Fly-tipping and not much else: NESC December 2020

Juan Villaneuva Tuduri searches for mentions of the climate emergency at December’s Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee

Yesterday the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee (NESC) met to scrutinise Manchester City Council’s actions in the area under its powers. Almost every month – with a few exceptions – a number of Manchester’s councillors holds the council account… Or is supposed to do.

This month’s meeting covered homelessness and enforcement regarding fly-tipping incidents. Not a single mention of the Climate Emergency, even though it was declared unanimously on July 2019. Many other councils and governments declared, too, and we’ll be updating on what they are up to soon…

CEM collected 1,500 signatures from people who are living, working or studying within Manchester’s boundaries asking for dedicating more time, money and democracy for climate change. At yesterday’s meeting, councillors dedicated 80 minutes to the crucial problem of homelessness and 40 to the despicable crime of fly-tipping. It’s not, of course, that the council should not talk about these topics; they are paramount in any given city, but the point is that just 2-hours meeting per month… it’s simply not enough.

Regarding fly-tipping incidents, the reports state that they still number over 8,000. There are hot spots in Cheetham and Clayton & Openshaw, with 748 and 624 incidents respectively. Nonetheless, usually, people might change areas for fly-tipping

The head of Compliances, Enforcement and Community Safety made a summary of the actions the council as carried on with upgrade of technology, staff and education, however, she cried while people keep flytipping “It’s gonna be fighting a losing battle”.

“It’s very unfortunate people keep fly-tipping, and there is no real need for it in Manchester”.

Councillor Richard Kilpatrick, from West Didsbury, said that only 4 out of 96 incidents recorded by a CCTV have gone to court. The officers said that is not so easy even with CCTV footage. However, they assured that there will be more cases than just four.

However, it’s worth noting that overall – and omitting lockdowns – the incidents have decreased. Waste management is one of the areas that is utterly under council’s control. Therefore, it is an issue where they put big efforts for tackling.

Apart from that, nothing else was said in relation to the environment. And it is for this reason that we feel Manchester City Council does not do enough to fight against the climate crisis.

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