Manchester City Council consistently refused to release basic information about whether it had achieved specific goals it announced in July 2013. In response 15 citizens used the Freedom of Information Act to get some basic facts. A report based on their work has been created.
You can download it here. The Executive Summary is below. It – and “what next” – will be on the agenda of the next meeting of the People’s Environmental Scrutiny Team, Monday 17th November (tonight!) at the Friends Meeting House, 6 Mount St, 7pm
Manchester City Council made a series of commitments in July 2013 around actions it would be taking in the next 12 months. These included specific concrete actions such as holding 5 events during Climate Week in March 2014, installing voltage optimisers in 4 buildings, and creating a “Manchester Standard” for its parks.
The Council chose not to release a report that detailed whether it had indeed undertaken these actions. Citizens, using the Freedom of Information Act, found out that the previously mentioned actions – among many others – had not taken place, and in several cases the data was not even collected. Those results form the body of the report. They are not pretty at all.
This report closes with a series of actions the Council could undertake that would cost it minimal sums of money while rebuilding its credibility, and opening up lines of communication. These include:
- Blogging by both the Executive Members for the Environment and Culture &
Leisure (the Exec Member for Environment promised this in February 2014)
- Setting a date for the first monthly “Environmental Dashboard”
- Releasing the rest of the information from the 2013/4 plan without the Freedom of
Information Act having to be invoked
- Creating an Environmental Scrutiny Committee that oversees the Council’s