Convention of the North to meet for the first time
A Convention of the North is to be established this summer as leaders seek to create a powerful new voice for the North, and Kirklees Council leader, Shabir Pandor will be taking part.
Opportunities for the North
In September Newcastle will host the first official meeting of the Convention of the North in which political and business leaders will join representatives from unions, community groups and other organisations to discuss the issues and opportunities ahead.
A voice for a united North
The Convention offers the first chance for a united North to speak to government with a strong voice, a crucial step in preparing for the impact of Brexit. Leaders from across the north agreed on the need to form the convention after a crisis on northern rail services reinforced the need to revive the devolution agenda.
Council leaders and elected mayors met in Newcastle on the opening weekend (24 June) of the Great Exhibition of the North to set details of this summer’s Convention. Delegates gathering for the Convention in September will have their say on the transport needs of the North, how their voice should be heard in Brexit discussions, the education and skills agenda and unite behind a cross-northern demand for greater devolution.
Kirklees Council leader, Shabir Pandor said:
“The Convention will give us a powerful voice to challenge Government on the issues that really matter to the people in Kirklees and beyond. We need to have greater control over issues that matter to local people. We’ll be bringing together business, political and civic leaders – acting as one voice – on the key priorities of more power for local government, transport, skills and Brexit. The North has so much to offer and I want to ensure that Kirklees is central to developing the Convention’s thinking. My role will be to ensure that we have a more prosperous Kirklees, and together, we have a confident, prosperous north.”
The convention is not intended to be a new statutory body but will meet regularly and speak for the North on important national and regional issues.
It all starts in Newcastle
The first Convention for the North will be held in Newcastle on September 6. Further details will be announced in the coming weeks.
Those attending the convention planning event include:
Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council; Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and chair of Core Cities group; Peter Box, chair of Key Cities group; Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council; Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council; Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council; Shabir Pandor, leader of Kirklees Council; Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council; Bruce Pickard, North Tyneside Council; Sue Murphy, Manchester City Council; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Metro-Mayor; Dan Jarvis, Mayor Sheffield City Region; and Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.