People’s Powerhouse charter aims to transform the fortunes of the North

Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council, signing the Peoples Powerhouse charter

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, has launched a Charter with a vision to transform the fortunes of the North and its people.

Announced at the People’s Powerhouse convention in Bradford on Tuesday by People’s Powerhouse Chairman Edna Robinson, the Charter aims to build an inclusive, collaborative region that includes local people in devolution and values a rich variety of places and identities right across the North.

Edna Robinson at the Peoples Powerhouse convention

Edna said: “The People’s Powerhouse is here to stay. We are not an institution, but a movement of people’s voices who need to be heard. The North belongs to all of us, and we need to help shape it so everyone can thrive and have a good life. The fact that so many people joined us at our event shows there is a huge appetite for change and the old ways of decision-making, with too narrow a range of voices, aren’t going to work anymore.”

The Charter has been signed by Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Jo Miller, Chief Executive of Doncaster Council and outgoing President of Solace and Head of Northern Powerhouse, BEIS Nicola Headlam, as well as young people, businesses, MPs, community groups, charities and social enterprises who attended today’s event.

Susan Hinchcliffe said: “The Northern Powerhouse can only be successful if people are at its heart. It’s not about logos and marketing; it’s about people helping shape the future of the North. It’s a great place to live and work, and we all need to promote it proudly. Bradford is right at the heart of the North, and I want us to play our full part in the opportunity to create a more people-powered North.”

The Charter outlines a series of goals to help create meaningful change and address challenges currently faced by the North, such as a low wage economy, mental health and skills gaps. These include creating a North where a greater diversity of peoples’ voices are heard and are part of public policy decision making, such as those of younger people, people with disabilities and those experiencing poverty, and building more trust between people and organisations in positions of power,

Tuesday’s People’s Powerhouse Convention saw over 200 attendees from across the North hear from speakers including Susan Hinchcliffe, Jo Miller, Nicola Headlam, as well as Tony Walsh, Longfella, Syima Aslam, Director, Bradford Literature Festival and Neil McInroy, Executive Director of CLES, amongst others.  Guest also took part in a series of people-led workshops on a range of issues affecting local communities, including transport, culture,  social value, the environment and co-operative businesses.

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.

To see the charter in full and sign up, visit: peoplespowerhouse.org.uk