The City Mayor provides a verbal statement to members of the council and the public via a live stream highlighting the important issues affecting the council, its residents and businesses.

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January 2020

Motions

A motion is a request made by a councillor for an issue to be discussed at a council meeting and for a decision to be made.

A fully funded, proper pay rise for local government workers – 18 September 2019

To be proposed by Paul Dennett, City Mayor and seconded by Councillor Bill Hinds.

This council notes:

  • Local government has endured central government funding cuts of nearly 50% since 2010. Between 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost 60p out of every £1 they have received from central government.
  • The 2019 LGA survey of council finances found that 1 in 3 councils fear they will run out of funding to provide even their statutory, legal duties by 2022/23. This number rises to almost two thirds of councils by 2024/2025 or later.
  • The LGA estimates councils will face a funding gap of £8 billion by 2025.
  • Faced with these cuts from central government, the local government workforce has endured years of pay restraint with the majority of pay points losing 22 per cent of their value since 2009/10.
  • At the same time as seeing their pay go down in real terms, workers experience ever increasing workloads and persistent job insecurity. Across the UK, an estimated 876,000 jobs have been lost in local government since June 2010, a reduction of 30 per cent. Local government has arguably been hit by more severe job losses than any other part of the public sector.
  • There has been a disproportionate impact on women, with women making up more than three quarters of the local government workforce.

This council believes:

  • Local government workers provide an invaluable safety net for people and communities across the country and without the professionalism and dedication of our staff, the council services residents rely on would not be deliverable.
  • Government funding has been cut to the extent that a proper pay rise could result in a reduction in local government services.
  • The government needs to take responsibility and fully fund increases in pay; it should not put the burden on local authorities whose funding has been cut to the bone.

This council resolves to:

  • Write to the Chancellor and Secretary of State in support of the pay claim submitted by GMB, UNISON and Unite on behalf of council and school workers for a £10 per hour minimum wage and a 10 per cent uplift across all other pay points in 2020/21 - calling for this increase to be fully funded with new money from central government.
  • Call on the Local Government Association to make urgent representations to central government to fund the NJC pay claim.
  • Meet with local NJC union representatives to convey support for the pay claim.
  • Encourage all local government workers to join a union.

Climate emergency declaration – 17 July 2019

To be moved by Councillor Kate Lewis and seconded by Councillor Sharmina August.

Salford City Council notes the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report ‘Global warming of 1.5°C’ published on 8 October 2018, in particular:

  • That human activities are estimated to have already caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels
  • That if we continue at the current rate, we are likely to surpass the Paris Agreement target of 1.5°C as early as 2030
  • That at the current level of commitments, the world is on course for 3°C of warming with irreversible and catastrophic consequences for humans and the natural world

The city council believes that:

  • That the impacts of global temperature rise above 1.5°C, are so severe that governments at all levels must work together and make this their top priority.
  • As well as large-scale improvements in health and wellbeing around the world, bold climate action can deliver economic benefits in terms of new jobs, economic savings and market opportunities.

Therefore, Salford City Council agrees:

  • To declare a ‘climate emergency’
  • To establish a new task and finish group, with a remit to:
    • Seek advice from experts to develop a 5 year carbon budget and set a challenging target date of 2038 for carbon neutrality in Salford
    • Consider systematically the climate change impact of each area of the council’s activities
    • Make recommendations and set an ambitious timescale for reducing these impacts
    • To assess the feasibility of requiring all risk and procurement assessments to include Carbon Emission Appraisals, including presenting alternative approaches which reduce emissions wherever possible
    • Report to full council with the actions the council needs to take to address this emergency
  • To task a Director level officer with responsibility for reducing as rapidly as possible, the carbon emissions resulting from the council’s activities
  • To equip all our staff with an awareness of the CO2 costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions through widespread carbon literacy
  • To produce a report to the next full council on the level of investment in the fossil fuel industry that our pensions plan and other investments have
  • That the City Mayor will write to the Prime Minister to inform them that Salford City Council has declared a climate emergency and ask her to provide the resources and powers necessary to deal with it

Banyamulenge Community and the Gatumba Massacre – 15 May 2019

This council notes:

  • The Banyamulenge people, are ethnic Tutsi people, many of whom live on the High Plateau of South Kivu, in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, close to the Burundi-Congo-Rwanda border
  • Banyamulenge means “those from Mulenge”. Mulenge is a hill near Lemera in the east of DRC. .
  • The Banyamulenge have been a persecuted people. Since colonial times Banyamulenge have undergone discrimination and exclusion and over the last few decades thousands upon thousands have been murdered and massacred
  • On 13 August 2004 there was a massacre at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi where 166 people were massacred. All victims were from a minority Banyamulenge tribe
  • All were defenceless and slaughtered with machetes and burned alive with gasoline
  • The attack was carried out by a force of armed combatants, many of them members of the Forces for National Liberation (FNL). The FNL is a predominantly Hutu rebel movement known for its hostility to Tutsi people
  • Banyamulenge Refugees are now settled around the world. 60 or so Banyamulenge refugees are now settled in Salford and many more across Britain
  • We welcome them to the safety of our community and value the positive contribution they are making to the culture and life in our city
  • The perpetrators of the massacre still haven’t been brought to justice, many still live free. The current Deputy Speaker of the Burundian Parliament Agathon Rwasa is widely suspected to have been one of the leading perpetrators of the massacre. Agathon Rwasa is the leader of FNL
  • The FNL is believed to have been behind a series of other attacks, including the December 28th, 2000 Titanic Express massacre
  • The Titanic Express massacre was an event in which 21 people were killed in an attack on a Titanic Express bus, close to the Burundian capital Bujumbura
  • The passengers, who had travelled from Kigali in Rwanda, were robbed of their valuables and then separated according to their ethnicity. Hutus and most Congolese were released unharmed. The Tutsis on board, and one British woman, Charlotte Wilson, who was traveling with her Burundian fiancé, were forced to lie face down on the ground and then shot
  • In May 2001, the International Crisis Group attributed the Titanic Express attack to "troops under the order of Agathon Rwasa"
  • In January 2004, the Sunday Times announced the discovery of a document which appears to be an FNL report, signed by a senior commander, detailing how the Titanic Express massacre was carried out.
  • In June 2006, detailed eyewitness accounts of the attack were published in the book Titanic Express: Finding Answers in the Aftermath of Terror, by Richard Wilson, the brother of Charlotte Wilson.
  • During the civil war, FNL was linked to the killing of Monsignor Michael Courtney, the Catholic Church's chief representative in Burundi
  • The Most Reverend Michael Courtney (5 February 1945 – 29 December 2003) was the Apostolic Nuncio to Burundi and TitularArchbishop of Eanach Dúin
  • In December 2003 gunmen fired at his car, Archbishop Courtney suffered gunshot wounds to the head, shoulder and leg and died from haemorrhaging during surgery. He was 58 years old
  • Archbishop Courtney had been instrumental in the previous month's signing of a peace agreement between the Burundian government and the main opposition Hutu group which at the time was rejected by the FNL

This council resolves:

  • To welcome and support our Banyamulenge community in Salford
  • To support the annual commemorations that take place to remember the crimes committed at Gatumba and to support the survivors, their families and a community that has been under attack
  • We support the Banyamulenge Community’s call for justice. The criminal perpetrators need to be arrested and brought to justice
  • In particular, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has to undertake an inquiry and issue warrants of arrest for those people involved in the massacres at Gatumba against the Banyamulenge and against all other attacks that the community has been subjected to including the Titanic Express massacre and the murder of Archbishop Michael Courtney
  • Rwasa needs to be held accountable for what he's done and prosecuted as a war criminal
  • To call upon the British Government and the European Union to put pressure upon the Government of Burundi to fully cooperate with the International Community to ensure that the Banyamulenge community receive justice

Helen’s Law – 21 November 2018

Dear Home Secretary,
I am writing to advise you at the meeting of Salford City Council held on 21 November 2018 the following motion was approved and adopted:

This council notes that, killers who withhold the location of their victims’ bodies, create significant distress and suffering for the relatives of the deceased. Ian Simms is serving a life sentence for the murder of Marie McCourt’s daughter Helen in February 1988, in Billinge, Merseyside. For almost three decades, Simms has refused to reveal the whereabouts of Helen’s body, denying her mother and family the chance to grant her the dignity of a funeral and resting place. Marie has campaigned for the introduction of “Helen’s Law”, seeking Parliament to make changes to current legislation and prevent convicted murderers, who do not reveal the location of their victim’s bodies, being granted parole.

The introduction of “Helen’s Law”, would represent a significant deterrent to killers, who may otherwise withhold details of where their victims bodies have been hidden and is in the best interests of the public and help other grieving relatives, like Marie McCourt, who are enduring a similar torment, to find peace by giving their loved ones a proper funeral. ‘Helen’s Law’, officially known as the Unlawful Killing (Recovery of Remains) Bill, was scheduled for its the second reading in the House of Commons in May 2017, but was deferred by H.M. Government due to the calling of a General Election. This deferment and its subsequent omission from the Queen’s Speech, detailing the bills that will be brought forward, has been detrimental.

Salford City Council is asked to actively support the introduction of Helen’s Law, through writing to H.M. Government requesting that, the Unlawful Killing (Recovery of Remains) Bill be re-listed for debate in Parliament as soon as possible.

I would be grateful if you could give consideration to the points identified in the motion, particularly the request for the Unlawful Killing (Recovery of Remains) Bill to be re-listed for debate in Parliament as soon as possible.

I look forward to your response.

Yours sincerely

Paul Dennett
City Mayor
Salford City Council

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