UPDATE/RETRACTION: (20th April. The report for the third quarter is in fact up. It has been put at the bottom of the page rather than the top. Apologies to Manchester City Council. On this occasion, MCFly got it wrong.
Manchester City Council has failed to release its latest quarterly climate report, despite a claim from the Executive Member for the Environment that the Council needed to blow its own trumpet. Instead, a citizen has had to submit a Freedom of Information Act request, after waiting for two months.
In January 2017 Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for the Environment told the scrutiny committee that is supposed to keep tabs on the work of her and her officers, that the Council needed to be more forceful in telling the world about all the wonderful things it was doing. And yet, no report. Could it be that there are no good things to tell? Or, rather than conspiracy, is the truth more mundane and depressing – ongoing cock-up, on a scale that beggars belief?
Back in 2014 a bunch of activists suggested a series of zero/low-cost actions to Manchester City Council around climate change, given that the wheels had fallen off climate policy implementation. One of these was that the Executive Member for the Environment would set up a blog. The then incumbent, Kate Chappell, promised she would do this. And then didn’t, telling everyone with ears exactly how much she cared about a) her own credibility and b) communicating with the great unwashed. Another of the proposed actions was that the council produce quarterly ‘progress’ reports on its climate goals. These only happened after prolonged nagging of the then Exec Member for the Environment, Jeff Smith, who at the time happened to be a parliamentary candidate. Since then, the quarterly reports have been spotty in their arrival, and ignored by the “scrutiny” committee.
This is Manchester. This is the West. This is how we slouch towards Armageddon. Day in, day out, incremental failures, each on their own trivial, but cumulatively destroying trust, credibility, truth, hope. Look in the mirror. Do you like what you see?