Dear Councillor Craig, [firstname.lastname@example.org, @bevcraig]
I know you care about climate change (you are one of the councillors who has completed the face-to-face carbon literacy training, but not the online component).
I know that the agenda of the Health Scrutiny Committee, which you chair, is packed. The City Council is trying to cope not just with the awful health consequences of ‘austerity’ but the changes emerging around responsibility for public health, and the uncertainties around Devo Manc. The cuts to mental health funding are not a good sign either, clearly.
However, yesterday the newly formed UK Health Alliance on Climate Change warned that more frequent extreme weather events like flooding and heat-waves pose direct risks to health and systemic threats to hospitals and health services. The recent flooding in Greater Manchester is a mere taste of this.
I know that to get any traction in this city, a problem has to be framed as a (business) opportunity, so I will add that the Alliance also highlights that “Responding to climate change will have real benefits for health and would put the UK at the centre of the “greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.
So, I have two simple questions.
Firstly, will you commit to completing your carbon literacy training, and using your influence to encourage all other members of the Health Scrutiny Committee to do likewise. This could be done by holding a face-to-face session immediately after a meeting of the HSC, and trying to untie the Gordian Knot that is the Council’s IT provision around CL training.
Secondly, and more significantly, assuming you are still chair of HSC in May* will you hold hearings/call for reports about the health impacts of climate change locally? Does Manchester have the infrastructure to cope? Are its plans realistic, updated regularly, and tested ‘in practice’?
According to the Work Programme of the HSC (which doesn’t mention climate change, btw), at its next meeting, on Thursday 26th May, “The meeting will close for the annual work programming session where members determine the work programme for the forthcoming year. To follow an oral presentation from the Director on upcoming issues and challenges within the Committee’s remit.”
Will you work with officers and Executive members to ensure that climate change impacts ARE part of the Health Scrutiny Committee’s agenda for 2016/7?
editor Manchester Climate Monthly
- I know that you are up for re-election as a Councillor this year and that you therefore cannot state that you will be a Councillor when the HSC next meets. I also know that you would have to be re-appointed as chair of the HSC. So if your answer is “yes”, then obviously it will come with those two provisos.