On Wednesday 20th June a committee of Manchester City Council will discuss Steady-State Economics. The meeting starts promptly at 9.15am at the Town Hall, and is open to the public. Background and critique of the report here. Here’s a two-minute video to give you a little more orientation. And below you will find the “Economy Scrutiny Committee” spotters card and the narration to this youtube.
This short video will tell you about Steady State Economics, Manchester City Council and the scrutiny committee system and how it works “on the day”.
Watching it will help you understand a crucial meeting coming up this Wednesday 20th June (yes, this Wednesday). Hope to see you there!
Steady-state economics is … the radical idea that infinite growth is impossible on a finite planet
The economist Kenneth Boulding said it best when he said- “Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
Manchester City Council is the local authority for 400,000 people from Crumpsall to Wythenshawe. Its leader is Richard Leese.
It has 96 councillors. 86 of them are Labour Party, so Labour tends to gets what it wants. The reality is that there’s a small group of powerful councillors who run the show.
BUT the Scrutiny Committees are not powerless, not pointless, and – most importantly – they are open to the public. . They are groups of councillors – whose job it is, well, scrutinise, and to ensure “that decisions taken by the Council and its partners reflect the opinions, wishes and priorities of Manchester residents.”
There are six of committees; Children and Young People, Communities, Finance, Health, Neighbourhoods… and the Economy Scrutiny Committee
The committees usually meet in Manchester Town Hall. Meetings are open to the public.
The room is set out in a square table, with seats for observers at the end. The chair is at head of the table, with and his or her supporting officers. Down one side you have the Labour group. Down the other you have the Liberal Democrats opposition. Facing the chair is anyone who is presenting a report – usually some council officers and the Executive Member for that issue.
Watching all of this from the end of the room is… usually no-one. But that can change…