We attended a politics event at People’s History Museum in Manchester regarding the topic of Devolution.
By definition, Devolution is the delegation of power to a lower level, especially by central government to local or regional administration.
In the morning, we listened to 7 experts from Manchester City Council, Manchester Evening News Journalists, a CEO of TunaFish Media, who proposed the reasons they thought Devolution could benefit Greater Manchester, the most important issue they would tackle with Devolution and any concerns with the devolved power from central Government.
The main issues they thought would be essential to tackle with this powers included; Homelessness, social housing, transport, the disparity between skills learnt in schools and what is needed in industry, especially regarding technical skills such as coding.
After hearing all the experts prepositions, the chosen idea included the development of a wider northern power structure, by having a northern layer of government whom would then delegate more powers accordingly to local councils.
In the afternoon, it was a chance for young people to have their say, which is highlighted through the day as so vital within the decision making process. We spilt off into five groups including Education,Health & Social Care, Democracy, Transport and Culture&Identity. We all discussed the good and bad aspects in Manchester amongst these categories. In light of this each group proposed 5 points that they felt would need to be a focus.
The best of points of each group were:
Education: Personalising the education system so that individuals had the chance to choose options more suitable to their interests which perhaps would tackle the skill disparity problem within growing industries.
An idea of a school network which stressed the importance of different schools of different standards, within the 10 boroughs of Great Manchester to collaborate.
Heath & SocialCare: Further promotion of the importance of both mental and physical health. Especially ending the stigma of Mental Health which is inextricably linked to homelessness.
Democracy: More events to engage young people within both local and national politics, encouraging to their say, not just through a vote. This interest would hopefully show the government that young people are involved within politics and increase the chance of 16 years old receiving the vote.
Transport: Cheaper tickets for young people under the age bracket of (16-18)
More safety on the Metrolink, especially at night.
Throughout the day, comparisons were made to the London transport system and the need for a more integrated transport system was highlighted.
Culture&Identity: Greater Manchester felt that the new elected mayor, gives us the opportunity to be a figure head in encouraging a regional identity. Hopefully, becoming nationally recognised as a region whom tackles their issues such as Homelessness head on.
As Sixth Form students, the four of us found the day extremely educational and we hope to filter down this knowledge amongst our school community.
On 24th June – Room 13 – Politics Society will be holding a talk on devolution, if you wish to find out more.