On 30 November we held a packed seminar on devolution in the north which brought together local policy makers and academics to discuss the different sides of devolution and how in a time of austerity local government is wrestling with considerable policy and practical challenges posed by devolution. Indeed there appears no single and clear route map for devolution in regions such as Yorkshire, for City Regions and for local places. Local policy makers need to fill such a vacuum and to do so successfully requires joint working with universities, public private and third sector organisations.
The speakers were:
Dr Richard Crisp is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University. Since joining CRESR, he has led and worked on projects for a range of organisations, including central government departments, local authorities, research charities and Third Sector bodies. Richard is currently directing an evidence review of the impact of regeneration on poverty for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He is also leading a two-year evaluation of the Volunteering for Stronger Communities programme funded through the Big Lottery Fund. In addition, Richard is a team member of evaluations of the reforms to Local Housing Allowance for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Talent Match programme to tackle youth unemployment on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund. He was previously involved in the National Evaluation of the New Deal for Communities Programme which was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and ran until 2010.
Clare Elliott is Service Manager – Policy, Partnerships, Performance and Projects at Wakefield Council. After starting her local government career on the National Graduate Development Programme, Clare went on to work at a West Yorkshire level for the following five years, initially supporting sub-regional collaboration through her management of the Association of West Yorkshire Authorities and latterly in a senior policy role at the Combined Authority having played a pivotal role in its establishment. Since returning to Wakefield Council in January 2015, Clare has managed the Council’s policy unit and strategic partnerships function and recently assumed responsibility for performance and corporate projects and programmes. Key ongoing agendas include Good Growth, public service innovation, devolution and Brexit.
Dr. David Etherington is Principal Researcher in the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research, (CEEDR) Middlesex University. His main interests relates to employment, skills and labour market policies. David has successfully completed a variety of research projects including for the European Commission, Department of Work and Pensions and research grant funded projects including British Academy and ESRC (WISERD). In addition to his current research with Professor Martin Jones, David recently completed (2013–2015 ) work on ESRC funded research, led by Dr Anne Daguerre in the Business School, on the ‘Politics of conditional rights in social policy in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK)’. David is an active member of the International Initiative for the Promotion of Political Economy (IIPPE) (Co –convenor of the Poverty Working Group) and ‘Fairness Champion’ as part of Sheffield City Council Fairness Commission. David has been appointed to the Research Advisory Group of the Royal Society of Arts Inclusive Growth Commission.
Professor Martin Jones is Director of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC)—an ESRC-funded consortium between the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York—and Professor of Urban and Regional Political Economy. Martin has published widely in International peer review Journals the role of political economy, re-conceptualized the complex interrelationships between state spatiality and political strategy within the social sciences, and brought policy relevance to human geography. Martin is currently leading on a Wales Institute of Social Economic Research and Data Methods (WISERD)/Civil Society ESRC-funded Research Centre, (2015–2017) on ‘Spaces of New Localism—Stakeholder Engagement and Economic Development in Wales and England.’ Martin is the originator and co-editor of the journal Territory, Politics, Governance, plays an active role in learned societies through the Regional Studies Association. Martin has been appointed to the Research Advisory Group of the Royal Society of Arts Inclusive Growth Commission.
Slides from the event are available to view through these links: Devolution to the North (PPT, 7.56MB), Northern Powerhouse Devolution and The Politics of Austerity (PPT, 6.67MB), Can Devolution Deliver Inclusive Growth? (PPT, 2.80MB)