South Oxfordshire District Council met on 10 October and, during a busy meeting, councillors debated and agreed three motions.
The first motion put forward was to request the council help EU nationals living the district.
- The council agreed to write to each EU citizen living in the district, where possible, to give advice on how to apply for settled status.
- They agreed to ask officers to prepare a report on how the council can help mitigate any adverse effects on the rights of non-UK EU nationals.
- The Leader will also write to the Home Secretary seeking clarification and suggesting improvements for the European Settlement scheme.
Councillors then agreed a second motion that asked the council to agree that any proposals to build a new bridge over the River Thames from Reading into the district should be restricted to take only public transport, cyclists and pedestrians.
Most councillors agreed that it was important to protect the district’s air quality in towns such as Henley and the countryside roads from becoming overwhelmed by traffic.
The Leader also agreed to write to the Leaders of Reading Borough Council, Wokingham Borough Council, Bracknell Forest Council and local MPs to state the effect of congestion a ‘car-based’ bridge would have and that if this was to be pursued, the scheme should be ‘holistically assessed’ as one single project.
The final motion approved was for the council to adopt the newly-formed Climate Emergency Advisory Committee’s recommendation for the council to aim to reach net-zero carbon emissions on all its operations by 2025 and across the whole district by 2030. The motion comes ahead of a fully detailed report and agenda item that will be considered by Cabinet later in the year.
Cllr Sue Cooper, Leader of the council said, “We were able to discuss and vote on some important issues raised by my fellow councillors last week – it’s an important part of the local democratic process. The Reading bridge debate in particular was in depth and thorough. The motions on the EU settlement scheme and the Climate Emergency are issues that gained support right around the table, and I’m glad these topics are getting the high profile they deserve. There was a good level of debate throughout, highlighting important issues that are affecting our district to help us find a good way forward to help all our residents.”