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Action on ‘left behind’ parts of England delayed, says former Tory minister

The BBC has reported on claims from former Conservative minister Lord O’Neill (CB) that the Government has yet to deliver on plans it has promised to boost ‘left behind’ parts of England

The plan to shake-up local Government appears to have been delayed again, in a ‘worrying’ sign ministers are not ‘capable’ of dealing with anything but the pandemic, according to O’Neill.

Boris Johnson has promised the biggest reform of local government in a generation, as part of a plan to close the north-south divide and boost parts of England that voted Conservative for the first time in the 2019 general election.

The plans are likely to include the creation of more unitary authorities, ending the overlapping system of county and district councils in many areas, and more elected ‘metro mayors’ such as in Greater Manchester and Tees Valley.

However, the Financial Times has reported that a white paper on devolution and local recovery, due to be published this month, had been put back to next year, perhaps a further suggestion that action on levelling up regional areas is being deferred.

Full articles:

BBC - Action on left behind parts of England delayed, says former Tory minister

Financial Times - Plans for further English devolution shelved until next year

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