Devolution is now a vital issue for all Greater Manchester residents - how devolved governance unfolds over the coming months and years will shape the daily lives of our Region's families and individuals.
There is consensus across all shades of opinion about the potential benefits of transferring political power closer to those citizens affected by the decision making process but debate still rages about the effectiveness of government policy in delivering this desired outcome.
Printed and broadcast media play a pivotal role as mechanisms capable of informing public opinion and should therefore lead by example in applying robust, critical analysis of current government proposals for dispersing power away from Westminster.
Alarmingly, polling evidence shows that Greater Manchester residents remain largely ignorant about the nature of government policy in this field, with more than nine in ten reporting that they know next to nothing about how devolved governance will function, what competencies will transfer, how the exercise of democratic power will be held accountable and crucially, what funding streams will be available.
When informed debate is enabled and Greater Manchester residents are made aware of the facts, public opinion dramatically alters. A recent event where the public was asked for their views about the Greater Manchester devolution deal both before and after demonstrated the value of this process.
On Friday 11th September, an important event promoting debate around this potentially seminal topic will take place. Focusing on inequality, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party (which gained more than 1.5million votes in the General Election) will outline Green Party Devolution policy, followed by a debate in which pro and anti positions regarding current government proposals will be explored
The devolution issue is too important to allow public ignorance to significantly influence debate - Greater Manchester residents deserve to have their voices heard.
Guest Blogger: Peter Davidson, Chair of Unlock Democracy Manchester