This is the text of the article that appears in MCFly 54 as “Manchester City Council.. er, breaks law?”
“For the years 2007 to 2009 inclusive, can you provide the following details:
1) The number of air flights, destinations and purpose of the visits made by:
a) the Leader and Executive Members of Manchester City Council when on official Council business;
b) the Chief Executive and members of Manchester City Council Senior Management Team when on official Council business.
2) Whether any carbon-offsetting arrangements where made for any of these flights and if so, details of the carbon-offsetting scheme used and payments made”
These are the questions that MCFly submitted to Manchester City Council in late June, using the Freedom of Information Act. On 30th June, we received a letter (see below) acknowledging the request and promising an answer in 20 working days (the maximum allowed time for a response).
That deadline passed on Wednesday 28th July. We waited forlornly for the slap of envelope on doormat. Thursday. Friday. Saturday. Nothing.
MCFly knows (don’t ask how) that the Council knows how much carbon they’ve used on aviation recently. For 2008/9 it was 65,393 tonnes, and in 2009/10 it was 78,502 (including, naturally, two people flying to and from Copenhagen last December). What we don’t know is if the rest was on one fact-finding mission about sea-level rise impacts in the Seychelles for the entire Senior Management Team, or if someone is flying back and forth to sunny Bournemouth for Local Government Association conferences, (following the recent example of some Manchester Liberal Democrats.) That’s why we asked. When (not “if”, we assure you) we find out, we’ll let ya know.