In his speech, delivered on 15 July, the Prime Minister offered some insight on how the government would deliver on their ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.
Proposals include new ‘County Deals’ to devolve power to local communities and provide them with the tools necessary to introduce new ideas, create jobs, and improve public services. The PM stated that county deals will not be a ‘one size fits all’ and the government would take a ‘flexible approach’ in order that more places could agree devolution. More detail on how this will be achieved will be set out in the Levelling Up White Paper.
The PM also announced 15 new Towns Deals, enabling those areas to bring forward the plans submitted to the Towns Fund and announced more detail on the government’s new High Streets Strategy which includes addressing the use of empty high street properties and the introduction of a National High Streets Day when communities will be encouraged to take part in a local clean up and celebrate their high street. The government will provide a £2m graffiti war chest and £10m for removing chewing gum and gum stains from our high streets. It is proposed that new fast-food outlets will be compelled under planning rules to be responsible for litter that they generate.
Eight English city regions will receive a share of the £4.2 billion City Region Sustainable Transport Fund. The fund, announced at the last Budget, is for these city regions to start planning improvements to their transport systems with the introduction of cycle lanes, contactless ticketing, metro or light rail and measure to reduce congestion and pollution.