Response to Government White Paper on Levelling Up

Published: Wednesday, 2nd February 2022

The leader of Birmingham City Council has welcomed the publication of the white paper on levelling up, saying the council is ready to play its part but needs the backing of government.

The city council recently launched its own blueprint for inclusive and sustainable growth that will improve lives and life chances – Prosperity and Opportunity for All: Birmingham’s Levelling Up Strategy.

Cllr Ian Ward said Birmingham is the perfect place to deliver the levelling up agenda but it needs the right funding and powers for the city and region to genuinely improve people’s life chances.

Responding to today’s white paper publication, Cllr Ward said: “I welcome any commitment to levelling up the UK economy and we will work with the Government, regional mayor Andy Street, businesses and of course our communities to address the deep-rooted challenges that continue to hold far too many people back across Birmingham and the wider region.

“With 40 per cent of Birmingham children currently growing up in poverty, it’s clear that you cannot level up the UK without investing in the people and communities of our city.

“Birmingham is a city of huge potential and we’re already taking a lead on levelling up. Projects such as the Commonwealth Games and HS2 mean we’re attracting the investment to make this a golden decade of opportunity, while we’re also investing in public transport, greener housing and skills – our Breaking Down Barriers report published last summer aims to improve education, training and opportunities to get young people into better jobs and careers.

“Levelling up is the right thing to do, but the plan must come with devolved powers and funding if we are going to genuinely improve the lives and life chances of people who are being left behind.”

The city council is now analysing the white paper in order to give a detailed response.

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