Friday, 11 December 2009

Full Council 9th December

Wednesday this week was the last full council meeting of this calendar year.

The minutes will be published at shortly but here are a few bits of news from the evening

It felt a lot better tempered than usual which has to be a good thing. Nothing wrong with lively debate but name calling and general abuse is not a good thing. We are planning to experiment with webcasting Council meetings and actually some of Wednesday's debates would have been a good case study of how this might work.

Some controversial,or potentially controversial, stuff came up.

Firstly we had to make a decision on the PCT's request for Liverpool to give an 18 certificate to new films being shown in Liverpool cinemas which showed smoking (apart from those showing smoking in a negative light). The PCT had done quite a bit of lobbying on this. In the end the debate was heavily weighted against (more than I had expected actually). I spoke against as I have been worried about this proposal for some time now. It was defeated (although its fair to say there were supporters on both sides of the Chamber).

Then there was a debate about governance. The Government has said that Councils have to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to hold a referendum on an elected mayor or whether to adopt a revised Leader and Cabinet model. Virtually everyone who spoke was in favour of the Leader and Cabinet model. There was a bit of a debate about the number of Councillors and whether or not elections should be every four years or in thirds as they are now. The vast majority thought that four yearly elections would cause quite a few problems and that having elections more regularly gave people more of a chance to have their say.

Among the motions for debate was one from myself and Cllr Steve Radford about ID cards. I posted the text in an earlier blog. We wanted to make sure that Liverpool City Council did not co operate with the government in its latest attempt to roll out ID cards ( saying its voluntary and doing the soft marketing before actually making them compulsory). The motion was passed. Actually no one voted against which was a bit of a welcome surprise I have to say.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

ID Cards motion

Full Council tonight (9th December)

This, pasted below, is one of the motions being discussed. Its being proposed by me and Cllr Steve Radford

Council notes that the Government is pressing ahead with plans to introduce identification (ID) cards. It is doing this through pilot schemes in the North West, including the planned launch of a scheme in Liverpool in January 2010.

Council notes that the existing policy of the City Council is that it is opposed to the introduction of ID cards and the associated database.

Council further notes that: -

1. Despite arguments by Labour ministers to the contrary, ID cards and the database will not prevent crime, terrorism or illegal immigration.

2. The introduction of ID cards would fundamentally change the relationship between the citizen and the State.

3. The Prime Minister’s speech to his party conference sought to give the impression that ID cards would not be introduced, at the same time as his Government was clearly preparing for these pilot schemes.

Council therefore resolves to -

a) Reiterate its current opposition to the ID card scheme and any introduction of this in Liverpool.

b) Refuse to co-operate with any plans to promote the card scheme including refusal to allow any council premises to be used for promotional events or meetings and refusal to use any of the city council’s communications channels to provide information about the scheme unless required to do so by law.

c) Work with organisations Campaigning against the ID card scheme such as NO2ID to raise awareness among Liverpool Citizens of the dangers of the ID card and database scheme.