Civic and business leaders from across the North are putting forward a collective partnership offer to Government, setting out how the North can lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution and deliver on the levelling up promise.
In a document published today by the Convention of the North and the NP11 group of northern local enterprise partnerships (LEPs), northern leaders set out the five “gamechangers” which, through collaboration across the North and with Government, will grow an inclusive economy that delivers for the North and the country, while also tackling the health inequalities that have been laid bare by COVID-19. Those game changers are:
- Leading the Green Industrial Revolution
- Closing the healthy life expectancy gap between the North and South through innovation
- Closing the education and skills gap
- Improving connectivity in towns and cities in the North
- Increasing private and public investment in R&D spending in the North
The five gamechangers represent a combined Northern offer to Government to ensure the North plays its full part in levelling up the UK, leading the transition to a Net Zero economy and developing a competitive Global Britain.
Leaders have invited the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, to join them for a working Convention in Liverpool in January 2022, focused on turning the Government’s positive commitment to level up the North into action.
Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, who will mark the document’s launch with a business roundtable in Liverpool focusing on the opportunities for the North to lead the transition to Net Zero, said:
“True levelling up has to mean tackling long-standing and structural inequalities that exist between North and South in this country on a wide range of issues, from healthcare and job prospects, to transport and infrastructure spending. This is not an issue of party politics but one of fairness and social justice.
“As leaders representing millions of people across the North, we want to work with government to make that a reality. The North has been hit harder than the rest of the country, but I believe that with proper support we also have the potential to bounce back further and faster than the rest of the country too.
“From levelling up to climate change and everything in between, the solutions to many of the fundamental issues facing the country lie in empowering local leaders to work with central government and take the decisions that our areas need to shape our own destinies and build a stronger, fairer, better balanced United Kingdom.”
Deputy Leader of Sefton Council and Cabinet Member for Locality Services, John Fairclough added:
‘Sefton Council is facing huge financial pressures in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, which is still very much with us. Necessary Council Tax increases in the coming years, in part to meet the demands of caring for our most vulnerable residents, will inevitably place the burden of recovery on our residents and communities, at a time when many can least afford it.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. The Convention of the North andNP11 group are challenging Government to work collaboratively with Councils, other public bodies and business leaders throughout the region, while making proposals that, if translated into action, will truly mean levelling up in the North, including Sefton.
“From leading a green industrial revolution to reducing the gap in health outcomes for our citizens, supporting vulnerable adults, children and families, closing the education gap to having greater connectivity, these are aims that are already integral to Sefton’s Vision for 2030 and that we passionately echo alongside our peers.”
Today’s publication of Northern leaders’ collective offer to Government will pave the way for a Convention of the North with NP11 event, due to take place in Liverpool in early 2022.
Following the success of its inaugural event in September 2019, at which Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a series of commitments to the North, the Convention of the North with NP11 will work with Government to focus resources and investment on the North to allow it to level up.