Skip to content

Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor John Booker

That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, stands to effectively ban local authorities from setting up new publicly owned bus companies, and believes that this is an unnecessary and ideological move that ignores the evidence, lacks public support and undermines localism;

 

(b)       further notes there are twelve local authority-run bus companies in the UK and they provide some of the best bus services in the country, with local authority-run bus companies, like Reading Buses and Nottingham City Transport, having won bus operator of the year in four of the last five years, and believes that, looking at the stated objectives of the Bus Services Bill, of increasing passenger numbers and improving quality, it is clear that council-run bus companies are more than able to help achieve these objectives;

 

(c)        also notes that (i) Nottingham and Reading have the second and third highest journey per head of population outside London, (ii) prior to 2014, Nottingham increased passenger numbers 13 years in a row and (iii) Nottingham City Transport and Reading Buses also deliver in terms of quality, environmental standards and innovation, with that combination having led to the numerous awards, and believes that much of this was made possible by maintaining high levels of investment, even through the recession, and by offering a truly joined-up transport policy through strong partnership with the local authority;

 

(d)       whilst recognising that financial constraints might realistically prevent the establishment of a new public bus company, believes the evidence suggests that councils should at least be legally allowed to consider following in the successful footsteps of Nottingham and Reading;

 

(e)       contrasts Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill with the Government’s commitment to localism and devolution enshrined in the 2011 Localism Act which gave more power to councils to provide services unless other laws explicitly prevent them from doing so, and believes, in short, that ideology shouldn’t get in the way of effective service provision; and

 

(f)        therefore supports the campaign against Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill.

Minutes:

 

Bus Services Bill and Public Bus Companies

 

 

21.1

It was formally moved by Councillor John Booker, and formally seconded by Councillor Jack Clarkson, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       notes that Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, stands to effectively ban local authorities from setting up new publicly owned bus companies, and believes that this is an unnecessary and ideological move that ignores the evidence, lacks public support and undermines localism;

 

(b)       further notes there are twelve local authority-run bus companies in the UK and they provide some of the best bus services in the country, with local authority-run bus companies, like Reading Buses and Nottingham City Transport, having won bus operator of the year in four of the last five years, and believes that, looking at the stated objectives of the Bus Services Bill, of increasing passenger numbers and improving quality, it is clear that council-run bus companies are more than able to help achieve these objectives;

 

(c)        also notes that (i) Nottingham and Reading have the second and third highest journey per head of population outside London, (ii) prior to 2014, Nottingham increased passenger numbers 13 years in a row and (iii) Nottingham City Transport and Reading Buses also deliver in terms of quality, environmental standards and innovation, with that combination having led to the numerous awards, and believes that much of this was made possible by maintaining high levels of investment, even through the recession, and by offering a truly joined-up transport policy through strong partnership with the local authority;

 

(d)       whilst recognising that financial constraints might realistically prevent the establishment of a new public bus company, believes the evidence suggests that councils should at least be legally allowed to consider following in the successful footsteps of Nottingham and Reading;

 

(e)       contrasts Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill with the Government’s commitment to localism and devolution enshrined in the 2011 Localism Act which gave more power to councils to provide services unless other laws explicitly prevent them from doing so, and believes, in short, that ideology shouldn’t get in the way of effective service provision; and

 

(f)        therefore supports the campaign against Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill.

 

 

21.2

Whereupon, it was formally moved by Councillor Lisa Banes, and formally seconded by Councillor Zoe Sykes, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by the addition of a new paragraph (f) as follows, and the relettering of original paragraph (f) as a new paragraph (g):-

 

 

 

(f)        welcomes the work of Sheffield Trades Council in campaigning on this issue;

 

 

21.3

On being put to the vote, the amendment was carried.

 

 

21.4

The original Motion, as amended, was then put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

(a)       notes that Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill, currently going through Parliament, stands to effectively ban local authorities from setting up new publicly owned bus companies, and believes that this is an unnecessary and ideological move that ignores the evidence, lacks public support and undermines localism;

 

(b)       further notes there are twelve local authority-run bus companies in the UK and they provide some of the best bus services in the country, with local authority-run bus companies, like Reading Buses and Nottingham City Transport, having won bus operator of the year in four of the last five years, and believes that, looking at the stated objectives of the Bus Services Bill, of increasing passenger numbers and improving quality, it is clear that council-run bus companies are more than able to help achieve these objectives;

 

(c)        also notes that (i) Nottingham and Reading have the second and third highest journey per head of population outside London, (ii) prior to 2014, Nottingham increased passenger numbers 13 years in a row and (iii) Nottingham City Transport and Reading Buses also deliver in terms of quality, environmental standards and innovation, with that combination having led to the numerous awards, and believes that much of this was made possible by maintaining high levels of investment, even through the recession, and by offering a truly joined-up transport policy through strong partnership with the local authority;

 

(d)       whilst recognising that financial constraints might realistically prevent the establishment of a new public bus company, believes the evidence suggests that councils should at least be legally allowed to consider following in the successful footsteps of Nottingham and Reading;

 

(e)       contrasts Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill with the Government’s commitment to localism and devolution enshrined in the 2011 Localism Act which gave more power to councils to provide services unless other laws explicitly prevent them from doing so, and believes, in short, that ideology shouldn’t get in the way of effective service provision;

 

(f)        welcomes the work of Sheffield Trades Council in campaigning on this issue; and

 

(g)       therefore supports the campaign against Clause 21 of the Bus Services Bill.