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Statement: Response to Levelling Up White Paper

The government today published the Levelling Up White Paper, including plans for Local Government. Surrey County Council’s response to the paper is below.

Cllr Tim Oliver, Leader of Surrey County Council, said: “Here in Surrey we welcome the government’s White Paper, with the clear recognition of the importance of local government and in particular County authorities being best placed to deliver for residents and communities.

“While we are not one of the first pilot areas, we will take note of progress and continue discussions with other areas and government to ensure that we are in a position to grasp any future opportunities that will have a positive impact for Surrey.

“Local government has a leading role to play in tackling the big challenges facing society at the moment, including the climate emergency and the cost and quality of social care. County Deals are a positive step in enabling authorities like ours to deliver solutions to those issues, and we would encourage the government to roll out County Deals to further areas as soon as possible, alongside appropriate funding and support. It is also important to recognise that ‘levelling-up’ must happen within local areas, rather than simply through a national lens, and that the national agenda does not come at the expense of places like Surrey.

“The White Paper aligns with our ultimate ambition that no one is left behind in Surrey – that we help those who need us most and deliver a better quality of life for everyone here. Everything we do is aimed at delivering this ambition, we will continue that work in earnest and any additional powers or resource from government will be welcome.”

The full white paper can be viewed here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1052064/Levelling_Up_White_Paper_HR.pdf

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