The University of Manchester today shines the spotlight on Greater Manchester’s trailblazing devolution journey with a raft of expert articles and blogs providing new analysis of Devo Manc - from health and social care to housing, transport and the new elected mayor.
As Greater Manchester prepares to take control of its £6bn health and social care budget, on Friday (April 1), academics and practitioners, from inside The University and beyond, look in depth at the issues around devolution.
A special edition of the journal, Representation, guest edited by researchers at The University, will be published next month, bringing together 10 new articles– the most comprehensive set of articles in one place on city region devolution. The University’s policy engagement arm, policy@manchester will publish a series of blogs, to tie in with the journal articles, this week.
‘Like a circle in a spiral’, written by the journal’s three guest editors, Dr Anna Coleman, Dr Julia Segar and Professor Kath Checkland, along with Jennifer Voorhees, all from the Institute of Population Health, will get to grips with the complexity of the many potential layers of health and social care in Greater Manchester under the developing devolved model while arguing that the public must be more involved in the new process.
The University’s head of politics, Professor Francesca Gains, will publish on metro mayors, Professor Kevin Ward, Director of cities@manchester, and fellow urban planning experts will examine place-making in the region and Luke Raikes, of the think tank IPPR North, will explore the potential of transport powers to help tackle wider policy objectives under the devo deal.
Dr Anna Coleman, author and guest editor of Representation, and one of the bloggers for the Manchester Policy Blogs special, said: “There’s a lot of commentary around city region devolution but it is still so new that there has not yet been a great deal of detailed analysis. This collection of articles seeks to address that by bringing together both academics and practitioners in the field, the majority working in Greater Manchester itself, to explore a wide range of issues relating to Devo Manc, from the role of the mayor to transport, housing and health.
“This region is recognised as an early adopter of the devolution agenda and all eyes will be on Greater Manchester as ‘devo’ rolls out. This week marks a major milestone on that journey as responsibility for the £6bn health and social care budget transfers and it is important that the region is a focal point not just for the delivery and management of that but also for the experience and analysis of how it plays out.”
Greater Manchester will be taking control of transport, housing and skills budgets as well as health and social care under the devolution deals signed by the region’s ten council leaders and Chancellor, George Osborne. The most recent budget also set out plans to pilot the retention of 100% of local business rates and proposed new powers around criminal justice. Voters will be asked to elect Greater Manchester’s first mayor in May 2017.
The Manchester Policy Blogs DevoManc special runs from Tuesday, 29 March. Bloggers include Lord Peter Smith, Chair of the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Strategic Partnership Board and leader of Wigan Council; David Walker, journalist, broadcaster and public affairs commentator and non-executive director and deputy chair Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust; Frances O'Grady, General Secretary Trades Unions Congress (TUC) and a University of Manchester alumnus, and senior figures from expert think tanks such as the Kings Fund and IPPR North.
Blogs penned by Devo experts from The University of Manchester include the leading economist and media commentator Professor Diane Coyle; Francesca Gains, a Professor of Public Policy and The University’s Head of Politics; as well as academics who can explain the impact of Devo on a variety of topics including health policy and primary care, business and the arts.
There will also be a blog written by a team of urban specialists who can unpick the planning, urban and policy implications of Devo, including Professor Kevin Ward, Director of cities@manchester.
Follow the debate at #OnDevo
This week marks a major milestone on that journey as responsibility for the £6bn health and social care budget transfers and it is important that the region is a focal point not just for the delivery and management of that but also for the experience and analysis of how it plays out