#Manchester Council forced to admit that it abolished “Environmental Strategy Programme Board”

Manchester City Council has been forced to admit that it has abolished its “Environmental Strategy Programme Board.”  The board was established in 2008/9 to progress the City Council’s ‘green goals’ and was nominally chaired by now retired CEO Howard Bernstein.  It was abolished in 2015, with precisely zero announcement.

Manchester Climate Monthly repeatedly asked for the minutes of the meetings, and no response was given, even when the Executive Member for the Environment and Chair of the so-called “Neighbourhoods and Environment “Scrutiny” committee were cced.   Neither of them chose to inform MCFly that the ESPB had in fact been abolished. This has only come to light because on 31 January, after receiving no reply to repeated emails, a Freedom of Information Act request was submitted.

The last meeting was held in July 2015, and future meetings were scheduled for 27th October 2015, 26th January 2016 and   27th April 2016, They were never held, for reasons that have not been explained.

Perhaps someone at the council might light to explain how abolishing the meeting of bureaucrats tasked with advancing the ‘green programmes’ helps Manchester on its journey to be ‘zero carbon’ by 2050.


Don’t go holding your breath.


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

Copies of the minutes of the last 10 meetings of the ESPB have been provided. The ESPB no longer meets and Manchester City Council’s website pages have now been updated.

  1. 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;

  1. 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.

Approximately 60 minutes of officer time has been spent on this FOI.

  1. 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


The green.city@manchester.gov.uk email account is no longer monitored and references to it on the Manchester City Council website have now been removed.

  1. 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.

Information not available.

  1. copies of all communications between councillors and officers about the ESPB minutes from January 1st 2016 to the presen day (14 February)

No communication exists.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

Was print format from 2012 to 13. Now web only. All things climate and resilience in (Greater) Manchester.
This entry was posted in Manchester City Council. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s