DevoManc is a massive shift in how Greater Manchester will be run. However, what does it ultimately mean? Is it a massive opportunity for Greater Manchester to show that it can do politics and deliver vital services differently? Or could it simply be a disaster waiting to happen?
This is The Fabians - Greater Manchester's first event. We have chosen Stockport to show that we not only represent the whole of Greater Manchester and want everyone from across the region to get involved with the society, but to emphasise that devolution isn't just for Manchester: it will impact everyone from Bolton to Bury, Stockport to Salford and Tameside to Trafford.
Jim McMahon OBE MP
Oldham West and Royton
Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution
We're absolutely thrilled that Jim McMahon OBE MP will be joining us at Seven Miles Out.
Before becoming MP for Oldham West and Royton in 2015, Jim was the leader of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. During his time as leader, Jim instilled a co-operative approach to council services and was instrumental in bringing investment to the town.
In 2014, Jim was named Council Leader of the Year during the Councillor Achievement Awards hosted by the Local Government Information Unit. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and in December 2015 was awarded an OBE for his services to the community of Oldham.
Jim has been an advocate of local devolution since his time at Oldham Council is now the Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution.
In an article for LabourList earlier this year, Jim said: "Done right, devolution can move people. Sure, voters are unlikely to get excited by talk of administrative architecture, but they can be galvanised by the prospect of seizing control over the circumstances of their own lives."
We look forward to hearing what else he has to say as Greater Manchester moves towards an elected Mayor and control over health, transport and more.
Dr Kailash Chand OBE
Former Deputy Chair, BMA
Ex-Chair, Tameside and Glossop NHS
We're also thrilled that Dr Kailash Chand OBE will be joining us. Dr Chand has been an outspoken critic of the Conservatives' approach to the NHS and in a recent article for the Guardian, called for Prime Minister Theresa May to "wake up to the crisis in the NHS".
Dr Chand is a fervent supporter of Andy Burnham's campaign to become Greater Manchester's first elected Metro Mayor. In 2010, he was awarded an OBE for his services to the NHS. He also understands how local health services are run, having once been the chair of a primary care trust.
With council budgets across Greater Manchester creaking due to the growing crisis in health and social care, coupled with many people's concerns that the NHS is on a path to privatisation, Dr Chand's input on how devolution will impact health in Greater Manchester will be invaluable.
Finally, we're really excited that Eve Holt from DivaManc will be joining us.
Eve is one of the main organisers for DivaManc, which aims to ensure the voices of women from across Greater Manchester are heard as part of the devolution process. DivaManc were recently profiled in the Guardian and have been holding events across Greater Manchester.
On DivaManc's website, they say: "Together we can be the change we want to see across this great city region and lead the way for a more diverse, inclusive, vibrant and accountable Devolved Greater Manchester."
With the devolution process having been very 'bloke-heavy', Eve will bring a much needed wider perspective on devolution. We can't wait to hear what she has to say.
How can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Yes - email firstname.lastname@example.org
We have managed to organise some BSL signing for the night. We will also have a ramp available to use for wheelchair users to access the venue.
If you have any other requirements, please email us on the address above and we'll do our best to help.