Active Citizenship Toolkit – progress report and help needed… #Manchester and beyond, #climate and beyond

We at Climate Emergency Manchester think that the best chance for rapid and fundamental change  on climate action is enormous, diverse and ever-growing pressure from ordinary people.  The boom-and-bust cycle of much activism, where folks fry themselves (and others) after 12 months, 18 months, or 2 years, has been tried several times over the last 30 years, and … hasn’t worked.

We’ve started building – and using as we build – an “Active Citizenship Toolkit”, which you can read about here.

Over the past month, since our last ACT progress report, we have put up novice guides about understanding council budgets, practical allyship and lobbying councillors, and done research and writing for a bunch of others.

On the evening of Tuesday 30th June, once the token breeder had wrangled the little people into their beds, we met. Thanks to our external facilitator (cheers Mark – the beer will be with you soon!) it turned out to be  a short (47 minutes done and dusted!) meeting to assess progress and plan “what next?”

Given our other commitments (the #cyclelanesjustice campaign, the core cities report, the petition for a seventh scrutiny committee, preparations for other actions, the small matter of full-time jobs etc) we felt we’ve done well. Progress has been made on most of the 11 ‘absolute gaps’ we identified (and massive massive thanks to our GDPR guru, who shall remain nameless).  We decided to delay work on our single points of failure (there are about twenty of the blighters!) until all our absolute gaps have got novice guides up.  (so, in effect we are gambling on none of us who is the sole suppository – I mean repository – of skills/knowledge at a needed level  gets hit by a bus/whacked by a Council-hired hitman in the next month).

Alongside working to close our absolute gaps, there are three other things we are definitely doing-

  • Engaging with specific individuals on what skills and knowledge they have and want, and put them in touch with other people
  • Approach various groups to be guinea pigs in whether ACT will work for them to help them identify what skills and knowledge they need, they have, they lack (either as absolute gaps or single points of failure)
  • Start working on a stand-alone website (but only to launch when certain criteria are met)

We will meet again at end of July. If you want to learn more, see our dedicated page on our website.

If you want to get involved in making ACT happen, please email

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