Queen’s Speech: ‘levelling up’ let down
Sir Stephen Houghton says we must not see blame being levelled on those areas who are not able to meet the levelling up mission targets – 'when it is in fact that local areas are not being given a penny by the Government to be able to reach them'.
Keeping risk away
Kirsty Stanners explains how the Government is planning ways to prevent councils taking on high and disproportionate levels of debt.
Thick document; thin vision
Dr Jonathan Carr-West says it’s not that the measures in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill are bad in and of themselves, but it feels like a missed opportunity to ask bigger questions about the function and form of local government.
So, what happens when the political calculations around levelling up change?
Recent events threaten to disrupt the flagship levelling up agenda we were told would be nothing short of system change for how the country is governed, says Jessica Studdert.
Social value can unlock billions to help communities flourish
A new report from Social Enterprise UK has highlighted a huge opportunity to realise £56bn a year through better public sector procurement, says Chris White.
The private sector is essential to levelling up
When levelling up, government will achieve the most by enabling and empowering the private sector to increase investment, jobs and growth at local levels, says Athina Agrafioti.
A Queen’s Speech without jewels
Councils are at the forefront of demand when people pushed into poverty seek their support, writes Mo Baines. But she says the Queen’s Speech failed to embrace the role of councils by offering practical measures that would help residents.
Post-pandemic planning for the core cities
Chief executives and directors from the UK’s biggest cities debated their challenges and opportunities in a round table discussion organised by Core Cities UK and The MJ, supported by BT. Paul Marinko reports.
The new director of IPPR North, Zoë Billingham, speaks to Ann McGauran about taking on the role at a time of political and economic turmoil, and gives her verdict on how the Government’s flagship levelling up policy is shaping up.
Clause 16 could 'emasculate' districts
The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill 'makes unacceptable provision to transfer district functions to a county combined authority by regulations', says Ian Miller. The 'howling gap' is the lack of requirement for districts' consent, he adds.
EXCLUSIVE: Government 'risks battle' on moving districts' functions without consent
Districts will push to change the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill to ensure their functions cannot move to new combined county authorities (CCAs) without their consent, The MJ understands.
Centre has 'poor understanding' of what works on local growth, says NAO expert
A large proportion of Government spending is ‘not robustly evaluated’ and there is poor understanding by the centre about the approaches to local economic growth that work best, an expert from the National Audit Office has said.
Boring not bad
Sir Bob Neill says this wasn’t a Queen’s Speech packed with surprises, ‘but if dull means getting the job done, let’s welcome the dull’.
Future Forum: Go hyper-local to avoid 'grim' future
The Government needs to provide county deals quickly and councils need to simultaneously ‘go hyper-local’ to avoid a ‘grim’ future, according to the vice-chair of the Association of County Chief Executives (ACCE).
Will new Levelling Up Fund round repeat ‘beauty contest’?
Dr Nicola Headlam says the Government may have renewed its commitment to empower local leaders but as yet the reality does not match the rhetoric on funding for local growth.
The Government must go all-in on digital democracy
Piers Mulroney says the Government must heed the warning of the local elections and commit to increasing trust and transparency, connecting with voters again through digital democracy.
Government can abandon or change levelling up missions
The Government is leaving open the possibility of abandoning or changing the White Paper's levelling up missions and can delay reporting on them until after the General Election.
Levelling up must go beyond 'big ticket' projects
Efforts to level up communities must be felt at a local level for the policy to be viewed as a success by the public, politicians have been told.
The ‘people’s choice’ for health and care leadership
Andrew Laird says local authorities are the driving force for the levelling up agenda through co-production with local communities, and there are many reasons why council leaders are perfect for the role of leading in health and care ‘places’.
Will the fair funding review be another damp squib?
David Phillips says that, if the fair funding review becomes a repeat of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, it increases the risk that the Government’s flagship levelling up agenda remains little more than a slogan.