Manchester City Council refuses to make database of carbon literacy training public

Back in 2009 Manchester City Council said that everyone who lived, worked or studied in Manchester would receive a day of carbon literacy training (an online and face-to-face thing) by the end of 2013.

In late 2012 Council leader Richard Leese launched the project.

In early 2014, under pressure from Manchester Climate Monthly, the then Executive Member for the Environment set a target that 60 of the council’s 96 members would have done the training by the end of the year.  They managed… 23.

At the 2016 elections Manchester’s Labor Party promised it would make carbon literacy training a priority.

Starting this year, MCFly has been submitting regular Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) requests to find out how much training has gone on.  (The answer is ‘not very much, though a mere five years after launching the scheme, in Richard Leese finally got round to leading by example and doing the training.)

All this failure and delay perhaps explains why the Council, which has a database of who has and has not done the training, is reluctant to put that database online.  It would be a stark reminder of how they just can’t (be bothered to?) keep to basic promises.  And if they can’t even get something as straightforward as this right, what hope is there for the bigger stuff?

So, in September we sent a FoIA

Has any consideration been given to having an online up-to-date database showing the carbon literacy status of all councillors and members of the SMT? If so, what was the outcome of those considerations. If not, why not?

Came the not entirely satisfactory answer:

Manchester City Council utilises an internal database for training purposes which is updated regularly. At present we do not consider a public-facing database for this training to be required, however, if the status of training is requested by an individual this can be provided.


So, in the latest FoIA we asked

 “Given that I am going to keep on asking these questions, and that it will continue to cost money to reply to me, under what circumstances might a “public-facing database for this training” be deemed to be required?  Whose responsibility is such a decision?”

Watch this space.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

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