Setting out our post-coronavirus economic recovery plan
Today the Prime Minister set out his New Deal for Britain - with a vision for how the UK will not just bounce back from coronavirus, but will bounce forward – stronger and better and more united than ever before.
To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK, to unite and level up. We will build back better, build back greener, build back faster.
Levelling up - a manifesto commitment
In December, I stood on a manifesto to restore opportunity and economic fairness to our constituency, a manifesto that promised to improve our infrastructure and invest in education and skills. Today we have seen that the Government is determined to fulfil the commitments it made.
For too long our economy has not been balanced, with wealth and opportunity concentrated in London and the South East, even though talent and ambition are evenly spread across our country. It should not be the case that a young person living in Dodworth or Chapeltown has to leave their home and their community to access training or a well-paid job; we need these opportunities right here.
It is also no longer acceptable for areas like ours to have to accept second rate public transport, roads and connectivity. and I will work to see our manifesto delivered through investment in our Northern infrastructure so that local people get better access to jobs, health services, education and skills training.
Inventiveness, speed and energy
Boris Johnson described in his speech how we will employ the same inventiveness, speed and energy that we have used to tackle coronavirus to building our new schools, hospitals and roads, and the Government will bring forward £5bn of its infrastructure and jobs investment to get these initiatives underway.
We need to win some of the battles that previous Governments have failed to overcome by delivering more quickly, more efficiently and more effectively; something that we have proven that we can do - delivering the NHS Nightingale hospitals, the coronavirus Job Retention ‘furlough’ scheme and our world leading drug trials and so much more.
By harnessing our potential and boosting our productivity we have the opportunity to deliver transformational change across our country and in our local area.
The economy is in a very different place now than in December, but the fundamental regional inequalities that exist have not changed, and of course many more inequalities have been highlighted by the impact of the pandemic.
Now is the time to set out a positive and ambitious vision, to invest in our future and to recognise that there are some areas of our country that need deep economic intervention in order to regenerate those areas that have been left behind.
Funding announcements for our area
The Chancellor will soon lay out more details about our plans to invest in the future, but I am delighted that this week the Government has already:
- Enacted in law the Sheffield City Region devolution deal, releasing £30m of Government funding to be spent locally
- Committed to a minimum £500 000 increase for each town that has a ‘Town Deal’, from which Stocksbridge will benefit
- Announced successful funding bids for Dodworth St John the Baptist Primary School, Stocksbridge High School, Oughtibridge Primary School and Wharncliffe Side School for important building improvements such as new roofs and heating systems
The Prime Minister is clear - we have a difficult road ahead and changes will not happen overnight, but if we’re serious about unleashing our potential – nationally, and locally in all of the local communities that make up Penistone and Stocksbridge – now is the time to set out our positive and ambitious vision for levelling up.
You can read the full details of the speech here: