The University of Manchester’s policy engagement unit has unveiled a packed series of fringe events at next month’s Conservative and Labour Party conferences.
For several years, Policy@Manchester has brought together panels of politicians and subject specialists to discuss a broad range of pressing policy issues at the showpiece political gatherings.
This year’s programme will kick-off with eight events at the Conservative conference in Manchester on Monday 1 and Tuesday 2 October, including an appearance from Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
Monday morning includes a discussion on what initiatives should be introduced to support young people in neighbourhoods with low levels of wellbeing. Chaired by Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive Mark Rowland, the line-up will feature Professor Neil Humphrey, Professor of Psychology of Education at The University of Manchester, Rukshana Kapasi, Barnardo’s Director of Health, and Dr Layla McCay, NHS Confederation Director of Policy.
Amongst other issues due to be tackled by different panels on day one are growing the economy through innovation, fixing the UK’s economic inactivity problem and addressing ethnic inequalities in mental healthcare.
Day two will begin with Mayor Burnham and former Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield taking to the platform to debate how to level up education, alongside Matt Leach, Chief Executive of Local Trust, Dr Eric Lybeck, Lecturer and Presidential Fellow at The University of Manchester, and Mary Robinson, the Conservative MP for Cheadle and a member of the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee.
This will be followed by two further gatherings of politicians and policy experts to discuss the role that transport might play in delivering economic growth, and how government can help to build strong local institutions to boost levelling up.
Professor Cecilia Wong, academic co-director of Policy@Manchester, said: “We are excited to be hosting the first round of fringe events at the Conservative Party conference in our home city, with an equally busy programme to follow at Labour Party conference in Liverpool the following week.
“These gatherings provide the opportunity to really dig down into some of the most critical and topical policy challenges facing decision-makers.
“They also enable The University of Manchester to showcase some the world class research our academic experts are leading which informs national and international debates across a whole swathe of different fields.
“With the General Election expected to take place in 2024, these high-profile discussions can make a truly meaningful impact on policy development as the political parties step up their work in formulating their manifestos.”
Six of the eight Policy@Manchester events at Conservative Party conference will take place outside the secure zone so a conference pass is not required to gain entry.
Details of the full programme of Policy@Manchester fringe meetings at the Conservative and Labour Party conferences are available on the Policy@Manchester website