Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

Help create a more constructive debate about the shape of Greater Manchester

  Deciding what we should build where always seems to stoke intense emotions and conflict. Greater Manchester’s Spatial Framework set out plans for how land could be best used across the city region. The resulting consultation gave voice to a kaleidoscope of different concerns and interests but generated very little in the way of constructive discussion. With a consultation on a new draft currently planned for October, we thought now was a great time to ask how we create better conversations about the future shape of Greater Manchester. You can help us explore…Read more
Help us research how the EU is trying to open up, and how this can be supported

Help us research how the EU is trying to open up, and how this can be supported

We are trying to find out what initiatives are already happening to build greater accountability, participation, and transparency into the work of the EU. We also want to find who the people are within EU institutions that are working on these initiatives, and driving this change. We want to speak to these people about how this kind of work can be better supported – is there a way that learning and progress can be better shared, and innovators within and outside the institutions better linked up? This is where you may be able…Read more

What happens in Huddersfield doesn’t stay in Huddersfield: Ideas for improving engagement in local government from Not Westminster 2017

Yet again ‘Not Westminster’ brought together a fascinating group of people from across the UK who work to put people at the heart of local government, and to improve local democracy, and provided space and opportunity to discuss where we go next. We were particularly inspired by hearing from Emily Warrilow, a Kirklees youth councillor who spoke about the difference that one person can make in taking the time to kindle a lifetime’s passion for politics. Hearing Emily’s memories of Jo Cox, and her own passion for politics, powerfully reminded us what we’re…Read more
How effective is the Open Government Partnership? Should the EU get involved?

How effective is the Open Government Partnership? Should the EU get involved?

The OGP is a partnership between national governments and the wider public, working together to develop ways of increasing public participation in government and make government more transparent and accountable. The UK has been involved since 2011, and many other countries in Europe and around the world are too.   So, if this partnership is doing good work, and with the EU facing challenges, perhaps it’s time the EU got involved? Currently you have to be a nation state to join the open government partnership, but there may be ways of it getting…Read more

Understanding the EU debate

Many people are still saying that they don’t understand what’s at stake in the EU referendum. As part of an independent, not for profit, organisation I have created this guide to explain what the points on each side are. The European Union is a series of international agreements that 28 European countries have made between themselves, which set up institutions like the European Parliament through which these countries cooperate and reach agreements as a whole. The treaties set out limits on what policy areas the EU can get involved with. Decision-making is partly…Read more

To sort out politics it’s time we got less angry

In recent years people have been switching off from our political system. In the three Westminster elections between 1955 and 1966 an average of 78% of those registered voted; fifty years later, in the three between 2005 and 2015 it was 64%[1]. A third of the country decided not to have a say.  Membership of the three main parties has shown an even more pronounced decline; though recent increases for opposition parties and the rise of smaller parties offers some contrast[2]. While there are other ways that people engage in politics these trends…Read more