Levelling up | LocalGov

Addressing regional inequalities


Andrew Borland, Chief Innovation Officer at the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC), University of Liverpool discusses the importance of levelling up for growth.

Dashboard compares healthy life expectancy across councils


A data tool to compare healthy life expectancy across all councils in England has been launched by The Health Foundation.

Council tax rises leading to ‘levelling down’


Households in the Northeast are set to pay £420 more for an average band D property in council tax than those in Greater London.

Levelling up plagued by ‘astonishing delays’


The Government’s levelling up agenda has been characterised by ‘astonishing delays’ and blind optimism, according to Parliament’s spending watchdog.

Less than 20% of levelling up projects completed


Fewer than a fifth of projects backed by the Government's £3.6bn Towns Fund were on track to be completed by the end of February, FOI requests have revealed.

More areas get level four devolution powers


West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and the Liverpool city region will all receive level four devolved powers, local government secretary Michael Gove has announced.

Levelling up requires ‘meaningful’ devolution, business group says


Business leaders have called for ‘meaningful decision-making powers’ to be devolved to local authorities to help boost left-behind regions.

Council to consider levelling up fund judicial review


Durham County Council will consider seeking a judicial review into how the Government allocated levelling up funding after the authority spent £1.2m on failed bids.

Levelling up must continue, urges think-tank


Efforts to level up the country and devolve more powers to local government should continue following the General Election, a think-tank has urged.

MPs criticise ‘glacial’ progress of levelling up projects


Mandarins from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities faced the Public Accounts Committee.

Levelling Up Fund allocated


The third round of the Levelling Up Fund has been awarded to unsuccessful bids from round two.

Autumn Statement 2023: Where does all the HS2 money go now?


Jessica Bowles, director of strategic partnerships and impact at Bruntwood, discusses the future of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Economic pessimism a ‘damning indictment’ of levelling up


Half of people think Conservative policies would have a negative impact on their local economy over the next five years, a think-tank has found.

Levelling up ambitions blighted by delays, says NAO


Ministers’ levelling up ambitions have been blighted by delays to key construction projects, with many deadlines unlikely to be met, the UK’s spending watchdog has warned.

Tory backbenchers pile pressure on Government


The Government has withstood pressure from its own MPs to allow councils to hold remote meetings.

Council seeks HS2 compensation over 'levelling down'


Cheshire East Council is pursuing compensation over the Government’s decision to scrap HS2 north of Birmingham.

State of rivers ‘hangs in the balance’ amid pollution climbdown


The Government has reportedly abandoned its plans to scrap nutrient neutrality rules.

Post-Party Conference Season: What does levelling up look like from a local perspective?


Andy Rumfitt, head of Business Cases and Funding at Turley, reflects on what the future of levelling up looks like following the party conferences.

Government ‘dodges scrutiny’ in levelling up Bill amendment


Both rural campaigners and planners have raised concerns that communities were sidelined in yesterday’s amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

Commission calls for £30bn public infrastructure investment


Government should invest £30bn a year into public infrastructure to level up struggling areas and tackle climate change, says infrastructure commission.

£7m project to turn bank into flats


A former Lloyds Bank in Hull will be refurbished into 46 residential properties with support from levelling up funding.

Fifty-five ‘left-behind’ towns to share £1bn


Fifty-five towns across the UK are set to benefit from a £1.1bn levelling up investment, the Prime Minister has announced.

Council injects £6m into former mining village after failed funding bid


Durham County Council will spend £6m as part of plans to regenerate the village of Horden, where homes are on the market for just £5,000.

Government fails to block levelling up Bill amendments


The Government suffered a flurry of last-minute defeats as the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill completed its journey through the House of Lords.

Level up seaside towns or lose power, Conservatives told


The Conservative Government must level up England’s struggling coastal communities or risk losing 113 seaside seats to Labour, a conservative think tank warns.

Government defeated over planning fees


Councils would be able to vary fees for planning applications under amendments to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

‘Levelling up? my a**e’: HS2 faces new axe threat


Contractors have reacted furiously to reports that ministers are considering cancelling the second phase of HS2, which is due to take the high speed rail line to Manchester.

Lords block plans to scrap nutrient neutrality rules


The Government’s attempt to scrap nutrient neutrality rules has been defeated in the House of Lords.

Councils ‘spending £5m a week to subsidise planning services’


Subsidising planning services is costing authorities almost £5m a week as they await a proposed fee increase to help cover the cost of processing applications, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).

Mandatory housing targets rejected


An amendment to the levelling up Bill for mandatory housebuilding targets has been rejected by the House of Lords.

Rayner takes levelling up role as Starmer shuffles his pack


Labour leader Keir Starmer has appointed his deputy Angela Rayner as the party’s new shadow levelling up secretary.

Levelling up for the next generation


John Rayson, Atkins’ managing director for the North, asks if the aspirations of the next generation align with decision-makers in the North.

Liverpool to provide 4,500 tablets to tackle digital exclusion


More than 4,500 people in the Liverpool City Region will receive free tablets, internet access and training as part of a scheme to bridge the UK’s ‘digital divide’.

Local government funding system has 'broken down'


The funding system for local government has ‘broken down’ and what councils currently receive from Whitehall and council tax barely reflects need, a think-tank has warned.

Haldane: Levelling up a 'mixed bag'


Most people have yet to see the fruits of levelling up, according to a key Government adviser.

South Yorkshire named as UK’s first investment zone


South Yorkshire was named by the Government on Friday as the site of the first UK investment zone.

Levelling up partnership launched


A levelling up partnership bringing together organisations in the East of England to work alongside Government, has been launched.

Call for Government to scrap Levelling Up Fund bidding


Councils have called for the remaining £1bn in the Levelling Up Fund to be ‘allocated on the basis of robust evidence and local need’.

North of Tyne Combined Authority agrees £30m investment


North of Tyne Combined Authority has agreed a £30m investment to 'breathe new life' into a former coal mining town.

Long-term solution sought to drainage board pressure


Councils are seeking a ‘long-term solution’ as internal drainage boards (IDB) warn increasing energy costs will pile further pressure on council budgets.

Fire up Northern Powerhouse 2.0, urges Osborne


Former chancellor George Osborne has urged the Government to ‘fire up Northern Powerhouse 2.0’ as he backed more devolution for the North.

MPs call for research into green energy from coal pits


MPs have called for an investigation on whether water in former coal pits could be used to provide green energy.

Manchester 'frustrated' at pace of devolution


Manchester’s leader has said there is ‘a long way to go’ to meet the city’s devolution ambitions.

Levelling up will fail without long-term funding


The Government’s levelling up policy will fail without long-term funding for councils, MPs have warned.

North misses out on £21m of levelling up funding


Local authority areas in the North have missed out on £21m of funding from the Government’s flagship levelling up fund, a new study has revealed.

Betts questions Treasury trust of DLUHC


An MP has criticised a ministerial response, warning it fails to ‘dispute the notion the Treasury no longer appears to trust’ the levelling up department.

Poorest councils suffer cuts three times higher than richest


The poorest councils have suffered cuts in Government funding nearly three times higher than the richest, according to a research group.

Report shows stark variations in levelling up funding


Competitive bidding has led to a £0.5bn gap in levelling up cash between the best and least funded combined authorities, according to new analysis.

Budget 2023: Hunt sounds the death knell for LEPs


Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a Budget which has sounded the death knell for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), but revived the levelling up agenda.

Betts demands answers after Treasury clampdown on DLUHC spending


A senior MP has written to ministers raising concerns about the Treasury’s oversight of Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities capital spending.

Chancellor to announce investment zones backed by £80m


Twelve investment zones, each backed by £80m, will be announced tomorrow as part of the effort to boost local growth and level up left behind areas.

Levelling up committee launches local audit inquiry


An inquiry into financial audit in local authorities has been launched to ensure councils are financially sustainable and remain accountable to residents.

Levelling up Bill ‘insulting’ to districts


Peers have called for greater recognition of district councils in combined county authorities (CCAs).

Nottingham council spends £250,000 on failed levelling-up bids


Nottingham City Council spent more than £250,000 on unsuccessful bids for support from the ‘leveling up’ fund, according to new information.

Lowest-funded councils call for funding reform


The lowest-funded councils that make up the F20 group have called on the Government to address the ‘long overdue’ issue of local government funding reform.

Aberdeenshire Council accepts £20m levelling up grant


Aberdeenshire Council has accepted a £20m grant from the UK Government’s levelling up fund.

Treasury tightens grip over DLUHC spending


New capital projects by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will now have to be approved by the Treasury.

Anti-social behaviour should be top priority, says report


Tackling anti-social behaviour must become a central tenet of levelling up if the agenda is to succeed, a think-tank has warned.

‘Hidden’ unemployment rates reveal deepening divides


Nine out of 10 of the UK’s cities and towns with the highest hidden unemployment rates are in the North, new study reveals.

Khan condemns system of ‘begging’ for levelling up cash


London mayor Sadiq Khan has accused the Government of forcing councils to waste money bidding for cash as part of the ‘levelling up’ policy.

Levelling up directors could be scrapped


Plans to appoint a dozen levelling up directors may be scrapped, a minister has admitted.

Minister admits to shifting goalposts on levelling up bids


A Government minister has admitted to shifting the rules on Levelling Up Fund bids after applications had been submitted.

Council chiefs blast ‘costly’ approach to levelling up


Councils have demanded a new way of funding the sector following the announcement of the Levelling Up Fund second round winners.

London losing out on levelling up funding, says Mayor


London is losing out on hundreds of millions of pounds of levelling up funding despite having some of the most deprived areas in the country, Mayor Khan says.

Dozens of pubs saved by nearly £7m boost


More than 30 pubs, clubs, theatres and other venues at risk of closure have been placed in the hands of local people thanks to £6.67m of levelling up funding.

Transforming Dorset’s planning system as a new unitary authority


Cllr David Walsh, portfolio holder for planning, Dorset Council looks at how levelling up opportunities for infrastructure improvements are put into practice.

Future Forum North: Build individual relationships with mandarins


Councils need to build individual relationships with Whitehall civil servants if they want to achieve positive outcomes, a former senior mandarin has advised.

Council chiefs call for ‘clarity’ on post-Brexit fund


Local authority leaders today called for ‘clarity’ on the future of the delayed post-Brexit shared prosperity fund.

Think tank warns against ‘anti-London sentiment’


A think tank has accused policymakers of ‘anti-London sentiment’ and urged Whitehall to do more to include the capital in the levelling up agenda.

It’s time to re-think the retail-dominated model of our high streets


With levelling up back on the agenda, Nick Plumb argues there is a need for a new approach to our high streets that moves beyond the retail-dominated model.

Reeves to make case for economic devolution


The shadow chancellor will make the case for ‘deeper and broader’ economic devolution as Labour stresses the need for ‘more local powers’ over the economy.

County leaders call for devolution to be ‘turbocharged’


County council leaders have called on the Government to ‘turbocharge’ devolution to help them level up by attracting more foreign direct investment (FDI).

Autumn Statement: Northern Powerhouse Rail to be 'core' only


The chancellor Jeremy Hunt has confirmed hopes for Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) to be completed in full have been dashed.

Ministers urged to break the link between drugs and deprivation


Around 1,600 drug-related deaths could be prevented in the North and Scotland if the Government ensures drugs policy reform is included in levelling up plans, a think tank has argued today.

Cultural institutions face ‘existential threat’, MPs warn


Theatres, museums and leisure centres in historically left behind areas are facing an ‘existential threat’ from the cost-of-living crisis, MPs warn.

The place principle


Chris Malcolm discusses how a holistic, people-centric vision can achieve better results across publicly funded projects.

‘Disjointed’ council funding undermines levelling up


Cuts to public services and a local authority funding system that is ‘disjointed’ threatens to undermine the levelling up agenda, financial experts warn.

Levelling up fails North East, study reveals


The Government’s flagship policy of levelling up and closing the North/South divide has failed to benefit the North East, a new study has found.

Councils warn of £2.5bn ‘threat’ to services


Two thirds of surveyed councils said they either faced a ‘threat’ to or ‘extreme pressure’ on key service delivery over the next financial year, poll reveals.

Toolkit to level up high street published


Local authorities will have to prove ‘adept’ in making use of the tools and resources at their disposal if high streets are going to survive, think tank says.

Nandy pledges to boost council housing


Shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy this week vowed to end the political ‘vandalism’ of UK social housing stock.

Capitalising on levelling up


Tim Heatley, co-founder of Capital&Centric, argues that it is a race against time for councils looking to capitalise on levelling up.

Clarke appointed as local government secretary


Local government has given new local government secretary Simon Clarke a guarded welcome after he was appointed by new Prime Minister Liz Truss.

£1.14bn East Midlands devo deal agreed


A landmark £1.14bn devolution deal for a new combined county authority (CCA) is on offer for the East Midlands, to include a new elected regional mayor.

Levelling up little more than a ‘slogan’, MPs say


MPs have criticised the Government’s flagship levelling up Bill for a lack of clarity and funding commitments.

Grimsby welcomes £8m infrastructure boost


The leader of North East Lincolnshire Council has welcomed an £8m boost to help repair vital bridges connecting Grimsby and Immingham.

North-South gap remains wide despite levelling-up rhetoric


The income gap between the North and the South has remained consistently wide since the early 2000s despite all the talk of levelling-up, think tank says.

Council ‘disappointed’ at levelling up grouping


Sefton Council ‘disappointed’ at being grouped with low priority areas for levelling up funds because it has one of the most deprived areas in the country.

Think tank calls for beefed up levelling up


A think tank has demanded the next government reverse council funding cuts and beef up the levelling up Bill after new figures revealed public spending continues to leave the North behind.

MPs call for action on 'uninhabitable' social housing


Too many social housing tenants are living in homes that are 'unfit for human habitation', a new report has said today.

Government urged to scale up levelling up


The Government is focusing on the right issues as part of its levelling up agenda but needs to dramatically scale up investment and effort, according to the Institute for Government (IfG) think-tank.

Second round of Levelling Up Fund opens for bids


Councils are being urged to bid for a share of £4.8bn as part of the Government's Levelling Up Fund.

Metro mayor calls for 'unwavering support' for levelling up


Metro mayor Ben Houchen has called on MPs vying to be the next prime minister to fully commit to levelling up the red wall and left behind areas.

Boost cities to level up UK, think tank says


Levelling up needs billions of pounds worth of investment in cities – a level of investment not currently being considered by policy makers, think tanks say.

Social housing providers still need more support to tackle planning delay


Jonathan Pearson warns the country’s 'slow and cumbersome' planning process is currently preventing local authorities from adequately responding to housing need.

Councils urged to share post-pandemic cultural activities


The LGA is calling for councils and local partners to share examples of their work in using culture to support the post-pandemic recovery and levelling up.

Government ‘gambling’ with levelling up funding


Levelling up should be delivered with ‘measurable targets’, council leaders say as MPs raise questions over the funding of the Government’s flagship agenda.

Improve town centres and connectivity to ‘level up’, says think tank


Levelling up should focus on improving town centres and connectivity, and ensuring there is a high quality of low skilled jobs available, think tank says.

MPs call for levelling up funding ‘transparency’


MPs have called for ‘more information and more transparency’ when it comes to levelling up grants and funding pots.

The need for Green Belt reform


With only four references to the Green Belt in the Levelling Up White Paper, Karen Charles asks if a change to the Green Belt is inevitable?

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