#Manchester Ward Plans not available, no actual #climate angle

Manchester City Council has not produced ‘ward plans’ for the 32 wards of the City.  These ward plans do not contain local SMART objectives around climate change. There is not and will not be one central page where you can find the ward plans.

Other than that, everything is completely fine.

funfactwardplans-page001Manchester Climate Monthly submitted a Freedom of Information Act request last month. Unusually, the Council ‘answered’ it without being reminded or dragged to the Information Commissioner.  That’s where the good news ends though.  See their complete answer below, here’s the tl;dr;

It turns out there is NO NAMED councillor with responsibility for making sure ward plans happen.  So, the bureaucrats are left to themselves.  There are no climate objectives; in response to MCFly’s question there was just guff about the truly laughable ‘Manchester Strategy’ and its bromides.

Finally, we asked a very specific question about whether a page containing links to all the plans had been considered.  They did not answer that very simple question.

Two and a half years ago MCFly raised the question of Ward Plans with the Executive Member for the Environment.  It and other activists called upon the Council to

“Make sure all 32 ward plans contain detailed and ward-specific reference to both carbon mitigation measures and community resourcefulness measures by May 2015”

We went ahead and wrote an implementation plan for the Council, because they are so soul-crushingly incompetent.   They ignored it of course, because they are so good at what they do that they don’t need any help.

This, despite the Executive Member for the Environment saying (in the same letter she promised a blog) that “a similar topic was discussed by the Environmental Sustainability Sub-group at our November 2013 meeting and there’s a recommendation relating to this in the final report.”

Three years ago.  So much progress since then, eh?

Councillor Chappell then stated that Rusholme is wonderful and that she “likes the idea of carbon literacy at Ward Coordination level, and think this would be a good way of making goals on carbon reductions meaningful to people.”

Has this happened?  I feel another FOIA coming on…

 

 

Those answers in full. Questions in bold.

“My questions concern the Ward Plans for the Council, and specifically carbon literacy and climate change action

a) Given the Council’s stated commitment to climate change action and carbon literacy, who (i.e. named councillors, officers) has responsibility for ensuring that the ward plans  contain SMART objectives for actions that will meet the headline objectives of the Climate Change Action Plan that was endorsed by the Council’s Executive on 17 November 2009.

a)Responsibility for developing ward plans rest with the City Council’s Neighbourhood Teams.  For each ward a Neighbourhood Manager will lead the process
b) When will the 2016-17 plans for the 32 wards be available on the Council’s website  (none is, that I can see, at present)

b) The priorities for each ward are determined by the elected members, based on an analysis of data and local intelligence. The names of the elected members for each ward are available on the city council website and can be accessed here; http://www.manchester.gov.uk/manchester councillors
A date has not been currently set. We therefore do not hold this information
c) Has a central page on the council’s website from which  all 32 ward plans can be downloaded been considered by the Council’s web team/communication team?  If so, will it be implemented? If not, why not?”

c)Ward plans follow the themes of the Manchester Strategy (Our Manchester) which has been the subject of extensive consultation prior to approval by the City Council – and apply these in a neighbourhood context to address issues which are important to local communities. The theme “Our Manchester – a liveable and low carbon city” gives an idea of the sort of issues which residents have said are important (eg; better recycling, parks, water ways, green spaces etc).  The ward plans for 2016/17 are not currently held  as these are being developed and will be available on the City Council’s website shortly. Ward Plans for 2015/16 are still available on the Councils web site. For your convenience l have copied the link for the wards in the Central area (the same information is available for north and South areas). http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6056/central_manchester_ward_plans_2015-16

FWIW (not much) I have sent the following back to the Council officers
Dear Council Officers.

Please read the question I asked and the answer you gave.  Then please send me an actual answer to the question I asked.  It can be “No, and we won’t be doing that because we think it’s a stupid idea“.

Doubtless you will consider this to be a request for an Internal Review.  That is not what I am asking for. I am just asking for an actual answer to the question I asked. Is that so hard?  Really?

c) Has a central page on the council’s website from which  all 32 ward plans can be downloaded been considered by the Council’s web team/communication team?  If so, will it be implemented? If not, why not?”

c)Ward plans follow the themes of the Manchester Strategy (Our Manchester) which has been the subject of extensive consultation prior to approval by the City Council – and apply these in a neighbourhood context to address issues which are important to local communities. The theme “Our Manchester – a liveable and low carbon city” gives an idea of the sort of issues which residents have said are important (eg; better recycling, parks, water ways, green spaces etc).  The ward plans for 2016/17 are not currently held  as these are being developed and will be available on the City Council’s website shortly. Ward Plans for 2015/16 are still available on the Councils web site. For your convenience l have copied the link for the wards in the Central area (the same information is available for north and South areas). http://www.manchester.gov.uk/downloads/download/6056/central_manchester_ward_plans_2015-16

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About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
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