Upgrading White Paper: Tim Farron Interviews Michael Gove

An MP has criticized the Government’s Leveling Up white paper for including ‘a precious little’ for Cumbria.

Tim Farron questioned the Secretary of State for Upgrading, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, in Parliament today after outlining the Government’s plans to close the gap between poor and wealthy parts of the country.

Mr Farron thinks rural communities in the North “feel forgotten and taken for granted”.

“I’m really concerned that there’s very little concern in this document when it comes to leveling rural parts of our country,” he said.

“In Cumbria we have three hour round trips for cancer treatment, a threat to our local A&E service and our villages and communities being evacuated by second homes and Airbnb.

“I would love to work with the Secretary of State, constructively, and would like him to agree to meet me so that we can talk about responses to the housing disaster, not just in Cumbria but across the rest of the world. of rural Britain.”

In response, Mr Gove said: ‘I have to say I agree with almost everything the honorable gentleman has said.

“First, it is important that we focus on rural poverty.

“Secondly, that there are unique issues in Cumbria. The reorganization of local government – ​​the creation of a new local authority in Cumberland and a new one in Westmorland with Barrow – will help ensure that we focus on her, but we need to go further.

“He is also right that the issues of second homes and the impact this has on local economies are complex. We are not in the right place yet and I want to work with him and other colleagues to address this.

The White Paper describes the goals as Mr Gove’s “missions” for the rest of the decade.

The objectives for 2030 are:

– Wages, employment and productivity will have increased in all regions of the UK, with each region containing a “globally competitive” city.

– National public investment in research and development outside the “Great South East” of England will increase by at least 40 per cent.

– Local public transport across the country will be “significantly closer” to London standards, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.

– The UK will have nationwide gigabit-capable broadband and 4G coverage, with 5G coverage for the majority of the population.

– Some 90% of primary school children in England will have achieved the expected levels in reading, writing and maths, with the percentage reaching these targets in the worst performing areas rising by a third.

– Some 200,000 more people in England will receive ‘high quality vocational training’ every year, including 80,000 in the least skilled parts of the country.

– The gap in healthy life expectancy (HLE) between the highest and lowest areas will have narrowed, and by 2035 the healthy life expectancy (HLE) will increase by five years .

– There will be an improvement in ‘well-being’ across all regions of the UK, with the gap between the best and worst performing areas narrowing.

– All areas of the UK will have an improved “Pride in Place”, assessed by metrics such as people’s satisfaction with their city center and engagement with local culture and community.

– People who rent their homes will have secure access to ownership, with the number of first-time buyers increasing across the board. The number of “non-decent” rental units will have decreased by 50%.

– Homicides, serious violence and neighborhood delinquency will have decreased, concentrated in the most affected areas.

– Every part of England that wants one will have a devolution agreement and simplified long-term funding regulations.

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