Michael Gove

Michael Gove admits that Levelling Up has become harder

The cabinet minister for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, has admitted that rising prices are making the government’s Levelling Up initiative more difficult, as councils head towards the beginning to of the second round of bidding for funding.

The Levelling Up scheme was launched to try and combat the biggest regional inequalities in across the country and allows local councils to bid for funding to help achieve that goal by focusing in on 12 “missions” laid out by the government with a deadline of 2030.

Mr Gove said:

“Unless we stick to these missions, then the cost of issues that we face at the moment will deepen inequality”

The first round of bidding finished at the end of 2021 and saw 38 councils winning all or some of the funding they requested, whilst 34 did not submit a bid. More importantly for the entire Levelling Up scheme and its success is the fact that 28 councils in the most deprived areas of England had their bids rejected, including Blackpool and Knowsley who are of a top priority to the government.

The first round of bidding saw £1.7 billion allocated to towns and cities around the country

Former government economist Nicola Headlam suggested some issues with the current bidding format where councils must bid against each other to win their funding:

“A beauty contest around who gets the money, that’s not really how I would do it.”

Whilst then going on to suggest that councils in more affluent areas could be more likely to win their bids due to having more resources to help write better proposals.

The first round of bidding focused on four areas:

  • Characteristics of places
  • Deliverability
  • Strategic fit with local and Fund priorities
  • Economic case in line with the published assessment framework

Rising costs in the United Kingdom are causing trouble for local councils, the government, and residents in deprived areas as fuel costs, household fuel bills, VAT and interest rates on mortgage payments are all increasing at a rate that does not align with wage increases.

With the second round of bidding approaching at the end of the month, Gove outlined how his department is helping councils to make sure that their bids are effective, including with the deployment of Levelling Up directors, who live local to the relevant areas, to assist with the bids.

Creating a Legacy in Liverpool

PSE April/May 22

Creating a Legacy in Liverpool

Our April/May 2022 edition of PSE brings you expert comment and analysis on a range of key public sector topics, from finance and investment to environment and decarbonisation. Learn how the public sector can develop renewable energy projects, or read Mayor of Liverpool., Joanne Anderson’s plans to create a social value legacy in the city, alongside so much more…

Videos...

View all videos
PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event

Be A Part Of It!

PSE365: Public Sector Decarbonisation Virtual Event | 17 March 2022

PSE has created a full calendar of events to address the most important issues that influence the delivery of public sector services. 

Over 365 days you’ll have the opportunity to hear from a range of highly motivating, informative and inspirational speakers. These speakers will equip you with knowledge and unique insight to enable you to overcome the challenges that you face.

Magazine Feature

Keep communities at the heart of planning

Chris Borg, NALC policy manager

Chris Borg discusses the Planning for the Future white paper and explains the importance of residents and local councils having a say when it comes to planning

More articles...

View all