Levelling up locally to bridge the divides

By Paul Swinney | 17 November 2021

On the face of it, last month’s Budget gave the UK’s city leaders several reasons to be cheerful: many will see extra funding coming their way from the Levelling Up Fund, the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and, for big cities in particular, a £5.7bn pot for improvements to urban transport.

There is also a real-terms increase to local government funding. This is much needed after a decade of austerity that hit poorer, urban northern councils the hardest but, in reality, I would expect its effects to be limited due to councils’ ever-growing pressure to meet rising social care costs.

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