The Green City Team at Manchester City Council has committed to producing a report on the implications of a ‘steady-state’ economy for Manchester. No date has been given for the publication of the report, which will be tabled to the Economy, Employment and Skills Oversight and Scrutiny Committee, made up of Labour and Liberal Democrat Councillors. It will draw on work by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies and new economics foundation, but the implication was that it would be sooner rather than later.
The Economy, Employment and Skills Oversight and Scrutiny Committee is made up of councillors from the governing Labour party and the Liberal Democrat opposition. It meets “twice within an eight week period to hold decision makers to account and to develop policy within its area of concern. This area includes economic growth, strategic transport, employment, regeneration, tourism, the voluntary sector, City region, Core Cities, adult skills development (aged 16+) and worklessness.”
The very production of the report generated controversy. The editor of MCFly, invited to give evidence to the Committee, cited the work of Professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre to the effect that a growth economy in the developed world would make achieving carbon emissions reductions that gave any reasonable prospect of avoiding a dangerously warmer world impossible. What was therefore needed, to achieve the sought-after ‘first mover’ advantage was work on the implications of a steady-state economy. After a question and answer session, Liberal Democrat councillor Vincent Chamberlain asked the chair of the committee if this work would be taken forward. Councillor Hugh Barrett was not in favour, stating that the work would be above the remit of the committee, and against the ‘jobs’ agenda. The Green City representative then offered to write a report, but stated it would not be available ‘in the next two weeks’ (Cllr Barrett made an aside to the effect that two years would be his preferred timeframe). The chair then asked for agreement, and as no-one demurred, a report will be produced.
MCFly will not be around to report on this, but Manchester Mule is picking up the threads, and will keep tabs on the progress and rigour of the report, and its further ramifications.
Meetings of the Economy, Employment and Skills committee are open to the public, and there is no need to book. Meetings take place in Castle Grayskull (also known as Manchester Town Hall)
Future meeting dates for this committee are as follows. 15 December, 12 January 2011 and 9 February 2011, 7 March 2011