HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION CONFERENCE FOR TRADE UNIONS AND ACTIVISTS
 

Star date: 18th September 2016

DEVO MANC – `OPPORTUNITY OR ELABORATE CON?'

Devolution Conference
Saturday September 24th 10:30am-5pm
Cross Street Unitarian Chapel, Manchester

Next Saturday there's a one day conference on Devolution, hosted by the Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils, which aims to "develop, a united nationwide grassroots response to the roll out of 'devolution' in its current proposed form". Some of the questions raised will be `Is Devo Manc a great opportunity or an elaborate con? And `What's in it for ordinary people? '

Full details here plus the Salford Star quick guide to GM Devolution...


Next Saturday, 24th September, there's a one day conference on Devolution, hosted by the Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils and to be held at Cross Street Unitarian Chapel in Manchester.

It's aimed at trade unions and community activists, although anyone can go, and aims to "assess, and to begin to develop, a united nationwide grassroots response to the roll out of 'devolution' in its current proposed form", while answering a whole range of questions like `Is it a great opportunity or...an elaborate con?... What's in it for ordinary people? What powers are actually being devolved?'

Other questions include...`How can we get our voices heard under the structures proposed? How can any of it work without the necessary financial resources? Would we not like something a whole lot better?'

The Conference will also be developing the beginnings of what it calls a 'people's plan' for `a genuine democratic devolution of power and resources'.

"Contributors to the debate are invited from the trades unions, local trades councils, CATUCs, community and environmental groups, democracy campaigners, academics and other interested parties" state the organisers.

Invited to take part are  Grahame Morris MP (Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government), Natalie Bennett (outgoing Leader, Green Party), Kevin Nelson (NW TUC), Andy Burnham (Labour's GM Mayoral candidate) and Richard Hatcher (W. Midlands Academic and Devolution 'expert'). How many of these will show up is anyone's guess.

Meanwhile there will also be workshops on Economic Policy, Social Policy – NHS and Housing, Environmental Policy, Democratic Accountability, Engagement and Public Consent and Towards a People's Plan.

Devolution Conference
Saturday September 24th 10:30am-5pm
Cross Street Unitarian Chapel
Cross Street, Manchester M2 1NL

Whilst the conference is free to attend organisations and individuals asked being asked to consider making a financial contribution towards the cost of staging the event (£50, £25, £10).

Further details see the Facebook event page - Conference on Devolution and Decentralisation in England - click here


To get you started, here is a quick Salford Star guide to devolution...

GREATER MANCHESTER DEVOLUTION –
WHAT IS IT? WHY IS IT? HOW DEMOCRATIC IS IT?

What Is Devolution?

Devolution, or Devo Manc, is officially the transfer of some powers from central government to the Greater Manchester region, in the form of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). It was imposed in November 2014, following a behind-closed-doors deal with the Tory Government by the leaders of the ten Greater Manchester local authorities.

To make it `democratic', in May 2017 there's going to be an election for a new Greater Manchester Mayor, despite no-one asking for one and nobody really wanting one. However this Mayor, who will be able to appoint a paid `political advisor', is going to have power over loads of local services, from bus routes to further education, with a Cabinet made up of the elected leaders of GM local authorities to, kind of, keep him or her in check.

What Will Be Devolved?

Planning, Housing and Regeneration – including the power to create a `GM Spatial Framework' which will dictate where housing and businesses will be based; the power to create Mayoral Development Corporations, a Mayoral Community Infrastructure Levy and Compulsory Purchase Powers.

Transport – including power over bus services, routes and fares; responsibility for an `Oyster Card' style smart ticketing system; making Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) into a joint committee of the Mayor and powers over trunk roads and highways.

Health – including power over health and social care related local authority functions and commissioning.

Skills and Training – more powers over education (over 19), skills and employment.

Blue Light Services - transfer of responsibilities currently exercised by the Police and Crime Commissioner and the GM Fire and Rescue Authority to the elected Mayor.

Governance - The GMCA states that new powers for the GM Mayor will not be taken from the ten GM local councils. However, for example, the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework will dictate what, for instance Salford City Council can do, planning wise - which green belt land can be built on, and where thousands of flats, houses and industrial/office units will be built. The Framework itself states that the character of many places across Greater Manchester could be `transformed'.


Democratic?

The whole devolution process has been bitterly contested, with sections of Greater Manchester's residents furious that there was no referendum on the issue before it was imposed.

At the time, Greater Manchester Association of Trades Councils (GMATUC) passed a motion stating that the devolution agreement "makes perfectly clear that this devolution will be contingent upon the wholesale privatisation of council run services across the ten local authority areas of Greater Manchester".

The motion added that "the so-called 'devolution' agreement is to be imposed... without any reference to the views of Greater Manchester voters, public debate, scrutiny, or consultation whatsoever. This is...the very opposite of democratic..."

The Campaign for Democratic Devolution even took out a road show visiting Greater Manchester local authority areas slating "the whole dodgy and completely undemocratic Devo Manc devolution deal", arguing that it was about the "promotion of corporate and private business interests, at the expense of the wider public..."

One of the questions it urged residents to ask their council leaders was: `Will you take urgent action to tackle GM councils' waiting list for housing with genuinely affordable homes...Or will you prioritise skyscrapers for international investors?'

The GMCA has, for instance, a £300million housing fund: but it can - and has - only be used to support private housing and apartments, not affordable or social housing.

Meanwhile, the House of Commons' Communities and Local Government Committee which held an open session in Manchester, also slated the democratic deficit evident in the devolution process...

"There has been a consistent very significant lack of public consultation, engagement and communication at all stages of the deal-making process" it stated in its subsequent report "A member of the audience in Greater Manchester told us that she saw devolution as `one group of people in central London passing power to another group of elite people locally'...

"The Committee finds that there has been a failure to set out clear, measurable objectives for devolution, rushed timetables for negotiation, and a lack of openness about deal negotiations" it concluded.

In response, the GMCA held a consultation on its new powers between March and May this year, slammed as a `figleaf' and `a farce' by Greater Manchester Green Parties. The consultation drew a massive 169 responses from the region's 1.9million residents. There's also been a further consultation during July and August, with the results not yet announced.


What Will It Cost?

A report for GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authorities) put the costs associated with devolution to Greater Manchester at a staggering £13.825million for just one year, 2015-16.

Joan wrote
at 20:31:19 on 17 November 2016
I agree Winston - this could be a very serious attack on the NHS and all our public services. Yes, many decisions are best taken locally but we also need to be part of nationally planned and integrated services. I'm sorry to have missed the conference.
 
stephen glynn wrote
at 05:20:07 on 25 September 2016
@winston smith decisions about manchester being made in manchester rather than in westminster is far better. devolution is a good thing.
 
Winston Smith wrote
at 09:32:07 on 20 September 2016
Devo Manc is a lie, it's not about giving the people more power, it's about taking it away. The agenda is much bigger and much more insidious than they're letting on, e.g. it's a massive step towards totally smashing the NHS. Once they've devolved the NHS to the regions and private companies, logically, HOW CAN THERE BE *NATIONAL* HEALTH SERVICE ??? Parliament want to wash their hands of it and local politicians have sold out because of their greed for a little bit more power
 
Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
tell you what, lets get the two master builders Merry and Dennett to sort it out. They could use the new wonderful company they ha... [more]
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
If I did a bad job, would the council lend me £25million to put it right? Would they bollocks. The bad insulation can be ripped of... [more]
article: CLADDING AND WINDOW SAFETY SCARES AT SALFORD BLOCKS
Sorry people, I was not educated in Salford. Sorry for the mistakes in my message. pressed the wrong buttons I should have checked... [more]
article: GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT
Like I said before Ray now is time for action. The tennants should not pay their rent and use the money to sue these shitbags. The... [more]
article: SALFORD PENDLETON TOGETHER TENANTS TELL OF KNIVES, NIBES, CLADDING, DODGY WINDOWS AND HOLES IN THE WALLS
Excellent writting whoever wrote this. People who are kept in a state of fear and disadvantagement will find it hard to stand up t... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

GOVERNMENT BLOCKS SALFORD CLADDING REPLACEMENT

Star date: 21st September 2018

SALFORD CITY COUNCIL CAN'T ACCESS £400MILLION GOVERNMENT CLADDING FUND

Salford City Council has been told by the Government that it can't access the £400million public fund to help with the cost of replacing dangerous cladding on the nine Pendleton blocks because it's part of a PFI.

Nor will the Government allow the Council to loan Pendleton Together Operating Limited money from its £25million fund set aside for the cladding. In short, it's a complete mess.

Full details here...

SALFORD PENDLETON TOGETHER TENANTS TELL OF KNIVES, NIBES, CLADDING, DODGY WINDOWS AND HOLES IN THE WALLS

Star date: 21st September 2018

'IF YOU WERE TO LIVE HERE FOR ONE WEEK IN ONE OF OUR FLATS, IT WOULD OPEN YOUR EYES...'

Dodgy cladding, knife fights, a tenant threatening to jump off the roof, windows that you can't open, others that are almost falling out...and those NIBEs eating up people's heating budgets. Oh, and tenancy warnings handed out like confetti to elected tenants association officers who are trying to make things better.

Welcome to the Pendleton Together blocks, where residents at Malus Court have just about had enough...

Full details here...

PARENTS MAKE A STAND AGAINST FORCED CHILD REMOVAL BY SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

Star date: 20th September 2018

CIVIC CENTRE SEES PARENTS RAISE AWARENESS OF COUNCIL CHILD REMOVAL PRACTICE

"We're not doing this for the parents we're doing this for the kids, because kids are being hurt..."

Today saw parents who have had their children removed stage an awareness demonstration outside Salford Civic Centre... "We're not fighting for our kids to be brought back to us now, we're fighting for a better system for our kids in the future because it's not right what's going on, it's really not" Katie Jane told the Salford Star.

The demonstration is set to continue tomorrow (Friday) and next week until the 25th September, with networking in Victoria Park over the weekend.

Full details here...

£7MILLION CYCLE AND WALKING ROUTES FOR SALFORD ANNOUNCED

Star date: 20th September 2018

MONTON, SWINTON AND TRINITY WAY TO GET NEW CYCLE PATHS

Transport for Greater Manchester has announced a plan for £7.1million worth of cycle paths and walkways in Monton, Swinton and Trinity Way, with Salford City Council contributing £1.2million towards the total cost.

"The people of Greater Manchester will soon have a genuine choice in how they travel, ensuring that they and their children have a viable and attractive alternative to the car" says Chris Boardman, Greater Manchester Cycling and Walking Commissioner.

Full details here...

HARROP FOLD HEAD SLAMS ‘PERSONAL VENDETTA’ OF SALFORD CITY COUNCIL

Star date: 19th September 2018

DREW POVEY ACCUSES SALFORD COUNCIL OF 'HEAVY HANDED' 'VENDETTA'

"I'm speaking up for myself but also all the leaders who have been in touch to say the same happened to them #TakeAStand..." Drew Povey

Drew Povey, the Executive Head of Harrop Fold in Little Hulton, has resigned from his post, slamming Salford Council's "heavy handed approach" while investigating 'administrative errors' at the school and accusing it of a "personal vendetta".

In an open letter to the school's governors, Drew Povey writes that he refuses to walk away from the school with a settlement and accept a gagging clause.  So he's gone public...to #TakeAStand.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx