The cycle continues. Bureaucrats promise a series of actions. Councillors on a scrutiny committee rouse themselves from their (metaphorical) slumber to say “great”. Months later there’s a table produced that purports to show what’s going on. So-called scrutiny committees don’t, um, do the scrutiny.
In the instance, it comes down to how many events the Council put on that tried to put the case for climate/sustainability. And the answer, if you wade through sentence after sentence of bureaucratese, is “none.”
In April, bored, I sent the a Freedom of Information Act request, about the latest “Progress” (the word is a joke) Report into the Councils’s Climate Change Action Plan 2016-20. I said
I note that the plan is
“2016/17: Continue to build on work to date to understand and improve the
environmental performance of MCC events, establish a plan for embedding
sustainability throughout the Council’s events activities; refresh the
Green Events Guide”
“2017/18: Implement the sustainable events plan”
and that there is no update in the third quarter but merely “as per
previous quarter”, which talks vaguely of “benchmarking”.
This strongly implies to me that there will not be any events any time
I have the following questions.
. Given that we are already in 2017/18, and summer is imminent, I would
like to know what events are planned for the period May to August 2017
And here is the answer I got
“We are using Manchester Day (taking place on 18 June 2017) as a pilot project for how best to understand and improve sustainability performance so that it becomes embedded in event planning (further information on understanding performance is provided under point 2). Targets for improvement in 2017/18 have been set in three key areas: Waste; Travel; and Communications. For the latter, it is envisaged that greater communication with stakeholders of this event will have a knock on positive effect on the wider events community given that the event shares suppliers and stakeholders with other events in the annual calendar. In addition, the results of a third party review of Manchester Day’s sustainability performance in 2017 (Creative Green Assessment by Julie’s Bicycle), expected in the autumn, will be shared within the local and wider events community by way of a case study to share good practice and further inspire change among other events. We will also be seeking relevant events at which a Manchester Day representative can speak to further share good practice.
In addition, an internal working group meets on a regular basis from April 2017 to March 2018 to investigate embedding a consistent approach to delivering sustainable events across the Growth and Neighbourhoods Directorate primarily, which is a complex task given the range of events covered, including: both indoor and outdoor; commercial and community; and major and small events. One of the key functions of the working group is to extract the good practice that exists across the wide range of events to feed into the development of a resource for internal and external event organisers (see point 3 below).”
So. None then. Just more groups meeting, meeting, as if they hadn’t been doing this since 2010. Oh, and another question I asked-
I would also like to know who [individual/organisation] the “specialist resource” is in the sentence “specialist resource identified which will be able to advise on other resources developed over last 18 months to evaluate whether a refresh still best course of action” and how much they are being paid for their advice.
“The specialist resource is Julie’s Bicycle – a charity that supports the arts and cultural sector to act on climate change and environmental sustainability. Julie’s Bicycle will be paid £1,500 to support Council officers to create a specialist resource for Manchester organisations to benefit from to improve environmental performance in delivery of events.”
I defy you to make any of this up.