Below, the County Councils Network responds.
Cllr Barry Lewis, economic growth spokesperson for the County Councils Network, and leader of Derbyshire County Council, said:
“Today’s speech from the Prime Minister was an important milestone for the country as we begin the huge task of economic rebuilding. Boris Johnson’s re-commitment to levelling-up is crucial in the aftermath of the pandemic, as his commitment to bring forward proposals to reform social care.
“Boris Johnson rightly recognised that investment and opportunity must move beyond a focus on the major cities. Many left-behind communities are located within counties; from deprived towns, rural and coastal communities, to former manufacturing hotbeds. The investment announcements for major infrastructure, road networks, broadband, clean growth and job guarantees are therefore welcome. We must ensure this investment is spread right across the nation to kickstart the country’s economic fightback, and counties have a key role in increasing the pace of housing.
“County authorities have an essential role in delivering the government’s ambitions outlined today. We stand ready and willing to work with government to ensure our communities have economic growth and opportunity, and move quickly to build better homes, with counties already setting out ambitious and innovative economic recovery plans for the future of their communities.”