Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie has joined a group of Conservative MPs to spearhead the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.
The Levelling Up Taskforce, comprising 40 MPs representing seats all around the country, will champion ideas to boost Britain’s more deprived areas and give opportunities for all.
It will work with the thinktank Onward, whose major programme of research on levelling up was launched in March. It found that seats gained by the Conservatives in the 2019 General Election have lower earnings than the seats the party already held, and the earnings on average are 5% lower than seats currently held by Labour.
Of the bottom quarter of seats in Great Britain with the lowest earnings, more are now held by the Conservatives (77) than Labour (74).
“I passionately believe we need to level up the country and this taskforce will do all it can to help ministers achieve the ambition of offering opportunity for everyone regardless of where they come from,” said Ms Baillie.
“I believe this agenda was also a major reason why I was elected to represent Stroud. Voters want to see improvements to areas that feel left behind and hear a positive vision for the country.
“My own focus as a Further Education ambassador is to see more high-quality vocational and technical education coming on stream in areas where it will make a big difference. I know the government is committed to extra investment in further education. This will be a major part of allowing everyone to reach their potential and drive forward higher wages and better productivity.”
She added:“Covid has also made the case for area specific levelling up even stronger. We must drive investment, job and education opportunities into areas of the country that have struggled over the last decades.”
The Levelling Up Taskforce will be producing a regular newsletter charting progress on levelling up and producing further publications on ways to spread opportunity and boost growth in poorer areas.