Mayoral Combined Authorities - What can they do for us?

Mayoral Combined Authorities - What can they do for us?
Date and time
16 Nov 2018 (9:00am - 8:30pm)


Faraday Wharf Holt Street Birmingham B7 4BB

To be announced.
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Mayoral Combined Authorities - What can they do for us?

Achievements to-date, Brexit implications and a new Constitutional Settlement for England

An event hosted by IDEA Institute and Centre for Brexit Studies (CBS), Birmingham City University. 

Birmingham Business Focus Panel Discussion 18:00-19:00 followed by refreshments.


09:00 Coffee and refreshments

09:30 Vice-Chancellor, Professor Philip Plowden, Welcome and Opening Comments

09:35 Julia Goldsworthy, Director of Strategy, West Midlands Combined Authority, West Midlands Combined Authority – Strategic Priorities and delivery

09:55 Q&A

10:10 Cllr Ian Ward Leader Birmingham City Council, A Fair Deal and Stronger Voice for English Regions

10:30 Q&A

10:45 Break and networking

11:15 Panel discussion:

  • Marcus Hawley, CEO, Blackswan
  • Charlotte Horobin, EEF - Engineering
  • Mike Leonard, CEO, Building Alliance
  • Dr Steve McCabe, IDEA, Birmingham City University
  • Vicky Pryce, Visiting Professor at Birmingham City University and Aston University
  • Tracy Westall, Non Executive Director, Department for Transport.

12:00 Vicky Pryce, Economist, English Regions - Developing Devolution for England

12:20 Professor Tony Travers, London School of Economics, Financing Devolution for England

12:50 Lunch and networking

Afternoon agenda - What Next – Devo Post Brexit?

13:15 Jack Dromey MP Birmingham Erdington, What Next for Devolution in England?

13:30 Lord Anrdew Adonis, Saving Britain – Delivering a fairer deal in English Regions

14:00 Akash Paun, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Government, English Devolution - an unfinished agenda

14:15 Mark Corbett, Senior Policy Adviser for the Midlands, CBI, Devolution in England - the Business View

14:30 Professor Brendan Evans, University of Huddersfield and Dr Georgina Blakeley, Open University, Impact of Devolution on Economic Growth in Greater Manchester

15:00 Joe Reeves, Director Corporate Affairs, Midland Heart, A bespoke housing deal for a devolved region

15:15 Dr Emma Kelly, COO, Energy Research Accelerator, Local Energy Systems - The big opportunity for clean tech innovation

15:30 Coffee and networking

15:50 Professor Robin Hambleton, University of West of England, Learning from sub-national governance in other countries

16:15 Professor Vernon Bogdanor CBE, Professor of Government, King’s College, London, Devolution and the Constitution

16:45 Q&A

17:00 Professor Julian Beer, Closing Words

17:15 Close; coffee and networking

Speaker biographies

Lord Andrew Adonis

Lord Andrew Adonis

Andrew Adonis is a Labour peer, and formerly transport minister, education minister and head of No 10 policy unit under Tony Blair. He has combined political roles with academia and journalism and served as chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission in 2017 whilst previously serving as interim chair from 2015 to 2017. He most recently co-authored ‘Saving Britain – How we must change to prosper in Europe’ with Will Hutton, published 2018.

Dr Georgina Blakeley, Director of Teaching (Politics), Open University

Georgina BlakeleyDr Georgina Blakeley has a Masters from Liverpool University and a PhD from the University of Bradford.  She was Head of Politics at the University of Huddersfield prior to become a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the Open University.  She has published on various aspects of Spanish politics while also writing on issues of participation and local governance in the UK. Together with Professor Brendan Evans she has published various articles on the politics of Manchester and co-authored the book ‘The Regeneration of East Manchester: A Political Analysis’ produced by Manchester University Press in 2013.  Together with Brendan, she is currently writing a book on the Metropolitan Mayoral Combined Authorities of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.

Professor Vernon Bogdanor, CBE

Vernon BogdanorVernon Bogdanor CBE is Professor of Government at the Institute of Contemporary British History, King’s College, London. He was formerly, for many years Professor of Government at Oxford University. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences. He has been an adviser to a number of governments, including those of Albania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Israel, Mauritius. Slovakia and Trinidad.

He is a frequent contributor to TV, radio and the press.  In 2008, he was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin Award by the Political Studies Association for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies.  In 2009 he was made a Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by President Sarkozy. He is an Honorary Fellow of The Queen’s College, Oxford, an Honorary D. Litt. of the University of Kent, and an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple.

Mark Corbett, Senior Regional Policy Adviser, CBI Mark Corbett

Mark joined the CBI as Senior Regional Policy Adviser for the Midlands in March this year after a long career in the UK Civil Service. Mark has worked across a variety of policy roles including the Industrial Strategy in BEIS and UK innovation and energy policy in DECC. He attended 2017 Mission Innovation / Clean Energy Ministerial as part of the UK Delegation. Previously, Mark has worked on Higher Education policy in BIS and Labour Market policy, including the Coalition Government’s ‘Youth Contract’ in DWP.

Mark is graduate of the University of York where he studied Public Administration.

Professor Alex de Ruyter, Centre for Brexit Studies, Birmingham City University

Alex de Ruyter is Professor and Director of the Centre for Brexit Studies at Birmingham City University. He brings a wealth of research experience and academic engagement in Brexit and the related areas of regional economic development, skills and labour market issues. He has published over 50 academic outputs in leading national and international journals and has been the recipient of research funding, including being an investigator in the ESRC funded study on the effects on subsequent employment experience of workers from MG Rover after plant closure in 2005.

Jack Dromey MP, Birmingham Erdington

Jack Dromey, well known as British Labour Party politician and trade unionist, has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for Birmingham Erdington since the 2010 general election. He was formerly Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers’ Union and then Unite. Jack and was appointed Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government in the Ed Miliband shadow front bench. He became Shadow Policing Minister in 2013, but resigned from this position on 27 June 2016. On 10 October 2016, he returned to the frontbench by becoming Shadow Minister for Labour and thereafter Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions.

Professor Brendan Evans, Professor of Politics, University of Huddersfield

Brendan Evans has a degree a Masters and a PhD, all in Politics, from the University of Manchester. After a period teaching at the University of Manchester he taught at Lecturer and Principal Lecturer level before becoming Dean of School and Pro Vice-Chancellor. He was awarded an Emeritus Professorship at Huddersfield, and in partial retirement he has continued to publish. His writings cover British politics and policy-making, political ideology, education and skills policy and more recently, together with Dr. Georgina Blakeley the politics of Manchester in (Blakeley and Evans) The Regeneration of East Manchester: A Political Analysis for Manchester University Press and various journal articles. Together with Georgina, he is currently writing a book on the Metropolitan Mayoral Combined Authorities of Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester.

Professor Robin Hambleton BA MA PhD MRTPI FRSA

Robin Hambletonis Emeritus Professor of City Leadership at the University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, Director of Urban Answers and Founding President of the European Urban Research Association (EURA).  In 2016 the Local Government Association (LGA) invited him to examine models of devolved governance in other countries and his report, English Devolution. Learning lessons from international models of sub-national governance, suggests that devolution in England can learn much from other countries where sub-national governance is more highly valued and supported.

Robin worked in local government in the England for ten years before becoming an academic.  He has been an Adviser to UK local government ministers, to Select Committees of the UK House of Parliament, and has worked on place-based leadership with cities in many different countries.

He has held professorial positions in City and Regional Planning at Cardiff University, in City Management at UWE, and in Urban Planning and Policy, and Public Administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He was Dean of the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2002-07), and has published eleven books and over 400 articles. His latest book is Leading the Inclusive City. Place-based innovation for a bounded planet. (Policy Press 2015).

Marcus Hawley, CEO, Blackswan

Marcus Hawley is the Managing Director and founder of Blackswan. His vision, expertise and love of the property industry has led Blackswan on a journey from quality consultancy to end-to-end development. Today, Blackswan are an innovative and aspirational property development company that create well designed, high quality places and communities. Marcus and Blackswan have proved that they can successfully bridge the gap between funding, design and delivery.

Marcus is a property specialist who gained experience as a Development Surveyor and Manager on innovative and creative projects including The Rotunda.

Charlotte Horobin, Region Director - Midlands and East

Charlotte is responsible for managing and developing relationships with EEF member companies in the East Midlands and East of England. She works closely with these companies to make sure they gain maximum value for their membership, utilising services and support available. By working with partner organisations and regional media, Charlotte is able to raise the profile of EEF member companies locally and nationally. She’s also in charge of designing and delivering a programme of regional events enabling members to network, share best practice and learn from experts.

Before joining EEF, Charlotte worked in food manufacturing where she focused on business development and food safety management. Charlotte currently sits on the Better Business For All Group in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

Dr Emma Kelly, COO, Energy Research Accelerator

Dr Emma Kelly has overall operational responsibility for the £180m Energy Research Accelerator (ERA) Programme. Emma joined ERA in 2016, having previously led operational activities within the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham. Emma has led large, multi-collaborator research programmes (EU, national and industrial) and has a research background in aerospace manufacturing; specifically evolvable assembly systems and servitization.

Emma has extensive management experience within the higher education sector, including securing grant funding for and overseeing delivery of complex, high profile research and knowledge transfer investments. Prior to joining ERA, Emma coordinated and drove the development of strategic roadmaps charting the future research direction in intelligent manufacturing.

Mike Leonard, FIMS

Mike has enjoyed a 38-year career in Building Products. His extensive experience includes a long period with Marley where he was responsible for Thermalite Blocks, Nottingham Brick, Markey Roof Tiles and Marley Paving.

In 2007 Mike was invited to lead a UK wide campaign which has now reversed 10 years of decline in masonry market share. He founded and continues to run the Get Britain Building Campaign.

His strong belief in the power of collaboration resulted in the introduction of many robust initiatives such as the Futures Group, the cross-industry new homes “Think Tank” which advises Government on better regulation.

In 2015 Mike established the Building Alliance Community Interest Company, a not for profit organisation which continues to represent the masonry sector and associated products. The Building Alliance seeks to unite the diverse construction industry around the major opportunities that lie ahead including the Digital Housing Revolution, attracting young people into the industry and the wider benefits of investing in the built environment.

Dr Steve McCabe, Assoc. Prof. IDEA Institute, Birmingham City University

Having graduated from the University of Manchester in 1984 with a degree in management, Dr McCabe spent time in industry as a management trainee before commencing an EPSRC research-sponsored MSc in Management at Birmingham University in 1988.  Since 1989 he has been employed at Birmingham City University as a management lecturer (teaching general and human resources, as well as strategy and operations but with a special emphasis on TQM, improvement techniques and benchmarking).

As well as teaching, Steve is an active researcher and completed a Ph.D on a part-time basis at the University of Birmingham which explored the use of quality management techniques. He has written extensively on the subject of management and quality, producing numerous papers, chapters for books and three books including  on the ‘Development of value-adding business support need diagnostic: Timeliness and focus of business/management business development support’ exploring the ways small and medium-sized businesses make key decisions about future direction (strategy).  More recently he has been working on publications including ‘Brexit Negotiations after Article 50: Assessing Process, Progress and Impact’.

Assoc Prof Beverley Nielsen, IDEA Institute, Birmingham City University

Beverley Nielsen is Associate Professor and Director at IDEA Institute, the Institute for Design & Economic Acceleration at Birmingham City University, where she has worked for the past 10 years as Visiting Tutor, MA Design Management, Director Employer Engagement and Director Corporate Affairs. Beverley has launched a number of initiatives whilst at the university including 'Birmingham Made Me', with a focus on promoting the Midlands' manufacturing excellence along with our design and brand-led businesses.

She has helped start up over 40 new companies involved in diverse areas including fashion, jewellery, interiors, integrated healthcare, outdoor activities, connected & autonomous vehicles, bicycle accessories and ultra light rail. She currently chairs Ultra Light Rail Partners, Outdoor Elements, and provides support to RCL Partners and Vivere Health Care Group.

Prior to this Beverley was Director of FTSE-250 business, AGA Rangemaster plc, and MD of subsidiary business, Fired Earth. She was Director of CBI West Midlands, having spent 10 years working for the CBI as a European policy advisor and Assistant Director, CBI North West.  

Political activities have included a period serving as County Councillor, Worcestershire County Council 2009-2013 and as the Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate, WMCA election 2017, which subsequently saw Andy Street elected as West Midlands Mayor.

Akash Paun, Senior Fellow, The Institute for Government Akash Paun

Akash is a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Government in London, where he has worked since 2008, leading research on devolution and constitutional change. He was also an Expert Adviser to the British Academy from 2016-18 and is the co-editor of Governing England: English identity and institutions in a changing United Kingdom, which will be published by the British Academy and Oxford University Press in November 2018. Other recent publications include Four Nation Brexit: How the UK and devolved governments should work together on leaving the EU (Institute for Government, 2016) and chapters on devolution to four English regions in Governing England: devolution and mayors in England (British Academy, 2017).

Vicky Pryce, Economist

Vicky Pryce is Chief Economic Adviser and a board member at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). She was previously Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, Director General for Economics at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and Joint Head of the UK Government Economic Service. Before that she was Partner at the accounting and consulting firm KPMG after senior economic positions in banking and the oil sector. She has a number of academic posts including being Visiting Professor at BCU and is a Fellow and on the Council of the UK Academy for Social Sciences , a Fellow of the Society of Professional Economists and a Companion of the British Academy for Management. She sits on the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, on the Advisory Board of the central banking think-tank OMFIF and on the Economic Advisory Group of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Her recent books include: “Greekonomics: The Euro crisis and Why Politicians Don't Get It”; “It's the Economy, Stupid- Economics for Voters”, with Ross and Urwin; “Redesigning Manufacturing”, with Nielsen and Beverland and "Why Women Need Quotas”, with Stefan Stern. She is also co-founder of GoodCorporation, a company set up to promote Corporate Social Responsibility, is a Freeman and Liveryman of the City of London and now sits on the City’s Members Diversity Working Party. She is also a member of the Brexit advisory groups of TechUk and CIPFA and is a patron of Pro-Bono Economics.

Joe Reeves, Director Corporate Affairs, Midland Heart

Joe is responsible for delivering the organisation’s growth strategy, and has recently expanded his portfolio to include housing development, which will see him responsible for the delivery of Midland Heart’s plan to build around 2350 homes for social and affordable rent over five years. His current role also includes responsibility for our Finance team.

Prior to joining Midland Heart in July 2013, Joe spent fifteen years with leading management consultancy, PwC working in the Corporate Finance Infrastructure and Government team.  

As a Director, Joe acted as a commercial adviser on major economic and social infrastructure PPP projects for local government across the UK with a combined value of £1.5bn. Joe is acknowledged for his work on housing PPP and Housing Revenue Account reform, having co-authored a number of thought leadership publications.

Professor Tony Travers, London School of Economics & Political Science

Tony Travers is Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at the London School of Economics & Political Science.  He is also a professor in the LSE’s Government Department and co-director of LSE London.  Research interests include public finance, urban politics and London government.  He has been an advisor to a number of UK Parliamentary committees. 

He was a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund from 1999 to 2004, and also a member of the Arts Council’s Touring Panel during the late 1990s. From 1992 to 1997, he was a member of the Audit Commission. He was a member of the Urban Task Force Working Group on Finance.

He is a research board member of the Centre for Cities and a board member of the New Local Government Network. He is an Honorary Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy. He chaired the London Finance Commission (2012-13 and again in 2016-17) and was a member of the City Growth Commission (2013-14).

He recently chaired an independent commission examining local government finance in Wales and the London Finance Commission (2014 and 2017). He is co-chair of the King’s Commission on London.   

He has published a number of books on cities and government, including Failure in British Government The Politics of the Poll Tax (with David Butler and Andrew Adonis), Paying for Health, Education and Housing   How does the Centre Pull the Purse Strings (with Howard Glennerster and John Hills) and The Politics of London: Governing the Ungovernable City.  Most recently, he published London’s Boroughs at 50.

Cllr Ian Ward, Leader Birmingham City Council and Board Member WMCA

Birmingham City Council Leader, Councillor Ian Ward, has been a Councillor since 1995. He served as Deputy Leader of the Labour Group from 2005-2017 and was Deputy Leader of the Council from 2012 until 2017 when he was elected Leader.

In this time he has had political responsibility for many areas including budgets and finance, land and property, arts and culture and development.

Keen to promote Birmingham’s sporting profile, he spearheaded the successful 2022 Commonwealth Games bid, having already helped bring a number of high profile international sporting events to the city.

Ian has participated in many partnerships and boards during his varied political career ranging from Birmingham Royal Ballet and West Midlands Arts Council to the West Midland Combined Authority and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

He is currently Chair of the Eurocities Culture Forum, taking a keen interest in promoting and strengthening Birmingham's European and international ties.