First ever ‘Convention of the North’ – set for September 2018
• Leaders and elected mayors gather to plan the Convention of the North
Cllr Peter Box CBE,
Chair of Key Cities and Leader of Wakefield Council came together with other
northern council leaders, and elected mayors last Saturday (23 June) to set out
the details for the first ever Convention of the North.
The Convention will take place on 6 September, in Newcastle, as leaders seek to
create a powerful new voice for the north. It offers the first chance for a
united north to speak to government with a strong voice, a crucial step in
preparing for the impact of Brexit.
Political and business leaders will be joined by representatives from unions,
community groups and other organisations to discuss the issues and
The leaders’ decision to form the convention comes after the difficulties on
northern rail services reinforced the need to revive the devolution agenda.
Delegates gathering for the Convention in September will have their say on the
transport needs of the north, how their voice should be heard in Brexit
discussions, the education and skills agenda and unite behind a cross-northern
demand for greater devolution.
Cllr Peter Box CBE, Leader of Wakefield Council
Cllr Peter Box CBE,
said: “This is a great opportunity for us to champion all that is great about
“Together we have very powerful voice to challenge government to deal with the
issues we face in the north and show how we are ready to play our part in the
economic growth of this country.”
The Convention is not intended to be a new statutory body but will meet
regularly and speak for the north on important national and regional issues.
Those who attended the meeting last Saturday (23 June), included: Peter Box,
chair of Key Cities group and Leader of Wakefield Council, Nick Forbes, Leader
of Newcastle City Council; Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and chair
of Core Cities group; Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of West Yorkshire Combined
Authority; Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council; Sue Jeffrey,
Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council; Simon Henig, Leader of Durham
County Council; Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council; Samantha Dixon,
Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council; Bruce Pickard, North Tyneside
Council; Sue Murphy, Manchester City Council; Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City
Region Metro-Mayor; Dan Jarvis, Mayor Sheffield City Region; and Mayor of
Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.