Letter to Mayor’s Green Summit organisers #Manchester #Climate

Dear x,

The wait is finally over! I’ve been on tenterhooks for weeks about whether I’d get a ticket for the Mayor’s Green Summit on 21 March.  I am delighted to have received/dismayed to not have received a place.

I’ve got a few questions (it’s a tic of mine).

Asking on my own behalf/other people’s behalf, what arrangement is being made for people who desperately want to come (for whom the live streaming just won’t give that full dose of much needed hope and faith in the capacity of Manchester’s climateriat to deliver the goods) but were not considered worthy of attendance?

For example, with these sorts of events, there are always people who can’t make it at the last moment (or, worse, don’t turn up on the day), leaving you with a large-ish number of folorn name badges, sitting there like sentinels of a fallen fort. Sorry, got all poetic there. Have been reading Shelley’s Ozymandias, that short poem about the hubris of those who are so sure that they have the answers, but end up dooming their civilisations to ecological devastation. Back to the point: is there going to be a wait list? If not, why not?

If there’s not going to be a wait-list: what if someone wants to gift their place directly to someone else? Surely that won’t be a problem, will it?

Asking on my own behalf/other people’s behalf, what were the criteria by which the decision to give some a ticket or not was made? Was it prior engagement with the issues? Was it for numbers of people broken down by age and sex (because I certainly fit that category)? Was it prior sycophantic and unquestioning engagement with the issues? (Cos then, soz, I don’t). Was there a cut off to exclude people who’ve submitted Freedom of Information Act Requests and written letters to the Manchester Evening News? Asking for a friend, you understand.

Out of curiosity, how many people applied? It would be lovely if you could break that down by borough, and separately, by week – was there an early rush and a tailing off of interest? In the interests of transparency and all.

What is the seating capacity of the venue (I am told it’s 800)?
What is your catering capacity (I am told it’s 400).  If catering is one of the limits (I am reliably informed that it is), then will you allow other people to come if they promise to ‘brownbag it?’

While I’ve got your attention, about these listening events. I must confess it seems a bit odd. Because after Andy Burnham’s election victory in May 2017, the Summit was initially pencilled in for September 2017. Then there was slippage, and last October or so, it was announced for March 21. I am told that ‘Save the Date’ emails went out to Very Important People.

The listening events though, seem not to have happened particularly early (though I did go to one in December last year). Despite six months notice, some are happening only three weeks before the summit itself, and AFTER registrations for the summit have closed (not quite sure how that works – people come along to those events, are told that the Summit registration process is already closed). Almost as if these listening events are an afterthought. Massive apologies if that seems unduly critical.

By the way, were all of the ten boroughs covered? Manchester has been, obvs. And Salford, Tameside, Trafford have single events which are all happening on Monday 26 February, a scant three weeks before the event itself

  • How many of the listening events were specifically designed with BME communities in mind?
  • How many of the listening events were specifically designed with young people in mind?
  • How many of the listening events were specifically designed with ‘hard to reach’ communities in mind (the illiterate, the poor, those with limited English language skills)? What OTHER means (besides filling in an online survey, which requires literacy, internet connection etc) were made?

If you’ll forgive me quoting myself

I’d also like to know what specifically the social media strategy was – twitter, facebook, youtube.

I’d also like to know what the mainstream media strategy was.  Was a press release sent out, were individual journalists at the BBC and Manchester Evening News contacted?  Did stories in fact appear – if so, when?


Very best wishes and looking so forward so very much to the radical, transformative speeches and powerpoints at the Summit, and the charter which will tackle head on the question of endless economic growth on a finite planet, the meaninglessness of the term ‘zero-carbon’,  and the Airport’s emissions for 1001 ft upwards.

Yours sincerely

Marc Hudson


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 Greater Manchester, Unsolicited advice, Upcoming Events. Bookmark the permalink.

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