Manchester City Council has 96 councillors. Ninety-four of them are Labour Party.
Manchester City Council launched (with help from activists) a climate change strategy in 2009.
And then, after not much happened, there was a refresh in 2013. And then, after not much happened, there was another ‘strategy’ in 2016. And then, after not much happened, there’s been another one in 2018. A long long list of broken promises, swept-under-the-rug failures etc.
And through all this, the bold and careful councillors who sit on the Scrutiny committee that is supposed to scrutinise (the clue is in the name) the top bods (elected and unelected) has… basically done (less than) nothing.
In 2014 they were finally successfully lobbied into requesting quarterly updates on the climate plans, because the Executive and officers were able to make promises in one year that were then forgotten/not-reported on the next year.
The “scrutiny” committee never actually used those quarterly reports very well to, er, scrutinise. And earlier this year, in the kind of North Korean democracy we have come to expect, the Executive Member for the Environment chose to abolish those quarterly reports. After repeated asking from MCFly, she eventually said she thought it was the right decision and sent the right message about how seriously the Council takes climate change.
Three days ago Manchester Climate Monthly wrote to all the members of the scrutiny committee, asking some basic questions. One committee member (Liberal Democrat Richard Kilpatrick) replied with concise answers in 20 minutes. There was one other auto-reply. And from the rest….
The usual deafening silence.
Do they not care? Are they circling the wagons, getting a spin doctor to write a long and irrelevant reply that they will send collectively? My money is on the latter. Watch this space.