City Devolution and Communities


Festival of the Future City/
Thu 12 March 2015

The Bristol Pavilion, Gloucestershire Cricket Bristol County Cricket Ground, BS7 9EJ

City Devolution and Communities


Thu 12 March 2015,

The Bristol Pavilion, Gloucestershire Cricket Bristol County Cricket Ground, BS7 9EJ

This event is currently fully booked. However you can register now and your name will be added to the waiting list. You will be notified if spaces become available.

Local democracy and city devolution is a very hot topic at the moment. But what opportunities and challenges might this new approach offer the community and voluntary sector?

Voscur and Bristol Festival of Ideas, and with support from West of England Rural Network and Voluntary Action, North Somerset, are delighted to host a morning of presentations, debate and a networking buffet lunch to discuss these important issues at the Bristol Pavilion.

Get involved in the debate, have your say, and ensure your opinions are heard by the political leaders.

Let’s talk neighbourhood and community democracy…How can communities play a greater role in local decision making?

There is now an unprecedented window of opportunity for the West of England (WoE) area, along with the other city regions of England, to claim significant new powers and devolved resources from central government. This follows developments in policy from the government, Opposition and the Scottish referendum on devolution.

The government have recently announced a series of deals with city regions on devolution of powers and agreements in principle to working towards combined authorities. As well as Greater Manchester, which has the first devolution agreement with the government, deals are being agreed for Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle and Liverpool.

The government have indicated that they would welcome a commitment from the leaders of the WoE to form a combined authority to secure new devolved powers for strategic functions including transport, planning, housing, skills, economic development and health and social care. The government have indicated that an offer similar to that agreed with Manchester is possible.

In addition Bristol, Cardiff and Newport have agreed to collaborate on a ground-breaking, cross-border project to create a “powerhouse super-city region”, known as  Great Western Cities.

The Great Western Cities scheme is designed to compete against the Manchester devolution proposal known as the Northern Powerhouse.

The key issue for the community and voluntary sector is how does this affect our communities? Will this new model also allow new approaches to neighbourhood and community democracy?  Join us to discuss these challenges and help shape the future!

Keynote speaker: George Ferguson, Mayor of Bristol

Hear from a range of community activists from across the West of England including:

Delroy Hibbert, Full Circle
Mark Graham, For All Healthy Living Company, Weston-Super-Mare
Matthew Symonds, Greater Bedminster Community Partnership
Joanna Holmes, Barton Hill Settlement
Sandy Hore-Ruthven, Creative Youth Network, Bristol and South Gloucestershire
Chris Head, West of England Rural Network

Chaired by: Alex Marsh, University of Bristol

Live broadcast from Ujima Radio and BCFM.

Join the debate on Twitter: #futurecity15

This event is part of the build up programme for Festival of the Future City. Festival of the Future City takes place 18-20 November 2015 as part of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital. The festival is supported by Arts Council England, Bristol City Council, Future Cities Catapult, University of the West of England, and Business West. The festival is also part of Bristol Festival of Ideas, run in partnership with the Observer and University of Bristol.

In association with

Voscur 20th Anniversary2

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