GuterresWe all saw news of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on the Climate Emergency.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the report - from the world's leading scientists - flashed a “code red for humanity.”

“The alarm bells are deafening, and the evidence is irrefutable: greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are choking our planet and putting billions of people at immediate risk"

Meanwhile at the recent SMDC Climate Change Working Group, councillors and members of MCA sat and listened to a long list of reasons why there had not been progress on the changes required around planning, waste/recycling and greening of the Council's fleet.

  • The promised 'consultation' on real plans is now an 'attitude survey' conducted by phone.
  • The Portfolio Holder, once again, did not attend.
  • Questions submitted by MCA in advance , were left unanswered.
  • Our detailed commentary report was skipped over, despite the fact that this is supposed to be a Working Group where all parties bring their ideas for discussion.
  • Your MCA representatives came away disappointed, disillusioned and angry at the lack of urgency, passion or precision.
  • The deputy Portfolio Holder listened briefly in, did not contribute, but swiftly appeared afterwards in his local paper in order to dismiss any attempt at action on planning, which, as the government’s own Climate Change Committee says, is central to any meaningful response to the Emergency.

Hart PT

 In less than two months, SMDC must present a fully costed, measurable and achievable plan to ensure the whole of the Staffordshire Moorlands reaches net zero by 2030. 

We have no confidence that this will be achieved and we are calling once again for a redoubling of effort.

The Council has a Community Overview & Scrutiny Panel that is responsible for ensuring that the current work is being carried out correctly, has the appropriate resources allocated and is on target to meet it's objectives. Its next meeting is 6th September and we need to ensure Climate Emergency is on the agenda.

We are calling on all the Councillors on that Scrutiny Panel to insist that their panel examines the progress of the Climate Emergency programme, calling in experts if necessary and referring to the national guidance on what should be scrutinised - a summary of ten suggested questions councillors should ask is set out below.

The Situation is serious - something needs to be done to ensure SMDC treat this as an Emergency.

So What Can I Do ?

 

We all have ward councillors we can contact to explain our concern about the lack of progress. Below is a list of Councillors on the Scrutiny Panel and we would ask that you phone and/or email your local Councillor; if you live in a ward without a councillor on the Panel, you can still contact the Chair (Cllr David Shaw) ask him to ensure this is on the agenda on 6th September.


Many Councillors do not appear to open emails, and so we think it more effective to ring them up and talk to them about your concerns about the slow rate of progress, and ask them to use their powers to scrutinise the council's 'plans' and if it is likely to meet the Council's own deadlines for October.

It is important that this is discussed at the September meeting, so you will need to ask them to ensure it is on the agenda.

Here are some things you might also want to discuss with them:

  • I’m worried that the Plan when it finally arrives is mostly going to be a plan to make more plans.
  • Will the district’s emissions be properly measured, and will there be a pathway to reducing them, sector by sector, and year by year and not just a big target some years away?
  • Will the Plan deal with cutting greenhouse gases? Nature is important but it’s only a part of a much bigger problem.
  • What are you going to be doing about making sure new houses are built sustainably? That’s something we can do now, and other councils have by producing a new document for developers.
  • How are old houses are going to be retrofitted for low-carbon energy?
  • When are we going to get more buses?
  • We’re falling behind on electric vehicle charging. Why?
  • I’m worried that councillors and members of the public will only get a chance to scrutinise the plans once a year and the council will retreat back into its shell. And do very little in the meantime. How can you prevent this?
  • Getting to Net Zero is going to involve big changes for Staffordshire Moorland residents. How is SMDC going to get them involved? And keep them involved, rather than just telling them what to do?

If you do speak to your Councillor, could you reply to this email with a note to let us know how it went?

Members of the Scrutiny Panel

These are the Councillors who sit on the Scrutiny Panel. If you are not sure which Ward/Councillors represent your ward, you can pop your Postcode in here to get a list.
  • Biddulph Moor Councillor John T Jones Phone: 01782 516 948 Mobile: 0774 777 5203 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Biddulph West - Councillor Nigel Yates Phone: 01782 518 668 Mobile: 07733 076 519 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      
  • Caverswall - Councillor Paul Roberts Phone: 01782 388197 Mobile: 07811 958471 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
  • Cellarhead - Councillor Tony McNicol (Vice-Chair) Phone: 01782 304194 Mobile: 07444 436191 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.    
  • Cellarhead Councillor Barbara A Hughes Phone: 01782 302497 Mobile: 07725 760 868 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.      
  • Cheadle West - Councillor Gary Bentley Mobile: 07812 111474 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Cheadle West Councillor Kate Martin Mobile: 07833 993773 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Checkley - Councillor Alan Hulme Phone: 01889 507349 Mobile: 07772 820507 Bus. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.     
  • Churnet - Councillor James Aberley Mobile: 07809 197 522 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Dane - Councillor Gill Heath Phone: 01538 381601 Mobile: 07932 165 472 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Forsbrook Councillor Ian Herdman Phone: 01782 388054 Mobile: 07966 138 607 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Forsbrook Councillor Tony Holmes Phone: 01782 395250 Mobile: 07802 867089 Bus. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Leek East - Councillor Brian Johnson Phone: 07802 224962 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Leek North - Councillor Lyn Swindlehurst Mobile: 07870 604 739 Bus. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Leek South Councillor Keith Hoptroff Phone: 01538 372 565 Mobile: 07572 172 623 Bus. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
  • Leek West - Councillor Phil Taylor Phone: 01538 382 491 Mobile: 07929 348 610 Bus. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Manifold - Councillor Teresa Riley Phone: 01298 83495 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
  • Werrington - Councillor David Shaw (Chair) Phone: 01782 302019 Mobile: 07778 439693 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  
  • Werrington - Councillor Ross Ward Mobile: 07712 640810 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.                                    
 
The 10 questions the Scrutiny Panel should be asking
  1. How well does the council understand the need to take action locally?  
  2. How does the council’s leadership champion and direct action on climate change?  
  3. How is the council adopting a clear and detailed strategic plan, and how is it mainstreaming climate change mitigation and adaptation?  
  4. Has the council reviewed its investment strategy, supply chains and procurement models to give due consideration to climate change impacts?  
  5. How is the council integrating sustainability and resilience into its transport and energy plans?
  6. How is the council planning to understand and act on the need to adapt existing properties and estates to address the impacts of climate change – and to plan for new housing stock which is resilient to these impacts?
  7. How is the council promoting climate education, diversifying the labour market and focusing on sectors that are sustainable?  
  8. What measures are being taken to ensure that health and social care systems will be resilient with the extra pressures they will come under due to climate change?  
  9. How does the council identify those who are most at risk from the impacts of climate change, and what is being done to assist the most vulnerable?  
  10. How is the council supporting and working with all relevant private and civic actors in the area towards climate change mitigation and adaptation?