Today, the Prime Minister has set out his plans for ‘levelling up’ disadvantaged communities in the recovery from Covid-19. Groundwork welcomes this goal, which is at the core of our mission to transform places and lives through community and sustainable development. However, we want to see government go further and create lasting change for these communities. Here’s our response:
“The Prime Minister’s announcements today recognise that we need to invest in places that feel they have been left behind, and that protecting and improving local environments is an important part of our national recovery plan. We now need to go much further on both fronts. As well as repairing schools, hospitals and town centres, our national infrastructure strategy needs to include ambitious steps to make our homes more energy efficient and to improve our green infrastructure to promote health and more sustainable travel. It also needs to recognise the value of social infrastructure – the places and spaces in our local neighbourhoods that help us build the social networks that make our communities stronger and more resilient.
“Alongside this the Chancellor needs to be bold in his plans to safeguard and create jobs. We want every job to be a green job, with environmental awareness and carbon literacy seen as core skills alongside maths and English. We also want to see support for apprenticeships matched by a commitment to improve traineeship funding so that those who are already disadvantaged in the labour market don’t fall further behind. If the government is serious about its levelling up agenda then it needs to recognise the importance of investing in the social and environmental fabric of disadvantaged areas as well as rebuilding their economic prospects.”
Graham Duxbury, national chief executive, Groundwork
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