Communication breakdown on the #climate emergency? Seems like…

In a little over a month’s time, Climate Emergency Manchester (1) will be releasing a report about what action the City Council has taken in the by-then six months since declaring a climate emergency. One focus will be on how much communicating about climate change various Big Fish have been doing.

In the meantime, the 8 page report “Communications Service Plan – Review” going to Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee (2) makes for depressing reading, if you believe – to use the old ACT-Up slogan “Silence = Death.”

It starts so promisingly, with an “Environmental Impact Assessment”.

env impact tokenistic comms review

But… that’s it for mentions of “climate” or “climate change” or even “climate emergency.”  An opening soothing statement followed by nowt? Say  it isn’t so….

So, there are (1.)5 ” four areas of focus for communications for 19/20. Each area has
improvement projects that will support the successful delivery of the plan for
the organisation. They are:

  • Integrated working
  • Digital delivery
  • Participation and engagement
  • Service organisation and governance
  • The freaking climate emergency.”

Yeah, we inserted that last one.

Still, it’s not all bad news. Thanks to EU action the Council has achieved an ENORMOUS reduction in some electrons being whizzed around –

(3.9) “The changes brought about by GDPR and the removal of non-compliant data
meant the reduction in the reach of the Council’s e-bulletin went from over
100,000 to less than 5,000.”

And it is fun to learn the following.

390k a year

But, um, climate emergency, anyone? WTAF, as the young people used to say, back in 2009 or so?

Hopefully the Resources and Governance Scrutiny committee members will ask for a report about climate comms?  Watch this space…


(1) Climate Emergency Manchester was established in March 2019. The editor of Manchester Climate Monthly, Marc Hudson, is one of the core group members.

(2)  There are six scrutiny committees. They are made up of “back-bench” councillors and their ostensible job is to keep tabs on what is and is not being done by the Executive and the officers. The scrutiny committees meet about ten times a year (2 hrs ish per meeting), in public. You’re able to attend and if you live in Manchester you can ask to speak on particular agenda items. Our advice is – never go alone, especially if it is your first time. You WILL lose the will to live. The scrutiny committee meetings are live streamed these days (the subject of past and future FoIAs).
The six scrutiny committees are –
Resources and Governance, Health, Communities and Equalities, Neighbourhoods and Environment, Economy, Children and Young Peopl


About manchesterclimatemonthly

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