Manchester City Council has refused to spend £500,000 of its £14.5 million “Clean City Fund” on an “eco-neighbourhoods” proposal put forward by its OWN bureaucrats. This extraordinary state of affairs has only come to light because of a Freedom of Information Act request, rather than council bureaucrats being open and forthright with elected representatives of the Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee, who received a report on Climate Change in March 2015 which was silent on the failure to fund its own programme.
The Council’s own application was made by council officers in September 2014, and rejected (the reason is not clear). This was not the first time the Council had failed to get money – another bid, for £100,000 to Joseph Rowntree, had also been unsuccessful.
Joseph Clough, a member of the Green Party, who submitted the request, told MCFly
It is disheartening that the city council doesn’t appear to be approaching the task of acquiring funding for the Eco Neighbourhoods programme with much enthusiasm. It perhaps does not come as a pressing need to build on Councillors’ carbon literacy training in this manner due to only around a quarter of councillors having found the time to undertake this training, so this news does not come as a surprise.
Although a “milestone” mentioned in latest Council Climate “Action” Plan gave December 2014 as “the date for funding applications submitted for first phase of delivery” only these two bids have been submitted. The first one wasn’t even submitted by the council, but by “Groundwork” (don’t ask). So, in the last year, the Council has managed to submit only one bid for the work. To itself. Which failed. What hope then, for “Eco-neighbourhoods”?
The following Freedom of Information Act request has been submitted
I am writing to request the following information
- A copy of the funding bid made to Joseph Rowntree for “Eco-neighbourhoods”
- Any feedback received from Joseph Rowntree on this bid.
- A copy of the funding bid made to the Clean and Green Fund for “Econeighbourhoods”, including the names of the authors
- The minutes of the meeting at which the bid was considered, including the date, the names of the people who made the decision and the reasons they gave for declining the bid.
- A list of other funding bids for Econeighbourhoods” funding made by the Council to external bodies – how much money has been bid for
Please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000
Just when you think Manchester City Council can’t surprise you any more, they go and do it again. It shows talent and determination, doesn’t it?
There seem to be three possibilities;
a) the bureaucrats are so completely useless at writing funding bids that they can’t even get their own bosses to say yes.
b) the people making the decisions don’t actually care about “eco-neighbourhoods”
c) both a) and b)