Tracy Fishwick, Co-Founder of the People's Powerhouse Guest Feature in the Northern Powerhouse Round-Up
5th October 2018

This week we have another fantastic guest contribution to our forward. This week we are lucky enough to have Tracy Fishwick, Managing Director of Transform Lives Company and co-founder of the People’s Powerhouse movement,  write for us on the work the People’s Powerhouse is doing and how they’re helping to put the people of the North at the centre of the Northern Powerhouse debate.Enjoy.

SIMON COLLINGWOOD, Quatro North, 07427 228288

With party conference season over for another year, I think it’s time we heard from people, rather than politicians.

People’s voices aren’t loud enough and all too often they’re not listened to, not really.  Decisions, policy direction and implementation are usually made by relatively exclusive groups, made up of people with similar backgrounds to each other, all in positions of power and influence because of the job they hold.

Only this week, I was with a group of young people who felt ignored by the system they’d been asked to influence, and this had a profound effect on their belief that anything would ever be any different for them. “What’s the point?” they concluded. The previous week, we were in Bradford meeting local people, where one entrepreneur told me how reassured he was to see “someone that looks like me” on our People’s Powerhouse branding. Simple, yet important.

If we are serious about creating a North that works for everyone, then we need meaningful conversations and genuine communication at all levels of decision-making.  This applies to Combined Authorities, Northern infrastructure organisations, public and private sector bodies, Mayors, MPs…all of us.

The People’s Powerhouse aim isn’t complicated: to transform the fortunes of people in the North by simply recognising that the North is the people and by harnessing all of our power, experiences and ideas.

We’re holding the second ‘People are the Powerhouse’ Convention on November 20 in Bradford.  It’s an ideal location, widening the debate to encompass views from across the North of England, and I’m thrilled with the great line-up of speakers joining us: Tony Walsh, aka Longfella; Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham; Neil McInroy, Executive Director of CLES; Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and our very own Edna Robinson, People’s Powerhouse Chairman and chair of Big Life Group and Trafford Housing Trust.

It will be a space where people can share what’s working in communities across the North.  Everyone is welcome to come along and contribute by hosting their own workshop or running a short inspiration session – local people, public sector, voluntary, community, civic leaders and businesses – small and large. If you’d like to contribute, you can express your interest by 12 October.

Come along and show us how you’re putting people and communities at the heart of Powerhouse plans, not at the periphery, so that the North can be a place where we can all prosper.

TRACY FISHWICK, MD Transform Lives Company, co-founder of the People’s Powerhouse movement, @InclusionNW