Michael Burton 20 May 2021

Levelling up is 'meaningless' without devo, say Lords

Levelling up is meaningless without devo, say Lords image

The Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda is meaningless without more devolution to councils and investment in local public services says a report from the House of Lords.

The peers on the public services committee say ministers must use the promised ‘levelling up’ White Paper to improve health, employment, education and skills rather than just focus on physical infrastructure.

In their report, sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the committee warns that if ‘levelling up’ investment neglects public services it will not help the most deprived areas.

Their letter adds: ‘For “levelling up” to be successful, the Government needs to give local authorities and other local service providers more autonomy. Current funding mechanisms are overly centralised and militate against long-term planning. The Government should use the English devolution white paper, expected this year, to address these shortcomings.’

Baroness Armstrong, the committee chair and a former local government minister said: ‘Not only places but the people who live in them should be at the heart of levelling up. Social infrastructure and support provided by public services is at least as critical to communities as investment in roads and bridges.’

She added: ‘A White Paper, which should be published urgently, is welcome but it’s unclear exactly what the government wants to level up, how much its strategy will cost, how long it will take and how it plans to achieve its goals.’

The report follows an announcement by Mr Johnson to invest £830m in 57 local areas to upgrade high streets.

Local Government Association chairman Cllr James Jamieson, said: ‘The pandemic has shown that, with the right funding and freedoms, councils can improve people’s lives. It is therefore important that this report recognises that the recovery from COVID-19 needs to include greater powers being given to local councils and their communities.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Interim Head of Fostering

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Fostering, the local authority was last inspected as “... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers

Tile Hill
Negotiable day rate
We are working with a local authority client in London who is looking for an Interim Head of Children in Care and Care Leavers, the local authority... London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Tile Hill

Head of Regeneration and Economy

City of York Council
£59,593 - £68,094
York is a wonderful place to live and work and it is quite rightly famous across the globe. York, North Yorkshire / Hybrid
Recuriter: City of York Council

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

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.