Manchester City Council is abolishing its Environmental Strategy Team. On January 26th we asked for a statement from the council about this, specifically
“who will be overseeing the Council’s various environmental strategies such as
a) the Biodiversity Action Plan, which expires in 2016. Will there be another one?
b) the new “Green and Blue Strategy” – who will oversee that?
and, of course
c) the Low Carbon Plan with its 2020 targets.
Who will be producing reports that are presented to Scrutiny Committees and who will be producing the Quarterly progress reports on the Council’s Carbon Reduction Plan 2014-17”
On March 9th, a mere six weeks later, we received this;
Responsibility for coordinating the Council’s action on climate change and environmental strategy sits with the Policy, Partnerships and Research Service as has been the case since 2013. Over the last 2 years new functions have been incorporated with the Service and we are now looking to ensure that they are best aligned to support the Council’s priorities. Climate change and environmental strategy remain a Council priority and in addition we will be looking to provide more dedicated support for city wide Climate Change action lead by MACF.(2)
Rather like almost all Council communications on climate change – be they reports, press releases or responses to Freedom of Information Act requests – it is
b) evasive and fails to answer basic questions
c) full of vague blandishments and promises
This is how the Council thinks it will build credibility and trust.
(1) When the Council abolished the role of “Director of Environmental Strategy” in February 2013, we asked for a statement and got something remarkably similar –
“much of the work we now do is either becoming more integrated with other areas of city policy or focused further afield, working with our colleague authorities across Greater Manchester to address the challenges and opportunities of climate change across the city region.”
It’s almost as if someone just sits there and cuts and pastes these ridiculous statements.
(2) That would be “Manchester A Certain Future” the group that has managed the magical task of becoming even MORE useless and even MORE invisible in the last 18 months. Bravo!!