Email interview with Cllr Richard Cowell, Exec Member for the Environment

June 16th 2009

1) How happy are you with the progress of the Call to Action?

We are progressing with the catalytic actions and the Call to Action
has contributed to the debate on what needs to be done. The
publication of the Call to Real Action in response is to be welcomed
in that it widens the debate. The creation of the Environment
Implementation Board chaired by the Chief Executive which brings
together Heads of Service and representatives of other Organisations
will drive forward
delivery .


2) Could you explain briefly what the Council hopes to achieve
on Climate
Change this year?

This year we look to make progress on the catalytic actions but also
to involve residents, community groups, stakeholders, business and
campaigning groups on the journey to bring about a low carbon city.
This can only be achieved by acting in an inclusive way. Key to this
will be the production
of the Manchester Action Plan this year.


3)What do you perceive to be the major opportunities?
The opportunity is that people are receptive to the need to respond
the danger of Climate Change and are keen to play their part either
individually or collectively. It is vital that we take the people of

Manchester along with us.

4) What do you perceive to be the major challenges/obstacles?
A major challenge is time. We want to act quickly but also correctly,
especially, when it comes to spending taxpayers money. Systems have
been put in place to ensure that the £1 million Carbon Innovation Fund
is put to work quickly in delivering change and in leveraging other funding,

however, a robust process has to be followed before money is spent.


5) How would you like, specifically, to see the people of Manchester involved?
I want to see an inclusive approach to writing up the Action Plan and I see
low Carbon Communities as a vital element of our Climate Change work.
We wish to see a wide ranging engagement from Manchester people, stakeholders
and community groups that reflect the diverse nature of our city. Groups coming
forward with proposals will either receive funding from a portion Carbon
Innovation Fund set aside for low carbon
communities or be signposted to relevant
funding bodies
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