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Posted on:
15th October, 2019

LEPs look to key elements in Queen’s Speech

The Queen Speech set out the government’s ‘new economic plan’ for the UK amid the Prime Minister’s declared ambition to ‘level up’ opportunity throughout the country.

LEPs look to key elements in Queen’s Speech

As business led partnerships that drive local growth and productivity, many announcements in the Queen's Speech will play to LEP strengths, including:

Regional Devolution:

  • The Government will publish a White Paper on regional devolution.
  • It will set out the government’s strategy for continued local economic growth and increased productivity across the country, including plans for institutions, spending priorities, local economic plans and local growth funding.
  • There will be further information on ‘enhanced devolution’ across England, “levelling up” the powers between Mayoral Combined Authorities, increasing the number of mayors, and “doing more devolution deals”.
  • It will set out structural institutional reform in England to support devolution and growth, in step with further funding.

“Our White Paper will also set out the levelling up agenda that the Prime

Minister started in Manchester on 27 July and expanded on for the North in

Rotherham at the Northern Powerhouse Summit on 13 September – covering

mayors, towns, and our commitment to the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.”

(HMG  QS Brief Oct 2019)

  • The government will “revitalise” the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine strategies.
  • As EU structural funds stop in December 2020, the government will use it as “an opportunity to spend the same tax money more effectively, and in a more devolved way.”

Further and technical education

  • The government said it aims to ensure the post-16 education system is “well funded and organised in a way that enables young people and adults to gain the skills required for success and to help the economy.”
  • This means an extra £400 million for 16-19 year-old education next year, an increase of 7 per cent overall in 16-19 year-old funding.
  • This will also include additional investment in T Levels, supporting continued preparation for these courses and the initial delivery from September 2020.
  • There will be a review of post-18 education to ensure “a joined-up education system” to encourage the development of the skills the country needs.

National Infrastructure Strategy.

  • The government will publish a National Infrastructure Strategy “later in the autumn” to improve the nation’s digital, transport and energy infrastructure.
  • It aims to set out the Government’s ambitions across all areas of economic infrastructure including transport, local growth, decarbonisation, digital infrastructure, infrastructure finance and delivery.
  • The strategy seeks to close the productivity gap between London and other parts of the country and address the challenges posed by climate change.
  • The Strategy will be the Government’s formal response to the National Infrastructure Commission’s 2018 National Infrastructure Assessment, which made a series of independent recommendations to government across all sectors of economic infrastructure (transport, energy, digital, waste, water and flood management).

Broadband

  • There will be new legislation to accelerate the delivery of fast, reliable and secure broadband
  • The government aims to roll out gigabit capable broadband across the UK.
  • It will be made easier for telecoms companies to install broadband infrastructure and ensure that all new homes are built with reliable and fast internet speeds.

Aviation:

  • The government will publish an aviation bill for the effective and efficient management of UK airspace.
  • It aims to ensure that regulations keep pace with new technology to support sustainable growth in a sector which directly provides over 230,000 jobs and contributes at least £22 billion a year to the UK economy.

Rail:

  • The government will bring forward proposals on railway reform and publish a white paper on the Williams Review recommendations “later this autumn”.
  • Following this, the Government will start implementing reforms from 2020, prioritising improvements for passengers.
  • The Williams Review is the first comprehensive review of the railway in a generation, the review was tasked with making ambitious proposals to reform the rail industry and franchising model.

Space and Science:

  • There will be increased investment in science complemented by the development of a new funding agency, and an ambitious national space strategy.”
  • There will be plans in the autumn “to significantly boost” public R&D funding.
  • A new National Space Council will be established along with a UK Space Strategy.

High Speed Rail 2 (West Midlands - Crewe)

  • The government will provide the powers to build and operate the next stage of the High Speed Two (HS2) network (Phase 2a).

A full copy of the Queen’s Speech is available here.

Background notes on the detail of the speech are available here.