Climate change is going to have enormous impacts on the health of the people of Manchester. Whether it is flooding, heat waves, or just good old psychological factors (fear, depression etc).
In 2014, Sheffield City Council’s Health committee produced a report on climate impacts on the city.
Will Manchester City Council do the same?
Nope. Of course not.
In March MCFly sent an open letter to Councillor Bev Craig, the chair of the Health Scrutiny Committee( HSC_ asking in part if the HSC would “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’?”
In April the chair responded
as Chair of Health, I am happy to suggest to the committee this be considered in our work programme either as a standalone, or joint committee piece of work to look at the specific challenge facing Manchester to ensure that we are doing our best to mitigate it.
It now emerges that the Health Scrutiny Committee is simply going to punt the issue to “Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee” which is having a meeting about … air pollution in July. Health Scrutiny Committee members will be “invited to participate and discuss these issues”
Nothing on flooding, nothing on heat waves, nothing on disaster preparedness. Nothing.
MCFly has submitted a FOIA to try to see if it was the members of theHSC itself who decided to behave in this deeply irresponsible manner, or if orders came from somewhere else within the Town Hall. In all probability, we will not be told.
Meanwhile, the Scrutiny process is further revealed as a pathetic and contemptible joke.
Analysis. Why bother? Why bother trying to lobby such a hopeless shell as Manchester City Council, with its 95 Labour councillors and lone Liberal Democrat? They have shown time and time and time again that they only care about climate change as an opportunity to get undeserved positive publicity. They have shown time and time and time again that they are happy to make whatever promise – be it quarterly reports, carbon literacy, blogging, eco-dashboards, ward plans, I could go on all day – and just as happy to break those promises, knowing that they will suffer no electoral consequences, no exposure in the media. Sometimes they break the promises because they can, sometimes because they are simply staggeringly incompetent.
They are leaving the people of Manchester exquisitely vulnerable to a long-term threat, and they just do not give a toss. There are some who mouth the pieties, but are spectacularly unwilling to go toe-to-toe with the sclerotic and incompetent “leadership” of this City. Those few want to be seen as credible. Well, they’re not. They are more guilty than the rump of deniers and apathetics, because they do not have the excuse of ignorance.