‘People’s Plan’ for Greater Manchester seeks to democratise devolution
by Sam Popper on October 21, 2016, posted in Greater Manchester categories
The plan bills itself as a public engagement programme for the citizens of Greater Manchester, and aims to democratise devolution, promoting alternative social and environmental options for the region’s strategy.
People’s Plan organisers have set up an online survey for residents to set out their priorities, and events will be held across various themes including housing, democracy, the environment, and the economy.
The People’s Plan has already garnered some attention, with Paul Mason writing in the Guardian this week that it is a good idea, and that ‘simply completing’ the online survey shows ‘where the plan could lead’.
After it was reported in the last LGC that less than 1% of residents in devo-deal areas formally engaged with consultations, initiatives such as the People’s Plan may become increasingly common over the medium term.
Mason also suggested that the new Greater Manchester mayor allow residents to decide how funds are spent. In an era of extremely tight budgets this seems unlikely. However, there are many reasons it could work: the mayor’s direct budgetary control will be small, and hence have limited effect in itself; the proposal would generate publicity for the mayoralty, and buy-in to the concept; and residents who are being asked to ‘take charge’ of their lives, may understand how they can really do so.