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CLES chief executive joins People’s Powerhouse steering group

The chief executive of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), Neil McInroy has joined the steering group of the People’s Powerhouse movement.

The movement aims to influence the current Northern Powerhouse devolution debate and plans to encourage a greater focus on people and communities.

Mr McInroy has collaborated with a broad range of local, regional and national governments and agencies across UK and in Europe, Asia, US and Australasia.

And recently he has led the CLES work on local wealth building, which has seen the rise of application of a more democratic and inclusive approach to the economy and place development. 

‘Across the world there are growing movements of citizens all advocating for more voice,’ said Mr McInroy. ‘This is an essential for a better politics and a fairer economy.  I am delighted to now be a part of the People’s Powerhouse, and I hope by collaborating with many others, that we can amplify the growing voice of peoples and communities throughout Northern England.

‘This is an exciting opportunity to challenge the sometimes narrow “business as usual approach” within some political and economic thinking and in turn change things for the better.’

The People’s Powerhouse has also announced that senior lawyer, Nazir Afzal, who is renowned for his campaigning on child sexual exploitation and violence against women has joined their steering group.

He was chief crown prosecutor for NW England and formerly director in London. Most recently, he was chief executive of the country’s Police & Crime Commissioners.

During a 24year career, he has prosecuted some of the most high-profile cases in the country and advised on many others and led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour-based violence. He had responsibility for more than 100,000 other prosecutions each year. His prosecution of the so-called Rochdale grooming gang was groundbreaking and helped drive the work that has changed the landscape of child protection.

Welcoming the two new appointments, People’s Powerhouse chairman Edna Robinson: ‘We are delighted to welcome Neil and Nazir to the steering group and working with them to help shape a North that works for everyone. We intend to bring the voice of people and communities from right across the North to Powerhouse conversations and debates, giving the people of the North an influence and voice in Powerhouse plans that they’ve not had up to now.

‘People prosperity is not the same as economic prosperity, and the growth of our big cities alone is not enough to make sure everyone has a good life. We will be shining a spotlight on other places across the North, and celebrating the creativity, innovation and talent of all our different regions. We’re here to support the Powerhouse discussions by talking about people regeneration as well as place regeneration – and we are saying we definitely need both. They’re not mutually exclusive.’

Nazir and Neil will be among the keynote speakers at the next People’s Powerhouse conference, which takes place on November 20 at the Northern Commercials Stadium in Bradford.

To find out more, visit the People’s Powerhouse website.

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