Levelling-up must include control of large budgets

Regional inequality can only be tackled if regional bodies control budgets large enough for major transport schemes.

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill must include trusting local leaders with large-scale budgets, including ambitious and far-reaching projects, such as a rapid mass transit system for West Yorkshire and a high-speed rail link between Hull and Liverpool.

Otherwise, they would have to keep going cap-in-hand to Westminster, who would still hold all the real power.

Levelling up funding bids have been rejected in 28 of England’s most deprived councils*, which shows that local control of budgets and projects is needed.

We support the step towards greater energy security through green energy. As we have long-campaigned for, this must start with education – with the creation of bespoke training centres in green technology.

As soon as reasonably possible we must embark on an urgent insulation campaign - at no cost to the household. Combining this with free heat surveys provided by local councils to directly target insulation to where it'll be most effective.

Another disappointment is the missed opportunity on workers’ right, with nothing being done, for example, to give proper protection against discrimination due to pregnancy.

As ever, Yorkshire relies on Westminster. Promises which have been broken repeatedly, especially on rail-projects, and other important areas have been missed out entirely – there’s little sign of significant action against rising crime.

A devolved Yorkshire, with Scottish-style powers and budgetary control, would set the agenda and could revitalise Yorkshire’s transport, economy, education and green technology, while giving improving protection against crime and discrimination and help families cope with the cost-of-living.

*Source: Levelling up funding bids rejected in 28 of England’s most deprived councils


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