Please write a letter of encouragement and appreciation (yes, this IS Manchester Climate Monthly – your eyes are not deceiving you). Please write this letter (and inevitably we’ve written a draft for you to start from – see below), and send it to email@example.com as well as to the chair of the Communities Scrutiny Committee and any other members of that committee you think will be receptive. Please especially write to any who are “your” councillors (i.e if you live in Fallowfield, Rusholme, Withington etc etc). We’ve given you the councillors’ names, links to their web pages, their official emails and the wards they represent underneath the letter…
NB You need to amend the second paragraph to reflect whether you live in Manchester or not!
Arwa Aburawa and Marc Hudson
Dear Councillor _________,
I am writing to you because I want the Communities Scrutiny Committee to be even more effective in what it does. On the Committee’s web page it says “If there’s an issue you want to contribute to, let us know. You can either send a written contribution to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can attend a meeting and ask the Chair if you can speak.” Well, I would like to ask the Committee to start paying closer attention to the equality and community cohesion threats around climate change (local and global).
I am a Manchester resident/I am not a Manchester resident, but I travel to and work in Manchester/I am not a Manchester resident, but like so many other people in Greater Manchester who are concerned about climate change, I know that the Council is the leading local authority on the issue.
I am aware that climate change is currently perceived as falling under the remit of Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee, but I am also aware that the Economy Scrutiny Committee has looked at the issue and, after Professor Kevin Anderson’s talk to full council, will do so again. I also believe that climate change is such an urgent issue, which will have so many different effects, that the Communities Scrutiny Committee has an urgent responsibility to start looking closely at the issue, as soon as it can.
Two obvious issues (among many others) are as follows –
- How Manchester’s vulnerable people (especially the elderly, victims of domestic violence etc) would cope in a prolonged heatwave?
- How might disputes between countries/ethnic groups (and these are likely to be sharpened/sparked by climate change) in the rest of the world affect community cohesion here in Manchester?
However, I am acutely aware of just how limited resources are now that another round of central government cuts have been imposed. Researching and writing reports takes the limited time of the ever-more limited number of Council officers. I have a couple of suggestions – the committee could call on the good will and and expertise of many of the academics and practitioners who are working on climate issues in this city. They would be able to produce short briefings, and then some could be invited to expand on their work at “public hearings” hosted by your Scrutiny Committee. This would create links between the council, academics and practitioners, and the wider public, and would not cost any money to speak of. It would set a bold example of innovative ways of working to other Scrutiny Committees of Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Local Authorities and throughout the country.
I look forward to hearing back from you,
Communities Scrutiny Committee (website)
The Chair is Cllr Victor Chamberlain – email@example.com. He’s a Lib Dem, and he represents Chorlton Ward.
Those members are –
- Councillor Ahmed Ali firstname.lastname@example.org (Rusholme)
- Councillor Abid Chohan email@example.com (Longsight)
- Councillor Peter Cookson firstname.lastname@example.org (Gorton South)
- Councillor Richard Cowell email@example.com (Northenden)
- Councillor Paul Fairweather firstname.lastname@example.org (Harpurhey)
- Councillor Grace Fletcher-Hackwood email@example.com (Fallowfield)
- Councillor Paul Murphy firstname.lastname@example.org (Moston)
- Councillor Brian O’Neil email@example.com (Woodhouse Park)
- Councillor Chris Paul firstname.lastname@example.org (Withington)
- Councillor Tracey Rawlins email@example.com (Baguley)
- Councillor Aftab Razaq firstname.lastname@example.org (Whalley Range)