Devolution promised to open up new opportunities for community engagement and empowerment, shifting power from Whitehall to the Townhall. One year on since the election of Andy Burnham as Mayor of Greater Manchester, Jam and Justice's Action Research Collective are hosting a debate in Manchester Central Library to discuss the changing horizons of collective decision-making in Greater Manchester.
Testing the 21st Century Councillor Framework
Building on the 21st Century Councillor Framework, developed by University of Birmingham and North West Employers, this Jam and Justice project is focusing on strengthening relationships between local councillors and citizens / constituents in positive ways.
The role of councillors has changed dramatically since the Local Government Act of 2000, which re-shaped how local councils make decisions and, to a certain extent, curtailed the decision-making powers of local councillors. The 21st Century Councillor Framework responded to this by setting out the sorts of roles, skills and capacities needed for councillors to operate successfully in this new environment.
This Jam and Justice-designed project is about testing how the proposed role, skills and relationships are seen by all those involved in decision-making: members, citizens, officers, as well as other stakeholders and partners.