#Manchester Council #climate boss replies to Open Letter from citizens

Councillor Kate Chappell, the Executive Member for the Environment of Manchester City Council, has written a detailed and encouraging reply to citizens who want to see more climate action in Manchester.  In the letter (printed in full below) she commits to presenting quarterly progress reports on the Council’s own internal climate plan, to begin a blog of her own activities, and to encourage the Council’s 6 existing Scrutiny Committees to look at climate change issues. Specific other issues – around getting more for the Climate Change Action Plan she refers to the Manchester Climate “Steering Group”.  The letter concludes – “I look forward to speaking to you soon, and to working with you, and with all the signatories to make progress on Climate Change in Manchester.”

The letter is in response to an Open Letter (see video below!) signed by a variety of people from around the city. Councillor Chappell’s reply has been broadly welcomed by signatories of the letter.

MCFly will respond to Councillor Chappell’s letter in detail soon. [Update: See here for that reply.]  In the meantime, we’re very interested to hear what YOU think, whether you signed the letter or not!  Please submit your comments!

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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 #mcrclimateplan, Climate Change Action Plan, Manchester City Council. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to #Manchester Council #climate boss replies to Open Letter from citizens

  1. Tom Skinner says:

    So well done for getting the council engaging with you positively like this. As you say, some encouraging things, some things not going quite far enough (it’s a real shame not to have much scope for an Environmental Scrutiny Committee but that seems largely out of Kate’s hands) , but with an open door for future discussions, a good result for now. Don’t let the main point be missed re point 3 – a low carbon culture is absent from the Council’s 2014-2017 plan, and that’s not good enough.

    • Thanks Tom, you’re absolutely right on Low Carbon Culture!!

      More to be written on this, obviously. I went to the Steering Group networking event tonight, and am just about to make a film of the two speeches…


  2. Louise says:

    Kate Chappell’s response seems quite positive and promising overall, it’s excellent news that the executive member for the environment is taking on board some of the points and also actually engaging on some of the issues raised.

    I’m a bit puzzled, though, by the response to point four, about creating an environment scrutiny committee, the response to which seems to be, and I paraphrase: ‘Well, actually that’s a very good idea, and we might’ve done it ourselves in good time, but because you’ve forced the issue, the council’s going to cut off its nose to spite its face.’

    The response reads as though Kate Chappell herself thinks it’s a good idea, and something she might’ve initiated herself at some point, but because it’s you/the open letter writers that instigated it, ‘the powers that be’ have ruled “it won’t be possible”.

    It’s sad that someone who seems to be otherwise willing to engage and work with others might end up constrained by petty politicking and the council being spiteful and opposing good ideas and good initiatives just for the sake of it.

    I do hope Ms Chappell manages to get her colleagues on board with her work, and that they support the executive member for the environment – even if, or especially if, there’s consensus that an initiative is a good idea.

    • Thank you! You’ve put it much better than I could have.
      The two “reasons” given don’t add up to much either.
      Constitutions do get changed – it’s no biggie.
      And money – well, the council is sitting on most of £14.5m that it earmarked for the “Clean and Green” Fund. And the Environment Scrutiny Committee would not actually need to cost all that much. If you’re interested, here are the Terms of Reference that I came up with for it. https://manchesterclimatemonthly.net/9actions/action-four-implementation-plan/draft-terms-of-reference-for-environmental-scrutiny-committee/

      This is an issue that won’t go away, and I hope that Councillor Chappell reads your comment and that it spurs her to the kind of action that many seem to support!

      • Tom Skinner says:

        We know the issue with the Clean & Green fund though – the Exec seems to want it all to be spent on one-off things, so they don’t get lumped with spending commitments in the future. But at least some of the money still should be spent on setting up some things that will ensure any environmental gains have a lasting effect… something like an Environmental Scrutiny Committee perhaps!? Maybe with enough sustained and well-targeted pressure.

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