Government threatens to scrap levelling up plans days after they were announced

The government came under heavy criticism from councils and developers after it emerged that plans had been made to scrap their Levelling Up plans just days after the Bill was announced in the Queen’s Speech.

Oldham Liberal Democrat Leader, Howard Sykes MBE said, “The government have promised to deliver a levelling up agenda for years now and when we finally see a Bill being brought forward, they’ve left themselves a sneaky hidden option to drop it all together when things get tough. Clearly ‘Levelling Up’ is just a political slogan to this Conservative government and they want to make sure they can still use it at the next General Election.

Howard Sykes, looking out across Shaw

“The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill commits the government to ‘levelling up missions’ around the country. These missions – which have yet to be put before Parliament – are aimed at tackling regional inequalities and addressing the north-south divide. But the Conservative government have hidden an emergency exit in the Bill and can choose to drop levelling up missions altogether.”

Back in February, councillor Sykes said that the governments levelling up agenda was “all fur coat and no knickers” when ministers abandoned plans for local high-speed rail across the north. See: So-called Conservative Government levelling up agenda is all fur coat and no knickers say local Liberal Democrats | Howard Sykes (

Councillor Sykes said, “This bill just proves that our concerns were well founded. The government is leaving whole communities behind. Levelling-up is just the latest Tory buzzword and has no real substance whatsoever.”

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