Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Green Party calls for Referendum on Greater Manchester Devolution

News of the devolution deal [1] between the 10 Greater Manchester Councils and the Coalition Government took most people in the region by surprise. 

Also surprising was the news that the Devolution was conditional on the region accepting an elected Mayor as part of the deal.

Though the agreement, negotiated out of view of the public, brings some services under local control [2] there are no additional resources that would not likely come to the region anyway. In fact, Manchester Council is facing an additional £60 million in cuts. [3]

Laura Bannister, Green Party general election candidate for Manchester Gorton, said, "When Scotland voted on devolution in September, it was seen as a high water mark of democracy with 84.6% of the population voting [4]. The debate and discussion leading to the referendum took place over two years. No such process has happened in Greater Manchester."

Chair of Manchester Green Party, Deyika Nzeribe agreed, "The Green Party is in favour of devolution when done correctly. It has to be discussed and accepted at a local level. The Green Party therefore calls for a consultation of the people of Greater Manchester, followed by a referendum, to decide whether we want devolution and if so, what form it should take. This is the biggest governance change in Manchester in a generation - people have a right to decide this for themselves. We will work with others to make this happen."

Since the devolution announcement, a popular campaign has formed to get a referendum for the people of Greater Manchester. The campaign, ‘DevoManc’ is encouraging people to sign its online petition [5] and have a Day of Action on Saturday 10th January 2015 with petition signings all over the Greater Manchester [6].



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