Rule No. 3.4.3, Councillor R Jackson will move and Councillor J Lee, will second a motion to the following effect:
Although the Government is looking at banning single use vapes because of health reasons and their use by young children, in recent weeks it has been reported that discarded single use vapes have found their way into general waste and recycling bins and have unfortunately been responsible for causing fires in refuge collection lorries and at waste transfer stations and recycling centres around the country. Can Newark & Sherwood District Council encourage people and make provision to collect single use vapes and ask people put them on top of their wheelie bins similar to how we encourage people to recycle batteries so that they can be collected separately and safely and stored in a safe compartment on the refuge vehicle, to help safeguard members of staff who collected bins and work at the recycling centres from the potential fire hazard from the lithium batteries.
4. Housing of Asylum Seekers at RAF Scampton
In accordance with Rule No. 3.4.3, Councillor A Freeman will move and Councillor C Penny, will second a motion to the following effect:
This Council believes that the Home Office decision to use the historic home of the former Dambusters airfield, RAF Scampton, to house Asylum Seekers, will have a detrimental effect on the employment opportunities for residents in Newark & Sherwood District. A Judicial Review of the decision commences at the end of this month and this Council resolves to send a letter of support to West Lindsey District Council in its campaign to stop the proposal. We recognise that this site is not the right site at the right location for asylum seekers and further, that the loss of the planned £300 million investment in a “landmark deal” to bring thousands of highly-skilled jobs to the area will be a serious blow to the Government’s stated commitment to Levelling Up our areas.
5. Proposal for Closure of Ticket Office at Newark Northgate Railway Station
In accordance with Rule No. 3.4.3, Councillor M Spoors will move and Councillor M Shakeshaft will second a motion to the following effect:
This Council demands that LNER take serious note of the concerns of the residents of Newark & Sherwood District raised during the recent public consultation and reverse its proposals to close the ticket office at Newark Northgate Railway Station. Residents and travellers across the district have pointed out that should the closure take place, they will be forced to rely on apps and remote mobile teams to be available to assist them rather than having trained staff on stations.
This would be catastrophic for elderly, disabled and vulnerable passengers trying to access the rail network.