Climate Emergency Manchester(CEM) is inviting members of the public to join us, online, on Wednesday 27th May at 7pm (the day that Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee should have met). Yesterday we put up the first report to be discussed – about the Council’s (lack of) progress over the last 10 months since the Climate Emergency declaration. Today we release a second report – on the background and status of our petition for a seventh scrutiny committee (sign it here – if you’ve already signed it, please share it!), which we started in February.
Here is the summary-
Manchester City Council has an almost thirty year history of failure on climate policy. There is an obvious cycle of a) promise to do something because under public pressure b) not deliver because [insert excuse here] while claiming that HAVE delivered c) wait for those trying to get something to actually happen to give up and go away and then b) promise to do something because under public pressure.
While the City Council has more scrutiny committees than many other Local Authorities, the problem remains – for various reasons – that climate policy has never been regularly and forensically scrutinised. Officers and Executive Members have been able to play the usual games of burying mistakes, shifting baselines, “look a squirrel”ing and the like.
If we want to break the cycle, we need effective, regular scrutiny that cannot be ignored, fobbed off. Citizens have been trying to provide this, and should continue. However, citizenship scrutiny on its own is simply not enough. Manchester City Council urgently needs a scrutiny committee dedicated to climate policy. This was true before coronavirus, and will be even more true as the desire to ‘bounce back’ (rather than bounce forward makes it easier to ‘cut the green crap’.
Climate Emergency Manchester as created a petition to this effect. We need help with it.
It is recommended that the Committee:
- Discuss ways that the online petition can be jump-started
- Try to think up ways that collecting on paper might be doable safely during and after a lockdown, and then get proper scientific advice (which may well be “DON’T EVEN…”).