Council Leader responds to Levelling up announcement

Following the long-awaited release of the Government’s Levelling up White Paper, City of York Council Leader Keith Aspden has highlighted the need to match political slogans with funding and delivery to benefit York and the wider region.


As part of the announcement, it was also confirmed that negotiations with Councils in York and North Yorkshire are set to formally begin to develop a devolution proposal.



Responding to the Levelling up white paper, Councillor Keith Aspden, Liberal Democrat Leader, commented:


“For many years now, we have been making the case to Government that York needs a significant funding boost following years of underinvestment from Whitehall.  This would enable us to truly level up by raising living standards, improving public services, and unlocking our city’s and region’s economic potential.  Today, we hope this announcement amounts to more than empty political slogans, and signals a beginning of a strategy for the North which genuinely recognises York and North Yorkshire’s importance in levelling up our region. Funding and delivery must now match the political slogans and ambitions.


“With the challenges posed by the pandemic and the importance of building back better, York has a series of unique opportunities that can see us go from strength to strength. We are already working with partners to drive this work, including making York Central a reality. Meaningful investment and a comprehensive levelling up policy, that is right for York, could help to progress this for the benefit of our communities and businesses.”



Addressing the announcement that the negotiations on the devolution deal for York and North Yorkshire are set to begin, Councillor Aspden added:


“We welcome the progress being made to secure a devolution deal which fundamentally works for York and the wider region, benefiting our communities and businesses and helping to facilitate a strong recovery. 


“Devolution undoubtedly presents opportunities for our city which could unlock significant investment in York and the wider region over the next 30 years, but any deal has to be right for York. York and North Yorkshire will continue to play a key role in achieving levelling up for our region and the right devolution deal has the opportunity to deliver the changes and investment that is most needed in for our city.


“We have been clear in our ambition to secure the right deal for York, and as formal negotiations begin, we will continue to make the case for York and our resident’s priorities.”

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