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Levelling Up: Empowering Local Leaders

Volume 714: debated on Monday 16 May 2022

The Department is delivering the Government’s plan to empower local leaders, including offering devolution deals by 2030 to anywhere in England that wants one.

I thank the Secretary of State for visiting Barrow recently to see how the £25 million town deal and the £16 million levelling-up funding will transform our community.

Cumbria has just elected its first ever councillors to the new Westmorland and Furness Council and Cumberland Council. This is a historic moment for our county. Does my hon. Friend the Minister agree that there is further to go and that the new councillors have the opportunity to secure a bountiful devolution deal that supercharges the county with an elected Mayor? What advice would he give to them?

I agree with my hon. Friend. I was in Barrow and Furness a couple of weeks ago, and I was struck by the fantastic progress he is helping to drive using levelling-up funds, such as the marina village, the new bridge, the new university campus and more. I was also struck by the common linkages and opportunities across Cumbria, and I can see the case for an ambitious devolution deal covering both new authorities once they are up and running.