The recent 2014 Devolution Agreement transferred particular powers and responsibilities from national government to the local region of Greater Manchester. The creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) aims to facilitate devolution of the region. Ideally, devolution will enable local residents and meet their goals and needs, rather than working to the national agenda. This event explores the appetite for a constitution for the region amongst local agencies, businesses and voluntary agencies. According to The Constitution Unit the function of a constitution is to ‘organise, distribute and regulate state power’ (2016). Historically an official written UK constitution has not been necessary, though “it has been suggested that the British Constitution can be summed up in eight words ‘what the Queen in Parliament enacts is law’” (The Constitution Unit 2016). Given the proposed devolution of Manchester, it would make sense to consult with Mancunians and local agencies on their views on a constitution for Manchester. Manchester City Council does have an existing basic constitution on their web site. This is a useful starting point for a debate. The devolution agreement means additional powers and greater accountability for the region via a new elected mayor in 2017. Currently the 'interim' mayor (Tony Lloyd) has joined the GMCA's ten decision-making council leaders. New powers for the region cover numerous areas such as transport, regeneration and development, housing, employment, training, business, economic growth, health, social care and criminal justice.
Convened by Dr Joanne Massey
Joanne Massey received her PhD from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2007. She has published on a number of subjects including of community safety and crime prevention, young people, moral panic, urban space and gentrification. She is currently carrying out research into social exclusion in cities and local decision-making processes. Her research interests are: youth cultures, social exclusion, crime prevention, urban design, culture and regulation. She currently works as a Senior Lecturer in Criminology in the Dept. of Sociology at MMU.
Welcome and Introductions
12.10 – 12.30 p.m.
Devolution and Constitution explained
12.30 – 1.10p.m.
Panel One: Ten minute slots for four panel representatives to talk about what a constitution would mean for them and whether they are for or against a constitution for Manchester
Natasha Evans: GMP
Roxy Legane: RECLAIM Project
Marie-Claire Daly: City Art Gallery
Miranda Carruther-Watt: Salford City Council
1.10 - 1.30 p.m.
Break Tea, Coffee and biscuits served
1.30 – 2.15 p.m.
Interactive session with questions from audience (to include electronic voting on constitution)
Joanne Massey to chair
2.15 – 2.45 p.m.
Panel Two: three panel representatives to talk about what a constitution would mean for them and whether they are for or against a constitution for Manchester
Tony Lloyd: Interim Mayor
Representative from homeless charity TBC
Representative from Refugee Action
2.45 – 3 p.m.
Summing up of debate by chair and suggestions for future action from panel and public