It’s not often that Manchester Climate Monthly gets a quick response from anyone within Castle Greyskull (aka ‘The Town Hall’). But twenty minutes ago an email was sent to all the members of the Neighbourhoods and Scrutiny Committee about the abolition of the quarterly climate reports (an action taken by the Executive Member, seemingly without any consultation with the members of the scrutiny committee that is supposed to, erm, scrutinise.) There was one automated reply, and then… a reply from the sole Liberal Democrat councillor on the committee (and one of only two Lib Dems, the only opposition to the 94 Labour Councillors). (Fwiw, MCFly’s editor is not and never has been a member of ANY political party, including the Greens). I have added the original questions for clarity.
Thank you for your email. I have attempted to answer each of your questions succinctly below. I have the benefit of being one of two opposition councillors on the Council and very passionate about green/environmental issues. If you have any further questions please let me know.
[When did you become aware of the Executive Member for the Environment’s intention to abolish quarterly climate reports?]
1. I was not aware of the intention to stop the quarterly reports. There has been a change in strategy on climate change on the City Council which came to scrutiny this month (November). As a scrutiny committee we can request that regular reports are produced to update us on this activity, I would support regular reports coming to the committee, and for public scrutiny on this matter.
[Do you think that Executive Members should be able to unilaterally decide what reports are and are not available to scrutiny committees?]
2. Absolutely not. Furthermore it is the role of the scrutiny committee to request updates on specific council strategies. This is something that the committee should be requesting in this instance.
[Do you agree with her assessment that abolishing quarterly reports was the right decision and sends the right message about climate action urgency?]
3. No I do not. Climate change is the biggest existential threat to the way we live our lives and thusly it is in the public interest to have regular opportunities for the climate change strategy to be scrutinised.
[If you do NOT agree with her assessment, how have you expressed your disagreement to her, and what – if anything – do you intend to do about it?]
3 b. Several points have been made in regards to the new climate change strategy. In my view, this strategy should receive regular scrutiny by NESC. I will be requesting this when the committee sets it’s future work programme.
I hope you feel these answers meet expectations.
On a related note the council website is in two parts you can find the link to the post July meetttiiinggs on the link below (not very user friendly in my view).
If you need anything else, please let me know.