City Green?

Manchester City Council appear to have gone green! Firstly, their "capacity for environmental sustainability" has been praised by the Audit Commission. Following an in-depth health check, the Council's environmental sustain-ability service was awarded a star for its fair quality and promising prospects for improve-ment. Jo Webb, Audit Commissioning Inspector, said: "We are impressed by the Council's achievements to date. A senior councillor (Dep. Leader Martin Pagel) is driving the improvement plan and local people feel their concerns are being taken on board and tackled."

The Audit points out initiatives developed by the Council in tackling fly-posting through a combination of education, enforcement and clean-up projects, as well as in tackling litter hot spots and fly-tipping. They also praise the Council's recent hosting of a successful network meeting which will see the formation of a public/private/community consortium to reclaim, reuse and recycle materials ranging from computers to clothes and furniture. In addition, the Council's budget proposals include a £250,000 "Greening Manchester" initiative fund (more details in the next "Networking Newsletter").

Improving the visual environment is obviously just one step to being a "green" council. Perhaps not radical, but, the second announcement is bound to be welcomed by all.

The Council has signed contracts so that all electricity used for street lighting and in larger Council buildings will come from renewable sources. Apart from a yearly saving of more than £200,000 in electricity costs, this is good news for the climate and is a good example of the Climate Change Levy working.

The use of electricity generated from renewable sources (eg wind, wave or solar energy) is a major contribution to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide is the main gas attributed with global climate change.

The Council is only aiming for 5% of the total electricity used in Council buildings to be generated from renewable sources by 2006. The Government's target is to generate 10% of the UK's power from renewable sources by 2010. Small scale, but at least it's in the right direction!

Michael, Networking Newsletter

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© Networking Newsletter (March-May 2002)