Venue: Corn Exchange, Market Street, Exeter
Contact: John Street, Corporate Manager Democratic & Civic Support Telephone 01392 265106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
To approve and sign the minutes of the Ordinary and Extraordinary meetings of Council held on 21 July 2021.
Councillor Ian Quance
Members will be aware that they have a statutory responsibility to attend at least one meeting of the authority every six months. If they fail to do this, they are disqualified with immediate effect, unless the Council has agreed to an extension to this period of absence.
Councillor Quance last attended a meeting on 18 May 2021 - the AGM - meaning his six month period for attendance would expire on 18 November 2021. Because of his illness he had not been well enough to attend meetings since May. If he is unable to attend this meeting, the Council is asked to consider approving an extension for any further absence up to the end of the 2021/22 Municipal Year.
Local Government (Access to Information) Act - Exclusion of the Press and Public
It is considered that the Council would be unlikely to exclude the press and public during consideration of any of the items on the agenda, but if it should wish to do so, the following resolution should be passed:-
“RESOLVED that, under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the consideration of the particular item(s) of business on the grounds that it (they) involve(s) the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the relevant paragraph(s) of Part 1, Schedule 12A of the Act”.
Details of questions should be notified to the Corporate Manager Democratic and Civic Support at least three working days prior to the meeting - by 10am on Wednesday 13 October 2021. Further information and a copy of the procedure are available from Democratic Services (Committees) (Tel: 01392 265115) with details about speaking at Council to be found here: Public Speaking at Meetings.
To receive minutes of the following Committees and to determine thereon:-
To receive nominations for the Chair of Strategic Scrutiny Committee
Notices of Motion
Notice of Motion by Councillor Pearce under Standing Order No. 6
Standing Up for Responsible Tax Conduct
Full Council notes that:
1. The pressure on organisations to pay the right amount of tax in the right place at the right time has never been stronger.
2. Polling from the Institute for Business Ethics finds that “corporate tax avoidance” has, since 2013, been the clear number one concern of the British public when it comes to business conduct.
3. Almost two-thirds (63%) of the public agree that the Government and local councils should consider a company’s ethics and how they pay their tax as well as value for money and quality of service provided, when undertaking procurement.
4. Around 17.5% of public contracts in the UK have been won by companies with links to tax havens.
5. It has been conservatively estimated that losses from multinational profit-shifting (just one form of tax avoidance) could be costing the UK some £7bn per annum in lost corporation tax revenues.
6. The Fair Tax Mark offers a means for business to demonstrate good tax conduct, and has been secured by organisations with a combined annual income of £50bn and more than 6,500 outlets and premises, including many social enterprises and co-operatives.
1. Paying tax is often presented as a burden, but it shouldn’t be.
2. Tax enables us to provide services from education, health and social care, to flood defence, roads, policing and defence. It also helps to counter financial inequalities and rebalance distorted economies.
3. As recipients of significant public funding, local authorities should take the lead in the promotion of exemplary tax conduct; be that by ensuring contractors are paying their proper share of tax, or by refusing to go along with offshore tax dodging when buying land and property.
4. Where substantive stakes are held in private enterprises, then influence should be wielded to ensure that such businesses are exemplars of tax transparency and tax avoidance is shunned - e.g., no use of marketed schemes requiring disclosure under DOTAS regulations (Disclosure Of Tax Avoidance Schemes) or arrangements that might fall foul of the General Anti-Abuse Rule.
5. More action is needed, however, current law significantly restricts councils’ ability to either penalise poor tax conduct or reward good tax conduct, when buying goods or services.
6. UK cities, counties and towns can and should stand up for responsible tax conduct - doing what they can within existing frameworks and pledging to do more given the opportunity, as active supporters of international tax justice.
Full Council resolves to:-
1. Approve the Councils for Fair Tax Declaration.
2. Lead by example and demonstrate good practice in our tax conduct, right across our activities.
3. Ensure contractors implement IR35 robustly and pay a fair share of employment taxes.
4. Not use offshore vehicles for the purchase of land and property, especially where this leads to reduced payments of stamp duty.
5. Undertake due diligence to ensure that not-for-profit structures are not being used inappropriately as an artificial device to reduce the payment ... view the full agenda text for item 17.
Notice of Motion by Councillor Wright under Standing Order No. 6
Universal Credit Uplift Removal
The Council notes that:-
1. More than 5.8 million people nationally claim universal credit and 40% are in work.
2. 8,118 people in Exeter claim Universal credit of which around 43% are in work
3. The Rountree Foundation has warned that the cut of £20 per week will plunge half a million more people into poverty, including 200,000 children.
4. Inflation jumped to 3.2% (Consumer price Index) in August this year -up from 2% in July. This raise in inflation is predicted to continue through the winter months (office for National Statistics)
5. Fuel costs are rising (currently at 12% increase) particularly affecting people on pre-payment meters. (OfGem July 2021). Most providers put pre-payment customers on the highest tariff, creating even more disadvantage for those already on the poverty line.
6. Rents have risen by 5.6% in the last 6 months -at the fastest rate since 2015.
The Council believes that:-
to withhold essential financial help to more than 5.8million Universal Credit claimants will have disastrous negative implications on health and well-being, education, community well-being and the economy.This situation will then create increased financial burden on the Treasury to mitigate against these implications.
Exeter City Council calls for:-
1. HM Government to conduct an urgent review into the payment levels of Universal Credit in relation to the rise in food costs, fuel costs, rent increases and in the light of the removal of the £87 per month uplift afforded during the first tranche of the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. A raise in payment levels in line with the ongoing inflated costs of food, fuel and rents.
Questions from Members of the Council under Standing Order No. 8