Home Local News County Cllr slams delays in awarding of levelling up money

County Cllr slams delays in awarding of levelling up money

cllr gibson
Cllr Julie Gibson

“It is another example of the chaos and confusion at the heart of this Tory Government”

County Cllr Julie Gibson, the Labour Group Shadow Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth has slammed the recent announcement from Government of delays to the awarding of the levelling up monies. In a letter to MPs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up Dehenna Davison said a decision on where the money would be distributed would come by the end of January and blamed the delay on the increase of applications to the fund.

Cllr Gibson said: “This is typical of the Tory Government to make this announcement in the run-up to Christmas, possibly hoping it would be lost as everyone was caught up in the Christmas rush. The announcement of the successful Levelling Up Fund round two bids had originally been expected in October. The then Secretary of State Simon Clarke revised this to the “end of the year” but now after the latest announcement councils will have to wait until the end of January to find out if they have been successful.

She continued, “Lancashire County Council has a bid of £50million into this fund as have many of the Borough and District Councils in the Lancashire area. The delay to this funding could not have come at a worse time and comes on top of a litany of government failures. The government scrapped the Investment Zone funding which many councils across Lancashire had bid into, there were delays to the Shared Prosperity Fund (the replacement for EU Funding) which left many local councils and community organisations struggling and now we are told the announcement on levelling up money won’t be until the end of January. It is also worth noting, that this is only the announcement, we are still not clear on when the funds will be received.

Cllr Gibson commented: “The government said that the delay is due to the amount of “high-quality applications” received. But this is yet another example of the chaos and confusion that defines this current Government. We only need to look at the billions they wasted propping up the economy after the failed Liz Truss budget. Whilst we wait to see what the new year will bring for local government, it is clear that the best present the government can give to the people of Lancashire in 2023, would be the gift of a general election and the election of a Labour Government.”

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