At the County Council meeting of 17 July 2014 councillors accepted the Labour Group motion to withdraw from investing county council pension fund money in tobacco products by 49 votes to 10 with four abstensions.
The Labour Group motion said
“The Council hereby resolves to be a signatory to the Local Government Declaration on Tobacco Control, as endorsed by the Public Health Minister Jane Ellison MP and asks the Pension Fund Committee, having regard to its fiduciary duty and with the necessary agreement of other employers of the Pension Fund, to replace investments in tobacco with other holdings, which are considered comparable in terms of the balance of risk and return.”
Labour Group Leader Cllr Sandy Martin who proposed the motion said; “I am delighted that the council has seen the sense in the arguement that we should not invest in tobacco stocks at a time when we are trying to help people give up smoking”.
The next step will be for the pension committee to ammend their Statement of Investment Principles to reflect the views of the council before starting the divestment process in the new year.