The ‘Environmental Impact Assessment’ banner which has previously preceded the ‘Our Manchester Strategy outcomes’ table of the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee report, seemed to have been removed from the ‘Report for Information’ format. ‘A liveable and low carbon city: a destination of choice to live, visit, work’ remains, and was the only field completed in the table, stating ‘This report will highlight how the Community Safety Partnership contributes towards this outcome by ensuring neighbourhoods are clean, safe, attractive and cohesive and therefore a destination of choice for people to live, visit and work.’
Safe neighbourhoods were indeed the focus of this meeting, which featured the Community Safety Partnership Update, Manchester Community Safety Partnership’s Strategic Priorities, Tackling Crime and Antisocial Behaviour, Keeping Children and Young People Safe, Protecting People from Serious Harm, Reducing the Crime Impact Caused by Alcohol and Drugs, Changing and Prevent Adult Offending Behaviour and finally, the Next Steps. Councillors Grimshaw (Miles Platting and Newton Heath) and Evans (Brooklands) expressed their wards’ extreme frustration at phoning to report crime by dialling 101, only to be asked to report the crime online. Instead, they requested more community police presence, after repeatedly being told by their constituents that they don’t like reporting crime because nothing happens, or they are left 2/3 days before anything happens. This was followed by an extensive City of Manchester Fiscal Year 20/21 Firearm Discharge Summary with what the chair called ‘a grilling’ of the speakers by the councillors.
Next was the Overview Report which is an annual work programme, listing recommendations made by the Committee and responses to them, indicating whether the recommendation will be implemented and, if so, how. The overview was the final part of the meeting, deemed to contain exempt information meaning that ‘the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information’. The meeting as a whole seemed to be a low carbon city-free zone, both on paper and on listening to the meeting, although it is to be hoped that there are low carbon recommendations embedded within it.
So, I got my coat and headed for the door, so to speak, this time with nothing climate-related to bring to the CEM Team Scrutiny table. It seems a shame about the public exemption, really, because the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer’s ‘overview of how cross-cutting themes in the Our Manchester Strategy – Forward to 2025 reset document are covered by the Council’s Scrutiny Committees during the 2021/22 municipal year’ might have been a rich source of nourishment for the process obsessed, cross-cutting climate emergency scrutineer. We’ll never know, so here’s a picture instead: