[NB We still don’t know what the total cost of the report was, or which budget the money came from. We’re looking into it…]
The controversy around the “Call to Action” report (see MCFly issues 15 and 16) grows and grows. Last week Manchester City Council told us that the report cost “£28,000 plus VAT plus expenses.” That worked out, (excluding expenses), at around £650 per page, as we reported here.
But the devil is in the detail. The Liberal Democrats have been told by the treasurer of Manchester City Council, Richard Paver, that the total bill, including expenses, was “between 70 and a hundred thousand pounds.” This means that the report’s creators, London-based consultancy “Beyond Green” were paid an eye-watering two thousand pounds a page.
MCFly presumes this money has come out of the million pounds set aside for the Carbon Reduction Innovation and Investment Fund. While it’s good that the money is finally being spent (after promises of ‘imminent announcement of future-proof projects’ were made in response to MCFly enquiries last August, see issue 6), not everyone is impressed.
Cllr Lev Eakins, (Lib Dem, Northenden), was dismayed that the report’s costs “had risen to the absurd level of £100k, 10% of the entire climate change budget, and as yet the only part of that budget that has been spent since it was created over a year ago.”
Brian Candeland, chair of Manchester Green Party, was similarly scathing. “It’s absolutely appalling. The costs of Manchester’s ‘Call to Action’, arguably the most vacuous statement in the history of climate change campaigning, appear to be mounting .”
The meeting will also see the launch of a “Call to Real Action” process, sponsored by Manchester Climate Fortnightly, that will publish an alternative report by April 7th.