Scathing report on #Manchester Council’s (non-)performance on its Climate Plan

whathaveyedoneManchester 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

Executive Summary
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
    performance
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About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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2 Responses to Scathing report on #Manchester Council’s (non-)performance on its Climate Plan

  1. Pauline LH says:

    Just want to say that I applaud and appreciate the work that has gone into this. It’s disgraceful that the council ‘talks the talk’ and then lies and covers up its lack of action. If they cannot act with integrity and do the right thing for current and future generations, the councillors should step aside and let others take their place. Because of a personal health issue and also massive overcommitment to eco-projects I cannot directly be involved in the above proposed scrutiny committee, but I fully support it and please would love to know how I, and others like me, can support those directly involved in this work. Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Pauline!!
    What you have identified is a *KEY* thing that the folks involved in “PEST” need to be much better at (especially me). That is – how to list bite-sized chunks of work that people can do who are too busy, too unavailable to get ‘heavily involved’. That might be submitting Freedom of Information Act requests, or retweeting, or answering a question like “What is a low carbon culture?” Your reply to that, by the way, is in the report on that topic. The report will be launched on the internet next Monday (24th), and will be available at the next PEST meeting, on Monday 15th December, 7pm at the Friends Meeting House. The theme of that meeting (besides ‘Christmas’!) is helping people develop better public speaking skills and better video-making skills.

    In the meantime, a couple of suggestions –
    a) writing letters to the Manchester Evening News (we had a couple of people last night who were there at the meeting because they’d read about it) and
    b) approaching any sympathetic councillors at their “surgeries”, ESPECIALLY if you are in their ward.

    Thank you right back!!

    Marc Hudson

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