COP out: climate emergency ignored by Children and Young People Scrutiny

The agendas for next week’s scrutiny committee meetings are gradually being released, and here Mike Franks shares his thoughts about the reports to be considered at the Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Committee.  

It is mind-boggling that a report in the name of the Director of Public Health cannot even summarise how it aligns to the Our Manchester Strategy, let alone mention the climate emergency anywhere. OK, the report retrospectively analyses COVID-19 in Manchester’s school age children during the academic year 2020-21, but surely it must have occurred to officers writing the report that the climate crisis also impacts badly on children already facing anxiety and disruption due to COVID. But no, they consider none of this applies to the Manchester Strategy outcomes. However, mental health was not the focus of the paper.

They obviously hadn’t had a chance to read Jackie Haynes’ cogent posting on a commitment by the Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee in October to renew the climate emergency promise with encouragement for officers to ask “What in this report is relevant to our climate change ambitions?”.

At the time of writing, a week out from the November Scrutiny Committee meeting, the most important paper on the agenda ‘Initial Budget proposals 2022/23’ was still being worked on and not yet posted online. It will be interesting to see what it might say about the climate crisis.

Perhaps we should be gladdened to note that an item on ‘Climate Change and Schools’ will possibly be on the agenda in January, but not necessarily in 2022. The document says ‘January (TBC)’. It could be January 2022, but at this rate, who knows? Watch this space.

If you would like to report for Team Scrutiny, to keep up the pressure on Manchester City Council during the climate emergency, then do contact us. 

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