‘We have promises to our people’: Manchester City Council’s future plans to save the environment

The committee for ‘Environment, Climate Change and Neighbourhood Scrutiny’ held a meeting to discuss its progress on bins and litter, active travel strategies and ‘Vision 0’.

Chair of the council, Mandie Godwin, raised concerns about the prime minister “boasting” about giving money to wealthier parts of Manchester, and is eager to make change.

Chair of the committee, Mandie Godwin, speaking up about the prime ministers actions.

Bins and litter

Over the last year, the population of Manchester has increased by 0.76% since 2022, causing a major increase in litter being disposed in parks.

During the meeting, members of the council discussed how it’s becoming difficult to “make good change” and feel as though they have “two hands” tied behind their backs.

Solutions were discussed as a way to improve the recycling rates around Manchester.

As a council, they decided how charging people for bins would encourage the public to litter less.

This idea would prevent the wrong people from being penalised and also has no negative anti-poverty impacts.

Manchesters emission’s report

The latest emissions report in Manchester was conducted in 2021 and has since increased by 7%.

Councillor Anthony McCaul described this as “alarming”.

Councillor McCaul and Councillor Wiest raising they concerns on the committee’s budgets. Credit: Manchester City Council.

The committee for Environment, climate change and neighbourhood scrutiny has a budget of £7million from now up until 2028.

However, they’re expected to spend £9 million as they have already used 67% of their budget.

In an attempt to improve this, councillors suggested how they could request funding from the cancellation of phase two of HS2 and also emphasised how inflation is also a main issue.

They discussed that this issue is “everybody’s problem” and that they have “promises to our people”.

Active travel strategy, investment plans and Vision 0

Manchesters ‘active travel strategy’ Is that ‘everybody in Manchester will be able to walk, wheel or cycle as part of their everyday lives – for school, work, shopping and socialising, in safety, comfort and happiness’ by the year 2028.

‘Vision 0’ is Greater Manchester’s potential future that focuses on reducing road deaths and serious injuries caused by unsafe drivers.

‘School Streets’ is one of the committee’s current implementations into this strategy and consists of roads becoming pedestrian only zones during school’s pick up and drop off times.

The project has received positive feedback from the seven schools currently involved and has also enabled a decrease in pavement parking.

One major issue in this project is funding due to the cost being £50,000,000 per camera installation.

‘Cycle hangers’ is also another project involved in the active travel strategy and is essentially safe parking for cyclists, protected from thieves.

The committee have identified ‘high demand areas’ by studying areas with terrace houses and apartments that are in need of safe parking for bikes.

The council have also implemented 20 MPH zones for low traffic neighbourhoods.

Tree refresh and Woodland Scheme

Manchester’s tree refresh scheme is the UK’s first detailed scheme to take place.

Their aim is to have at least 21% tree coverage over Greater Manchester by the year 2030 and 30% for other major cities such as London.

Concerns were raised during the meeting about 21% coverage not being enough.

However they decided that it is important “not to chase numbers” and that deciding on the “right tree in the right place” is their priority.

Roads and gardens are the committee’s prime concern due to the fact that parks are already full.