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Call for Evidence

Post-pandemic economic growth: Levelling up - local and regional structures and the delivery of economic growth

Levelling up: local and regional structures and the delivery of economic growth

Terms of Reference

On 3 June 2020, the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee launched a super inquiry on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. This wide-ranging inquiry will look at the options available to Government to secure our economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19; covering investment, industrial strategy, jobs, skills, exports and sustainable growth. This over-arching inquiry will run throughout this Parliament and will include a number of sub-inquiries.

“Levelling up: local and regional structures and the delivery of economic growth” is a sub-inquiry to examine how local and regional government structures in England (including the role of powerhouses, local enterprise partnerships and growth hubs, city and regional mayoralties, and councils) could be reformed or better equipped to deliver growth locally, with specific reference to the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

Key issues will include:

Evidence base: what evidence exists to measure the performance of the various tiers of regional and local government in the delivery of growth? What evidence have regional and local leaders based their local or regional industrial strategies on, and what forms of stakeholder engagement were included in the drafting of priorities? Considering the cost of institutions, what cost benefit analysis exists to show the value for taxpayers’ money when compared to the delivery of wealth and job creation?

Local structures: what structures exists across the country and how does this compare across different regions? How do these different tiers work together to deliver local growth? What good case studies exist, and can lessons be learnt from poor collaboration or leadership? How should local structures support delivery of regional growth across England? Do regional or local structures act in the best interests of local priorities and stakeholders or act more as a delivery arm of central Government? What should local authorities do more or less of to achieve these aims? Where should government focus its post-Covid-19 levelling up policy to best support regional growth: English regions, core-cities, towns, Growth Hubs and LEPs?

Stakeholder engagement: how does each tier of regional or local government engage with delivery stakeholders (such as businesses, education providers, etc)? Do different tiers engage in different ways? Where are there examples of good practice? Do stakeholders believe the different tiers are effective and worthwhile to engage with? Do stakeholders consider certain tiers to be more of a constraint on growth as opposed to a delivery partner for growth?

Sustainable local economies: how could a green economic recovery stimulate local economies and embed upskilling at a regional level? Which tiers are best placed to provide the leadership of local net zero and skills-based priorities? Should leadership responsibilities be separate from delivery responsibilities?

Targeted regional investment: how could ‘shovel ready’ growth projects in England drive local growth and jobs? How could clustered R&D investment support local growth? How should priorities be agreed across the regions?

Regional funding: how should the UK Shared Prosperity Fund be specifically targeted to replace EU Funding and address regional inequality? What role should local structures play in allocating funding to best achieve regional growth? What role could the British Business Bank have in the post-Covid-19 levelling up of regional economies?

Project Speed: Project Speed will bring forward proposals to deliver government’s public investment projects. How should Project Speed identify and distribute growth opportunities into communities across the country to best achieve its levelling up agenda? What should the balance be between Whitehall decision making and local decision making? Do we have the capacity and capabilities at local and/or regional level to do this work on behalf of central government?

 

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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