Agenda item


To report on any petitions received by the Council received by the Council and receive statements in support of petitions in accordance with Petitions Scheme and Council Procedure Rule 13.


Consideration was given to the submitted report which confirmed the receipt of one petition that had been received since the last Council meeting containing 4031 valid signatures calling on the Council to commit to a permanent ceasefire and promote peace in Palestine and in the region.


Representatives of the petitioners were given five minutes to present the petition at the meeting and the petition was then discussed by Councillors for a maximum of fifteen minutes.


In accordance with the Petitions Scheme and Council Procedure Rule 13(7) the Council shall decide how to respond to the petition and shall decide either:-


(a) to take the action the petition requests;


(b) not to take the action the petition requests for reasons stated in the debate;


(c) to commission further investigation into the matter, which may include reference to a particular committee for its views, prior to consideration at a future meeting of the Council; or


(d) to refer the petition to the Cabinet where it relates to an executive function, in which case the Council may make recommendations to the Cabinet, but Cabinet will not be bound by those recommendations in discharging its executive functions.


The Leader thanked the presenters of the petition for the dignified presentation of family history and the challenges being faced by the people of Palestine.   The issues were indeed complex and in bringing them to the Council’s attention it was proposed the principles one and two in the petition be adopted by way of  publicly condemning the Israeli Government’s human rights and demand the UK Government calls for permanent ceasefire.


On this basis it was proposed to refer the other issues to a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board for further discussions to take place and consider what else might be appropriate.


In seconding this proposal Councillor Alam expressed his full support to the recommendations of a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and was mindful that many people in the UK had close ties to the region and expressed his sympathy to all of them.


No reasonable person supported any form of terrorism on both sides of the conflict and upholding the law was very important.  He too called on the UK Government to act urgently and to ask for immediate ceasefire and was disappointed that the UK Government had not brought key stakeholders together to bring immediate solution to protect the people of Palestine.


Councillor Yasseen joined her voice to the conversations she had had with people in Rotherham, the  suffering endured by Palestinian people and the scenes which were heartbreaking.

She called for moral accountability as the plight of thousands of innocent Palestinians murdered could not be ignored.  She asked for a stand to amplify voices and advocate for the innocent and demand an end of these unconscionable acts.  She had a moral obligation to speak against injustice and advocate peace of Palestinian and Jewish residents.


Councillor Tarmey in proposing an amendment to the petition immediately withdrew when being advised by the Monitoring Officer of the need to adhere to the petition scheme and the options laid open to them and was, therefore, agreeable to his points being taken up by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board.  He went on to confirm his shock and horror at the scenes of innocent victims.


Councillor Cooksey also welcomed the debate today after the frankly shocking events in Government last week.  This clearly showed the Council was listening to local people that signed the petition.  She gave context to information published and how a ceasefire would have saved so many more human beings.


She lent her voice for peace and diplomacy and called for a cessation of hostilities and the withdrawal of support.


Resolved:-  (1)  That the petition be  received and the contents noted.


(2)  That the principles set out in the petition publicly condemning the human rights violations being conducted and the calling on the U.K. Government for a permanent ceasefire be adopted.


(3)  That the petition be referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board to look further at what actions could be considered within two months.

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