#Manchester City Council to discuss climate change at full council? Er, no…

UPDATE: The plot… thins.  See the end of this post for more details and an apology. MCFly jumps the gun twice in a week!! Must see a doctor about that premature encapsulation…

An in-depth presentation of climate change action by Manchester City Council has been postponed. According to Cllr Victor Chamberlain “[Council Leader] Richard Leese told Simon Wheale, the Lib Dem group leader, about this a few months ago. However this item has been replaced by an Address from Tony Lloyd, the new Police Commissioner.”

This afternoon MCFly will phone the Council’s press office to get the Official Version. We will be ignored at best (worst?) or at worst (best?) get the usual blandishments and evasions.  And we will dutifully reprint them. Such is the life of unpaid citizen journalists.

Councillor Chamberlain tells us that he is going to “ask for an assurance that it will be on the agenda for the next Full Council meeting” and will be saying something like the following at roughly the time this post is published:

It is deeply disappointing to learn that today’s Council meeting was supposed to have received a presentation on the Council’s work to tackle Climate Change. This is a hugely important issue that will affect all Manchester residents and the work of the Council for decades to come. The imperative to act quickly has never been more important and all Councillors have a significant role to play. It is showing contempt for the importance and urgency of this issue for the Administration to have forced this item off the agenda.  At July’s Council meeting the Administration voted down a raft of policies that would have made Manchester more sustainable and recognised the Council’s role in leading the way on tackling Climate Change. Manchester residents should begin to question the commitment of their Labour Council to tackling Climate Change and showing the leadership required. Please can the Leader of the Council give us his assurance that this item will be on the agenda of the next Council meeting?

UPDATE 5th Dec 2012, 14:40. I contacted Cllr Victor Chamberlain for his take on today’s Full Council meeting. It turns out that the presentation spoken of above was to be by Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre, who has been wowing audiences with his stark facts for years now, not least at the “Eco Cities” event earlier this year. It seems likely* that, rather than being about the nitty-gritty of what the City Council is and isn’t doing about climate change, it was to focus more on the dire state of climate (in)action (things are getting worse, quicker than we thought, and we as a species are doing nowt). The presentation was moved to a different date at the request of Prof Anderson, with the Tony Lloyd presentation on the Police Commissioner going ahead.

Thus, an apology is due to the relevant people at Manchester City Council. They were not responsible for the deferment of the report. And the report wasn’t quite, we think, what we had led our readers to believe. Other than that, a real-stand-up story. This is the second time in four days that MCFly has had to publish a serious correction/update to a story. The hunger for a scoop/to push news out the door can lead you down stupid paths… So, until we are “fully staffed” (har har) again, in a couple of weeks time, don’t be expecting breaking news from this site. We are going to do some of that old-fashioned fact-checking/react quote grubbing that journos used to do before churnalism came along.

Marc Hudson

*I presume – I’ve yet to speak to the man himself.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Climate Change Action Plan, corrections, Democratic deficit, Manchester City Council and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to #Manchester City Council to discuss climate change at full council? Er, no…

  1. Dave Bishop says:

    I’ve always suspected that MCC sees a healthy environment as ‘nice to have’ but not really essential (!) Economic growth and helping developers concrete everything over are their real priorities. In a time of austerity they’ve got the perfect excuse for neglecting the environment – especially as they regard it as trivial.

  2. The lesson to learn here is dont be misled by Lib Dems desperate for anything to say in Council that detracts attention from their Governments hideous policies.

    I look forward to a full debate on the issue at a future meeting.

    • Hi Suzanne,
      that certainly is one of the lessons! I should have checked the facts, and regret that I didn’t. A year into the Manchester Climate Monthly, by now we should have a healthy team of reporters able to do stuff that I can’t because I am off wage-slaving. There are probably various reasons for this lack – we have had plans that we haven’t, um, implemented (!!!). Certainly a New Year’s resolution.

      On the broader point though – the Lib Dems don’t have a monopoly on statements that are incomplete/distracting/failing to deal with the real issues. Rumour has it that one particular Executive Members of Manchester City Council consistently declined to be interviewed about the Council’s environmental record. And then allowed a misleading statement to be published on this very website by a Council officer. To pick an example at random. Still, nobody stays in one portfolio forever, do they?

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