Levelling up was the flagship policy of the 2019 Conservative manifesto, but four years later it is clear it was merely empty promise and a lack of commitment to Northern regions like ours is evident.
The Government recently announced £2.1 billion of funding for 100 projects but South Shields’ proposals have been snubbed again. Our proposals included development of The Customs House and a cultural quarter, creating a skills and visitor centre at Holborn Renewable Energy Network, and developing student accommodation as part of South Tyneside College’s relocation.
In response to this rejection, in the Commons Chamber, I criticised the Government’s continual rejections of our levelling-up proposals. The assignment of levelling-up funds has been undeniably unfair.
Despite promises to distribute funding to areas that need it most, our area has been snubbed for two levelling-up bids, the towns fund bid and a freeports bid.
It is extremely disheartening that the bids to improve our town are being rejected after a considerable amount of hard work and money spent on putting together the proposals. The Government need to stop using public funds for their own political advantage, by allocating money to their voter-bases in rich areas and marginal seats, and end their neglect of deprived areas of the UK.
I will continue to work tirelessly to ensure our community gets the funds we need to improve our area and challenging the Government’s empty political slogan of levelling-up.
In reaction the rejection of our bid, I spoke in the House of Commons to ask the Minister why we were again forgotten.