In July 2020, Councillor Jim O’Boyle, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member Jobs and Regeneration wrote to CovCAN reporter Elliot Parker saying that “The Council will invite key stakeholder to set up an independent ‘Sustainable Development Commission’ to address the major challenges of climate change and loss of biodiversity.” See here for the full message.
In April 2021, Bret Willers, Head of Sustainability and Climate Change at Coventry City Council delivered a presentation at a meeting of the Scrutiny Co-ordination Committee and showed a slide which mentioned the Sustainable Development Commission, but he did not mention that it had not yet been set up.
Clearly there is no urgency in this matter. Likewise the city council has not yet written its climate strategy to replace the previous one which expired in 2020.
Are we really to believe that the city council is taking urgent action and doing everything it can to tackle what is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing humanity?
Partnership with Citizens?
Was Jim O’Boyle serious when he wrote to Elliot Parker that “Coventry City Council recognises that meeting what must be the greatest global challenge it has yet to face needs a co-ordinated partnership approach not only engaging departments across the Council but also in partnership with its citizens, voluntary organisations, public agencies and businesses.”
What partnership with citizens is he talking about? Neither he nor Bret Willers have ever attended a CovCAN meeting. As citizens of Coventry and a voluntary organisation we feel absolutely no partnership with these two leaders as we try to tackle climate change. Rather we feel totally ignored.