#Manchester Council to spend £196k on #climate boss – except nobody has been appointed

Manchester City Council has earmarked 196 thousand bounds for a new boss for its Climate Change “Agency.”  Sounds great, eh?  There’s just one small problem. Well, two.  Okay, three.

  • First – despite a national advertising campaign last year (they refuse to say how much they spent – they have failed to appoint anyone
  • Second – as of late December, they had not approached any partners for matching funding for the post.
  • Third – this would be a general with an army of  (checks notes) … three…(Manchester City Council seconds two staff to the “Agency”)

In the budget papers to be discussed at Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee (1) next Monday at 10am we learn this(page 33 of this document)

mcca spend

Well, that’s kind of funny, because last Friday, after some time-wasting delays, a representative of Manchester Climate Change “Agency” (2) grudgingly conceded that

“As you’ve pointed out, we haven’t announced on our website the appointment of a new chair for the Partnership. So, no, we haven’t appointed a new chair. When this changes we’ll announce it on the website and via Twitter”

(This followed a FOIA to Manchester City Council – the answer was “talk to MCCA”)

A FOIA in late 2019 revealed that the council had approached NO partner organisations for funding for the post.

This is how this Council is operating, in its so-called “emergency” – throwing around big numbers meant to impress, but not actually DOING any of hte work.

There are a series of questions that need answers

  • how much money was spent advertising the role?
  • how many people were shortlisted?
  • how many were interviewed?
  • what were the criteria for the post?
  • was any body offered the job?
  • if they declined, what reason did they give?

and, crucially,

  • since this was surely known about by the MCCA BEFORE the contentious 4th February NESC meeting, why did they not volunteer the information? Why did it have to be winkled out by a citizen. And why is the nonsense claim still in the budget papers?

It will be interesting to see if any of these questions is ever answered.

 

Footnotes

(1) Manchester City Council has six scrutiny committees. Resources and Governance deals with the Council’s internal processes.  There is an urgent need for a seventh committee, dedicated to climate and environment. If you live, work or study within Manchester City Council’s boundaries, you can sign this petition.

(2) It’s not an “Agency”. It’s a community interest company entirely funded by Manchester City Council. And immune to Freedom of Information Act requests. The City Council has spent over 400k on it, and not had any independent value-for-money assessment done.

 

 

About manchesterclimatemonthly

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