Last week was the regular ‘Full Council’ meeting for Bury Council – the main meeting of all 51 councillors. Almost all the meeting this time was taken up by policy motions proposed by the different political parties.
The Liberal Democrat Group proposed a policy motion on Loneliness and Isolation, an important issue that we wanted the Council to take more proactive action on.
Councillor Michael Powell, who proposed the motion said:
“(our) motion this evening seeks to address the growing trend of loneliness and isolation felt amongst many individuals in our various communities. To give you an idea of how far reaching these issues are, it is estimated that one in ten people over the age of 65 are likely to be classed as either isolated or severely lonely.
However, it is also very important to note that loneliness and isolation are not issues which exclusively effect a particular area of society or age-range. They effect a wide range of people, regardless of age or background. For example, research conducted by the group ‘Campaign to End Loneliness’ has found that an increasing number of young people are being found to suffer from loneliness and isolation, and that 16 to 24 year olds are actually the most likely age group to report feeling lonely or isolated.”
The motion proposed that Bury Council takes a number of steps to make residents aware of all the support services that are in place, and make sure it has a ‘joined up’ approach on other policy issues (e.g. transport or communications) to make sure that wherever possible everything contributes to tackling loneliness and isolation.
The motion received the support of all parties, and has now become the agreed position of the Council.
The Conservative Group proposal was to have a ‘Community Governance Review’ for Radcliffe. Essentially this would have undertaken a formal review to decide whether it would be a good idea to have a Town Council for Radcliffe in the future.
Town Councils are a common feature in many areas of England, but not in Bury. They are additional to the Borough Council, but provide local services in a town. Next door in Bolton, for example, both Horwich and Westhoughton have their own Town Councils.
In principle we would support the idea, through it is important to say that we should make sure it didn’t cost more money for residents, but we don’t see why it is just Radcliffe that should have this review. Other areas of Bury (Ramsbottom, Prestwich, Whitefield etc) might also want their own Town Council.
We proposed an amendment to the motion, to make it cover the whole of Bury. Our proposal was agreed and is now the Council’s policy. The Conservatives voted against wanting the review to just look at Radcliffe.
The Labour Group proposed an important motion on tackling Islamaphobia, which included signing Bury Council up to the International Definition on Islamaphobia. We were very happy to support this important proposal which was agreed.
The papers for the meeting are here, any questions please ask!