Northumberland Labour Leader Scott Dickinson, Labour Councillor for Druridge Bay has backed five tests set from Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up Lisa Nandy, which the Government’s Levelling Up plan must deliver in order to deliver on the promises of the 2019 election.
Talking about why these tests are important Scott Dickinson pointed to new research from Labour has revealed that areas virtually every area of England (95%) has received less in funding on average since 2018 than they received from regional development funds, such as the Towns Fund.
In Northumberland County Council, local Settlement Funding has reduced and no successful bids through levelling up funding have been forthcoming for the area, meaning a £50.7m real-terms loss for the area since the Government’s levelling up agenda was announced in 2018.
The research found that in England 144 local authority areas were still worse off by approximately £50 million on average after receiving Levelling Up funding.
Setting out the tests last Sunday, Ms Nandy said “It simply will not be good enough to give us more of the same –pots of our money to scrap over – without real power on what it’s spent on or a few new mayors. We need to change the settlement of our country back in favour of those who built it.”
“For levelling up to truly deliver on this promise, the Government must meet the ambitions people have for our own communities, specifically, this means:
- Good jobs in our home towns, so young people have choices and chances and don’t have to get out to get on.
- Our high streets are thriving because the local economy is thriving, with good local businesses and money in people’s pockets – not just papering over the cracks.
- Our towns and villages are better connected to jobs, opportunities, our family and our friends through good transport, digital infrastructure and affordable housing that we have too often missed out on.
- We get the power to take local decisions for ourselves – ending the system where we have to go cap in hand to Westminster to do things we know will work for us.
- Our town centres are safe and welcoming instead of plagued by anti-social behaviour, with criminals being let off and victims let down.”