Sheffield MP accuses Government of electoral point scoring with new levelling up funding

Written by Amber O'Connor

A Sheffield MP has lashed out at the Government for failing to provide any means to measure the success of their levelling up fund.

The £4.8bn fund is intended to improve infrastructure around the UK but lacks a clear measure of impact, according to Sheffield South MP Clive Betts.

“If levelling up is really to work, we need to set clear and tangible criteria to judge its success ahead of time, otherwise it will become nothing more than a political football for the Government to throw around with no impact on the real world,” he said.

Mr Betts last week questioned the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Eddie Hughes MP, on how the Government will measure the success of the the fund.

Mr Hughes responded: “If we’re going to determine the success of these projects, the British electorate will probably do that at the next General Election, so I look forward to seeing how that turns out.”

Following the exchange, Mr Betts pointed out there are multiple ways the Government could measure the fund’s success, including monitoring levels of deprivation and poverty, or life expectancy.

“However, it is telling the Government have no interest in any of these and it seems suggestive that this whole manifesto was just for electoral point scoring rather than improving people’s lives in communities that have been left behind,” he added.

The allocation of the Levelling Up Fund has also faced criticism, with 39 of the 45 new grants revealed earlier this month going to towns with a Conservative MP.

“If the Government are not going to allocate funds where they are needed most, or publish any success criteria for the projects they fund, their levelling up agenda is just noise, and a poor disguise for pork barrel politics,” Mr Betts said.

 

 

Written by Amber O'Connor

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