A bit difficult in the Town Hall at the moment. Heating in the old Town Hall is either on or off, takes a week to fully switch on, and equally takes a week to fully switch off. It's currently on on the basis of a long range weather forecast that said we were going to have an extreme cold spell in October and of course exactly the opposite has happened leading to every window in the place being wide open in an attempt to keep the temperature down. Not very environmentally sustainable and not very pleasant to be in, so one of our many tasks will be to see how we can retrofit a more efficient heating system given the constraints of a Grade 1 listed building.
As well as not being good environmentally it's not the most financially efficient system either. I say this as this morning I and other Executive Members meet with the Strategic Management Team (the Chief Executive and other Strategic Directors) to discuss current policy issues, the most significant being the Council's budget position. The state of the budget was reported to the Executive Committee last week. The point of today's discussion is to ensure we are doing all the things we said we would have to do, in the way we said we would do them. We've done a large number of detailed budget consultations since March and we want to make sure that we learn all the lessons we can from them, and we're now making progress with the Manchester Investment Fund, our new approach to complex families. On the latter, we are testing the approach in two parts of the city at the moment, but we want to rollout successes to other parts of the city as quickly as possible.
Later today I'm on the train to London to speak at a Friends of the Earth event entitled "Councils, Communities and Climate Change". Manchester's climate change action plan already commits the city to a 41% reduction in green house gas emissions by 2020. We have been an active supporter of FoE's call for a national system of carbon budgets and today I will be supporting their call for the Committee on Climate Change to advise specifically on the scale and type of action needed in local authority areas to help meet each Climate Change Act national carbon budget, and for government to deliver an annual progress report to parliament which must include consideration of the need for a climate change duty and more support for councils.