Upgrade grants do not compensate for cuts in regional funding

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Overall government spending is planned to be £1.182 billion in 2022-23. Leveling spend announced last week was just £2.1bn – less than 0.2% of that (Editor, Jan 18). It is the way the remaining 99.8% is spent that creates the great regional imbalance that has so distorted the British economy. Mainstream funding has put pressure on the north and other areas outside of London, such as the West Country, and it is mainstream funding that needs to be rebalanced to level up.

A good place to start is precisely the cost of living and climate crises that are a “London solution” for the whole country (ie, sensible spending can resolve the perpetual chaos of the northern railways that is often reported but rarely offered a solution.
jim bamford

• I spent 30 years in various local councils, eight of which were in the police force. During that period, we seemed to have spent a lot of time and often appointing advisors to get extra cash from the central government. We have rarely been successful.

The current, idiotic idea of ​​leveling up is another example of Westminster politicians thinking they know best, throwing the weird bone off the banquet table for the dogs below.

Like Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, where the process has already begun, England needs the proper delegation of real power over taxation and decision-making to its regions and the establishment of regional assemblies. A “national parliament” in Westminster can help with foreign affairs, defence, immigration, currency, etc. can deal with issues. Welcome to a federal United Kingdom.
John Marriott
North Hykeham, Lincolnshire

• One of the benefits of the quarantine has been instant global access via Zoom to London-based events and discussions, from which we Northern England residents are often excluded. Unfortunately, now that the Covid threat has “passed”, this leveling up manifestation has gone into an unprecedented decline.
Joanna Christina
Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

• While it may be tempting to review the list of projects that have managed to raise the level of funding and identify actual or perceived injustices in the process and results, this is just a side show. Those serious about addressing the decline of communities should oppose the determined policy of undermining local governments that has led to a nearly 40% reduction in central government funding for local services over the past twelve years.

Photogenic projects that offer ministers the opportunity to cut ribbons or stick plaques are no substitute for closed libraries, mothball-filled entertainment centers, cuts that leave unfilled pits and reduce care for fragile and vulnerable people.
Les Bright

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