The Leader’s Blog – the plot… thins? Comments remain non-existent. #Manchester #democracy

In October the chap who has been leader of Manchester City Council for 23 – yes, twenty three – years, wrote a blog post called “How Green is My City.”  Yes, “his” city.  No achingly-revealing Freudian slip there, whatsoever….

It contains various ra…  comments about “carping” (some of us call it democracy and scrutiny), and such sensible statements as “Parked cars are zero emissions.”   The Meteor (alternative newspaper) has run an interesting series based on responses to this blog post’s claim that the Council is interested in working with citizens’ groups.

In response to the blog, and the lack of comments, Manchester Climate Monthly wrote an open letter “Are you okay, hun”) and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request with various requests about the post, the comments (or rather, lack of them) and the viewing stats..  We got a strangely speedy reply.  So we submitted another FoIA

What is the *usual* protocol for FOIAs to be dealt with – is there a policy for the information not to be supplied for 20 working days (this seems, after all, to be my experience)

Once a request for information is received the request gets logged centrally on the system the Council uses for processing requests and then gets allocated to the department who hold the information. The department will gather the information requested and will then respond to a request as soon as soon as possible. The length of time it takes a department to respond will often depend on how complex the request is. There is no policy for the information not to be supplied for 20 working days.

 Was FoIA  ITC/BH6D6H dealt with differently? Please supply the internal correspondence that pertains to this. I am particularly interested in any instructions – verbal or written, by any politically elected members, or senior officers – to expedite the matter.

I can confirm that request ITC/BH6D6H was not dealt with differently to any other request. As this was processed like all requests no internal correspondence exists.

The viewing stats seem REMARKABLY low – could you please check? I know for a fact that a bunch of people looked at the now notorious (some have said other, less kind words) blog ‘How Green is My (sic – it’s 550,000 people’s) City’.

I have checked with the department who provided the information and they have confirmed the figures are correct. They noted that historically – this page hasn’t ever had particularly high figures. This could – in part – be explained by people’s personal browser settings.

So, here is a screengrab of the viewing stats I was sent.

lear blog


And meanwhile, the glorious leader has not blogged since the 4th November (but perhaps purdah?)  And the comments section is still not fixed.

if you want to talk to King Lear
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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