Today is the 1 year anniversary of Manchester City Council declaration of a climate emergency. This morning we published our latest report. Now we need your help. It won’t take long, and it strengthens local democracy (1).
We want you to write to your three councillors, today, and ask them about what they’ve been up to. In the intervening year, two councillors (Sue Murphy and Andy Harland) have sadly died. That means that 94 of the 96 councillors who voted for the declaration are still councillors (2).
You can find out who your three are here.
Please then write to each of them, separately. This below is ONLY
Dear Councillor x,
I hope you and your family are well and safe during these incredibly stressful times. Before anything else, I should say that by all accounts, Manchester City Council has done a brilliant job protecting the most vulnerable people. The thanks extended to staff
by various Executive Members at recent meetings are clearly richly deserved.
I am writing to you because I would like to see Manchester City Council respond to the longer-term, and currently less dramatic, threat of climate change.
I know that you voted for the Climate Emergency Declaration, a year ago today. I am keen to learn from you
a) What actions you have taken as a councillor in the last year to mobilise and motivate people in this ward (speeches, meetings, blog posts, undertaking carbon literacy training).
b) What actions have been completed in the ward to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and to prepare for the changes to come. (and whether the ward officers and other relevant staff have undertaken their carbon literacy training)
c) What actions you personally have taken as a councillor on the various committees you sit on to push climate change further up the agenda, and make sure that the response matches the urgency
These questions have been about the last year. What I am also very keen to learn from you is what you think can and should be done in our ward in the next three months, the next six months and the next year and how I as a resident can be involved. Are there upcoming meetings planned (online or socially distanced) that I can be involved in?
I hope to hear back from you in the next week.
We are creating a database of which councillors have been contacted (and what replies – if any – are received). So please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have done this and we will add “contacted” next to the Councillors names on a public spreadsheet (but we will NEVER publish your name or email addresses anywhere without your explicit permission).
You can see the spreadsheet here
(1) We seem stuck for now with “first past the post” voting, and a massive majority for one party. This means they control the scrutiny processes. Nonetheless, individual councillors, in some wards at least, do have to worry about being unseated. And others just actually do care about what their constituents think and worry about.
(2) The local council elections scheduled for May 2020 were postponed, so some councillors who were hoping to stand down are doing a M. Valdemar at the moment. One was deselected, but is still in situ, for now).