Scrutiny Week February 2021 – what can we expect?

So here we are again. The almost-monthly ritual where “scrutiny” is performed (and we mean that word in every sense you can imagine). Manchester City Council (see our beginner’s guide) has 96 councillors. 93 of them are Labour. There are 2 Liberal Democrats and one vacancy. There’s a 10 member “Executive” from those 93. It rules (and we mean that word in every sense you can imagine). There are six scrutiny committees that are supposed to make sure promises are being kept, problems with implementation of policy are spotted. But this would involve members of the same party holding the Executive to account. And if you are an ambitious councillor then you quickly figure out – or are gently/forcibly reminded – that vigorous/repeated scrutiny means… annoying those with considerable control over your future. So, councillors start to “phone it in from Milton Keynes” – our pet term for scrutiny that only looks like scrutiny.

This is bad enough in normal times. These are not normal times. The climate emergency (the same one all 96 councillors declared all the way back in July 2019) requires honesty, transparency and keeping a very close eye on what is and is not being delivered around climate change. That’s why Climate Emergency Manchester spent almost all of last year on a petition to get a seventh scrutiny committee, devoted to looking not just at the City Council’s actions, but also the city’s. Because the city has burned through a quarter of its carbon budget for the 21st century in the last two years, and nobody in power is taking any responsibility for that, or doing anything beyond the usual….

All this brings us neatly to the first item on the first scrutiny committee agenda….

Resources and GovernanceTuesday at 10am
Video via here.
Climate Emergency petition Gee, you could never tell from the allegedly “neutral” report what the City Solicitor thinks of it, could you? See our briefing paper.
Corporate Core Budget 2021/22 – final proposals Yep, it’s a budget crisis. Will the question of throwing more money down the bottomless pit that is “The Factory” get a run?
Capital Programme & Projects Review 2020/21 See above.
ICT updateMaybe they could take advice from GMP? I mean, that’s been seamless….

And next up, Health. Fun fact- despite the enormous health implications of climate change, the MCC Health Scrutiny Committee has never looked at climate, despite being asked to. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

HealthTuesday at 2pm
Watch video via here.
COVID Health Equity Manchester 
Adult Social Care and Population Health Budget 2021/22
COVID-19 Update – To followCan’t comment

And next up, Children and Young People. Fun fact-despite the enormous interest of young people in climate change, and the implications it has for them, the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee has never looked at climate. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

Children and Young PeopleWednesday at 10am
Video via here.
Update on Schools and Settings and their Response to COVID-19
Children and Education Services Budget 2021/22
School Budget 2021/22 

And next up, Neighbourhoods and “Environment”. Fun fact- despite the awkward fact that Manchester as a city has burned through a quarter of its carbon budget for the 21st century in the last two years, the last time this Scrutiny Committee looked at climate was… July last year. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

Neighbourhoods and EnvironmentWednesday at 2pm
Video, if you can bear it. ..
Neighbourhoods Directorate Budget Proposals 2021/22 
Homelessness Directorate Budget and Savings Options 2021/22
Manchester City Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020-25 

And next up, Economy. Fun fact- asides a November 2019 report on “Green Jobs” (which were, of course, never properly defined) , the economic implications of climate do not get a run. As our Hung Drawn and Quarterly report showed last month, the whole “green apprenticeships” schtick has been left to swing in the wind. Yeah, it’s an emergency, sure.

EconomyThursday at 10am. Video
Growth and Development Directorate Budget – Final Proposals 2021/22
Skills and Adult Education
LTE Estates Strategy

Economy COVID19 Sit Rep Report

And finally, Communities and Inequalities

Communities and InequalitiesThursday at 2pm Video etc via here.
Neighbourhoods Directorate Budget Proposals 2021/22 
Equalities Update
Residents and Communities Recovery Situation Report Summary

 

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