Westminster Social Policy Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
For booking-related queries or information on speaking please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk, or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.

If you’re already booked on, joining instructions can be accessed from five working days before your conference via the booking dashboard. Need help? Contact us at delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future for devolution in England - lessons learned, policy development, funding, infrastructure, economic recovery, and tackling regional inequalities

TO BE PUBLISHED September 2021

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference will discuss the future for devolution and priorities for supporting growth in left-behind regions - including what is needed for economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.

It will be an opportunity to discuss key issues for:

  • the proposed Levelling Up White Paper, due to be published later this year, which sets out new policy interventions aimed at improving livelihoods and opportunity in all parts of the UK
  • the relaunched inquiry into the progress on devolution in England, from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Rt Hon Lord Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 2010-15; Baroness Blake of Leeds, former leader, Leeds City Council; and Board Member, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership; and Nigel Wilcock, Executive Director, Institute of Economic Development (IED).

The conference also welcomes contributions from Dr Patricia Greer, Chief Executive, West of England Combined Authority; Jessie Hamshar, Strategy and Engagement Service Director, Cornwall Council; Jim Hubbard, Head of Regional Policy, CBI; Alan Reiss, Director of Strategy, Communications and Policing, West Yorkshire Combined Authority; Councillor Liam Robinson, Transport Portfolio Holder, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Laura Shoaf, Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands; and Jonathan Werran, Chief Executive, Localis.

Sessions in the agenda look at:

  • the future of regional devolution in England
  • learning from the experience of devolution to date, and how local decision-making has evolved as a response to the pandemic
  • next steps for delivering economic growth and regeneration across England, and priorities for the planned Levelling up White Paper
  • developing the infrastructure needed to support growth:
    • building on existing knowledge and partnership frameworks
    • linking with existing local services and building on the strengths of each area
  • policy priorities for driving economic growth across the UK, and the Government’s levelling up agenda


Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the BEIS; Defra; the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Home Office; the Intellectual Property Office; the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; the National Audit Office; the National Infrastructure Commission; the Office for National Statistics; the Office of Product Safety and Standards; the Office of Rail and Road and the Welsh Government. Also due to attend are representatives from ARTSM; British Geological Survey; Canal & River Trust; Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Peel L&P; The Campaign to Protect Rural England Wiltshire; University of Bath; and West Midlands Combined Authority.
Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from combined authorities, local authorities, LEPs, as well as representatives from the housing, construction, transport and manufacturing industries, business groups, trade associations, arts groups, law firms, skills groups, consultancies, environmental groups, charities and the third sector, universities, academics, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles