If levelling up is to truly be effective as a policy, then it’s vital that a deep and rich understanding of place sits at the heart of it. Local leaders must be able to identify the priorities for their places, make robust cases for investment, understand what works and why, and measure change.
These issues formed the basis of a roundtable discussion at the County Councils Network (CCN) annual conference that took place in November 2021.
Revisiting the insightful debate that the roundtable fostered – post publication of the white paper – sheds valuable light on what needs to happen next; how you move from policy to delivery; and how you enable local government to enact genuine change on the ground.
The consensus of the participants was that the Levelling up agenda combined with effective devolution offers a real opportunity for places to realise their ambitions. However, some of the concern around missed opportunities, that flagged at the roundtable, will still exist.
Therefore, if levelling up is to be a success it’s more important than ever that:
Grant Thornton conclude that if government can do this then the white paper will offer local leaders a genuine opportunity to transform their areas and really make a difference to the people and places they serve.