In this post I set out some background (only some) for the “scrutiny” process in Manchester. Now let’s dive into the “detail” (while also talking about what is missing – and my there is so much missing).
The first report is the Waste, Recycling and Street Cleaning Update
First thing to say is – there should be a dedicated climate change committee, because the committee looking at how to get the city from burning the remaining sixty percent of its 21st century carbon budget in the next four years has more pressing things to look at. Time taken up on this is time not taken on scrutinising the climate emergency.
The basic thing you need to know about this, amid all the fluff, is this.
Yes, as per page 15, “Manchester’s recycling rate fell from 40.4% in 2019 to 36.3%.”
But it’s worse than that (of course it is), because the authors of the report have – typically – chosen not to give ANY historical perspective. For example, in its 2016 manifesto, Manchester Labour proudly boasted that while recycling was now at 33% its aim was “to increase this beyond 50% within the next 5 years.”
So, really, no change in five years. Extraordinary.
There’s loads of pretty graphs (these do seem to attract councillors’ attention, and precious minutes are “wasted” (i.e. talked out) in explaining these.
Doubtless more time will be spent on 4.5, where audits are spoken of, but no examples pro-actively given…
I suspect there may be one or two cyclists who raise an eyebrow at these claims-
And then we get the ritualistic “more needs to be done… individual behaviour change” nonsense, which they have been saying for years (decades). Rather than talk about packaging, or anything systemic, let’s blame individuals (not that individuals are blameless).
But never do they say “gee, maybe we’ve been doing these campaigns, you know, badly?” Or give any details of what has been done with who, or will be done with who. Keep it vague… keep it vague…
Never do they say “where else could we learn from – what other cities?” That would require humility.
There is, however, one interesting and worthwhile thing in this report that SHOULD be in front of the eyes of a committee that investigates the failure of climate policy implementation in this city.
On page 38 we learn
WHY. HASN’T. THIS. BEEN. DONE. FOR. CLIMATE. CHANGE. IN. THE. LAST. TWO. YEARS. SINCE. AN. “EMERGENCY”. WAS. DECLARED?