Pride in Place at Party Conferences

Earlier this month the Northern Housing Consortium and partners were in Manchester and Liverpool, hosting breakfast roundtables previewing the findings of Pride in Place to political stakeholders. As Rishi Sunak unveiled his ‘Long Term Plan for Towns’, with an emphasis on community-led vision and collaborative working, and Keir Starmer announced a new generation of New Towns, built around prosperity, parks, and public services, the sessions proved timely for both political parties in outlining what northern residents look for in a great place to live.

Each session began with an overview of findings provided by Thinks Insight & Strategy, the research agency established by Deborah Mattinson, the Leader of the Opposition’s Director of Strategy. Although already rich in insights, a testament to the social and private rented sector residents who contributed, this was only a preview, with the full report being published on 9th November at the Northern Housing Summit. Drawn from workshops held across the North, in Blackpool, Benwell, Skipton, Moss Side, and Knowsley, attendees discussed what residents had to say about Levelling Up, what contributes to local pride, and the role of both individuals and in agencies in building pride across areas.

Key themes included access to basic services, transparency and engagement, and the local environment. In Manchester at Conservative Party Conference, attendees including Local Trust, Centre for Cities, and the University of Manchester discussed the importance of social capital; centring around comfort and community, this was the way residents felt at ease in their neighbourhood, and the pride they feel in the connection they have with neighbourhoods and near-by friends. During Labour Party Conference, attendees in Liverpool, which included representatives from across local politics, honed in on the importance of green spaces for health, wellbeing, and sociability. Although universally popular, many neighbourhoods were unsure their green spaces were reaching their full potential, and more could be done to scope out community involvement in reaching that potential.

The Party Conferences were the last stop on the road to publishing Pride in Place at the Northern Housing Summit on the 9th November. There attendees will be joined by Thinks Insight and Strategy, partners involved in the work, and participant residents sharing their views. We look forward to seeing you there.

Updates on the Pride in Place project can be found on the Northern Housing Consortium’s dedicated Rebalancing Webpage: