Manchester City Council has included sustainability as a factor in the awarding of contracts to run its leisure centres. As part of the evaluation criteria, sustainability will be given a 10% weighting (with price at 50% and quality at 40%).
Presenting a report entitled “Indoor Leisure Contract” to the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee on Tues 4th March, the Executive Member for Culture and Leisure, Rosa Battle, was careful to deflect praise for the innovation onto senior officers.
Councillor Dan Gillard (Withington) asked if there was a way of increasing the 10% criteria in the tendering. The explanation (in MCFly’s opinion an entirely reasonable one) was that most of the factors involved in the carbon emissions etc of Leisure Centres are actually under the control/therefore the responsibility, of the Town Hall. An officer explained “The operator has very very limited to scope to push up this because the Council is responsible for plant etc.”
MCFly says: This is what needs to happen (what needed to happen years ago, but we #donthaveatimemachine.) We need all Executive members to be embedding this sort of thing in all their portfolios. And we need scrutineers – be they elected members of the council or self-appointed busy-bodies – to be asking as many awkward questions as they can think of. The fact that the answer to “why not more?” on this occasion was entirely legitimate should not dissuade people from asking it again.