Search

Levelling Up Goes Beyond Politics

levelling up
Ben HEad

Ben Howlett

Chief Executive of Curia

As Curia publishes a new book by several Conservative MPs and leaders in local/regional government, convened by Sir Robert Buckland MP, Curia’s CEO, Ben Howlett, reflects on refreshing the levelling up agenda.

So, I might be biased, but Levelling Up 2.0: A Blueprint for the Future is a timely and insightful book that sets out a comprehensive future vision for the levelling up agenda in the United Kingdom. Authored by a diverse group of contributors, including Sir Robert Buckland, One Nation MPs, and leaders in local/regional government, the book explores the importance of empowering local communities, driving change through collaboration, and sharing prosperity across the nation.

All too often have the fringes of the Conservative Party been given a loud voice on one of the most important political debates of this generation.  This book redresses this imbalance. A phrase which was a household topic of conversation needs a definition for the long-term benefit it can bring to generations of families across the country. Having read the various chapters written by MPs including Sir Robert, Jane Stevenson, Bim Afolami, Sally-Ann Hart, Fay Jones, Katherine Fletcher, West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, and Leader of the District Council Network, Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen, this book provides a unique vision for the future. If some of the ideas incorporated within the chapters are enacted, the opportunities could be significant to people across the UK.

Levelling Up book launch
Buy a copy of the book here.

The book begins with an impactful foreword by Sir Robert Buckland, highlighting the unwavering commitment of the authors to the levelling up agenda. Despite changes in leadership, the book asserts that the agenda remains a priority for the Government, offering assurance to investors and instilling confidence in long-term investment opportunities. With the Labour Party also confirming their support for the agenda, the book emphasises the opportunity to deliver a long-term levelling up vision.

Strengthening national and local co-operation

One of the key themes running throughout the book is the importance of collaboration and partnership between various stakeholders, including government bodies, civil society, and the private sector. The authors stress the need for visible local performance monitoring and increased devolution as crucial elements of the levelling up agenda. They advocate for empowered local authorities and highlight the achievements already made in Conservative-led regions such as the West Midlands. The authors also stress the importance of attracting global businesses to invest in regions across the UK, requiring a competitive landscape and devolution of decision-making to local leaders.

The book thoroughly examines the Levelling Up the United Kingdom White Paper, which outlines a comprehensive vision for creating a country where individuals can thrive without having to leave their localities. It goes beyond economic development, considering factors like health, productivity, connectivity, well-being, and community pride. The authors demonstrate their commitment to the long-term sustainability of the levelling up agenda and propose an ambitious plan for its future development.

The strategic framework of the White Paper is explored, including the six ‘”capitals’,” or drivers, of growth and the five foundational elements necessary for successful local growth policies. The book also delves into the twelve levelling up missions, categorising them into four focus areas to be achieved by 2030. The importance of robust metrics and performance measurements at all levels of government is emphasised, ensuring effective implementation and evaluation of the levelling up agenda.

A radical reform agenda

The book raises the need for improved central government decision-making, enhanced local involvement, and better co-ordination between different levels of government. It advocates for the reform of local government structures and the creation of strategically appropriate unitary authorities. The importance of reliable subnational data, a subnational data strategy, and a spatial data unit to support local decision-making and enhance transparency is also highlighted.

Ultimately, the book serves as a call to action for the Government to prioritise long-term investments in human capital. It presents a range of exciting ideas for the future of the levelling up agenda, including digital connectivity, improvements in education and skills, housing, transport connectivity, and research and development integration. It emphasises the importance of delivering on the levelling up agenda and showcasing the transformative impact it can have on communities across the UK.

Levelling up 2.0: A Blueprint for the Future is a valuable One Nation contribution to the ongoing debate surrounding the levelling up agenda. It provides a roadmap for the Government and policymakers to address economic disparities, promote collaboration, and ensure that progress and prosperity are shared equally across the nation. The book’s insights and recommendations have the potential to shape and guide the implementation of the levelling up policy in the years to come.

Curia’s Levelling Up Commission

Curia is holding the Levelling Up Commission this year, seeking to implement the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper and find pragmatic solutions to regional disparities across the UK.

Through roundtable meetings with MPs and senior leaders of local and regional government from across the UK, quantitative data analysis and regional sprints, the Commission intends to set out a series of recommendations to consider how regional inequalities can be reduced from the perspective of public services in four key areas:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Education, Skills and Training
  • Crime, Justice and Rehabilitation

To hear thought leaders discuss levelling up in health and social care, signup to the Commission first inquiry session here.

If you are interested in working with the Levelling Up Commission, please reach out to our policy lead Shivani Sen at shivani.sen@chamberuk.com

Share

Related Topics

Latest

Plans for Diagnostics: NHS Screenings and Sunak’s Agenda

As long waiting lists for the NHS continue to persist, and people receiving diagnoses in adequate time has not reached its target, Sunak ventured on a campaign trail yesterday to trumpet new measures aimed at promoting timely diagnostics. This was to help ensure he can meet one of his top five priorities: cutting NHS waiting lists.

Hunt’s Bold Vision for the Economy

Hunt primarily proposed his bold vision for the economy and highlighted the value of investing in life sciences and the NHS especially during its time of crisis.

Video Features

Does Democracy Require Proportional Representation?

Marking LGBT+ History Month 2024

How Can We Make the UK the Greatest Place to Grow Old?

Why Should Women Stand for Office?

Subscribe to our newsletter for your free digital copy of the journal!

Receive our latest insights, future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Never miss an issue by subcribing to our newsletter!

Receive our latest insights and all future journals as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Newsletter Signup

Receive our latest insights as soon as they are published and get invited to our exclusive events and webinars.

Newsletter Signups
?
?

We respect your privacy and will not share your email address with any third party. Your personal data will be collected and handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy.