Superfluous and unconvincing: why the levelling up bill is a missed opportunity

derek long 2 index

The lack of depth in Michael Gove’s flagship legislation announced in the Queen’s Speech will make change difficult, argues Derek Long

Say what you like about housing secretary Michael Gove’s Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, but only its parents think it’s pretty. Superfluous legislation for UK-wide “levelling up missions” sits alongside micro-scale freedoms to change street names. Part-reforms of county governance jostle part-reforms of planning nationally. An unconvincing portmanteau – the lack of depth feels like a missed opportunity on all fronts.

Levelling up skills, health, education and wellbeing, is a huge economic and social prize. Yet how it is to be delivered remains elusive. In the press pack, levelling up is both place-specific and ubiquitous.

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