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Agenda item

Notice of Motions

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 12, the following Motions have been received:-


Motion proposed by Councillor Julia Judd and seconded by Councillor Tony Berry


Motion to consider the provenance and supply chain for approval of bricks for building developments in the Cotswolds.


I congratulate the member of the public for lobbying me about this ethical proposal.


Through Building Regulation powers, Cotswold District Council prohibits the use of unethical and unsustainable bricks from being used in the Cotswolds.  Some bricks on the open market derive from dubious supply sources particularly on the Asian subcontinent, where poor working conditions and the use of bonded and child labour is used to produce them.  Furthermore, it cannot be sustainable to transport bricks, heavy freight for thousands of miles to the UK. This issue has recently been highlighted in the national press. 


A report produced in February 2022, written evidence submission from Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, titled: The Environmental Footprint of UK Trade: Three Case Studies and Recommendations states:


The first case examined here concerns the rapidly growing phenomenon of brick importation from outside the UK. Once self-sufficient in terms of brick production, the UK has since the recession of 2008 seen production fall behind demand. As a result, the UK has now risen to become the world’s largest importer of bricks, importing more than 400,000 in 2019 (HMRC, 2020). Moreover, these bricks are coming from further and further afield. Bricks imported from outside the EU increased more than tenfold in the five years between 2015 and 2019, from 3,088,902 to 32,942,280: a low value, high weight trade that generates carbon on an enormous scale. Produced in largely unregulated kilns and shipped thousands of miles by boat, a three-kilogram house brick imported from outside the EU has a carbon cost three times higher than one produced domestically. Worse still, they carry with them a legacy of local environmental destruction and human exploitation on a scale that the UK has long since eliminated domestically, yet on which the goods we consume continue to depend.


The Brick Development Association has produced a Charter which states: ‘Through our everyday monitoring of brick statistics and UK market throughput, we have noticed and have evidenced through work with our partners, at University College London and others, a significant increase in the importation of clay bricks from outside of the EU into the UK. Most notably from Asia. There is a large defined area across Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh as well as Sub-Saharan Africa and the Far East, which is causing concern where bricks are manufactured seasonally, in large numbers, and more often than not using bonded or child labour. Those individuals making these bricks work under extreme conditions with little or no regard to health and safety, poor sanitation, often with little or no pay. This is unacceptable in today’s business world.’


Developers and merchants are becoming aware of this ethical provenance issue, however our policies can specifically exclude unethical bricks from approval so that they cannot be used. If bricks are registered for approval by the BDA Brick Makers Quality Charter, they would qualify. If they’re not listed there, then don’t approve them!




Therefore, this motion requests that the Council actively encourages the use of ethical bricks for current and future developments within the district.


Cllr Judd proposed the motion which requested that the Council actively encourage the use of ethical bricks for current and future developments within the district.


Council noted the appalling working conditions for brickmaking and the suffering caused from the unethical conditions.


Council noted the proposals that bricks used in the Cotswolds for developments should be ethical bricks.


There were comments made by Councillors on cost and how any mandatory requirements for bricks could add costs to developments.


The Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Forward Planning noted that many policies within the planning system were set at a national level. However, there were requirements around sustainable sourcing and building policies within current planning policies.


Council noted that motions can help to start the practical implementation of policies and this motion would help to encourage locally sourced materials.


It was noted that the Council had a net-zero carbon toolkit being used for developments that would also take into account ethical concerns.


Cllr Judd, in summing up the debate on the motion thanked the Senior Democratic Services Officer for assisting in ensuring that the wording of the motion was acceptable for inclusion on the agenda.


RESOLVED: That the Council AGREE the request to actively encourage the use of ethical bricks for current and future developments within the district.


Voting Record – 27 For, 0 Against, 2 Abstention, 4 absent






Andrew Doherty


Claire Bloomer

Clive Webster

Andrew Maclean


Robin Hughes

Nick Maunder

David Cunningham



Richard Keeling

Dilys Neill



Richard Morgan

Gary Selwyn




Gina Blomefield




Jenny Forde




Joe Harris




Julia Judd




Juliet Layton




Lisa Spivey




Mark Harris




Mike Evemy




Nigel Robbins




Nikki Ind




Patrick Coleman




Rachel Coxcoon




Ray Brassington




Richard Norris




Roly Hughes




Stephen Andrews




Stephen Hirst




Steve Trotter




Sue Jepson




Tom Stowe




Tony Berry




Tony Dale