On Saturday 18th February, the Manchester Evening News kindly published the following letter.
Manchester City Council has (or had) an “Environmental Strategy Programme Board” of bureaucrats. Its job is/was to turn all the fine words about environment and climate change into deeds. The minutes of its meetings should be on public display, but on the Council’s own website says “Minutes from meetings can be requested by email from the Environmental Strategy team at firstname.lastname@example.org”
In late January I requested the minutes, including the Executive Member for the Environment (Cllr Rosa Battle) and also the Chair of Neighbourhood and Environment Scrutiny Committee (Cllr Kevin Peel) in the email. A week later, after zero response from anyone, I emailed them all again. Another week passed without response, and so had to resort to using the Freedom of Information Act.
Such is Manchester City Council’s commitment to transparency and democracy. We are quick to condemn President Trump and Theresa May for broken promises and secrecy, but for some reason refuse to be angry at local politicians.