High Peak MP Robert Largan has helped launch the new Levelling Up Taskforce, a group of 40 Conservative MPs who represent seats all around the country. The Taskforce will champion ideas to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to make the best of their talents, no matter where they are from.
Alongside the announcement, the group published their first report Measuring up for levelling up. The report seeks to identify how the Government can best measure progress on levelling up and examines how the economy has been performing in different parts of the country over recent decades.
Among a number of findings, the analysis found that seats gained by the Conservatives in 2019 do not just have lower earnings than the seats the party already held, but earnings on average 5 per cent lower than seats currently held by Labour. Of the bottom quarter of seats in Great Britain with the lowest earnings, more are now held by the Conservatives (77) than Labour (74).
The report argues that the Government should set itself three key tests of levelling up:
1. Are the bottom fifth and bottom half of local authorities by earnings growing their earnings more quickly than they have in recent years?
2. Are the bottom fifth and bottom half of local authorities with the worst unemployment seeing unemployment rates falling and converging with the national average?
3. Are the bottom fifth and bottom half of local authorities with the lowest employment seeing employment rates rising and converging with the national average?
Robert Largan MP commented:
“The levelling up agenda has very strong support in the High Peak and I am excited to help this group drive forward progress.
“Governments of all parties have failed to properly invest in every part of the country, especially the North. As a member of this taskforce, I will continue to bang the drum for much needed infrastructure improvements in the High Peak.”