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City mayors and Powerhouses to appear at Business Committee ‘Levelling up’ inquiry

20 November 2020

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee continues its ‘levelling up’ inquiry with an evidence hearing featuring City Mayors and ‘Powerhouse’ representatives [see full witness list below].

Purpose of the session

The session on Tuesday morning (from 10.30am) is likely to look at how far Powerhouses and City Mayors have enhanced economic capacity and delivery in their areas, their engagement with local communities and businesses and the support provided, and views on how far Covid-19 will impact on delivering the ‘levelling-up’ agenda.


Tuesday 24th November

At 10.30am

  • Katherine Bennett, Chair Western Gateway
  • Rachael Greenwood, Director at Midlands Engine
  • Lord Kerslake, Chair UK2070 Commission
  • Henri Murison, Director Northern Powerhouse Partnership

At 11.30am

  • Andrew Carter, Chief Executive at Centre for Cities
  • Rokhsana Fiaz, Mayor at Newham Council
  • Marvin Rees, Mayor at Bristol City Council
  • Mr Duncan Simpson, Research Director at Taxpayers' Alliance
  • Sir Peter Soulsby, Leicester City Mayor

Levelling-up inquiry – evidence sessions so far

The BEIS Committee heard (on Thursday 22 October) from metro-mayors, including Andy Burnham, Mayor Greater Manchester, Steve Rotheram, Mayor Liverpool City Region, Jamie Driscoll, Mayor North of Tyne, and Tim Bowles, Mayor West of England. The session on looked at questions around whether metro-mayors have sufficient tools and powers to advance the ‘levelling up’ agenda, how ‘levelling up’ can be effectively targeted and success measured and where new investment can pave the way for regional growth.

The hearing also focussed on the impact Covid-19 is likely to have on the levelling up agenda, including questions around the Government’s approach to supporting businesses in light of restrictions on trading.

The BEIS Committee’s opening evidence session for its ‘levelling-up’ inquiry took place on Thursday 1st October where it heard from local government and from regional business voices. The introductory session on Thursday looked at questions around what is ‘levelling up’, the evidence base and how it can be measured, how ‘levelling up’ can be effectively targeted and investment in skills and R&D. The hearing also covered questions around the Shared Prosperity Fund and local funding post-Brexit, and how the Government’s Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, ‘Project Speed’, can support the levelling-up agenda.

Levelling up sub-inquiry and the overall Post-pandemic economic growth inquiry

The Post-pandemic economic growth inquiry, launched in June, is an over-arching inquiry likely to run through the Parliament and will include a series of sub-inquiries examining issues such as devolution and the ‘levelling-up’ agenda,  the role Government might play as a shareholder or investor in businesses in the future, and the measures needed to rebuild consumer confidence and stimulate economically and environmentally sustainable growth. Further terms of reference for these sub-inquiries will be published during the course of the Parliament.

Further information

Image: Parliamentary copyright