Motion to Support the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill
Proposed by Mr Paul Stepto and Seconded by Mr Steve Campkin
Background Information – supplied by the Green & Independent Group
Humans have already caused irreversible climate change, the impacts of which are being felt in the UK and around the world. Global temperatures have increased by 1 degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Atmospheric CO2 levels are above 400 parts per million (ppm) and continue to rise. This far exceeds the 350 ppm deemed to be a safe level for humanity. The current UK target of net zero by 2050 is not satisfactory because the damage already done will be irreversible.
Without more significant and sustained action, the world is set to exceed the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit between 2030 and 2040.The increase in harm caused by a rise of 2°C rather than 1.5°C is significant. This is described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C published in October 2018. According to the IPCC, limiting heating to 1.5°C may still be possible with ambitious action from national and sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and local communities. The costs of failing to address this crisis will far outstrip the investments required to prevent it. Investing now will bring many benefits in the form of good jobs, breathable air in cities and thriving communities.
The Council is asked to take into account that;
1. This council has recognised the UK climate emergency;
2. There is a Bill before Parliament—the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill (published as the “Climate and Ecology Bill”)—according to which the Government must develop an emergency strategy that:
a. requires that the UK plays its fair and proper role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with limiting global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial temperatures;
b. ensures that all the UK’s consumption emissions are accounted for;
c. includes emissions from aviation and shipping;
d. protects and restores biodiverse habitats along overseas supply chains;
e. restores and regenerates the UK’s depleted soils, wildlife habitats and species populations to healthy and robust states, maximising their capacity to absorb CO2 and their resistance to climate heating;
f. sets up an independent Citizens’ Assembly, representative of the UK’s population, to engage with Parliament and Government and help develop the emergency strategy.
3. 118 Councils have passed motions in support of the CEE Bill.
Kent County Council shows itssupport for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill by requesting that the Cabinet Member for Environment;
1. Promotes this council’s support of the Bill to the CEE Bill Alliance, the organisers of the campaign for the Bill, as well as to the local media.
2. Writes to Kent MPs, asking them to show support for the Bill.
Motion to Support our Kent Carers
Proposed by Mrs Kelly Grehan and seconded by Mrs Jackie Meade
Background Information – supplied by the Labour Group
Across the UK it is estimated that there are 13.6 million unpaid/unofficial carers, and this number has risen by over 4 million since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Kent specifically, there are 151,777 unpaid carers, which equates to around 10.4% of the population (although this figure was taken from the 2011 Census and so the true figure is now likely to be higher). Unpaid carers are also disproportionately affected in that they provide the vast majority of care in the UK. Research undertaken by Carers UK, in conjunction with the University of Leeds and the University of Sheffield, found that unpaid carers save the state £132 billion a year.
The Council is asked to take into account that;
1. Kent County Council had, until recently, a Carers’ Strategy written in 2009 on their website, which had not been reviewed or revisited to take into account the needs of our changing society and any change in support needed. The Council’s failure to update its Carer’s Strategy has led to many carers feeling that they are invisible and that their needs and views are not important.
2. The Care Act 2014 (sections 10 and 11 in particular) places carers on an equal footing to those people they care for, and so carers have a right to an assessment and to services that support their daily needs. Kent County Council must do more to support carers and lead the way in in-home support, wellbeing and access to assistance. The Council must not simply act as a signposting service but must provide real help. This is more vital than ever given the special support needed as we emerge from this pandemic;
3. Supporting carers is a vital part of building a fairer society and championing social justice. While this is outside the gift of Kent County Council, the Carer’s Allowance of £67.60 a week is a woefully inadequate recompense for the work family and friend carers undertake, while many carers are currently excluded from receiving Carer's Allowance altogether, including those in full-time education or studying for 21 hours or more a week and carers earning more than £128 a week (less than 15 hours a week on the National Living Wage) ;
4. Supporting carers is also instrumental in achieving gender equality. 58% of all unpaid carers are currently female, who often have to leave careers in order to provide care support to a loved one. As a result, their social circle often becomes smaller and they also suffer from longer term financial implications such as reduced lifetime earnings;
5. Carers voices must be central in all Adult Social Care policy and provision. Whilst well intentioned, the Adult Social Care Strategy has not been co-produced by those in the field and by those with lived experience and has alienated carers from the decisions being made, the decisions over the very people that they care for. The Adult Social Care Strategy: ‘Making a Difference Every Day’ is being developed in complete isolation to the Carers’ Strategy – consultation has not yet started for the Carers’ Strategy while the Adult Social Care Strategy consultation is now complete. Any change to the Adult Social Care Strategy will have a direct impact on the family and friends who are providing the care and so an integrated approach must be taken. We feel that the ‘Making a Difference Every Day’ strategy seems so far to be a fine example of ‘strategy by consultant’ or by people that have no lived or qualified experience in this field.
County Council requests that the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health:
1. Revisits the approach to the ‘Making a Difference Every Day’ Strategy and the Carers’ Strategy, ensuring that an integrated approach is adopted throughout, led by qualified staff in social care and informed by service users and frontline practitioners. All of the feedback that has been gathered from the Adult Social Care Strategy consultation can be used but must be used in conjunction and integrated with the feedback received from the Carers Strategy to ensure that the needs and views of our carers and cared for are adequately reflected and listened to;
2. Develop a Carers’ Strategy that is co-produced by carers and frontline qualified practitioners. Reach out to all organisations that represent carers in Kent, including and especially young carers, and ask for (and most importantly feedback to them) their views of service provision to ensure that carer’s lived experience is integrated and acted upon;
3. Provide carers with the opportunity to sit on key advisory and decision-making bodies for health and social care providers (or allow them to nominate a representative to act on their behalf) and actively involve carers in the commissioning process. For example, several Councils have developed a ‘Multi-Agency Carers Strategy Group’, which regularly discusses strategy, practice and policy with carers, carers support providers and carers support commissioners;
4. Support carer’s health and wellbeing by ensuring that they have access to a range of short and longer-term breaks. When long-term respite is required, suitable replacement care must be provided;
5. Ensure that any commissioning that may be required (although services should be in house with proper scrutiny and accountability through the formal democratic process) is done by officers and led by managers that are qualified in the field of social care, and with professional knowledge of the field, so as to ensure quality provision rather than by uninformed dashboard and scorecard;
6. Support the full funding of social care and carers by national Government and that the burden of this should not fall to local taxpayers via the council tax system.
 Carers Week 2020 Research Report 2020: ‘The rise in the number of unpaid carers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak’ (page 4) <https://www.carersuk.org/images/CarersWeek2020/CW_2020_Research_Report_WEB.pdf>
 2011 Census: Health and provision of unpaid care in Kent (page 13) < https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/15536/Health-and-provision-of-unpaid-care-in-Kent-bulletin.pdf>
 Carers UK, ‘Valuing Carers 2015: The rising value of carers’ support’ https://www.basw.co.uk/system/files/resources/basw_10219-8_0.pdf
 Kent Adult Carers’ Strategy < https://www.kent.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/12687/kent-adult-carers-strategy.pdf>
 Gov.UK, Carer’s Allowance <https://www.gov.uk/carers-allowance/eligibility>
 Carers Week 2020 Research Report 2020: ‘The rise in the number of unpaid carers during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak’ (page 17) <https://www.carersuk.org/images/CarersWeek2020/CW_2020_Research_Report_WEB.pdf>