Agenda item

Notices of Motion


The Interim Monitoring Officer advised that democratic services had received notice of a proposed amendment to the motion submitted which included a request to refer the motion to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee for consideration and then be reported back to Council at a future meeting as soon as is practical. In those circumstances,  according to the the council procedure rules (5.6 (2) in the constitution, the meeting should consider to refer the matter to O&S on that basis. If this was decided, the motion would be referred without debate but the proposer of the motion, Councillor Flynn would be able to briefly introduce her motion at this meeting.

A Member queried how a vote could be taken on the deferral, when the amendment had yet been formally moved with no explanation as to the reasons for the amendment. Yet, the proposer of the motion still had the possibility to introduce the motion. The Interim Monitoring Officer clarified that this was proposed for the efficient dispatch of council business. As the Member concerned continued to express dissatisfaction with the process proposed, the Interim Monitoring Officer stated that there was no reason why the amendment could not be proposed but the constitution was quite clear on this matter where referral was being considered. Following further discussions, it was put forward that Councillor Flynn propose the motion, followed by the introduction of the amendment and then a vote on referral to the O&S committee.

Proposed by Councillor Flynn, seconded by Councillor Joy

Council notes that to achieve UNICEF’s child-friendly status, Cheltenham Borough Council will have to show that it is a place where more children feel safe, heard, cared-for, and able to flourish.

Council believes that members of our communities and town will only benefit through the principles of child friendly city/community status being adopted. These include:

·         Non-discrimination

·         Best interests of the child

·         The inherent right to life, survival and development

·         Respect for the views of the child

·         Equity and inclusion 

·         Accountability and transparency 

·         Public Participation

·         Effectiveness and responsiveness

·         Adaptability and sustainability

Council believes that the adoption of these principles will allow all sectors of the council structure to deliver more play space, safer roads, cleaner and greener neighbourhoods, cycle infrastructure, better education, child safety – all areas which will benefit families and communities and allow Cheltenham to become an even better place to live and work.

Council recognises that there is an inter-dependence on the County Council, NHS, schools and police to deliver aspects of the framework – particularly in relation to social care, health, education and safety. It further recognises the great work done by No Child Left Behind in creating a foundation of child-centred partnership working that can be built on to achieve UNICEF child friendly status.

UNICEF’s child rights-based approach to public services has consultation with children and young people at its core. Council believes that consultation is vital to developing our communities, where children and young people can:

·         Have a say about decisions that affect them.

·         Express their views freely and are encouraged and supported to do that.

·         Access good health, education, transport, and other service.

·         Feel safe, prioritised, and protected from discrimination and harm.

·         Enjoy public spaces and meet other children and young people freely

Council resolves to:

·         Promote the benefits of the UNICEF Child Friendly city/community status to partner organisations.

·         Work with partners to agree a timetable for signing up to the UNICEF programme and begin the process to become a recognised Child Friendly city/community.

·         To implement/ improve the principles of the UNICEF status, within this motion, as soon as possible

·         To develop a consultation strategy which includes the principles of young people inclusion as stated above.


In proposing the motion, Councillor Flynn commended the Council on its No Child Left Behind project which had seen schools, Gloucestershire Constabulary, the County Council, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Cheltenham Borough Homes, various charities and local businesses come together to highlight the issue of children growing up in poverty in Cheltenham and address the inequality gap between them and their more affluent peers.

But she felt that it was now time to widen the scope of what we do and how we do it in light of the disruptions of Covid, the climate-challenge, and the cost-of-living crisis.

Whilst work still need to be progressed on reducing the inequality gap, it was important to recognise the impact the current issues were having on ALL children and our policies and operations should be child-centred. Engagement with children should also be more considered as the earlier young people are provided with opportunities to participate, the greater the benefit is to both themselves and the wider society.

Recognising that UNICEF Child Friendly status can only be achieved by working with other organisations, she urged Members not to let that be a deterrent to supporting this motion and Cheltenham Borough Council hadthe potential to be a catalyst for the whole of Gloucestershire achieving UNICEFs Child-Friendly status. Passing this motion would see the council working towards the UNICEF status and ensuring we have a child rights-based approach to our policy making.

The good track record CBC has of working with partners to achieve aims that benefit the community can be utilised to help achieve UNICEF’s status. Passing this motion would focus minds and services locally and set a benchmark for other councils and would ensure Cheltenham is a family friendly town, one that retains its young people and attracts new families. Councillor Flynn queried the input of children in the Place Strategy and also asked what efforts are being made to ensure young people’s views are included in the consultation on the Culture Strategy and representation of youth on other bodies, panels and boards that develop strategy for the town.

Councillor Flynn believed that, if passed, this motion would see not just real, meaningful engagement with young people, but a change in culture, where gathering the views of the younger generations is more than a tokenistic, although well-meaning, exercise. She highlighted that it takes between three-to-five-years for a city or community to be eligible for recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City or Community. During that time UNICEF UK’s team of experts in children’s rights, public policy, social work and participation provide training and technical assistance to councils and their partners – from local politicians and social workers, to urban planners, community organisations, the police and health services. This support is based on evidence from over 20 years of the global UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative, including in the UK, which shows that weaving children’s rights into local policy, practice and planning can dramatically improve conditions for children.

In seconding the amendment Councillor Joy explained that this would provide the council with access to an international framework and use resources to invest in our own young people. It would bring children in to the ecosystem of participating in democracy-it was an exciting opportunity.

An amendment was proposed by Councillor Clucas as follows :

The amendment replaces ‘Council resolves to…’ 


“The Motion raises some interesting points. UNICEF is a great organisation and I will declare and interest as a contributor. However, the timescale outlined and the amount of work that might be required during that time needs to be scrutinised and a report come to Council. 


Officers are needed to deliver the work that is ongoing, particularly in the current circumstances and given the financial and cost of living forecast for the next two years. 


Therefore Council resolves to refer the Motion to O&S. O&S will be able to look at the situation, proposal and implications and report back to Council for a decision to be taken.”


The amendment was seconded by Councillor Jeffries.

In proposing the amendment, Councillor Clucas detailed the immense work and successes of the No Child Left Behind initiative which included debates with children and significant partnership working.


The Interim Monitoring Officer advised, that now the amendment had been put, the meeting should vote on the request for the referral of the motion to O&S as contained in the amendment.



the Motion be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee and a report be brought back to Council as soon as practicable.


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