If you live within Manchester City Council’s boundaries, then you are in within one of the 32 wards. Each ward has three councillors. To find out who your councillors are, all you have to do is go to this site and type in your postcode. You can then see if the councillors have come out in favour of the motion already. (It is STILL WORTH lobbying the councillors: the more they know that people are watching, the better.)
So, the key thing is to contact your councillors sooner rather than later, and to do it clearly and politely. Climate Emergency Manchester has provided a suggested format below, but the more personal you make it, the better. Feel free to remove anything from it that you think would strike the wrong tone. If you already know one or more of the councillors, then remind them of who you are! Whatever you do, please let the councillor know that you expect an answer, and that you will be sharing the answers with Climate Emergency Manchester (obviously you are entirely free to lobby/contact without telling us, but we are keeping a tally of which councillors are public in their support.)
Dear Councillor x,
we are writing to you because we are desperately worried about climate change. We believe that the absolute minimum that Manchester can do is implement the actions listed in the climate emergency motion which will be debated and voted upon Wednesday 10th July at Full Council.
We are writing to find out your position on this motion, which has been proposed by Councillors Annette Wright (Labour, Hulme) and Eve Francis (Labour, Chorlton). We will share the answers you give us with Climate Emergency Manchester, a new group which is trying to help people in Manchester engage in prolonged and constructive dialogue with the City Council on the issues around climate change.
Specifically we ask you to reply to the following.
- Do you support the motion without equivocation? If so, will you please go public with that, and say that you will defend it against any motions which would water down its impact, or remove items from it. Would you please go public with this on Facebook, Twitter or a blog, and send us a link. (Or even – and this may seem presumptuous – post a selfie and send us a link with you holding a sheet of paper saying “I fully support the July 10th Climate Emergency motion” (You can download a copy here).
Finally, if you do support the motion, please ask your fellow councillors to support the motion!
2. Do you have reservations or concerns about the motion? If you do, could you please tell us what they are.
3. If you are opposed to the motion, could you please explain why?
We know you are busy, but we would also like you to answer the following questions, the answers to which we also – unless you say we can’t – will share with Climate Emergency Manchester.
- Have you completed your carbon literacy training?
- Has the ward co-ordinator for our ward completed their carbon literacy training?
- What do you think should be done, in our ward, to help people both reduce their carbon footprints and also prepare – collectively and individually – prepare for the inevitable consequences of climate change, such as flooding and heatwaves. We are especially worried about how the poor, the old, the sick will be affected by these events.
We would very much welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues with you as soon as possible. We don’t want to take up time during a surgery when you may have to deal with individuals with immediate problems, so could perhaps meet you immediately AFTER your surgery? We would love to meet with your fellow councillors, and if the three of you want to meet us all at the same time, that would be great.
Xxx names and addresses of people
When you get a reply from the councillor(s) please forward it on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If they send you an image of them with a selfie, please tweet it with the name of your ward as a hashtag (#Oldmoat, #Crumpsall) and our Twitter account – @climateemergmcr
If you contact your councillor(s) and they don’t get back to you within a week, try them again, and tell us that you’re having trouble getting an answer!