Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council, has broken his silence on the question of climate adaptation. In an email to a MCFly reader, he has stated that the newly-created Local Nature Partnership will make the difference between earlier inertia (our words, not his) and future action on climate adaptation in Manchester. The full letter can be seen at the foot of this blog post.
Every Wednesday we ask MCFly readers to perform a “Practical MCFly Task” (PMT). Last Wednesday, the task was to contact Sir Richard Leese and ask him to answer questions that had been put on his blog by a MCFly co-editor and left unanswered for several days. (See here). Those questions related to the (lack of) action around adaptation since the Ecocities launch last May, and what exactly would be different “going forward.”
This afternoon, the answer below arrived. To be fair (1), a few days delay in reply to the PMT-inspired letter is to be expected, given the fact that Manchester City Council is having to announce and explain a further horrendous round of budget cuts.
The lesson here is that if enough people ask (and it doesn’t have to be a huge number), answers can be forthcoming. The next PMT is announced on Wednesday (every week of the year, MCFly will be giving you PMT). Watch this space.
Now, that letter…
Dear [MCFly reader]
Two way yes but if you look at the history, not Q and A.
In response to the report “Future Ways of Working”, presented to the Hub Board on 6th December, the Board noted the key deliverable activities within the GM Environment Team Business Plan and that good progress had been made in delivering against them.
It was noted that Manchester City Council has launched the Carbon Literacy project across Manchester, though this of course is not strictly true as it is the Cooler and the wider partnership, including MCC, did the launch. It is proposed that the roll out beyond the City’s boundaries would be carried forward to the 2013/14 business planning period.
In relation to the work on Eco-cities, the report was accurate in that the GM Environment Team has not progressed the actions from the Ecocities launch as much as they would have wished, as this activity was subject to the attenuation of additional funding. However, I can advise you that the AGMA Planning and Housing Commission has been undertaking some work to evidence and prioritise climate change risks in Greater Manchester since November. This project will generate a better understanding of Greater Manchester’s priority climate change risks. In addition, the GM Environment Team have recently (January 2013) been successful in attracting £10k of funding from Defra to investigate eco-system services `pinch points’ across Greater Manchester. These two pieces of work have been designed to build upon the results of the previous Eco-cities research and complement each other.
The difference, going forward, is that GM has now established a Local Nature Partnership (LNP)which will report to the Low Carbon Hub Board. The LNP has a remit to develop the natural capital of Greater Manchester, which includes climate change adaptation of GM’s green and blue infrastructure. The LNP has oversight of these two pieces of research and, once complete, will advise the Hub Board on appropriate next steps.You are correct that the Public sector is having to deal with significant funding cuts. Part of the rationale for establishing the Low Carbon Hub is to build a stronger delivery partnership with the private and voluntary sectors across GM, not just to achieve our 48% carbon reduction target, but also to prepare Greater Manchester for the likely changes in climate that are now inevitable.
(1) We are, frequently.