Manchester City Council is struggling with even the smallest climate-related tasks.
Eight months later (by which time 60+ councillors should have completed the training), officers reported thus
Getting all the councillors “carbon literate” by the end of 2014 then became one of the “Nine Actions” requested in an open letter from a variety of Manchester citizens. We wanted the Council to take concrete (and yet partly symbolic) action to get its own house in order, and show some leadership.
The Executive Member for the Environment says it was a good goal. Eventually, the training sessions were re-instituted, and one Councillor enthused about the training, encouraging her colleagues to undertake it.
Remember, according to a report produced at the beginning of this year, by the end of June 2014 the goal was 30. Now, in late August, a very brief report is released. In an almost casual aside they mention…. well, read for yourself –
Nine. And that number includes people who had already received the training! “Additional Input Required” is clearly bureaucratic code for “We have no ability or intention of doing this, and … um … LOOK, A SQUIRREL!!!”
Given that it has just outsourced the creation of a Green and Blue Infrastructure Strategy that it has been promising (and not delivering) for years, you could forgive councillors for asking what does the Environmental Strategy team actually do?
If this makes you angry – and it should – please think about getting involved in the People’s Environmental Scrutiny Committee. It has monthly meetings (the next one is on Tuesday 26th August, 7pm at the Friends Meeting House; the following one is on Monday 22nd September, from 7pm, at the Moss Side Community Allotment, Bowes St. But besides meetings (which many people hate!) there are plenty of other things to do. Please check out the regularly updated jobs list.
(1) And we hear disturbing rumours that the “day” is now a brief on-line thing followed by a two-hour face-to-face session. Bravo!!
PS Currently de-cluttering my desktop (won’t take more than a month…). Found this, which is part of the Council’s “Annual Governance” report. It’s from June 2013 (you can tell because it refers to “cross party” and there is only one party in Manchester these days). I wonder if the Member Working Group ought to do something about this debacle…