Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester City Council, has dramatically abolished the Environment Commission. Arriving at the end of the latest (and last!) of the group’s meetings, he told the assembled commissioners and advisors that it would be replaced by a “Low Carbon Hub.” The news came as a surprise to at least some of the commissioners.
The Environment Commission, which was supposed to operate at a Greater Manchester level, was established in 2009. It struggled to gain traction or funding, and had become a poor relation to the “New Economy” Commission, its ever-shrinking staff sitting within the larger body. In May its first and only chair, Dave Goddard, lost his seat on Stockport Council.
Few details are available about the mooted “Low Carbon Hub”, which will be chaired by Richard Leese himself. No announcement has appeared on the Commission’s website or on Richard Leese’s blog. It is not clear whether this Low Carbon Hub will now supervise the ever-delayed Implementation Plan of the Greater Manchester Climate Change Strategy, which calls for a 48% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020.
MCFly was unable to get comment from commissioners and officers before publication. We will pursue this story.
MCFly says: It’s not often that MCFly and Richard Leese are in perfect synch. But on the futility of continuing the Environment Commission in its current form, we agree. The MCFly co-editors were going to attend the fateful meeting, and document (yet again) the Waiting-for-Godot nature of it, and the repetitive gap between promise and delivery. In the end, we decided it was a waste of limited time and energy. The questions, of course, are – will anything be learnt from the Commission’s failure (or will MCFly’s successors be writing a similar post in three year’s time?) and will the new “Hub” be democratically accountable and transparent?
* These events happened on Wednesday 10th November. So, while it may be “news” it’s not exactly “flash”…