Agenda item

Notices of Motion in accordance with Procedure Rule 9

A – Debate Not Hate

The following motion submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 9 of the Meeting Procedure Rules has been proposed by Councillor L J Evans and seconded by Councillor R Maidment: -

It is a privilege and responsibility to be elected to public office, something which anyone should feel safe and proud to enter into 

However, increasing levels of public intimidation and toxicity of debate aimed at and between local politicians is having a real impact on democracy. We need to see concrete action to protect current councillors and ensure potential future councillors feel safe to stand for election.   

‘We therefore call upon all BCP Councillors to demonstrate their commitment to tackling this issue by signing the Local Government Authority’s “Debate Not Hate” campaign statement, and for the Chairman to sign the statement on behalf of the Council as a whole.’

B – Dorset Pension Fund

The following motion submitted in accordance with Procedural Rule 9 of the Meeting Procedure Rules has been proposed by Councillor F Rice and seconded by Councillor C Rigby: -

‘This motion requests that BCP council asks the Dorset Pension Fund Committee to move all remaining energy investments in the pension fund to sustainable energy investments by the end of 2024.’ 

BCP and Dorset Councils have both declared Climate and Ecological Emergencies.  BCP council has pledged that its own council operations will be net zero by 2030 and this includes the carbon footprint of all its investments.  It is important to note that although the council has set a target date of 2030 to be carbon neutral, it is important to steadily reduce the councils carbon footprint month on month, not just in the last few years, in order to prevent global temperatures from rising 3 degrees or more.

The Dorset Pension Fund is administered by Dorset Council, however, the committee comprises councillors from BCP council and Dorset Council.  The Dorset Pension Fund is also part of a ‘pension pool’ encompassing 10 public sector pension funds, and they have instructed Brunel to run the pension pool.  Brunel have been approached to clarify the question of: Can the Dorset Pension Fund create it’s own policy and strategy of having no continued investment in unsustainable energy production even though it is within the Brunel pension fund pool?’.   Brunel have confirmed that ‘The pension funds themselves have the power to determine their own strategy and policy position in relation to sector-wide divestments (moving to sustainable energy investments (non fossil-fuel based)), while day-to-day asset selection rest with the managers that Brunel appoints to the portfolios’.  

Dorset Pension Fund has already made significant changes in the last 3 years, moving £87 million away from unsustainable fossil fuel energy investments within the Fund.  The last published amount shows a remainder of just £41 million left, still in unsustainable energy investments. It is requested that Council now request the small step required to move the remainder of the carbon intensive energy investments.  

There are 80 000 members in the Dorset Pension Fund, which means that if the information provided is correct, every member is currently investing the equivalent of £500 each, into coal/oil/gas/fracking around the world without even knowing it.  When we combine this with the knowledge that we know that 80% of the UK population think the climate emergency is a global crisis, it is appropriate to take action on behalf of the members.

We need to show leadership and align our net zero commitments with our investment decisions.