Following the climate emergency declaration in July 2019 by Manchester City Council, CEM decided to produce a quarterly report to offer an independent assessment of the council’s progress.  ‘Hung, Drawn and Quarterly 1’ appeared in October 2019; HDQ2 in January 2020; HDQ3 in April 2020.

The first three reports involved submitting a set of Freedom of Information Act requests (FOIAs) that each related to one of the 23 elements stated in the climate emergency declaration. Since then, Manchester City Council has agreed a five-year Climate Action Plan. HDQ3 examined the promises made in this more recent document. HDQ4, the report following the anniversary of the climate emergency asks, again: what has been done IN ONE WHOLE YEAR?

We are doing this because there is a long history of the council making fine promises on climate change, that are then not followed up with real action. Indeed, HDQs 1,2 and 3 showed that very little had been done since the climate emergency declaration. We need deeds not words, and citizens must  monitor and scrutinise this every step of the way.

We hope to have this piece of work complete by the end of August 2020.

To help us produce a report that is useful for as many people as possible, we are looking for a small team of volunteers with availability towards the end of  July 2020, to be able to give between 2 hours and 4 hours of time.


In terms of skills you need or could gain:

1 We are looking for proof-readers to review drafts and weed out errars. If you would like to increase your proof-reading skills, we can also offer you a set of pointers and some perfect ‘practise material’ (i.e. there will be typos!)

2 Sense-checking and jargon-busting. Do you spend your working life (or, masochists, your free time) sense checking documents? Are you a reformed jargon junkie who knows how easy it is to slip into acronym-speak? We would love you to help ensure our points are clear and easy to follow.  This job would be ideal for anybody new to either council processes or climate change debates who can point out when we have used a term that is not widely known. 

3 Producers of infographics, graphic designers or folk who just really like playing around with the layout of documents. We need you to make the report look good, and then to help communicate it to a broad audience in a fun and engaging way.


Absolutely no prior knowledge is essential for this volunteer task, although we would welcome anyone with experience of advising local authorities on their climate action plans.

For those looking to gain knowledge, we anticipate that you would learn:

  1. More about how local council works, particularly around climate change policy
  2. What Manchester city council has done (and failed to do) in response to the climate emergency
  3. The steps involved in sending out a Freedom of Information Act requests 


Contact us via:


Standard disclaimer:

CEM doesn’t do open-ended commitments or emotional blackmail – you can take on one job without us wrapping ourselves around you like a peckish anaconda

We will try to match jobs to the amount of time, skill, motivation you have.

If something comes up, and you can’t do what you said, please tell us!