Having to FoIA #Manchester Council for minutes of #environment meetings…

So, the Council has (had?) a thing called the Environmental Strategy Programme Board. It was supposed to be chaired by Howard Bernstein, but they dropped that fiction after about a year (to my recollection, he never attended a single meeting).  The minutes used to be available on the website, though the council did have to be nudged on a few occasions.  Now this


So on 31 January I wrote to them, and cced in various councillors (the Executive Member for the Environment, the chair of the Neighbourhood and “Environment” “Scrutiny” Committee, et al.).

Dear all,

I do not know why the minutes of the Environmental Strategy Programme Board are only available upon request.

This seems extraordinarily untransparent

I request the minutes of its last 8 meetings  (please note, I am NOT using the FoIA, because then there will be a 20 working day delay.  This page does NOT say there will be a month’s delay in getting the minutes.

I also request that

a) they are posted on the Council’s website

b) they are forwarded as a matter of course to all members of the NESC.

Looking forward to all the leadership on climate change!!

Marc Hudson

PS If the ESPB has been disbanded I would like to know when this decision was taken, by whom, and on what rationale.  And I still request the minutes of its last 8 meetings.

Dear Sir Madam I am requesting copies of the last 10 meetings of the Environmental Strategy Programme Board (ESPB).

I got a reply from one of the other councillors, but not from the “leadership”.  Nowt from the bureaucrat.

A follow-up email sent on 6 February. No joy.  So, this went to informationcompliance@manchester.gov.uk on Tues 14 February.

Dear Sir Madam

I am requesting copies of the last 10 meetings of the Environmental Strategy Programme Board (ESPB).

Given that I originally requested these minutes on 31 January – and repeated the request on February 6 –  and that the website declares that they are “available on request”
I would also like to know;
a) how much this FOIA cost (in terms of hours and expense) to complete, given that I have repeatedly asked for the minutes WITHOUT invoking FoIA.
b) which officer has responsibility for responding to enquiries sent to the green.city@manchester.gov.uk email account and why they have not responded to multiple emails about the minutes
c) when the decision was made NOT to post ESPB minutes on the council’s website, who made that decision and what the rationale was for not simply posting the minutes and being minimally transparent.
d) copies of all communications between councillors and officers about the ESPB minutes from January 1st 2016 to the present day (14 February)
Please consider this a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000



About manchesterclimatemonthly

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