Letter: Council cowardice on scrutiny endangers us all


I have good news and bad news for “Observer, M40”, the author of a long letter about Manchester council’s inaction on fly-tipping (Viewpoints, 3 April).

The good news is that he and she can get together with other citizens who are concerned (or exasperated) about the Council’s inaction on rubbish, on air quality (see the story on the same day about two young air quality campaigners in Longsight) and climate change, to put pressure on the council through the scrutiny committee system.  Groups like Climate Emergency Manchester can provide top tips about that.

The bad news is that the Council, in its recent tokenistic rebranding, has done nothing to create more time for scrutiny of important issues. The consequence of this failure of leadership is that  immediate concerns such as fly-tipping will still compete with the “big picture” issues of carbon emissions reductions and how we get social justice as climate change exacerbates existing inequalities (it will make Covid look like a walk in the park).

An additional scrutiny committee, dedicated to climate change, was what citizens wanted. The Council was too ignorant, too fearful of additional scrutiny, to say yes to the sensible thing. Its cowardice will blight our lives.

Dr Marc Hudson

editor of Manchester Climate Monthly

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