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Devolution and ‘levelling up’: Mayor of Greater Manchester among witnesses to debate with peers

9 March 2021

Is devolution in England key to ‘levelling up’ left-behind regions and places?

That is one of the likely questions when Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, joins other local government leaders tomorrow (Wednesday 10 March from 3.00 p.m.) to explore the Government’s ‘levelling up’ strategy with peers.

The House of Lords Public Services Committee will also discuss with experts whether civil society has been neglected under levelling up.

The 2019 Conservative Party election manifesto committed to “levelling up every part of the UK” and linked this commitment explicitly to devolving power to towns, cities and rural and coastal areas.

The committee will hear from:

At 3.00 p.m.

  • Matt Whittaker, Chief Executive Officer, Pro Bono Economics
  • Dan Corry, Chief Executive, New Philanthropy Capital
  • Sir Stephen Bubb, Acting Director, Oxford Institute of Charity

Likely questions and areas of discussion include:

  • What main areas of the ‘levelling up’ strategy should be priorities in underperforming localities and regions?
  • Is social capital unevenly distributed across England? If so, how could Government increase the number of charities in deprived areas?
  • How has the voluntary sector been involved in deciding how and where ‘levelling up’ investment is spent?

At 4.00 p.m.

  • Andy Burnham, Mayor at Greater Manchester
  • Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Vice Chair, LGA City Regions Board; Leader, City Of Bradford Metropolitan District Council; Chair, West Yorkshire Metropolitan Council
  • Cllr Barry Lewis, Leader, Derbyshire County Council

Likely questions and areas of discussion include:

  • Is the Government using the correct criteria to determine how investment is allocated under the Towns Fund, Levelling Up Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund?
  • Are rural and coastal areas at risk of losing out to cities and towns?
  • How have you been consulted on the delivery and design of the ‘levelling up’ strategy?

The virtual session will be live on Parliament TV.

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