The “Environmental Sustainability Subgroup” of Manchester City Council will meet for the first time at 11.30am on Wednesday 7th August. The meeting, which is open to the public [no need to book], will take place at Manchester Town Hall, and is the first of three for the ad- hoc group.
Councillor Kate Chappell, who chairs the group, told MCFly ““Sustainability is vital to Manchester’s future. We know from Professor Kevin Anderson that there are no simple fixes. This subgroup will provide councillors with the chance to properly consider and discuss some of the most complex issues, and to begin to chart a path forward.”
As reported previously, the group is forming in response to unfinished business from several well-attended and positive meetings of the Economy Scrutiny Committee. This committee, one of the six scrutiny committees, mainly looks at employment, education and skills. Given the lengthy list of reports the ESC already had on its “forward plan”, the proposal at the May 2013 meeting to establish a sub-group (made initially by Liberal Democrat Victor Chamberlain) was warmly welcomed.
The agenda of the meeting (download here) will include a presentation by the Head of City Policy
“providing an overview of the history of developments in Manchester relating to carbon reduction climate change activity. To include the development of Manchester – A Certain Future (MACF), the Manchester City Council Climate Change Delivery Plan 2010-20, and examples of work that has taken place to date in Manchester.”
It will also have an update on the Economy Scrutiny Committee’s May 2013 Decisions” an item on ” Manchester – A Certain Future: consultation with stakeholders” and a “Work Programme of the Subgroup”
The membership of the subgroup is ; Councillors Chamberlain, Kate Chappell (Chair), Basil Curley, Daniel Gillard, James Hennigan, Suzanne Richards, Carl Ollerhead, Chris Paul, Fran Shone, Andrew Simcock and Angeliki Stogia.
Perhaps they will find the time to look revisit the question of all six of the Scrutiny Committees looking at different aspects of climate change and how it will affect Manchester, or at the many suggestions that were put to the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee in July, such as –
The Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee could;
* Create a standing item on the committee’s agenda where monthly updates of selected key items in the 2013/4 plan are given, where key items are ones that are likely to a) produce significant carbon savings and/or b) create cultural “multiplier effects.” This would prevent the unfortunate situation that now presents itself where councillors have been unable to scrutinise what has been going on over the last year and now find that plans have not been successfully implemented.
* Have the quarterly Directorate carbon reduction reports scrutinised by the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee (this is a proposal first put forward by Cllr Bernard Priest in early 2012).
* seek permission for members of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee – or indeed other councillors with an interest in the Council’s Annual Carbon Reduction Plan, such as members of the Economy Scrutiny Committee’s “Environmental Sustainability Subgroup” to join the deliberations of the Environmental Strategy Programme Board.
* Ask for a report on how the Climate Change Action Plan is being integrated into Ward Plans and also Strategic Regeneration Frameworks. The ward plans seen by MCFly have no or at most very cursory mention of Climate Change objectives.
* Ask for the report on the “Stakeholder Steering Group” to be brought forward from its scheduled position of February 2014, since the post of Chair of the Steering Group appears not to have been filled and only one blog post has gone up on the site in the last 8 months. Clearly things are awry.
* Recommend that a “refresh” campaign takes place to try to get more endorsers of the Climate Change Action Plan. Numbers stalled at 220ish, against a target of 1000.
* Recommend that a “now implement” campaign takes place, asking the 220 organisations that endorsed the Climate Change Action Plan to create their own implementation plans.
* Encourage all members of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee complete their “Carbon Literacy Training” as soon as possible.
* Request that all members of the Neighbourhood Scrutiny Committee are on the circulation list of agendas/papers/minutes for the Environmental Sustainability Subgroup that is being set up at Economy Scrutiny Committee on Weds 17th July.
* Request a report by officers in collaboration with stakeholders on what is understood by a “low carbon culture” above and beyond the introduction of carbon literacy and “Green Impacts.”
* Request a verbal presentation from outside experts on the “adaptation” challenges facing Manchester. Two obvious candidates to deliver this would be Dr Jeremy Carter of University of Manchester and Lex Massey, who is the lead on Adaptation for the Low Carbon Hub. There would be no cost implications in preparing a report.
* Liaise with reelmcr, the makers of the very successful 2009 film “The Green Wave” about the possibility of a follow-up film.