A Notwestminster 2018 workshop from Jenny Cronin and Vicky Seddon
What should good regional democracy look like in the North?
2018 should be our year of re-asserting and re-capturing the argument, vision and strategies for real devolved powers to English regions in general and the North of England in particular.
We think now is a good time for us to review the random state of central government’s approach to English regional devolution. Firstly let’s get clear about the characteristics that define the present state of the devolution deals – none of them are about real long term powers or democratic renewal.
Then let’s start afresh by defining what the desirable characteristics of northern regional devolution are as we see it.
How can we work together to make this happen? If you’ve got a view about what you’d like regional democracy to be like, please come along to share your vision for devolution in the North of England. We need to identify existing campaigners to collaborate with, so we can sharpen our ideas and formulate campaigns for 2018.
If you’re interested in meaningful devolution for the North, and in helping to make it happen, please come along to share ideas and help create a vision for democratic devolution.
Welcome to our workshop!
How to get involved
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Chair, Unlock Democracy Greater Manchester
I’ve been a supporter of democratic reform campaigns for some years initially through Unlock Democracy. I’m chair of the Greater Manchester group and an elected national Unlock Democracy Council member. Unlock Democracy stands for fair politics, accountable government and citizen engagement. Devolution of English regions along the same lines as Scotland and Wales is a cause I still hang on to, though it is sorely disrupted by the piecemeal devolution deals that parts of the North of England have been inflicted with currently.We network with other local campaigning groups and are among many who support the People’s Plan with its genuinely democratising approach to local devolution.
Sheffield for Democracy
Vicky coordinates the Sheffield for Democracy campaigning group which promotes improvement in our representative democracy, focussing on both national and local issues. The devolution issue around the Sheffield City Region is one area of concern and agitation. Vicky was Chair of Unlock Democracy for 9 years and was also involved with its predecessor Charter 88. She worked in Student Services at Sheffield Hallam University where she was active in NATFHE the lecturers’ trade union, becoming its national treasurer (a lay position) for seven years. Retired, she now volunteers as an appropriate adult in police stations, supports Amnesty International – and is part of a U3A poetry appreciation group.
We are Generation D
Strengthening our local democracy is something that we can only do together. Democracy needs to work better for everyone, all the time, win or lose. We think that the stronger local democracy we all want and deserve could be just around the corner. And we don’t need a tardis to get there. We just need each other.
The future of local democracy starts with us. So let’s talk about our democratic generation. Let’s talk about our regeneration.
But let’s not stop at the talking.