With a continuing lack of leadership from the national Conservative government, Liberal Democrats on Torbay Council, at the Full Council meeting on 22 September, are set to challenge the Conservative and UKIP-controlled administration to get a grip on the changes that will face Torbay in a world outside the EU. In a motion to Full Council the opposition Liberal Democrats lay out a clear agenda for the council to follow.
Paignton Liberal Democrat councillor Adrian Sanders said: "The public have given the government a clear instruction to negotiate the UK's exit from the EU. While the government cannot prevaricate or hesitate, they must be careful to take into consideration the effects on local areas that have benefited from EU support and the free movement of workers and students.
Torbay's tourism and care industry, NHS services and language schools have all benefited greatly, as have a number of infrastructure projects that might not otherwise have received UK funding alone, from Brixham Fish Quay to the South Devon Highway.
Torbay Council needs to take a lead representing the interests of the businesses and people who could lose out significantly if the government overlooks them in the long and complex process of negotiating the terms of our exit. These terms should be put to the people for approval when completed."
Notice of Motion – Council 22 September 2016
Protecting Torbay’s Position following the EU Referendum (Mayoral)
That Torbay Council notes the result of the EU Referendum and now commits to doing everything that it can to protect, support and enhance the position of the residents of Torbay, in whatever new agreements are sought and reached with the European Union and its member countries and the rest of the world and otherwise, as a result of the Referendum decision to leave the EU.
In particular it believes:-
(1) That the financial position of local authorities such as Torbay must not be further worsened and should, if possible, be improved.
(2) That the Government must give an immediate guarantee that the existing rights of citizens of other European Union countries who are already living in Torbay will be protected.
(3) That the importance of the Visitor economy and Hospitality Industry (including language schools and care homes) in Torbay must be recognised and their future protected.
(4) That there must not be any weakening of environmental legislation, particularly relating to clean bathing waters, or employment rights that at present derive from EU directives.
(5) That fisheries support for areas such as Torbay must be maintained by the Government following a withdrawal from the Common Fisheries Policy.
(6) That convergence funding, European Social Funding, European Regional Development Funding and other EU derived funding must be replaced with funds from the UK Treasury.
This Council is further shocked by the reported increases in race hate crimes and antisocial behaviour directed at EU citizens in the UK and other ethnic minorities since the referendum result was announced, including in Torbay, and resolves to call an early meeting with the local police and other agencies to consider its response.
Proposer: Councillor Sanders
Seconder: Councillor Darling (S)