Council meeting 18 December 2019 - motions agreed

Released on December 19, 2019

At a busy Council meeting on 18 December, district councillors in the Vale voted to approve motions on a number of topics, including agreeing council’s commitment to exploring planning polices which encourage sustainability, updating the council’s equality policy and support for the voting age to be lowered to 16.

Councillors agreed that Vale of White Horse District Council would commit to exploring planning policies which positively encourage all renewable sources of energy, including onshore wind farms as part of the next Vale Local Plan and Oxfordshire Plan 2050.

The council also agreed to:

  • condemn all hate crimes and deplore the rise in hate crimes against members of the Jewish and Muslim communities in Britain 
  • condemn all inflammatory rhetoric in political discourse: including anti-Semitic and Islamophobic tropes used by politicians and public servants.
  • adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism in full and without amendment
  • adopt the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) definition of Islamophobia in full and without amendment.
  • ask council officers to update this council’s equality policies to this effect

 The council requested that the Leader write to relevant ministers and local MPs requesting that all elections be run using Proportional Representation and also  expressing this council’s support for the Votes at 16 campaign; calling for the extension of allow 16- and 17-year olds to be allowed to vote in all elections and referendums across the UK and asks the Electoral Returning Officer to consider participating in any pilot scheme.

The council agreed to request that:  

  • officers make contact with the MHCLG (Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government) to assess the views of the new Secretary of State when it comes to the re-organisation of local government
  • the Chief Executive and Leader bring a report on this matter to full council by Summer 2020
  • officers bring forward proposals for the Vale of White Horse to consider a formal merger with South Oxfordshire District Council creating a single district council based on their combined geography with increased financial resilience.

Cllr Emily Smith, leader of Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “This was a busy council meeting covering a variety of subjects but we always find time to include matters which affect local people and ensure their voices are heard. This is reflected in our focus on ensuring our equality policies are updated and our planning policies encourage sustainability.”

All other items on the council’s agenda were agreed as recommended.