Tonight the ‘Steering’ ‘Group’ (of what??) for the Manchester Climate Change Action Plan holds its annual general meeting. Which is happening instead of the stakeholder conference (with elections) that it is SUPPOSED to be holding. It will have a keynote speech by the new Friends of the Earth chair, for reasons that basically escape me. Couldn’t they find someone who had done something worthwhile in Manchester to give the keynote? Or are they afraid nobody would come to that….
Anyway, someone who is going asked me what questions I might ask. They’re not going to ask any of the questions, for reasons of their own. If you are masochistic enough to go, maybe you might?
The MACF plan calls for the involvement of the population in the creation of a low carbon culture (goal 2). What has the Steering Group done in the last year to define a low carbon culture?
What has Steering Group done in the last year to involve the general population in creating of a low carbon culture?
The MACF plan called for 1000 organisations to endorse the plan and come up with their implementation plans
What has the Steering Group in the last year to get those endorsements, and to help organisations make implementation plans?
The MACF plan called for an annual stakeholder conference at which the Steering Group would be elected and re-elected
Why did the Steering Group unilaterally abolish the stakeholder conference and replace it with an AGM? Why did the Steering Group never hold elections? Where is its legitimacy? Down the back of the sofa?
Manchester City Council said it would have 60 of its 96 councillors ‘carbon literate’ by the end of 2014. Does the Steering Group think that the actual amount achieved- 23 – is an acceptable example to set? If yes, how do they justify that. If not, what the HELL did they do about it?
In March 2014, in response to public pressure, the Executive Member for the Environment promised to start a blog. She never did. Does the Steering Group think this is a good example to set? Have they ever raised the issue with her?
The Steering Group stated it would start holding four public events a year. That’s a really low number. In 2014 they managed … 3. This year, the AGM is the first* How do you people sleep?
Meanwhile, Manchester Green Party (am not a member, never was) is holding a meeting next week.
Manchester Green Party is devoting their monthly Open (to all-comers!) meeting on July 14th. 7pm-9pm at the Methodist central hall, Oldham Street, Manchester to climate change and Manchester’s response to it.
They are hoping to get some speakers from different organisations to address one or more of the elements of Manchester – A Certain Future: buildings; energy; transport; sustainable consumption and production; and green and blue infrastructure.
The meeting will also include an open Q and A/discussion session.
* there was a love-in at MMU a while back. That doesn’t count.
I received an e-mail from MFOE (Manchester Friends of the Earth, I think, suggesting this Manchester – A Certain Future (MACF),jamboree, was something to celebrate. I e-mailed back, that there is nothing to celebrate, since the the launch of MACF, nothing has really happened. Except the continued expansion of the airport, demolition of perfectly habitable council housing, to be replaced by expensive, energy inefficient private ‘homes-to-buy’ or private rental. Whilst we have an increase in deprivation, homelessness (whilst over 5,000 dwellings remain empty), low-life expediency, child poverty and poor health expectancy. In the meantime, the council cannot even account for its own energy usage. Why is it, the predominantly ‘white middle-class’, supposedly educated to a higher level, than those of us from council housing, think this council, is doing such a great job?
My take is this – people who gravitate to Friends of the Earth need/want to believe that the system is reformable. And after 6 years of the council not delivering to its promises, then they simply have to pretend even more and more.
And they need to keep good relations with the council, since they didn’t enjoy being on the outer from the mid-90s to the late 00s (after the TIF).
So, I gave up long ago on the FoE lot ever being able to see just how they are being used as a green figleaf by the Town Hall.
Is it to do with class? Maybe. But I am middle class, and I can see through the crap…