Ben Bradley Column: Conference was a chance to put region top of the agenda
Last week was the Conservative Party conference, where the Prime Minister set out how the government is getting on with the job of uniting and levelling up every part of the UK following the pandemic.
There was a positive atmosphere, and I think it showed that the Government are determined to deliver change by levelling up across the Country. The PM talked about his wish for us to become a high wage, high skill, high productivity economy that is long overdue in the UK.
There were some positive policy announcements there too.
The Prime Minister announced a new levelling up premium to boost and retain the number of specialist teachers. It is something I have been talking about for a long time as it is harder to employ and retain teachers in areas that are more disadvantaged. A levelling up premium worth £3000 per teacher will support the recruitment and retention of specialist teachers in subjects where there are shortages and in schools and areas that need them. This will boost school standards, so every child can have the best education they deserve, and it won’t matter where they live.
The Justice Secretary, Dominic Raab committed to reforming the Human Rights Act, to end the scandal of blocking and delaying the deportation of convicted criminals, as well as confirming new plans to put criminals to work cleaning up our communities. He announced we will be investing £180 million to tag tens of thousands more offenders, cutting reoffending and protecting victims. Victims should be at the heart of reforms, making sure our communities are safe.
Some of the other announcements included a £500million expansion for our plan for jobs, including a new package of measures to help more people get the opportunity of well-paid work as we level up the country, we need to have a high productivity economy to help recover from the pandemic. A further £25 million was announced for the Safer Street Fund, to increase the safety of public spaces, with a focus on tackling violence against women and girls. Plus the launching of 40 new community diagnostic centres across England, to boost early diagnosis and tackle NHS backlog like at King’s Mill Hospital, making sure local people can receive the treatment they need.
It was a positive conference and really good to be able to meet with people after such a long time It’s also a chance to raise issues with Ministers and officials so that what we need in Mansfield and Warsop is top of the agenda.