A period of up to one hour is allocated to consider the motions on notice. This may only be extended with the agreement of the Council.
The Chairman explained that 4 Motions on Notice had been received for consideration at this meeting, including 1 urgent Motion on Notice submitted by Councillor Robinson.
It was explained that in advance of the meeting, it had been agreed by the Councillors who had submitted their Motions, that the order in which they would be considered would be changed from that shown in the supplementary agenda pack. Therefore, Members would start by considering Councillor McDonald’s Motion, followed by Councillor Robinson’s Motion, before then going back to Councillor Hotham’s Motion and ending with Councillor Hunter’s Motion. Members were informed that this change had been made to ensure that the urgent Motion could be considered earlier in the meeting.
Excess Winter Deaths
Council considered the following Motion on Notice that was submitted by Councillor P. McDonald:
“The Office for National Statistics recorded a six-fold increase in excess winter deaths last winter — 63,000 compared to 10,320 in winter 2020/21. Many of the excess deaths were attributed to cold related illnesses including pneumonia. This shows just how seriously the economic crisis is impacting on our oldest and most vulnerable and teachers spotting the signs that pupils haven’t eaten.
Many fear a repeat of last winter’s increase in the number of excess winter deaths, with many facing unprecedented threats to their health amid the cost-of-living crisis. With many parts of Bromsgrove slowly sinking into poverty.
That this Council calls on the Cabinet to set up a 'Doorstep Engagement Unit' as a pioneering response to this unfolding financial crisis and includes the finances to support this in the budget setting process."
The Motion was proposed by Councillor McDonald and seconded by Councillor H. Rone-Clarke.
In proposing the Motion, Councillor McDonald commented that due to the current cost of living crisis residents were subject to soaring energy prices and increased mortgage repayments. As a result, many households were living in fuel poverty, with a large proportion of these being lone parent households and those who were the most vulnerable.
It was with this in mind that the Motion was being proposed and the suggestion of ‘doorstep engagement’ would enable increased human contact at a time of need for some families. Members were informed that this initiative would also provide an opportunity for residents to share any difficulties they were experiencing and to be provided with information regarding support and any benefits available.
In seconding the Motion, Councillor Rone-Clarke suggested that the increased deaths were due to increased levels of cold, flu and pneumonia and that this could be linked to poorly insulated housing and the cost of living crisis. Furthermore, that ‘doorstep engagement’ with local residents would be a positive step for people living within the District.
The Leader responded to this Motion and in doing so queried the data analysis that had been used. Members were informed that the data was from the Census 2021 Data analysis, and whilst the excess winter mortality index in England was significantly higher than all winters ... view the full minutes text for item 83