MCFly 47 – Hustings Report

April 20 debate “Is the Council taking the right action on Climate Change?”
A varied audience of about 30 gathered to hear the wisdom of Richard Cowell (Labour), Gayle O’Donovan (Greens) and Graham Shaw (Lib Dems). The place of the missing Conservative candidate was taken by a helium balloon (blue, of course). None of the candidates seemed put off by the relatively small size of audience and started off proceedings each with a five minute speech on the subject ‘Is Manchester City Council taking the right action on Climate Change?’ Graham seemed to not be able to make up his mind about whether the Manchester CCAP was a good thing but was convinced that the issue of the footprint of flights from the airport should have been included. Gayle almost damned the Council process (towards the CCAP) with faint praise, lambasted them for expanding the airport and then talked about green jobs. Cllr Cowell took a while to find his stride, but gave an account of how the CCAP had been arrived at and defended the Council’s record on jobs. The event then moved on to written questions from the audience – which were of a pretty high standard. Many questions asked about improving the lot of cyclists and asking what the Council had ‘actually done’.
The main points of friction were, unsurprisingly, the airport, where Cowell gave a spirited rendition of the jobs vs environment coda of Council policy, and over the Green Party’s record when they had a Councillor. The event the chair had to call a halt to that latter line of discussion before if got too personal.
In summary, Lib Dems vague, Greens spirited, Lab defensive and spirited, and Conservatives silent.
Sir Fred Spong


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