Thursday 12 March 2015, The Core, Barnsley
About the event
The 2014 Scottish referendum put devolution firmly back on the national political agenda. Should this make neighbourhood activists and managers rejoice?
What will greater regional devolution mean for neighbourhoods? Will it reinvigorate arguments for ‘double-devolution’ and neighbourhood power? Or could it end up diverting attention away from community empowerment?
These were the sorts of questions we set out to explore at this NANM share and learn event.
To get the ball rolling, Ben Lee wrote the blog post ‘Local devolution is not big devolution in miniature’.
On the day
Councillor Sir Stephen Houghton, Leader of Barnsley Council, started the day off by explaining why Barnsley Council is devolving real spending power from Tower Hall to community level, even at a time of severe cuts in council budgets. Drawing on his position as chair of the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, which has recently secured one of the Government’s devolution funding deals, Councillor Houghton was also able to explore the degree to which the council’s involvement in regional devolution and its relationship with local communities were part of the same process.
During the rest of the day there will be a variety of opportunities to discuss issues with a range of other contributors, each of whom has championed devolution in different ways.
- Michaela Howell, Bradford Trident
- Mike Dixon and Mick Hutchinson, Airedale Neighbourhood Management Board
- Kate Faulkes and Councillor Mick Stowe, Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
- Mike Sheppard and Annette Gollick, Big Local Thurnscoe with Alister Shaw, CPRuk and Big Local rep
The final session of the day was an opportunity to return to the opening questions about what greater regional devolution will mean for neighbourhoods.
In addition to the workshop sessions, and following on from the success of the ‘Bob Dylan Subterranean Blues style’ photos taken at ‘Seven stories of Localism’, everyone was asked to write their response to the question ‘How do we ensure that more power to Cities leads to more empowerment at the neighbourhood level?’
Resources for reference
Local devolution is not big devolution in miniature (scene setting blog post)
Big Local Thurnscoe (includes a link to download the Big Local Thurnscoe Community Plan)
Photos of responses to the question: ‘How do we ensure that more power to Cities leads to more empowerment at the neighbourhood level?’
See all responses to ‘How do we ensure that more power to Cities leads to more empowerment at the neighbourhood level?‘ on Flickr
The NANM team will be writing a short note to capture some of the key themes that emerged during the day and, hopefully, prompt further discussion.