#Manchester #Climate Steering Group: Democracy, accountability, promises unkept. An open letter to Steve Connor from banned climate activists..

Attention Mr Steve Connor, Chair of the Stakeholder Steering Group on Climate Change.

On March 17 2012 you promised attendees at the Stakeholder Conference on Climate Change that elections to the Steering Group would be held at the 2013 conference. You assured everyone that details of this would be announced in November 2012. That promise has not been kept.

june26On June 26th 2012  you promised members of the Manchester A Certain Future “Linked In” group that you would start to post the notes of the Steering Group’s meetings.  That promise has not been kept. (1)

On January 7 2013 you promised to  post answers to questions about the [lack of appointed] chairs to the new “sub-groups” on the Steering Group. That promise has not been kept.

We really could go on, at great length.  But we have questions instead.

Given the track record above, and the established fact that your idea of media management is to hang up on journalists, we don’t really expect you to answer the following questions. But nonetheless, we think you should. Why? For the sake of whoever has the poisoned chalice of Steering Group chair after you. For the sake of all those Steering Group members whose credibility is damaged by what you have done (see above).  And, as citizens of a city that desperately needs courage and transparency in its climate preparations, we hope against hope that you will answer.

1) Has anyone else besides the two editors of Manchester Climate Monthly been banned (2) from attending the Stakeholder “conference” on Monday March 4th? What are the criteria for becoming an un-person anyway?

2) Why have we been banned?

3) What were the mechanics of this decision to ban us? Were you told by someone to do it? If so, who, and why?Or did you decide this entirely on your own? You certainly did not consult the entire 30 member Steering Group, which would have been the only even-vaguely democratic means by which we could have been excluded. You emailed us last Thursday several hours BEFORE the Steering Group met. Members we spoke to said they had not been consulted.
So, was it you alone or was it you and small coterie of like-minded people on the Steering Group? Who are these other people?

4) Will elections ever be held to the Steering Group?

5) Will its meetings ever be open to the public?

6) Will you ever release the minutes of its meetings?

The final question is rhetorical, so feel free to ignore it even more strenuously than you will doubtless ignore all the others;

7) Will the Steering Group ever actually DO anything?

yours “regretfully” and with “regards”

Marc Hudson and Arwa Aburawa

Readers; Mr Connor has, as you can see above, a less than exemplary track record in responding to us. We hope you have more luck. His email is steve@creativeconcern.com. The phone number of Creative Concern is 0161 236 0600.


(1) People ask us why the minutes haven’t been released. We tell them that to get the official version they should ask you. But if we were forced to speculate we would say that the minutes would reveal that attendance at the meetings is poor, with many SG members simply turning up about once a year, and that the actions that get agreed at meetings never quite materialise. A bit like the Environment Commission, the Environmental Strategy Programme Board and the many other keep-the-bureaucrats-busy farragos that infest this city. When we tried to ask you about the minutes, you hung up on us.

(2) Yes, banned. We have not been put on a waiting list. We have been told we are not welcome. And we suspect that if we took up the offer that several people have made since reading our post – of using their tickets – we would be denied entry by security.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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4 Responses to #Manchester #Climate Steering Group: Democracy, accountability, promises unkept. An open letter to Steve Connor from banned climate activists..

  1. Jonathan Atkinson says:

    This is really sad. The scale of the challenge we face in Manchester is such that we need a lively and vibrant event, we need an open and accountable steering group and we need as many people as possible attending these kinds of things. We simply have to work together or be doomed. Hopefully there will be a re-think on the part of the organisers…

  2. Erinma Ochu says:

    The biggest challenge we face is not climate change but human collaboration to address climate change collectively. If we cannot work together, climate change has won. What are the steps O’Connor & Hudson can take to be moving the ball in the same direction?

    • Hi Erinma,
      we at MCFly like to believe that we are moving the ball in the right direction, by having regular updates on our website (more, for example, than 13 in the space of two years), by responding to straightforward questions, and by advertising other people’s activities (through our newsletter, with our “Upcoming Events” and “Campaign Updates” etc etc. The steps that the Steering Group (which will soon have a new chair) can take are pretty clear. Basically – hold elections, be transparent, actually DO something.

      Marc Hudson

  3. Margaret Morris says:

    Mr Connor must have changed his email address as when I emailed steve@creativeconcern.com I received Server error: ‘Invalid recipient’

    I wonder why …..

    Margaret Morris

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