Following the government’s publication of its Levelling Up White Paper, recently published research has illustrated the farcical nature of the government’s claim to be helping areas in need of investment.
In Medway, local Settlement Funding has reduced in real terms by £50.5m since 2018, while successful bids through the Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund only totalled £15m, showing a £35.5 real-terms loss for the area since the Government’s levelling up agenda was announced.
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of the Medway Labour and Co-operative Group said: “While the Government is distracted cleaning up the Prime Minister’s scandals, they aren’t governing and they aren’t delivering for Medway.
“The Prime Minister’s audacity is unbelievable. The image of ‘levelling-up’ he is trying to convey around the nation is even less believable than his insistence that his parties were work events. The unfortunate reality is that virtually every area of England has received less in funding on average since 2018 than they received from regional development funds, such as the Towns Fund.
Cllr Andy Stamp, member for Gillingham North added: “While the entirety of Medway will have suffered from these harsh cuts, it is regrettable to say that Gillingham has been abandoned by the government even more than these statistics suggest. None of the Levelling Up Fund allocation was spent directly in Gillingham, meaning our community has felt only the sharp end of the cuts.
“This lack of funding for Gillingham is both a consequence of the Government’s unfair austerity measures, and our own local Tory administration’s inability to secure investments right across all of Medway for the areas that need it most.”