Environment Commission

This is an AGMA level (Greater Manchester) outfit

Its official site is here.

Disclaimers: These guides are not a substitute for your own research and analysis. MCFly cannot be held responsible for any failure to launch a planet-saving campaign on the basis of (mis)information posted here… Contents may have settled in transit.

Environment Commission

The mission of the Environment Commission is [and we quote]

1) To support the AGMA Executive Board in holding to account bodies which impact on the environmental well-being of the city region,
2) to deliver strategies, plans and infrastructure that support their core environmental sustainability objectives,
3) and to ensure that the wider work of the Executive Board reflects its environmental priorities

Overseeing the Environment Commission’s work will be 11 commissioners. Six are elected politicians from various local authorities. They are, in alphabetical order; Mark Alcock (Oldham), Richard Cowell (Exec Member for the Environment of Manchester City Council), Dave Goddard, (leader of Stockport Council), David Molyneux, (Wigan Council s Cabinet Champion for the Environment), Catherine Piddington (Tameside) and James Wibberley (Trafford).

The hunt is on for five others, from business, academia, the third sector, property and development, and communications.


Environment Commission Update

At the latest meeting of the Environment Commission (EC) on June 8, energy infrastructure and resilience have emerged as major issues that need to be tackled in Greater Manchester. Commissioners [minus MP Piddington & Molyneux; Angie Robinson (Manchester Chamber of Commerce); Andy Cliffe (MAG) and Ian McAuley of United Utilities sent a substitute] spent an away day pin-pointing issues to lead the commission, and ways in which they could be tackled effectively. One suggestion was that each commissioner could champion a certain issue. Other concerns that emerged included the need to raise the climate change agenda and to deal with waste by altering consumer habits.

As planned, the EC invited Mark Watts (ex-senior advisor to Ken Livingston) to discuss the lessons to be learnt from London’s failed Climate Change Agency, and how to avoid these pitfalls when forming Manchester’s very own Climate Change Agency. One conclusion seemed to suggest that there needs to be a closer link with local authorities when carrying out any projects.

The commissioners have also asked for a review by independent assessment of the region’s environment performance. This is vital to help assess how well/badly Manchester is doing and what really needs to be improved – the initial findings will be announced some time at the end of next week and MCFly will report on them in the next issue.

For more information, see http://www.manchesterclimatefortnightly.info/environmentcommssion.html. For a graphic representation of who these guys are and how “it all fits together”, see www.manchesterclimatefortnightly.info/organisationalchart.html

Info copied and pasted from a leaflet they kindly sent us.


1. Background Summary

The new AGMA Constitution provides the basis for the creation of seven thematic Commissions accountable to the Executive Board, including an Environment Commission (refer to Diagram 1 – Emerging AGMA Governance Structure).

The respective Commissions are at various stages of inception, with the Health Commission and the Economic Development, Employment & Skills Commission the most advanced.

The Environment Commission is yet to be established. Local Authority Commissioners have been agreed by the AGMA Executive Board. Other Commissioners, representing relevant sectors from the city-region, are yet to be identified.

The Chief Executive of Oldham MBC (Andrew Kilburn) and the Leader and Chief Executive of Stockport MBC (Cllr Dave Goddard and John Shultz) are the designated AGMA Champions for the Environment Commission.

The establishment of the Environment Commission is being supported by an Environment Commission Transition Team (ECTT), the project lead for which, on behalf of AGMA, is Mike Reardon, Strategic Director of Neighbourhood Services at Manchester City Council.

Priority actions for the establishment of the Environment Commission include:

  • Recruitment of sector-representative Commissioners and identification and recruitment of possible co-opted members;
  • Progression of a work plan, to be approved and delivered by the Commission upon establishment; and
  • Establishment of a Climate Change Agency for the combined administrative area which is accountable to the Commission.

2. The Role of the GM Environment Commission

The AGMA Executive Board has endorsed the following mission for the Environment Commission:

Environment Commission Mission

To support the AGMA Executive Board in holding to account bodies which impact on the environmental well-being of the city region, to deliver strategies, plans and infrastructure that support their core environmental sustainability objectives, and to ensure that the wider work of the Executive Board reflects its environmental priorities

The broad remit for the Environment Commission, defined in Schedule 1 to the AGMA Constitution, is as follows:

Preparation and co-ordination of delivery of strategic plans and projects, design of infrastructure for the combined administrative area for the purpose of protecting and improving environmental quality, and liaison and advice with the Board and other work areas to ensure alignment of Plans and projects with environmental objectives.

Establish, and where appropriate, provide a governance pathway for agencies, groups and organisations whose remit is to drive forward environmental priorities.

Establishment and Management of effective strategy, plans and infrastructure to co-ordinate and deliver an effective response to Climate Change, including the establishment of a Climate Change Agency for the combined administrative area.

Together with the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority (WDA), and Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council in its role as a WDA, to develop a comprehensive city regional sustainable waste management approach that encompasses commercial, industrial and construction and demolition waste streams, delivers synergies and economies of scale, and promotes sustainable production and consumption.

Specific Terms of Reference have yet to be defined, but it will be necessary for the Commission to determine its own work plan to ensure that these key functions and outcomes are addressed, all the while ensuring that thematic priorities are given due attention.

Work Plan

A work plan is currently being developed by the ECTT to address the thematic scope and priorities of the Environment Commission, the key features of which include:

Capacity Building,, Knowledge Transfer & Research
Includes delivering and responding to the Mini-Stern Review, and engagement with international, London and Core Cities partners to exchange experience and best practice.

Build Climate Change Agency Funding & Activity Components Coordination of funding activity, including European funds, for the delivery of specific projects and studies.
Collaboration with the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre (ESTAC) to ensure joined-up delivery.

Develop Climate Change Strategy, Performance Framework & Priorities
Developing the governance model, business plan and securing funding opportunities for the Climate change Agency.
Co-ordination of climate change strategy across the city-region

Embedding Climate Change
Ensuring climate change is embedded into key strategic activities including MIER and the Greater Manchester Strategic Plan.

Sustainable Consumption & Production
Working with the GM WDA to develop a comprehensive sustainable (non-municipal) waste management approach across the city region.

Natural Environment
Current priorities relate to Green Infrastructure, including the delivery of a high-profile conference on the 27th October.

The following Commissioners have been agreed by the AGMA Executive Board:
Cllr. Richard Cowell (Manchester CC),
Cllr. Mark Alcock (Oldham MBC), Cllr. David Goddard (Stockport MBC), Cllr. Catherine Piddington (Tameside MBC), Cllr. James Wibberley (Trafford MBC) and Cllr. David Molyneux (Wigan MBC).

Five additional voting Commissioners will be sought, bringing the total number of voting Commissioners to eleven, the maximum number approved by the AGMA Executive Board.

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