The plot thickens. At last week’s Neighbourhoods and Environment and Scrutiny Committee (NESC), councillors kicked back against the climate plans before them. After a fraught hour, councillors demanded an extraordinary general meeting with the Executive member for the Environment Read more here
There matters lay for the day. But when Climate Emergency Manchester contacted officers to find out when the meeting would take place we were told:
“The intention of an ‘emergency meeting’ was set aside after following discussions between the Chair and the City Solicitor’s department. The committee will instead return to the topic again at its next planned meeting on 4th March”.
This raises many questions. We have asked the following, but have yet to receive a reply:
- Who initiated the discussions between the Chair and the City Solicitor’s department?
- What was the nature of the discussion – email, phone, text, face to-face?
- Who were the parties to the discussion?
- Please provide copies of the emails relating to this matter and a copy of any minutes / decision note
- If the minutes / decision note do not clearly state a rationale for overriding the intent of the councillors, then please provide the rationale.
- What precedent is there for rejecting the request of councillors on a scrutiny committee for an extraordinary general meeting? Has this happened in the past five years? If so, under what circumstances.
- What is the legal status of the other NESC recommendations – that the council use tonnes consistent; when analysing its carbon reductions and that there are quarterly carbon budget reports?
We will continue to pursue. The climate emergency needs a new way of doing politics… but not this!
P.S. A seventh scrutiny committee, devoted to climate and environment policy is (obviously) urgently needed, as is more money for local climate action. Climate Emergency Manchester has launched a petition calling for these. Anyone who lives, works or studies in Manchester City Council’s boundaries can sign online. You first register here, and then sign here.