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Agenda item

Notice of Motion given by Councillor Brian Webster

That this Council:-

 

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

 

(b)       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;

 

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

 

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

 

(e)       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;

 

(f)        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 May 7th elections and beyond; and

 

(g)       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.

Minutes:

 

Voter Registration

 

 

 

It was moved by Councillor Brian Webster, seconded by Councillor Sarah Jane Smalley, that this Council:-

 

 

 

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

 

(b)     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;

 

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

 

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

 

(e)   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;

 

(f)      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 May 7th elections and beyond; and

 

(g)     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

 

 

 

Whereupon, it was moved by Councillor Mazher Iqbal, seconded by Councillor Cate McDonald, as an amendment, that the Motion now submitted be amended by

 

 

 

1.the addition of a new paragraph (c) as follows, and the relettering of original paragraphs (c) to (g) as new paragraphs (d) to (h);

 

(c)       welcomes the action taken by the present Administration, prioritising extra action for voter registration, including funding extra investment activity from the money set aside by the Administration to support the recommendations of the Fairness Commission;

 

2.        the addition of a new paragraph (i) as follows:-

 

(i)        is therefore appalled by the lack of leadership shown by a senior Green Councillor who admitted that he did not vote in the recent Police and Crime Commissioner Election, and believes this sets an appalling example and is nothing more than cynical political positioning, and calls on any councillor who failed to vote to apologise.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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 5th February 2015 has been designated by Bite the Ballot as National Voter Registration Day;

 

(b)       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;

 

(c)        welcomes the action taken by the present Administration, prioritising extra action for voter registration, including funding extra investment activity from the money set aside by the Administration to support the recommendations of the Fairness Commission;

 

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

 

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

 

(f)        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;

 

(g)       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 May 7th elections and beyond;

 

(h)       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

 

(i)         is therefore appalled by the lack of leadership shown by a senior Green Councillor who admitted that he did not vote in the recent Police and Crime Commissioner Election, and believes this sets an appalling example and is nothing more than cynical political positioning, and calls on any councillor who failed to vote to apologise.

 

 

 

(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 (a) to (h) and against paragraph (i) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.

 

2. Councillors Jillian Creasy, Robert Murphy, Sarah Jane Smalley and Brian Webster voted for paragraphs (a) to (h) and against paragraph (i) of the Substantive Motion and asked for this to be recorded.)