Yesterday SPERI held a very successful public debate about devolution to the North. With a great line up of speakers and in front of a full house the debate focused on the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda, which political and economic powers should be devolved to the North, how devolution can strengthen local democracy and lots more. The event titled ‘Power to the North?’ was part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s Festival of Social Sciences and was held in collaboration with the Sheffield Urban Institute.
We were delighted to have a fantastic line-up of speakers on our panel: Lisa Nandy MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change & Labour Member of Parliament for Wigan; Julia Unwin, Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; Ben Lucas, founding partner of Metro Dynamics & member of the RSA City Growth Commission, and Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI. Each speaker gave their thoughts on the recent constitutional changes before we opened up the debate to questions from the floor.
Helen Pidd, The Guardian’s North of England Editor, chaired the event and had the difficult job to pick questions from the audience. There was no shortage of hands to choose from which confirmed the interest in devolution and the need for greater discussion.
Thanks to everyone who came along and contributed to a great discussion. You can catch up on all of the tweets from the event via the #PowerToTheNorth hashtag and SPERI’s twitter account @SPERIShefUni. Our storify will give you a great idea of the issues covered last night and a full video of the event will be online soon.