Committee chair criticises lack of direction for levelling-up agenda

“That was probably one of the poorest ministerial sessions I’ve chaired,” Darren Jones told ministers.

The Labour MP, and chair of the Common’s Business committee, said Paul Scully and his colleague Luke Hall had not given any clarity on financing, understanding, policy or direction for the “levelling-up” agenda.

He said neither minister seemed to know about the work of a levelling-up taskforce, set up by the prime minister, led by Neil O’Brien MP.

The committee session was looking at the government’s “levelling-up” agenda, and its priorities.

Ministers Paul Scully and Luke Hall said the government was looking at a range of data, from health and life expectancy, to the number of new businesses in a local area to assess how successful the programme would be.

They said the programme was still new, the publication of the government’s proposals into the scheme would set out broader priorities.

The committee session considered whether or not it was right that MPs can only support one bid for extra funding for their local areas, the amount of money due to be spent, and whether or not these funding settlements would overall reduce funding for local councils.


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