Leader of Oldham Liberal Democrats councillor Howard Sykes has slammed the governments latest “levelling-up” offer, accusing the government of offering “handouts to Conservative councils in the south, while the rest of us bid on the scraps.”
The recently announced round of levelling up grants saw Oldham awarded £20m towards business and cycle infrastructure, but a bid to secure a further £20m towards the redevelopment of the Lyceum Theatre and the Old Library was unsuccessful.
Councillor Sykes said, “The Conservatives have been promising to level up deprived parts of the country for years now. Oldham is one of the most deprived towns in the country. But when it comes to stumping up the cash, Oldham got less money than Rutland, one of the least deprived areas that submitted a bid.”
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak came under fire after his Richmond constituency was granted £19m in levelling up funding, despite being listed as one of the least deprived areas in the country.
“Levelling up has just been an excuse for the Conservatives to give handouts to their already wealthy heartlands. The rest of us are left to bid on the scraps. This government has completely failed to deliver any meaningful change for Oldham.”