Here are the answers of Manchester Green Party to the 11 questions that MCFly is asking lots of different environmentally-oriented groups. So far Kindling Trust, Carbon Coop and Global Justice Now have also answered. There’s still time for other groups to tell readers what they’ve done and what they’re up to. Finally, for the sake of transparency – MCFly is broadly supportive of Green Party efforts, but its editor is not a member of any political party.
1. What is the purpose of your group? (three or four sentences)
Manchester Green Party’s purpose is basically twofold. Primarily our aim is to get elected in order to promote policies which we believe will create a sustainable city. We also believe in using our position to hold other political parties to account for their policies.
2. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved have?
Currently we hold skills audits via phone and email. However, this approach may be reviewed in future. Talking to people face to face is also a main method.
3. How do you find out what skills and knowledge the people who get involved want to develop?
The process is similar to the approach outlined above – asking people, but also offering opportunities.
4. If people get involved in your group, what sorts of things will they end up doing? (stuffing envelopes, selling newspapers, knocking on doors, getting arrested etc etc)
There are so many different things which people could expect to do, these include (but are not limited to): delivering newsletters, attending meetings, knocking on doors, going on protests, writing articles, managing websites, managing social media accounts, making phone calls, filling in forms, speaking to journalists, conducting research, attending election counts, attending polling stations, organising social events, attending and/or giving training, cooking food/making drinks for events, organising petitions, meeting with other activists, contacting councillors, designing printed materials, risking splinters by stapling placards and flags to sticks.
Successes and “opportunities for improvement” in 2015.
5. What have been your group’s main Manchester-based successes in the past year? (i.e. nothing that took place outside the ring road counts)
We continued our position as the second party in Manchester at local elections by percentage of the vote. We grew our membership, tripling our members in a year. We also came second in the Gorton Constituency parliamentary election, which was a first for us.
6. What were the things you hoped to achieve but didn’t.
We had hoped to get a councillor elected.
The coming year
7. What do you hope to achieve in 2016? What are your success metrics for December 31st 2016.
- We hope to get a councillor elected. We aim to push the council in a number of areas on the environment and beyond. Success will mean:
- Increasing the number of active members as measured by participation at events.
- Getting the council and individual councillors to talk about issues they aren’t addressing at the moment.
- Increasing our skills-base as measured by a skills audit.
- Increasing the level of training we offer our members.
8. What (up to 3) things would you like do see done in Manchester to make the city less crap on climate action
a) by the City Council.
Develop an environmental scrutiny committee. Take proper scientific advice on emission targets and for an independent report to be commissioned if the targets are not met.
b) by the “climate movement”.
Work on improving the resiliency of the movement. Address issues around engagement by exploring why people aren’t involved. Focus energy into areas which will achieve victories, as this could energise the movement.
9. What is the stupidest thing the “climate movement” could do this year?
Continue to focus on issues which might make complete sense but only make sense to those who are already involved.
10. How can people get involved?
Attend a Green event such as a social or a Green Party forum. Email/phone us to receive more information. More details on the website: www.manchestergreenparty.org.uk Become a party member (via the links on the national Green Party website: www.greenparty.org.uk). When you see us at protests / talks / events wearing our Green Party badge, speak to us.
11. Anything else you’d like to say.
Always the most difficult question to answer! We think that it is vital to make sure that environmental issues are kept on the agenda this year, with the EU referendum campaign, national security and the economy all set to receive much comment we will be working hard to push the message of climate action, both in relation to these areas and outside of them.