Chief Exec of #Manchester City Council- Still. Not. “Carbon. Literate.” #climate

For the last two years the Chief Executive of Manchester City Council has been saying she would soon undertake “carbon literacy” training.  A recent Freedom of Information Act request that she… still hasn’t.

The chief exec, Joanne Roney, spoke recently at an event at Manchester Business School.  The topic?  The future of Manchester: and the mentions of climate change were notable in their…. complete absence.

In the Q&A Roney said that she would indeed be completing the carbon literacy training, with her Senior Management Team (of well-paid bureaucrats) as soon as it was “stable.”

(This was perhaps an allusion to the fact that the ONLY member of that team to have done the carbon literacy training was … leaving.  Sara Todd is now at Trafford, as its CEO (Perhaps someone would like to FoIA Trafford about their carbon literacy?))

Manchester Climate Monthly submitted yet another FoIA about Roney’s carbon literacy status (at least the fourth – we’ve kind of lost count over the years).

Here’s an excerpt of the reply.

foia roney


“Carbon literacy” is a one-day training package, mentioned in the now forgotten second goal of the 2009 Climate Change Action Plan.  The idea is that once people have “the facts” they will change their behaviour.  The 2009 Plan said that by the end of 2013, everyone who lived, worked or studied in Manchester (about a million people) would have done the training.  Today, in 2019 the number is somewhere around. ..  5000.

And the training is enormously effective, oh yes. The best indication is that people like local MP Jeff Smith take the training, get the certificate and then… vote for the expansion of Heathrow Airport. NO, I am not making this up.

So why do I bang on about it?  Because it’s like the “no brown M&Ms” rule that the band Van Halen have in their contract – it’s an easy way of seeing if an organisation has ANY competence, any plan. If they can’t even get the “small” stuff right, why should they expect any one to have any faith in their fine words?

It. Is. Ten. Years. Since. Manchester. City. Council. Started. Promising. To. Do. Stuff.

They’ve done nothing but spin, spin, cancel quarterly carbon reports and take credit for carbon reductions that came from a national level. In this grotesque parody of leadership they have been helped by a bunch of “well-intentioned” self-described “environmentalists” who are basically a shiver looking for a spine to run up, who colluded and enabled endless Groundhog-Day relaunches of the same tired soon-to-be-broken commitments. Because, you know, “change the system from within”.


About manchesterclimatemonthly

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