Ten days into January and we already have a clear favourite for the Manchester City Council “Brass Neck of the Year” award. Coun Angeliki Stogia (‘We won’t be intimidated by vandals,’ M.E.N., 10 January) is quoted as saying “we want feedback from as many people as possible.”
In a letter last week I pointed out that Councillor Stogia simply ignored the Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee in July 2019 when it said that the consultation on Great Ancoats St was entirely inadequate and needed to be redone.
Two other examples are worth giving. Firstly n July 2019 Councillor Stogia joined 95 other councillors in voting not just for a motion to declare a “climate emergency.” They also all voted for a Liberal Democrat amendment to the motion which called for a report to be sent to Executive before the end of the year about declaring a more ambitious carbon neutral date than the existing 2038. This was to be done via an open and transparent process. The result? No such process, no such report. No acknowledgement, no apology was forthcoming. (And, of course, we are way off track to hit the 2038 target).
Secondly, in November 2019 the campaigning group I am part of, Climate Emergency Manchester, collated good ideas from residents and groups across Manchester about how the council could take affordable action to accelerate climate action. We put these into a report and sent it to the Executive Member for the Environment (Councillor Stogia). Despite assurances, there was no response.
There are countless other examples of this sort of behaviour. All across Manchester there are informed people with examples of their own, gritting their teeth and rolling their eyes at this latest example of Council spin.
Hopefully, the new Executive Members – in various portfolios – who take office after May’s local elections can do a better job of following up words with real deeds.
Dr Marc Hudson
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