Council received the following Petitions and Public address:
Ms Linda Newbery addressed the Council in support of Motion 14 by Councillor Ian Middleton. She urged the Council to support the Motion on the basis that she believed it would give a clear signal that the Council took the climate emergency seriously; would make an immediate reduction in carbon emissions; provided nourishing, healthy school meals; saved money; helped with inclusiveness; could support local farmers and good farming practice and encouraged good dietary habits. She further believed it would address the very real concerns of young people about the climate crisis.
Mr Jimmy Pierson addressed the Council in support of Motion 14 by Councillor Ian Middleton on behalf of ProVeg, which was a non-profit organisation providing help for schools across the UK to improve the health of their pupils, save money and help the planet. He urged the Council to support the Motion on the basis that the Government’s Climate Committee had recommended that less meat was eaten; that he believed it could tackle the current obesity and lack of fibre found in children; that many other councils had shifted towards more plant-based food, with a plant-based option daily or meat free 2 days per week.
Ms Katya Sargeant addressed the Council in support of the Motion by Councillor Ian Middleton. She urged the Council to approve the Motion on the basis that 56% of young people were severely distressed and felt helpless about Climate Change; Meat production contributed to 18% to 25% of the world’s greenhouse gases – more than transport sector; several councils had already adopted going plant-based; more than 20% of children over the age of 11 support moving to a plant based diet; that moving to plant based would show children that change was possible to stop Climate Change and that their future matters.
Ms Matilda Gettins spoke in in support of Motion 14 by Councillor Ian Middleton on the basis that the current offer of food in Educational establishments was poor and that only offering poor quality plant-based food, was actively guiding students away from diets which were good for the climate. She believed that providing plant-based menus at least two days a week in schools was great way to push against this. It would show students what healthy plant-based food looks like and would invite them to eat more plant-based food outside of school as well. This would help students eat more fruit and veg and be beneficial to the climate.
There was general support for this type of motion from the Oxford University student body. Last year, Oxford SU had banned red meat and lamb at university events to help fight the climate crisis, and students were currently working on getting all colleges to go plant-based 2 days a week. The climate crisis was an issue where town and gown must work together. There was a wide range of nutritious, diverse, and yummy plant-based foods, which were better for the climate than meat or dairy-options. The problem was not plant-based food, but a lack of offer and education around it. By promoting sustainable diets in Council schools and Council events, the Council would take a big step towards meeting its 2030 climate targets. She urged members to vote in favor of Councilor Middleton’s motion and fight the climate crisis together.
Ms Berenice Westwood spoke in support of the Motion 14 by Councillor Ian Middleton. She urged the Council to support the motion on the basis that when she consulted on the Motion, people supported vegan choices as they could cater for most allergies; that people supported locally sourced seasonal sustainable food and farmers being paid for their produce fairly; suggestions were made that schools could grow their own food, which provided good educational opportunities for children; people needed to be educated about food and the stigma against veganism needed to be challenged; there was a misconception that you can’t be healthy without having meat, dairy or supplements.
Mr Tim Baldwin presented a Petition of some 1000 signatures on behalf of Begbrokes Editorial Team of The Link Community magazine requesting that a signalised crossing be installed on the A44 between the existing south and north bound bus stops at Begbroke on the basis that the present crossing route was well below safety standards providing no tactile paviors for the partially sighted and low visibility; the A44 at Begbroke was a high speed dual carriageway with a 50mph speed limit and motorists and motorcyclists regularly didn’t slow down and approach the roundabout as a chicane; that every S3 passenger had to cross the A44 and that they felt that the lack of a crossing discriminated against the elderly and less mobile who could not cross safely.
Mr Daniel Stafford presented a Petition of some 3667 signatures requesting that Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council end the trial scheme traffic barriers in Littlemore and Cowley immediately on the basis that the so-called 'Low Traffic Areas' were trapping local residents and worsening local traffic and that they were unjust.
Mr Stephen Williams presented a Petition of 10 Signatures requesting that the County Council implement weight limit signs to the approaches to Chipping Norton and re-route HGVs away from the High Street on the basis that the Council unanimously voted to do so two years ago, that it was subsequently fully endorsed by Chipping Norton Town Council and that pollution levels had increased and that the smaller particulates now known to exist caused far more health issues than previously thought. In addition, the HGVs had become bigger, heavier and far more numerous.