“Levelling up is at the heart of what councils and combined authorities want for their communities and they have a critical role to play in achieving the 12 national missions set out in this wide-ranging white paper."
Responding to the publication of the Levelling Up white paper, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association which represents 350 councils across England and Wales, said:
“Levelling up is at the heart of what councils and combined authorities want for their communities and they have a critical role to play in achieving the 12 national missions set out in this wide-ranging white paper.
“The local response to the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated what is possible when central and local government work together towards a shared goal, highlighting the place leadership role councils play in responding to the needs of local communities. It is positive to see devolution being extended beyond England’s city regions and further opportunities for Mayoral Combined Authorities. Inviting every part of England to experience the benefits of devolution and decide for themselves what they need is crucial to improving opportunities and life chances for people across the country, which councils and Mayoral Combined Authorities will embrace.
“The Government’s framework for devolution is an important step and is something that the LGA has long called for. It is good that the framework will apply to all local areas and will not impose a one-size-fits-all approach to governance. We are keen to go further and faster with other government departments so the whole of government is taking a ‘local first’ approach.
“The launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to be distributed via councils, is confirmation of their vital leadership role in bringing together local partners. It will give them greater certainty and freedom to run local programmes that respond to local need and can have a real impact on tackling inequalities and levelling up opportunities, such as boosting employment and skills, supporting local businesses, achieving net zero and leading the Multiply programme to improve adult numeracy. We look forward to actively shaping this with government.
“Local government has a very strong record of data transparency, including through our award-winning LG Inform data platform. We will work closely with government on the development of the new independent body relating to data transparency. This new organisation must add value and not duplicate the work of other bodies.
“Councils want to work with the new Levelling Up Advisory Council and government on making sure that the role of local communities in delivering change and progress is evidenced well, including on the joined-up, sustainable funding settlement needed to empower councils across the country in support of these overall aims.”
Notes to Editors