Scrutiny Week – February 2016. #Manchester – More #climate silence…

Why doesn’t Manchester City Council put all its scrutiny committee meeting agendas on one web-page?

Is it just their usual incompetence and indolence, or are they trying to make it that leeeetle bit harder for citizens to know what is going on, how and when to engage?

Manchester City Council has 6 “scrutiny” committees that are supposed to keep tabs on what the 9 member Executive and the officers are up to. Supposed to. One of the problems is, there is not a single non-Labour councillor. So, while there are some councillors with axes to grind and bones to pick, there are very few who will get hold of an awkward issue on which the council has been faaaaaaiiiiiiling consistently (take, oh, I don’t know, climate change as a random example) and ask specific questions, and then refuse to be fobbed off by the officer or Exec member. Failure to back off and accept the nonsense they spout would be a career-limiting move, you see. The people at the top do not reward such awkward independence that lets cats out of bag, skeletons out of closet.

But asides from them all being from the same party, the problems go deeper.  Reports are opaque, delivered at short notice and there is simply too much for some committees to tackle.  And councillors are just normal human beings (well, most of them), with other commitments (jobs, family, volunteering, helping people who are getting screwed by the Tories).  So the amount of time and energy they can dedicate to piercing the propaganda is extremely limited.

Meanwhile, both the media and civil society are largely asleep at the wheel. [For more on all this, see here] .

So, scrutiny is an empty soothing ritual, where naïve activists go to get their belief in the representatives of representative democracy crushed.

If you DO want to go to a scrutiny committee meeting then please, for the love of gaia

a) do not go alone

b) do not go unprepared.

Some of the most miserable, horrible, soul-destroying hours of my life have been spent watching the farce that calls itself ‘scrutiny’.

It IS worth going (once or twice maybe), but not alone, and not unprepared. Srsly. Here’s a five minute video about what happens and some further advice.

Please feel free to contact MCFly – mcmonthly@gmail.com if you want more info.

Here below I have click click clicked through to all the specific pages of the website where the six scrutiny committee agendas are.  The Council COULD, if it wanted, easily have one page where all the agendas were available. The fact that it doesn’t tells you exactly how much they care about keeping citizens informed.

Tuesday 23rd February

Young People and Children’s

10am The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Reports

 

Neighbourhoods

2pm The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Reports

 

Wednesday 24th February

Economy

10am The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Reports

Communities

2pm The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Reports

Thursday 25th February

Finance

10am The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Which is as follows,-

Urgent business
Appeals
Interests
4 The Council’s Budget 2016/17
The following procedure applies for this item:
The Committee will receive a Statement by the Executive Member for
Finance and Human Resources on the Executive’s budget proposals
and the key issues underlining the budget process.
The Committee is invited to consider any issues arising from individual
Business Plans that chairs of scrutiny committees wish to draw specific
attention to.
The Committee is invited to consider issues raised during the public
consultation round.
The Committee is invited to receive a Statement from the Executive
Member for Neighbourhoods regarding the Housing Revenue Account
calculations and to consider any amendment proposed in relation to
the Housing Revenue account 2016/2017 to 2018/19.
The Committee is invited to consider any amendments to the budget
proposals.
The Committee is invited to summarise its findings and formulate its
recommendations to the Council meeting on 4 March 2016.

 

 

Health

2pm The Scrutiny Committee Room, Level 2, Town Hall Extension

Agenda

Reports

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About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Democratic deficit, Economy Scrutiny Committee, Manchester City Council. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Scrutiny Week – February 2016. #Manchester – More #climate silence…

  1. Sam Gunsch says:

    re: ‘Meanwhile, both the media and civil society are largely asleep at the wheel.’

    Did the excessive rain stir any climate reaction or commentary?

    The very warm winter here (Alberta, Canada) has only raised a few comments by MSM.

    • nope. People have made the link, feel there is nowt to be done, and gone back to whatever they were doing before. We seem, at some point in the last decade, to have quietly accepted our fate. It’s very very strange.

      • Sam Gunsch says:

        Increasingly I’m speculating that it’s probably going to require a serious food supply crash here in North America to break out of the hugely inadequate incrementalism of climate policy here. e.g. If the southwest drought, especially in California continues for another 5-10 years. Kansas hit 90 F. in one location this week.

      • Sam Gunsch says:

        Not that Kansas is southwest USA… just pointing out an extreme temp. in another region and breadbasket state beyond southwest, including California.

      • Loads of weird weather in 1988 moved climate up the agenda. But it soon went away again… Species be looking to die…

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