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27.02.20

UK2070 report published exposing “over-centralised” system

The UK2070 Commission has published its final report ‘Make No Little Plans – Acting At Scale For A Fairer And Stronger Future’ today (Feb 27) at MediaCityUK in Salford.

When issuing the report Chair Lord Kerslake called on government to “go big or go home” in its approach to stemming further economic decline and social division.

A ten-point programme, set out in the report, presents government with the opportunity to stand alongside business and community organisations and tackle inequality.

Included in the ten points are measures such as tripling the new Shared Prosperity Fund to £15bn per annum and continuing that commitment for 20 years, investing in a new connectivity revolution, creating new ‘Networks of Excellence” in regional Research and Development, a radical programme of devolution and tackling the historic underperformance of the UK on skills.

The report is a result of 18 months of research and public consultation carried out by six UK universities.

Lord Kerslake said:

“The Government’s desire to level up the UK economy is welcome. However, the scale of the challenge we face is such that we need a generational shift if we are to avoid serious decline and division. Many people in Britain feel left behind by growth elsewhere and that has contributed to an acrimonious debate about Europe. We now face a decade of potential disruption – leaving the European Union, confronting the impact of climate change and adjusting to the fourth industrial revolution.

“Our research shows clearly that these inequalities did not grow up overnight. They reflect an over-centralised system that fails to comprehend the reality of regional need and consistently comes up with policies that are either under-resourced, too fragmented, or too short-lived to make a difference. Some policy guidelines have actively stacked the odds against the regions. Time is not on our side and we cannot afford to keep on repeating those mistakes. Government must therefore think big, plan big and act at scale. Bluntly, if it can’t go big, it should go home.”

Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham, who was in attendance today, said:

“I have been waiting my whole political life for a report like this. The UK2070 Commission has authority exposed the massive scale of our regional divides”

"Beside my family, the greatest wish I have in life is to see the North of England rise up in coming decades and to no longer be held back - to see a future story of progress across the next few decades."

 

Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Archive/PA Images

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