Michael Gove, the cabinet minister of the government’s flagship “equalization agenda”, has indicated he will continue to create more mayors in England as part of efforts to tackle local inequalities.
Gove said Monday that the government wants local leaders who can ‘do more’, indicating the prospect of further devolution of power from Whitehall to elected mayors in the regions.
Critics of Boris Johnson have accused him of not turning his 2019 election promise to increase ‘backward’ areas into a substantive policy, and the prime minister used his cabinet shuffle last month to ask Gove to make plans.
Gove said at the Conservative party conference that there will be four key tests to determine what success in equalization will look like.
He said: ‘We want to strengthen local leadership to bring about real change. We will increase the standard of living especially if it is lower. We will improve public services especially where they are weaker. And we will provide people with the necessary resources to strengthen the pride they receive in their place of residence. ”
Government insiders have said a white paper on leveling – which will set the benchmarks for measuring success – will be published “around the time of the review of spending” that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will put together with his budget on October 27. reveal.
Gove said at a rally organized by Policy Exchange, a think tank, that ‘strong, responsible local leadership works’, and suggested that mayors should be able to do more to attract more domestic investment to their territories.
He cites the government’s plans for free port manufacturing centers where goods can enter and exit duty-free, only levies at the export point – as an example of how the Tories should encourage further investment in the so-called red wall constituencies. party eliminated Labor during the 2019 election.
Gove also endorses the idea of creating more universities in towns like Doncaster, suggesting that the focus should be on science, technology, engineering and math.
“If you look at other countries that have been economically as well as successful in terms of social mobility, people have been in education longer, but education was not necessarily in a seminar room that discussed the spider-Man hermeneutics,” he said. .
Gove added that there should be a focus on “at least three years of high quality technical and vocational training in science, engineering and mathematics subjects”.
But Gove was attacked by Lord Michael Heseltine, the former deputy prime minister of the Conservative and longtime champion of devolution, who criticized the government’s approach to a slogan.
‘The truth is that we know how to stand up, we know how to improve the conditions in defective areas; we have done it remarkably well in many parts of the country, ‘he told Sky News. “The political will to make difficult decisions is lacking.
Gove’s divisional department is also overseeing controversial planning reforms in England that some conservative MPs in the south fear alienating voters by enabling greater house building.
Gove interrupted the reforms to review them, saying he was “taking some time to make sure we get the balance right”, noting that other factors are important to building homes.
“We should not think about improving our planning system and improving the provision of housing just by a single big bang approach,” he added.