Martin Ford 01 July 2021

Levelling up funds risk 'amplifying regional inequalities'

Levelling up funds risk amplifying regional inequalities image

Efforts to level-up could result in embedding regional inequalities, a new report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has found.

The report published today is critical of the current approach of bidding for pots of money.

CIPFA found it risks awarding funds based on the ability to create a bid rather than need, putting ‘smaller, less resilient councils at a disadvantage’ and ‘amplifying regional inequalities’.

The report added: ‘The money provided through levelling up does not alleviate any of the current local government funding problems and in some cases will increase the burden on local authorities.’

CIPFA’s local government policy manager Joanne Pitt said: ‘Levelling up funding cannot be used as a way of influencing voters to the detriment of good decision making.

‘Areas most in need of funding should be supported and allowed to engage with this national policy based on sound economic judgment rather than a ballot paper.'

CIPFA also recommended incorporating the Industrial Strategy into its forthcoming successor, the Plan for Growth to avoid ‘uprooting nearly four years of effort’.

Chief economist Jeffrey Matsu said: ‘Levelling up, net zero and a vision for global Britain were already being addressed by the Industrial Strategy’s four grand challenges and 10 sector deals.

‘Why not build on this approach rather than restart?’

The report raised concerns over a lack of ‘clear understanding of how success will be measured’ and urged the Government to be candid about what to expect in the Spending Review.

It added: ‘Trade-offs exist and it would be better for the Government to confront these difficult but necessary choices by making, at times, unpopular decisions.

‘To pretend that there will not be both winners and losers when attempting to level the playing field may, ultimately, erode public trust.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Planning Policy Manager

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£61.470 - £64.704
Be part of Greenwich's vision to successfully accommodate a high level of sustainable growth, which... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Refuse Driver (Rolling Advert - applications checked weekly)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£30.032 - £31.610
It is an exciting time in Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Be part of a team who are... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Commercial Contracts and Procurement Solicitor

North Yorkshire County Council
£32,910 to £43,857
Due to positive growth we are looking for Solicitors to join our Commercial Contracts and Procurements team. Homeworking
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

General Legal Counsel – Corporate and Commercial

North Yorkshire County Council
£39,880 to £43,857
Are you looking for a legal career which is rewarding and offers the perfect blend of public and private sector working? Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Corporate Credit Control Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£34,033
The post holder will act as the expert point of contact on all issues to instigate and conduct cases of appointee ship. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue