William Eichler 26 March 2018

Industrial strategy neglecting fortunes of ‘left-behind’ areas, think tank warns

The Government’s decision to focus its industrial strategy on the most advanced areas of England risks neglecting the economic fortunes of the bulk of the country, think tank warns.

A new report from the think tank Localis examines how strategic authorities, such as mayoral combined authorities and county councils, can drive the industrial strategy at a local level to raise prosperity and living standards.

The Delivery of an Industrial Strategy - Raising Prosperity Across England warned the Government against focusing all of its attention and resources for the industrial strategy on Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor - the most economically advanced areas.

It said this would risk the rest of the country, particularly the poorest areas, being neglected by the strategy.

The think tank also discovered the relationship between productivity and wages varied ‘significantly’ across the country.

Hounslow in London, for example, saw a 55% increase in productivity and an 11% rise in wages. Whereas Mendip in Somerset saw a 22% increase in productivity and a 10% drop in wages.

In East Dorset there was a 9.5% increase in productivity and a 21.2% increases in wages, while in Wyre in Lancashire there was a 3.7% increase in productivity and an 18% increase in wages.

Overall, polling data from YouGov - commissioned by Localis - showed exactly half of those surveyed felt they were paid less than they deserved, nearly a third (31%) paid roughly the right amount, and 7% felt overpaid.

The polling figures also indicated nearly two thirds (61%) of people felt unrewarded for hard work.

‘These figures show too often the relationship between the individual and the economy is broken, or seen to be broken, and too often works disproportionately better for some than others,’ Jack Airey, head of research at Localis.

‘Across the world, recent votes against the status-quo suggests this to be politically unsustainable for mainstream politics. Tackling many peoples’ estrangement with the economy should be a primary aim of current and future governments.’

Cllr Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council, commented: ‘The Local Industrial Strategy is an opportunity to re-connect employers and employees to local growth and for government and counties to work together in new and creative ways relevant to local business.

‘In planning for new jobs and homes, successful Local Industrial Strategies must attract new local investment and connect local people and places – with their impressive track record of enabling economic growth, Counties must be at the heart of these plans.’

The MJ looks at the latest report from Localis in more detail here (£).

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Team Support Worker

Leicestershire County Council
An exciting opportunity has arisen to work to assist in the coordination to support the management of a comprehensive countywide Team Support Service. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Assertive Inreach Worker

Leicestershire County Council
We now have an exciting opportunity to join our team working as an Assertive Inreach Worker. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Assistant Early Education Funding Officer

City of Bradford MDC
£22,129 - £24,920
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Intelligence and Sufficiency Service to work within the Early Education Funding team. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Support worker

Northumberland County Council
Do you want a challenging and rewarding career with real opportunities to change the lives of people in Northumberland? Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Lawyer/Senior Lawyer Prosecutions

City of Bradford MDC
£36,371 - £47,665
Are you looking for a varying legal role where you can help make a true difference? Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.