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MOTIONS

The following Motions have been notified in accordance with the requirements of Council Procedure Rule 15, to be moved and seconded by the Members indicated:

 

1.            Harrow Council recognises working definition of Islamophobia Motion

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Ghazanfar Ali and seconded by Councillor Sue Anderson:

 

 

“While the drive to tackle hate and discrimination in all its forms continues, there has been a disappointing normalisation in the media and in politics of some forms of hate in recent times, Islamophobia being one of them.  As a diverse and vibrant borough where Muslims make up over 12% of the population, it is important that the Council signals its seriousness in tackling all forms of hate and discrimination against residents, and members of wider society.  Following an extensive consultation, the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Muslims has formulated a working definition of Islamophobia as:

 

·         Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness

 

Contemporary examples of Islamophobia in public life, the media, schools, the workplace, and in encounters between religions and non-religions in the public sphere could, taking into account the overall context, include, but are not limited to:

 

·         Calling for, aiding, instigating or justifying the killing or harming of Muslims in the name of a racist fascist ideology, or an extremist view of religion.

 

·         Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Muslims as such, or of Muslims as a collective group, such as, especially but not exclusively, conspiracies about Muslim entryism in politics, government or other societal institutions; the myth of Muslim identity having a unique propensity for terrorism, and claims of a demographic ‘threat’ posed by Muslims or of a ‘Muslim takeover’.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Muslim person or group of Muslim individuals, or even for acts committed by non-Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslims as a group, or Muslim majority states, of inventing or exaggerating Islamophobia, ethnic cleansing or genocide perpetrated against Muslims.

 

·         Accusing Muslim citizens of being more loyal to the ‘Ummah’ (transnational Muslim community) or to their countries of origin, or to the alleged priorities of Muslims worldwide, than to the interests of their own nations.

 

·         Denying Muslim populations the right to self-determination e.g., by claiming that the existence of an independent Palestine or Kashmir is a terrorist endeavour.

 

·         Applying double standards by requiring of Muslims behaviours that are not expected or demanded of any other groups in society, e.g. loyalty tests.

 

·         Using the symbols and images associated with classic Islamophobia (e.g. Muhammed being a paedophile, claims of Muslims spreading Islam by the sword or subjugating minority groups under their rule) to characterize Muslims as being ‘sex groomers’, inherently violent or incapable of living harmoniously in plural societies.

 

·         Holding Muslims collectively responsible for the actions of any Muslim majority state, whether secular or constitutionally Islamic.

 

This list is not exhaustive but forms guidelines to recognise markers of Islamophobia in today’s context.

 

Harrow Council resolves:

 

1.    To formally adopt the working definition of Islamophobia as formulated by the APPG for British Muslims.

 

2.    That the Council Leader and the Chief Executive write to Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, to request that HM government also supports the adoption of this definition of Islamophobia.”

 

2.            Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Motion

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Paul Osborn and seconded by Councillor Marilyn Ashton:

 

“This Council notes :

 

-          The Council’s adoption of the “working definition of anti-Semitism” at the Full Council meeting on 23rd February 2017.

 

-          The Council’s reaffirmation of this definition at the Full Council Meeting on 19th July 2018.

 

-          The resignation of Luciana Berger MP and others from the Labour Party.

 

-          The Labour Party has received 673 anti-Semitism complaints in the last 10 months.

 

-          The comments from Margaret Hodge MP on 11th February 2019 that she is “Not convinced” the Labour leadership is “serious on rooting out anti Semitism”.

 

This Council believes :

 

-          All forms of racism and anti-Semitism should be condemned.

 

-          We should stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish Community to drive out the scourge of anti-Semitism that has beset Her Majesty’s Opposition.

 

This Council resolves :

 

-          To instruct the Leader of the Council to write to the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, calling upon him to take action to ensure anti-Semitism is taken seriously and properly dealt with in the Labour Party.”

 

3.            Stem Donor Motion for Kaiya Patel

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Ameet Jogia and seconded by Councillor Mina Parmar:

 

This Council agrees to encourage those who hold events with an expected attendance of 150 people or more on council property or facilitated with any Council funding to offer free presence to an organisation that registers people to the stem cell donor list.”

 

4.            Parental Leave Motion

 

 

To be moved by Councillor Natasha Proctor and seconded by    Councillor Sarah Butterworth:

 

 

“Despite performing above the national average for the number of women councillors, it is clear that Harrow Council must do more to encourage women to put themselves forward to be councillors.  One barrier to this may be that there is no legal entitlement for parental leave for any elected representative.  Therefore, Harrow Council should adopt its own parental leave scheme for councillors, taking note of the scheme recommended by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce.

 

The scheme recommended by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce is as follows:

 

Introduction

 

This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.

 

The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken.

 

Improved provision for new parents will contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority councillors.  It will also assist with retaining experienced councillors – particularly women – and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.

 

There is at present no legal right to parental leave of any kind for people in elected public office.  This applies to MPs as well as councillors, and has been the subject of lengthy debate.  These policies can therefore only currently be implemented on a voluntary basis, although Labour Councils are encouraged to implement them as per the Labour Party Democracy Review which has called for Labour-controlled councils and Labour Groups to adopt a parental leave policy.  Discussions are ongoing about changing the law to enable compulsory provision, but until then these policies constitute best practice which Labour Groups (and the councils they control) are strongly advised to adopt.

 

Legal advice has been taken on these policies, and they conform with current requirements.

 

1.    Leave Periods

 

1.1   Members giving birth are entitled to up to 6 months maternity leave from the due date, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks by agreement if required.

1.2   In addition, where the birth is premature, the Member is entitled to take leave during the period between the date of the birth and the due date in addition to the 6 months’ period.  In such cases any leave taken to cover prematurity of 28 days or less shall be deducted from any extension beyond the initial 6 months.

1.3   In exceptional circumstances, and only in cases of prematurity of 29 days or more, additional leave may be taken by agreement, and such exceptional leave shall not be deducted from the total 52 week entitlement.

1.4   Members shall be entitled to take a minimum of 2 weeks paternity leave if they are the biological father or nominated carer of their partner/spouse following the birth of their child(ren).

1.5   A Member who has made Shared Parental Leave arrangements through their employment is requested to advise the Council of these at the earliest possible opportunity.  Every effort will be made to replicate such arrangements in terms of leave from Council.

1.6   Where both parents are Members leave may be shared up to a maximum of 24 weeks for the first six months and 26 weeks for any leave agreed thereafter, up to a maximum of 50 weeks.  Special and exceptional arrangements may be made in cases of prematurity.

1.7   A Member who adopts a child through an approved adoption agency shall be entitled to take up to six months adoption leave from the date of placement, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks by agreement if required.

1.8   Any Member who takes maternity, shared parental or adoption leave retains their legal duty under the Local Government Act 1972 to attend a meeting of the Council within a six month period unless the Council Meeting agrees to an extended leave of absence prior to the expiration of that six month period.

1.9   Any Member intending to take maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave will be responsible for ensuring that they comply with the relevant notice requirements of the Council, both in terms of the point at which the leave starts and the point at which they return.

1.10Any member taking leave should ensure that they respond to reasonable requests for information as promptly as possible, and that they keep officers and colleagues informed and updated in relation to intended dates of return and requests for extension of leave.

 

2.    Basic Allowance

 

2.1   All Members shall continue to receive their Basic Allowance in full whilst on maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

 

3.    Special Responsibility Allowances

 

3.1   Members entitled to a Special Responsibility Allowance shall continue to receive their allowance in full in the case of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave.

3.2   Where a replacement is appointed to cover the period of absence that person shall receive an SRA on a pro rata basis for the period of the temporary appointment.

3.3   The payment of Special Responsibility Allowances, whether to the primary SRA holder or a replacement, during a period of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave shall continue for a period of six months, or until the date of the next Annual Meeting of the Council, or until the date when the member taking leave is up for election (whichever is soonest).  At such a point, the position will be reviewed, and will be subject to a possible extension for a further six month period.

3.4   Should a Member appointed to replace the member on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave already hold a remunerated position, the ordinary rules relating to payment of more than one Special Responsibility Allowances shall apply.

3.5   Unless the Member taking leave is removed from their post at an Annual General Meeting of the Council whilst on leave, or unless the Party to which they belong loses control of the Council during their leave period, they shall return at the end of their leave period to the same post, or to an alternative post with equivalent status and remuneration which they held before the leave began.

 

4.    Resigning from Office and Elections

 

4.1   If a Member decides not to return at the end of their maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave they must notify the Council at the earliest possible opportunity.  All allowances will cease from the effective resignation date.

4.2 If an election is held during the Member’s maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave and they are not re-elected, or decide not to stand for re-election, their basic allowance and SRA if appropriate will cease from the Monday after the election date when they would technically leave office.”

 

 

This Council notes:

 

·         That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017.  Of the seats that were up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested;

 

·         As of summer 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales have parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society;

 

·         That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors;

 

·         That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

 

This Council resolves:

 

·         To adopt a parental leave policy that takes due regard of the work of the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting;

 

·         That the Scheme as adopted will be incorporated into the Council’s current Members’ Allowance Scheme as appropriate;

 

·         To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

 

·         To notify the LGA Labour Group that this council has passed a motion at full council to adopt the parental leave policy.”

 

Minutes:

(i)            Motion in the names of Councillor Paul Osborn and Councillor Marilyn Ashton.

 

 

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Motion

 

 

This Council notes:

 

-            The Council’s adoption of the “working definition of anti-Semitism” at the Full Council meeting on 23rd February 2017.

-            The Council’s reaffirmation of this definition at the Full Council Meeting on 19th July 2018.

-            The resignation of Luciana Berger MP and others from the Labour Party.

-            The Labour Party has received 673 anti-Semitism complaints in the last 10 months.

-            The comments from Margaret Hodge MP on 11th February 2019 that she is “Not convinced” the Labour leadership is “serious on rooting out anti Semitism”.

 

 

This Council believes :

 

-            All forms of racism and anti-Semitism should be condemned.

-            We should stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish Community to drive out the scourge of anti-Semitism that has beset Her Majesty’s Opposition.

 

This Council resolves :

 

-            To instruct the Leader of the Council to write to the Leader of the Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, calling upon him to take action to ensure anti-Semitism is taken seriously and properly dealt with in the Labour Party.”

 

A tabled amendment was received. In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 17.6, the final sentence of the tabled amendment was ruled out of order.

 

Upon being put to the vote, the substantive Motion was agreed as follows:-

 

Anti-Semitism in the Labour Party Motion

 

This Council notes :

 

-            The worrying rise of anti-Semitism on all sides of politics, across Europe and the United States

 

-            The Council’s adoption of the “working definition of anti-Semitism” at the Full Council meeting on 23rd February 2017.

-            The Council’s reaffirmation of this definition at the Full Council Meeting on 19th July 2018.

-            The resignation of Luciana Berger MP and others from the Labour Party.

-            The Labour Party has investigated 673 cases of alleged anti-Semitism  in the last 10 months.

-            The steps taken by the Labour Party to deal with these complaints including suspending/expelling over 100 members

-            That there is a perception that the Labour Party has not moved quickly enough to deal with anti-Semitism.

 

 

This Council believes :

 

-            All forms of racism and anti-Semitism should be condemned.

-            We should stand shoulder to shoulder with our Jewish Community to drive out the scourge of anti-Semitism from society

 

This Council resolves :

 

-            To instruct the Leader of the Council to write to the Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, calling upon him to take additional action to ensure anti-Semitism is robustly dealt with in the Labour Party.”

 

 

RESOLVED (unanimously):  That the Motion, as amended and set out above, be adopted.

 

(ii)          Motion in the names of Councillor Ameet Jogia and Councillor Mina Parmar:

 

 

Stem Donor Motion for Kaiya Patel

This Council agrees to encourage those who hold events with an expected attendance of 150 people or more on council property or facilitated with any Council funding to offer free presence to an organisation that registers people to the stem cell donor list.“

 

RESOLVED:  That the Motion as set out at (ii) above be adopted.

(iii)         Motion in the names of Councillor Natasha Proctor and Councillor Sarah Butterworth:

 

 

“Parental Leave –

 

Despite performing above the national average for the number of women councillors, it is clear that Harrow Council must do more to encourage women to put themselves forward to be councillors.  One barrier to this may be that there is no legal entitlement for parental leave for any elected representative.  Therefore, Harrow Council should adopt its own parental leave scheme for councillors, taking note of the scheme recommended by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce.

 

The scheme recommended by the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce is as follows:

 

Introduction

 

This Policy sets out Members’ entitlement to maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave and relevant allowances.

 

The objective of the policy is to ensure that insofar as possible Members are able to take appropriate leave at the time of birth or adoption, that both parents are able to take leave, and that reasonable and adequate arrangements are in place to provide cover for portfolio-holders and others in receipt of Special Responsibility Allowances (SRA) during any period of leave taken.

 

Improved provision for new parents will contribute towards increasing the diversity of experience, age and background of local authority councillors. It will also assist with retaining experienced councillors – particularly women – and making public office more accessible to individuals who might otherwise feel excluded from it.

 

There is at present no legal right to parental leave of any kind for people in elected public office. This applies to MPs as well as councillors, and has been the subject of lengthy debate. These policies can therefore only currently be implemented on a voluntary basis, although Labour Councils are encouraged to implement them as per the Labour Party Democracy Review which has called for Labour-controlled councils and Labour Groups to adopt a parental leave policy. Discussions are ongoing about changing the law to enable compulsory provision, but until then these policies constitute best practice which Labour Groups (and the councils they control) are strongly advised to adopt.

 

Legal advice has been taken on these policies, and they conform with current requirements.

 

 

1.    Leave Periods

 

1.1   Members giving birth are entitled to up to 6 months maternity leave from the due date, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks by agreement if required.

1.2   In addition, where the birth is premature, the Member is entitled to take leave during the period between the date of the birth and the due date in addition to the 6 months’ period. In such cases any leave taken to cover prematurity of 28 days or less shall be deducted from any extension beyond the initial 6 months.

1.3   In exceptional circumstances, and only in cases of prematurity of 29 days or more, additional leave may be taken by agreement, and such exceptional leave shall not be deducted from the total 52 week entitlement.

1.4   Members shall be entitled to take a minimum of 2 weeks paternity leave if they are the biological father or nominated carer of their partner/spouse following the birth of their child(ren).

1.5   A Member who has made Shared Parental Leave arrangements through their employment is requested to advise the Council of these at the earliest possible opportunity.  Every effort will be made to replicate such arrangements in terms of leave from Council.

1.6   Where both parents are Members leave may be shared up to a maximum of 24 weeks for the first six months and 26 weeks for any leave agreed thereafter, up to a maximum of 50 weeks.  Special and exceptional arrangements may be made in cases of prematurity.

1.7   A Member who adopts a child through an approved adoption agency shall be entitled to take up to six months adoption leave from the date of placement, with the option to extend up to 52 weeks by agreement if required.

1.8   Any Member who takes maternity, shared parental or adoption leave retains their legal duty under the Local Government Act 1972 to attend a meeting of the Council within a six month period unless the Council Meeting agrees to an extended leave of absence prior to the expiration of that six month period.

1.9   Any Member intending to take maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave will be responsible for ensuring that they comply with the relevant notice requirements of the Council, both in terms of the point at which the leave starts and the point at which they return.

1.10    Any member taking leave should ensure that they respond to reasonable requests for information as promptly as possible, and that they keep officers and colleagues informed and updated in relation to intended dates of return and requests for extension of leave.

 

2.    Basic Allowance

 

2.1   All Members shall continue to receive their Basic Allowance in full whilst on maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

 

3.    Special Responsibility Allowances

 

3.1 Members entitled to a Special Responsibility Allowance shall continue to receive their allowance in full in the case of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave.

3.2   Where a replacement is appointed to cover the period of absence that person shall receive an SRA on a pro rata basis for the period of the temporary appointment.

3.3   The payment of Special Responsibility Allowances, whether to the primary SRA holder or a replacement, during a period of maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave shall continue for a period of six months, or until the date of the next Annual Meeting of the Council, or until the date when the member taking leave is up for election (whichever is soonest).  At such a point, the position will be reviewed, and will be subject to a possible extension for a further six month period.

3.4   Should a Member appointed to replace the member on maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave already hold a remunerated position, the ordinary rules relating to payment of more than one Special Responsibility Allowances shall apply.

3.5   Unless the Member taking leave is removed from their post at an Annual General Meeting of the Council whilst on leave, or unless the Party to which they belong loses control of the Council during their leave period, they shall return at the end of their leave period to the same post, or to an alternative post with equivalent status and remuneration which they held before the leave began.

 

4.    Resigning from Office and Elections

 

4.1   If a Member decides not to return at the end of their maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave they must notify the Council at the earliest possible opportunity.  All allowances will cease from the effective resignation date.

4.2   If an election is held during the Member’s maternity, paternity, shared parental or adoption leave and they are not re-elected, or decide not to stand for re-election, their basic allowance and SRA if appropriate will cease from the Monday after the election date when they would technically leave office.”

 

 

This Council notes:

 

·           That analysis of the 2018 Local Election results by the Fawcett Society found that only 34% of councillors in England are women, up 1% since 2017. Of the seats that were up for election in 2018, 38% went to women, up just 3 percentage points on 2014 when these seats were last contested;

·           As of summer 2017, only 4% of councils in England and Wales have parental leave policies, according to research by the Fawcett Society

·           That the role of a councillor should be open to all, regardless of their background, and that introducing a parental leave policy is a step towards encouraging a wider range of people to become councillors, and is also a step to encourage existing councillors who may want to start a family to remain as councillors;

 

·           That parental leave must apply to parents regardless of their gender, and that it should also cover adoption leave to support those parents who choose to adopt.

 

This Council resolves:

 

·         To adopt a parental leave policy that takes due regard of the work of the LGA Labour Group’s Women’s Taskforce to give all councillors an entitlement to parental leave after giving birth or adopting;

·         That the Scheme as adopted will be incorporated into the Council’s current Members’ Allowance Scheme as appropriate;

·         To ensure that councillors with children and other caring commitments are supported as appropriate;

·         To notify the LGA Labour Group that this council has passed a motion at full council to adopt the parental leave policy.”

 

RESOLVED:  That the Motion as set out at (iii) above be adopted.

 

 

Supporting documents: