More speakers announced ahead of the People’s Powerhouse Convention

Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Council and Nicola Headlam, Head of Northern Powerhouse, BEIS have joined the line-up of speakers for the next People’s Powerhouse Convention, taking place on November 20 in Bradford.

The People’s Powerhouse, the movement which aims to widen decision-making across the North to include a more diverse range of people and experiences, will launch a charter and host a series of people-led workshops at the event, which will explore ways to help ‘let the people in’ to influence decisions made in the North.

A founding member of the People’s Powerhouse steering group, Jo Miller, recently delivered a speech in her role as outgoing President of Solace, the body representing council chief executives and senior managers, in which she warned about the fragility of municipal services across the country. The full transcript is available to read here.

Nicola Headlam is leading the strategy development for the Northern Powerhouse, seeking to put into practice an evidence-based policy for the North and building on her research interests on knowledge mobilisation for urban transformation. Her expertise is in comparative city governance, economic development, regeneration and urban policy and the networks that enable human flourishing.

Other speakers at the event will include Tony Walsh, Longfella, Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, Neil McInroy, Executive Director of CLES; Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Syima Aslam, Director, Bradford Literature Festival, and People’s Powerhouse Chairman Edna Robinson who is also chair of Big Life Group and Trafford Housing Trust.

The People’s Powerhouse charter will set out its vision to transform the fortunes of the North and its people, outlining a series of goals to help build a more inclusive and collaborative North, where a diverse range of local voices are included in local decision-making. The charter will also look to help address challenges currently faced by the North, such as a low wage economy, mental health and skills gaps.

The event will be attended by all sections of the community, including policy makers, opinion formers, young people, businesses, MPs, community groups, charities and social enterprises.

A series of people-led workshops on the day will encourage dialogue on a range of issues affecting local communities.  Amongst the sessions will be a discussion on how transport can be improved, with Cthe ommunity Transport Association and Transport for the North; the role art can play in shaping policy to the future world of work, from FACT in Liverpool and Manchester Men’s Room; The Big Lottery Fund will examine how people can be ‘in the lead’ when it comes to funding priorities in the North, and there will be a chance to hear from young people in a session from Curious Minds and Arts Council England, illustrating how cross-sector partnership working can benefit children and young people.

The ‘People are the Powerhouse’ event is being sponsored by Fusion21 and Groundwork. Fusion21 will also be running a workshop on ‘Driving Social Value through the Planning and Procurement System,’ whilst Groundwork, alongside Directors of Public Health for Cheshire, Lancs and Merseyside, and Blackpool Council, will look at why more risk-sharing approaches are needed to build social capital in an austere society.

Edna Robinson said: “The People’s Powerhouse is taking a stand to improve inclusive behaviours by those in power in the North. We want to create a North which works for everybody, providing a platform for voice, connectivity, and eventually power and influence. Through this event, we will be shining a spotlight on places right across the North, celebrating the creativity, innovation and talent of all our different regions.

“Our charter will set out the foundations of our movement to transform the fortunes of the North and its people. There has never been a more important time for people to feel their opinions are respected.”

The People’s Powerhouse was founded in February 2017, other influential members of the steering group include IPPR North Director Sarah Longlands, Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Council, former chief prosecutor Nazir Afzal OBE and Ed Cox, Director of Public Services and Communities at the RSA.

The People’s Powerhouse event takes place on 20 November 2018 from 10am- 4.30pm at the Northern Commercials Stadium in Bradford. For more information on the event and to register to attend, visit: