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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor George Lindars-Hammond

That this Council:

 

(a)       recognises that the young people of Sheffield played no part in creating the financial crisis and is therefore appalled at the deep levels of cuts that this Government is subjecting them to;

 

(b)       condemns this Government's huge reduction in support for young people in all kinds of education, including the tripling of university tuition fees, the removal of Educational Maintenance Allowance, the removal of National Careers Advice funding and deep cuts to funding for 18 year olds in further education;

 

(c)        further opposes the deep cuts from central Government which affect this Council's ability to fund youth services and activities for young people;

 

(d)       believes that broken promises made to young people by The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP and The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP on many of these issues has fundamentally undermined the faith in the political process for many young people;

 

(e)       contrasts this Government's cuts to this Council's record of action for young people; creating apprenticeships, starting the innovative RISE internship scheme and helping match young people and local employers through the Skills Made Easy scheme;

 

(f)        supports the Labour Party's guarantee of a job for every young person out of work and plans for a transformation of vocational education;

 

(g)       resolves to campaign to highlight the gross unfairness of these cuts and urges all young people to register to vote in the upcoming general election in order to make their voices heard; and

 

(h)       welcomes that The Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband, MP, highlighted the problems the Government’s mismanagement of Individual Electoral Registration is causing, resulting in many people, including students, falling off the register and praised the actions of local partners in Sheffield who have taken action to address this issue including the universities, student union and the Council, and reiterates its support for the work of these organisations.

Minutes:

 

Youth Issues

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, seconded by Councillor Adam Hurst, that this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       recognises that the young people of Sheffield played no part in creating the financial crisis and is therefore appalled at the deep levels of cuts that this Government is subjecting them to;

 

(b)       condemns this Government's huge reduction in support for young people in all kinds of education, including the tripling of university tuition fees, the removal of Educational Maintenance Allowance, the removal of National Careers Advice funding and deep cuts to funding for 18 year olds in further education;

 

(c)       further opposes the deep cuts from central Government which affect this Council's ability to fund youth services and activities for young people;

 

(d)       believes that broken promises made to young people by The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP and The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP on many of these issues has fundamentally undermined the faith in the political process for many young people;

 

(e)       contrasts this Government's cuts to this Council's record of action for young people; creating apprenticeships, starting the innovative RISE internship scheme and helping match young people and local employers through the Skills Made Easy scheme;

 

(f)        supports the Labour Party's guarantee of a job for every young person out of work and plans for a transformation of vocational education;

 

(g)       resolves to campaign to highlight the gross unfairness of these cuts and urges all young people to register to vote in the upcoming general election in order to make their voices heard; and

 

(h)       welcomes that The Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband, MP, highlighted the problems the Government’s mismanagement of Individual Electoral Registration is causing, resulting in many people, including students, falling off the register and praised the actions of local partners in Sheffield who have taken action to address this issue including the universities, student union and the Council, and reiterates its support for the work of these organisations.

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Joe Otten, seconded by Councillor Colin Ross, as an amendment, that the motion now submitted be amended by the deletion of all the words after the words “That this Council” and the addition of the following words:-

 

 

 

(a)       condemns the record of the last Labour Government of spiralling youth unemployment, rising for 16-17 year olds from a low of 18.0% in 2001 to 36.5% by April 2010, and for 18-24 year olds from 9.9% in 2001 to 17.8% by April 2010, with much of this increase happening before the financial crisis, and believes this shows that Labour do not care about young people;

 

(b)       welcomes the fall in youth unemployment to 32.1% for 16-17 year olds and 15.1% for 18-24 year olds under the Coalition, recognising that there is much more progress still to be made;

 

(c)       is concerned at what this Council believes is Labour's populist, punitive “youth tax”, which would remove benefits for young people, including “NEET”s, and increase family dependency, potentially coercing many young people into unsuitable training options, with little impact on the benefits bill;

 

(d)       believes that this turnaround in youth unemployment is due in no small part to the Liberal Democrat priority of boosting skill-rich apprenticeships;

 

(e)       further believes that Liberal Democrat policies such as increasing the personal tax allowance also have a positive effect on employment rates;

 

(f)        notes with sadness the extremely high youth unemployment rates in Greece, Spain and Italy, and therefore we should not be seduced by the appeal of excessive borrowing;

 

(g)       condemns the hypocrisy of Labour's grandstanding against cuts while at the same time promising further cuts if elected;

 

(h)       welcomes that despite opposition scaremongering, record numbers of young people are going to university, including record numbers from deprived backgrounds; in 2014, 512,400 applicants were placed in Higher Education through UCAS , the first time the service has placed over a half million people and acceptances from the 18-19 year old age groups increased by 2% despite a falling population in that age group; and particularly welcomes the increase in entry to HE for disadvantaged young people in England, making this group a third more likely to enter university than five years ago;

 

(i)        notes that Labour's proposal on tuition fees has been condemned by university leaders as implausible, due to the £10bn needed to fund it not being found;

 

(j)         notes that under that proposal, a cut to the headline fees rate will only benefit higher-earning graduates because lower-earning graduates never repay the full amount, and that Labour's policy therefore only benefits higher earning graduates;

 

(k)       notes that the previous Labour Government introduced tuition fees  and subsequently tripled them;

 

(l)        welcomes the introduction of the pupil premium, giving extra valuable support to many pupils;

 

(m)      welcomes free school meals for infant children, saving many hard pressed parents £400 per year; and

 

(n)       welcomes the Liberal Democrat commitment to protect education spending from cradle to college and ensure that children are taught by a qualified teacher.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Sarah Jane Smalley, seconded by Councillor Brian Webster, as an amendment, that the motion now submitted be amended by the relettering of paragraph (h) as a new paragraph (o) and the addition of new paragraphs (h) to (n) as follows:-

 

 

 

(h)       notes that 5th February, 2015 has been designated by Bite the Ballot as National Voter Registration Day;

 

(i)        believes that it is essential that all those who are eligible to vote know how to register to vote and are not denied the opportunity to exercise this fundamental democratic right;

 

(j)         commends the work already undertaken by Council officers and partner institutions including the city’s Universities and their Students’ Unions, to give young people the information they need to register to vote;

 

(k)       believes that these efforts are particularly important this year, as the introduction of Individual Voter Registration (IVR) risks disenfranchising millions of people, including young people, across the country;

 

(l)        notes reports from the Electoral Commission that "areas with a high concentration of certain demographics – students, private renters and especially young adults" are at particular risk of seeing the number of registered voters fall significantly under IVR;

 

(m)      therefore calls upon officers to continue working with partner organisations to ensure that information about both the practicalities and the importance of registering to vote are publicised as widely as possible to all segments of Sheffield’s population in the run-up to the 7th May elections and beyond;

 

(n)       further, calls upon Members of the Council to exercise their responsibility as community leaders by actively promoting voter registration and participation in the democratic process in the communities they represent;

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Following a Right of Reply by Councillor George Lindars-Hammond, the original Motion, as amended, was put as a Substantive Motion in the following form and carried:-

 

 

 

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

 

 

 

(a)       recognises that the young people of Sheffield played no part in creating the financial crisis and is therefore appalled at the deep levels of cuts that this Government is subjecting them to;

 

(b)       condemns this Government's huge reduction in support for young people in all kinds of education, including the tripling of university tuition fees, the removal of Educational Maintenance Allowance, the removal of National Careers Advice funding and deep cuts to funding for 18 year olds in further education;

 

(c)        further opposes the deep cuts from central Government which affect this Council's ability to fund youth services and activities for young people;

 

(d)       believes that broken promises made to young people by The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP and The Rt. Hon. Nick Clegg MP on many of these issues has fundamentally undermined the faith in the political process for many young people;

 

(e)       contrasts this Government's cuts to this Council's record of action for young people; creating apprenticeships, starting the innovative RISE internship scheme and helping match young people and local employers through the Skills Made Easy scheme;

 

(f)        supports the Labour Party's guarantee of a job for every young person out of work and plans for a transformation of vocational education;

 

(g)       resolves to campaign to highlight the gross unfairness of these cuts and urges all young people to register to vote in the upcoming general election in order to make their voices heard;

 

(h)       notes that 5th February, 2015 has been designated by Bite the Ballot as National Voter Registration Day;

 

(i)         believes that it is essential that all those who are eligible to vote know how to register to vote and are not denied the opportunity to exercise this fundamental democratic right;

 

(j)         commends the work already undertaken by Council officers and partner institutions including the city’s Universities and their Students’ Unions, to give young people the information they need to register to vote;

 

(k)        believes that these efforts are particularly important this year, as the introduction of Individual Voter Registration (IVR) risks disenfranchising millions of people, including young people, across the country;

 

(l)         notes reports from the Electoral Commission that "areas with a high concentration of certain demographics – students, private renters and especially young adults" are at particular risk of seeing the number of registered voters fall significantly under IVR;

 

(m)      therefore calls upon officers to continue working with partner organisations to ensure that information about both the practicalities and the importance of registering to vote are publicised as widely as possible to all segments of Sheffield’s population in the run-up to the 7th May elections and beyond;

 

(n)       further, calls upon Members of the Council to exercise their responsibility as community leaders by actively promoting voter registration and participation in the democratic process in the communities they represent; and

 

(o)       welcomes that The Rt. Hon. Ed Miliband, MP, highlighted the problems the Government’s mismanagement of Individual Electoral Registration is causing, resulting in many people, including students, falling off the register and praised the actions of local partners in Sheffield who have taken action to address this issue including the universities, student union and the Council, and reiterates its support for the work of these organisations.

 

 

 

(Notes: 1. Councillors Simon Clement-Jones, Richard Shaw, Rob Frost, Joe Otten, Colin Ross, Martin Smith, Penny Baker, Roger Davison, Diana Stimely, Sue Alston, Andrew Sangar, Cliff Woodcraft, Ian Auckland, Steve Ayris, Denise Reaney, Katie Condliffe and Vickie Priestley voted for paragraphs (h) to (n) and against paragraphs (a) to (g) and (o) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.

 

2. Councillors Pauline Andrews, Jack Clarkson and John Booker voted for paragraphs (a) to (n) and abstained on paragraph (o) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.)