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5th October 2018

UoM academic appeals for greater BAME representation in Northern Powerhouse

UoM lecturer Dr Sarah Hall called for more BAME representation in the Northern Powerhouse at the Labour Party conference last week.
UoM academic appeals for greater BAME representation in Northern Powerhouse
Photo: Rwendland @ Wikimedia Commons

Dr Sarah Hall has called for increased representation of BAME women within the Northern Powerhouse at last week’s Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.

As a lecturer in Human Geography at The University of Manchester, Dr Hall participated in discussions throughout the party conference. Receiving interest from MPs, civil servants and policy-makers regarding the issues of representation of minority groups in northern politics and devolution discussions.

Holding conversations with notable Labour figureheads such as Yvette Cooper, the Chair of Home Affairs Select Committee. Dr Hall brought forward her work with the women’s budget group involving BAME women and the impact of austerity.

In alliance with Policy@Manchester, Dr Hall also shared her research with shadow cabinet ministers and attended sessions on both inclusive growth and social care. When asked by The Mancunion how effective she felt these discussions were to the fight for increased representation of BAME women and the underprivileged, Dr Hall said:

“Whenever raised, issues around gender, race, disability, age and (at times) class were readily discussed and pondered, although I found that I was having to provoke a conversation about these topics rather than it being at the heart of debate.

“We also have to question whether this type of platform – of placing older, professional, often white, often male decision-makers on a stage – is really a space for dialogue or just polite performance. The proof will be in the pudding.”

As well as discussions on representation, Dr Hall evaluated her research on the engagement of young people and its importance to the processes of devolution as a means of achieving social change.

Speaking to other MPs, Dr Hall invited agreement from Joe McMahon and Lisa Nandy, who both recognised the need for greater representation of the underprivileged and the importance of promoting devolution at a community level.

Dr Hall was recently awarded the Making a Difference Award 2018 for ‘Outstanding Benefit to Society through Research’, alongside receiving the Jo Cox Prize for Public Service and Active Citizenship in 2017.

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