MCFly co-editors in “Applying For Steering Group Chair role” shocker #Manchester #climate #acretinfuture

Sadly, the role of chair of the Stakeholder Steering Group has become vacant.
We have decided to apply for it. There’s no money, it’s for the honour of the role (and the shoulder-rubbing-with-the-great-and-the-good). We have asked, repeatedly, who will be making the decision about the next chair, but the City Council seems to be quite selective in which of our questions it answers.  We are trying (to get answers), and we will continue to be so.

Our CV
Marc Hudson
White male, wrong side of 40
Health Care Professional in the NHS

Arwa Aburawa
BME female, right side of 30
Journalist for Green Prophet, The Guardian Northerner blog, Big Issue in the North etc

You know who we are. We ran Manchester Climate Fortnightly from 2008 to 2010. We founded and co-edit Manchester Climate Monthly.

We are also the people who were so disgusted by the turgid London-written “Call to Action” that we got the “Call to Real Action” process going. That led to the “stakeholder” process for the writing of the Climate Change Action Plan. The rest is, as they say, history.

We have already laid out a long list of no-cost things that could be done by the Steering Group.

We thought we’d explain how we can meet each of the “key role descriptors” and have all the key competencies etc. Before we do though, we see that none of the “Key Role Descriptors” mentions elections. At the March 2012 meeting of the Steering Group, the small matter of elections was discussed. At the 2012 conference, it was announced that they would happen. They didn’t. So, if you appoint us as chair of the Steering Group, we promise that there WILL be elections in 2014 to the Steering Group.  (And we will even keep the website updated with more than one post every three months or so. And we will figure out allowing comments.  Because we believe in accountability, transparency and dialogue, y’see.)

Key Role Descriptors:
Chairing steering group meetings.
We have loads of experience of chairing meetings, small and big. We have lots of ways of making sure that good ideas come out, and are followed through on.
Oh, and we are good at actually having OPEN meetings, where, you know, stakeholders can attend.

Approval of agendas for steering group meetings and oversight of SG forward plan.
Yeah, we can do that too. We have hit every publication deadline for MCFly for the last 16 issues.  No sweat.  And you know, we even have experience of posting things on the internet so stakeholders can actually see what is going to be discussed.  And not months and months afterwards, when we’ve been pressured by councillors, but even BEFORE the meeting happens. We have experience of facebook and twitter and so on. In all its years, the Stakeholder Group has only used “Linked In” (and even that usage is pisspoor.)

Presenting on behalf of and representing MACF at high-profile events
Good presentation skills. Marc does stand-up comedy too. And frankly, if you can’t laugh at the “Stakeholder” “process”, what can you laugh at, eh?

Attendance at meetings with secretariat, as required
We mentor volunteers. And if they are not up to scratch, we performance manage them.
We certainly wouldn’t allow a decision to be made (see this screengrab below from the August 2012 minutes) that the calendar on the official manchesterclimate.con website is to be regularly updated not to be followed through on. Just sayin’.


Input into MACF conference (approaching key speakers, overview, presenting on progress).
We couldn’t do a worse job than is being done, now could we? We’d make sure it went beyond the pale male and stale corporate sector.  We’d actually go out there and FIND the stakeholders who need to be engaged, instead of sending out a couple of emails to our (ageing) email database.

Approval of annual progress report.
And we’d even publicise the annual “progress” (cough cough) report. And turn it into youtubes and stuff.  We would be creative concerning our communication, in other words.

Approval of funding bids in conjunction with accountable body.
Yeah, we got ourselves the best part of 9 grand from Lush.

Key Competencies and Technical Requirements:

Positive experience of chairing of groups of a similar nature.
Call to Real Action. Which then ran into the sand, it’s true. But then, so has the Steering Group.

Credible on this agenda
Who with? With the folks in Castle Grayskull? No, but then maybe the Steering Group needs to be perceived as something more than just a stab vest for the Council? Its profile is pitiful, if existent at all.
We have developed credibility with academics, activists, community groups, charities etc. Business? Not so much, but they seem not to give a damn anyway, and so far the Steering Group has done nothing to make them think that they should.  And business doesn’t like waffle and blowing smoke where the sun don’t shine.  Neither do we.

Able to engage at a senior level, with a broad spectrum of both organisations and opinion
We’ve interviewed a bunch of people. They seemed to tolerate us.

Have an existing public profile, either through personal name or organisation
Yeah, we like to think so

The time commitment for this high profile voluntary position will be between 3-
4 days per month.
We already do WAY more than that for climate change action in Manchester. Have done for years. 3 or 4 days a month is no biggie.  Food is laid on, yeah?  We’re both vegetarians (well, Marc’s a fish and chipocrite).


Well connected with good network
Yes, we like to think so. We certainly know lots of people and organisations that, frankly, the Steering Group seems not to give a damn about.  Oh, and it’s “well-connected”, not “well connected.”

Time available to be easily accessible
Yes, we will make time.

Experience in setting up of a financial viable organisation
Yep. But shouldn’t, after three years, the Steering Group already be a “financial viable organisation”?

Credibly address all three sectors – third sector, private sector and public sector
We know what we are talking about when we talk about climate change and its impacts and what needs to be done.  Of course, whether our message is popular or palatable is something else.

Good at presentation and communication
Seen MCFly lately? It’s looking good. Or at the very least, a lot less crap than when Marc was laying it out. (Go Arwa!!!)
We’re pretty good public speakers and, crucially, we can organise events so they don’t descend into dreary death-by-powerpoint and avoidance of time set aside for assessing the success or FAILURE of climate “action” in Manchester.  Two implementation plans versus a target of 1000. And the responsible people still dare show their faces in public. Remarkable. And playing with plasticine? Really?

Team leadership and co-ordination: managing the other Chairs of the sub-groups.
No sweat. We have a bunch of volunteers. We keep them busy.

Experiencing in drawing down funding
Lush times


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 Democratic deficit, humour, Manchester City Council and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s