#Manchester City Council Environment Exec – full interview

The questions are as follows –

3 secs Who you are, what you did before you came onto the council and why you came onto the council

1 min 40. So you’re trying to “change the system from within.” Would that be fair?

1 min 50 So traditionally, some of the people at least who try to change the system from within find that they are changed by the system before they manage to ‘change the system’. What do you think the dangers are of being changed by the system and the culture of a Town Hall, and how can you deal with those pressures and challenges.

4 mins 25 You’ve not been in the post long, so who was the last person you spoke to who wasn’t a councillor, who said something or showed you something that challenged the way you had been thinking and made you think “hmm, maybe we need to do this or that a little bit differently”. Can you point me to anyone?

6 mins. [You became a councillor in 2011] You’re now on the Executive, which is relatively quick. Can you just say a little bit about why you went for the Exec post and recap perhaps what you said to the councillors when you were asking for their vote, and at the end of that tell us what you hope to achieve in your four years. That’s a very difficult question, but .. go for it.

11 mins Moving outside the Town Hall then, what would you say to people who have, whether you think they are good reasons or bad reasons, become cynical about the rhetoric-reality gap that the Council, and other actors, have between the bright shining promises of 2009 and where we are now. And setting aside what’s happened with austerity, the government, the collapse of Copenhagen, there is a gap what we thought we’d be doing in 2009 and where we are now. What would you say to someone who cares passionately about that gap?

13 mins 36. Okay, so ward plans, as an example of how the Council works alongside with residents groups trying to do these things. My understanding is that none of the ward plans really has any climate agenda that is related to the 2009 “Certain Future” climate plan. Is that something you’re perhaps looking to work on after you have your own political agenda from May 2014?

16 mins 40 Probably we should wrap up and I’ll save all the awkward questions for the next time we meet. But I’d like to give you that opportunity then to begin that process of talking about climate change. Imagine you’re talking to someone who is a bit sceptical – they think it might be happening, it might not – but even if it is happening, “so what – what does it mean for Manchester; it’s just a bunch of polar bears and a bunch of typhoons in the Philippines, and that’s sad, but that’s just how it is.” What would you say to that person – why does climate change matter to Manchester.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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