‘Packed line-up’ as Big Tent Festival set for York event in June

(This article was published by York Press)

Big Tent Bristol 5

A PROGRAMME for an event in York, featuring front-bench politicians and big names from the world of media, has been announced today.

The programme for the Big Tent Ideas Festival, taking place on Saturday June 17 in Dean’s Park at York Minster, has been revealed this morning (May 16).

The event will feature a line-up of front-bench politicians, representatives from six national mainstream political parties and big names from the world of media, business and academia, bringing the national conversation to Yorkshire.

Participants include Government Ministers, members of the Shadow Cabinet, three Former Government Ministers, MPs and councillors from York and North Yorkshire as well as Greg Dyke, former director-general of the BBC, Sir Tim Smit, founder of the Eden Project and journalist and campaigner, Melissa Benn.

CEO of the event, Ben Rich, said he is “delighted” with this year’s programme.

Mr Rich said: “There really is something for everyone. You can go from a discussion around the value of the City of Culture project – led by the people who are most expert in this, the directors of the most recent and upcoming festivals – to sessions on what children really want from education and their future, told by themselves.

“You can then move on to the role of religion, playing your role with a smartphone quiz and challenging Sarah Owen MP – Shadow Minister for Faith as well as Levelling Up.

“If you do feel there’s a topic that we’ve not already covered, you can always book a slot in the Speakers Corner and remind the world about it.”

Ticket holders will be able to take part in wide-ranging discussions including devolution could mean with cllr Claire Douglas, leader of the City of York Council, cllr Gareth Dadd, deputy leader of North Yorkshire County Council, Simon Biltcliffe, leader, Yorkshire Party and Baroness Judith Blake, Shadow Spokesperson, Levelling Up, Housing & Communities.

York MP Julian Sturdy and deputy leader of the Green Party, Zack Polanski will discuss whether decarbonisation can deliver economic success.

One talk will look at how we can build a new social contract for the NHS with speakers including former Health Secretary, Lord Lansley, CEO of the NHS Confederation Matthew Taylor and author and founder of The Equality Trust, Prof Kate Pickett.

Meanwhile, Shadow Immigration Minister, Stephen Kinnock MP will look at the impact of Covid and Brexit on the workforce.

The panel discussions are designed to provide opportunity for audience participation but the day also includes many other interactive sessions for festival-goers to take the opportunity to shape debate.

Tickets for the event are free and can be found on the Eventbrite website. Space is limited so early booking is recommended.

Further details can be found on the Big Tent website.

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