Pursuant to the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 12, Council will consider a Motion to Council which has been submitted by Councillors I J Henderson and M E Stephenson.
Council had before it the following motion, notice of which had been given by Councillors I J Henderson and M E Stephenson pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 12:-
“That Council resolves that –
This Council is aware of the overwhelming public and political opposition, including that of MPs, to the closure or reduction in opening hours of any public library within the Tendring District.
This Council therefore calls on the Cabinet of Essex County Council as part of its decision on the future of Essex Libraries to rule out any closures or any reduction in opening hours of any public library within the Tendring District and to instead commit to concentrating on making better use of them as community hubs and to maximising the use of the buildings and sites in order to generate income for the library service.”
At the commencement of this item, the Chairman of the Council (Councillor Land) outlined the newly implemented procedure for consideration of motions following revisions to that procedure as now incorporated in the Council’s Constitution.
Councillor I J Henderson formally moved the motion set out above, and Councillor M E Stephenson formally seconded the motion.
Councillor Henderson then explained the purpose of the motion and gave his reasons why he felt that it would be appropriate for the motion to be dealt with at the meeting. They included that there were no resource implications for this Council, that there were no conflicts with the Council’s approved policy framework and that the subject matter was due to be considered at the Essex County Council Cabinet Meeting on 23 July 2019.
Councillor Stephenson then also gave his reasons why the motion should be dealt with at the meeting. Other than those already mentioned by Councillor I J Henderson, they included the opportunity for newly elected Councillors to express their view on the matter and, on the basis that it would be the case, a cross party supported motion in the terms submitted would send a powerful message to Essex County Council on the issue.
The Leader of the Council (Councillor Stock OBE) then responded and raised no objection to the motion being dealt with at the meeting. In addressing the meeting Councillor Stock OBE drew attention to the decision of this Council’s Cabinet (Minute 114 of the meeting of 15 February 2019) in making representations during the Essex County Council’s consultation on its “Future Library Services Strategy 2019 – 2024”. Those representations opposed library closures.
The Chairman of the Council (Councillor Land) then made his ruling on whether the motion should be dealt with at the meeting or stand referred. He decided that the motion would be dealt with on the night for the reasons set out by Councillors I Henderson and M Stephenson.
In addition to the proposer and seconder of the Motion and the Leader of the Council, Councillor Miles addressed the Council on the subject matter of Councillor Henderson’s motion, as did the Chairman of the Council.
Councillor I Henderson’s motion, on being put to the vote, was declared CARRIED unanimously.