The Levelling Up White Paper – an Overview
Today Michael Gove is unveiling the government’s flagship Levelling Up White Paper.
The document will focus on long term 'system change' for the UK, with a decade-long plan aimed at ensuring people live longer, happier lives by reducing the gap in life expectancy between the richest and poorest areas.
The paper sets out 12 'missions' to be achieved by 2030 - with all government departments involved.
These include plans to offer regional powers and decision-making to more areas in England and give more powers to current devolved local authorities (such as Greater Manchester).
On housing, the paper commits to their already announced reforms to the private rented sector and to developing more 'genuinely affordable homes' by driving through the new Social Housing Regulation Bill.
A £1.5bn Levelling Up Home Building Fund will be launched to boost home ownership and the 80/20 rule - which favours development of homes in unaffordable areas of London and the South East - will be scrapped. Much of the £1.8 billion brownfield funding will be diverted to the North and Midlands. The Metro Mayors will be allocated £120 million of this funding.
£50 million from the Safer Streets Fund will be invested every year to give Police and Crime Commissioners, local authorities, and also certain civil society organisations in England and Wales the resources they need to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
Under the plans the Government wants to increase overall healthy life expectancy by five years by 2035 and to end child illiteracy and innumeracy for primary school children by 2030.
There will be more money for research and development outside of London, more investment in skills and training and investment to bring local transport systems closer to the standards set in London.
Disparities in violence and serious crime will also be targeted in the worst affected regions, as will rising pay and the rollout of 4G and 5G.
A white paper to look into drivers on health inequalities will be released later in the year.
The Government will produce an annual report to hold itself to account on progress.
What are the 12 Missions?
- By 2030, pay, employment and productivity will have risen in every area of the UK, with each containing a globally competitive city, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
- By 2030, domestic public investment in Research & Development outside the Greater South East will increase by at least 40% and at least one third over the Spending Review period, with that additional government funding seeking to leverage at least twice as much private sector investment over the long term to stimulate innovation and productivity growth.
- By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.
- By 2030, the UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.
- By 2030, the number of primary school children achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths will have significantly increased. In England, this will mean 90% of children will achieve the expected standard, and the percentage of children meeting the expected standard in the worst performing areas will have increased by over a third.
- By 2030, the number of people successfully completing high-quality skills training will have significantly increased in every area of the UK. In England, this will lead to 200,000 more people successfully completing high-quality skills training annually, driven by 80,000 more people completing courses in the lowest skilled areas.
- By 2030, the gap in Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) between local areas where it is highest and lowest will have narrowed, and by 2035 HLE will rise by 5 years.
- By 2030, well-being will have improved in every area of the UK, with the gap between top performing and other areas closing.
- By 2030, pride in place, such as people’s satisfaction with their town centre and engagement in local culture and community, will have risen in every area of the UK, with the gap between the top performing and other areas closing.
- By 2030, renters will have a secure path to ownership with the number of first-time buyers increasing in all areas; and the government’s ambition is for the number of non-decent rented homes to have fallen by 50%, with the biggest improvements in the lowest performing areas.
- By 2030, homicide, serious violence, and neighbourhood crime will have fallen, focused on the worst-affected areas.
- By 2030, every part of England that wants one will have a devolution deal with powers at or approaching the highest level of devolution and a simplified, long-term funding settlement.