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06.12.17

Report calls for ‘people-centred’ Northern Powerhouse

A new report on the Northern Powerhouse devolution project has highlighted the need for a more ‘people centred’ plan.

Based on issues discussed at the first-ever People’s Powerhouse event this year, the ‘Putting the People in the Powerhouse’ report – co-authored with IPPR North – has put forward a number of suggestions for future plans.

Economically, the plan suggests authorities commit to a real living wage, which would help improve staff turnover and reduce in-work poverty.

Another suggestion is setting up a Citizen’s Assembly for the north of England, where 252 members would be chosen by a process similar to jury service, they would serve for a full year and discuss and develop issues and future policies.

“I think with the People’s Powerhouse event in Doncaster earlier this year and now the publication of this report we are really starting to change the conversation around the Northern Powerhouse,” explained Tracy Fishwick, project director and one of the founder members of the People’s Powerhouse.

“We’re not saying transport and infrastructure aren’t important. But we are saying that economic growth doesn’t always trickle down and benefit everyone.

“We need a Powerhouse for all the North – not just the big cities, and one that improves life chances for people furthest from the labour market. As Andy Burnham said at our Doncaster event – it’s time to open the doors to the Powerhouse and let the people in.”

The report calls for a less city-centred approach to the Powerhouse project, with more collaboration at a local level and increasingly place-based approach.

Director of IPPR North, Ed Cox said: “The Brexit vote asked big questions of a Northern Powerhouse vision based exclusively on big cities, fast trains and metro mayors.

“We believe there is a need for a vision for more inclusive growth. The People’s Powerhouse movement is bringing a breath of fresh air to the policy debate.”

The report will be presented this afternoon at the ‘Putting the People in the Powerhouse’ event.

Top Image: ASKhanPhotograph

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