Calderdale leaders to share their vision for the future of West Yorkshire

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift
Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift

The Leader and the Chief Executive of Calderdale Council will share their vision for the future of West Yorkshire in conversation at the Piece Hall in Halifax.

The event will be hosted by the regional democracy network, Same Skies, at The Book Corner in the Piece Hall from 6pm on Tuesday June 11. It will mark the launch of a new book, ‘What Kind Of Region Do We Want To Live In?’

The book features twelve essays by local writers about the changes they would like to see in West Yorkshire by 2040.

Leader of Calderdale Council, Councillor Tim Swift and the Council’s Chief Executive, Robin Tuddenham will discuss the concept of ‘regional democracy’ in West Yorkshire, and will share their own perspective on devolution.

Coun Swift, Leader of Calderdale Council said: “There’s a great deal of change at the moment in terms of the relationship between regional and national government, particularly around devolution.

"We can also see that the relationship between local people and their local authority is changing too, as services adapt to changing demand.

“It’s really important that we recognise this and that we explore different ways in which we can live and work together as a community whether at a local, regional or national level.”

They will be joined by Elland-based artist and curator Alice Bradshaw, who runs Art Lab Dean Clough, who will respond to the book from a citizen perspective with a focus on arts and culture in Calderdale.

This will be followed by an open discussion to sketch out what West Yorkshire should be like in 2040, how we can increase participation in democracy and how we can get there.

Alice Bradshaw said: "The north receives proportionally less arts funding per capita and has consistently done so all my professional life and before that too.

"London receives 39.7% of Arts Council money when there is 14.6% of the population of England living there. In 2017 the Institute for Public Policy Research North found that for the north to get the same Arts Council England funding per head as London it would need £691 million more in the 2018-2022 funding round.

"Just imagine if that Arts Council funding per capita was given to each individual to pay for an arts and cultural service they want and need.

"If we really individualised that process. Perhaps we should have a culture allowance. The providers pitch directly to the public instead of the middle people and in the process we can reduce the administration costs of allocating funds."

The event will also feature a display of hand drawn maps created when Same Skies visited Halifax Borough Market last summer.

People were asked to create a map showing the things they care about in their neighbourhood.

Felt tip pens and paper will be available for people to draw their own maps, and children are welcome to attend.