#Manchester Evening News publishes letter about “eco-neighbourhoods” debacle

From 16th April 2015 MEN

Manchester City Council is very good at making promises.  18 months ago they promised a $14.5m “Clean City Fund” from an airport windfall.  There was lots of coverage about the scheme being set up. Not so much about precisely how all the money was being spent.
Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request we now know that even when their own bureaucrats submitted a $500,000 bid for an “Eco-neighbourhoods” programme, the Council … declined to fund its own proposal.
Maybe they’d like to explain why they knocked that bid back, and what they’ve actually been doing with all that money.
I wouldn’t advise anyone to hold their breath while waiting for our oh-so-competent and oh-so-transparent Council to supply basic facts though.
From this blog post

Posted in Manchester City Council | Tagged | 1 Comment

Job Alert: Zero Waste Europe Associate Campaigner

Positions in Manchester (or potentially remote within Europe) and Brussels:
Associate Campaigner Operations Manager, Development and Policy Coordinator.


ZWE’s Associate Campaigner will:

  • Assist and work alongside the Associate Director with daily work of the organization, including administrative, financial, logistics, and communication tasks.
  • Monitor EU policy developments relevant to waste management, circular economy and climate change topics and contribute to the strategic planning of ZWE.
  • Support and liaise with the membership of ZWE in the accomplishment of the strategic goals of the network.
  • Support the organization and potentially be the lead organizer for specific campaigning events & ZWE network activities, such as trainings or strategy meetings (online and in person).
  • Curate website, monthly newsletter, and social media platforms with appropriate content that moves issues forward and reaches target audiences.
  • Maintain ZWE’s blog at zerowasteeurope.eu, write original blog posts, and work with blog contributors to meet deadlines and ensure high-quality posts.
  • Actively participate in the discussions and implementation of the communication strategy of the organization.

The Associate Campaigner will also participate in ZWE’s and GAIA’s international list serves, campaigns, and strategy-setting conversations that support global alliance building.


  • Experience with local organizing, facilitation and campaigning – preferably international.
  • Strong research and information gathering skills with resourcefulness in strategic planning.
  • Familiarity with EU and national environmental policy.
  • Excellent written and verbal skills in -at least- English.
  • Experience with administrative processes.
  • Passion and commitment to ZWE’s mission and core values.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with people from different cultures and nationalities in a way that facilitates conflict resolution and values community wisdom.
  • Highly computer literate, and comfortable with new media technologies.
  • Strong inter-personal communication skills. Good listener.
  • Self motivated, focused, and organized.


  • Knowledgeable in the field of resource & waste management, climate or environmental justice;
  • Good communication skills in one or more regional languages other than English. Particularly French, Spanish or Asian languages will be a plus;
  • Able to successfully run a project from conception to completion;
  • Curious and willing to learn and get inspired by other fields of work and grow in the organisation.


This position will be preferably based in Manchester (UK) but it could also be based remotely in Europe under special circumstances.

We offer a competitive salary plus benefits, including health insurance, vacation, maternity/paternity leave, and other similar employment protections. Salary will be negotiated according to local standards and experience.

We take pride in our ability to support one another’s work in an atmosphere of mutual trust and respect, and look forward to introducing the successful candidate to our welcoming and highly motivated team and members.

We are seeking candidates who are excited to make an initial commitment of at least one year to this work. Willingness to travel internationally with frequency is required.


ZWE is committed to the principle of Equal Employment Opportunity for all employees, regardless of sex, marital status, nationality, religion, age, sexual orientation and any other characteristics unrelated to the performance of the job.


Please send your CV, motivation letter, two writing samples and two reference contacts to jobs@zerowasteeurope.eu. No calls, please.

This position will be open until filled. Screening and interviews will begin as soon as received.

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#Manchester City Council refuses to fund its own “Eco-Neighbourhoods” programme.

Manchester City Council has refused to spend £500,000 of its £14.5 million “Clean City Fund” on an “eco-neighbourhoods” proposal put forward by its OWN bureaucrats. This extraordinary state of affairs has only come to light because of a Freedom of Information Act request, rather than council bureaucrats being open and forthright with elected representatives of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee, who received a report on Climate Change in March 2015 which was silent on the failure to fund its own programme.

The Council’s own application  was made by council officers in September 2014, and rejected (the reason is not clear).  This was not the first time the Council had failed to get money – another bid, for £100,000 to Joseph Rowntree, had also been unsuccessful.

Joseph Clough, a member of the Green Party, who submitted the request, told MCFly

 It is disheartening that the city council doesn’t appear to be approaching the task of acquiring funding for the Eco Neighbourhoods programme with much enthusiasm. It perhaps does not come as a pressing need to build on Councillors’ carbon literacy training in this manner due to only around a quarter of councillors having found the time to undertake this training, so this news does not come as a surprise.

Although a “milestone” mentioned in latest Council Climate “Action” Plan gave December 2014  as “the date for funding applications submitted for first phase of delivery” only these two bids have been submitted.  The first one wasn’t even submitted by the council, but by “Groundwork”  (don’t ask).  So, in the last year, the Council has managed to submit only one bid for the work. To itself. Which failed.  What hope then, for “Eco-neighbourhoods”?

The following Freedom of Information Act request has been submitted

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing to request the following information

  1. A copy of the funding bid made to Joseph Rowntree for “Eco-neighbourhoods”
  2. Any feedback received from Joseph Rowntree on this bid.
  3. A copy of the funding bid made to the Clean and Green Fund for “Econeighbourhoods”, including the names of the authors
  4. The minutes of the meeting at which the bid was considered, including the date, the names of the people who made the decision and the reasons they gave for declining the bid.
  5. A list of other funding bids for Econeighbourhoods” funding made by the Council to external bodies – how much money has been bid for

Please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
Marc Hudson


MCFly says

Just when you think Manchester City Council can’t surprise you any more, they go and do it again.  It shows talent and determination, doesn’t it?

There seem to be three possibilities;
a) the bureaucrats are so completely useless at  writing funding bids that they can’t even get their own bosses to say yes.

b) the people making the decisions don’t actually care about “eco-neighbourhoods”

c) both a) and b)

Posted in Manchester City Council | 2 Comments

Help grow organic food – April 16th, 18th and 30th #Manchester

“Help out on Greater Manchester’s organic farms with the Land Army this April. We have the following dates planned:_MG_1763

On Thursday 16th April we’ll be heading to an exciting new growing site in Stockport.

On Saturday 18th April and Thursday 30th April we’ll be heading to FarmStart to lend a hand to some of Manchester’s newest organic growers.

Lunch, transport, tools and gloves will be provided. Please email corrina@kindling.org.uk to book your place

Posted in Food, Upcoming Events, volunteer opportunity | Leave a comment

Participants needed for “pervasive mobile game” on the Penine waterway…

Via facebook message-

We’re looking for participants to help in the delivery of a pervasive mobile game which takes place on the Manchester Pennine waterway. The game has been devised by international artists TRES, a Mexican collective whose research looks at the political and material implications of waste as residue of contemporary civilization.

There is more info in the link below, and also info on how to sign up.

Alice, AND

Rough Fish / TRES Art Collective | Abandon Normal Devices

Posted in Upcoming Events, volunteer opportunity | Leave a comment

Christian Aid Day of #Climate Action, 17th June

Christian Aid – Day of Climate Action – 17 June

Dr Rowan Williams, Chair of Christian Aid, said, ‘It’s time to regain a sense that our relationship with the earth is about communion, not consumption’.

On 17 June, Christian Aid will come together to tell the newly elected government to stand up to vested interests and make climate change their number one priority. Christian Aid would like you to go and tell your MP and the government that the time for climate action is now.

You can sign up at christianaid.org.uk/speakup or contact the local regional coordinator, Bex Turner on rturner@christian-aid.org or 01925 582 817.



Posted in Campaign Update, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

Polar Bear Facepalm: “Green Climate Fund” can support… coal….

Not making this up.


Posted in Polar Bear Facepalm | Leave a comment