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"Levelling Up has left Bradford even further behind" says Judith


Judith has challenged the Government on its Levelling Up strategy as new research suggests the wealth gap between the North and the rest of England is set to grow.


Speaking in Parliament today, Judith questioned the effectiveness of the scheme, highlighting regional inequalities between the North and South are forecast to get bigger:


“In 2010, total wealth per head in the North of England was 16% less than the rest of England.”


“Last week the IPPR [Institute for Public Policy Research] released a report which estimated that, by the end of 2030, this gap will have grown to 21%.”


“Can the Minister confirm that this government’s policies have achieved a ‘levelling up’?”


Responding, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Michael Gove, argued:


“I was delighted to be in West Yorkshire on Friday outlining the additional investment that we are making in the West Yorkshire region”


“The specific agreement that we have reached with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, will see significant additional funds going in to help with housing, adult skills, and transport, all of which will contribute to a revolution in devolution that has occurred under this Conservative government.”


The Government has recently agreed a Level 4 devolution deal for the West Yorkshire, a step down from the devolution deals approved for Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.


A freedom of information request to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also revealed that by February 2024, less than 20 per cent of projects approved under levelling up’s Towns Fund have been completed in England.


Speaking afterwards, Judith said:


“Levelling Up was supposed to be about addressing regional inequalities and giving an economic kick start to places such as Bradford. Instead, the scheme has left communities competing for the scraps of limited funding against the backdrop of chronic underfunding of our local services by government.


“The Government’s completely ineffective strategy is leaving the very places that would benefit the most – like Bradford – even further behind.”


“Labour’s plan to rebuild Britain will give towns and cities across England the tools they need to drive growth and build an economy that boosts living standards and good jobs in every part of the country”.

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