‘Cut costly competitive bids to fulfil projects’: LGA responds to LUHC committee report on levelling up

“Levelling up has the potential to transform people’s lives and livelihoods, with councils best placed to make this happen. This should be locally led by evidence of where crucial investment needs to go to, not based on costly competitive bids between areas, as this important report confirms."

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Responding to a report by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities select committee, which warns that levelling up is at risk unless government provides long-term substantive funding for councils to deliver inclusive economic growth for their communities, Cllr Kevin Bentley, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said: 

“Levelling up has the potential to transform people’s lives and livelihoods, with councils best placed to make this happen.

“This should be locally led by evidence of where crucial investment needs to go to, not based on costly competitive bids between areas, as this important report confirms. 

“Awarding relatively small pots of cash is not a sustainable approach to economic development or public service delivery. It also falls short of the challenge set out by the Levelling Up White Paper and the ambitions of local leaders for their residents and places. 

“The Government can boost local sustainable productivity and save money, by building on the White Paper’s commitment to streamline the long list of individual local growth funds. It should also commit to providing better information about total public spending in a local area, to support a greater co-ordinated approach across government and with local leaders. 

“Greater powers for councils with local and national support, without them needing to negotiate costly funding competitions, will also help make levelling up a reality.”