Mayor Dr Nik Johnson statement on the Levelling Up White Paper
Following the publication today by Government of the Levelling Up White Paper, Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson has made the following statement:
“I welcome the Levelling Up White Paper. It is good that the Government agrees with us that tackling inequality is the key challenge. The Combined Authority has been investing in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough since 2017 with a key aim to help the north of the area prosper just as much as the south.
“I and the Board, made up of all the political leaders across the area, are committed to delivering good growth which reduces entrenched inequalities. We are busy investing in skills, better public transport, market town regeneration and broadband.
“It is important that the White Paper acknowledges that reducing inequality is a long-term project. Inequalities are found in every city and district in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the roots of which go back decades. It will take a committed and focused programme of investment over many years to fully meet the challenge.
“There’s lots in the government’s Levelling Up agenda we can share and I and the rest of the Combined Authority Board are looking forward to talking to Ministers about how we can take our region forward. I started the ball rolling on what I hope will be a collaborative approach with a good conversation yesterday with Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove. I reminded him that the inequalities faced in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough were as real and present as they are in the North and Midlands. Working with the Board, I’m committed to real engagement with the opportunities that the White Paper sets out.
“In the cause of levelling up, we must also ensure we protect our nationally important, dynamic and innovation-led economy. Our world class academia and research, coupled with global enterprise, means we are a major destination for inward investment and skilled people from across the world. Sustaining our success is important for both our region and the UK economy. The Combined Authority is ready to work with Government to ensure that the benefits of our unique economy spread further into the region and allow prosperity to be shared by more people.
“We want the whole region and everyone in it to be able to move forward, together.”