Lack of Government strategy proving barrier to levelling-up, Centre for Cities report argues
Official public spending rules are not a barrier to levelling up the country, but a lack of direction from Government is, says Centre for Cities in a new report created in partnership with Legal & General.
This warning comes ahead of an expected Comprehensive Spending Review this autumn, in which the Chancellor is under pressure to re-write the spending rules – known as the Green Book – to benefit places outside London and the South East.
The report argues that ministers must move beyond vague rhetoric and set out a specific strategy for what they want levelling up to achieve. This lack of political direction is hampering the levelling up agenda not, as some suggest, the Green Book rules.
The current levelling up plans are also too Whitehall-centric, with departments already lacking capacity to deliver new projects now having to manage Covid-19. Because of this, there is a danger that the levelling up agenda will be de-prioritised and the places hit hardest economically by the pandemic will fall further behind.