Press Release : 02.02.2022
UK2070 Commission welcomes the publication of the Government’s plan for levelling up across the whole of the UK.
Lord Kerslake, chair, UK2070 Commission said:
“We welcome the Governments publication of Levelling Up White Paper today. The inequalities in economic performance and social conditions across the UK identified by the UK2070 Commission are now accepted by all parties. The momentum for change must however be built up and accelerated from these initial steps since there is no quick fix to the UK’s spatial disparities, which have continued to widen in recent years.
There needs to be a strong focus on meaningful devolution, giving local authorities and mayors across the country a greater say over the way their regions function, and providing local solutions to the problems to levelling up. Whitehall deciding on the criteria and who receives funding just won’t work – hopefully today we begin to embrace that change.”
“Much more investment will be needed than is currently envisaged by the Government. This will need to be sustained over a long period of time. Without this, the ambitions of the White Paper are unlikely to be realised. Rebalancing the UK will bring enormous economic and social benefits that will more than justify the higher investment”.
The scale of analysis and the width issues addressed, ranging from creating global centres of excellence and closing the skills-gap, demonstrate the seriousness of the government’s intent. This is marked contrast from the fragmented deal-based policy approach which has frustrated past efforts to deliver change.
It is therefore hoped that this Levelling Up will allow a sustained approach across government election cycles.
The new delivery vehicles should help make government fit for purpose. The proposed strengthening of national leadership as well as further devolution is a recognition of the need to empower of local communities to take strategic action on infrastructure, skills and health. The proposed metrics should also allow action to be better planned, success can be measured and government held to account.
Therefore, the UK2070 Commission will be seeking to engage with the government and work with it to promote, develop and maintain the focus on transforming the social conditions and economic performance of the UK. We will be producing a detailed analysis and critique of the White paper drawing on the expertise in the Commission.
For further information Please visit www.uk2070.org.uk
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