County Deals approach falls far short of treating districts as equal partners

By Cllr Sam Chapman-Allen | 07 February 2022

The Levelling Up White Paper has finally landed. There’s no doubting the Government’s ambition to tackle economic disparities, make opportunity more equal and restore local pride. The 12 national missions cover a sweeping range of social and economic aims, where the inequality between regions and within regions has been too stark for too long.

I’m optimistic that local government has a big part to play in delivering the White Paper. District councils want to work with the Government to achieve our shared ambition of levelling up the country.  Our proximity to 100% of residents and businesses in our communities, our local convening power and our proven track record of delivery on the ground make us ideally placed to do that in market towns, new towns, cathedral cities, coastal communities and rural areas across England. Our 183 member councils are the biggest and most trusted part of local government. In so many ways we embody the spirit of levelling up and have the capability to make it happen at the hyper local level.

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