Levelling up plan is compelling but will fail without a regional focus
We all now acknowledge that the UK has one of the most imbalanced societies and lop-sided economies of all western countries. It is not just that there is a gap between London and the South East and the rest of the country, there are huge gaps within the regions themselves — in life expectancy, educational attainment, employment prospects, earning power, crime statistics, social justice, and so on.
Of course, the underlying causes are highly complex, and successive governments share the blame to some extent. Margaret Thatcher’s reforms famously hollowed out industrial communities in the north and the regions without doing anything to equip them for recovery.